Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Return 3012 - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

I was inspired after seeing recent images of Rhonda Rousey all buff with big muscels while training for her upcoming fight 💪. I decided to have fun with the water in this piece and tried to use it to show a bit of a transition from one image to the next.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Palette correction - Clip Studio Ex - SurfaceBook

I ran into a problem and had to re-render this character because his original design used a palette created in ArtFlow on Android. The other characters are using COPIC palettes on Windows 10 created illustrations so the designs don't match. As a result, Mr. Pokey Pokey gets a redo...again. Technically I could have done this in ArtFlow on my Nexus 9 but I have absolutely no desire to go back to Android for creative work after using Surface Pro devices. As much as I enjoyed working with Android, it's a downgrade by comparison. Like, loving to fly until you get a chance to actually go to space. Simply flying is still an experience but it's dull now, no longer awe-inspiring, whereas going to space is where the real adventure is. That's what it's like using Surface Pro after using mobile OS powered tablets (Android and iOS included). 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Kia" - Clip Studio EX/Flame Painter Pro - SurfaceBook

I believe I'm done with this particular character for the time being. I kept the details to a minimum because I'd like to animate her and the others soon. In order to do that without killing myself, I needed a simplified design that could quickly be sketched and cleaned up 24 - 30 times for each second of animation. Escape Motions are considering adding animation functions to Flame Painter Pro. If this happens, I can keep the elemental affects shown here and animate them with my drawings later. 

Audio Director 7 - SurfaceBook/Surface Pro 3


Audio Director 7 is a awesome application that comes with Power Director from CyberLink. In the past I've used earlier versions of Audio Director to edit audio for video projects which is what the application was created to do although it works for general audio editing as well. It works really well allowing users to jump into Audio Director directly from Power Director, make edits to the audio track(s) using a good selection of features, save and jump back into your video editing project with the latest version of your audio track in place.

Falling - Rebelle - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

Very early idea. Initially I was painting clouds when an idea came to mind. So I went off the beaten path to try something different. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Flower - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This was a relaxation piece to help wrap up the year. Something different to further break from the social commentary pieces I created in November. I used a dirty brush a bit in this project, because dirty can be good 😝. After all of the months of intense testing and study with Rebelle, the application still impresses me. Photoshop has never impressed me for so long and so thoroughly. At some point, I may go back to ArtRage 4 and try its watercolors again or maybe the palette knife just for comparison sake at this level.

Monday, December 12, 2016

StaffPad - SurfaceBook

StaffPad. I'd heard and read a lot about this applications a year ago. It is a fantastic idea that would work incredibly well for a few melodies I had in mind. But I got sidetracked last year with other projects and never got around to purchasing StaffPad. Recently I'd finally done so and spent a few days using it. As soon as the application starts the potential is evident.

 For the uninitiated, StaffPad is a music notation application exclusive to Surface Pro devices. It uses the Surface Pen as the primary input device and allows you to hand write music scores which the application can recognize and translate into clean notes that can then be played back using various instruments. The instruments included with the $60 package are serviceable and definitely will give a good indication of how your score is working, but ultimately the selection is a no frills affair.  If you're looking to write the next guerrilla dubstep banger for the New Year junkie's live rave, you might want to look elsewhere. Technically, you could create that using StaffPad but the instrument selection is of an entirely different flavor. There are options to increase the instrument selection with in-app purchases but from what I've bought and tested, the sounds are "okay" at best with only a few stand outs. You can also add vocals with your instrumentation for those that want to be the next Prince. StaffPad also allows users to print their sheet music, share it through the web or save as .PDF. StaffPad can also read .XML and Standard MIDI Files.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Kia WIP - Clip Studio EX, Flame Painter Pro 3 - SurfaceBook

Update - As the year draws to a close I'm taking my time with this one and having some fun with it. I had to make some changes to the original design eliminating some of the detail because the earlier versions were just too much to animate. The fire and ice effects are definitely in progress as I'm still experimenting with how I want those to look in the final. I should also mention that Flame Painter Pro 3 as well as the entire Escape Motions creative suite are on sale for those that are interested. Priced to move which you can see here. Be warned though, Escape Motions still hasn't fixed the scaling problem in Flame Painter Pro 3. The UI and icons are incredibly small as a result on high density screens. You might want to hold off on that purchase until it gets sorted. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer initial impressions - SurfaceBook - Surface Pro 3

