The Fully Illustrated Blog

Presstastic!

June 29, 2010

Hey Everyone,

Just a quick one to let you know that all of a sudden I’ve just recieved a whole swathe of great press!  I just had to let out the excitement somewhere :)  My dinosaur character that came to life on my iPad has been featured in .NET Magazine and Mac Format! And to add to that, Voodoo Controllers has been featured in .NET Mag too, scooping site of the month!  What a lovely contrast to all that god awful hacking and copying!

You can take a look at all the coverage over in the press section.

Oh, and I also got a rather lovely mention in the 3 Circle Studio Podcast last week too!  They ran a podcast on ‘The Most Inspiring Creatives‘ and they chose to include little old me (about 33mins in)…flattered is a bloody understatement!  Thanks guys!!

Mike.

iPad sketching with a Pogo Sketch

May 6, 2010

Hey Everyone,

Well this bloomin Pogo Sketch Stylus took absolute age to arrive, but its finally here!  Worth the wait?  Absolutetly!  While its still nowhere near as accurate as a good old fashioned, well sharpened B pencil, it is a lot more precise than my chunky index finger!  It feels more akin to drawing with an unsharpened 8b I think.

Anyway, decided to have a play last night in front of the telly and this is what arose.  It feels a lot cleaner than the finger paintings (but it is still very, very rough) and has in some ways allowed for some more fluid movements as I’m not constantly trying to see under my finger tip.

ipad-sketch4

My only concern with this Pogo Sketch is that while it works, I fear that the sponge nib has a limited lifespan, as while I was using it on this illustration, a couple of bits of it fell off, so I’m guessing that it will last about a few months with daily use.

I’ll post up some more sketches over the coming weeks.

Hope you like it :)

Mike.

iPad sketch number 3

April 21, 2010

Hey Everyone,

Nice morning, the sun was shining and birds were singing, and all the while, my 3 month old son was fast asleep on my chest as my wife got ready for the day.  During which time I grabbed the iPad and thought I’d see what can be created in the time it takes a women to get ready in the morning…but I only got 40 mins ;)

firemonster

This firery monstery thing just seemed to flow from my fingers, so I went with it, kinda fun.  Again, it aint that great, as with all the other sketches so far, but I’m starting to see a level of freedom and movement in these peices that gets lost in vectors, so I’m keener than ever to persue this device and see where it takes me.  I think in many ways its actually going to broaden my skill set rather than anything else, and that can only be a good thing.

Hope you like him.

Mike.

P.S.  I’ve ordered a Pogo Sketch, so once that get here from the US, I’ll throw another one of these images together and write a quick review…presuming the Pogo Sketch is better than the cheaper alternatives on eBay that is ;)

A couple of weeks with the iPad

April 16, 2010

Hey Everyone,

So, its been a couple of weeks spent with the iPad now, and in truth, its already become an essential gadget to have around me.   Its not without its flaws, but it is ace.

Before I babble on too much, here is my second bit of ‘finger art’ created last night, not too bad, but in no way great, I still need some time with this beast to master the finger…man that sounds wrong.

ipad-sketch2

Drawing/Painting:

Drawing on this is pretty much as I mentioned in my last post, and little has changed, so I don’t yet feel as though I’ve improved with it, but equally haven’t fallen out of love with it either, so that’s all good.  I think my fear (being a bit of a perfectionist) is that I CANT create final art on this device, so will never truly be happy with what I produce.  I have to accept that and move on.  What it should do though is allow my sketches to be a little more polished and allow me to fire over quick concepts to my customers a little easier.

Another useful note that cancels out my previous issue about not being able to rest my hand on the device while drawing, is that if you use a Smudgeguard, it allows you to bypass this issue, VERY USEFUL!  You may look like a misdirected 80’s style reject with some bizarre one fingered glove thing going on, but it sure does help the drawing.

Ok, so, what else has cropped up since using the device for a couple of weeks…

Browsing:

I hate to say this, but the iPad is limited in this field, BUT, this could well be down to poor web programming on the whole.

