Digital Artist Workshop - Tips, tricks and advise for Kiwi's by Kiwi's

Token Weeaboo

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It's no stranger that we have Kiwi's on our forums that have some impressive talent and effort put into their artwork. On the same side of the coin we have kiwi's who aren't quite as talented when it comes to ability to put shapes and shades together and produce the image they have in their mind.

I thought I'd go ahead and start up a thread for those kiwi's who have experience using digital art who can share tips in tricks. This isn't limited to photo editing and illustrating, this can go for video editing as well. If you have an editing software you also want to shill sperg about go ahead and talk about it as well. Stock video effects can even be shared here as well for those who would like to do video editing.

For anyone who doesn't know about some of these programs to do digital art here are some that are out there, and will be willing to add to the list as time goes on:
Disclaimer: I don't claim to know my way around every single one of these programs as I have not used all of them.

Photo/Illustration:
Video edting/Animation:

My Personal bit and springboard to start the thread:

A hand full of kiwi's may recognize me for cutting out the dead air in the Ashley Coulter interview video in her halal thread, or helping out @Ellesse_warrior splice a few of their Herk sagas together, or maybe in the Gacha Life thread where I cut out unimportant bits in the video. I personally use Adobe Premiere Pro for all of these things. I find it to be a good program if you just go in and start playing with the stuff and works for what you want it to do. If you get over how many buttons there are it's easy to use for beginners aspiring to use it professionally. I would like to hear random tricks and tips other kiwi's who use it or programs like it. I also want to use Adobe After Effects, but have become very intimidated by its stark difference in Premier Pro. I have only used it to edit an image or text to follow motion on the screen, and create a waveform. Any advice on what I should keep in mind or any places to find tutorials to make it seem less intimidating to be able to use Premiere pro and it's sister program to the fullest?
 
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A Friendly Hoovy

It costs $400,000 to ooperate for twelve seconds
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I'm gonna shill a bit and say you should add ClipStudio Paint to the Illustration list.

It's a fairly cheap ($50 US for the entry version, one time payment) art software that has an absolute ton of features for digital artists, and, if you feel like shelling out considerably more, animators. It also goes on sale fairly often. (I got my copy of Pro for ~$30 in a Summer Sale.) It also has a trial period, so you can see if you like it for free!
Edit - You can also upgrade from Pro to EX later on, if you feel like animating in Clip.

I've been using it for line art, painting, and animation for the last couple years, and it's performed admirably. (It's what I use to draw my glorious avatars.)

A couple of miscellaneous points:
-It's developed by one dude in Japan, so you aren't giving your cash to a massive corporation. (I was mistaken, it's developed by Celsys, sorry about that.)
-It's remarkably stable, and I've never had it crash on me.
-It supports both raster and vector layers.
-There's a 3D model system for reference. I've never dived into that part, so I can't say how well it works.
...There's more, I just can't think of it right now.

Cheers fellow artists, and may your lines be smooth and your colours be... colourful!
 
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harbleglarb

kiwifarms.net
i approve this thread.

some programs i'd add to your list:
  • Paint Tool SAI - relatively cheap (under $60 USD) program focused primarily on illustration/digital drawings. it's my primary art program, and while it has some limitations and custom brushes can be tricky, i think it's great at what it does. Paint Tool SAI 2 (you have access to both with just one payment since 2 is technically in beta) is also well worth it as an upgrade to 1. the only downside is fewer people have made custom brushes for 2. i think the biggest downside to either is it doesn't support animated gifs (though that doesn't stop someone drawing frames for an animation in it, as i've seen from at least one video).
  • Affinity Photo - a much cheaper Photoshop alternative (~$70 CAD) that seems more than capable of replacing PS.
  • Blender - the bang you get for your buck you get from this program is pretty crazy considering it's free. 3D modeling, rigging, sculpting, animating, 2D animating and drawing...
  • OpenToonz - steeper learning curve than other animating software but it's based on what Studio Ghibli uses for their animations, so it's got clout. also free.
  • Drawpile - not as robust as some art programs, but it's free and it allows you to connect to servers or create your own (private or public) to draw in real-time with other people. it can be a lot of fun and has a decent community.
as for tips/tricks/etc, i think a good place to start would be with helpful resources. i've got a whole bookmarks folder just for references for art/writing.

Stock Photos/Photo Reference
and, while i know deviantArt can have a bad rep, it actually does have a ton of free-to-use stock reference images. it's a little harder to find what you need with the new interface since they got rid of browsing in sub-categories (?????) but if you know where to look there's a whole hell of a lot of it.

e: also adding that while there's a lot i can't stand about it, Pinterest can be good for reference and tutorials. what i'd be careful of with this is that it's not necessarily gonna be stock/royalty free images so always check sources and/or be careful how you use them.

