One company we haven’t covered since 2010, but has building a solid community around its product is Sumo.Fm, the service behind Sumopaint. The Helsinki-based company started off when their CTO Lauri Koutaniemi got fed up paying a photoshop license and decided to create a free online alternative. On top of the web-based tool, the company was able to build a strong community around an online gallery at Sumo.fm, which looks familiar to the concept behind deviantART. Users can share images they’ve created and interact with each other.
Sumopaint was designed to be to a photoshop alternative, so it still can be intimidating and inaccessible to many users who open it up the first time. To bring the Sumo.Fm community to more people, today the company announces an iPad app that is simpler to use, but still offers the basic set of features that will get creativity flowing to a new set of users.
The iPad app offers users a wide variety of brush styles, stamps, as well as a symmetry tool that allows users to create designs that angle out from the center point they choose. It’s a fairly simple painting app, but that’s exactly what it’s designed to be.
“We’re not trying to recreate Sumopaint on the iPad,” says Ilkka Teppo, the CEO of Sumo.Fm. “There are lots of drawing apps, but they are more serious stuff. We’re trying to make it fun so everyone can get the feeling of ‘look what I did.'”
Users will be able to upload their created images to the Sumo.Fm web service, where they can track their views, the ‘likes’ they get, as well as remix other users’ work. A future iteration of the app will include many more community features built right into the app.
An iPhone app is also in the works. Both will eventually include a feature where you can take a picture, and the app will include an artistic filter to provide an image to work off of.
The app is first being released as a paid app in the €1.59 bracket, but the company is considering later releasing it for free and using in-app purchases once they include their community features.
Users have created some pretty amazing images on Sumopaint, so if the numer of crazy detailed Draw Something images are any indication, it comes down to the artist way more than just the tools.