Tag Archives: Autodesk Sketchbook Pro

Return of the BETT.

 

Touch screen art... Engage. #BETT2015 #SMARTboard.

The past few years have been a rollercoaster and the peaks and troughs generally come at the same times… Event days and the huge amount of work they entail.

I’ve been a teacher for 120 months now and the first 60 passed by in a fairly normal fashion. Teach, paperwork, mark, paperwork, chase students, paperwork etc. Then we were asked to demonstrate tablet art techniques at the World Skills Festival which was thoroughly fabulous.

How do you follow that? With turns at the Barbican, the Royal Academy. Teentech (x4), Bohunt, Magic Summer, Europamer (x2), MCM (x3), Sky Arts, Electric Theatre and much more. So many places we’ve been demonstrating tablet art on so many devices.

And, of course, there was the Gadget Show Live:

…which was the only show where everything has gone to plan despite being the biggest we had done (until recently). 70 or so students from 6 different classes on a seven day working residential. A 120 sq m stand which we filled on a budget smaller than most other stands free drinks budget. It should never have worked… but it did and it was brilliant.

Which brings me to BETT. How does that fit into the calendar? Surely the students would prefer to work at the comic conventions or the computer games shows or the music festivals or the art galleries?

Team Friday McAwesome. #BETT2015.

Well. Yes. Those were fabulous. But this time a surprising number of students who said they enjoyed this one most of the shows we’ve done this year. I loved it, because I love BETT, but they thoroughly enjoyed it too, and it was all down to the tech.

Thanks Team SMART. Had a fab time helping you on your stand. #BETT2015 #SMARTKapp

Sometimes we’re asked to do shows with tech that the students work brilliantly and professionally with at the time but afterwards grumble about an app or a device. We’ve been very spoilt, but to be fair we’re also pretty good at what we do. This year we were asked to draw on the SMART stand (again. They asked us last year too) and we drew on devices as we always do.

#SMARTKapp at #BETT2015 (close up ") ).

Lets be clear though, this year was different. Last year we drew on Interactive Whiteboards and it was good but, at the end of the day we were just drawing on large screens, which we’ve done, a lot.

SMART board art at #BETT2015

This year SMART had a 1-2 sucker punch of devices that I loved using and want in my classroom, stat . I’m absolutely NOT saying this because SMART paid for the travel and sandwiches (to be frank they got a good deal -I charge more for two pictures than they paid for all of the student train fares and I drew significantly more than two pictures over the past four days). SMART amp and Kopp were my two stars of the show. BETT obviously agreed as SMART amp won best collaboration software. If Kapp didn’t win an award it was robbed  its a fabulous piece of tech

Drawing on SMART board. And iPad ")

I’ll write some more later, today is my VERY MUCH DESERVED lazy day following four 15 hour days in a row. However I wanted to show off some pics of my students being thoroughly brilliant, as the always are at a trade show, and I wanted to big up the SMARTboards while BETT is still fresh in people’s minds.

Interview time #SMARTAmp

It was an ace show for us, there are hopefully some very cool things to come out of it too, but for the moment let’s just say that BETT is fab, the students were too, as was SMART and, you know what? So was I 🙂

As ever as always: lovely to draw on a #SMARTboard at #BETT2015

(Apols for some of the formatting. I’m writing this on a Surface 3 and it’s not allowing me to do some of the things I want…)

A little more ‘Leccy.

A couple of stray pics post kids tablet art stuff yesterday.

The one above is a pic I started upside down while talking to the kids in the group and explaining how to do layers in Sketchbook Pro. Added a smidge more colour and there you go.

The first of the two pics below is an iPhone Autostitch picture that I edited via ArtRage – all on iPhone. The ‘Leccy liked it so much they asked if they could have a higher res version, which is nice 🙂

The second pic, well, I took some soft stuffed creatures to be models for any of the kids wanting to draw from a model. They were the first two I found in the filing cabinet so I thought ‘why not…?’

