Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Either Give Back My Mind Control Device, or Be Destroyed - Rebelle 2 - Surface Studio

This is the first Rebelle 2 project of 2018 based on a really crappy horror film on Amazon Prime video. It was so bad I don't even remember the name of it. The only cool thing about it was the scene this project is based on when the lead in the film gave a really creepy smile as she was about to murder one of her abusive parents. This was while being possessed by the vengeful spirit of her dead twin via Voodoo, that their parents tortured to death. Kids these days, getting into all kinds of shenanigans. What happened to the good ol' days when kids would steal their parents cigarettes to see what it was like to smoke or threaten to run away only to go to the local arcade for a few hours? Anyways,

It didn't take too much time, maybe 6 hours or so using pastels and a smearing/blending technique. Pastels require a different approach than Watercolors or Acrylics obviously even though the results were similar to Acrylic projects of the past. Next time I'll use a different canvas and no smearing or blending though because some of the lines weren't as easy to create due to the texture of the canvas. But overall, it was fun. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Foolish Little God, Final - Clip Studio Ex - Surface Studio

This has been brought to a close. Ran into a last minute issue that reminded me of a detail that may prove useful for anyone that uses Clip Studio, Photoshop or similar applications. When exporting your final illustrations and uploading them to the web you may notice the colors are dull or a bit muted but they're correct when looking at the output file on your hard drive. Simply embed the color profile (example after the jump) in the output settings to maintain the integrity of the colors of your work. Once I did this, it solved my color issues with the final output. 

Ironically, the muted color profile works for the gray scale image posted earlier in the week (also posted after the jump). Depending on the project, NOT embedding the color profile could actually be a positive. A happy mistake. But it's best not to depend on that as a process as the results can be unpredictable. Keep in mind you want to export as RGB which works better for the web as CMYK is better for print. .PNG doesn't allow for embedding of color profiles at all so keep that in mind. Don't allow Clip Studio to auto detect color depth because this doesn't give an option to embed the ICC profile.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

WIP Update - Clip Studio EX - Surface Studio

This idea is coming along if a bit slower than originally intended. But it's fun and the messages in the project are important to me even though on the surface it seems like simply comic book fan art. Considering Autodesk doesn't support Sketchbook Pro 7 anymore, I'm seriously considering dumping it in favor of Clip Studio EX for comic work, splash pages and 2D animation. To be fair, when it comes to digital sketches, illustration or design, both applications are extremely powerful, capable of fantastic results. But Clip Studio EX has a more robust tool set than Sketchbook Pro 7 that caters better to illustration, animation and comic design. My only gripe with Clip Studio is, importing images into an animation timeline is a total pain in the ass. Each frame has its own layer which is awesome considering the flexibility this provides, but each imported frame has to actually be synced to a layer. I simply can't find a way to automate this task with the only other option being to manually assign each image. For a 8 to 20 frame biggie. But when you're working on a 1500 frame imported scene, it's bananas. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Candy-N-Juice Creative Retrospective

It's that time of year again. The annual retrospective video is complete. These are kept short because the volume of work created during a year would cause the video to be an hour or so long if everything were added even with editing. The devices used this year were the Surface Pro 3, SurfaceBook, Surface Studio and a Roland Fantom G6 for the music. Surface devices have been the daily drivers for years now for the benefits of portability/power. Unfortunately this came at the expense of mobile tablets (Android, iPads) because they simple don't compare. Portable yes, but when it comes to power and software availability, Android and iOS simply can't match a full x64 desktop OS. There's no contest, it's not even close. For the photography, time-lapse and slow motion video, the Pixel XL and Pixel 2 XL (P2XL) were used. Fantastic devices with great photo capabilities. Nexus was nice but the future belongs to Pixel for the time being. 

Obviously, the software used are all non-subscription based packages. Rebelle, Amberlight, ArtRage, Clip Studio EX, Sketchbook Pro 7, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Quark 2017, Power Director (15/16), Photo Director, Audio Director, Blender, InkScape, SkyFonts even Open Office, MusicBee and Steam deserve some credit for being used regularly. Now that this is done, time to spend the rest of the year playing Warframe and getting fat on cinnamon cherry pancakes and oregano eggs with cheese. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

"Foolish Little God" WIP - Clip Studio EX - Surface Studio

Update to one of the latest, end of year projects. Similar to the X-Men/Spiderman project this is a more laid-back piece being worked on a bit at a time each day as opposed to blazing through it. I changed Storm's hair due to never being a fan of her original design choice. Storm's parents are African (mother) and American (Black father). Yet Storm has blue eyes and long white straight hair. That never sat well with me because it feels like an attempt to depict some warped fantasy of what Black women should look like (Black Barbie) which speaks volumes in itself. It's not like there are an abundance of people of color in comics to begin with and Storm was made in such a way to stand out among them. But considering the media and the era in which she was created, one can't be too surprised. It said much that Storm was even created to begin with. If I were old enough during that era, Pam Grier alone would have inspired me to created all Black women super heroine comics. But they sure as hell wouldn't have straight hair and blue eyes!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Paint.Net - Surface Studio

Today was a bad software day apparently. Paint.Net is also available in the Windows Store. Although it's a freeware application if downloaded from the web, donations can be given in the form of a purchase from the store, currently only $4.00. There are legions of people that swear by Paint.Net as a image processing alternative to Photoshop that supports a lot of standard features one would expect from such an application today. Filters, Curves, Levels, Layers support, Hue/Saturation and more are all there, but there are problems that demonstrate why users could be better served using Affinity Photo, Photo Director or Krita instead.

Inspirit - Surface Studio

An email came through not so long ago from Escape Motions notifying me of their new app Inspirit being ported over to Windows. It's a mandala design application capable of creating really elaborate designs. It debuted on iOS at some point earlier this year but the Windows version is currently on sale for $14.99. I watched the sample video, tried out the demo and purchased it some time later. After spending a couple of hours with the full release, there are problems here.