Paper Tips and Tricks #1 — Apple Zoom


The simplicity of Paper (the digital drawing app by 53) allows for people to really explore. A few geniuses have gone beyond experimenting with the tools and have made some amazing discoveries that they share on Mix. One of these is the ability to use Apple Zoom to zoom in further while drawing in paper.

At first when I saw this and tried it, I was not impressed. I mean, it’s blurry, it’s hard to control, and sometimes your marks will end up in random places. But it’s really grown on me.

A lot of people have had the same first impression. It’s not ideal, but with patience and practice, trust me, it works. Of course, it will work better with Pencil but if you’re determined I’m sure you can make it work with your finger.

First of all, you can’t use Apple Zoom alone. Well, you can, but it’s useless because the tools don’t scale down. You have to use Paper’s zoom combined with Apple Zoom. You can adjust the Apple Zoom loupe to get the zoom amount you want once you overlap.

The Fountain Pen works amazingly well in Apple Zoom. The Fountain Pen, or Draw tool, completely changes when I use it like this. Instead of creating unevenly thick lines, it creates steady, consistent, thin lines. Almost like the marker, but a thin version. None of the other tools work nearly as well in zoom. The marker, or Outline tool, can be okay for precise coloring as long as you don’t zoom in too far. As far as I’m concerned, the watercolor (Color) tool is completely useless in this case. I haven’t really tried it, but you might be able to work with the Write and Sketch tool.

Be extremely careful. What happens to me all the time in Apple Zoom is that I’ll draw a line, and then nothing shows up. Outside of Apple Zoom, this can happen sometimes. Usually you just think “oh well” and draw it again. You can’t think like that in Apple Zoom, because every time that happens, you actually do make a mark. This happens because Apple Zoom is not designed to work with Paper, and sometimes the software does not know you are trying to draw in it. It will draw the mark in a random place, and this might not affect you if it ends up in some white space (because you can erase it later) but it will if it ends up on some precious part of your drawing. So, every time a mark does not show up, move your Apple Zoom and check for a random line on your page. If you see one, rewind, and then you can go back to work. If you don’t rewind, it might be hard to fix later.

Be patient. The random marks I talked about above are guaranteed to slow you down, but don’t let that stop you! Here is a piece of work I made in entirely in Apple Zoom:


I published a copy of this on Mix that lets you make your own rose frame with the cut tool. I put roses, leaves, palettes, and some instructions to get you started.


What can you create with Apple Zoom? Share it in the comments below!


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