As I play around with my Wacom and I have been playing around with it a lot recently I am becoming increasingly interested in finding some serious uses for the tablet and that given I can’t afford an iPad Pro at the moment and really until I can find genuine reasons to have one as there are many things on the list before I could blow best part of a grand on one, I am happy to keep trying out ideas. One of those ideas to keep popping up in my head is to take the little strip I have been drawing over the last few weeks and have a go at animating it. I realise that this is not only a steep learning curve but also very time consuming, however as time is the one thing I have, it would seem like a fun to do.
I have been looking online at how others have gotten started in this and there is a dizzying array of methods and modes. Given that I don’t have a Pixar budget and access to a team of animators to offload the grunt work to I am going to have to start right from the beginning so this is going to be a long term project so don’t expect any feature length movies to appear in the next couple of days and know my concentration levels what seemed an amazingly good idea now will next week be a long distant memory.
However with all these creative things it is the idea that is the star of the show and is the hardest thing to come up with in the first place. I have a relatively easy task as I am taking everyday events that I put together for my doodle. The storyboard is easy once I have decided on what the story for the week is it is also fun to do and something I hadn’t thought about till trawling the net of info and help. I don’t plan to do this as a regular thing and am really just going to see how far I get with it and will post something as and when it’s worth it.
At the moment I have downloaded Pencil2D for the animation software as I don’t have access to Flash as my budget stated earlier is zero and the interface is a bit dated but you can’t complain at free and although I am trying to use it on my MacBookPro I’m not having much luck so have switched to the Linux version running in a VM. The documentation is a bit limited but theres enough info with the tuts on YouTube to get started. So without further a do, I’ll get started.
I have been messing around with my Wacom and realise what a difference it is to the iPad Pro I was playing with just a couple of days ago, you just don’t get the hand and eye coordination right that you do when you are not looking at the thing you are drawing with and on. I’m not complaining and am having a lot of fun with the Bamboo at the moment just doodling and drawing my SMC posts but I have been ruined by the iPad Pro. However as they say practice makes perfect and although in my case the creative gene pasted me by in the sibling line up I do things that make me happy and doodling is fun.
One thing about design and art(works) is that it has all usually been done before and most of our ideas are in some way consciously or unconsciously affected by prior works its impossible not to be. Just think of all the iconic branding you can think of that has no text to identify it such as Mercedes Benz, the Olympic rings, Macdonalds and Apple. There is so much more out there on the mechanics and ethics of design but for me it’s just a pastime I like to dabble in now and then and in thinking about my blog I thought it would be interesting to come up with its own logo.
I have always been interested in the Yin & Yang form and think it sums up life perfectly for me and so when I started this blog I hadn’t really thought about it being much more than an online diary and I certainly didn’t think it was a meant to be a philosophical look at life. But in putting down the facts to ones life there is a certain amount of philosophy to it and hence the logo. I have adapted the Yin&Yang symbol rather roughly to take its elements but to morph it into a question mark that underlies the wotsitallabout question I put here originally. I also thought that the circle should be a planetary body implying its in a universe as we are and have thought that keeping it in this form allows it to be in a natural form or an inverted one for use on a dark background.
I have enjoyed starting this little project and will slowly bring it to fruition and add it to my blog when I am happy with it. Learning new things is good for the brain allegedly and its good to keep the old grey matter moving so here’s to the next doodle..
Previous week in doodle land
So I now have Pixelmator which is a rather groovy image manipulation application that does a load of things most of which I won’t use or need but it is a really nice app. It has been touted as a David against Adobe’s Photoshop Goliath. It’s a long time since I opened up Photoshop and I was in no way a power user but had my moments but starting out with Pixelmator there’s so much to play with and learn even for my child like doodlings. Previously I had been using Autodesk’s Sketchbook both on my phone and on my Mac but on returning find its all been monetised and simple things like the paint bucket and layers have all been removed.. Boo.. So hence the switch to Pixelmator.
As you can see from my attempt(s) above I have tried to copy the style from my previous attempt and have left in warts and all. I plan to carry this on on a sporadic schedule when I feel there’s something worthwhile documenting. I see it as just another part of the blog rather than something separate and contrary to my younger brothers opinion I will not be starting a web comic though some times I may ape it a bit.
Lastly just want to talk about the tablet and pen. Wow, just wow! I have had so much fun over the last day with it and am trying not to disappear down the rabbit hole today as there are many things to be getting on with. I hadn’t realised how versatile they are and all the different options that can be programmed. But the oh so basic use is just so much more intuitive to me as I always struggled with traditional mice in my work and had I known about the tablet and stylus things would have been somewhat different. Saying all this however doesn’t hide the fact if you have loads of typing to do then this method of input is not the best. But for drawing and such like its great. If you have never tried one maybe you can give it a go as its not prohibitively expensive as there a number of options and you don’t have to spend hundreds into the thousand mark for an iPad Pro.
Maybe some more of my doodles will come out to play.. For now I am really just messing around and having fun!
Yesterday I was given a Wacom Bamboo tablet out of the blue due to owner moving up to the big iPad Pro so I have been playing around with it and am intrigued as to what it can do. I have been messing around with the pen or is that stylus and find it way more accurate and far more comfortable than my mouse and my skills using it. There are a bewildering array of options to configure and I am sure in capable hands can be made to produce some amazing drawings and sketches or speed up workflows from a click of a programmable button. However one of the downsides that I am sure is not applicable to the Cintiq and iPad Pros with there Pencil(s) is the disconnect from the hand and eye. It does take some getting use to and I still struggle to match things up on screen but I am having to get use to not trying to use the pen on the keyboard, as that doesn’t work!! However for navigating around the desktop and computer it is simpler and faster in my mind.
There was a period when I worked in London where commuting home I started using a drawing app on my iPhone to do a basic visual diary but it fell by the way side and when I went back to look at resurrecting it some years ago the software had changed, needing a paid update to use all the features that I had been using and had taken for granted. So now I am on the look out for drawing software for my Mac to test out my new toy.
At the moment I am doodling around and testing out on simple app which is very basic for anything other than just scribbling, but one interesting thought is the ability to now digitally sign things. How often I need to do this is a matter of conjecture but the fact I can now actually ‘do’ my own handwriting is pretty crazy.
So till next time.. where I may just digitally hand write my post, but there again maybe not. I am going to find an outlet for this new workflow/method/toy just not sure what yet.