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Old 02-08-2011, 08:15 PM
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Default The "Not worth its own thread" thread - Creative Edition

I'm currently trying to redesign one of my old comic characters so she looks black without cheating with skin tones or turning her into a horrible caricature. Kind of difficult, actually. Racially distinct cartoon characters are tricky.

When I grow up I want to be Alison Bechdel:
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:16 PM
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That does a pretty good job, I think. And it does look a lot like Bechdel's stuff.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:43 PM
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It is Bechdel's stuff.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:44 PM
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It is Bechdel's stuff.
Oh! I was confused! I thought that was an example of your work. Nevermind then, you can ignore me.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:14 AM
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I'm getting close to the end of the current draft of my novel. I had to rewrite virtually the entire middle, but everything else mostly required medium revision. I think I'm on track to finish this by my birthday next week, and begin a more focused revision soon after that.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:22 AM
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First novel?
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:30 AM
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If you guys are looking for a blog that updates with a lot crazy, freaky, awesome stuff check out 50 Watts (formerly known as A Journey Round My Skull). Has to be one the better channels of the crazy stuff I used to catch on Jahsonic, only with less extensive culture stuff.

Samples:

Harry Clarke
Erin Blumenfield
Phil Kirkland
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:31 PM
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We got a brand new Wacom Bamboo tablet today! It's a bit...different than we expected it to be,* but this baby's gonna be fun to draw digital art with once we get accustomed to using it.

*Keep in mind this is our first tablet. I was thinking it'd be less like a pen that works like a mouse, and more like a DS touchscreen. Oh well, it'll be fun to learn.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:18 PM
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It is pretty confusing, especially since you can't adjust the orientation of the device (in my lap, for me typically) without taking in account the angle of your "paper" effectively changing, but the screen doesn't reflect that! so you have to do it allll mentally
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:07 AM
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*Keep in mind this is our first tablet. I was thinking it'd be less like a pen that works like a mouse, and more like a DS touchscreen. Oh well, it'll be fun to learn.
Yeah, they only make ones with screens in them for $1K or $2k. Which is just silly considering they're only I/O devices and you could get an entire touchscreen tablet PC for like half the price and hook it up with wacom drivers.

Anyway, it may superficially work like a mouse, but you should be able to adjust the brushes in whatever you're using to so that it also controls angle, diameter, opacity, pretty much anything, all using the angle and pressure information from the stylus. If you don't have software that has these brush options then get some. Otherwise yes, it is a pen that works like a mouse.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:15 AM
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The killer feature for tablets is pressure sensitivity. You can do mouse painting, with care, but pressure gives it the life that frequently doesn't come through from the mouse-drawn stuff.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:21 PM
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It sounds like I've still got a lot to learn about tablets. But hey, I found an online tutorial about how to make it work with GiMP* after a quick Google search, so I'll try that out when I get the chance. It's got more options than MS Paint does, and I'd like to learn how to use 'em.

*Which I'd link to here if I wasn't using a candy bar controlled browser with no copy/paste function right now.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:24 PM
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So in the near future I'll be writing regularity for two of my friends websites.

That's pretty neat.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetManMas View Post
It sounds like I've still got a lot to learn about tablets. But hey, I found an online tutorial about how to make it work with GiMP* after a quick Google search, so I'll try that out when I get the chance. It's got more options than MS Paint does, and I'd like to learn how to use 'em.

*Which I'd link to here if I wasn't using a candy bar controlled browser with no copy/paste function right now.
I've been able to use a graphic tablet with GIMP in the past. It worked flawlessly on the Mac, but I've always had issues in Windows (mostly with the offset: I would click on the drawing and the line would appear somewhere else. Quite annoying.) I can't remember if I have tried Linux or not.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:33 AM
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I've been able to use a graphic tablet with GIMP in the past. It worked flawlessly on the Mac, but I've always had issues in Windows (mostly with the offset: I would click on the drawing and the line would appear somewhere else. Quite annoying.) I can't remember if I have tried Linux or not.
That's pretty inexplicable.

Oh wait, no it's not. Windows has it's own (crappy)graphics tablet process which engages automatically that can drop your performance like a rock and cause other bugginess if you're using the wacom drivers. Basically it's two sets of drivers trying to interpret your input simultaneously. Next time you try it you should look in your processes and stop the microsoft ones. You might have to do this every time you start working.

Are you continuing your drawing lessons?
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:41 PM
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That's pretty inexplicable.

Oh wait, no it's not. Windows has it's own (crappy)graphics tablet process which engages automatically that can drop your performance like a rock and cause other bugginess if you're using the wacom drivers. Basically it's two sets of drivers trying to interpret your input simultaneously. Next time you try it you should look in your processes and stop the microsoft ones. You might have to do this every time you start working.

Are you continuing your drawing lessons?
I will give that a try this weekend if I have a few minutes! Though my new desktop uses Windows 7, we'll see if that changes anything. (Probably not).

