Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Painter 2017 Released

Corel has officially launched Painter 2017 today. There are alot of cool new features, many of which are answers to long-time user requests. For my part, I did a few videos demonstrating aspects of the new Glazing brush technology.

If you care to see the full-rez RIF file used in the videos you can download it from Rob Richardson's website. Rob and I used to work together in comics, and even shared studio space during that time. So this piece was a bit of a nostalgic throwback to times past for both of us.

I made some of the new brushes included within the new Painter 2017 brush library:

Dab Stencils>Flow Map - Screen Paper - This is a Glazing brush that uses the Screen Merge Mode and is meant for adding textural qualities to standard comicbook rendering (like what is shown in the videos above). At low pressure the brush will primarily pick up the current Paper grain. At high pressure it will be masked by the current Flow Map.

Glazing>Clouds - Use with PUUC (Pick Up Underlying Color) enabled to paint and blend smoke and clouds.

Glazing>Multiply Grass - Uses the Multiply Merge Mode, meant for painting grass and fur, controlling the Angle via the Bearing Expression.

Glazing>Stencil Paper - Grainy Hatch - Uses Color Variability, meant for quickly building up complex looking paint surfaces.

Texture Cover>Soft Luminance to Texture Color - At low pressure paints a smudgy and desaturated version of the current texture. At high pressure paints the current texture.

Texture Cover>Soft Luminance - At low pressure paints a smudgy luminance only version of the current texture. At high pressure paints the luminance of the current texture.

Texture Source Blending>Soft - At low pressure source blends a smudgy version of the current texture. At high pressure source blends the current texture.

I made some of the new Gradients shipped with Painter 2017:

The gradients in the first grouping are meant to be used in the "Cut and Grad" comicbook coloring style. The process is very similar to the coloring technique I demonstrated in the Glazing videos above, except you use gradients within progressively smaller selections to do the rendering (instead of brushes).

Skin Warming - use in Screen mode for skin lit from warm light sources

Shadow Conditioner - use in Multiply mode to darken and cool shadow areas

Reflected Light - use in Screen mode (after Shadow Conditioner) for rendering reflected light in shadow areas

Pale Skin - use in Screen mode for neutral lighting or pale skin

Shadow Light - use in Screen mode for rendering dim light in heavily shadowed scenes.

The second grouping is meant to use in comicbook art for skies and filling panel backgrounds.

Light Tunnel
Last Light
Early Evening
Darkly Dangerous
Deep Sky

I made some of the new Textures that ship with Painter 2017.

These were created by heavily modifying Substances from the Substance Database using Substance Designer. I will make some tutorial videos about the workflow of using Textures in Painter (and my use of Substance Designer to create the Textures) later in the year. The great guys at Allegorithmic gave me permission to share these. If you haven't checked out Allegorithmic's software yet, you owe it to yourself to take a look.

Road - a bit of road seen from overhead.

Concrete - a closeup of concrete texture.

High Tech - a circuit layout, particularly useful as a Stencil.

Deep Space - meant  as a background used for sci-fi illustrators and comicbook artists.

Brick Wall - a stylized brick wall meant for use by illustrators and comicbook artists.

I have already started work on a new Painter 2017 video tutorial series for VTC. It will take a few months to complete, but I will post an update here when the series is released.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My 3D Rendition Of "Tactical Pod Glaug"

I finally finished my take on Glaug -- This was a project literally years in the making. I started to do this several years ago (2011) and reached a level of completion that was more annoying than satisfying. The reason why is because I chose to create the original model in SketchUp, which presented a few problems later in the process.

First problem: SketchUp creates Ngons (a polygon with more than 4 sides) like crazy, without telling you it is doing it -- AND gives you no control over how the resulting model is triangulated. Second: (and somewhat related), calling SketchUp's UV mapping capabilities primitive would be far too kind.

The SketchUp model from 2011.
Those two factors together made the model mostly useless outside of SketchUp, with a combination of triangle artifacts in rendered reflective surfaces and poor texturing possibilities. As such, I gave up on fully  finishing the project and comforted myself with the prospect of trying to do it "right" someday.

Fast forward to 2016 -- I've been interested in diving into a new feature of the latest version of ZBrush called "Zmodeler". Zmodeler is a really powerful and well integrated Box modeling toolset inside ZBrush -- with the entirety of its functionality residing within a single brush.

As I mulled over a project to work with to learn the new tools I remembered my long lost Glaug. So the marriage was made -- I decided to model Glaug entirely within ZBrush using nothing but the Zmodeler tools.

That being said, ZBrush does have some UV unwrapping capabilities -- but I would categorize them as being less than precise... fine for organic stuff, but I need a bit more control with hard surface models. So I started looking into an ideal UV mapping partner for ZBrush. What I decided on is a really excellent package called Unfold3D. If you are in need of a UV unwrapping program I highly recommend this one.

ZBrush also has some texturing, rigging and rendering capabilities, however I find them all less than ideal. So to cover those jobs I decided to use Substance Designer and Substance Painter for the texturing, and DAZ Studio for the rigging, shader setup and rendering.

Here is the finished product:

Officers Pod Glaug

So what is a Glaug anyway? In the early 80's, there was an animated TV show in Japan called Macross which was brought over to America and made into part of a series called Robotech. Glaug is the machine piloted by the officer class of the invading aliens (called Zentraedi). So this project was really me just reliving some childhood memories.

Of course, now I have it ready to pose and render anytime I want in DAZ Studio... now I just need to make some friends for it to play with.

If you care to see the progress as I was building the model, I have a WIP thread on the ZBrush forum.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Liquid Ink and Dynamic Speckles

This playlist is a series of Corel Painter 2016 Brush Engine tutorials I did for Corel late last year on the topic of the similarities between Liquid Ink and Dynamic Speckles technologies, which was just released. These are two of my favorite Painter brush technologies and I hope you find the videos useful in your own explorations.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

VTC Corel Painter 2016 Tutorial Series Released

In the Fall of 2015 I produced an 8-hour class on Corel Painter 2016 for VTC, which has been released today. This series is geared towards new users, or users who have not upgraded for several versions. The essential basics are all covered, and there is a heavy focus on learning to customize the software workspace to suit your workflow.

You can go to VTC's webpage for the class here