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Everything posted by Renzatic

  1. Why, thank you. I've still got a long way to go before I'd say I'm good, though. I'm getting more confident with my strokes, and I'm getting a little better with colors, but I've yet to reach the point where I can just paint something without having a few tutorials to help guide me. I've still got my training wheels on, so to speak. I'd love to be able to do something with that level of detail. That's still a bit ahead of me just yet. What I was trying to go for was something a little more simple. Like this: I got in the same neighborhood, but didn't quite make it. Not bad for a first attempt, though.
  2. I'm gonna call this one of my more interesting failures so far. It didn't turn out at all how I intended it to, but I learned a good bit. It was supposed to be mud. Came out more like rock. I think my details were way too broad to be really good for either.
  3. For the $400 I spent on it, I wasn't expecting it to be as nice as it is. The specs bragged that it covers 99% of the sRGB range, which, going from my various newbie calibration attempts, it does about live up to that hype. It's not something you'd use for high end color grading, but for my needs, it's just fine. Black levels and contrast are great, which, yeah, you'd expect from a VA panel. It's the major reason why I got it. The only downside to it is that it's just a 60hz display, but...eh, I can live with that. As for the size? I upgraded to it from a 24", and it's really not THAT much bigger, at least not as big as you'd think it'd be. From where I sit, which is maybe about 3 1/2 feet away from it, it fills my field of vision a little more, but I don't have to crane my neck around or anything. The only caveat is that, once you get used to it, everything else will look extra tiny in comparison. And a 32" Cintiq? That'd be nice, but...it's not for me. Not yet. Maybe one day, but for now, that's way overkill. An 11-16" screen is more than enough for me. Which brings me back to the subject at hand. My three choices are: iPad Pro: For reasons that Filo laid out above. I can use it anywhere, and drawing on it is just SO nice. Cintiq 16: Because it's solid, has a good reputation, and isn't ball bustingly expensive. XP-PEN Artist 15.6: Great features, some features that are even nicer than it's Cintiq rival, and an absolute steal for the price, but it's overall quality is an unknown. Fortunately, I've got plenty of time to chew over my options. My final decision is still a couple-few months away, and my itty bitty tablet is doing the job for now. Honestly, I'm surprised you haven't opted for a nice laptop. That's what I'd do, cuz I hate, HATE messing with wires. They're the bane of my existence! I can't even make a game out of organizing them, because I hate them so bad. It's a chore you have to deal with to get to the fun stuff, and that's it. ...so I might end up getting the iPad, cuz, hey, NO WIRES! All I need is a power plug to charge it from, and I can put that anywhere. It doesn't HAVE to be around the computer. And if the iPad ends up getting in my way, I can just take it off the desk, and toss it on the couch. Geez. I think I just talked myself into it. My laziness makes me so pragmatic.
  4. Ha! No. I have a fairly decent, huge ass 32" VA panel with a big base. I could push it farther back on the desk another 6-8 inches, but I'm kept from going even farther due having my long power strip, cables, and other computer necessities all snug and organized back there, AND I have low vaulted ceilings. I'm making it sound all inconvenient, but it has been a pretty comfortable setup up until now. I just have new things to consider. Course I could move the monitor to the longer portion of the L. I could push it practically up against the wall there, but (there's always a but) I'd have to redo all my wiring to hide it again. That'd be a...yeah, that's a quest. It'd be easier just to get the screen tablet. And yeah, the Cintiq 16 is in the running for consideration. I'm still pretty tempted by that XP-PEN, though...
  5. Yeah, the crisp stars and square border surrounding them clash against the ragged stripes. Make them look more rough and painterly to match, and you'll have a good design.
