Monday, 28 June 2010

Painting on the iPad

I have had the opportunity recently to experiment with the Sketchbook Pro application on the iPad:

CS5 painting

A far cry from the Wacom tablet and Photoshop combination I'm used to but potentially an interesting tool. Sketchbook Pro has layers, a full colour wheel and a variety of brush presets to play with, I managed a quick sketch of a diver (purely for academic purposes) and found the painting tools to be quite powerful, the screen is a great size and space for simple illustrations but drawing with my fingertip drove me nuts after about half an hour - I hear there are now stylus tools you can purchase that emulate the fingertip or even make your own:

DIY iPad stylus

In its current state this is no rival for a professional set up with an Intuos 4 and a copy of Photoshop,the accuracy with even homemade tools isn't precise enough for me and the lack of photo features mean I'm not going to be ditching my laptop on the go anytime soon, although its a nice idea that I could sketch a rough for a storyboard or an illustration on the train or in a plane with that great 10 hour battery life...

CS5 painting

Monday, 10 May 2010

More CS5 Painting

Inspired by a creative mashup session yesterday (more on that later) I put another painting together in Photoshop CS5, the brush tools really are incredible with quick buttons on the menu to force complete control over to a Wacom tablet, I have been a big user of tablets for about 10 years now, working my way through the Intuos range, with a slight detour into a wireless Graphire at my time at Apple (awesome for presentations) and cannot recommend them more for digital creatives, the fluidity of a pen interface cannot be matched in photographic, illustrative or even video work.

CS5 painting

This image started life as a few blocky colours on a page before being shaped into a coherent painting, I don't often remember to take stages pictures (when free hand painting I usually just draw on one layer..) but I did snap a before image:

CS5 painting

Plus a quick shot of the brush tool overlay - this accurately maps the positioning of the Wacom Stylus over the tablet and if you watch the screen closely while you work it allows you to see how your making brush strokes, coming from an analogue painting background - it was great to see my motions with a brush were the same in a digital environment.

CS5 painting

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

iPhone to CS5 Workflow

I have been experimenting with the iPhone as part of my creative workflow - I already use a variety of applications to get interesting and creative results out of my iPhone photographs such as Photoshop Mobile and Shakeit Lite - and I wanted to see what the possibilities are for creating a full design using the iPhone as a launchpad.

My first iPhone app in this workflow is Adobe Ideas - a simple vector drawing tool for making notes on photos and creating sketches and proofs of ideas in note form. I'm also a big fan of Shakeit Lite and other 'effects' apps for the iPhone - the camera on a 3GS is not actually all that bad and performs very well in daylight. I really like to use it as a visual journal - I'm not going to take a Canon 1Ds MkIII with me everywhere all the time its simply too bulky. I have started to take a few of these 'digital polaroid' images every day with the intention of making a project out of it at some point.

I enclose below a simple workflow diagram for working with the iPhone and Photoshop CS5:

evolution of an idea

Monday, 19 April 2010

Russian Dolls

Following on from my last post on painting tools for Photoshop CS5, I have been designing some Russian dolls as templates to use for a real world creative project I'm working on. In the markets of Moscow you an buy 'blank' unpainted dolls to be painted with acrylic or poster paint - some come with the line work of the traditional doll but I wanted to start from a plain wood background and design my own doll - So far I have designed two layers to the doll using a mixture of Photoshop and the new Illustrator CS5 - illustrator has a nice feature for textured brushes that can be painted within a shape - this makes intricate design work with the unpredictable nature of brush control that much closer to working with pixel based paint in Photoshop.



Sunday, 11 April 2010

White Rabbit - Photoshop CS5

I have been Beta testing Adobe's CS5 Master Collection for a while now, with the embargo up (as of 7.00am this morning) I am able to share my finding and feelings about the new features. My first post will cover the new brush engine in Photoshop CS5.
As an illustrator I have always been a fan of painting in Photoshop, early versions had customisable brushes and later there was support for pressure sensitivity via a graphics tablet input - all great features for those wanting to use the program as a digital canvas. Digital painting has one major drawback - the fluidity of natural media is lost in Photoshop, the painting is almost too precise and there is very little room for creative mistakes.

Until now.

Adobe's latest edition of the tool includes a fantastic new feature for painters - a "bristle" brush. This added level of brush control (in addition to pressure sensitivity) allows the emulation of bristles on a surface - the brush even rotates to match the rotation of your pen on the graphics tablet (something that really has to be seen to believed..) this really brings in some of the randomness back into drawing and painting - I have been using a variety of Wacom tablets for about 10 years now and I have never seen the level of control and natural feel of Adobes Photoshop CS5 and a Wireless Wacom Intuos 4 - its a fantastic combination.

So I have done a few doodle's I would like to share - I set myself a task - a one hour speed paint using the new toolset.


I hope to get some more of these up on the blog in the next few days.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I Hate Televison

By which I mean broadcast television, I hate being told what to watch and it all being rubbish reality TV bullshit, especially when there are better ways to watch the things I actually am interested in: (although must admit I rarely use them)

BBC iPlayer
Demand 5
4 on demand

The list goes on... so trash your TV!