Color Palettes
the rest of my resources are focused on writing and worldbuilding so i'm not sure they fit this thread.
 
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I'm still an amateur at digital illustration and for learning I've used a mix of free and paid sites. Sites such as https://www.ctrlpaint.com/ or https://drawabox.com/ have loads of free videos where you can study the art fundamentals and learn a lot of lower level stuff. I also attend a life drawing club in my city so check for stuff like that where you live - you'll learn better by drawing those titties with your naked eyes rather than just drawing photos of them from a monitor.

I'd also recommend doing a mix of digital and traditional media, even if you prefer digital. I use pencil, pen and charcoal for life drawing with decent quality A3 paper, whereas at home I use a mix of artists drawing pads and shitty cheap printer paper (mostly the latter). It's also more convenient when you are following along with some tutorials on your computer, especially if you only have one monitor like I do.

And then once you get a good handle on the fundamentals, you can use various paid sites to get more advanced tutorials. You can copy some advanced techniques to make great looking stuff quickly, but you'll get the most out of it if you pace yourself and learn the fundamentals first from the free sites. I've sampled a wide variety of paid sites such as aforementioned ctrlpaint, proko, digital painting studio, schoolism and generally I can say that they save their best shit for the paid content and it's worth it if you're serious. Definitely works out being cheaper than going to art school.

Photoshop is a monthly subscription so they extract a lot of shekels from you over time, but you gain the benefit that the majority of online tutorials use Photoshop for menu shortcuts and showing techniques. In fact on all those websites I mentioned, they all use Photoshop for everything, so if you aren't using Photoshop then you may not be able to follow along with some of the more advanced features they use. Or you'll have to figure out how to replicate them in your own software which is an extra distraction.

If you can't afford a subscription you can pirate an older version of Photoshop CS2 or whatever and a lot of the shortcuts and features will be the same.
 

ZombiefiedFerret

Itchy. Tasty.
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-It's developed by one dude in Japan (last I heard), so you aren't giving your cash to a massive corporation.
Clipstudio paint is definitely not just one guy. Anyways, on the thread topic, I use Krita for art. There's a bunch of nitpicky things that annoy me about the interface but its free so its pretty good if you're just starting out with digital art but don't want to shell out for Photoshop subscription.

You can find a a bunch of 3d models viewable in your browser on Sketchfab.com, like this one.

Sometimes I use Photoscape for editing my drawings.
 
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Sackity

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PhotoGimp is an add-on made by a Brazilian group that makes Gimp's UI much more similar to that of current Photoshop's. While the install tutorial on the page has instructions for linux, it works just fine with Windows and MacOS and there are links to video tutorials for them.

 

harbleglarb

kiwifarms.net
Ah. Thanks for correcting me, don't know where I heard that.
maybe it was that it started with just one guy?

only other thing i can think of is whatever you saw was referring to Paint Tool SAI (which is created by a very small Japanese company, if not one guy, i couldn't find any real info and their site only lists the CEO), and either you or the person talking about it got it mixed up.
 

stinkmeaner

Based and Stinkpilled
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Based OP for this thread.

Affinity Photo - a much cheaper Photoshop alternative (~$70 CAD) that seems more than capable of replacing PS.
I found Affinity after Adobe started doing their cloud service subscription. 🤮
Photo and Designer are both fantastic substitutes for Adobe and although I haven't looked into their other apps too deeply they seem just as competent as their Adobe counterparts.
 

harbleglarb

kiwifarms.net
Based OP for this thread.


I found Affinity after Adobe started doing their cloud service subscription. 🤮
Photo and Designer are both fantastic substitutes for Adobe and although I haven't looked into their other apps too deeply they seem just as competent as their Adobe counterparts.
yup, after using Adobe for ages i got fed up with their dumbass payment model and just grabbed substitutes for their programs that i used (however occasionally). so now i have Affinity and DaVinci Resolve for my very occasional video editing endeavors.

honestly i can't stand the subscription model for non-video game software. especially since they always have absolutely ludicrously priced "lifetime" options. i was interested in possibly getting Campfire Pro, a writing sofware focused on worldbuilding, but the devs ditched the previous version of their product to work on an "upgrade" (Campfire Blaze) that takes core functions ("modules") such as character profiles and makes you pay a monthly subscription to use a version that isn't super limited (want more than one map? more than 10 encyclopedia entries? more than 10 events on a timeline? gotta pay for that). it's two-hundred and seventy dollars to get lifetime for every module. they have a preorder for the program (which isn't out yet) that includes lifetime subs to every module that's currently available plus upcoming ones for three-hundred dollars. the previous version of Campfire costs fifty bucks (75 if you want the worldbuilding add-on with it).

ok rant over. it's just really hard to find good worldbuilding software so that bullshit makes me extra salty.
 