  6. Sorry for the late reply. I've been kind of busy, and save for tonight, the time I've spent painting has been mostly dedicated to yet more boring drills. Nothing worth gabbing on about here. The tablet advice is much, much appreciated, and I'm not entirely opposed to grabbing a Deco 03, but I'm still leaning more towards a good, inexpensive touch screen for a number of reasons. First and foremost, my current drawing setup sucks. I've got my little Wacom snuggled in on one of those slide out keyboard trays below my desk. I can't move it up, because I've got a fairly big monitor. I'd have my face plastered up against it if I drew that way. But I do have an L-shaped desk, and the portion along the right side of me barely has anything on it. That's where I usually do my drawing anyway, so it'd be perfect place for a decently sized screen tablet. I could just pivot in my chair anytime I want to paint. So anyway, to get back to the original topic at hand. Textures! Yup. I did another one, and it's a...you guess it...ANOTHER WOOD FLOOR! Yeah, maybe I'm starting to get in a rut, but I can do them fairly decently, which is a good boost to the ole self esteem. This is an in-editor, because, well, I think they look neat, and I could show off my layer stack for anyone wanting that bit of extra info. I didn't tile this one, because I didn't feel like using Krita, or hitting up the affine filter over and over again. This round was all about practicing technique. Oh, and if anyone wants to know what I doing when I talk about the drills: circles and ovals! Sometimes, if I'm feeling crazy...I'll shade 'em. Now if I practiced doing anything else over the years, who knows how far I'd be right now. O_0
  7. Yeah, I have the SMALL Intuos, and it is truly itty bitty. For where I'm at right now, it seems to work well enough. It's definitely better than drawing with a mouse. Though I do tend to zoom out more often than not to do big, sweeping strokes. With a bigger tablet, I probably wouldn't have to futz around so much. ...and if I had a tablet that'd let me draw directly on the screen, I wouldn't have to undo my strokes 15 times until it finally lands where I want it to. It's funny that you brought up XP-PEN, because after posting my last reply, I started looking at different tablets. It seems they're the best alternative to Wacom for someone who isn't an absolute, cutting edge pro. They're stable, slick, have nice features, and, most importantly, don't cost the earth. This tablet in particular has caught my eye. It's less than half the price of an iPad Pro with a Pencil, and it's just kinda neat overall. Not super fancy, but it seems to do the tablet thing pretty well. I've been looking for an excuse to grab a 2nd monitor for my computer anyway, so this is kinda tempting me. But like you said, portability is a nice advantage. I'm not tethered to my study with it. Hmm... Now, pen stabilizers. I've turned it on a couple of times, but I didn't want to use it too much out of fear that it'd end up becoming a crutch for me. I figured it'd be better to learn how to draw smooth lines without any assistance, only using the stabilizers as an extra boost here and there. I'll keep a more open mind to them from here on out. Oh, and since you brought up Krita. Well, uh...I did cheat a bit, and used it to tile my last wood floor. I know, I know. This is an Affinity board. I shouldn't talk about the competition here. But comeon. It's wraparound mode is an absolute godsend for doing textures. I'd love to see that feature in Photo. ...and while we're wishlisting, smoother canvas rotation would be nice too.
  8. My biggest problem right now isn't that I have sloppy lines. I'm fairly decent at doing quick strokes, and drawing from the elbow. It's my hand-eye coordination that needs a lot of work. When I'm drawing on paper, I pretty well know where my strokes will go, probably due to the fact that everything is within my field of vision. With a tablet, I've got it down below me, and my eyes are aimed away from it, up towards my monitor. The end result is that I'm all over the place. Things I can easily do on paper, like drawing a random shape, then tracing over it without any huge variances in my strokes, I CANNOT do with a tablet. It annoys me to no end, though I am getting better at it. ...slowly and surely. There's also the fact that I cheaped out, and opted for the itty bitty Intuos Art. It doesn't bother me much, though I am starting to see how a larger tablet would serve me better. Like if I'm drawing a long line, and I start getting towards the edge. My strokes get shakier the closer I bring my elbow in towards my body. With a larger tablet (and a better all around general setup, honesty), I wouldn't have to worry about that. As for screens with what to draw upon, I actually had a Surface Pro 4 up until here recently. It was...eh, alright. I never drew on it much, because desktop applications felt crowded on a screen that small, the pen felt floaty, and the screen would flex inwards when I put pressure on it. In contrast, I tried out an iPad Pro-Apple Pencil combo a little while back, and loved every second of it. The only complaint I had was that drawing on glass feels a little too smooth, but getting a paper texture screen protector like gdenby mentioned above would probably fix that. Moreso than getting a larger Intuos, or opting for a Cintiq, I'm deeply tempted to grab a Pro for myself.
