Still loving the iPad 2/iPod Brushes combo but also had a couple of disappointments in that area over the past month or so so have gone back to a little bit of Photoshop playfulness. These are all variations of a workflow theme that I keep meaning to get into for some sort of linked series… (As ever: we’ll see).
Twas speaking with a friend who’s going for a job interview next week and chatting through possible lesson plans. Something sprung to mind and this came out of that twenty minutes later. I’ll come back to it at some point to finish it off (I’ve got an idea where it’s going) but thought I’d post it up as a progressy type thing.
Had an on again off again email chat with someone last night (who sounded like he had the most bizarre roller coastery day ever) and textured the meteor image and drew out a colour version of the big book draw book. Pics of the colour BBD to come but the textured meteor looks a little like this. I do think I’ll end up texturing the whole of the Wombat if time allows… We’ll see.
It’s a little bit of added Photoshop and a little bit of Pixelmator (with screensnapz at the end to grab the moment). I love Pixelmator to pieces – it’s a very groovy image editor as I’ve mentioned in the past – but it does struggle a little bit with multi layer 300 dpi images so Photoshop had to be dusted off to do a little bit of the placement.
Been sick as a sick pig past couple of days which hasn’t stopped me doing the occasional doodle. I’d been working on this image for a cover competition for the past few days so finished it up between hot lemon and whisky drinks and coughing fits.
Who knows. May win, may not. There is, as I imagine a Highlander might say, no second place. But Twas good to doodle with a definite aim and objective in mind.
Now, back to sleep methinks. Next week requires more energy than I currently feel I have.
OK so work is calling but I NEED to do something unrelated, if only for a few minutes. Today was great, teaching wise, as all of the students seemed to come out of the lesson with a good image bar a couple of students who understood why it didn’t work for them (didn’t follow the steps in the correct order which, in itself is a valuable lesson to learn)…
Also pleasant was the fact that as I was going through the lesson I was showing the steps piece by piece and that image came out pleasantly so uploaded it is and then off to a meeting that’s gonna last for hours…
Apparently V 1.5 of my favourite photo editing package (Pixelmator if you needed to ask) is out in a few short weeks time and it, and a small slanging match online, made me think of things I would like to see in the update: layer styles, brush palette coverflow and folders, layer groups, text rotation and manipulation in vector, nested palettes, mask to layer transform, wave filter, filter on filter deformation, CMYK and so on.
Which is actually a long list. Ironically 1.5 seems to be about web graphic manipulation so my little list isn’t likely to be looked at I would have thought, but hey, I am unusual. (The small slanging match was to do with a sadness I expressed that every review of Pixelmator dwells and overdwells on what’s missing, not what’s there. Despite this list – and this is a little like life, kids, there’s loads that Pixelmator does amazingly well and that’s what I judge it by not what it’s yet to be. That was described as irritating complaining but hey ho).
Anyhow, the other thing it made me think about was that two of my other favourite art packages are coming towards a refresh also and, in one case, a major update apparently: Blender hits 1.5 (doh! well spotted – 2.5 indeed) and Expression Design hits V3. Blender, we’re told, will have a completely upgraded user interface (which, I hate to say it, is long overdue. It’s intelligent but a little overwhelming and offputting) and Microsoft’s Expression Design…
Hmmm…. Well, we’ll see. ED2 (and 1 as well) are, in ways, a step back from the prior versions of the software (which reached their peak in Expresion 3.3 which is still available as a free download from Microsoft if you’re interested in a try out). I’d love to see ED become the de facto vector tool of choice for designers but there are a good few niggles and that’s a shame. I love it to pieces though, but there’s a fair few things that were taken out for no discernible reason (fill fringes? Effect lines? Fill softening? Variable stroke width?) and a good few things that I’d love to see in there: stroke mixing and blurring, layer transitions (by which I mean strokes moving from one layer into another giving the user a pseudo 3d effect, layer shadows with perspective depth and a better way to look at fill colours, vectors and bitmaps. And also, while we’re on the subject, a flipping Mac version.
Did read a review of Painter 11 which I’d love to play with and Photoshop CS4 needs to have more of a playthrough when I have the time. Good times for art software 🙂 It’s turning into a heck of a year for AAA art software 🙂
Just wish I had more time to play with the software and create more doodles 😉
So, if you’re lucky enough to have a Mac computer and like graphicy type things you may be interested to know that Pixelmator 1.4 drops down the intertubes tomorrow. I’ve bigged it up a couple of times, for good reason, and 1.4 represents another good jumping on point if you haven’t already.