I am continuing my drawing lessons. Or rather, I would be continuing them if I was not traveling. The good news is I'll be home this week, so I should be able to have one lesson, plus my regular weekly class. Which reminds me that I still have not completed the homework from 3 weeks ago. The bad news is that I'll probably be back on the road the following week, traveling to Wisconsin this time. Oh well, it's not confirmed yet, so I'll keep my fingers crossed, hoping to be able to be home another week.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:14 AM
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I'm writing a song! This is something that I don't do, but it came to me part and parcel with a game/story idea in a dream, and now I'm trying to hash one out. As well as trying to fight down thoughts of impostorhood for writing an Irish folk song without any Irish. Also worrying over whether the tune is already an actual Irish folk song, which is possible! I don't know much about Irish folk songs!

All in all (game, world, story, song, name) this is one of the few new ideas I've had recently, and it makes me pretty happy to put together something like this from whole cloth. Not that it's near done.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbywatson View Post
I've been able to use a graphic tablet with GIMP in the past. It worked flawlessly on the Mac, but I've always had issues in Windows (mostly with the offset: I would click on the drawing and the line would appear somewhere else. Quite annoying.) I can't remember if I have tried Linux or not.
HEY YOU I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM I FIXED IT LET ME TELL YOU HOW

I had the SAME gripe, actually, but I was googling another big tablet issue (my lines always come out shaky, SUPER SHAKY, like I'm drawing on the back of a speeding truck and also super drunk and also super palsy and also having an epileptic seizure kind of shaky), but I found out that there's a setting in Windows that will TOTALLY FIX THE PROBLEM YOU AND I HAD.

Wacoms, or at least this Bamboo one which I guess we both have, are automatically set to pen mode (in Windows at least, maybe not Macs, maybe that's the difference). So, basically, where you hit the pen on your tablet roughly corresponds with where it shows up on the screen - is the way I understand it. That's really not an issue with a tablet screen, since you'd be hitting where you want to draw anyway, but if you're using a tablet peripheral, this means the cursor is going to look like it's bouncing all over the place when you pick it up for any reason. Some people are okay with this, and I'm sure you'd get used to it with practice buuuuuut the superior tablet option is mouse mode! This means that whenever the pen leaves the tablet, and then is placed back onto the pad, the cursor will pick up where you left off, not somewhere else.

I can, with like 98% certainty, say that this will fix your problem. I'm not sure where it would be otherwise - maybe the same place - but in Windows 7, I went to Control Panel > Bamboo > Mouse Mode.

If anyone's having problems with wobbly lines, let me mention real quick that I found out that Wacoms are sensitive to other devices' outputs (and they have to be, by regulation, or at least they cannot be manufactured to interfere or block). So, I had the tablet smooshed in between the monitor and the case, and when I scooted the monitor way, way back, and scooched the tablet close to me, so there was a gap of one-two feet between my tablet and the other gadgets, my problem improved greatly. Unfortunately, routers can and do disrupt the signal, sooo, if it's still a big issue, you may want to try unplugging it while you work.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:17 PM
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Default Random thoughts on drawing

I did not know where to put this. I thought this thread would probably get more traffic than my own thread, so here it is. Not sure exactly what I am expecting from this, but we'll see. Hopefully someone smarter than me will have ideas! And while in my case this post applies to drawing, I believe it can be used for most artistic endeavours. Or cooking. Or work. Pretty much anything, actually.

I guess this is mostly directed toward those on this board who have "mastered" the art of drawing. (By "mastered", I mean who are professional artists, or have published art somewhere. I am aware of the fact that drawing can never actually be completely "mastered". )

Here's the question: how did you manage to get to that level? How do you keep the motivation level high?

My current dilemma: I like drawing. Always have. I've been somewhat serious about it ever since high school. (My first career choice was comic book artist, but my parents did a pretty good job of steering me away from it.) I would rate my current level as "not bad". I want to think that what I can currently do is better than what most people can achieve. But it's nowhere near as good as I would like it to be. I actually gave up on ever becoming "good" at it at some point in my life, and looking back at it now, it feels like the biggest mistake I've ever made.

Which brings me back to the question: how do you go from being "not bad" to being "good"? The obvious answer is "observe and practice". From what I understand, this "observe and practice" almost needs to become an obsession (or something closer to a second job) if one wants to achieve a reasonable level. But in doing so, I'm wondering: Does the fun that one gets out of drawing not go away? And if it does, does it eventually come back?
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:33 PM
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I don't know anything about drawing (I tried, I failed), but I do know lots about music and yes, getting good at something involves daily practice and a focused attempt to always be improving. You should always be working on something just above the level of what you're capable of, so that you will continue to grow.

Does it ever stop being fun? Perhaps, sometimes, temporarily. Never for me, but I'm sure it happens to some people. However, in my experience the better you get at the thing you love the more fun it becomes, because with greater levels of skill come more opportunities to do awesome things.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbywatson View Post
Here's the question: how did you manage to get to that level? How do you keep the motivation level high?

how do you go from being "not bad" to being "good"? The obvious answer is "observe and practice". From what I understand, this "observe and practice" almost needs to become an obsession (or something closer to a second job) if one wants to achieve a reasonable level. But in doing so, I'm wondering: Does the fun that one gets out of drawing not go away? And if it does, does it eventually come back?
Yeah you pretty much have it with the "observe and practice" but I think that's really simplified and de-humanized and anyone who says that isn't really telling you anything. Everyone has their own growth processes, and they change over time as well. You need to be able to understand yourself to trigger the desire to create.

