News >

Arrette Newsletter #2

Hi, this is the second Arrette Update! This newsletter is from the creators of Arrette Scale and Arrette Sketch, both available on the iTunes App Store.


  • iPad Pro and Apple Pencil
  • Workflows: Correcting Base Image Keystone
  • Featured Drawing
  • From Around the Web
  • Useful Things, and Things We Like
  • For New Users

iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

We are very excited by the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. The large iPad Pro gives us a much larger and more comfortable working area, and the Apple Pencil is a great stylus which makes writing on an iPad very similar to writing on paper. Arrette Scale and Arrette Sketch are set up to take advantage of the new hardware, including the clean, buttery smooth lines that these new pieces of hardware are known for (watch the Apple keynote).

Workflows: Correcting Base Image Keystone

We think of apps as cooperative elements within a single workflow. We can choose the proper app to do various parts of a task. For instance, when taking a photo of a building facade to sketch over, we typically get the situation below, where the image is in vertical perspective and looks as if the building is leaning back. This is sometimes referred to as "keystone".

One Front Street in San Francisco by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Like most building photos, the vertical lines are not parallel in this photo.

When using a regular computer, we typically correct this with Adobe Photoshop's Lens Correction filter. However, it is handy to be able to do this on an iPad as well. An app which we have found useful for this is Enlight by Lightricks Ltd (paid, but inexpensive, in the Apple App Store). Enlight appears to have a whole lot of editing tools which we haven't had time to explore, but the keystone correction feature works easily and well on an iPad. Here's how:

  1. To begin, get the photo you want to use onto the iPad which has Enlight. If you've taken it with a camera or phone, you may need to email it to the iPad and save it there so that it's available in Photos.
  2. In Enlight, the photos should appear in the Camera Roll along the bottom of the screen. Select the image you want to work on.
  3. At the top right of the screen is a menu button (three horizontal lines). Select that button to show the tools, and select the Canvas tool at the top.
  4. In the Canvas options, select Skew. When Skew is active, there are five tools at the bottom of the screen. Simply select the Vertical tool, and drag your finger left and right on the image to adjust the keystone of the photo.
  5. When you're done, tap the check mark at the top right of the screen to save the changes, and then tap the export button on the main screen (the box with an arrow going out of the top right, beside the menu button) and finally tap the Save Photo button.

This has saved the altered image to your camera roll. From our example photo above, we created the image below, with vertical lines which are parallel.

By using Enlight, we were able to make all of the lines parallel. This will make a better base image for sketching.

This image can now be brought into Arrette to sketch on top of by opening Arrette Scale or Arrette Sketch and using the Photo Library button in the Base menu. Happy sketching!

Featured Drawing

The AIA 2016 convention was in May 2016 in Philadelphia. Here's to the City of Brotherly Love!

We hope you were able to check out Robert Indiana's Love sculpture in Philadelphia. It's been moved across the street until sometime in 2017 to Dilworth Park while Love Park is undergoing renovations.

We’d love to see what you’re doing. Send us something you’ve done which can be published and we may put you here as the next Featured Drawing.

From Around the Web

The Sudden Passing of Zaha Hadid

The design world had some sad news recently with the passing of one of its most famous practitioners, Zaha Hadid. Here are two of the many articles about her iconic career and work:

Zaha Hadid, Groundbreaking Architect, Dies at 65, in the New York Times

'Queen of the curve' Zaha Hadid dies aged 65 from heart attack, in the Guardian

Useful Things, and Things We Like

It never hurts to have just the right books in your (digital) shelf, song in your headphones, and even movies for relaxation. Here are some of our favorites. Let us know what you like, and we'll add it to the list.

Books - For the Design Library

With an iPad, you can keep a lot of those essential books always at hand, and also spend a bit of time reading about the real or fictional adventures of other designers. Who knew you can get Frank Ching books on an iPad? All of the links below are to Apple's iBooks or iTunes if you're on an iOS device, by the way.


Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2012 International Building Code, by Francis D. K. Ching & Steven R. Winkel

2012 International Building Code, by International Code Council

NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), 2014 Edition, by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), 2011 Edition, by NFPA

The Incomparable Frank Ching

Design Drawing, by Francis D. K. Ching & Steven P. Juroszek

Introduction to Architecture, by Francis D. K. Ching & James F. Eckler

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, by Francis D. K. Ching

Building Structures Illustrated: Patterns, Systems, and Design, by Francis D. K. Ching

Books - For Fun and Entertainment

The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand - More about ideas than characters, this is less a book about an architect than an opportunity to have characters give impassioned monologues.

The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson (we just read the White City parts and skipped the “devil” stuff)

Movies - About Design

Helvetica – The typeface, the legend, the obsession.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? – We should all have a movie about ourselves that loves us this much.

Sketches of Frank Gehry

Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Mon Oncle – This simple movie takes droll to a whole new level. For designers, this a case of being mocked, and liking it.

For New Users

Are you new to Arrette?  Check out our How To page for an overview of the app.

Join our Mailing List for the Latest News