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.