GIMP

Once in a blue moon I check on GIMP to see how the GUI is doing, and the latest version has some improvements. However, it’s still the most frustrating app to use. I want to incorporate GIMP into my workflow so I can make a complete switch to Linux, but GIMP is extremely unorthodox at the moment, in my opinion, if you’re coming from macOS or Windows using other softwares.

Blender used to be unorthodox but changed its way from 2.8 and onward. Blender is a lot more popular now as a result, and I hope that GIMP will one day do the same.

Alchemy on macOS

I finally got around to running al.chemy on macOS. If you’re a Mac user, you need Java SE 6 Runtime. Which can be download at: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572 . This might sound strange, but it works: You need to download the Linux (not the Mac) version from the site. Run either “Alchemy” or “AlchemyOpenGL” after you unzipped the tar file.

I haven’t got my workstation setup yet, so in the meantime I’m just using the mouse for simple experiments.

Mouse, using al.chemy.org

There’s a web version with limited features (webchemy.org)

Mouse, using webchemy.org
Mouse, using webchemy.org (blur effect in Affinity)
Finger scribbling before church service starts

The mind is a pattern recognizing machine. As kids, most of us could just look into the sky and form images with the clouds using just our imagination. Alchemy can help with the ideation process. It can be random scribbling or intentional shapes and strokes. Sometimes when you don’t know what to concept, alchemy can step in and help generate ideas. Two people looking at the same random/noise/chaos alchemy can see two totally different things. One alchemy can bring forth many concepts.

Clip Studio Paint and DesignDoll

Lately I have been exploring “Clip Studio Paint” and it seems to be a lot faster than Krita on the Mac that I’m using. 10,000 x 10,000 @ 300dpi, with a rotated Canvas, and there’s no lag or jagged lines like you would experience in Krita. I also like the GUI (Interface) and its built-in 3d model to pose and draw on top.

DesignDoll is a program that is only for posing the mannequin. As of this writing, I have not tried it since I’m on Mac, but I would combine DesignDoll with Krita to get what CSP is providing (posable mannequin) if you prefer to stick with Krita.

But isn’t it cheating to use digital mannequin(s)? That depends on who you ask and what the objective is. This is a topic we can explore and talk more about later on.

CSP seems like a good alternative if you don’t like Krita. As for me, I’m sticking to Krita.

Draw.io

I needed a program to make diagrams, but OmniGraffle is overkill (price). Came across a free alternative that has just what I need. Check it out if you haven’t heard of it. Web-based, but you can download desktop version and run it offline.

https://about.draw.io

Autodesk SketchBook is now free

It was SketchBook’s subscription model that turned me to Krita at first. And having tried Krita I’m now stuck with it—there’s no going back unless Krita doesn’t work on macOS. However, I’m saving up for an iPad Pro so I can do sketching/drawing on the go, and SketchBook seems to be the option since Krita is not on iOS. Both the desktop and mobile version of SketchBook are now free of charge (made free last year, but I just found out while browsing yesterday).

https://www.sketchbook.com/

Mischief

I’m in the process of looking for and trying out some drawing apps. SketchBook seems like a great app but I’m not for “subscription” so that is not an option for me. I’m left with ArtRage Lite (comes with Intuos Draw tablet) and Mischief. At the moment I’m only looking for something simple that allows me to focus on just sketching and brainstorming. Mischief seems to be the right fit for me at the moment.

 

MagicaVoxel

Check it out, you might create something awesome with it! [For Windows and Mac]

snap2016-03-07-02-53-23

Professionals use references…

William Vaughan in his “[digital] Modeling” book has this to say to those that would ask “How do I make my work look like what the pros are doing?”:

[Use as much reference material as possible and hone your observational skills].

Not exactly what you were expecting, huh? But yes, that is the mind-blowingly simple trade secret of the pros. It’s what separates a hobbyist from a professional. Remember that the sooner you come to the realization that there is no magic “Do My Job” button, the sooner you can start down the road of creating professional CG work.

The biggest problem I see for new artists is a lack of reference and observation. It immediately shows up in their work. Not only is it obvious to me, but most importantly, it’s obvious to those doing the hiring.

And I agree wholeheartedly! You can never have too much of it, so I suggest you get into the habit of collecting good references and store them in a digital morgue file. Using references is a skill and it doesn’t make you inferior, but will only make you a better artist in the long run. The more realism you want to see in your artworks, the more you’ll have to consult references.

morgue