I got a tablet for my birthday! I feel so spoiled. I've always been a bit annoyed by scans of drawings ending up with a bad quality, no matter how good your scanner is. Black-in-white is okay, I guess, but it becomes a problem as soon as any drawings include colours. They just never get it right. So of course I was jealous when I saw what others (like Xhii from Roll one hundred) made on their computer, and not only because they're just amazing at drawing stuff (which they are). With a tablet, you are able to draw on a touchscreen with a fake pencil, and everything you draw ends up right on your screen.
I'm not really sure why I got this present. I didn't really ask for it, nor do I think I'm 'good enough' to use it. I'm not a designer, I just draw for the fun of it. I really must have sounded very enthusiastic about it in the past. Either way, the thing was there, so it had to be tried out. So I drew something random that turned out to be the girl with the giraffe neck above. No, don't ask me about the neck. It was not intentional. I was just trying to find out how the damn thing worked!
The first thing I found out, was that the line quality was very poor in the usual program I use for adjusting pictures (GIMP). It did look great in Photoshop, though, but I had never used that program before. So I had to try out two new things at a time.
Techy nerd stuff
What I liked:
- Written and drawn lines by pen look great. You don't really have to do anything for it. It only looks great in Photoshop, though, it looks terrible in GIMP.
- Changing between writing and erasing is quick and works really well. You can just turn your pencil around to switch between the two. In Photoshop it even saves the size of your pencil versus your eraser so you don't have to change that manually each time.
- Layers in Photoshop work very intuitive. Just felt it made sense. Apart from me starting to draw in the background instead of opening a new layer first. Lets not talk about that!
What I didn't like:
- Mostly never-have-been-using Photoshop stuff, like:
- If I want to draw a line, I don't get to see a "preview line" as you do in GIMP, so it's impossible to create parallel lines.
- I don't know how to select an already existing colour within the drawing you already have opened - pretty crucial for doing anything that involves colour (this is easy in GIMP).
- I can't find a "bucket fill" tool (also easy in GIMP).
- Searching the internet for specific tools doesn't get me any further.
- Trying to draw without looking at my hand feels like needing a third brain half that I lack. It's just so damn hard! It's like: "Hey, congratulations with your new tablet. You know what, you'll get a free time travel trip with it, how does that sound? Use it and you'll be torpedoed back ten years in the past and can draw with the skill you had back then. Have fun!" Aargh.
- The pen pressure (how thick/dark your line gets) is done very well, and it's a marvel of science that it works at all, but doing the same thing on real paper is still so much easier. On the picture on top of this post, the left sketch in turquoise was actually the easiest to draw. As soon as I tried to make it 'perfect' it was starting to get hard, and I had to use tools to get it to work.
This was all a bit more complicated than I had hoped, so I'll need some outside sources to help me understand these tools, and then especially how to use different sorts of lines and colours. Luckily I found a blog called Idrawdigital, with some interesting posts, such as:
If you have any other tips or know of helpful websites, please let me know. It's hard to find a place to start.
This is my Wacom bamboo tablet, by the way (picture not by myself). It looks amazing with my silver iMac! -------------------------------------->
On a more positive note: it will be quite a while before I get anything done that doesn't make your eyes bleed, so don't worry, the next few posts of the coming half year will be all about LotRO and SWTOR again!