Tag Archives: BETT 2014

Google Glass.

As a screen painter I’ve been interested in, but not to the extent of chasing relentlessly, Google Glass.Fairly obviously the screen, well, the upper right hand prism, isn’t something I could put a Nomad brush or Jot Script stylus to, hence the lack of trying to jump on any chance to try. But the idea and concept of wearable computers is enticing and, lets be honest, pretty inevitable. The history of computers is always that they have become smaller and closer to us. Eventually they’ll be inside us I dare say but between tablets and phones and nanobots comes wearable tech.

At BETT I was lucky enough to have a demo of Google Glass. I’m interested in it from a sideways angle: I want to draw a picture on a tablet or Interactive Whiteboard and see it from the point of view of me drawing it (but not at the time of me drawing it). I love seeing process animations of my pictures come to be, especially if the animation is from the point of view of the screen (with no me spoiling the shot).

I’d hoped with Glass that I could record, and forget I was recording, an image being drawn. The problem was that I was only able to draw on a tablet and my eyes and head moved in such small/subtle directions that the Glass only picked up a picture being drawn with no hint of where I’d been looking or how I’d been moving.

I’d very much love to have a go on Glass while drawing on an IWB in the future though, that presumably would show me more of how I move when I’m drawing but, I’ve no idea when such a lucky collision of tech will occur. One day I hope.

And the picture above? Well, wifey, who’s not even remotely interested in tech (but does fab craft stuff instead) assumed that this was what Google Glass looked like. I showed her a picture of me wearing Glass and, to be honest, that’s as much an airing as that pics going to get.

Tablets and robots and BETT 2014.

No idea of the robots name but I’ve bumped into the orange skull capped marvel first at the Gadget Show Live, then at Teentech (both the Surrey show and the Copperbox show) and now, most recently, at BETT 2014. I think it’s a great design, love the look of it.

So when, at the tail end of one of the days at BETT, I had the chance to borrow a 7 tablet set up on the Microsoft stand, it was the first thing I thought to draw. Well, naturally it was the second, but I’d drawn a good few Marmite jars by that point and needed a change.

I mention it as a video was forwarded to me on Twitter (by the excellent @GeekyNicki) of the picture being painted so here goes, hope you like…


(sigh, grrr, doesn’t embed, will check next breaktime).

One of the interesting things (well, interested me anyhow) was that it was drawn on all seven screens (from a variety of tablet makers) using the one bluetooth stylus (a Jot Script Evernote edition from @Adonit) which happily, on one button press, connected to all of the screens and allowed me to draw as quickly as I could. BETT was busy, no idea how long the unedited and unsped up film lasts but as a quess it would be between 10 and 20 mins.

Would have LOVED to have painted on Fresh Paint on the HP wall. Have mentioned to college people that, if the spare money just turned up in my budget (which did cause a small amount of laughter for some reason), it’s one of the things I’d love to get into whatever the next graphics room design is… Fresh Paint on these screens? Yum.

BETT 2014: drawing on an HP interactive wall.

Last week, Weds – Sat, was BETT 2014 at London Excel and I was there with a clutch of students creating digital art on the Steljes stand. Which was lovely and Steljes are a very fab company to work with.

At the points that I wasn’t on the Steljes stand I chilled out and relaxed by drawing on other companies tablets and computers and the one I had my eye on most was a beautiful wall of six touchscreens on the HP stand. After a certain amount of daily cajoling and begging they were kind enough to allow me to have a 15 minute play and this is what I came up with.

Why a Marmite jar? Well, it’s a Great British icon and something I never tire of drawing. My mind, 3.5 x 16 hour days in and 35 miles walked, was a bit squishy so that’s what I decided to fall back on. Basically: if in doubt, draw Marmite.

BETT 2014.

(Drawn on Tesco Hudl on the way to BETT day 2, Sketchbook app).

A longer blog post to come I think, with a few more details. But in brief, I and some of my graphics and IT students were invited to be a part of the Steljes stand at BETT (www.bettshow.com). Working on SMARTboards we were asked to draw for two 45 minutes sessions and explain some apps which might be useful for teachers or the artistic process for teachers who may not teach art (or some who might) and who could use pointers on where to start.
(a student drawing on a SMARTboard using ArtRage app).

Working primarily in ArtRage – an excellent program and app which is both very powerful and also very sympathetic to new digital artists – we also created images in Sketchbook (less kind to beginners but the symmetry mode is an excellent first picture icebreaker). We also showed off SumoPaint, Didlr and Webchemy – the latter package delivering excellent results which I look forward to posting soon. I also drew a few pictures in SMARTs own Note application which was very useable and often caught people’s attention because they recognised the interface  but not the outcome.
(drawing dinosaurs on Note program, SMARTboard).

For my part? Well, I’m in the post show/absolutely shattered phase at the moment (which, coincidentally has me wondering when the next show is because they’re a huge amount of fun to do). “For only drawing for 90 minutes a day?” you might say aloud in astonishment. “You great big wuss” you may additionally think, being, of course, far too polite to say such an accusatory awfulness aloud.

Well, no. Because literally every second I was there I spent either walking to new stands or drawing on devices I’d rarely seen before. BETT is a fabulous show and from day one I found myself surrounded by a plethora of devices I couldn’t wait to connect my stylus to, ranging from unreleased (as yet) larger screen tablets to table top projectors to huge interactive screen displays to… well… all sorts. The pedometer tells me I walked a minimum of 8 miles a day so I think I’ll return it as it’s obviously faulty. I did WAY more than that 🙂

(drawing a Marmite jar on an Epson tablet top interactive projector).

Four days were, very much, nowhere near enough. I made it a rule, one I almost stuck to, to not draw on any device twice, regardless of how much I liked it. Even with that constraint in place I found myself finishing the final day regretting a number of missed opportunities of screens unscribbled.

The highlight? Well, I like screens, and I found few I didn’t enjoy drawing on. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the Microsoft, Lenovo, Samsung, Dell, Sony and Intel stands. Again I surprised myself by enjoying the HP stand (sorry, but up until a yer or so ago I’d found HP screens to be muddy and laggy and unresponsive to the styli I rested against them). To find that the tablets on offer were significantly better than I remember was heartening and, most importantly, they had a HUGE six screen wall of monitors which they were kind enough to allow me to hijack for half an hour. THAT was the highlight of the four days for me, with the only regret that half an hour drawing on such a huge and impressing canvas was not nearly enough. A video to come on that, soon.

(drawing a Marmite jar on the HP six monitor set up using Microsoft Paint).

Another highlight was getting to take two sets of students to Chin Chin Labs 🙂 Which is ALWAYS a wonderful way to end an event day.

I’m told this looks like Santa Clause. Which I can sort of see, so is doubly brilliant.

All in all a hugely tiring and utterly excellent week.