The Foundry acquires Made With Mischief with its pen-based sketching tool

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Mischief, a pen-based sketching application for Mac and Windows, blends sophisticated underlying technology with an elegant, clean interface

At The Foundry’s headquarters in Central London today, this visual effects software company revealed that its expanding its market reach by acquiring a pen-based sketching tool called Mischief.

Mischief is the flagship product of Made with Mischief, which will operate within The Foundry. In other words, a company within a company.

Mischief will appeal to product designers looking for an intuitive, accessible and fast tool for use in the sketching and concept stages of product development.

The basic version is free whilst the full version will only set you back £17.49.
Mischief is the brain child of Sarah Frisken, one smart lady with a PhD in Electrical Engineering and a wealth of experience behind her. Being a scientist she co-invented the Adaptively Sampled Distance Fields (ADFs), a patented shape representation that powers Mischief.

Some of the key advantages of ADFs is that they provide high-quality stroke rendering; they are very compact, resulting in small file sizes; and they can be scaled without introducing pixelation.


Some of the amazing detail that can be achieved in Mischief

“I started this tool not in my garage but on my living room table and worked there for many years. It got to the point where there is no way I could take it to the point where I wanted it to go and so I put it up for sale,” said Frisken during today’s launch event.

This was a year ago and in June The Foundry snapped it up. Since then, the team have been working on getting it ready for market.

Part of this was to grow the team by hiring new members. One of which is Chris Cheung, who has joined as Head of Mischief. You may recognise his name as being part of the team who brought the SketchBook Pro and SketchBook Mobile tools to market.

“I’m not here to make another drawing package,” said Cheung at the event.

“We are not trying to make another Photoshop but what we are doing is adding something really special into the space.”


Video showcasing what you can do using the Mischief tool

You can be the judge of that yourself, because to encourage new users to play with Mischief, the company will offer Mischief-Free, a new limited-feature edition that is completely free of charge. Mischief-Free includes basic brushes, colours and a full infinite canvas experience.

The full version of Mischief on be purchased on the Mac App Store and the Mischief online store for £17.49. The full version of Mischief includes a full colour panel with customisable colour swatches, customisable brushes and Hotkeys, and a selection of background papers and colours, all on Mischief’s infinite canvas.

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