Wednesday, September 13, 2017

procreate stuff

Mostly WIP's as I've been jumping back and forth multiple drawings. I think I'm getting the hang of coloring on procreate as well.

Working primarily on iPad Pro in recent weeks have made me realize how I missed the 1 to 1 drawing experience. Wacom tablet on PC feels just abysmal after switching. Quite strange that I initially didn't completely enjoy the iPad experience when I first bought it this January. It could be the iOS update or Procreate update since I distinctly remember feeling drawing on the iPad clunky and unpleasant. No matter, it's now superb and I can't stand drawing on a regular tablet.

Also it's given me quite a bit of boost on my ability to plan and sketch. I've always felt that I had good eyes for catching what works and what doesn't. But that ability couldn't always be used at full capacity on PC and Photoshop due to how its UI functions. Zooming in and out on PC felt more like teleporting in and out to different zoom levels which lead to disconnection in the mental image of the piece. With iPad zooming is seamless and smooth, helping my brain retaining the image consistently, which ultimately helps seeing what's right or wrong with the art I'm doing.

Anyways, enough of sucking Job's digestive tracts. iPad Pro and Apple Pencil is good and I fully recommend it. I am definitely switching to iPad for all my future works full time and I'm gonna use my PC for primary functions iOS can't really do.

Aaaand naturally since procreate records all drawings done on it automatically, stuff you see will go on youtube once they are finished.

This one I just got a craving to draw it one night and started working on it. It's one of those 'artist girl in a room' piece.

Continuation from that nintendo girl piece. I like the direction so far. I will eventually color and finish it.

This one's redraw of that riot police girl. Some of the major problems of the previous version was that the perspective was fucked and I had trouble with the character anatomy. The recent anatomy study I did seem to have greatly helped my overall art quality. I was able to push perspective here for more dynamic pose. Gonna finish this one too.

And few random sketches and paints below.

That is all.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

timelapse 27

My first extensive piece done on Procreate + iPad Pro 1. The device is such a pleasure to use and draw on. I don't think I had this fun drawing something in a long while since I last kept a sketchbook.

I've long shied away from using a drawing tablet with built-in screen since my experience with Wacom cintiq 22hd back in 2008 or so. The thing was a pretty shitty product overall and that soured my experience with it. Fast forward nearly 10 years I think the tech has finally caught up it became much more reasonable now.

I actually bought my iPad Pro few months back. It just took me a while to really settle down from all that family stuff going on and get to sit down and chill. Now that I think of it I could have waited and got myself an iPad Pro 2 with truemotion or whatever they call that 120hz but... oh well. iPad Pro 1 is still pretty marvelous. Not to mention the software itself, Procreate, which is great to use as well.

However some of my gripes is that:

- iPad does get pretty warm after an extensive use, making your hand sweaty.

- You have to wipe the screen once a while or you'll see smudges.

- Procreate can be buggy sometimes. (notice the frame skip in my latest video)

- Apple Pencil pressure sensitivity can be rather inconsistent (especially under Procreate).

Other than those issues the product is superb and I've been having a blast (As you can see from my wonderous *cough* music creations and whatnot). The drawing process is so much more personal and streamlined I prefer it to drawing on my windows computer with Wacom tablet.

Although it does get pretty clunky when it comes to coloring and painting... Unless there's much quicker, and easier color picking method I don't see myself using Procreate to paint. Well, not easily that is.

Also my favorite aspect of using Procreate is the automated recording. I've long found myself drawing quite badly when there's a pressure of recording on PC. It's the fact that once I start recording I gotta all ready up and never make a mistake. With Procreate I can just surf around, chill and draw and the software will automatically keep a recording of all the strokes I made, minus the downtime in between. It's pretty neat and You're seeing the function demonstrated in my latest timelapse video.

And the manual recordings using shadowplay + avermedia can bloat in file size after a while. 12 minute 4k video made from using Procreate came down to about 300 megs before editing on Resolve. The final version you see on Youtube was about 1 gig. Remember that cop girl that I still haven't finished? That was about 300 gigs before I compressed them down to 50 gigs. Yeesh.

Anyways I might try to color on Procreate and see how that goes. Either ways drawing on PC and wacom tablet no longer brings me joy. I'm going to see how far I can take my iPad in terms of professional works.

Timelapse vid below.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Oh what the fuck youtube

Fucking seriously? After all that trouble I went through to make the fucking music this is how it goes? Am I supposed to play my own fucking instruments now too?

Will keep you updated on this shit.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Jinmusic 001

So the story is that at one point in Youtube's history they had licence free music service on their video settings which allowed you to overlay music to your video with Google provided application. I foolishly took their word and used what they provided me, a supposedly free music that isn't held back by some copyright laws or shits of sort.

And Google one day ended the program, and what was once in their 'free' library got loose and started flagging people's videos. It was already late by then. The video was hard encoded with the said music and it couldn't be reversed. Of those videos the lucky few had their audio scrubbed permanently but even those got flagged for some reason, to my great frustration.