This could be listed under  the "Adobe Can Suck It" category. Affinity Photo by Serif has released the Windows 10 version of their Photoshop competitor, fresh out of beta. Affinity Photo is on sale for $40 and Affinity Designer is $50. You can find both here. The application has been met with rave reviews on MacOS devices and received a App of the Year award in 2015. Pretty impressive considering the competition. It's also pretty damning considering the competition. It's the putrid state of affairs of subscription based software that makes releases such as Affinity such a huge deal. I have said many times in this blog that I do not and will not support subscription based software anymore. I was forced to do so in 2015 due to a couple of projects that simply could not be completed with the applications I had on hand. But since ending that horrid relationship with Adobe and the freelance project completed, I have researched and found excellent replacements for every key Adobe application I would have supported. Subscription based software is extortion, a bullshit practice that anyone that can avoid, should avoid. It's a sad world we live in when people that actually WANT to legally purchase software, aren't allowed.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Korg Legacy Collection on Windows 10. No Driver, No Love. Driver Support for Roland Keyboards on Windows 10.

I've been able to test out all of the components to the Korg Legacy Collection through MIDI using my Roland Fantom G6. But this wasn't easy to do initially as Roland, for reasons that no one outside of Roland offices seems to know, decided to not update the Fantom series drivers for Windows 10. This means for those using Roland Fantom series and other select devices under the Roland brand, you're screwed if you need to MIDI or USB connect your device to your Windows 10 computer. Without the appropriate driver, the connection simply won't happen. In my case, the Korg Legacy Collection would be far less useful without MIDI support. After doing some research, a number of websites have featured a way to enable driver support for these devices. I'll post the process after the jump for anyone that is in need of help in getting up and running with a Roland music workstation that is no longer supported on Windows 10.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kianara Sketches - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

I decided to make some minor changes to one of my characters. This is an early sketch of her. Technically I could have used Rebelle for this but I still find that Clip Studio is better for character design work because it has more options overall, some that are Photoshop-like. Although the pencil tool is exceptional in Rebelle after the last two updates, I like the feel of the pencil tool in Clip Studio a bit more. The only thing I'd like to have in Clip Studio that is present in Rebelle are the awesome canvas options and the way media reacts to them. This is why I'm glad I bought both 😝.


Monday, December 5, 2016

120516 - WIP - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

This is a really quick 10 minute sketch I took a bit further over the last couple of days. For some reason I was thinking of Robin Williams and the old Mork and Mindy series and started sketching. I added the Space Egg and quickly added minor details of what I remembered of the costume but added anime hair because it seemed to fit. After completing so many portraits and paintings over the last few weeks I wanted to do something more stylized, animation style, with heavier lines and solid colors. I have no idea where this going but I'll work on it from time to time to find out. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Korg Legacy Collection - SurfaceBook

Korg has their Legacy Collection currently on sale for $99. You can purchase it from Korg's website here.This coincides with the release of the iPad version for $20. Because I am not a fan of Apple, I bought the full desktop version of Korg's collection for the SurfaceBook. This collection of software includes all of the sounds and features of six classic Korg music workstations - The Korg M1, WaveStation, MonoPoly, Polysix, MS-20 and the Legacy Cell. I've tested all of these applications and there are some truly impressive sounds presented here. At the time of the initial test, I was limited because I needed a MIDI to USB cable to connect my keyboard to the SurfaceBook to control the synths through MIDI. This would be done from my Fantom G6 to the SurfaceBook. Fortunately the cable arrived today but I have not been able to fully test it yet. But I did want to update the blog to pass along the information about the sale for any digital musicians/producers that are a fan of Korg classic sounds.

Once I get a chance to fully play with the software, I'll share my results here. 

SpaceFunky - Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 5, Nexus 6P, Pixel XL, Roland Fantom G6, SurfaceBook - Power Director 15 - Audio Director 7


This is a test video to prepare for the CandyNJuice 2016 Retrospective. I used a number of photos and tested out some of the new features of Power Director 15 in a short video production project. I used Audio Director 7 to do some tweaks to "SpaceFunk" the song created in 2015 for last year's retrospective. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pixel XL Photography 120116

Not Gone Not Forgotten - Not a lot of images with this post as I captured this quickly traveling from one destination to another. Although I used the stock camera app in Android 7.1 to capture these, I'll be switching back to manual mode in Camera FV-5 or Pro Shot very soon. The stock camera app can be like "Photography for Dummies" making it too easy to get good results whereas manual is for people with a bit more experience under their belt and tests a person's knowledge and abilities more.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Go Fast! - Pixel XL - Power Director 15 - SurfaceBook


