Testing for Unicorns

This is just a little test to see how easy it is to upload a movie from the iPad. If you’re curious this art was produced on the iPad Pro using the Procreate app. So far I’ve found it to be an excellent program and I highly recommend it for sketching. In this video you’ll see it’s not to bad for color either. I have yet to try it for a professional job with anything other than sketching but this should give you a little look at what it’s like to work with the program for both sketching and color.

My goal with this post was to see how posting a movie straight to the blog would work out. Overall it was pretty simple but with an 8.8mg .M4v file I feel like the load speed is going to be a little clunky. I think the better option might be to upload the movie to either Youtube or my Vimeo account and post a link, that way three things will happen. First, my blog doesn’t get heavy with bloated files. Second, with Youtube especially, I get better SEO and lastly no waiting around for the video to load up. I’ll do a quick follow to this post when I have a little more info on the performance. Until then I hope you enjoy the video.

 

UPDATE: Here is the youtube version for a little side by side. Seems WordPress choked on publishing this so I’m going to give it another go. Stay tuned for updates

Penguins in Sweaters

penguins, sweaters, bob ostrom studio

I’ve been seeing these little penguins in sweaters all over the web lately. The story behind these guys is that there was a massive oil spill in New Zealand effecting all kinds wild life including penguins. In an effort to save the birds they were being fitted with sweaters to keep them warm and from preening their oil soaked feathers. They looked so cute that the knitting sweaters for penguins request took off like a rocket ship but then came the controversy…because on the web there is always controversy. Did the penguins really need the sweaters or was it just one of those internet phenomenons? There are quite a few different takes… Some say they still need them, some say it stresses the penguins to be in sweaters, others say they need them to help a charity but not for real penguins (the charity is putting them on stuffed penguins and selling them to help raise money). The latest info I’ve read is that the penguin sweater knit-a-thon is still on. Tomorrow it might change. The internet is a funny place full of information that isn’t always as accurate as we’d hope.

Anyhow the story got me thinking and I know there’s a picture book in there somewhere. So I thought what if there was one little clever penguin who decided instead of asking for a sweater he wanted something else. Maybe while the volunteers were looking to opposite way that little guy jumped on a computer and asked for something else. I imagine as a stressed out little penguin a vacation to someplace warm and sunny might be just the ticket. And what if the message he sent out went viral. Donations started flooding in from all over the world, suddenly planeloads full of penguins in sweaters show up to beach side resorts everywhere and settle in for fun in the sun. How much fun would that be?

 

Cartooning Tutorial – Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

This is a little cartooning tutorial I wrote a few years back about creating an illustration using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. You’ll notice I begin my drawing in pencil, then move to illustrator for line work and finally Photoshop for color. Although the tutorial is a little old and the programs have advanced since then it’s still pretty useful and works just as well now as when I wrote it (assuming the you’re familiar with the basic functions of both programs). For more advanced students you may want to try adding actions to speed things up a bit.

If this tutorial is beyond your skill level take heart I’m working on a new series that will delve a little deeper focusing on individual tools, how they work and more importantly how to get them to work for you. Many of my first time students are tentative about using these programs to their full potential because they sometimes feel overwhelmed. My advice is always the same. Don’t let your inexperience dictate the scope of your project. Try things that are slightly out of reach and a little ABOVE your skill level. Step outside of your comfort zone and allow yourself to learn some of the tools you’ve been avoiding. If you get stuck don’t panic there are tons of resources available everywhere. The best places I’ve found for quick easy answers (in no particular order) are:

Using the help button built into the program
Posting a question on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn
YouTube
Google
Adobe website
Lynda.com (if you have an account)

On the other hand if you’re just not the adventurous type and you really want to learn the program once and for all consider taking a course. It will cut your learning time in half. There are few substitutes for having a knowledgable instructor to help you gain a clear understanding and get you through those areas you don’t understand.

Bob Ostrom is a children’s book illustrator and instructor of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop at Wake Tech Community College and the State Personnel Development Center in Raleigh NC.