Monday, June 9, 2008

That First Night

So the night of Friday, June 6th I had my first ‘real world’ test of the tablet. I recreated a character for the upcoming animated trailer ‘The Academy’ by Micheal Tabb from Burning Tree Films. I’ve been project managing this piece for the past few months, with my contributions being limited pretty much to critiquing other artists work and delegating tasks. We’ve been fortunate to have many very talented volunteers jump on board, so there hasn’t been much need for me to ‘get my hands dirty’ so to speak. But, with this new Cintiq, I wanted to give it a try.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with. I was able to get much tighter detail, much smoother hand drawn lines than I ever was with the Intuos. I had to work with it a bit, to get the pen to the right hardness, but it was very easy to just jump in and start drawing.

I worked on the illustration for about 5 hours. After the first hour and a half, I found it necessary to get up and walk away for a moment. For some reason I was forcing my work, and that never provides good results. I walked around the house a bit, chatted with John, and after about 15 minutes went back in and got to it. At that point I noticed that the screen does get pretty hot. Not intolerable in the general drawing areas. However, in the upper right corner – I wouldn’t be able to rest my hand in that area for very long without to the extreme discomfort, at the minimum distraction. Fortunately, I’m left handed, so that never became an issue.

After another 2 and half hours of working I was actually getting tired. By then it was midnight, and I had been up since 5am. But, I didn’t want to go to bed yet, I was having such a satisfying time with the Cintiq. I went out and sat on the couch and ‘watched’ John play ‘Legend of Zelda’ from behind my eyelids. 20 minutes later, I felt rested enough to get back in and give it another go.

This time I had turned the monitor off before I left the room, so when I returned it was warm, but not overly so. It occurred to me then that I will LOVE this thing in the winter when my hands get so cold!

I continued drawing for a while longer, until I was forcing the issue past my own fatigue, At that point it was time for bed, and I was looking forward to getting back on again in the morning.

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