Second in a feel good project similar to the previous post. This is for people that like racing games and fast travel. I forgot to mention that the footage presented here and in the previous video were captured with a Google Pixel XL in 1080p. Then transferred to Google Photos (gotta love unlimited cloud storage for photos and video. Thanks Google!) and downloaded to the SurfaceBook to be edited and output using Power Director 15. I also used Audio Director to edit some of the sound as the recorded tracks with the video don't have much punch. WipeOut Pure and WipeOut Pulse are featured here. Both are PSP titles that I've played for countless hours on the original PSP release and the slim version with some of the tracks being re-released for WipeOut HD on PS3 and then again on WipeOut 2048 the final installment of the series before Sony closed Studio Liverpool (sad day, you are missed).

These are catharsis projects to help deal with times by going back to games and other hobbies from more pleasant times. Less outwardly racist times...less blatantly unstable times. Using the creative tools available to me to share video for anyone that might be interested.

Big Hard Heavy - Power Director 15 - SurfaceBook


This is a test video of PCSX2 version 1.4 on the SurfaceBook. I recorded some footage and used Power Director 15 to do editing and some minor tweaks. I'm still learning the new features of version 15 of Power Director too so future videos will be more refined. This was a spur of the moment project, quick and dirty, inspired by the desire to do something different, something less serious than the social commentary of the last few weeks.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Street Photography (Manual vs Auto) - Nexus 6P - Pixel XL

"If only my money was as long as my shadow..." - This is a Nexus 6P image I captured and used in a weekly photo challenge in the Street Photography community on Google+. The topic being "shadows." This was shot using manual settings in Camera FV-5 for Android. Because of the problems with the slow shutter and wonky focus of the 6P camera I learned that it's better to shoot manually with a 3rd party app at times. This does make it more difficult to capture shots in the moment but depending on circumstances, it could also result in better quality. The Pixel/Pixel XL doesn't suffer from these shortcomings as testing has proved. This ultimately translates into the Pixel XL having the superior camera but the Nexus 6P is still capable if at times more difficult to use in a pinch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Motherhood Isn't a Crime - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Final version (for now anyway). When you consider the advancements the world has made in science and technology over the last 200 years, it's amazing that breastfeeding is still such a divisive topic. Too many places in the so-called developed world still treat breast feeding as if it's a violation, something unholy or unnatural. America is the worst in that we can applaud a company spending hundreds of millions of dollars to place sexually charged ads to sell some product during the Superbowl, but the site of a woman breastfeeding in public is indecent. It's another issue that shouldn't be in a society that has far too many issues that shouldn't be. It's tiresome.

Oh Damn! - Pixlr - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

A sign of the times for sure. I played with this image a bit to test an idea based on the incredible "HOPE" marketing campaign of President Obama compared to the feelings of many about Donald Trump. I didn't put a lot of time into this but I may revisit and really push the idea later.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Love Trumps Hate, Because we could all use a little love after that debacle of an election - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This is a feel good piece. Plain and simple. As the protesting continues and total dysfunction and dumbassery are imminent once Trump officially takes office, the feeling of impending doom is hard to escape. Was I surprised Trump won? No. Even though millions of people believe Trump should have lost because he's...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Silence - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This is to illustrate the mainstream reaction to various tragedies, lies, contradictions, fear, isms, phobias, religious dogma and general hatred occurring in the current era. The idea being, "if we don't talk about them or acknowledge them, they'll go away. Because that worked incredibly well in the past. 

Président Trump says "Hi!"

Or, this is an image of a vampire that's about the snack on some poor schmuck that got caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. Take your pick. It's pretty much one and the same to me with the same result. You're screwed. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fear is Freedom! Subjugation is Liberation! Contradiction is Truth! Final - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Just in time for the election. This is for a project I've been working on for a few weeks now. Although the header says it's final, it's not quite because there is another component to this that I can't show until the project is complete. This piece asks the question, "What is freedom?" Define, "freedom." As many of us are going to the polls in a few short hours, this is a question that has become harder for me to address as time passes. Many believe that freedom is money. Plain and simple. The ability to have the monetary resources to live a life of  gross excess. The ability to do anything or nothing at all. There is a point to that perspective. But is it really freedom?  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Photo Testing Take #2 - Stock Android 7.1 Camera app - Pixel XL with LG V20 comparisons


