If you remember a while back we reported on a Cintiq alternative called the Ugee 1910B 19″ Monitor Drawing Tablet which you can currently purchase on Amazon for only $429 and users really seemed to like. Today I was alerted to a fantastic and very lengthy in depth review of the device itself by an artist named Holly. The review points to an unboxing video as well as two other demos of using the tablet monitor and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the results. If I needed a new Cintiq I might actually drop the cash for this one.
Of course you REALLY don’t need a huge tablet like this when you can still buy an LE 1600 for LESS THAN $100 at Gainsaver which works perfectly well for a cheap digital sketchbook. Also recently I purchased a J3400 from eBay also made by Motion which I’ll put through it’s paces and hopefully do a review.
If the Ugee makers want to send us a demo unit we’d LOVE to take the tablet monitor through it’s paces.
Today Adobe released an interesting lil’ experiment for iOS called PaintCan and I have to say I like where Adobe is going with these ‘experiments’. Especially when they’re aimed at us artists!
From the Adobe blog:
Today we’re previewing one of our latest experiments, PaintCan (now available on the App Store). PaintCan allows anybody, regardless of skill level, to sit down with their iPad, select a picture, and create a painting within minutes. Powerful brushes adjust themselves to the underlying image, making every stroke look beautiful, so that users can create novel and expressive artworks. PaintCan explores the space between automatic photo filters (which makes pictures look cool, but isn’t all that personal or fun) and manual art tools. With PaintCan, I really am in control, I decide where to paint, where to reveal details, where to obscure them. The app makes sure that all my paint strokes look great, but I’m still the painter.
While I do not own an iOS device, you might so if you choose to download it, let us know what you thought in the comments! You can read the full article here.
Listen to Ajay Shukla, Sr. Product Manager, Flash CC talk about where Flash is headed.
Ajay is a Senior Product Manager at Adobe. He manages Flash CC. He has an MBA from the Chicago Booth school of Business, an MS from the University of Minnesota and a BE from the Indian Institute of Technology. He also holds the CFA charter. Prior to joining Adobe, Ajay worked on various mobile/wireless technologies at Qualcomm and Motorola. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft had a BIG news day yesterday, among those details about the next version of Windows, and a GIANT 84″ wall screen called the Surface Hub which is essentially a humungous Surface Pro you hang on your conference room wall complete with pressure sensitive pen which magnetically attaches to the side of the screen allowing you erase etc. It’s essentially made to work with One Note but is also a full fledged PC which means you could open Maya, Harmony or Flash with it as well. Strategically placed cameras on the device allow Skype to make it appear as though everyone is speaking at eye level so you can brainstorm on a file as though your entire team was in the room even though they may be abroad. The one flaw seems to be that you do not save files on the device but rather are presented with an email address to send them to your own computer. I’m sure they’ll change that because that seems ridiculous. No word on price or release date yet, but I’m sure it’s gonna cost as much as a small car!
Android Central is reporting on HP’s newest slates the HP PRo 12″ and the HP Pro 8″ and the craziest thing is it’s ability to draw what it sees on paper and transfer it to the tablet through ultrasonic emitters! That’s right, you can draw on paper and the tablet will pick up what you draw and transfer it to the tablet without wires.
The pen here supports both on-screen and ink-on-paper writing/drawing/what-have-you, and with the HP Paper Folio case you can literally write on a piece of paper and have that data transferred over to the tablet. How? With an array of four microphones on the tablet that pick up the super-high-pitched sounds emitted by ultrasonic emitters built into the pen. Qualcomm’s been showing off the technology for years, and HP’s tablets are the first to actually implement it.
Yesterday I was doing a little search trying to find an app that would do decent animation with text that could be imported into Flash and I stumbled across Vectorian Giotto. No it’s not some fancy latte but actually a Flash replacement app that at first glance seems to be fairly useful, if you don’t have the ability to purchase Flash itself. At first glance the interface does seem dated but it’s actually not a bad program to use. It’s one flaw I can find preventing it from being a true replacement is not being able to dictate what frame is displayed on a keyframe inside a symbol. Still, your results may vary.
Here’s a few tidbits from their site:
Created for designers, not coders
Giotto is the free Flash animation package made for you to design, not to code. With Giotto you can relax and focus your imagination on creative concepts, integrating stunning graphics and music into masterpieces of design.
The latest versions of Adobe® Flash® are moving away from designers. They are becoming more and more oriented towards coders. With the introduction of ActionScript 3, creating a simple action such as button click now requires ten times more coding than before.
Giotto has full support for ActionScript 2, but we made built-in effect generators that will help you create outstanding effects without any scripting at all. This software is made for you, designers.
Vector drawing, animations, sounds, filters…
Create complex vector illustrations in Giotto, anything from simple shapes to custom ones like polygon, star, or rounded rectangle. Transform vector objects in any imaginable way. Use bitmap filters like blur, drop shadow, glow, and all blend modes.
Organize all objects in the Library, create symbols like Movie Clips and Buttons for multiple use. Add text fields, with font kerning and paragraph alignment.
Animate objects with motion tweens and shape tweens. Add sound to movies and create advanced interactivity.
Powerful animated effects without any scripting at all
Giotto comes packed with more than 50 great effects that can be applied to both shapes and text. All effects are fully and easily customizable through the effect editor, and the results are immediately visible on the screen for you to play and explore.
There are more than 100 effect presets, to show the new user the different ways the effects can be adjusted.
These effects are based on ActionScript, but you don’t need to know the code behind them. Creating a perfect banner has never been easier!
Color palette editor that you can actually use
One of the main advantages of Giotto is its built-in editor for color palettes. Most color palette editors out there are quite useless, but we made Giotto’s very applicable in real life.
The Color palette editor uses special algorithms based on human perception of colors, rather then traditional mathematical models which produce poor results.
Once you select the base color of your project, you would have countless options to create palettes using many various matching algorithms. This makes the start of your new project quite easy!
User interface very similar to Adobe® Flash®
Switching from one animation software to another can be hard. We hate learning to use completely new software as much as you do. That’s why we created Giotto’s user interface very similar to Adobe® Flash® and simplified it further in order to enable designers to achieve results easier and faster.
Although it’s freeware, there’s no lacking of major features, and everything is where you think it should be – tools, context menus, object properties… so you will have the sense of familiarity and ease of use from the very first moment you open it.
We have added some new elements like natural color palette editor, effects generator, and other tools that create stunning effects without ever touching the ActionScript.