Ancient people painted hunting scenes on the rocks using mammoth hair brushes and natural dyes. Now the ball is ruled by computers, at the beginning of the 21st century the artist’s main tool is a graphic tablet. But it is also being supplanted by interactive monitors – LCD panels with an electromagnetic pen. Drawing on them is much easier than on paper, and we will explain how to do this, using the example of Wacom Cintiq 12WX.
Anna Ogorodnikova, a professional animator, one of the creators of emotions for the cartoon characters of the Mill studio, the creator of comics for the game Natalie Brooks, and the illustrator in the magazine “What’s New in Science and Technology” (the list is incomplete) will help to do this.
A. O .: You may ask me: why an interactive monitor? Many have enough pencil and paint. Alas, if you want to be a professional illustrator, you will have to do the work “in digital” – it is difficult to replicate the canvas. Not everyone can get used to the tablet, although everything is convenient with him, where he drew the line, it was displayed there.
M. P .: Let’s start training. As an artist prepares for work, laying out brushes and mixing colors, the designer also connects his creative tool. This is an easy task – you just need to connect the wires to the Break-out box – the switching box.
You can draw immediately after connecting, but don’t hurry – install the driver first, otherwise the interactive monitor will not distinguish the pressing force, and perform the calibration procedure. After that, you can run a graphics editor. Tablets are supported in most of them (and even in the free GIMP), but the most convenient tools still remain two: Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. We settled on the latter – it is much easier to find it in Russia, and if you wish, download the demo version from the Adobe site.
We will draw an abstract cartoon hero without using anything other than an interactive monitor for work.
Hint: even if you do the work for the Internet, set the resolution of the image more, and send a reduced and slightly cropped copy to the customer. This is useful in case of disagreements and will help if you just upload your work to the network – often people assume authorship and go and prove later that you were right.
A. O .: The very first stage of creating a cartoon character is a sketch. If you have at your disposal only a traditional tablet, then it’s better to make a sketch on paper. However, with an interactive monitor, everything is easier, especially if you adapt.
So, we got some kind of “doll”, without eyes and nose, but with lines of symmetry. Do not immediately try to draw clean lines, it is impossible. Or let’s say this: I never learned this – training is not enough, we need a special mindset.
When you draw something for sale (for example, clipart in advertising), you need to be prepared for the fact that your creation will be reflected horizontally to fit into the design. Do not let yourself be caught by surprise, try to do it yourself with the help of the Photoshop command “reflect”. Correct the image so that it looks normal on both sides.
After the sketch is complete, you need to circle it “clean”. This is a simple task if you are used to an interactive monitor, but at first it may be difficult. Try a stroke by curved lines (for some reason it is called vectorial among artists). Do not forget to sometimes “mirror” the drawing for verification.
Hint: if you can’t get to the lines exactly, just enlarge the image. This is very convenient to do with the keys to the left of the touch area. Someone prefers to use for these purposes. interactive monitor A little more and not to scale, but it seems to me that a 12 “tablet is more than enough.
Well, we have completed a stroke, and begin the most crucial stage – coloring. First, carefully apply the tone at the contours …
Then you can work with large brushes. In the same way as the make-up artist imposes a foundation, so we “ground” the surface, and then we work out the details – shadows and highlights. To understand where they need to be placed, just close your eyes and imagine the character drawn in a modern three-dimensional editor. It is not necessary to switch between colors each time – do not forget that the tablet perfectly “catches pressing”. Set the saturation of the brush to the level of about 30% and press more strongly where necessary. By the way, the slope of the electromagnetic pen is also monitored, experiment with this.
Do not be afraid to use layers as much as possible (if, of course, your computer allows it). Then you can, for example, change the tone of the hero’s jacket, or check how he looks with blue eyes. And if you work in one layer, then painting will have to start almost anew!
Hint:To simplify your work, use Photoshop masks – select the “tinted” part in a separate layer. Now you don’t need to worry that the brush will accidentally fall behind the edges of the base color.
So, our character is ready. Now we can try it in different color solutions (however, everything turned out well here – there is no sense to lay out variations).
Once again we mirror (just in case), we correct the nuances and enclose the simplest background.
M. P .: Working with an interactive monitor turned out to be very simple – even I managed to draw something (but I will not post my scribbles on the Internet). Of course, the main thing in the work of an artist, designer, or animator is first and foremost talent and skill. But a good tool never hurts.
Interactive monitor Wacom Cintiq 12Wx – this is the development of the idea of Intuous tablets. Electromagnetic sensor is located under the LCD display (screen resolution 1280×800). Alas, because of the sensor, the brightness of the display leaves much to be desired (it is especially inconvenient to work in bright light), but the colors are transmitted perfectly.
Due to the fact that the thickness of the interactive monitor is only 1 centimeter, it is convenient to keep it on your lap, almost like a regular album. In earlier versions of interactive monitors, the cables were connected directly to the device, but the Cintiq 12WX is too thin for this. Unfortunately, most of the switching connectors are in a separate breakout box, and you will have to put up with the confusion of wires and additional equipment on the table.
But, unlike the PL-720 series interactive monitors, not only D-SUB is supported, but also DVI. To draw on the tablet and see the image on the screen, you need a video card with two outputs.
On the sides of the 12 ”screen are control keys and touch panels that can be configured to the necessary actions (in the process of drawing, you can do without the help of the keyboard). Alas, because of this, the size of the tablet itself significantly increases, it is 405 x 270 x 17 mm and is comparable to a classic 15 “laptop. It is inconvenient to carry it in a backpack; the weight cannot be called small either (about 2 kg).
Included with the Cintiq 12WX comes the Cintiq Grip Pen. If you wish, you can purchase other tools, for example, Cintiq Airbrush (only five tools). They imitate the sensations of traditional graphic tools, such as a brush or airbrush.
However, even with a simple pen you can do anything, changing the brushes in Photoshop. The electromagnetic sensor is able to recognize 1024 levels of depression – this is quite enough for modern graphic programs.
Perhaps the most significant drawback of an interactive monitor is a slight “inhibition” on weak computers. It’s not possible to do very quick touches: after all, the USB port has a bandwidth limit. But, compared to the younger models, the Cintiq 12WX works very, very quickly.
In conclusion, we can say that the Cintiq 12WX is a truly professional and convenient tool, and nothing similar in the price segment up to 50 thousand rubles does not exist. Already for this you can put up with many shortcomings. However, manufacturers would have to think about the production of a smaller version of the tablet – many artists today are mobile, and “carry everything with them.” And it would be nice for computer developers to take care of miniature BareBone (Asus company with its concept of a computer keyboard gives good hopes).
Material author: Mikhail Panyushkin, [email protected]