Sunday, February 5, 2012

Long Time

Great scott, he's not dead Jim!
Long Time
So I haven’t posted anything here in a tiny bit over a year, and last year wasn’t one to remember (thank you Jager). This year I have vowed to make some active changes in my life and picking this back up is going to be one of them. I’m not sure if I want a schedule for this yet or not, but I will figure that out later. Now, I could make many excuses about how busy I’ve been and about such and such hardship, but the truth behind why I haven’t provided any content is simple: I’ve been lazy and my priorities have been in the wrong place.

New Leaf
So some of the things I have planned are some game reviews, mostly indie titles I’ve come to know and love, but also some old school stuff from my childhood. That’s all nice and such, but its not among my real goal here. That is a very simple one: Tutorials.

Knowledge is Power.
Brainy is the “new” sexy, and I want to provide some simple teachings through the computer in the form of tutorials for creative options such as Adobe Photoshop, Blender, The GIMP, and many more. When I find fantastic resources of information and teachings I also plan on passing on that knowledge in the form of links and shoutouts.

And really… that’s about it... so.... yeah....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Your Last Moments: One Chance

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted; One moment.
Would you capture it or just let it slip?” - Eminem “Lose Yourself”

I discovered this Newgrounds flash game named 'One Chance' from Ars Technica, and I was instantly ingrigued by the fact that you were limited by time in a world rapidly dying. Naturally I needed to play this myself.
Right away I knew it was something special: a wonderful selection for the over-all mood-setting audio that would be heard throughout the game, wonderful throw-back graphics to classic computer adventure games, and on your very first day, youre the savior of the planet.. It felt wonderful.

Starting out in my bedroom for the day, I walked about a bit confused. The controls are simple enough (arrow keys and space bar) but what was my goal here. So I went to work after talking to my wife and daughter. And we celebrated. Then everything would be dead in 5 days. “Wait... What?” I wasted(?) a day at the bar. From then on I decided on a different idea: Actually try and save the world.

I will no longer talk about my gameplay of this simple yet powerful game, as it NEEDS to be experianced by the inidividual on their own, but I will say that for being so simple a game in it's graphics, music, characters, and story, that I felt helpless, hopeless, and heartbroken.

And I wanted to play again, but all i get is me. Helpless and hopeless. And alone.

A game this simple is fantastic because you are forced to deal with your choices you make. Given six in game days until the world ends doesnt sound very compelling, but when you have no idea what youre actions could or could not achive, it makes you think about what is important to you in life, and what SHOULD be important to you. Final days or otherwise.

How will YOU spend your last six days? Find out Here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Interface of a Digital Artist

      I want to talk about some more open source programs, but before I do that, I would first like to talk about a wonderful piece of hardware that I personally own a unit of. This periferal is a graphics tablet; it's a way to interface with your computer as an artist.
      Have you ever tried to draw or paint digitally with a mouse? It's frustrating and difficult, and some (many?) would say even impossible. Now imagine drawing and painting digitally into almost any creative program with a pen stylus and a small to large tablet similar to the mouse pad on your laptop.
      This hardware has a name, and it is called Wacom and works natively on a Windows or Mac OS X machine. There's even a driver maintained for Linux.
Yay Linux!

The unit I currently own...
      The Wacom Company is headquartered in Japan, and others in the United States and Germany. The tablet comes in different sizes, versions, prices, and features, ranging from $50 US to $2,000 US. Regardless of only the few headquarters around the world, they still ship to just about anywhere, if not everywhere.
      Some of their newer units offer touch capabilities, tilt sensing, and more, all very impressive, especially concidering the price. If your are a digital artist of any industry of medium, be it 3D modeling and sculpting to sketching to digital painting to just writing down notes or even writing a paper inside of Microsoft Word, then you should seriously concider a graphics tablet from Wacom.

... and the unit I will eventually own!

      But you may be asking me “Are you being paid to say such things good sir?” and to that I would reply with “Good God no!” and then show you for yourself. So here it goes.

      If you have any interest in digital sculpting in a program like Zbrush, Mudbox, or even using the sculpting tools inside of Blender, you will probably already know that it can be done with just mouse and keyboard, but that like all other forms of digital art, it would just be so much simpiler using your own two hands. Using a graphics tablet means you can directly influence and work with your sculpture. Draw lines on it, cut into it, sculpt features, all more simply with a graphics tablet.

      Digital painting shouldn't even be attempted without a tablet. Get full control over your brush and paint with pressure and tilt sensitivity.

      Wacom does what Nintendon't... wait...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Photo-edit on a budget

         Oh Adobe's Photoshop, one of the miracle programs of the late 20th century. Few even realize how much this application impacts and alters our perception and vision in our constant day-to-day lives. One can't see a photo in an advertisement anymore without it having gone through Photoshop first. Billboards, commercials, movie posters, Internet ads, and even video games all gain assistance from Photoshop.
         And you too can learn this professional program and use it for many variously applications, be it hobby or professional. But what if you cant afford the price? At nearly 700 bucks, few of us small guys CAN afford this miracle program. So what can you use now if you want to 'shop your dog's head onto your little sister?
         Open source offers the answer in a wonderful program by the name of GIMP (or for you old schoolers “The GIMP”). The Gnu Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, works very similarly to photoshop, offering you the ability to composite photographs together into a new artistic, humorous, or professional image. And that's only the beginning. Much like it's Adobe counterpart, GIMP limits you very little.
         Want to make new icons for the files on your computer? Do it in GIMP.
         Make textures in the video game you're currently making? GIMP allows that freedom.
         And so much more. What's that you ask? The price? Why my good friend, its simple.
         GIMP is an open source program and follows a specific philosophy. Its Free: Free as in beer, and free as in freedom. Thats right. If you know coding, you can get the code the makes up the program, and alter it, making it work better for you. Or perhaps you need a tool to behave a different way, or need a new one all together. Make it and share it for others, many others already do just that.
         If you have been holding back on doing those silly or hobby artist images because of the cost of other well known programs, don't. Download GIMP from here, and set yourself free!

An Introduction

Hmm... a little about me huh? Well, I am a current student in Graphic Communications at ITT Technical Institute, and i have been using various digital art programs for about a year now. I have been teaching myself so it has been slow going but enjoyable.
This blog will be me talking about various programs i have used and enjoy or just in general find to be very interesting. My hope is you as a reader will discover something new, something fresh, and maybe even learn somethings. Enjoy