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About the product
- Nintendo Art Academy (Nintendo DS)
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Draw, Paint, Create Step-by-step lessons for everyone! Learn to create art on the DS. Art Academy is a fun, interactive training program that teaches real-world painting and drawing techniques, much as you would learn in an art class. Lessons take you from basic sketching techniques with pencils to painting with brushes, color mixing and water dilution—all with a realistic feel and producing realistic results that can be applied to real-life materials outside of the Nintendo DS environment. Simple, easy-to-understand instruction. An in-game tutor walks you through each lesson step-by-step, giving examples, providing demonstrations, and offering helpful tips. Each Lesson gradually builds off the previous one, and allowing players to advance at their own pace. Art on the Go! Inspiration can appear anywhere –in the park, at a bus stop, even on an airplane. With Art Academy software’s free paint mode, your personal art studio is no farther than your pocket, ready to assist in creating your latest masterpiece.
Art Academy is an educational art game for Nintendo DS and DSi that is designed to teach the basics of painting, drawing, sketching, color theory and beyond. An extension of the Art Academy game series, previously available only to DSi users via Nintendo's wireless download DSiWare functionality, this cartridge based software for DS and DSi incorporates all 20 lessons from the previous two releases as well as 10 new lessons. The game features multiple modes, including one led by an in-game art tutor, as well as Free Paint mode that allows you to let your creativity flow freely. Additional features include: a wide variety of pencil and brush types, an in-game painter's color palette, the ability to save and frame finished work, a demo lesson that can be wirelessly shared with other DS or DSi owners and special DSi camera functionality.
Learn to Draw and Paint with Your DS or DSi
Have you ever had an interest in art or wanted to learn how to draw and paint? Well now you can explore your creative side, anytime, anywhere with the Art Academy software, a fun, interactive, and portable training software for the Nintendo DS and DSi systems that will teach you how to draw and paint, much as you would learn in an art class.
Art Academy offers simple, easy to understand art lessons that you can take at your own pace. You even have the ability to fast forward or rewind a step if you would like to view it again. Vince is your in-game art tutor and he will guide you through each new lesson, gradually introducing new concepts to you. Each new lesson builds upon concepts that you learned in previous lessons, complete with step by step examples. The software takes advantage of the Touch Screen on the Nintendo DS. Simply use the stylus like a real pencil or paint brush when creating a piece of art. The pencils, paintbrushes, color mixing, and paint dilution effects produce realistic results, and feel very natural. All of the skills learned in Art Academy can be applied to real-life artist's materials outside of the Nintendo DS environment. So what are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to start learning how to draw and paint with Art Academy.
- Free Paint Mode allows the player to create works of art when ever and where ever they are inspired.
- There are different types of pencil and brush types for the player to choose from when creating their art. This gives the player a lot of creative freedom when painting and drawing.
- Paints are easily mixed on a painter’s pallet to get the desired colors. They can also be diluted with water to adjust the color saturation. The player can even choose how much paint is on the brush at a given time.
- The Gallery is an area where the player can frame and save all of the artwork they create. Gallery Images can be displayed in a slide show or viewed one at a time.
- Art Academy includes all 10 of the lessons and tools from both Art Academy: First Semester and Art Academy: Second Semester, which were previously only available as Nintendo DSiWare downloads. Plus there are 10 Mini Lessons and over 80 motifs that the player can choose from to use as reference material when creating their art.
- When playing Art Academy on the Nintendo DSi system, the player has the added feature of using the built-in cameras to create reference material. The player can take a photo and save it into the gallery and then use it in Free Paint Mode.
- The player can send the demo lesson via the local wireless connection of their Nintendo DS to another Nintendo DS to be tried by another player.
Your own in-game art tutor.
Basic color theory.
Freedom to create.
Frame and save your work.