The biggest gripe is accessing sites that have any form of internally built scrollbars (even the lovely javascript slider on the Apple Store cant be used on the iPad), so when you come to one of these, if it doesnt have corresponding, clickable arrows, then you cant access that menu/option, its that cut and dry.  I’ve been looking for a new car recently, and thus have been perusing many car sites, most of which (when your building a car) use some form of scrollbar within the options selection, so I’ve basically had to open the laptop to do this…defeating the object of the iPad.  Annoying.

Can this be fixed? No idea, but it seems to make sense that it could.  This current issue is probably worth keeping in mind if your creating a site that is aimed at the iPad…dont create any internal scrollbars!

Gaming:

This has only got better, playing games on this puppy is ace, I’m playing for longer on this device than I ever did on my iPhone.  Its great.  I’ve particularly loved playing Sky Smash 1918 and Sonic, both of which have seemingly become more playable (no, I have no idea why).

Ok, that’s it, blabber over.

Thanks.

Mike.

The iPad, sheer awesomeness!

April 9, 2010

ipad01

Its official, I’m head over heels in love!  This shiny oversized iPhone is absolutely breathtaking in just about every respect!  I’m bowled over!
Ok, onto the good stuff, the sketching and painting:
Initially, the whole prospect of painting with my fingers seemed way too primitive and all too clumsy, and in truth, it kind of is, but after only 50 mins playing, I soon realised that you can adapt (a bad workman always blames his tools n’all that), and I think that with practice I could achieve results that I would be ‘officially’ happy with.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be creating final project work with this, it just wouldn’t give me the vector precision that I love, but for roughs, samples and experiments, its perfect.
As this is multi-touch, you can zoom in and out VERY easily and very quickly, meaning that the clumsiness of the finger painting soon becomes an obstacle that you can overcome (to a degree), as you simply drop your brush size and zoom in close to add in details.  This may seem a pain in the ass, but it soon becomes quite a natural process.
The other element which is initially tough to master, is not resting your hand on the screen as you draw (as it causes the tablet to go haywire due to your hand acting as one touch and your finger as another), something most people do all the time.  This in many ways forces some classical oriental calligraphy rules on you, meaning that you are never allowed to rest your hand on the page while you draw/paint, allowing you to move more fluidly and be less limited in your movements.  Heck, maybe this machine will be the making of me ;)
Ah, I almost forgot, a stylus.  Well, I bought one from eBay, which looks to be a cheap version of the Pogo Stylus and it was cheap for a reason…as it was crap.  It’s made from a material that sticks to the screen (due to the type of rubber it’s made from) so you can’t smoothly drag it along the screen.  Needless to say, after 3 swipes with this pointless thing, I discarded it.  I’d like to try the official Pogo stylus at some point, but to import one of those from the US seems to cost about £30+ which seems insane for something that must cost around £1 to make.  Rant over ;)  I’m going to experiment at making my own.
I was asked by a few people to put up my very first drawing, but in truth, my VERY first was simply a test to see how everything works, so I couldn’t even call it a drawing, more a page of scribbles, so I decided to set a timer last night for 60mins and see what I could come up with.  50 mins later, this rough looking cartoon dinosaur was what appeared.  I’m reasonably pleased with this for a first real attempt, and am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve this time next month with a lot more practice behind me.
Oh, and for anyone wondering what I am using on the iPad, its Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro.  I cant remember how much is was, but it was under £10 and in truth, I’d have happily paid a lot more for it as its very versatile.
Well, I hope all you fellow iPad yearning artists out there found this interesting, as I know I was scouring the web for a fellow artists perspective on it.
And just on another couple of notes…
Playing your iPhone games:
I cannot stress how much more playable a lot of my old games now are, its mental.  There are sooooo many games that I played just once, and for whatever reason, never played them again, but now, with a MUCH larger screen, they seem ridiculously more playable?!?!?!?  How that works is anyone’s guess.  The other cool part is that for all the iPhone 2G and 3G users, that struggled to play some of the more CPU intensive titles aimed at the 3GS, can now play them in all their glory, as this little beast is mighty powerful.
Browsing the web:
EVERYTHING (except flash of course) looks better on this screen.  I was rather pleased to look at some of my own sites on this device as they just seem so much sexier on this gorgeous screen.  The brightness, sharpness and colour is just perfect.
Overall:
It’s just too good, I’ll leave it at that as I aint got the time to delve into any more detail ;)
Thanks.
Mike.