For this series, I waited until dusk and walked to one of my favorite places to shoot and compare the photos with Nexus 6P and Nexus 5 shoots from months gone by. Lower light performance on the Pixel XL is really good but I'd like to test that again soon under more extreme lighting conditions. The Pixel XL produced excellent shots all day. Great color reproduction, high levels of detail, more clarity, little to no noise that's common with other devices. When I run these tests, they're not simply for taking photos. The tests are also a means of testing a particular device in a real world test out in the wilds. What that means is I started early in the day with a 100% charged Pixel XL, synced to my Android Wear device and use it heavily all day, playing music, answering calls, sending text messages, performing various searches, using Google Assistant (which rocks hard) and checking email...while taking photos (4:3 ratio at 12.3 MP and 16:9 widescreen at 8.3 MP) and shooting videos (4K/30 with stabilization on) at the same time.  I also shot 240 FPS slow motion video without problems with playback. On the Nexus 6P, this function was broken. I'll test it further soon to be certain but initial tests produced great results. This is all to test the stability of the OS, in this case, Android 7.1 Nougat as well as to test the battery.
The Pixel XL performed beautifully. This is what you get with a premium device that's built from the ground up by the parent company as Google takes a page from Apple's playbook. More after the jump!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Photo testing - Stock Android 7.1 Camera App - Pixel XL

Meaty Nom Noms - I finally got a chance to go out and test the Pixel XL's camera today. I've explored every other aspect of the phone over the last week or so with the camera being the last bit left. It didn't disappoint at all and I even had the opportunity to pit it against the LGV20. I started the day with an easy series of tests. I took a trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences because they have really cool stuff there, the people are nice and the kids are generally fun. Since the subjects are static, it allowed me to set up shots easily. No filters were used, no trickery, no hacks or gimmicks. Just the Pixel XL camera using the stock Android 7.1 camera app and the settings within it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"You're gonna get it!" - Rebelle - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

"Bad Hair Beauty"  11/02/2016 - This is a portrait of Z a friend that sent me a photo of her hair completely unlocked/untwisted. When locked her hair was as long if not longer than my own (my locks fall to my waist). Z's sense of humor is hilarious and the expression on her face in the photo was priceless. I had to paint it as she would make a fantastic comicbook character. Her spirit comes through in the photo and is one of the details that drew me to her long ago. This project was completed using the latest version of Rebelle (which updated again to 1.5.2) and then adding the hearts and caption using Clip Studio EX (upgraded from Clip Studio Paint Pro 5). Eventually I'll use something other than pencils and watercolor for these Rebelle projects but the watercolors in the application are so damn impressive that it's hard to work with anything else.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Aren't you listening" Watch face - WatchMaker - Pixel XL

My Google Pixel XL arrived a few days ago and I've been testing it out. I'll have more on it and photos I've captured with it soon. In the meantime, I paired my LG Urbane Watch to it after doing a factory reset to start fresh (big mistake) and lost my FallOut 4 PIP Boy watch face. Total bummer. So I installed Watchmaker onto the Pixel XL to test out the latest tools and put together a quick watch face to use until I get the time to build something really nice. The tools have matured well and incorporating animated gifs couldn't be easier. I'll have some fun with this in near future. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Londisa" Character Design with COPIC - Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook


I finalized the palette for Disa's default outfit after taking the time to rebuild the Sketchbook Pro 7's COPIC color palette into Clip Studio Pro 5. It was a bit of work but totally worth it. This will be the main palette I use for the central characters going forward. But the monsters, demons, psychos and other weird and wonderful creatures will use other custom palettes in combination with COPIC when the situation calls for it. Of course, I saved and backed up each of my custom palettes for future use and sharing. A sample image of the COPIC set up is after the jump!

