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 459 - 2019 Year in review!

Dec 30, 2019

6 likes, 4 comments

It's been a great year! DD has continued to grow bit by bit, we've been stable and a great host for many many webcomics. DD is one of the only truly independent community focused webcomic hosting sites left. Most of the rest are commercial hubs that are not community centered. Part of our commitment to the community on DD is showcasing our best webcomics every week, which we've been doing for 17 years now, and I've personally been doing that for about 13.

Episode 458 - fave Christmas stuff?

Dec 23, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Hey! Merry Xmas! Happy Hanukkah! Merry Kwanza! Merry Festivus! Happy Yule! Happy Saturnalia! Winter Solstice and all the rest ^_^ In this Quackcast Banes, Tantz, and I chat about our fave Christmas stuff, from films to music, to what we like to do on the day and the popular Christmas traditions of our parts of the world- Australia for me Greece for Tantz, and Canada for Banes. What is your fave xmas movie, music, or activity? What's you fave things to do at this time of year? Do you have any rituals or practices that are particular to your part of the world? Let us know! :D

Episode 450 - happy Halloween horror franchises

Oct 28, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Tantz is dressed fabulously as a queen and I'm a skull faced monstrosity… I'm also wearing a costume, hahaha! Which you can see in our Patreon video ;) Queen Tantz Bathory and prince of horror Banes join me to talk about Horror movie franchises, what makes them work and what doesn't- as franchises rather than just a stand alone movie. The problems facing a movie series about horror are different from other genres and focus more on formula than just characters the way they do in most other types of film so it's an interesting discussion.

Episode 445 - Copyright and You

Sep 23, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Copyright is a complicated thing and something that all creators should have a little bit of a working understanding off! Checkout my newspost lined bellow for more info! you need to know this stuff. I must apologise… I hadn't had much sleep and it was very late so I occasionally drift off into nonsense during the Quackcast.

Episode 439 - weather flavour enhancer!

Aug 12, 2019

2 likes, 0 comments

Tantz's clever idea was that the weather isn't just a backdrop… it's an important prop in it's own right. Weather can be used to drive a plot: the wind snatches a hat and makes a person chase it, which causes them to meet another character. It can be an antagonist: people fighting a storm for example or running form a tornado. It can signal and enhance emotions: rain for a sad funeral or sun for happy for a happy event. Growing shadows can signal an ominous turn of events, wind billowing out a cloak signals a dramatic character! You can just use it for fancy visual effects if you like, snow and rain are great fun to draw, and stormy skies are the best! We chat about all things weather and give examples of how we've used it ourselves.

Episode 433 - everyone is a beginner

Jul 1, 2019

2 likes, 0 comments

Today we chat about a furore on Twitter focussing on a artist who made a tutorial about the differences between the line work of beginners and advanced artists. Many people identified their art style with the work described as “beginner” and took extreme offence at that characterisation. It's the contention of Tantz that “beginner” is not a dirty word. We're all beginners at something. We can all stand to learn things.

Episode 427 - Betrayal

May 20, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Betrayal is an interesting thing to use in fiction. You can have betrayal of your nation, your organisation, friends, lovers, religion, beliefs, self. In stories it can be used to add a nasty twist or completely change the flow of events and alter the balance of power in a dramatic way! It can be devastating in relationships. The story of Judas betraying Christ for 30 pieces of silver is one of the most famous betrayal stories and became so iconic that the phrase “30 pieces of silver” or just the word “Judas” became synonymous with the act. Of course the inspiration for the best treachery and betrayal comes from real life and the names of the betrayers often echo down through history. IFrom Rome we have Brutus, in the USA the name “Benedict Arnold” has a similar meaning to “Judas”, the 20th century gave us the term “quisling” after the Norwegian political leader Vidkun Quisling who sold his country out to the Nazis.


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