  9. My justification for doing it in 3D is, well, that's where most of my skill set lies, and I thought that posing 3D characters in 3D environments, treating it like I'm taking pictures in a panorama with little characters in it, would allow me so, so much more flexibility in how I set up my scenes, while taking only a 10th of the effort. The effort comes from building all the individual assets, making them look good. But once they're done, they can be used, reused, endlessly tweaked, then shot from any angle I want in any scene I plot them into. The sky's the limit. Doing it all purely by painting would require me to do every single frame from scratch. That'd take forever, especially considering I'm pretty shaky on my feet at that particular affair. It might be nice to do that one day, but for now... Oh, and selling it? I'm nowhere near quick enough to consider that route just yet. For now, it's a hobby project. Something to work towards, and build up my skills. So, texture! It's been a minute since I last updated, I know. Besides watching more tutorials, I've been spending a lot of time practicing my hand control, spending an hour a day drawing circles, ellipses, loops, and basic shapes to address the fact that I'm considerably sloppier with a tablet than I am with pencil and paper. Showing that off every day would bore everyone to tears. But I did finally do a texture! It's another wood floor! At least I now know I can do these like a mad mofo.
  10. I always wanted to play that game when I was a kid... I could probably make RPG maps like that, but my eventual goal is to make something like a cross between this: ...and this: I've been working on this one big idea for a comic for a good while now. It's something I'll do in 3D, which'll give me a lot of flexibility without as much overhead as drawing everything piece by piece. I recently started to really pick up steam on it, but after hours upon hours of experimenting with the style, I came to the realization that my mix of solid, bold colors paired alongside more realistically shaped assets just wasn't doing it for me. I thought that something a little more painterly would do me better. Something like the examples above. It'd allow me a lot more detail, and still help maintain my intended style. It'd also be a lot cheaper on my polycount. Doing EVERYTHING with flat shaded polygons looks neat, but it's a drag on the old computer. This shot, the one that finally made me decide to branch out in style, is over 15 million polygons. I could cut this down to tens of thousands of tris easily by relying on textures more. The only problem with it is I'm only so-so with painting textures. Which leads me to where I'm at right now. I'm still doing it. In fact, I bought a tutorial this last Friday that I've been working on. Upside? It's teaching me quite a bit. Downside? It's got me working on the same texture day after day. My one-a-day plan has changed into a more open ended practice everyday affair. But I'll have something to show soon, I swur!
  11. Okay, I started late on Day 8, but it's coming! Since I'm already late, I might as well go for broke. Spend a lot of time practicing those tiny details, and learning a bit more refinement.
  12. Learning how to do hand painted textures is something I've been wanting to do for a long, long while now. I like the style, I like the look, I think it's quite neat. Thing is, I've always put off trying it out for myself because I know next to nothing about digital painting. I know quite about about manipulating photos to make textures, and a goodly bit about modeling them in a 3D editor, but painted textures are something I figured would always be just out of my reach. Then I realized that the only reason why I don't know how to do it is because I've never tried it. That the only thing between me and success is a good bit of practice. So here I am. Last Thursday, I decided to do one texture a day for the next month to see how I take to it. I've crammed a few hours of tutorials on Youtube, inspected other people's works, and just studied the hell out of it. Minus some stumbles here and there, I can already see a slight improvement just after a week with it. It started out with my admitted janky first texture, and has come to today, with a grass texture that's actually surprisingly good. This thread will act as my diary, detailing my journey from totes noobis, to maybe hopefully pretty decent. If anyone wants to add or critique what I've done, feel more than free. I'm always up for some tips, tricks, and a bit of harsh, but honest criticism. (FYI, these images are scaled down from their original size) Day 1. My first attempt. It is, like I said, kinda janky. To my credit, at least you can tell what it is. Day 2. Another stone floor. Probably the one texture I spent the longest time with. Trying to get the shading just right. Day 3. A wood floor. This one was, eh...okay. It's a little flat and plain, kinda rough, but hey. Just my third day. Day 4. Wooden roof shingles. This is where I felt like I was starting to get a slight feel for things. It's still pretty sloppy, and you can see a few areas where I guffed up, but it's not bad. Day 5. Stone tiles. My least favorite of the bunch, and the one I spent the least amount of effort on, truth be told. I tried to do something in a celshaded style. Ended up just looking bland. Day 6. My 2nd attempt at a wood floor. It's certainly better than my first, with some actual texture and depth to it. Day 7. Grass. Dunno if I'm improving, or if the stars happened to align just right on this one. It's the first texture I've done that I'd consider actually decent. Though if you look at it closely, you can see how I cheated things a bit. And there you have it. My work so far. From here on out, I'll be posting one a day. Like I said, if anyone here wants to throw in their 2 cents, you're more than welcome.
