27 March 2012

Second painting attempt

paint what you love...
I should take a break before I get too obsessed (and disappointed) with my attempts. I want to do a pen and ink on real paper next anyway. Click to see more details in the digital painting.

26 March 2012

Wacom Intuos5 touch

After getting the iPad so recently, it was a huge surprise when I received a Wacom tablet as gift. I had an old tiny one that bit the dust a few months ago. I never like using it but I know many artists who can't live without one. I figured I just was having a hard time getting a grip on how to use one. One of the reasons for iPad was to use it as a sketchpad so I was not prepared to make such a step up so soon.

The intuos5 I have now has completely changed my attitude on using a tablet. Having a great tool really makes a difference. The first day I produced 6 illustrations for a book in a pen and ink style. I've never even tried to do anything in color or like a real painting on the computer before but I've always wanted to try. So using a photo I took a long while back as reference I did this bee painting (above) in about an hour. It might not be a great work of art, but I am very happy with the results.

I have the medium sized model and I reccomend this size as it makes navigating the pen across the screen much easier than a smaller tablet. The multitude of programmable buttons I have only started to explore the uses of, but I imagine I will find them all very useful.

The tablet works with most software, as a pen or brush, a mouse or as better way to control and construct cgi animations. Sketchbook Express comes as a free download and it is an amazing program for drawing. I do find photoshop, with it's hundreds of options harder to draw with but more useful overall. In the end I am sure I will be using both as you can edit PSD files in both.

25 March 2012

review: iPad 2

After having no interest in buying a tablet the last two years, I suddenly found myself finding that the compact size and long battery life of these devices were something I could use more and more. With release of the new iPad, the iPad 2 was dropped in price 100$ and was a little more affordable. While 16 gigs are not a lot by today's standards, it does allow enough space for light usage.

My iPod had 64 gigs of storage so I had decided before I bought the iPad to not put music on it and only video I would be using immediately. The 16 gig restriction is a little annoying, I would have liked the chance for a 32 gig, but apple isn't offering anything larger unless it's the new iPad.

After a week of using the device, it is easy to see why it has become such a popular device. It is much faster than a phone or iPod using the wifi, playing games and anything else a small portable device is used for. I don't find typing on it particularly difficult as I had been lead to believe in many reviews I had read. Even more surprising was how useful it is for drawing and sketching using the sketch-up app and a Wacom stylus. It is not super precise, but considering a Wacom tablet with built in screen starts at 1000$, it is a pretty impressive tool to have at this price.

I am not a big gamer, but I do like adventure games and I was eager to see Riven on the iPad. It played great and the enlarged images are ok but the video is fairly pixelated. So when possible I would recommend getting HD games made for the device over iPhone versions when price isn't a barrier.

The 2 cameras, as with the iPod touch, are horrible. Video chat on Skype is not bad, I don't want or expect film quality there, but even as portable camera the images are too grainy. Using an iPad as a camera or video recorder is awkward to say the least. I would rather see more storage space, larger battery or lower price in place of the rear camera.

14 March 2012

book trailer

For Danny. :)
He likes it so I'll share it here as well. I am mostly happy with it. If it were fro a TV show opening or something I think I would rework the model textures, there are some overlapping ones that cause strobing which makes me crazy.