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 378 - Your best work, Comicsgate, Mark Wade, Tantz comic spotlight, Twitter

Jun 11, 2018

3 likes, 6 comments

We have community contributions for this Quackcast! Many DDers told us about their best work and we read that out and chat about in on the Quackcast. We talking about promoting comics through DD's Twitter account. The DD awards have begun, get in on them and get nominated! Tantz Aerine wants to promote comics so send stuff to her.The we had a really long and interesting chat about Comisgate and Mark Wade and then Pitface had a meltdown :D This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Completely unrelated. Slide into coooooool. This is crystal white acrylic decor, this is a level above, this is music for the sophisticated. Feel your stresses melt way as you float off with the smooth jazz. Pure pleasure.

Episode 275 - Layouts, what to do and what not

Jun 13, 2016

4 likes, 4 comments

The topic this week was ALL Banes' idea! We talk about page layout: techniques to make a good, readable layout, and stuff to avoid. We have Tantz Aerine (greetings), Banes, and myself, Ozoneocean, chatting about how best to do page layouts, at least from our own limited perspectives. None of us are pros in this regard, but we've been doing comics for many years now and we've all developed some pretty decent ideas about how best to do it, in our own ways. Banes is mostly influenced by American style comics, which have more interesting layouts. Tantz and I were manly influenced by European comics, which tend to have a more conservative by very constantly readable style of “box” layout. On Pinky TA and Bottomless Waitress the majority of my pages are in a fairly standard box format, but every now and again I experiment with crazy shapes, overlapping panels, no panels at all, and even “infinite canvas” pages that work with the scroll function. Speaking of which we briefly mention Scott McCloud and the comic Heart of Keol, which uses vertically scrolling large pages. The music this week by Gunwallace was Wastelanders Anonymous, an epic classic rock tune with a lovely repeating upward base rhythm, soaring guitars and authoritative keyboard.

Episode 262 - DUCK Radio 3

Mar 14, 2016

6 likes, 5 comments

WELCOME to the final part of the Radio D.U.C.K. trilogy! This is where we put all the rest of Gunwallace's amazing songs AND a special treat for you as well listeners: Jimmy's Folly. Our radio DJs have gone just a little crazy this time… the brutish, hard rocking Jimmy Storm, demonic Anastasia Ravendale, and dried up old Rhet Blanket battle it out over the on air turf in the strangest way possible… BRINGING THE THUNDER! Gunwallace's amazing comic themes meanwhile are just as juicy as ever.

Episode 258 - Gunwallace music special

Feb 15, 2016

8 likes, 0 comments

We have a special treat this time! Gunwallace is our guest and he's brought with him 15 of his fave tracks that he created as themes for DD webcomics. For two years Gunwallace has been creating fantastic musical themes for webcomics, the total is now over 90! He, Banes and I chat about the background behind the tracks, there are some interesting stories, and the music is awesome! Gunwallace is the author of many great comics and a contributor to even more as a writer, such as the Drunk Duck Plays. We hope you enjoy his 15 tracks as well as the 5 bonus ones picked out by me, Ozoneocean, including the theme to Valentine's Dei in honour of the day we recorded on. If you want your own theme by Gunwallace, help up by contributing to our Indiegogo campaign and pick it up as a perk!

Episode 231 - The importance of world building

Aug 9, 2015

8 likes, 6 comments

You always do a bit of world building in fiction, in some types of stories like alternative histories, fantasy and Sci-Fi you have to do a bit more, in things set in the real world you don't have to do nearly as much - maybe only limited to a few rooms, character occupations and relationships etc, rather than planets and political systems, but the point is you're always doing it. There are good ways to do world building and bad ways i.e. work out as many details as you need to but have that all behind the scenes, not introduced as a wall of text or long explanations on how things work. World building should inform you story and make it work seamlessly, not prop it up like a rickety scaffold. The topic of the importance of World Building was previously touched on a few years ago by Skoolmunkee and Kroatz for Quackcast 39, but things happened at that recording was lost to history, so now we approach it again with all new contributions, strident opinions, and points of view on the subject. Gunwallace did a cool theme for Red Velvet Requiem!

Episode 203 - The clothescast

Jan 26, 2015

4 likes, 8 comments

Clothes maketh the man! If that man is a scarecrow... This Quackcast is about drawing clothing. Two esteemed gents from the Drunk Duck repertoire of experts offer their advice on methods for drawing bodies sheathed in garments. Bravo1102 and Ironscarf are two very worldly and experienced men, as they lounged deep in the dark wood panelled cosy confines of the DD private members club, they discussed the tricky subject of convincingly rendering character costumes. Ironscarf traced circles in the air with his custom made talbot pipe, illustrating his descriptions in smoke. Bravo, a fat cigar in one hand, brandy tumbler in the other, chortled into his voluminous beard as he offered counterpoints. It was a lively chat, but for the purposes of this Quackcast Banes and Ozoneocean have re-voiced their parts to protect their privacy: As you're no doubt overly aware, both men are the targets of numerous legions of female stalkers.

Episode 195 - The DeadFingers of Peipei

Nov 30, 2014

4 likes, 3 comments

Peipei, artist of the very long running story comic DeadFingers in on-board for the Quackcast today! Peipei has been drawing the popular DeadFingers comic regularly for forever on DD, in addition to running her own successful business as a professional illustrator, AND being a great cosplayer who guest cosplays at various conventions around the US! She's one talented, dedicated, and interesting individual. Listen as she tells us about the great odyssey that is DeadFingers as well as what it's like to run your own illustration graphic design business as well as a cool titbit about the her wonderfully realistic CG art program of choice: Artrage!


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