  13. If I were making the argument that it's not ideal, but you learn to live with it, I'd agree with you. But I'm not. I'm saying that, despite requiring another deliberate action to save your images as other file types, it's actually more straightforward. In PS, exporting and save as are all done within the same dialog box. It seems simpler at a casual glance, because the same keystroke brings up both, but the process itself is a little more complicated, and not quite as immediately transparent. It'll default to a .psd, and if you want to save it out as, say, a jpeg, you have to select .jpg from a long drop down menu, click save, which THEN brings up another dialog box with all your jpeg compression options. In AP, you get your export options laid out in a nice horizontal row, and clicking on each shows you the sub-options for that particular file type up front, all within the same dialog box. It's much better organized, and easier to come to terms with. The only downside is that it's accessed through another hotkey binding you have to become accustomed to. Though to play devil's advocate, you could play to the happy medium, and make it so that Ctrl+S brings up the export dialog box, but it includes .afphoto options in there alongside the rest.
  14. This is something that used to tick me off particularly strongly as well. It was something I hated when I first made an attempt at using GIMP to get away from Photoshop, and was far from being one of my favorite features when I converted to AP. It just seemed so much simpler for me to choose what file type I intended to target during the Save As dialogue. Though now that I've used AP for a good while, I've grown accustomed to exporting, rather than saving as. If I want to save my .afphoto file, Ctrl+S. If I want to save it as something to be used or displayed elsewhere, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S. It's now committed to muscle memory, and I've come to accept that it is oh-so-slightly more straightforward than what I was previously used to in Photoshop, despite appearing to be more convoluted on the front end. All I can say is give it time. It'll eventually sink in, and become rote.
  15. After a couple of days of poking and prodding, I find you could almost use Publisher as a Word alternative, but a few missing features keep it from being straightforward enough to work as a standard no frills, no muss text editor. Granted, I could be missing something amazingly obvious here, but from what I've seen, the biggest stumbling block that prevents it from working as a decent word processor is that you can't currently define linked text frames from a master page. You can set them up, and they do appear throughout the rest of your document, but the program refuses to allow you to input any text into them. You end up having no choice but to define a new frame for every page you make. Even if this feature were in place, it'd still require more busywork on the front end compared to Word, Pages, and the like, but you would eventually get to the point where you could just start hammering text into it without any fuss or worries.
  16. I've searched for this, but haven't been able to find a topic on it yet. Is it possible to set the pages up in the editor so there's two per row, instead of the infinite column of single pages it currently defaults to? From what I've seen, facing pages seems to be my only option, but that isn't quite what I want. I'd prefer a gap between them.
  17. Not necessarily. Serif could do what everyone else does, and target a single well supported distro to develop from. More often than not, it's either Red Hat or Ubuntu that gets picked as the go-to distro for 3rd parties. Even that might not be quite so necessary anymore, since Snaps and Flatpaks negate the usual dependency woes that used to be so common between Linux distros.
  18. Still made me mad. Though in all seriousness, there were quite a few reasons why I ended up disliking GIMP as much as I did. Whenever I use a new piece of software, I go into it with the expectation that I won't be used to it, and my first few hours with it will be a clumsy experience for me. I've switched back and forth between multiple apps covering various things over the years, and I've long since come to accept that as a standard. Everything has a learning curve. GIMP didn't just have a learning curve, it seemed to actively fight me every step of the way. Even the simplest of operations ended up becoming an absolute chore to work through. It was so bad that after awhile, I started assuming it was doing it purely out of spite, as if it were aware, and it hated me. Compared to my switch from PS to AP, which maybe took me a matter of a few hours to fully come to terms with, it was an absolute nightmare. Haven't really liked it since.