Sanctioned Lead Poisoning - Rebelle - Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

This piece is inspired by the times. When talking about murders committed by police, the media and internal investigation units follow a tried and true pattern. Uplift the office(s) involved which usually includes paid leave, minimize any wrongdoing committed during the officer(s) career, demonize the victim by digging into their past and sensationalizing even the most minor and unrelated of offenses or details all in an effort to justify the killing. Why does a Black man get shot when he's on the ground face up with his hands in the air telling police that he's a health care professional and the man next to him is his client? Really, the police shot the man anyway and when asked why, the officer said he didn't know. That's just one example that had a better ending than most because the health care professional, Charles Kinsey, survived. Others weren't so lucky.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"Londisa" - ArtFlow for Android - Clip Studio Pro 5 - Nexus 9 - SurfaceBook

"Londisa" - The original illustration for this project was created using ArtFlow on a Nexus 9. I always planned to revisit this with a background idea I had in mind and after a year, I've finally been able to test out some things with it. Instead of going back to ArtFlow and the Nexus 9, I went with Clip Studio Pro 5 and the SurfaceBook to push it a bit further. The original project can be found here

Monday, October 24, 2016

Broken Glass - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Speed painting practice. Completed in 20 minutes or so. I wanted to see if I could capture the look of broken glass. I'll revisit this test again some time later. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Londisa - Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

I took some time to work on one of my characters. I was also able to recreate the entire COPIC palette from Sketchbook Pro 7 into Clip Studio Pro 5. It wasn't as difficult as I expected and allows me to make some changes to the colors for my characters using COPIC without the need of Sketchbook Pro. I'm trying to distance myself from that application since Sketchbook Pro 8 has gone subscription based. Disappointing really, as I really like Sketchbook Pro 7 but can't give in to the rip off of subscription based software. I'll show the current custom COPIC palette in Clip Studio Pro soon. 


Thursday, October 20, 2016

More Quark Testing - Quark 2016 - SurfaceBook


This is a test created to further learn the new UI and features of Quark 2016 on the SurfaceBook. I was easily able to import and composite the design image from two separate files without the need to edit in a separate application. Modifying the color palette and creating new palettes are very straight forward. A godsend considering I'm building COPIC palettes into Clip Studio Pro 5 which I can then transfer and save as Quark 2016 palettes too. SkyFonts/Google Fonts are still excellent, working without a hitch. Output options are varied allowing a lot of control and it was good to see options for HTML5, ePub and Kindle output options. Quark 2016 also has easy set up for Android displays/Surface Displays and iOS devices, the full range of resolutions. Quark 2016 is excellent and inspires me to try more elaborate projects. I did find a glitch though that I have yet to find a fix for.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Character Sheets for Sisters of Water and Fire* - Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

The Bladesman* - As the story is coming along I started a collection of all of the main characters in this fantasy tale. In this collection there are the main designs, then the Storm Gear that I colored in such a way to blend into a snowy, icy environment, snow storms or blizzards. Then there's the Warrior set on the right that is basically light armor for when defensive enchantments alone aren't quite enough. The Bladesman* favors speed and doesn't care for heavy armors and shields choosing this light set or variants when armor is needed. He doesn't like the bulk or the noise of heavier gear. He has protective magics that boosts his defense without sacrificing speed and relies on these greatly, probably more than he should. But he is incredibly effective most times either working from stealth, direct attack or evasion so his party doesn't complain.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quark 2016 - SurfaceBook

"Super Z" - You know, I really tried to run with Xara Page Layout and Design but ultimately, I realized if I want THE best alternative to Indesign to complete my Adobe exodus, then I need to invest in the application Indesign is based on. So I bought Quark 2016, the full version. Yes, it was expensive as hell. Absurdly so. But considering what Quark can do, it was money well spent especially because I OWN it as opposed to being ripped off with a subscription plan. I have no regrets. There is also a bit of irony here because I learned design on Quark in high school, long before Indesign ever existed so my design path came full circle. Another thing to keep in mind...fonts. Instead of farting around trying to find the best font client to replace TypeKit, which I never liked, I installed SkyFonts a couple of months ago. I used Google Fonts as the source and was greeted with over 800 fonts. I didn't install all of them of course but I did add quite a few to my system and they're quite good, readily available in Quark 2016 and all of my other applications. I highly recommend SkyFonts/Google Fonts as the source if you're doing extensive design work or just like to have a good selection of fonts for your projects. It definitely helps that it's FREE!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sorrow of Our Days - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This project is inspired by the documentary "13th" by Ava DuVernay that I mentioned in the previous post. After watching 13th which focuses on the prison industrial complex and how a loophole in the 13th Constitutional Amendment has been exploited to re institute slavery, then living through yet another circus of a presidential debate and then the farce of Columbus Day, it was all a bit much to take and expressed itself in the work. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Street Photography 1006 - Nexus 6p - Photo Director 8 - SurfaceBook


