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CartoonMike

WIP character design

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Hi all! Thought I'd share a work in progress. This is one character sheet for a possible webcomic, Glorious Junk. The purple character is Sashai and the bat is still looking for a good name (suggestions welcomed!).

 

Basically this was a test to get a good feel for using Affinity Designer. As far as testing goes, I'd call it a major win. The best thing that I finally got was that Layers are storage for curves and objects. The Layer_org.png is a screen cap of Sashai's layer structure. I made extensive use of the masking abilities that curve objects offer: the legs, arms and head all use them. All shading (except for the gold yellow arm band) is from closed filled curves with gaussian blur FX and I used the Transparency Tool a lot (way cool tool, btw). I'm not too happy with the shading on the arm with the gold band, but that's why this is a WIP. :)

 

For the interior curves (the detail on the hands and the spirals for the knees and elbow were done by just making a curve and then selecting the curve with the Node tool and adjusting the pressure profile. It took a bit of playing around with to get a good handle on how best to use it, but once learned -- it's a really wonderful feature to add some life to curves. When the pressure sensitivity of tablets are working better (in the next beta for AD if what I've read is correct), then it should be just awesome to use in order to really fine-tune line thickness.

 

The Move and Node tools are better than any other equivalent tool in other vector apps. Only minor gripe, is that when a node is smooth the indicator changes from a square (for corner node) to a circle. The fill color for the indicator is the color for the layer (right click on the layer's name and in the contextual menu is where layer colors can be selected). In some instances when there's a lot of nodes,  the I clicked on the "wing" of the node and accidentally created a new node when I thought I was clicking on a node. If the node "wings" (the actual name escapes me at the moment) indicators could be filled with a lighter tint of the layer color it would be easier to see which is which. I like how when clicking on the handles, when the handle indicator turns red, it's aligned with the opposite handle and if I let go of the cursor then, the node is now a smooth one, if I continue moving it remains a corner node. Absolutely brilliant usability feature that took no time at all to appreciate and take advantage of!

 

One thing that has stopped me from doing a lot of art in vector apps was the struggle between what I wanted to do and what the interface allowed me to do. In Affinity Designer it's like the interface makes it easier and quicker to do the art I want to do, in the way I want to do it.

 

Sure there's this and that thing I wish AD could do, but for a first release version, it's the most stable (have yet to crash on me!) and easy to figure out app I've had the pleasure to use. To go all Spinal Tap, I'd give this app 6 out of 5 stars!

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2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Makes me think a little of Octospider characters from an Arthur C Clarke novel that communicate using moving bands of colour. But cuter!


Twitter: @Writer_Dale
Work: Intel i7-6700, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 and Intel HD 530, Windows 10   |   Home: Intel Q6600, NVIDIA GTX950, Windows 10

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@Dale: or the mutant/evolved humans in Greg Bears Darwin's Radio who have splotches of skin that change color/irradiance as an additional mode of communication. Like blushing taken to the extreme. 

 

Sashai is one of my "grape grylii" characters (any wineries need a mascot? :D ). Glad y'all like her.

 

Am working on the other characters as we speak and I'm pleasantly surprised by how quickly the second one is going. To me one of the "markers" of an app that I'll use a lot is what I call "thinking in the app." That's when I know enough about how to use it and am able to be creative with what I'm doing and not consciously thinking about how to do things. Like how powerful and flexible the Node tool is. Making it so that a click on a line creates a new node just simplifies things so much -- no going to an "add point" tool or remembering a modifier/keycombo. Just click and work with the node. I'm almost at the point that I think I can do comics with AD. Just waiting on being able to save "templates" or "page setups" to continue. But already I think that I could do a set of daily strips on one document and use the Slice Persona to export each strip separately and use the naming to give the exports file names that allow Easel (a webcomic wordpress plugin) to automagically update the strips. 

 

AD is the best creative app I've gotten since Manga Studio (and that's saying a lot!).


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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@Dale: or the mutant/evolved humans in Greg Bears Darwin's Radio who have splotches of skin that change color/irradiance as an additional mode of communication. Like blushing taken to the extreme. 

 

£2.81 delivered in very good condition, be rude not to. Click, done!

 

 

AD is the best creative app I've gotten since Manga Studio (and that's saying a lot!).

 

Fantastic, I've seen some great work come out of that app too, often thanks to some great brushes.


Twitter: @Writer_Dale
Work: Intel i7-6700, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 and Intel HD 530, Windows 10   |   Home: Intel Q6600, NVIDIA GTX950, Windows 10

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@Dale, about Manga Studio: https://www.packtpub.com/hardware-and-creative/manga-studio-5-beginners-guide <-- the book I wrote. :)

 

Just so you have some context about what I said about AD and Manga Studio.

 

(wondering: a forum section for "complementary applications" would be great for other apps that complement AD ( I can think of PatterNodes, Sketchbook, MangaStudio) and show how AD can play with others)

 

Hope you enjoy Darwin's Radio. That book was just so good.


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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...and stick a fork in it, I'm calling it done:

 

post-895-0-62203200-1413436937_thumb.png

 

Characters are (L-R: Nagol, eBat, Sashai and Spookums)

Had a blast doing this and learning more about Affinity Design. Absolutely love the masking of curves/closed shapes in this fine app. Spookums has masked closed curves within masked closed curves.

 

Noise is great for adding texture, like for the skin of Nagol and Sashai. And for Nagol's arm sleeves and pant legs. Creating a closed curve for a shadow shape, adding noise and a Blur FX gives a nice look. 

 

And thanks to everyone who posted tutorials and shared info!


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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AD is the best creative app I've gotten since Manga Studio (and that's saying a lot!).

 

Hello Mike,

 

How is Manga Studio working for you on OSX 10.10? i like to upgrade but must be sure if it is working correctly.

 

Jack.

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Hey Jack,

 

Manga Studio's working just fine with Yosemite. Not a crash or odd behavior (that wasn't already there in Mavericks and earlier). I've not done a full-bore "let's test out every thing"  workout, but I've pencilled,inked, used a lot of layer fx, created rulers and such without a single hitch. 

 

It was recently updated (Manga Studio to 5.0.5 and Clip Studio Paint to 1.38 <-- Clip Studio paint is the same app as Manga Studio) in September, so I'd make sure that you go to the Smith-Micro site and download and install  the most recent update. Make sure you have your registration number handy when you do.

 

The worst issue I've had updating to Yosemite is Suitcase Fusion v4 finally not working anymore (it was a 32 bit app), so I had to upgrade to v. 5.


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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