Episode 464 - The current digital art landscape

Feb 2, 2020

I recently had to upgrade my main computer because Windows isn't supporting Windows 7 any longer and I don't want to install Windows 10 on the perfectly functioning old one in case it ruins it and my main programs can't run any longer… SO I had to get a new PC. This got me thinking though: The barrier to getting into digital art is lower now than ever!

Topics and Show Notes

Back in the day it was hard to get into and very expensive! Getting a powerful enough machine with all the programs and hardware wasn't cheap. Back in the early 2000s Photoshop was the only really good art program, you needed a PC with at least a gig of ram, Wacom were the only people that made real tablets and the big sizes were only for industry professionals. My 12x12 was the biggest size they made and was intended for clothing designers and engineers. High end digital animators and illustrators used them too but Wacom didn't consider them their target audience. I had to go through a specialist supplier to get mine

It took a few years for the industry to wake up to the fact that digital artists even existed. Till then we had to have advanced knowledge of computer specs and enough money to spare. I've spent many thousands on powerful computers, programs and digitising hardware.

Now however it's VERY very simple. You have a big choice of digitiser tablets you can buy, not just Wacom, ANY modern computer can run them, the art programs are cheap and easy to find. There are also Android tablets like the Samsung Tab S, or Note phones, the Apple pen with the Ipad pro, and many Windows 10 computers that come with pressure sensitive styli.

That is the route I decided to try this time: a mid-price non-gaming 2 in 1 tablet ultrabook. i7 processor, 16 gig of ram, 512 gig SSD, and only integrated graphics, which are decent specs to do any 2D digital art, video or sound editing I need. I don't know how it works with direct input from its pen since I haven't got that accessory yet, but it works fine with my old Wacom Cintiq.

The most important thing about getting into digital art is to beware of bad advice from people concerned with status! Don't be tricked into thinking you have to spend too much on something because it seems to be “THE THING”. At the moment that would be the Apple iPad pro and the pen you get with it or HD Wacom Cintiqs with over 8000 levels of pressure. They will do the job, certainly, but so will almost all the other options too: just as smoothly, fast and trouble free.

It's not the program or the hardware that makes the great picture, it's your skill alone. All you need from your hardware and software is enough pressure sensitivity to be good for natural drawing (1024 is enough for that, more than 2048 is mainly just marketing), low latency (the pen makes marks as soon as you touch it to the screen): Do not fall for marketing numbers here, try it out and see for yourself, it depends on your art program, your processor, and your ram, not just the tablet or pen. You also need enough ram and processor speed so that you can work at a big size if you like and have a lot of layers. Back in the day that would be expensive, now $200-$300 4 year old Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 can handle that super easily.

I'm a classically trained artist in traditional materials. I started playing with digital art in the late 90s and got into it in a big way after 2000, so I've been doing this for over 20 years. I've gained a bit of experience in that time. :)

Some programs that're available and good for digital art: Clip studio paint, Manga studio, Toon boom, Gimp, Photoshop, Artflo, Sketchbook pro, Procreate (iPad), media bang. What are you using right now for digital art?


This week Gunwallace has given us the Music to Tag Forester’s theme - Gunwallace says: Tag Forester is the hero in a number of comics by rickrudge. Rather than do a theme for a specific one I've just done a theme for the character.
Cool, simple, calm, relaxed, while also tough and capable. Tag Forester’s theme moves like a big jungle cat: full of a slow grace, totally fearless, hiding the true extent of his power. The sound is a classic 70’s!

Topics and shownotes


Links

A review of the Samsung Tab S 3 and 4 - https://www.parkablogs.com/picture/artist-review-samsung-tab-s4-vs-tab-s3-drawing


Featured comic:
Arcadia Project - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/jan/28/featured-comic-arcadia-project/

Featured music:
Tag Forester’s theme - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/rickrudge/, by Rickrudge, rated M to A.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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Episode 313 - Technical techniques

Mar 6, 2017

4 likes, 4 comments

Carrying on from last week's Quackcast discussion on tips and tricks for drawing and artwork, we jump again into the topic and THIS time we have Tantz Aerine on board to lend her perspective and tell us about even MORE little techniques to use to draw better. It's an interesting, technical cast and bellow I've kisted some examples from our own work of what we talk about. Details discussed in this episode: Establishing shots, Facial lines, Scars, Wounds, Snow, Rain, Smoke, Fire, Explosions, Gold, Fur, and Eyes. Gunwallace has given us the music to the Fading World this time, it's an oriental procession into a snowy, twilit, exotic world, unbalanced, and dangerous.

Episode 236 - The Songcast/Drunkcast

Sep 14, 2015

4 likes, 0 comments

Pitface, Banes, Tantz Aerine and Ozoneocean reunited for a repeat of the legendary Drunkcast of Quackcast 137! Almost exactly 100 Quackcasts later we hit the booze again, but this time we had a goal to pursue with our drunken ramblings: music. We decided to talk about what themes inspire our comics, inspire us and represent our comic characters… and we came up with a LOT, too bloody much for me to link to dammit! We've also included all the links to the Quackcasts where themes for our comics appeared, AND Gunwallace has done the theme to Putrid Meat so it means ALL our comics have themes now!!! So enjoy our silly drunken chatting, this is who Drunk Duck Quackcasts are SUPPOSED to be!

Episode 175 - Endings, part 2

Jul 14, 2014

3 likes, 5 comments

Arrrr, this be the second part of our discussion on writing ENDINGS in stories of all kinds, particularly for webcomics! But we discuss a few movie and TV endings here, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, No Country For Old Men, True Detective, and Dexter to name a few. Writings endings is the hardest part of the writing process, so it's lucky we had some wise contributions from people on how to do a good job of it! As well as giving examples of likes and dislikes... This is the second in our 3 part series on endings! I must apologise for the low quality of the recording here, there were very weird delay and repeating effects going on, Banes seems to be singing his own little madrigal at a couple of points. There are a a few parts I had to rerecord later; just a warning about the change of style.

Episode 125 - 2013 DD Awards Time

May 13, 2013

7 likes, 6 comments

Niccea tells Ozoneocean all about this year's DD comic awards! They're just starting and just beginning to pick up steam! You can join the discussion to help direct how the awards will work, you can try and become an awards judge or you can even try and get your wonderful webcomic nominated for a DD Award!!!! Actually, even if you don't DO a comic you can nominate your faves and help along with the whole process. At the moment they want you to submit a bit of artwork on a fun theme where your characters try and raise money to help with the awards, as a way of showcasing your stuff and helping you get nominated/voted for. Just go to the DD award comic!


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