Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chromebooks: Tech Talk

Personally, I'm a giant tech nerd. I love computers, technology, and game consoles. So when I heard about the Chrome OS, I expected a Windows ripoff, knowing Google. But I was surprised to see that it seemed to be a mix of OS X Mavericks and Ubuntu Linux, and I really like the polished appearance of it.The laptops come in different varieties core-wise. Dell, Intel, etc. The only thing I'm really disappointed about is the fact you can't download anythingAnything! Yes, you can save it to drive and get chrome apps, but any other windows/mac/linux program is incompatible. That's one of my only problems with it.

I love the easy startup. It reminds me of the Mac's sleep mode and how you can turn the computer/monitor off and on very quickly in rapid succession. A problem with this, though, is that connecting back to the internet is a pain. Sometimes it takes minutes to reconnect. It's a small inconvenience, but I'm just nitpicking here. It's a nice OS and it's small but functional. 

In terms of physical features, I was a bit confused about how there's no caps-lock button. Yes, you could hold shift, but caps-lock is fun now and again. The screen display is a decent quality, and the keys are really nice and aren't choppy, laggy, or too big like the Windows keyboards. I also like how it's lightweight and easy to carry, much like the Macbook Air.

All in all, it's a nice little computer with a few quirks. I like it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lineart

Usually, when I draw, I don't like doing linework. Lineart is basically tracing over a sketch with black (usually, I do my sketches in light blue so they're easy to trace over). Tracing is a fundamental part of art, animation specifically (animating is THE biggest pain) but that doesn't mean it's not bothersome. When I remove the sketch layer and look at the lineart, I cringe. The sketch looked better then the lineart! It's really ridiculous. 

I attempted to animate in Photoshop CC once. I don't know why everyone likes it. It's tedious, there's no color wheel, only color sliders, and the brushes are....Blech. My lineart usually comes out looking even worse than before with CC. I can't say anything about Flash, since I haven't gotten it yet, but I will someday.

Lineart is a huge pain. It's not as big of a pain as coloring, but still a pain nonetheless. I wish I had SAI, but I'm content with Manga Studio. SAI's lineart has a special charm to it, a charm that makes it look better. I've used SAI only once, and it didn't have pen pressure, but hey, it's better than nothing. Drawing is a hobby of mine, and it's going to be a career, but boy is it tedious. Sketching, on the other hand, is enjoyable. The other components are aggravating, though.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Manga Studio 5

So, the long anticipated Manga Studio 5 recently hit store shelves and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy. So, is it any good? Let's find out.
The selection of brushes is pretty good for a 60-dollar program. The ability to create your own brushes is neat and I enjoyed the option of Indian style paint (although I'll more than likely never use it.) The brushes are smooth and nice, and the canvas support is very high (supporting more than 10000 by 10000 px) and the HD quality is great. The interface is easy to use, brush size selector reminding me a lot of Paint Tool Sai (a program I unfortunately had to ditch when I got a mac, at least until I get a copy of Windows running on there eventually). I also enjoyed the highly customizable interface, being able to snap windows to the sides of the canvas was a lifesaver and it gave me everything I was used to with Photoshop and simplified it. I didn't like the lag of the cursor sometimes, though. It was only on occasion, but sometimes when I attempted to draw, it would be so slow strokes I had made a minute ago were only just now reading. I don't know if it's my tablet or the program itself, so I can't be sure this'll happen to everyone. I had the problem, though.
I really enjoy it! It might be the only program I've used thus far that I can officially call a 'SAI alternative'. Some claim it's actually going to REPLACE SAI, but once version 2 comes out I can't be so sure about this replacing it. I did enjoy it a lot though, and it's my main program until I can run Windows on my Mac in July. It can't replace SAI in my eyes, really nothing can. SAI is too good of a program to simply be replaced, but this comes pretty close.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Modern Animation