The third is a very cool metal Owl I bought from the pound shop while picking up wet wipes to clean the screens at half time 🙂

Back at the ‘Leccy.

I’ve done a few art events for young people at the Electric Theatre but, until now, they’ve predominantly been shrink plastic sessions, which is fine, as they always sell out quickly and get very lovely feedback.

For some reason, this time, we all agreed that tablet art sessions might be a good fun thing and a bit of a change for all involved. And, yes it was 🙂 I’m not 100% sure it was an easier session to do (although it was a lighter session to pack up and carry… but the charging of 15 machines twice in one day was a little tricksome to facilitate).

We started with simple art lessons, just so everyone was up to speed on basic drawing tactics (and also to preserve a little bit of battery life). There are a quick set of ten lessons that I’ve been doing as long as I’ve been doing Fish and the Family Festivals which I occasionally rejig a little (mainly in terms of the order I do them in as much as anything) but which teach a huge amount of simple art principles – and confidence – in 30 minutes.

My pic to explain some art principles using the example of a soft, stuffed owl.

One of the kids pics following an example of how to draw a 15 point person. Basically I think I was owned, as some of the youth are wont to say…

Then we moved onto the tablets. And the kids took to them with as much speed and enthusiasm as I could have hoped. We stuck, for the most part, to Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (which might have surprised me a year ago but I’ve really grown to love as an app). Also, again for the most part, we used Tesco Hudl 7″ Android tablets (which to be frank I REALLY should be on commission for and again is a bit of a surprise to me… If you’d told me a year ago that a relatively inexpensive small screen Android tab would be one of my favourites I’d probably have asked if I could see the world through the strange tinted spectacles you were wearing).

I didn’t have enough tablets to do a whole group with the Hudl’s though so we also used a few iPads and Nintendo 3DS’ and the kids themselves brought a range of devices from iPad to Nexus, Samsung to an unbranded Android device I’d not seen before.All in all a wonderful day and the kids were enormous fun to share the sessions with. More pictures to come, when I get the chance to upload them all.

I did make up a still life for the kids to draw if they found themselves stuck for ideas.

More fool me, really. They were a hive of ideas and came out with some brilliantly crazy things to draw and create and we had a lot of fun talking about how some of the pictures came to be. Both 130 min sessions flew by and, hopefully, a full gallery will be up soon on the Leccy webby…

Also did a bit of a collab draw… One of the participants did a pencil drawing that I especially liked and we took a photo – mainly so I could show her how to colour it in using layers to help. That became this 🙂

Anyhow: long day, 31 happy kids, 60 pics drawn minimum over 5 different screen formats? Once blog posts done it’s screens off and a bit of relax time I think.

One Froggy Evening…

Catching up on the Superb Owl this eve having, almost, managed to duck all talk about it at work today. Yesterday I attempted to predict the result with the random choice of coloured popcorn and that led me to assume the Seahawks would win, having picked, and thoroughly enjoyed, Midnight blue popcorn with Chilli and Lime flavouring.


Also took a couple of shots, using the Olloclip on my iPhone 5S, of a picture drawn on my iPhone 3GS:


Not exactly red hot retina screen action but I remain surprised at how well the 3GS stood up… I assumed it would be horribly slow but drawing a largish image in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on the old phone (four iterations old now) wasn’t at all frustrating.

From the ridiculous to the even more so…

Less than an hour after I was drawing on a huge multi-screen setup made by HP, which, I was told, would cost a significant chunk of change to buy into my college, I was on a tube drawing on an iPhone 3GS with a Dagi stylus and Autodesk Sketchbook app. The phone still does brilliantly, despite its age, but only managed one layer at the screen resolution I set it to (reminding me of the good old Brushes app v1 days when one layer was all you got.

Anyhow, made me smile to go from one screen extreme to another.

The plastic stick has a happy story attached to it as well, but I’ll explain why in a later post when I upload the video of me drawing on the uber screen. I did draw it this morning on a the IWB in the classroom I was in before the class started.

