Friday, 9 October 2020

RPGMaker MV making tiny tiny people

 I’ve been trying to draw pixel people. Using aesprite on my Mac, and Pixaki on my iPad.

First effort is here

Saturday, 26 September 2020

RPGMaker MV Wychwolf titles

 Background is a bit too busy really for a title page... but it gives me a structure on which I can build.

RPGMaker MV and Wychwolf

 Over a decade ago I drew a weekly webcomic with Adam called Wychwolf. It was a story about paranormal investigators in West Sussex in war time England, with werewolves, atomic hearts, invisible airships and crypts of pyramid tombs. The strip ran until Adam went to uni, and ran out of enthusiasm and words, making guest appearances in 24Hour Comic day stories.

I've been playing with various game engines and it seemed like the wychwolf world might lend itself to an RPG using RPGMaker MV.

I dug out the first few pages of the wychwolf story. 

Back then I drew the story on paper, scanned it with a flatbed scanner, as greyscale (I think) tidied and coloured the images in photoshop elements and published to a wordpress blog running the comic press theme.

The images were tiny, 750x553px and under 150kb.

I thought I'd see how different the pages might look today with my current way of working, drawing directly on an ipad with pencil in Autodesk Sketchbook.

The linework is almost identical, but the colours are flatter, none of the excessive dodge and burn tool use that it appears I loved back then... and the process is faster? Of course originally I had to work out what to draw based on Adam's scripts, and then alter it to try and squeeze in all the Alan Moore length speech bubbles... but I think it's faster, or I'm faster.

So I'm working on a bunch of backgrounds and characters to drop into RPGMaker MV. The tool itself is almost entirely database driven, no coding needed, the animations and transitions, stats and combat are all built in. I just need to add some visuals and a story...  which I've got.

The interstitial images I can grab from the old comic, and redraw. 
The only tricky bit is going to be the sprite sheets.
But that will be a nice project to work on in front of the fire, there's no rush.

Friday, 20 March 2020

30 drawing apps in 30 days day 2 - Pro create

Procreate has a big fan base, and this time round I think I can see why.
With the apple pencil it's a very flexible and intuitive app.
There's a huge range of image size options including 4K.
The undo icons are obvious, the pinch and zoom is standard, the colour picker and handy palette is easy, but the place it stands out is the number of brushes. In fact there are probably too many of them.

I spent a while trying to get something I felt comfortable with and the feel is very convincing. At one point I experienced the unnerving feeling of trying to paint on greasy paper... startlingly real.

Unfortunately I'm quite boring in my brush and pen choice, I tend to set one up and stick with it. When I used to be an illustrator I did nearly everything with a 0.5mm Rotring isograph.

Anyway, apparently I bought this over 5 years ago, and have been getting updates for it ever since. Current price is £9.99 which is a bargain for what it does, and it's won the Editors award whatever that means.

Will I use it again? Probably not for another 5 years.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

30 drawing apps in 30 days day 1 paper

I was talking to one of the lecturers in the School of Art about digital drawing apps, and remembered that five long years ago I looked at 30 different drawing apps for iphone and ipad:

Today as I start working from home I thought it might be useful to revisit the apps, see if they have survived, improved or if there are even better options.

Back then I had an ipad air and probably a foam tipped stylus.. to be honest I can't remember.
Today I've got a nice ipad pro and an apple pencil.

After the investigations into ipad apps last time I switched to using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro as my main drawing application, as I found it was very well matched to my drawing style. Maybe I'll find another app to replace it?

So Back in June of 2015 I started my 30 apps with 'paper' by '53'.
It's now Called 'Paper' by 'We Transfer', the app looks familiar even though I've not used it in 5 years. I offers a collection of sketchbooks which you can flick through and add pages. There's a free version, and an £8.99 pro version that unlocks special features, no idea what they are though... The comments seem mostly positive except for the moaning about it being a subscription service.

It's actively maintained though, and the last update was 3 weeks ago. The app works well with my ipad and pencil, and the brushes and pens have a pleasant arty feel.

The palette is intuitive and the pen tracks accurately. There's no glitching, and the non standard zoom feature which used to be a magnifying glass according to my last review has been replaced with pinch and zoom. Apparently the old version used to have some weird finger twist to undo too, but that's all been changed and is now a very obvious undo arrow.

It's nice, I like the ability to add images to the covers of the virtual notebooks, and I can see it becoming a well used virtual journal style app if you like that sort of thing...  definitely worth taking for a test drive.