Tuesday, 26 June 2012

ARE(s) coluring

that is a spectacularly bad pun for a title.
Anyway, added a smear of blood for the challenge entry

Monday, 25 June 2012

10 Tons of Greek Myth

This weeks ten ton sketch challenge is Greek Mythology.
I had a quick go at ARES, and a less convincing Medusa.
Ares looks a little stumpy in this pic, but I like the overall look...

I'm going to add a splash of blood, and will then play about colouring in Photoshop.... although the entry for ten ton has to be hand drawn...
"Sketches can be pencil, ink, black & white, or color.You CANNOT use your computer to render, color or enhance your drawing --the posted version that people vote on has to be exactly what you can physically send to the winner if he/she wants your piece as a prize.NO copying or tracing.  Your image has to be original. NO SWIPING! NO OLD ARTWORK, your entry has to be a new piece of art specifically for the Sketch Challenge."

Saturday, 23 June 2012

and now.....the Gallery

Back in the days of "Vision on" Tony Hart would let us take a look at the gallery of submissions from viewers...
I never submitted anything, as they always said they could not return any of the pictures, and I knew then, that was just plain wrong...
Anyway, I've started to collect stuff that I've done in a Gallery over on robenglebright.com

take a look

Friday, 22 June 2012

me and you

I like the me and you pics that Dan and Merlin share...
I changed the wolverine sketch to join in...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Back to my mac

I've had a useful, if not entirely entertaining back and forth with the version of 24HCD A-Z (the thing I did for last year's 24 Hr comic day) in the iTunes iBook store.
Chiefly the issues concern the layout of iBooks, which change radically from Landscape to Portrait mode... niot much of a problem in a regular book, but very significant for a picture book. The solution is to lock the book in Landscape mode, with a setting in iBooks Author Inspector, but for some reason the setting wasn't sticking:

In some ways it's good to have had these issues with the free book, with it's simple layout rather than running into issues when I eventually get round to publishing Ninja Dinaosaurs vs Pirate Robots.
The feedback from the iTunes Connect service has been helpful, and suggests fixes,  and then dug deep into the problem when the suggested fixes didn't work.
This stands in contrast somewhat from the stories from app developers, but I appreciate the testing processes are going to be different, and there are more unknowns....

Anyway, the iBooks version of 24 HCD is back in the iTunes store:

When I get a little time I'll write a post on the submission process.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Adam is home from Uni, so I thought I'd check out how the ibooks stuff looks on an iPad3 (which he has) compared to my lowly iPad2. can you tell which is which?

Dom - Flash Ninja

My son Dom is a Flash Ninja, he'd been complaining about the creaky old version of Flash MX 2044 not working, so I sprung for a student copy of Flash CS6 pro++ gold star, or whatever ridiculous title it has.
Installed it at lunchtime, and Dom has managed to animate the ninja dinosaur quite nicely...
obviously it's flash, created on a PC etc... so I can't look at it on my iPad etc, but I think the lad is showing some promise...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Isograph clean up

20 years ago when I was a proper illustrator, I used to work chiefly with Rotring Isograph pens. These days I'm a bit more relaxed, and use a lot of pigment liners, because the ink dries so much more quickly, and I don't end up with ink stained fingers. However, the bolder lines with the fibre tip pens aren't as pleasing, so I used my trusty old 0.5mm isograph for the outlining of the pirate robots I've been drawing. 0.5mm isn't really thick enough, so I have had a rifle through my drawer this morning, and found the components of half a dozen old isographs, including a 1.0mm nib.
There's something comforting about disassembling an isograph pen, cleaning the bits and putting it back together... maybe it's because it was a displacement activity from olden days, maybe because it's good to see the pens have lasted 20 years. Whatever, I'll soon have a chunky line isograph up and ready... trouble is I seem to remember it never worked very well, which is why I put it aside all those years ago.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Tumult Hype iBooks Widgets - preview

Hype is very simple to use, and the export function, and import into ibooks is a doodle. It takes a bit of tinkering to see what is going to go where, and I need to think a little about how the design will change the way I write the book, but basically there aren't any massive issues.
I do need to remember to include a back button on the widget, as it doesn't seem to reset once the action has happened, if it's launched again.
I also need to remove the "built with hype' link as that opens a browser window.

Tumult Hype iBooks widgets

I want each of the pages in my iBook to have a bit of interaction, and it seems a good way to do this is to use widgets. I found a useful "how to" on YouTube, and started following it, only to find that Hype now has a direct export to iBooks widget function. It is useful to view the video to see what constitutes a widget however... not much :)

iBooks Authoring with Ninja Dinosaurs

I've been colouring some of the images I sketched for the iBooks Authoring effort...I'm still not sure what sort of optimisation I need for the book, the screen of an iPad 3 is 2048x1536 pixels... at around 300dpi.. The advice on the apple support pages is to use JPGs, and keep the whole book below 2Gb...Aside from that it seems pretty open to interpretation. So I'm working at around 2048x1536 at 300dpi, RGB colour, and saving at 10 in jpg. This is giving an image size of about 400kb, so for 30 pages of straight book we are looking at 12 Mb... probably double that when I add widgets, which is a sort of ok size I reckon.
I'll have a look at what Sort of size other books come in at, it may be I can save with no compression, or as PNGs?
iBooks Author isn't really set up for building picture books... it wants to have Chapters and sections and table of contents. It seems the way folk have found to get round these issues is a bit of a bodge... but I'm happy to go with that.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

#24HCD registrations open


After last years successful effort:24HCD A-Z, I aim to try something a little more adventurous for #24HCD this year.
Obviously it is against the spirit of the event to plan too much in advance, but I've been working on a number of spin off characters from the wychwolf universe... and am hoping that by the time #24HCD rolls round on October 20th I'll be confident drawing them.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sketching a Seadog

I thought I'd test the video on my iPod Touch to see what sort of quality it produces...
This is me sketching Captain Whelk...

iBooks Authoring - Robot Pirates

Up at 6.30 to walk the dog means I've had a good start at sketching the characters in for my iBook.
I've got a number of sketches of the main Ninja Dinosaur, so I spent a short time sketching out the Robot Pirates.
3 nasty seadogs:
Buttery Jack, Captain Whelk and Salty Pete.

Friday, 1 June 2012

iBooks authoring

I have four days off, four days of typical bank holiday rain and cold. Perfect weather for working on an iBook.
I aim to produce a 28 page children's story about the battle between ninja dinosaurs and pirate robots. I have plotted the story out, and have a copy of tumult hype which allows me to add some rather nice interactions.
I don't expect to finish in just four days, but will be pleased if I can get some of the pages inked up and the interactions and animations tested.