Relaxing and looking - I just finished watching "13th" by Ava DuVernay and it was a very hard documentary to watch, very powerful. Similar to the PBS Civil Rights documentary "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize." One particularly powerful segment that really shook me was when Ava set recent racist sound bites of Trump instigating violence toward minorities at a recent rally, while showing footage of Whites attacking Black peaceful protesters in the 60's, footage and photographs of young Black girls being hosed by police, the open casket of Emmitt Till fully showing how he was brutalized, White police officers attacking Black men and women and other scenes of racism against Blacks. The two fit together too well as if Trump was at the events of the past. It was a perfect example of how the racism of the past still persists in the present and continues to threaten the future.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Street Photography 1003 - Nexus 6p - Photo Director 8 - SurfaceBook

"How I feel about America sometimes" - I recently had someone ask me during a job interview why there were so many Black people/characters on my website. Asking a Black artist why are there so many Black people in their body of work is like asking a boxer why are there so many boxing posters in a gym as opposed to swimming and fencing. Yes, I believe it's an absurd question. Almost disrespectful, made worst because it was a Black woman that asked the question. But I answered it calmly and truthfully which I'll revisit here.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Tequesha Portrait - Rebelle version 1.5 Test #3 - SurfaceBook

"Tequesha" - This is a woman I met a few days ago that gave her blessing in painting her portrait. She's very charismatic and photographs really well with a unique sense of style which makes it easier to paint/draw her. As a result I put a lot into this project to test some of the more subtle aspects of the new Rebelle 1.5 update. To be honest, I struggled a bit with this. I tried a new canvas and it worked great but black didn't blend like I initially expected. Ironically considering the canvas texture, that's accurate from what I remember from working with real watercolors. I had to get creative as a result to achieve the rich blacks that I wanted but I lost some of the highlights as a result. This is where more practice is needed and probably more patience as well.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Douche Bro - Rebelle 1.5 testing - SurfaceBook

Douche Bro...because we all know at least one especially in this oh so positive election year. A friend described one of her ex boyfriend's as a "douche bro" although to be fair, based on her own description of events, she was being a whiny, selfish cunt and her ex gave up as a result. But Douche Cunt simply didn't work so I ran with Douche Bro instead. I tried to have a bit more fun with this project while testing out the new tools in Rebelle v. 1.5. I may do some more with this later considering it was a really enjoyable project to complete even though, it's not to be taken seriously. I realized I don't really push too many projects with a lot of vibrant colors so I ran with that. The full Saturday Morning Cartoon version of colorful color palettes.

Rebelle Version 1.5 testing - SurfaceBook

The latest version of Rebelle released a few days ago with a lot of improvements. Two of the biggest additions that I am happy to see are the ability to FINALLY free rotate the canvas through touch and pinch and zoom support. Escape Motion has also added better color mixing tools, better control over palettes, the ability to fully customize the UI layout, speed improvements throughout, tool optimizations, more brushes and brush features. It's awesome.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Street Photography 0923 - Nexus 6p - Photo Director 8 - SurfaceBook

"I was hotter than her at that age..." - Photography is a hobby that's becoming a passion. Especially street photography because you usually don't have any time to set up. It's literally point, shoot and hope for the best. Some of the moments a photographer can capture in this way are truly awe-inspiring making me respect the craft even more. One part skill - another part timing and luck. What's even more fascinating to me is that these moments are happening around us, everyday, all the time, from the most subtle to the totally outrageous. Being able to capture them takes true skill.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Custom Theme Backgrounds - Xara Page Layout and Design - SurfaceBook

"One Life to Live" - I was going to name this "Mahogany" but I thought that was pushing it a bit too far. I created backgrounds using some previous illustrations. The background graphics are part of two design projects I finished but wanted to use them elsewhere. I considered going back to Indesign CC for a bit today and ultimately shot down that idea because for all intends and purposes, it's a rip off. Leasing desktop software is just fundamentally wrong and I can't support it. So I jumped back into Xara Page Layout and Design (which you can actually PURCHASE). It's a pretty good layout application but the developer truly forces you to work on their terms, not necessarily based on industry standards. Definitely not based on Indesign or Quark. But once you get over some of the strange UI choices and some wonkiness with how certain tools function, you can design with a lot of depth in Xara. It's not better than Indesign, but for my needs, it doesn't have to be. I can run with it for the time being until a better Indesign alternative arrives. I'll be more than happy to use Adobe software again...if I'm paid to do it. Otherwise...Adobe gets no love and neither does any other developer leasing software.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Multiple Exposure Testing, Nexus 6p - Photo Director 8 - SurfaceBook

