Character Project: Round Two Notes

General / 04 September 2020

So here is an update to my character project. I removed the bio-mechanical arm she had because I didn't like any of the designs I had for it. Hard surface modeling isn't my thing yet. But my focus on female anatomy and accessories I think is paying off. I really like what I have so far and am looking for anymore accessory ideas to add. Then I'll look to retopologize and get her ready as a game mesh and texturing her.

Give Me My Infinity

General / 06 April 2020

So lately I was reminded of just how good the simple programs we use can be so much better than the monolithic ones(*ahem Corel Painter *ahem). As an artist I love finding new tools for my tool belt that will allow me to be creative quickly and efficiently where I don't have to think about the technicalities of the application or hardware that I'm using. Once such application is "Mischief". Or perhaps "Made With Mischief"? I'm not sure which is the proper name of this wonderful application.

I came across it a few years ago and was instantly drawn to its simple interface and brush palette. And the quick brush strokes that kept up with my hand as I made gestures both big and small across the canvas on my tablet. And of the course the best part--the infinite canvas, oh the infinite canvas. Is this not every digital artists dream? Of course I know you can always resize the canvas in the other digital painting apps but there is something about knowing that you can pan and pan and pan and pan and pan until infinity when creating. As well as zooming in til your hearts content.

The original mind behind the software is Sarah Frisken who worked on the technology behind Mischief (again, or is it Made With Mischief?) for 15 or so years before we saw the release of the app. Now back in 2014, Mischief was purchased by our friends at The Foundry. Unfortunately in 2016  updates on the software essentially stopped and the community was left to wonder why The Foundry was dragging its feet.

Well last summer we found out--the Foundry was discontinuing the product. As a user and artist I was saddened by this as were others but was left with the hope that the technology behind Mischief would find its way into a new 2d drawing app from The Foundry. I still have hope but haven't heard anything through the grapevine as of yet.

As an artist I need, we need, these simplistic applications for our creative needs, If I, if we, are left only with the Adobe's, Autodesk's and The Foundry's of the world to provide us with bloated software that require subscriptions then I, we, may just have to revert back to good ole Microsoft Paint.

Ok, that may be a bit extreme and maybe dramatic. 😝

*Side note: A new app I discovered is called Krita and is an open source digital painting app. Although it doesn't employ the same technology as Mischief, it is very responsive for me and I truly enjoy working in it. It is worthy of a quick check.

Just Can't Do Corel Painter

General / 05 April 2020

With the purchase of my new Mac I decided it was time to upgrade my copy of Corel Painter. After all I was still using Painter 2012 and at this point will it even run on macOS Catalina? I went ahead and paid the upgrade cost and installed it and began to “play”. I wanted to see how it ran. Being on the latest and greatest Apple machine it should run quite well, right?

Well, not exactly. I honestly got as far as using a few of the canvas commands and a bit of painting when I realized it wasn’t going to work for me. If remedial functions such as panning or rotating the canvas cause severe stuttering and lag on a machine like this then I know it’s time to look elsewhere. Remember this machine has a 32GB workstation video card.

I really want to use Painter but I can’t stand software that is laggy. As a digital artist one of the most important elements of any software is responsiveness. If I have to unnecessarily wait for the software to perform some task and it disrupts my flow then I will quickly toss it aside(or in the case of ZBrush, upgrade my storage speed. I can’t rid of ZBrush).

I know there are many artists out there that use Corel Painter and create wonderful works of art with it so I am interested to see if there is a work around for this issue or if I am experiencing a unique performance anomaly.

Side note, when opening Painter, you are asked to run a performance test to see if Painter will run well on your machine. On this new Mac Pro I would expect it should run at a very high level, or at least get test results that specify such. So I’m not sure what to make of the result below. The results came back "Good"? What do I need to get "Fantastic?" or "Awesome?" I'd even take "Gooder".