I've been watching a lot of television over break. Since I have, I, of course, have to choose what to watch. I decided to see what kind of animated shows are on TV. Animation is a difficult medium to judge, since mostly beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but remember, almost everything is biased. Opinions differ from one another. Writing is also key, and so are characters. My opinion on the shows I've seen on TV currently?
It's been a mixed bag, to be honest.
 My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic. I know what you're thinking, but the animation is nice to look at and the writing is clever. The characters are diverse and it's an all around great show with a dedicated fanbase. Go check it out.
Steven Universe premiered about 2 months ago, and was on hiatus for most of December (next week is when we'll get the next episode). The characters are diverse in skin tone and body type, and I'm glad that they each have a personality. The animation blew me away. The backgrounds and character designs are excellent. It's a really good show, you should go see it.
Wander Over Yonder is pretty nice, too. It's weirder than the common cartoon, but that's a good thing. The only bad thing about it is that it's currently on hiatus.
Uncle Grandpa is okay. It's...odd. I like it. I like the colorful visuals and the characters are...Varied? The show is just a giant question mark to me. I'm mostly confused when watching it. But, hey, it doesn't resort to gross-out jokes as comedy, and that's always a good thing. How can he be EVERYONE'S uncle and grandpa, anyway...?
Rabbids Invasion confuses me to no end. Is this 1990? Why are video game characters getting television shows, and not even the PROTAGONIST of the game? If you haven't heard, the Rabbids come from a game series called Rayman. Rayman's been around since the Playstation 1 days, and the games have always been good. When Rayman Raving Rabbids came out, there was a small decline in quality until Rayman Origins, since Rayman wasn't even the FOCUS of those games. It was the Rabbids. I'm going to assume that's why they got the show. It's clever. It uses a lot of slapstick comedy which I thought was extinct these days due to overprotective soccer moms complaining. Anyways, it's decent.
Adventure Time is very beautiful visual-wise, and the characters are developed and it's great. I've been watching since 2010, when it debuted, and I've always loved it.
Regular Show is a show I'm just beginning to warm up to. I realized how clever the dialogue is, and it can get away with so much stuff it's insane.
Anyways, the future looks bright, and I hope it will continue to shine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More animation news

So, I went home to add color to my animation and it's VERY difficult. For each frame you need to individually color it, and that's a huge pain. I'll still display the animation late December or  early January on the TV News, but it might not be in color. Animation is a very hard thing to do, and it takes a lot of time and planning. I also have to write a script, and create bone structures for the character(s)'s movements. If anyone else is animating like I am, you'll understand how difficult the programs you work with can be, too. They can crash, mess up your work, and if you don't save every few minutes, you're putting your work in danger. You need to be very precise, as animation can be easily messed up. Coloring is difficult as well, as I'm awful with shading, and you know my opinions of color on SOLID DRAWINGS, that don't even move. Shading can easily look ugly, and I'm trying to fix my shading, but I might remove colors altogether if it doesn't look good. This also puts a lot of stress on me because I wonder, "What if it's not good enough? What if I mess up? What if no one likes it?" A bunch of 'what if' questions pop in to my mind. I want to thank you for bearing with me on this.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Project Completed

The project is FINALLY done. I spent about 20 days in total finishing it up and fixing the rough edges, and now all I need to do is scan it into my computer and post it. I'll do that when I get home if my dad fixed my scanner (it's broken at the moment, but I asked him to fix it). Thanks for being patient. Also, a quick update on my animations. I REALLY wanted to use Adobe Flash, but that program is very expensive, so I had to work with what I have (it's called Pencil). My animations have been coming together nicely, and by late December / early January they should be done. You will see them on the TV news broadcast in the morning and I am very proud to be representing the TV News crew by helping them create advertisements, announcements, etc.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Small update

Hello. Just a quick update on my introduction animation: It's coming along fine. It should be done by late December or early January. Sorry for the wait, but animation takes time. About the art project: It's coming together. I'm finishing up the outlines and the only thing left is coloring. Ugh. I always hated the coloring part. It takes the longest, and I can't shade to save my life. Maybe I'll leave it black and white. Anyways, it's been taking so long because 1) I'm incredibly lazy (at least I'm honest about it) 2) TF2 and Tumblr are distracting me from everything and finally 3) because I can never have a quiet place to work. At least in my room where my animation setup is I can at least get quiet. My desk is always messy so I can't draw there. That leaves the kitchen table and the dining room table. Downstairs, everything is always noisy. My nephew crying, my older sister complaining, the dogs barking, my dad yelling at the TV(football), my mom vacuuming, and the cat meowing. I can't get a second of peace. But, when all of them are upstairs, I can work, and that's how I got most of it done. Thanks for being patient with me.