Vectornator X and Adobe Creative Cloud

I have just recently had to update to Adobe Creative Cloud in order eliminate some of the technical problems of an older version on my mid-2010 iMac. However, that will change near the end of the year when I migrate to something a bit more stable at Affinity Serif that’s more focused. As of now, I like what Adobe has done to Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign with some UI improvements that cuts through the nonsense and easier to navigate, especially with new features I haven’t seen before. They do a great job of it with the updates, although the subscription fees tend to have room for improvement to make things more enticing in terms of pricing. At the moment, I’m fortunate to have had a good offer that I took advantage of which should tide me for the next several months.

The following screenshots will illustrate what Creative Cloud looks like and the changes in the user interface.

Adobe Illustrator CC with some familiar layouts. The properties menu can be see on far right for legibility and access.

Adobe Illustrator CC with some familiar layouts. The properties menu can be see on far right for legibility and access.

Adobe InDesign CC which I swear by when it comes to document layout design ( and yes, that’s the latest flyer I’ve done for the fencing club ).

Adobe InDesign CC which I swear by when it comes to document layout design ( and yes, that’s the latest flyer I’ve done for the fencing club ).

By the end of the year, or maybe a lot sooner, I may be upgrading to a new 4K desktop which is definitely going to be needed in order to have access to a wider range of screen and print resolution sizes. But also the legibility of the 4k screen will be much easier on my eyes, providing clarity and sharpness to fonts which will be very handy. Having a wider gamut of color range will be nice thing to play with. With this new desktop, it’ll keep things relevant and last me another several more years, given the fact it’ll have an SSD ( solid state drive ) than a traditional hard drive which is one of my goals to have for stability purposes.

As for Vectornator, the latest version just came out this month for iOS, or iPad Pro, and I’ve always admired how they kept this app lean and clean. What made this current iteration stand out was the new feature of Auto Trace, something that Adobe Illustrator had the luxury of. I tested it out which worked amazingly well, although it did miss a few elements so I believe will require more adjusting to find the sweet spots for both simple and complex illustration elements to retain the shapes. I’m also looking forward to the Mac version when it comes out and that’ll be a nice addition to my toolset.

The following screenshots will show what Vectornator X looks like.

The original image of the pirate kraken for our fencing club’s mascot done on Procreate. I imported this file to Vectornator to test out the Auto Trace which is seen on the above right.

The original image of the pirate kraken for our fencing club’s mascot done on Procreate. I imported this file to Vectornator to test out the Auto Trace which is seen on the above right.

The kraken’s image traced. One can see that some elements are missing due to lack of detail. It’s a matter of adjusting to get the right amount to retain the look of the original.

The kraken’s image traced. One can see that some elements are missing due to lack of detail. It’s a matter of adjusting to get the right amount to retain the look of the original.

The vector nodes seen here proves that Vectornator’s trace tool definitely works!

The vector nodes seen here proves that Vectornator’s trace tool definitely works!

The ability to export with various file formats and the use of Continuity is just amazing. Even the Send to Illustrator is a godsend.

The ability to export with various file formats and the use of Continuity is just amazing. Even the Send to Illustrator is a godsend.

Alien comic tribute in the works

I’m in the process of creating a tribute in the form of a short comic inspired by the ALIEN film which is on its 40th anniversary. It’s being worked on by using Clip Studio Paint to utilize the inking brushes and panels. It took a bit of re-adjusting to learn the panel creation and divider tool and getting the hang of it. It has been a long while since I’ve done comics and jumping back into it created a unique workflow for me on the iPad Pro and managing some reference material to get the feel right. I’m really liking the perspective tool a lot ever since I used it exclusively on Sketchbook Pro but this is starting to make me re-think the workflow. However, Procreate’s perspective tool is elegant as well.

Some of the preview images are shown below portraying the process and this is all before the finalized version is finished.

Here’s the first page on Clip Studio Paint.

Here’s the first page on Clip Studio Paint.

The second page with the perspective grid tool used. So handy!

The second page with the perspective grid tool used. So handy!

A close up shot of the corridor as a work in progress.

A close up shot of the corridor as a work in progress.

New Oni Print Version

On my Society6 store, in the past I created a horizontal art print of the Oni demon with quoted Musashi philosophy at the side on things related to the martial arts and swordsmanship. And recently, a vertical version has been uploaded to fit in the poster template size on the store as the image was rebuilt on Photoshop seen below. So for those who prefer it vertical as an art print or poster, it can be found on my Society6 page.

I decided to keep the text centered like a box, in the form of zen, so as to not overwhelm the demon below as a subdued dynamic and composition. Whereas, the horizontal version shows more of the demon in larger size.

Oni2_Screenshot.jpg

Classic Typography Book

Recently, I stumbled across a used book for a price that I consider it to be a huge deal titled “ The Mystic Art of Written Forms, an Illustrated Handbook For Lettering “ by Friedrich Neugebauer. Since the Otter Creek Used Books was located close to where I live, it’s a gem where usually hard to find or out of print books can be found in there. Interestingly enough, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio, there was a similar chain called Half Price Books that their storefronts were huge in scale that I would spend a couple of hours perusing and looking for specific titles especially when doing research on my illustration or design work. Or simply for reference gathering.

And when I first saw this book, my jaw dropped while looking at the interior pages. I knew the style looked familiar and the more I leafed through it, the book was a must buy for my library of art books and reference. I discovered that this book was published in 1981 before the internet days and one can tell by the lack of web URLs and how the pages were designed. I’ve been working on a small personal project that relates to medieval style calligraphy or hand writing which led me to this find. This book by Neugebauer is a classic which I can’t wait to finish reading and one in which will help formulate ways or approaches to font or type layout. This is not just for graphic designers, but illustrators or artists that can make good use out of it.

After all, Friedrich Neugebauer is one of the design gods.

Cover of the Neugebauer book.

Cover of the Neugebauer book.

Stunning, isn’t it?

Stunning, isn’t it?

After having seen this page, I knew I had to have this book.

After having seen this page, I knew I had to have this book.

Dark Desecration Poster Arrives

In the mail, the poster print has just arrived a few days ago from Society6 with a glossy surface appearance which is expected. Because of the price alone, it’s quite reasonable for those who like to keep it simple and put on the wall. But for those who prefer something a bit fancier, the art prints are the way to go due to the archival photo paper stock and print quality. I’m pleasantly surprised at how well this came out as a few other pieces of mine are now included in the poster category besides art prints.

The entire poster shown here.

The entire poster shown here.

Close up of the details.

Close up of the details.

This is thickness of the poster and the glossy surface’s appearance

This is thickness of the poster and the glossy surface’s appearance