Showing posts with label Manga Studio 5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manga Studio 5. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Birthday: Pipsie, Nature Detective

Pipsie, Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar by Rick DeDonato and illustrated by me is out in the world now! Pipsie is published by the amazing team at Two Lions Publishing.

I'm really excited since Pipsie is the result of years of hard work by many people behind the scenes. If you see Pipsie in the wild I hope you enjoy it just as much I loved illustrating her.

PipsieCover

Here are some fun behind the scenes stuff for Pipsie.
The character design went through MANY iterations.
Pipsie character1
First character design ideas for Pipsie. I really liked the lab coat but it didn't really convey nature detective.



Pipsie Hair
Exploring Pipsie's hairstyles.
Pipsie Outfit4 1
Accessorizing Pipsie's outfit.
Pipsie2
Getting closer to the final Pipsie look.
TracyBishop PipsieCharacterFinal
The final Pipsie!


This is what my work space looked like while I was finishing up Pipsie.
TracyWorkspace2 2TracyBishopWorkSpace

To find out more about Pipsie, visit her website. There are a lot of activity sheets for you to enjoy.
www.pipsienaturedetective.com.

You can also see Pipsie information on her Facebook page.


Places to buy the book.
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pros of Using a Surface Pro 3 for Illustration

For years now, I've dreamed of being able to work remotely without having to lug around my laptop and Cintiq.

For a while, I'd been eyeing what seemed to be the top three options for a portable digital work station: the Cintiq Hybrid, the Cintiq Companion and the Surface Pro 3. Getting to try out one of the Wacom options proved to be impossible--I couldn't find one near me to test out. So one day I went to my local Best Buy to see if they had any Surface Pros on display. Luckily they did and I was very impressed! After a few days, my husband surprised me with one for my birthday and I was off to the races.

Now that I've had it for a good four months, it's safe to say I love it!

Specs:
  • Surface Pro 3 Intel i7, 1.7 GHz with 256 GB
  • Screen Resolution: 2160x1440
  • Uploaded Software: Manga Studio 5

Favorite Features:
  1. Compatibility Manga Studio 5 (my illustration preference) is perfectly compatible with this machine. It's interface is made for touchscreen units with the ability to rotate/scroll/pan with your fingertip (see video below). I have seamlessly worked back and forth between the Surface Pro 3 and my iMac/Cintiq using Dropbox to share my files. Also, the line quality and pen pressure in Manga Studio for my Surface Pro 3 is very close to what I get on the Cintiq. After some fooling around, I got the pen pressure on the Surface Pro 3 to match my desktop's Manga Studio pen pressure settings.
  2. Convenience It is super light and the battery lasts a good 6 hour work session without being plugged in. The plug itself is petite and not cumbersome at all. Plugging into an outlet at Starbucks is hassle-free.
  3. Ease of Use Being that I am an Apple person, the Microsoft interface was foreign, but only took a bit of exploring to get used to. Finding apps, saving documents and locating files is pretty straight forward.
  4. PALM REJECTION! I have had no hiccups with the Surface Pro 3 rejecting the palm of my hand when I'm working. No stutters at all. This makes drawing on the Surface Pro 3 about a million times better than my experiences with trying to draw on an iPad.
  5. The Kickstand The kickstand on my Cintiq 12 only locks in to one angle which at times feels too low. The kickstand on the Surface Pro 3 is firm at any angle you want to set it and will not give in to pressure from my arm while drawing. 
  6. The Screen The screen is WAY brighter and clearer than my Wacom Cintiq. The colors also match my desktop WAY better then my Cintiq ever has.
  7. Multitasking I can have one app open on the left hand of the screen and another open on the right simultaneously. It's nice to be able to see the manuscript I'm working on and Manga Studio open on the screen at the same time!
Yes, like any other art tool, it will take a few hours to get used to. But overall, for me, the Surface Pro 3 is the perfect machine for working on the go for final illustrations and/or for sketching. It is snappy and may be faster and stronger than my Macbook pro (which is a few years old now). I've taken it everywhere and (knock on wood) it has been flawless.

Brightness of my working screens: iMac (top), Cintiq 12 (middle), Surface Pro 3 (bottom). The SP3 wins!

 Any lag between stylus and screen? If so, it is teeny tiny.


Rotating, panning, zooming using fingertip control.






Friday, February 21, 2014

My Transition from Photoshop to Manga Studio 5

Hello everyone! It's been quite a while since I posted here! For the past few months I've been knee-deep in illustrating a new picture book set to come out in the Fall.

I've had my head down illustrating pretty much every spare moment I had since September, but I've finally emerged from my art coma and want to tell you all about my experience with Manga Studio 5!

I transitioned over from Photoshop to Manga Studio with this latest project, so I got four months of serious on-the-job training with the program. I went from ZERO knowledge of the program to it becoming second nature.

I have to admit that I had tinkered around with the program for a while last summer, but gave up because I just wasn't feeling comfortable with it. Then right before I started this last project, I fiddled with Manga Studio some more. At the same time, Photoshop started becoming finicky and began feeling super clunky. I went back to Manga Studio (with some nudging from fellow SMA illustrator Tracy Bishop) and gave it another try because I was just getting too frustrated with Photoshop feeling like it was laggy and slow.

