Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New pressure sensitive stylus: Jot Touch

Just a quick note: The long awaited Jot Touch is out now and can be ordered from the Adonit website. The Jot Touch is the a further development of the Jot and Jot Pro. With its small transparent plastic discs the Jot stylus was already one of the (if not "the") most precise stylus available at the moment. The new Jot touch adds pressure sensitivity and two customisable shortcut Buttons. The whole thing looks very prommissing. They also add a new dampering tip that should improve the feeling while drawing with the Jot Touch. Maybe this will solve the problems I have with the actual Jot Pro stylus (I wrote about this in a former post).

I already ordered a Jot Touch and will write a review after trying it out. Until then have a look for the Jot touch features on the Adonit website and read the first review from Macworld.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Will Microsofts Surface be a real drawing tablet?

Hello again,
this post will not be iPad related. This post will be about the new tablet from Microsoft (yes, I'm sorry for that) called "Surface" that was presented to the public in an event last monday.
So on first sight, it might be quite "off topic" but there is a fine detail that seems to be of interest here: The bigger pro version of the Surface tablet will come with a pen as an optional input device.

This pro version of Surface will run Windows 8 Pro, so as it seems, it will be a full pc in a tablet form. This would mean that you are able to run native windows drawing and painting software such as Photoshop, Painter, Sketch Pad Pro, Manga Studio etc. This in combination with a precise pen as an input device could really make a big deal.

By now, it is hard to get any more details about Surface. There are nearly no detailed informations available at the moment. So all interesting things like its price, battery life and especially informations about the pen still remain a secret by now.

All Information I can find regarding the pen are those: Surface seems to have two different kinds of "touch detection". The usual one for using your fingers and a second one that recognise the pen drawing on the screen. If the pen comes near the screen, the finger input is deactivated automatically, so you get a kind of palm rejection. Because of a quite thin layer of gorilla glass that covers the screen of the Surface, the distance between the pens tip and the screen is only about 0.7 mm. That would be great for drawing because such a small distance would give a similar feeling like drawing directly on paper.

Today a 47 minutes long video of the Microsoft Surface event was published. Unfortunately the pen is only shown for e few moments in action and what you'll see is only the use as a writing tool. If the pen would be a great drawing or painting tool I wander why Microsoft didn't point it out. So the video leaves more questions than giving answeres. Maybe this is the MS-version of trying to get a kind of Apple-like-hype for a new product :-).

Anyway, if the pen will work like expected, the Surface/pen combination could be like a Cintiq drawing tablet in form of a full featured tablett pc.

In my eyes this would be the first time, a competitor of apple comes out with a tablet feature that might be a real challenge for Apples iPad.

So maybe the rise of the Surface might bring Apple to the point where they might present there own pen input device for iPad. it shouldn't be a problem in regards of technology because last year, Apple already got patents for two different kinds of pen input devices that could be used for iPad. But with Apple patents you'll never know, if they will be turned into a real product or sleep forever in the drawer.

So I'm very curious about the details of the Surface tablet. If this product will not be a total flop like the Zune player, it might push the tablet market a bit further.

Let's wait and see. Regarding the availability of the Surface, the cryptic statement of Microsoft could be interpreted in the way that the "small" Surface version will come out at about october 2012 while the pro version with the pen that runs Windows 8 pro will follow three month later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stylus - or the search for the right iPad pen - part 2

Here is part two of my iPad pen thoughts/reviews


6) Now I want to talk about a quite different kind of stylus. The NomadBrush. As you see this one looks like a brush and that's exactly what it is. Of course it's a brush for the iPad, so don't dipp it into paint of any kind. The NomadBrush feels exactly like a brush when you use it. This is maybe not ideal for fine line drawing, but really great for coloring your drawings or directly paint on the iPad in an oil or watercolor style. If you are doing iPad art like this and have a background in classic painting, you should try this. It is beautiful made in a kind of japanese style with a piece of engraved wallnut wood on it. What you see on the picture is the version with the long bristles. By now there's als a version with short bristles available for those who prefer this.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stylus - or the search for the right iPad pen - part 1

Today I'd like to talk about using a stylus for drawing on the iPad. Maybe you remember Steve Jobs when he presented the iPad for the first time to the public.
He was proud that the iPad didn't come with a stylus and that it didn't need a stylus. In 2010 he said: "If you see a stylus, the blew it".