Safir

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Campfire Pro, a writing sofware focused on worldbuilding

ok rant over. it's just really hard to find good worldbuilding software so that bullshit makes me extra salty.
wtf, get help now.

If you want fancy writing software, get
- Scrivener (it's on v1 for Windows but they promise to release v3 at feature parity with Mac in 2020, and you'll get a free update if you buy now)
- or Manuskript.

If you want 🧩worldbuilding🧩, make a wiki. This "favorite food!!! favorite One Direction song! favorite sexual position!!!!" thing is just an excuse to not write.
 
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harbleglarb

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wtf, get help now.

If you want fancy writing software, get
- Scrivener (it's on v1 for Windows but they promise to release v3 at feature parity with Mac in 2020, and you'll get a free update if you buy now)
- or Manuskript.

If you want 🧩worldbuilding🧩, make a wiki. This "favorite food!!! favorite One Direction song! favorite sexual position!!!!" thing is just an excuse to not write.
i've looked into Scrivener and similar software, but i'm not looking to write a novel so it's not really what i'm looking for. the reason i don't use wikis is that i want something i can use offline--and i'm not a huge fan of the look of wikis anyway.

what i want out of worldbuilding software is something that can help me organize and categorize my concepts, and give me a nice-looking layout at the same time. right now all my notes are in google docs (or various notebooks) but actual software dedicated to worldbuilding would help keep everything more pretty and organized. i don't need it, i've done fine without it, but it would be great to have. especially a program that also integrates tools for creating languages.
 
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Safir

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the reason i don't use wikis is that i want something i can use offline--and i'm not a huge fan of the look of wikis anyway.
No, I mean get some open-source wiki software and run it locally.

what i want out of worldbuilding software is something that can help me organize and categorize my concepts, and give me a nice-looking layout at the same time.
Get a wiki. Pretty autist simulators have two problems:
- they lock you into a proprietary data format. Campfire Pro exports into pdfs, this isn't any good even for sharing with fellow autists. You're losing to Maddie Ledbetter. Not cool.
- they lock you into pointless autistic minutiae. Good creative software should make your awesome original content more accessible. Autist simulators reward generating garbage content: Wow, I filled in all the blanks in the religion template for the Boonie Loonie cult! How neat! Meanwhile, you maybe had one good idea, and all other fields had to be filled with generic boring shit that will now get in the way of you finding and remembering the good stuff and building connections with otehr good stuff.

especially a program that also integrates tools for creating languages.
Did you take lingustics? I've done half a year (it was the only VT course I didn't fail, haha). See, there aren't any "tools for creating languages". If any existed, they'd be one autist's lifetime work, like dorf fortress or TempleOS. What you're getting as a commercial program is a language creator simulator for fake nerds to pretend being Tolkien, and the results won't pass muster even with other fake nerds.

---
I'm getting buckets so I'll get the fuck out of the thread. Pleas talk about graphics tablets, too.
 

harbleglarb

kiwifarms.net
No, I mean get some open-source wiki software and run it locally.
i remembered after the fact that those exist. though like i said, i'm not a huge fan of how they look.

Get a wiki. Pretty autist simulators have two problems:
- they lock you into a proprietary data format. Campfire Pro exports into pdfs, this isn't any good even for sharing with fellow autists. You're losing to Maddie Ledbetter. Not cool.
- they lock you into pointless autistic minutiae. Good creative software should make your awesome original content more accessible. Autist simulators reward generating garbage content: Wow, I filled in all the blanks in the religion template for the Boonie Loonie cult! How neat! Meanwhile, you maybe had one good idea, and all other fields had to be filled with generic boring shit that will now get in the way of you finding and remembering the good stuff and building connections with otehr good stuff.
i can see your point with file formats. though i don't think everything i write for my settings will get shared since it's just for me.

thing is, i just enjoy thinking about small details. the how and why things are the way they are... i guess you could call that autistic but it's what i like about worldbuilding. but i'm not actually at the point of writing down such minutiae yet either way, i'm still working on the bigger details.


Did you take lingustics? I've done half a year (it was the only VT course I didn't fail, haha). See, there aren't any "tools for creating languages". If any existed, they'd be one autist's lifetime work, like dorf fortress or TempleOS. What you're getting as a commercial program is a language creator simulator for fake nerds to pretend being Tolkien, and the results won't pass muster even with other fake nerds.
i haven't taken linguistics but i am fascinated by language and have done my own research. what i meant by "tools for creating languages" is basically organizational tool for keeping track of words, phonetics, grammar rules, etc. i don't necessarily intend to create fully-functional languages but having a base helps to add flavor and come up with cohesive naming conventions that make sense. as of now i use a program called PolyGlot that's great for keeping everything organized.