For instance, my art making patterns have been:

Early, age 7-18: Practice drawing for hours everyday while in classes as an escape from boredom. Draw only once a week or so at home. Linear improvement on very focused themes and subjects that were practiced.

Mid, age 18-23: Create during prescribed studio class times and in between classes. Ingrained processes and materials are irrelevent or attacked by instructors actively. Sketchbooks are rich, but finished artwork is much worse, even though a lot is produced in a great variety of media, most of it is a dead-end.

Late, age 23-27: Settled in to a pattern of synthesis and creation, phases becoming more compressed as time goes on. During a period of artistic non-productivity I still pay attention, journal, read books, research etc. until the pressure to create overwhelms the relaxed state. Then there is a period of prolific art making usually inspired by some of these new ideas. The first such cycle after graduating took maybe 9 months! The most recent was 3 weeks.

I don't know if this helps but I believe understanding how you grow is paramount to cultivating a skill, and everyone is different. When I was in 7th grade I went through probably my first "down" cycle where nothing was turning out right and I didn't have the patience to see a drawing through. I panicked. I cried. In public. On a bus full full of my classmates on a 5 hour drive for a 3 day stay at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Good times. But a couple weeks later when I picked up the pencil again It was amazing. I was drawing better than ever. I guess one expects their skills to atrophy when they aren't used, but your brain is always learning and synthesizing. Now I don't panic when every drawing I start goes to crap. I know what's happening, it's just a part of how I learn. So I use that time to look at art, watch movies, read, etc. to enrich it.

I think it's valuable to be able to analyze your own history thus, maybe it will help you identify the patterns art creates in your life. The reassuring thing: you will never get worse at art as you get older. The rust can be knocked off in days, if not hours, meanwhile you're fortified by every experience you have, and every minute your brain is alive.

Now all that is about things you can't decide. You are stuck with yourself after all. What you can decide to do is take risks. Draw something you don't think you can draw. Draw something that doesn't exist until it looks like it could. Paint with something weird. Spend 100 hours making something that might fail. Make a thing you think is boring into something that isn't. Make what you want and screw "the audience".

The other decisions you have to make regard materials and processes. You need to seek out the best for what your needs are. It doesn't mean the most expensive, it just means the right ones. That "middle era" where I was in art school generally sucked aside from the fact that I was forced to experiment with a lot of tools I wouldn't have considered before then. Maybe if I didn't I would still be doing pencil drawings with watercolor and that's all. I made some great, weird, wild watercolors at the end of highschool, but I'm glad I tried so much more since. Now I use all that, and gouache, acrylic, markers, inks, printmaking, digital paint, collage and photomontage. There's also an enormous amount of materials I just gave away because I didn't like them. When you go to the art supply store, pick up something new, in addition to all the refills and such you already know you like.

Anyway, your questions brought up a lot of thoughts I didn't know I had at the moment. I hope this sheds some light on the quest to be "good". I'm still on it myself, so I would love to hear some other people's experiences.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:13 AM
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This looks fantastic, Lady!
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:54 AM
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That's absolutely gorgeous.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:12 PM
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audacity is the go-to free sound editing program, but for videos, I've played around a little with Shotcut.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
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audacity is the go-to free sound editing program, but for videos, I've played around a little with Shotcut.
It never occurred to me that there'd be good programs that would be free, so this is really cool. Once I reformat my hard drives laptop, I'm gonna give these a shot. Thank you!
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Old 12-31-2015, 02:40 PM
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Are there experts in font creation around here? I'm trying to make one with my own handwriting (the goal is to use it in a comic I am creating), but I'm having an issue that I can't really wrap my head around. Here it is:



So, when I type the P with another capital letter next to it, it looks fine, but when I put a vowel, then this creates this wide white space (I'm sure there is a technical term for that, but I have no idea what it is). Yet, if I type the two vowels together, this looks fine.

Thoughts? All this font making stuff is new to me, so any help would be appreciated!
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Old 12-31-2015, 02:56 PM
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Kerning is the word you're looking for. The last couple times I've messed with making my own fonts though were back in the days of fixed widths.
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:24 PM
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Kerning is the word you're looking for. The last couple times I've messed with making my own fonts though were back in the days of fixed widths.
That's exactly what I needed! Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:48 PM
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I don't know if this is the best place for it, but is anyone paying attention to or taking part in InGaDeMo? The theme is tabletop games, so I'm thinking of using this to get myself to work more on the mecha RP system I've been tinkering with on and off for a while.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:00 AM
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Shit, if I wasn't super busy right now with work and other things, that would be a great opportunity to finish off the Pro Bending tabletop game I had at beta/playtest stage before getting distracted a few years ago...
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