Well, he was surely right in regards of the everyday use of the iPad, but drawing and painting is another thing. When it comes to drawing on the iPad you'll quickly dicover that your finger isn't the ideal tool to get fine lines precisely on the iPad screen.

So imho you need a kind of stylus if you want to do draw on the iPad without getting completely frustrated.

By now even Apple itself got two quite new patents for two different kinds of stylus. So maybe we will see an Apple stylus one day, who knows.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

First story: The cable car ride - part 9 / all pre drawings

So here are once again all pre drawings in one post:

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

page 5

page 6

page 7

page 8

page 9

page 10

page 11

page 12

page 13

page 14

page 15

page 16

Now it's time to refine the drawings and to start the inking process. 

First story: The cable car ride - part 8

And here is finally the last page split into three separate drawings:

page 14

page 15

page 16

First story: The cable car ride - part 7

Here is the old page 2 divided into two separate pages:

page 4

page 5

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First story: The cable car ride - part 6

As you can see, the first two pages and the last one are in comic-style. That means that there are several panels on each page. The rest are one-pager. While basically I like the comic style more, I had doubts that my daughter will understand this, as she might be a bit to young. So I decided to split these multi panel pages into one pager. This is more picture book like.

Page 1 is now separated into three single pages, the new pages 1-3. Here they are:

page 1

page 2

page 3

Monday, June 11, 2012

First story: The cable car ride - part 5

and here are finally the last three pages of my cable car story, pages 9, 10 and 11.

page 9

page 10

page 11

So this is the cable car story so far. All pre drawings are finished. Now it's time for a lot of refinements.
More about this later.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

First story: The cable car ride - part 3

Here are the pre drawings of page 5 and page 6 of the cable car story:

page 5

page 6

Friday, June 8, 2012

First story: The cable car ride - part 2

Hello again,

here are the next two pre drawings for the cable car story: page 2 und page 3

page 3

page 4

more drawings in the next post

Thursday, June 7, 2012

First story: The cable car ride - part 1

Today I will post my first attempt in doing something like a short story in pictures for my daughter.

My daughter is a huge fan of cable cars. Here in Cologne there is a quite old cable car from the 50's that is still in use. It connects both sides of the river Rhine and it takes about 7-8 minutes to get from one side to the other. It's a funny ride just about 20-30 meters above the surface of the Rhine and a bridge that crosses the Rhine. The cable car itself is a relict from a large outdoor exhipition that took place in the 50's here in Cologne and because of its age it has a kind of steampunk atmosphere.

Anyway, Since the first time when my wife and me took our daughter to the cable car, she's hooked on it. At least every second day she asks us to take a ride with the cable car.

So I came to the idea of drawing a little story about my daughter taking an unusual ride with a cable car. Half based on my experience of trying to get her to sleep, half stolen from Little Nemo in Slumberland the story starts in her bed while she's having trouble in falling asleep. Then suddenly an empty cable car appears in her room and offers her a ride that is -well- not like the trip over the Rhine.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome to my new blog.

I've been a fan of Comics for a long time, especially of artists like Moebius, Caza, Schuiten, Bilal and Corben. So I've always wanted to create these kinds of drawn stories myself. So a long time ago I grabbed pencils, ink pens and colours and tried my best to get something acceptable on paper. But due to job and family reasons I didn’t get a lot of drawings done during the last years.

Meanwhile, I’ve become a huge fan of iOS-devices, especially iPhone and iPad. In addition to that I’m now father of a little daughter who will turn 3 in August.
So remembering my former interest in drawing, I combined my “father-role” with my affection for the iPad and landed on the idea of making a picture book for my daughter using my iPad. And basically this is what this blog will be all about.

The idea of this blog is to show the drawings and stuff, I will do for the picture book, but at the same time I will discuss, test and review different tools I will use on my way. These tools will obviously be drawing and painting apps for the iPad, but also other apps, I will come across in my “workflow”. And I will surely discuss also other matters, like “the right stylus for the iPad” for example.

I’m curious myself to discover where this blog might lead to. At least it will encourage me to find more time for creativity :-).

So as you've found my new blog, please stay tuned. I will post the first drawings soon.
And if you want to leave a comment, please feel free and go ahead :-).

Cologne, 31.05.2012