Brushes seem to be the major focus for updates and indeed they’re tremendous fun to play with. Very smooth and with a number of variables to play with that open up the drawing side of the program to a lot of playful experimentation. Simply dragging an image onto the brush pallette creates a new shape to draw with and, from there, you can play with the stroke, opacity, randomisation and size. It’s great fun.
Apart from that haven’t seen that many other tool updates but have only been playing with it off and on for a week with the kind benefit of a beta tester ticket offered to me. The pro’s of the software are that it loads BLISTERINGLY fast. Opening up Photoshop next to Pixelmator is amusing, if nothing else and, for simple edits it’s now become the tool of choice. Brushes are now brilliant fun to play with and load up the software and plug in the Wacom tablet and it’s a lovely toy to sit and spend time with although, like most graphics software, the interface must be a little daunting if it’s your first time opening with an art program.
The cons? Primarily deep down stuff I think (and all IMO). No CMYK still, no pen tool, no wave filter, no animation (and some of the filters are beautiful in motion) and a number of other tools that I use regularly in Photoshop that have no representation in Pixelmator. I’m not overly keen on their variation of the type tool then again I’m not at all keen on Photoshop’s type tool either (what I’d love to see is a cartoon bubble box pop up, semi-opague, showing what you’re writing on screen and also in a new area to show obvious changes and edits. You would NOT believe how many times I get frustrated teaching students the Photoshop type tool and saying ‘have you presses command enter to exit type edit? Surely SURELY there has got to be a better way).
That said the kaleidoscope tool in Pixelmator is wonderful and I find it frustrating that Photoshop has no similar counterpart.
Overall? I’ve been using Photoshop since v3 le and in the time it’s become a powerful, bloated, slow, amazing piece of software. Has it changed much since, say, layers were introduced? Yes, although not ground shakingly so (although I do want to spend more time playing with the 3d features in CS$, sorry, CS4 – ahem). Pixelmator is very much the young upstart that’s coming in on the inside track and on only the fourth or fifth iteration is nail bitingly close to taking the crown of ‘go-to graphics software’. (IMO, natch. This is the internet after all, wouldn’t want to be burnt at any stakes here).
(Which is also not to say that other similar graphics software is not good: Expression is probably my overall favourite but a different beast to Pixelmator – vector not pixels, expensive not a bargain and unwieldy not graceful for a start), Fireworks is very good, Gimp good also and I tend to use a variety of software packages, depending on the job I’m working on), but Pixelmator is impressively powerful, professionally presented and good fun to muck about with. It’s also a tenth of the cost of Photoshop and 10% off being the obvious and easy to recommend alternative. For non-pro digital photographers it’s well worth a look, the auto enhance tool before worth the price of admission alone. If you enjoy such things I’d suggest and quick download and play about with the 30 day trial.
Just found a CD with some old artwork and this sprung up. Made me smile to re-see, sometimes I completely forget the doodles I’ve done. Couple more to come, although the cd is pretty scratched and isn’t happy transfering them all.
In other news: SNOW! Still. Which I fully like, except when it’s been thrown at me and gone done my neck. Slightly less pleasant then. Two days off work hasn’t been unpleasant either 🙂
This is the God so loved image at 100% magnification. See below for the whole image.
This is SERIOUSLY unsettling my poor lil Macbook… 🙁 It’s struggling like mad, just about made it (although without Photoshop I’ve been unable to check the CMYK settings and will have to do that tomorrow at college…)
Almost there though, phew. Looking forward to seeing it printed up large though, should be fun.
Seems ironic that this would be causing me so many issues, but issues it is and grumpy I am. This is the logo for the Triennial conference I did for Mark at Guildford Diocese and it seemed to go well, within time and budget, and liked by the people who received it.
Then I was asked to do a 2m square version of it for printing.
That’s fairly big.
And much as I like Pixelmator (which I do, lots. Less laggy and overheady that Photoshop and pleasantly laid out with some interesting filters to play with. Some things are missing though for me to totally swap over: CMYK, waves etc but I do like it a lot) it’s not up to going up to that size. Which leaves me with a headache for tomorrow (and tonight as I go to sleep trying to work out how to finish the image off…)
Anyhow, image sentiment fully agreed with, however as the software crashes on me for the tenth time or more harder to fully fall into the spirit of the words…