I've been experimenting with multi-exposure a bit. It can be tricky. The first problem is using a video as the source for your image requires the best resolution possible which is currently 4K (3840x2160). 4K resolution may be all the rage when it comes to film and video, but 4K doesn't have the same impact in the world of photography. Simply put, the average flagship smartphone in 2016 has a 16mp - 20mp (megapixel) camera. A 4K video translates into a 8.3 megapixel image. So you can imagine my frustration when I forgot to change my Nexus 6p from 1080p (1920x1080) recording to 4K before working on these projects. Image quality isn't the best as a result.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What a difference a day makes. Photo Director 8 Testing - SurfaceBook - Nexus 6p

"Morning Stroll" - Cyberlink updated their entire creative suite a couple of days ago. I didn't think I'd be able to afford any of the new applications but was lucky enough to buy Photo Director 8. It has some new features that are really cool like video-to-photo transfers to present sequences of motion. There is also a new panorama mode that allows users to put together their own panoramas using the new tools. I can't wait to try as well as all of the new filters and editing suite. Baby steps first though. All of the custom filters and settings I've built in Photo Director 7 transferred to version 8. I'm testing those to see if there have been any major changes because some of the algorithms that control the filters and parameters have been updated so the results may not be the same as the previous version of the software. This also makes for a great reason to go out and shoot more photos and load some old favorites too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photo Director 8 is available! Too bad I don't have it yet. Back to Photo Director 7.

This is Taryn in a composite image and is the focus today for Street Photography and image processing. I only took one photograph of her, because it was spur of the moment on a busy sidewalk. I really like Taryn's hair and her overall look caught my attention. I couldn't monkey around with any of the 3rd party camera apps with their manual settings. I had to rely on the stock Google camera app for Android Nougat. Point and shoot. The photograph turned out really well and allows me to point out some more cool things about Photo Director 7.  


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII) - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

"Lightning" (Final Fantasy XIII) - I completed Final Fantasy XIII a few years ago on PS3. It had more positives than negatives and I really liked Lightning as a lead character. With a large cast of characters featured in the game, many of them annoying, Lightning's character is one of the few I actually cared about. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

"Changing Time" - Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013 model), Nexus 6p - Power Director 14 Ultra - SurfaceBook


"Changing Time" - Android Nexus Devices/SurfaceBook/Roland XP-50 - Power Director 14 Ultra

While capturing photographs over the last few weeks I've also been recording time lapse and slow motion video. The final compilation combines those efforts with some older HD footage and time lapse footage, in combination with some animated .gif footage I was working with from a couple of my favorite films. A smorgasbord of Nexus devices were used and final production duties were completed on the trusty road warrior, SurfaceBook with Power Director 14 Ultra handling production duties and final output. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

More Photo Experimentation! More Stuffs! - Nexus 6p, Nexus 5, Galaxy S3 - Photo Director 7 Ultra - SurfaceBook

"Groovy" - Nexus 5 - Custom filter, HDR Split Toning 01. The photography posts have been in abundance lately mainly because I'm learning a lot of new techniques using Photo Director 7 Ultra. Newly discovered aspects of the software inspired me to experiment with some old images captured over the last few years. "Groovy" is a perfect example of this as the results are from learning how to better control split-toning in Photo Director 7 Ultra. It's a great effect that doesn't work in every situation but when it does, it's really good. Some of the application of filters are very subtle , almost nonexistent, simply because not every image requires a nuke of filter. Others benefit from drastic changes brought on by extensive filters because of the nature of what was captured or the state of the photo. Creating my own filters gives me more insight as to when to be subtle, when to go crazy with it or when not to use a filter at all. Process. There's nothing we can't accomplish when a good process is in place. Learn and build.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

New Batch of Custom Filters - Nexus 6p/Galaxy S7 - Photo Director 7 Ultra - Surface Pro 3

"Tasha" - Custom Filter, HDR Non Ugly Artistic 02, Natasha has been the subject of many of my pieces over the years. She captured this image using a Galaxy S7 and I created and applied the filter. Tasha photographs really well which is a essential for this type of work and similar projects. The idea behind the filter is to try to gain a old vintage painting look in HDR without sacrifices all of the attributes of the original photo. Photo Director 7 Ultra has a developer preset that attempts this but I didn't care for the excessive grain and noise or the over saturated colors.