Years ago, I had Painter 9 for my older Power Mac G4 desktop tower and enjoyed it, however it had an antiquated brush engine that lagged badly especially for inking sequential art until Clip Studio Paint came along which saved me a lot of trouble. The original CSP I had was entirely in black and white and then they released a color engine with new brushes that rendered Photoshop and Painter almost pointless with a focus on comics and fantasy illustration. It was a godsend. That is, of course, until Procreate arrived for the iPad Pro market that became a very strong contender, impressing me big time. Recently, I downloaded a trial version of Corel Painter 2019 and thought they did such a nice job fixing the brush engine and it shows. I’ve had no trouble using the brushes on my 2010 iMac workstation with my Wacom Intuos4. However the tablet didn’t have multitouch which made the process very awkward, now that I’m so used to my iPad Pro’s workflow. I’m seriously contemplating replacing my Intuos with a new Wacom 16 inch Cintiq or an XP-PEN tablet which is a bit cheaper and gets the job done although I’ve never seen or used their products before. I need to make sure my iPad Pro to desktop flow goes smoothly with multitouch so I can use the tools better because the Intuos 4 does tend to put a crimp to the projects. Corel painter 2019 is a big update and quite expensive, however it’s UI layout made it a bit awkward to switch around brushes and other functions despite the short keys that are available. The art in the following photos I did are not meant for finalization but as a test drive on the software. I’ve had less than a few days in the trial and just wanted to experiment with it out of curiosity. I do recommend Painter for those who are used to the interface and have experience in the painting realm. For now, I’ll be sticking with Clip Studio Paint, Procreate, Paintstorm, Sketchbook Pro and Concepts as my main tools of choice.
I've been experimenting with Clip Studio Paint that's a full version, paid by monthly subscription, on the iPad Pro which is really amazing and useful. It's especially great now that Celsys has lowered the price of the iOS version so that it's more manageable for the budget and keep on using it. Lately, I was getting into the japanese oni demons and wanted to tinker around with the tools of CSP to see how I can work with the layers in order to observe how closely it behaves compared to the desktop version. Incredibly, it is literally the exact same thing and ports over native files well enough through Dropbox, in my case, however I found uploading the image to the CSP cloud via iPad Pro to the desktop a bit of a problem but I'm sure there's a way to do it on the Mac platform.
It is nearly completed as I've to fix a few areas before adding the text quote marks in the negative space and consider having it available as a printed piece, probably on Society6. I believe with more experience on this particular platform, it would make it easier to work around the UI and workflow process more seamlessly. I'm really liking CSP on mobile so far.
Just over a month ago, I have been working hard to acquire an iPad Pro with 256 gb of storage which is the top of the line model. With a business plan in hand, I got a special grant from a local agency to assist in my professional endeavors to make this acquisition which turned out to be a huge help. With experience using the Wacom Intuos over the years, I thought having the iPad Pro would be the next step to complement my digital art workflow because I needed the mobility outside of my studio.
The most important factor to me was accuracy and palm rejection in order to have natural flow. I'm quite pleased to say that the Apple Pencil does the job very nicely. It's no Wacom but comes extremely close even though the portability factor is what made it stand out. But the pressure sensitivity of Apple Pencil is one of the most amazing experiences I've had and the ability to tilt the pencil for a shading effect is eerily accurate. I think the Pencil and Wacom styluses are the best in the market for digital art, in my view.
I was considering a Surface Pro but decided against it that it would take another iteration or two for Microsoft to perfect it and I'm sure they will, having seen their latest Surface Creative PC as one of their best innovations to date.
Now that I have the iPad Pro, this will allow me to brainstorm and lay out the concepts visually, even do full size illustrations when I can, outside of my studio instead of being 'chained' to my desktop. This was the most liberating experience I've had using this tablet.
But it's not to say I'm going to stop using my sketchbook. Far from it. I will always stay old school by hand to facilitate my thought process naturally.
As of current, Procreate is now one of my most favorite apps for my illustration work along with Sketchbook Pro. Adobe Sketch and Draw are also excellent which I recommend. Even Forge and Concepts are fantastic which I'm starting to experiment with, especially when it comes to storyboarding when I delve back into this industry. AstroPad will be my next app to add in so that I can remotely treat my iPad Pro as a Wacom Cintiq and this will be handy when using Manga Studio on my desktop tethered to the tablet.
There's so much I can experiment and work with on my future project endeavors.
Recently, I've been featured on a blog regarding the excellent iOS app Shake which is a software solution for mobile professionals to create contracts on the go in a simplified manner. I've used it a few times and it works beautifully for me with dealing with local or out of town clientele with a low to medium budget.
It's also used for other kinds of contracts that can be customized which can be very handy. I don't think it completely replaces the need for high level and complex contract situations when it comes to large projects in relation to clients with huge budget in their project or product endeavors. That part will, for the most part, require a lawyer to go over the intricate parts of the legalese.
At first, I was a bit worried that Shake would complicate things, but it turned out to be much easier to use. I was able to formulate a contract with a couple of local clients and build up an agreement with each one of them. Then as an end result, it automatically generates a PDF for previewing and approval. The signature would be written horizontally on the iOS version with the stylus or pen. It would be like sending a virtual signature to them long distance and they do the same in return. The clients got confused at first but after I explained to them how it works, the hiccups were smoothed over.
And once they sign it, I get an alert and the agreement is stored in the cloud archives for backup. It's really convenient and quick, especially more so when I'm not home and get asked to create an agreement on the fly without having to tether myself to the home computer.
Here's the link to the blog feature.