Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

For years, design software programmers have dreamed of ways to give digital design that pen-to-paper feel. But the latest way to sketch inside Adobe Illustrator uses an actual pen to paper. The Moleskine Paper Tablet – Creative Cloud Connected, announced on Tuesday, March 19, is connected to Adobe’s cloud service to add the sketch you draw on actual paper to Illustrator, stroke for stroke.

The key to having your sketch and digitizing it is the Moleskine Pen Plus Ellipse optical pen. Used with the Paper Tablet, the pen records each movement, copying each stroke to Adobe Illustrator in real time, Adobe says. The integration also allows artists to undo brush strokes on the digital file (not on the actual paper, of course). 

While Moleskine already has a Paper Tablet available, this launch is designed specifically for use with the Creative Cloud. Two symbols on each page work as shortcuts — one to switch to the simultaneous drawing mode and the second to save the file to the Creative Cloud. Like the company’s other notebooks, Ncoded paper technology allows the written content to be digitized, including recognizing new pages, in conjunction with the pen.

The pen syncs with Illustrator using an extension, Moleskine Pen Plus for Adobe Illustrator, that is already available for MacOS and coming soon to Windows. Adobe says the software can then be used to refine a rough sketch, including tools like Simplify Path. Individual brushstrokes can also be deleted from the digital drawing.

The new Creative Cloud-specific tablet is the second collaboration between the two companies. The first was an app that allowed Moleskine users to take a photo of their drawing up upload into Adobe Illustrator. The new paper tablet skips that step while also recording individual brush strokes, allowing users to record individual strokes in Illustrator’s history to undo or adjust later.

In a sample project created with the new paper tablet, Adobe shared how a rough sketch could then be adjusted, colored and integrated into the design.

Moleskine is an Italy-based company producing notebooks, sketchbooks and planners along with the apps and accessories to digitize the pages. 

The Moleskine Paper Tablet – Creative Cloud Connected retails for $35 and is available at and other Moleskine retailers.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Illustrator teases tool to recolor an entire graphic in a few clicks

Not a fan of the colors in your graphic, but dreading the process of replacing each and every one? Adobe Illustrator could soon have a new tool that recolors an entire vector graphic at once, using the color palette from a photograph.
Emerging Tech

Harvard looks to the natural world to make its snake robots even faster

Researchers from Harvard have found a way to make its snake robots faster. The secret? Using a Japanese paper craft called kirigami to better grip the ground, just like a real snake's skin.

Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Google's Creative Lab developed an experiment called Drawalong AR that could make it easier for aspiring artists to follow YouTube tutorials. The experiment essentially leverages Google's ARCore to create a virtual tracing paper.
Smart Home

Best Buy zaps price on Nest Secure alarm, Nest Cam, and Google Home Mini bundle

Best Buy zapped the price of Nest smart home security Nest Secure Alarm and Nest Cam Outdoor bundle and added a Google Home Mini. Nest Detect sensors watch your home inside and out. Stream Nest Cam video in real-time or view clips later.

Earn more likes on your photos with the best cameras for Instagram

Looking to snap better Instagrams? Instagram doesn't demand high-resolution files, but upgrading your camera can deliver better bokeh and low-light quality. Here our the best cameras for Instagram.

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.

These are the best action cameras money can buy, from GoPro to Garmin and more

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Wet or dry, these rugged waterproof cameras capture your every adventure

Rugged cameras are designed to withstand nature's elements. These waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof shooters can go wherever you take them, making them the perfect travel companions.

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.