Because, you know, screen art and all that.

Drawing with a Jot Script.

Latest on the (long) list of styli I’ve been keen to have a draw with is the jot Script. It’s unusual in terms of a screen stylus as it has a thin point (rather than the – until now – accepted norm of a 6 mm wide stylus tip). Its bluetooth but, sadly, not pressure sensitive.

The second unexpected result was that it works more than happily with the Android device I tested it on (a Samsung Galaxy S4)*.

The third unexpected thing is how effortlessly it pairs to the screen and works in all apps, seeming to pair to the device rather than on a case by case app basis. It just, to borrow a phrase, works. I’m trying to work out what I think about it but the initial feelings are all very positive. Nice one Adonit.

The pics below were all drawn last night except for the Selfie which was drawn on the bus into work this morning… Stuck in traffic…. In the rain.

Stylus: iPad + Procreate.

Selfie: Samsung Galaxy S4 + Sketchbook Pro.

Stylus: iPad + Didlr. Process animation >> here <<

Hellophant: iPad + Sketchbook Pro. Drawn on the bus from my house into town so clocked in around the 12 minute mark. I forgot, as normal, to set animation going, which made me Grr. I like Sketchbook Pro a lot but the fact that some parts make me grr as often as they do stop me from loving it as the art app of choice.

… and while we’re on a hard tipped stylus vibe I had a fab drawing time with friends last night during which I got to play with a Wacom Cintiq that, when not connected to a desktop machine, runs Android software (and Sketchbook Pro). One of my friends (a very lovely person) drew a happy Tomato sauce bottle on my iPad (and she seemed to completely fall fr the Jot Script while doing so) and I drew a less cheerful one, as is my wont. I also drew the Adventures of Pizza Guy below (and hope to be able to post the original pics sometime soon).

What did I think of the Cintiq? Well to be honest Android as an OS is very good but the app store is not and the range of art apps available is woeful compared to iOS. I’d have far rather played with a Cintiq running Windows 8 and Fresh Paint (although I like Sketchbook Pro very much as an app).

Overall I liked Wacoms take on a tablet. The screen is Matte so, presumably, would be more comfortable to draw on for concerted periods of time (and is less glare-tastic as well), and I would like to have been able to draw on it for a little longer. But all in all the Jot Script was the more fun discovery during yesterdays screen time (and certainly the more affordable one).

*Brief update: I just tested the Script on a Tesco Hudl (one of my favourite 7 inch tablets) and it worked as well as it did on all of the other screens I threw it at (metaphorically speaking).

Tesco Hudl + Adobe Photoshop Touch.

Taking a line for a festive walk…

No idea why but these lines:

…became this:

Which is at least a little festive bearing in mind I’m delicately balanced between cheerful and humbug, depending on the minute.

Drawn, as is the picture below (Pie Chart) on my Tesco Hudl using a range of styli and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I’m not the sort to give out end of year awards but if I did that would be the tablet that I’d say I’ve enjoyed most drawing on. An absolutely fabulous little slice of tech and a joy to have worked with this last part of the year.

Were I to do awards the stylus of the year would be a dead heart between the Nomad Mini 2 and the Wacom Intuos Creative. Both fab things in completely different ways.

Anyhow, I don’t do that sort of thing so no runners up, stats or so on.

I did draw a Pie Chart, as mentioned, on the Hudl which, again, I suppose is vaguely festive, but not in the normal ways.

(and I don’t normally add on photo filters on upload, but I do sometimes whip through them to see if they’ll deliver something interesting. This time it did so a remix below, filtered through the Flickr app):

If I don’t blog before next Weds (very likely given historical precedents) hope that everyone reading has a wonderful, peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year. Here’s to 2014, which I’ve been saying since about the end of August/early Sept…

 

 

 

 

Disconsolate Godzilla and the thought process…

I’ve been noodling around on a picture for a couple of days now and thought it sums up the creation process in a couple of nice ways. So here, for a change, is a little bit about the thought process of a pic and the creation of it from start to near finish.