Google once again provides those 'free' music on their creator platform but the damage is done. I decided that what I didn't create can not be trusted.

So today I made a music of my own to play to videos I create.

Starting the learning process was rather steep. This finished piece is after about 8 different attempts with the tune going basically nowhere. But this morning something clicked and I was able to breeze through it in like 4 hours.

The music is by design intentionally 'dull' or 'nondescript' since it will be repeated to death in a 4~5 hour Timelapse video. However, hopefully the lightening will strike multiple times so I can expand my music library down the line.


P.S.: This also means I can start pumping out videos again.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Using Steam Controller as Photoshop shortcut keypad

dont mind me im jus passin by

So I've been using Razer Nostromo (Formerly Belkin N52te) for a good part of last 10 years to control Photoshop functions to save time. It worked great for a while. You could quickly access various Photoshop shortcuts at the tip of your left hand while your drawing hand freely expressed whatever it wanted all it wanted.

Well that was until Razer pooped itself and decided to take the scroll wheel off their latest keypads, namely Tartarus and Orbweaver, and discontinuing their old stuff.

The scroll wheel was for me what made Nostromo very usable for this specific purpose. It made zooming in and out of the canvas effortless, shaving time off otherwise the tedious process of clicking keys again and again to zoom in and zoom out.

And recently my Nostromo -which I am on my fourth- started shitting itself as keys started getting stiff and stop responding. I quickly remedied the situation tearing the unit apart and adding a layer of paper in between the keys and the rubber contacts. For now, that fixed the problem but there was no guarantee that the unit would last forever, since the last three units all failed at the scroll wheel which isn't so repair-able (and also crucial).

I've been looking for a keypad alternative very much since the first one broke down and in recent years I have set my eyes on Steam Controllers but it had few hurdles for it to be usable.

I had ordered 2 of these about an year ago but then I shelved them for a while since at the time the driver development was incomplete and buggy. Well, it's still buggy and incomplete but it has become much more usable. That removed a hurdle out of the way.

Second was the position of the controller. I deemed the controller unusable held in hand, since you have to draw with one of your hands. Lack of button accessibility hurt its usability when held in just one hand. If I laid them on a surface it also created another problem. An extra height was created on its back so that made the hand position difficult. Also the controller had to be stationary but the controller alone laying on the table does not stay still.

It had to be cradled.

So I made a cradle.

I first prototyped the cradle using Floof (soft, snow-like clay) which is very malleable, and easy to use. I carefully applied masking tapes to the controller so the clay doesn't get into controller's cracks and pressed down on the clay, letting it dry before taking it off.

I tried few different positions and in the end I settled down on upside-down position with a second controller sideways adjacent to the primary one (as pictured below). I made sure it felt comfortable in my hand for prolonged and sustained use.
These shortcuts were assigned after testing the key bindings a bit. they are subject to change over time as I find better ways to optimize. All haptics are set at max and unreachable keys are unassigned. F4 was set to recorded actions since Photoshop lacks native keys for 'Mirror' function.

So once the Floof dried a bit I just applied liquid epoxy over them, reinforcing them with epoxy clay until it was sturdy enough to dig the floof out behind and washing them in water. And then I carefully sanded them so they fit well and didn't rattle around. I finished them with gluegun coating all over - although I should have gone with resin spray or something. But nonetheless it works well so I'm not complaining.

And it's been working pretty great since. I have way more access to variety of keys and functions compared to before when I used Nostromo. Since all the keys and buttons are shaped differently (compared to grid-like Nostromo beyond few thumb buttons), it's far easier accessing them without looking.

The only problem is the 10 years worth of muscle memory which only time will solve.

This time I am hoping Steam Controller sticks around for a long while so I won't have to find the next shortcut assistant. I have ordered more of them to put them on the backup and I'm crossing my fingers Valve is planning to support these for a very long time.

Few other things to note:

-You can keep adding multiple controllers if you need more functions bound to buttons. They can be bound separately and automatically change their bindings to the program you use (if the program is added on steam).

-You can use modifier buttons to assign different functions to the same button (which I'm not using to avoid confusion). Also you can set action sets which is like shifting through different presets.

-You can save your key bindings on the cloud on your Steam account.

-You can add Photoshop (or programs of your choice) to Steam library as a non-steam game and have separate key bindings for them instead of using desktop configuration.

-You can use your Steam Controllers both wirelessly or wired (and battery free).

-Turn spin friction off for more 1 to 1 tactile feel. Also set haptics at max for everything that's bound to touchpads.

-Sometimes the config menu bugs out and it can get difficult setting combination keys like Control + Key. Delete key, back out and back in. Repeat until it works. It's really buggy. It works well once you set it.

More quickies to come until I am better in shape and accustomed to the new controller.