  19. Ha! Awesome! Can you mail one? I'll name him Steve-Bob. He'll be my best friend forever.
  20. Darktable is a solid piece of software. It can come surprisingly close to Lightroom in output quality, with a price that can't be beat. But GIMP? Maybe I'm being a little too hard on it. I dunno. I've heard it's improved by a goodly amount over its past few updates. But from my experiences with it, it remains the only piece of software that's actually managed to make me angry. I remember the trials and tribulations I had to go through just trying to save an image as a .jpg file. You don't just hit Ctrl-Shift-S, and save it as a .jpg file. Oh no. It can't be simple like it is in PS. You have to export it, otherwise it'll always save it as an .xcf file. That just made me so mad... Now I'm using Affinity Photo, which pretty much does the exact same thing. Sometimes life is just unbearably cruel. Oh, and props for having what's easily the most awesomest user avatar on the site.
  21. Here in the States, Dell sells a number of them. There's also a few other manufacturers that cater specifically to Linux crowds.
  22. Linux will never be a basic, no frills, immediately intuitive end user OS. Even though it's been streamlined considerably over the last few years, it still requires a goodly bit of know-how to work with it. It gives you nigh endless amounts of ways to customize things to your specific preferences, and can be incredibly slick when you bend it to your will and tastes, but that openness does come with a few caveats that will forever keep it from being what your grandma would want to use. ...that's what iOS is for. Which Serif currently covers better than anyone. See, I think of Linux as a potential option. I don't necessarily NEED it. I have a perfectly functional Windows 10 machine with Photo, Designer, and the Publisher beta installed on that runs just fine. But it's something I'd LIKE to have. I've used Linux enough to see its upsides as well as its downs, and with all things considered, the only reason why I'm not over there on a more permanent basis is because it lacks a vector and photo program I like. Yeah, there's Inkscape and GIMP, but the former is a little too simple and clunky, and the latter makes me want to punch someone every time I've tried it. I want a good suite of image editors (and Publisher too, since I'm thinking of replacing Word with it now that I've got to see what it can do). I've got access to pretty much everything else I need over there. Those image editors are all I lack. If I had them, I'd make the jump, and be perfectly happy with the decision. I'm probably not the only person who thinks this way. I'm sure there are a fair number of web designers that'd be interested in doing the same, since Linux comes with a number of IDEs and code editors integrated into the OS directly. Though I can't tell you exactly how big this linux-considering demographic is, it might be big enough for Serif to consider leveraging at some point in the not too distant future. ...maybe. Possibly. Can't say this for a fact, but it'd be interesting to see how it'd go were they to try.
  23. Which, you know, is Serif's primary market. I'm sure they love having some normal non-geek folks buying their spiffy affordable software, but their major demographic is web designers and photographers who are, for all intents and purposes, big ole geeks. If you were to draw up a Venn diagram between Affinity users, and Linux nerds, you'd see some overlap. I mean comeon, we're arguing about Linux on an internet messageboard. We're the geeks among geeks, probably only a hairs breadth away from breaking out into a verbal fist fight over Doctor Who. Search your feelings, Toltec. You will know it to be true.
  24. It depends on the business. Linux isn't an also-ran out there in the real world. If you're running a company with a complicated intranet structuring, heavy internet presence, or a need to crunch a lot of heavy data, they'll be using Linux somewhere. On top of that, the entire CG industry is practically built upon Linux. Pixar, Weta, et al. don't use Windows or Macs for their modelling software and render farms. They're all almost exclusively Linux. Hence why most CG-centric packages like Maya, Modo, Houdini, the Substance suite, ect. all have a 'nix rev. The one area where Linux is weakest just so happens to be the one area Serif is most focused: photography and graphic design. They're the one company that's come closest to competing with Adobe on this front, which is why we're seeing so much pressure here for them to release a Linux rev of their software. If they did, the platform would be fully catered to.
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