I generally start with a series of quickly drawn lines and squiggles. More often than not I don’t know what I’ll be drawing until I’m half way through them and I’ll say to myself ‘that looks like a…’ and go from there. Occasionally that’ll inform where some of the squiggles go next.

Once that’s done I’ll start blocking in colours – I’ll try and save some process pics sometime soon. This one was being drawn on a Hudl tablet (currently my favourite) in a pub where I sat down to chill between doing a couple of hours of tablet art youth work and getting my bus home. From squiggle to this point the above pics took about 45 minutes.

Once that parts done I try and take some time way from an image, but I don’t always (very impatient, me). In this case I carried on working on the picture on the bus home and found that I liked both the text and the buildings so chose to move a couple of things around.

When I moved the text I found that the right hand side of the image was pretty empty so I  added some planes and explosions in… but that unbalanced the left hand side so I added a spire in to the left most skyscraper.

The next morning – I tend to wake up a little too early – I added some more details in, fine detail stuff like the dragon skin which isn’t very noticeable but I like the texture it adds.

And there you have it, I think. Don’t think I’ll do any more so it’s on to the next thing (which turned out to be >>this<<, ironically). Top to tail the above pics probably took  three hours to draw but that was all forwards momentum stuff, sometimes a picture fights and sometimes it goes onto the screen fairly naturally.

All drawn on Hudl tablet using a Dagi and New Trent stylus and Nomad brush, all of which are a joy to use. The app was Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro which I like loads and more every time I use it.

And why (as I’ve been asked on Twitter) is Godzilla sad? Well, I guess life isn’t always too kind to lumbering, graceless creatures sometime. But hey ho, I’m sure he’ll be up and running, knocking over buildings and eating cars soon enough…

Youth work and the quiet moments…

For way over 25 years I’ve been an occasional, then full time, then part time, and now a Friday night Youth Worker. The Friday night group that I, my wife and a fab bunch of young and old helpers lead has now been running non-stop term time for 20 years which is also a pretty cool achievement.

So if it sounds like more than a hobby then I suspect yes, yes it is 🙂  It’s certainly something I’ve been able to do without thinking – in as much as I’m always happiest talking to kids more so than adults where I often feel a smidge out of place. I’m a child at heart – loving animation and geek things and drawing on tablets and so on… And pretending to be an adult gets quite wearing. Chatting to kids about school and worries and happinesses and so on, occasionally while playing football or Rock Band at the same time, is no effort at all.

But there’s one point in the evening at youth group when it all goes quiet… I do the door duty as I like to welcome the kids in at the start of a night and then, just in case anyone’s running late, I hang on for ten minutes (if we have enough staff to kids or I don’t think I’m immediately needed).

And in that time I generally draw a picture if no-one’s come out to talk to me.

Fridays are a smidgeon harrowing at the moment. We have a college meeting at 8.30 and then it’s pretty much full on until 5, and then it’s registers and emails and follow up and phoning students not there and one to one emails or reading confidential papers which have to be shredded and so on and so forth. By the time I get home it’s a few minutes to gulp down a meal of some type (although occasionally I’ve been known to be sitting in the passenger seat of the car eating microwave in the bag rice) and then we’re setting up at 7.30 and the doors time is often the first chance I get to sit down and stop.

This week I was a little glum as the only stylus I had to hand was a Bic Cristal which, being a soft rubber tip, I was expecting little from. But actually it worked perfectly and the kids who came to the group made me smile so, as ever, as always, it’s a very worthwhile thing to do and be doing. I often suggest people take up some sort of voluntary work, especially if they are struggling themselves, as it can be an hour or two (or three in our case) of time away from our own troubles. In my case I also get the bonus of grown adults coming up to me and saying ‘do you remember me…?’ which is also a lovely thing.

So, um, yes. Youth work = woo.