I'm getting buckets so I'll get the fuck out of the thread. Pleas talk about graphics tablets, too.
Wacom have dominated for a long time and they're kind of the Adobe of tablets. high price but fairly high quality and their competition still lag on certain features. they're good but i'm glad they have competing companies getting more attention. unfortunately i have yet to tru the alternatives.

i currently use a small intuos. it's good but i hate the texture of the surface and sometimes the cursor won't respond until i pull the pen away from the tablet then bring it back down. before this one (that i got around christmas 2019) i had a 10+ year old bamboo pen. still works but the drivers are old and no longer updated.
 
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MerriedxReldnahc

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Very glad to see this thread, I've been wanting to find an alternative to photoshop that does what I need and isn't expensive. I've been using a pirated copy of CS2 and it works, but kind of terribly. So I don't recommend that unless you're ok with your canvas and toolbars phasing out of existance every time you change a tool.
I've started using GIMP for digital coloring and it works fine for me, there's a few things that I don't like as much or just don't know how to do that leaves me tied to photoshop for some things. For example when I scan inked comic pages for coloring, I scan it into photoshop, seperate the lineart on to its own layer, add in text, etc. Coloring I do in GIMP since the program doesn't shit the bed on me out of nowhere like photoshop does.
I've been thinking of getting a laptop with some art programs on it so I can get my art shit done on the go, GIMP being free is awesome but I definitely don't have a lot of knowledge about the program. ClipStudio Paint sounds like something worth trying.
(Also does anybody have good laptop recomendations for art crap? Doesn't have to be anything really fancy, just something affordable that my Wacom tablet will work with.)
 

A Friendly Hoovy

It costs $400,000 to ooperate for twelve seconds
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Wacom have dominated for a long time and they're kind of the Adobe of tablets. high price but fairly high quality and their competition still lag on certain features. they're good but i'm glad they have competing companies getting more attention. unfortunately i have yet to tru the alternatives.

i currently use a small intuos. it's good but i hate the texture of the surface and sometimes the cursor won't respond until i pull the pen away from the tablet then bring it back down. before this one (that i got around christmas 2019) i had a 10+ year old bamboo pen. still works but the drivers are old and no longer updated.
I used an Intuos Black Small for a couple of years. It's fairly solid if you want an incredibly cheap tablet, but I will say that it's frustrating not having a screen.

That said, I recently upgraded to a Huion Kamvas Pro 13, and it's been working fairly well in my limited experience. I need to fiddle with settings (something I dread with tablets) so some of my issues will probably be solved once I do that, but I haven't found any major problems thus far.

If you want some graphics tablet reviews, an (incredibly talented) animator named Zeural has been doing them for a while now.
 

harbleglarb

kiwifarms.net
I used an Intuos Black Small for a couple of years. It's fairly solid if you want an incredibly cheap tablet, but I will say that it's frustrating not having a screen.

That said, I recently upgraded to a Huion Kamvas Pro 13, and it's been working fairly well in my limited experience. I need to fiddle with settings (something I dread with tablets) so some of my issues will probably be solved once I do that, but I haven't found any major problems thus far.

If you want some graphics tablet reviews, an (incredibly talented) animator named Zeural has been doing them for a while now.
i've heard good things about Huion. though i do admit it's a little hard to take the product seriously when it's called "Kamvas." i have definitely considered getting a Huion before, but as of now i'm not sure i can justify getting a tablet (still not a cheap investment even when we're not talking Wacom) when i have one that works almost perfectly well. even though i don't love it.

i've very rarely used tablets with displays built in, actually. i did have a Cintiq Companion for a while (basically a Cintiq laptop) but i don't have much use for laptops since i don't like carrying lots of things around with me when i leave the house, and i never quite got used to drawing directly on the screen (though that's not an issue with the product itself). for portable tablet needs i'd rather buy a (android) tablet with a pen.

also considering how much i end up scratching up/wearing down the surface of my tablets i'd be very worried about using one with a screen for what that would look like after a while (i do think i probably press a bit too hard).

thanks for that playlist link! almost immediately liked that guy's style and it's cool to see more reviews of tablets and such from artists (only watched that sorta thing from one other channel).
 
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Surf and TERF

Ouisandrê
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also considering how much i end up scratching up/wearing down the surface of my tablets i'd be very worried about using one with a screen for what that would look like after a while (i do think i probably press a bit too hard).
There are transparent screen protectors available to prevent your Cintiq from getting scratched.
 

harbleglarb

kiwifarms.net
There are transparent screen protectors available to prevent your Cintiq from getting scratched.
that's true. i'm terrible at applying screen protectors but i'm sure it'd help. i'd still probably be a bit worried but that's just me; i've only had my Intuos a few months and you can already see where the majority of my strokes are concentrated (in the middle) because of how scratched up it is. the middle of my old Bamboo is practically indented.

side note: man maybe there's some i haven't seen but it looks like all the major competitors to wacom are chinese. f to artists who can't afford wacom but don't want to buy chinese products.
 
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