Its official, I’m head over heels in love!  This shiny oversized iPhone is absolutely breathtaking in just about every respect!  I’m bowled over!

Ok, onto the good stuff, the sketching and painting:

Initially, the whole prospect of painting with my fingers seemed way too primitive and all too clumsy, and in truth, it kind of is, but after only 50 mins playing, I soon realised that you can adapt (a bad workman always blames his tools n’all that), and I think that with practice I could achieve results that I would be ‘officially’ happy with.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be creating final project work with this, it just wouldn’t give me the vector precision that I love, but for roughs, samples and experiments, its perfect.

As this is multi-touch, you can zoom in and out VERY easily and very quickly, meaning that the clumsiness of the finger painting soon becomes an obstacle that you can overcome (to a degree), as you simply drop your brush size and zoom in close to add in details.  This may seem a pain in the ass, but it soon becomes quite a natural process.

The other element which is initially tough to master, is not resting your hand on the screen as you draw (as it causes the tablet to go haywire due to your hand acting as one touch and your finger as another), something most people do all the time.  This in many ways forces some classical oriental calligraphy rules on you, meaning that you are never allowed to rest your hand on the page while you draw/paint, allowing you to move more fluidly and be less limited in your movements.  Heck, maybe this machine will be the making of me ;)

Stylus:

Ah, I almost forgot, a stylus.  Well, I bought one from eBay, which looks to be a cheap version of the Pogo Stylus and it was cheap for a reason…as it was crap.  It’s made from a material that sticks to the screen (due to the type of rubber it’s made from) so you can’t smoothly drag it along the screen.  Needless to say, after 3 swipes with this pointless thing, I discarded it.  I’d like to try the official Pogo stylus at some point, but to import one of those from the US seems to cost about £30+ which seems insane for something that must cost around £1 to make.  Rant over ;)  I’m going to experiment at making my own.

First Sketch:

I was asked by a few people to put up my very first drawing, but in truth, my VERY first was simply a test to see how everything works, so I couldn’t even call it a drawing, more a page of scribbles, so I decided to set a timer last night for 60mins and see what I could come up with.  50 mins later, this rough looking cartoon dinosaur was what appeared.  I’m reasonably pleased with this for a first real attempt, and am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve this time next month with a lot more practice behind me.

ipad02

ipad02

Software:

Oh, and for anyone wondering what I am using on the iPad, its Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro.  I cant remember how much is was, but it was under £10 and in truth, I’d have happily paid a lot more for it as its very versatile.

Well, I hope all you fellow iPad yearning artists out there found this interesting, as I know I was scouring the web for a fellow artists perspective on it.

And just on another couple of notes…

Playing your iPhone games:

I cannot stress how much more playable a lot of my old games now are, its mental.  There are sooooo many games that I played just once, and for whatever reason, never played them again, but now, with a MUCH larger screen, they seem ridiculously more playable?!?!?!?  How that works is anyone’s guess.  The other cool part is that for all the iPhone 2G and 3G users, that struggled to play some of the more CPU intensive titles aimed at the 3GS, can now play them in all their glory, as this little beast is mighty powerful.

Browsing the web:

EVERYTHING (except flash of course) looks better on this screen.  I was rather pleased to look at some of my own sites on this device as they just seem so much sexier on this gorgeous screen.  The brightness, sharpness and colour is just perfect.

Overall:

It’s just too good, I’ll leave it at that as I aint got the time to delve into any more detail ;)

Thanks.

Mike.

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