When this last picture book project came along in September, I bit the bullet and decided to go for it--to try and complete a painting in Manga Studio. The cover was due first and I figured I could attempt the cover in Manga Studio and switch back over to Photoshop if things didn't pan out.

Well, let's just say I fell in love with Manga Studio and never looked back.

Here are a few of the main reasons Manga Studio is the clear winner for me:

  • The brush engine is a million times better than Photoshop's. There are way more options to finesse your brushes in terms of pressure and color blending, etc. Manga Studio also allows for creating brushes using multiple images at once which is something I have always wished that Photoshop could do.
  • The perspective guide/ruler is AMAZING. It came in handy SO MUCH. Manga Studio allows for your pencil/brush lines to snap to the perspective ruler which takes a lot of fuss out of drawing cityscapes (or anything in perspective, really).
  • The ability to create models of people in different poses and angles really helped for my latest project. I painted scenes where there were many, MANY people in them and my husband would only model for me for so long, so I had to build poses in Manga Studio (which is supremely easy to do).
  • You can set the fill bucket to close gaps in your line drawing, making laying on the first layer of color so much quicker than attempting that in Photoshop. 

Just one window of the MANY different brush options Manga Studio 5 has.

The poseable 3D models are an amazing feature. It isn't a memory hog and never slowed my computer down at all.

In all, I worked 100% in Manga Studio with this latest book project and just figured it out as I went. I have to say that my fellow Simply Messing About blogger, Tracy Bishop really, really helped me out if I found myself stuck. She's been using Manga Studio for a while and had the answer to pretty much all my questions! ;) Check out her wonderful Manga Studio tour video!

In case you're wondering, I never had to take any of my images back to Photoshop for any retouching or post-painting work. I suppose everyone paints differently, so there is a chance you might need to go back and forth for certain things, but I didn't have to. I pretty much found a solution to anything I needed to do in Manga Studio. However, if you do need to switch back and forth, Manga Studio makes it easy to export or even save your file as a Photoshop file!

If you have the opportunity to try out Manga Studio, I highly, highly recommend it. It's like Manga Studio's creators took everything illustrators and painters love from Photoshop, made them a million times better and then added more awesome stuff on top! All without having to deal with the bogged down feeling that Photoshop can bring. I must also mention that Manga Studio is a mere fraction of the cost of Photoshop. Yay!

In the weeks to come, I will be doing tutorials based on some of my favorite things about Manga Studio....keep an eye out for them! Until then, do yourself a favor and at least download a trial version of Manga Studio 5 if you can!

'Til next time!

~christina



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Manga Studio 5 Mini Tips: Color Palettes

There are two main ways that I use Manga Studio 5's color palette.

  • Tip 1 is how I save the color swatches I use in Photoshop and import them into Manga Studio 5. This allows me to go back and forth between the two programs and keep the colors consistent.
  • Tip 2 is about how I like to create new color palette files for each illustration project and save it for future use. I really like how quick and easy it is to create new palettes. It's also nice that MS5 gives you options to save it as a MS5 file or as a Photoshop swatch file.
Tip 3 is from fellow Simply Messing About contributor, Christina Forshay:

  • In her latest project, Christina made sure she named her swatches so she could use the correct color throughout her book. 


Tip 1: Import Photoshop's color swatch file: 

I frequesntly import color swatches that I use in Photoshop into MS5. This is really useful when I move my illustration files back and forth from Photoshop to Manga Studio and want to keep the colors consistent.

In Photoshop: Save your swatch that you want to use in MS5.

Save the .aco file. This is Photoshop's color swatch file extension.


Go to Manga Studio 5: Import the .aco file you just saved.


Select your .aco file.


Now you have your Photoshop color swatch in Manga Studio.




Tip 2: Create custom color palettes for each project 

I like to create new color palettes for every illustration project I have and save it in the project folders. I do this because it's easier to have the palette I use for each project accessible just in case changes are requested to an illustration weeks later.

Yes, I know that I can use the color picker but there are so many places where the colors are mixed that I want to know what original color I started with. That way I can make sure colors don't gradually shift from the first page of a book illustration to the last.







Tip 3 from Christina Forshay: Naming Color Swatches







Friday, May 31, 2013

Manga Studio 5 Part 2- Painting Demo and Custom Brushes

Here's my second video about how I use Manga Studio 5 for digital illustration.
It's a bit long and rambly but I talk a more about how I use certain features, a bit about art in general, and a look at how I make custom brushes in MS5.



Manga Studio 5 Painting and Custom Brushes demo by Tracy Bishop from Tracy Bishop on Vimeo.

Link:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Quick tour of Manga Studio 5

For the past year I've been using Manga Studio 5, an $80 program from SmithMicro, as my primary tool for digital painting. I still use Photoshop for certain things but for the most part, the bulk of the work is done in MS5.

Why did I switch to Manga Studio 5? In a nutshell- it's because it's a speedy program with powerful features made just for digital artists.

The video below will give you a basic tour of what Manga Studio 5 looks like and what features I use and find the most helpful for digital illustration.

 The main idea I want to convey is that this is not a scary program to learn. There are a lot of similarities with Photoshop. Have fun and the only way to learn is just to dive in and mess around.

 Next week I will post a demo video of me actually painting something in Manga Studio 5. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or find me on twitter @TracyBishopArt.


Quick Tour of Manga Studio 5 from Tracy Bishop on Vimeo.

Resources: