Cookbooks

Drawing all those frames for my flick-book cartoons has helped me to feel at ease using Clip Studio Paint on the iPad. One advantage the iPad is that you can zoom in to work on details with a pinching movement of two fingers and you can rotate the whole drawing, simply by rotating two fingers. These two actions were useful when it came to writing in all the titles of the books.

Once the iPad knows that you’re drawing with an Apple Pencil, it rejects any finger movements it detects as drawing but still responds to any gestures, such as rotation and zooming in.

Paper, Pen & Pencil

There are four layers in my original Clip Studio file: the default paper background (plain white); pencil, for my initial drawing; colour, using the watercolour brush and pen, using the ‘real G-pen’.

To make it more like a real sketchbook drawing, I left my original pencil lines visible. If I’d been aiming for finished-looking illustration, I could have removed all the pencil work with a single click of the mouse: no meticulous rubbing out with a soft art eraser.

Blazer Man

I’ve learnt a lot since my first attempt at a flick-book style animation using Clip Studio Paint. It’s such a versatile program, something like Photoshop but aimed specifically at comic artists illustrators but, with so many possibilities, I  can’t hope become familiar with it all in just a few sessions.

Mugshot

I’m sticking to the basic process that worked for me in the first animation and gradually building up my skills from there. My main advance here was adding the coloured background.

As I experimented with the settings of the animation cels, the ‘undo’ button came in handy or more than one occasion but that’s a good way to discover aspects of the program: for instance its ability to output drawings as a half-tone made up of dots. It would be great for a wanted poster or a newspaper cutting in a comic strip story. Judging by that photograph, he’s definitely guilty.

Animated Head

Clip Studio Paint offers the possibility of animating drawings and, since there’s now a new version of the program for the iPad, I thought that it was time to give it a go.

This rotating head is my first attempt. The layers have a degree of transparency, so that I can see my previous drawing, as a fainter, bluer image, as I start on the next frame.

Onion Skinning

It’s like the traditional animator’s light-box, what’s sometimes referred to as onion skinning: viewing several frames at once.

I drew the animation test (above) using the Clip Studio pencil tool then went over it with the pen tool (right) trying to make a few corrections as I went.

As I’m still not up to speed in Clip Studio Paint, I export an animated GIF from Clip Studio to Adobe Photoshop CS5 for the final adjustments of repeating the eight frames in reverse order to make a continuous loop and cropping the final image.

I still need to work out the best way to add pen and colour layer to each frame, but that’s as far as I’m going with this head: something went wrong with the eyes!

Link

Clip Studio Paint

Blackbirds at Dawn

Anglers Country Park, this morning. Photo credit: Barbara (my trusty Tough TG4 let me down temporarily this morning, so here’s the equally good iPhone version of what I was going to photograph).

There’s a fiery sunrise but, unlike yesterday, there’s no frost and the pond isn’t iced over. As they often do at this time of year, blackbirds have gathered on the lawn first thing and I’m pleased to see that one song thrush has joined them as thrushes – song or mistle – haven’t been a regulars in the garden this autumn.

Anglers Country Park

We take a stroll around the lake at Anglers Country Park, south-east of Wakefield this morning. About seventy-five pochards are resting in the quiet corner of the lake near the Main Hide, while a smaller flock of wigeon, perhaps 20 or 30 of them, are at the less-sheltered far end of the lake.

It’s a while since we saw a treecreeper, so we’re pleased to see one meticulously making its way up a trunk of one of the conifers in nearby Haw Park plantations. There seems to be a reasonable number of wrens about, so hopefully they won’t be caught out any prolonged severe winter weather.

The star bird of the morning though, is back at the car park, coming down to the bird feeders: tree sparrows, perhaps a dozen of them. The tree sparrow population has plummeted in recent years, so it’s good to see them again.

Link

Room on the Broom trail at Anglers Country Park, an ingenious way of breaking up the two mile circuit of the lake for younger children (but wouldn’t it be better to get them really interested in ducks instead?).

Raptors by the Railway

Ochre trackside birches contrast with the clear blue sky.

A red kite glides over a broad stretch of the valley of the Wharfe.

Sheep and flocks of herring gulls are dotted around in the green pastures on the hillsides.

The frost hasn’t given in the cutting between Pannal and Hornbeam Park. A buzzard flies up from the top of the embankment and settles in a tree.

On our circuit of Harlow Carr RHS gardens, we see a second red kite, flying over the pinewoods.

The light is steadily fading on our journey home but, as the train stops at Weeton, we glimpse a heron.

Ash Tree on the iPad

As the light faded, I drew one of the ash trees at the edge of the wood using a new version of Clip Studio Paint for iPad. For the next few weeks, there’s an opportunity to give it a six month free trial.

It feels so much more direct than using the iPad with a wifi link to the same program running on my main computer and I appreciate the thought that has gone into redesigning the interface to make it more suitable for a tablet.

I started with a pencil drawing then, on a new layer, added a suggestion of colour, finishing with an ink layer for drawing with the G-pen.

Link

Clip Studio Paint for iPad on iTunes

Desk Top

It’s been a month since we had a weekend at home and my desk top is in need of sorting out but how could I resist drawing these tottering piles of books and magazines?

I’ve drawn it with an Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro. I’m using is Clip Studio Paint EX on my iMac, which is connected to the iPad by wifi through the program Astropad 3. Sometimes pen and sketchbook just isn’t enough!

I like trying to learn new programs and I thought that the best way was just to launch into it and do the simplest of drawings. I say ‘new’ programs but I’ve been trying to get proficient in Clip Studio Paint, formerly Manga Studio for the last five years.

Links

Clip Studio Paint EX

Astropad

Scanning the Horizon

Great Shunner Fell and Abbotside, drawn last week from a picnic table at the Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes; my first scan using SilverFast SE Plus software.

It’s that time of year again: Apple have updated their operating system – from Sierra to High Sierra – which is great except that my scanner, a CanoScan 8800F, won’t work with the new system, not surprisingly because it’s four years since Canon updated the driver. Luckily, I’ve come up with a solution . . . Continue reading “Scanning the Horizon”