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 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 408 - The imitation game

Jan 6, 2019

2 likes, 2 comments

Happy new year! This is the first Quackcast recorded in 2019! Pitface is back too, can you believe it? In this Quackcast we chat about Imitation, based on Amelius's newspost from last Sunday. How do you know if someone has copied your work, just been influenced by it or influenced from the same sources as you, or has actually stolen your work wholesale? And what do you DO about it? Is imitation or someone doing the same thing as your “original” idea, always a bad thing?

Episode 399 - How many characters is too many?

Nov 4, 2018

3 likes, 2 comments

How many characters is too many? Ensemble casts can be fun and the interaction between characters can be more interesting than the actual plot of a story! But keeping track of characters from the audience point of view or even from the creator's perspective can be hard when you have a lot. Characters can copy each other and just become bad clones or you can forget what some are meant to be doing and create plot holes, audiences can stop caring about some of them or just become really confused. So how do you keep track? I think breaking them into small groups can be one good way to do it… What are some others?

Episode 300 - 3rd DD meetup!

Dec 5, 2016

4 likes, 0 comments

We finally did it! We got to 300 Quackcasts! We've been doing these non-stop for SIX years! Wow… That's pretty incredible. We couldn't think of anything clever do do so we had another DD electronic meetup. The 3rd DD meetup on the 3rd of December on the 300th Quackcast. So the DD family got together, which is what families do around Christmas, well a few of us anyway! In this Quackcast you can listen to an hour of our blather and carrying on and vicariously experience what it was like if you missed it or listen again if you were a part of it. It's always a blast to have the DD community together, we're spread out all the way across the planet so this is really the only practical way for us to come together. We tried doing it with DD hangouts this time instead of Skype, which was interesting but there were way too many hoops to jump through for people to get into it. We could only have 10 people on the call at the time, With Skype we could have 10 people on video chat and others with voice only and chat was so much better… So NEXT time we will go BACK to Skype. Screw you Google hangouts! It was so nice to see people! I tried to stay up for 10 hours from 11am EST (New York time), to 9pm, but I didn't make it. I fell asleep 2 hours short. :( Gunwallace's musical theme was for Lady Unlucky: a minimal white landscape, furnished with electronica, hints of piano and subtle grandeur.

Episode 287 - Evoking emotion

Sep 5, 2016

4 likes, 1 comment

Evoking emotion in your readers/having emotion evoked from comics: How do you do it? what are some mistakes/ineffective methods? As a comic creator you use a whole bunch of different ways to evoke emotion than say a novelist or a film-maker- you don't have the text space of a novelist and you don't have the control, soundtrack and all the tools of a film maker. Comic creators have a different set of arrows in their quiver and in this Quackcast we try and talk about those. What do YOU use to evoke emotion from your characters and readers? Gunwallace's theme this week is for The Desperately Departed. It's atmospheric, heavy, threatening, revealing. Reminds me of the heat shimmer on a wide desert landscape vista.

Episode 264 - How to improve your online presence

Mar 27, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

In this Quackcast we interview Marie Tary, AKA ShadowsMyst. We haven't talked to her since Quackcast 32 and 33 way back in 2011 when Skoolmunkee and I interviewed her about The art of analytics and how to market your webcomics properly. Now Banes and I talk to her about the changed landscape of website marketing, brand management, SEO and how it applies to comics and most particularly Drunk Duck itself. Brand management and marketing is Marie's job, as a senior graphic designer for a major university. She gives us some invaluable information about how we can put Drunk Duck back on top and return it to its former glory- very useful information that applies just the same to any online property, especially webcomics! So this will give you a clue what's in store for Drunk Ducks future and the sort of thing the future 3rd wave of fixes and features will entail. We also have the presentation of a lovely track by Gunwallace, the theme to Tangled river!


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