Top customer reviews
First off, I'm not an artist - in fact I can hardly draw which is part of what drew me to this originally. The lessons start off fairly simply and from the beginning I felt like I was creating images that were much better than I expected. While I've really enjoyed the title, the lessons section is fairly short and clearly not meant to be the game's breadth or replay value. The replay is in the Free Paint mode- which somehow manages to include a nice array of tools and options while staying fun and easy to use. Players can get inspiration either from a small library of stock images or those with DSi units can take photos and use them in game.
The lessons that are there are excellent and easy to follow. Basic technique is included with helpful images and references to both historically important artists and techniques. The overall effect of most paintings is more impressionistic, which is actually more forgiving for the beginner. Those wishing to create more realistic images will probably not be satistified with the level of detail possible, though a zoom mode does help with control and small areas. I'm guessing however that those capable of realistic drawings are probably already using more sophisticated tools.
A surprising element is the sound in the game. The quiet sound effects and soft music add to the relaxed mood of the title. For once I've found myself leaving the sound up rather than turning it off as I do with many DS games.
The biggest problem with this title is that there is no way to get the images you create, in either the lessons or in the free draw mode, off of the DS. They can be saved to the DS itself, but not to an SD card so there's no way to move the images to a PC for instance, or to print them. This is a huge frustration and a bewildering exclusion since apparently the first downloadable version of this title had this feature. This alone could kill the replay value of the title since who wants to spend a lot of time creating images in Free Play and then not be able to do anything with them? If this one feature had been added this game would likely be getting better reviews in the game press- I would certainly have rated it at least one star higher.
Other more minor issues-
- The early mini lessons limit the tools available to the player to the same ones that were available in the original lessons. So if you've moved on and are used to using, for example, the controls for the amount of paint or water on the brush, and you try to do a mini lesson where that's not available it's not only frustrating but it feels like the game is actually keeping the user from continuing to learn by building skills through experience.
- The images in the lessons and mini-lessons are not available in the reference gallery. This is a silly exclusion, as it would have taken next to no space on the cart to include them and it would have offered the player the complete toolset to try to repaint images without either the aforementioned tool limitations or the instruction. It would have been an incentive to try to repaint the lessons on a player's own and compare results, increasing educational and replay value.
- All lessons would have benefited from including a listing of the steps taken for each type of drawing or painting that could be referred to later. This would have helped learning to draw/paint in general and in getting through the mini-lessons to cement the process of sketching, shading, etc. The game provides some short instruction reminders in the mini-lessons but they're often not as helpful to the really inexperienced artist. Because I didn't play the mini-lessons right after the main lessons I found myself forgetting the steps for layering color to create depth.
- There's no way to trace an image. While a grid system teaches proportion control, it would have been nice to be able to move the reference image to the touch screen for undersketching.
- You can't go back and forth between the sketching and the painting tools. Once you choose to move into painting, you no longer have access to the pencils which is limiting.
While it seems like I have a lot of problems with the product, it's actually been really enjoyable and surprisingly relaxing. If only there were a way to move images off the DS I could see myself using this as a portable mini sketching and painting tool, but sadly I find myself wondering if I should have opted for the online versions with less features overall, but the ability to export. I would love to see another version of this product with a greater number of lessons and the issues above fixed. Either way I would recommend some version of this product to friends, as to which one, I'd suggest they go online and weigh the options.
Afterwards, the lessons became more difficult. I could mimic, but I don't think I did well. Part of the problem is the stylus is no replacement for an actual paintbrush. It feels more like pencil. If the lessons focused more on sketching, I think it would have been better. The focus appears to be more on painting.
After each lesson, there is a mini lesson. We get an object to draw and paint without prompting, using all the skills we've learned up to that point. My creations are never very good, so I think I didn't pick much up.
Maybe the lessons just move too quickly for me. Maybe they should have put more time on each skill. I was doing well drawing a circle and then a sphere. How about a box and then a cube? A circle and then a cylinder? Maybe once I draw all the shapes, I could move on. It was too hard to skip from tree to fruit to ocean waves. Remember, I'm not an artist. I can't draw. I still can't draw.