Surface Pro 4

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Greenlaw
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:16 am

mkelley wrote:The ability to edit those vectors is fine, but in terms of raw creation there was never a need for Moho to be the main tool for that purpose.
I think it depends on your workflow. When I drawing for optimal shape deformation, I do prefer plotting points manually of course.

But for more static elements, where point position is less of a concern, I'd rather freehand it--it's faster and I think the results look better. Background and prop elements are good examples.

If you want to use Moho's FBF, then you definitely want to be able to freehand in the program. Unfortunately, this is where both Freehand and Blob Brush can get frustrating for reasons already discussed elsewhere in these forums. At work, I occasionally use these tools in FBF mode for fx animations like tears, splashes, fire, etc., and it usually works fine for that. Where I find it gets difficult is when creating detailed drawings, like characters. Then the tools generate too many errors for me, especially in the point welds. I'm sure the FH and FBF tools will get better in the future, but for now I find it useful mainly for simple shapes and sequences.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by chucky » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:54 am

I use my Ciniq 22 all the time , it's amazing I do have to use the editable keyboard in conjunction and I can't imagine being able to use the stylus without two side buttons.
My portable tablet pc is getting old and can't hack the workload, so I would love a wacom mobile studio 16 but I would have to sell a few internal and external organs first.
I like the surface line but the screen is small and the pen has only the one side button. I'm going to wait as long as I can to see if the surface 5 might be the ticket or a wacom 16 competitor hits the market.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:29 pm

One thing I use a lot on the Cintiq Companion is the on-screen buttons. These are vertical, horizontal or radial bars you create that can feature common key commands and modifiers that you normally access with a physical keyboard. In fact, you can setup keys that the virtual keyboard doesn't recognize. The nice thing is that you can make a 'common' bar that has commands shared by many programs, and program specific bars that feature commands unique to a program. They take up very little screen space too. I use two bars in Clip Studio Paint all the time and it really speeds things up when I'm 'on the road', without needed a physical keyboard or mouse. I recently started setting bars up for Moho. The full size Cintiq has them too--I've been thinking of setting bars up at work but haven't had time to do that yet.

Anyway, just wondering if an equivalent existed for Surface. It seems like a natural extension for any tablet computers, especially without the Expresskeys like the Cintiq and Companion computers have.

On my old HP tm2 tablet computer, I used a gesture based tool called Gmote and on-screen modifier panel called Modlock. These tools worked great for me at the time. For Gmote, basically I could assign stylus strokes for commands, like a < for undo and > for redo or a slash for delete. To trigger it, I would hold down a second stylus button to for 'middle mouse'. Gmote doesn't work with x64 programs so when I got my Companion I switched to another gesture controller called StrokePlus. It seemed to work very much like Gmote but I haven't used it much since I started working with the Wacom on-screen button bars. I don't know if Modlock is still available but it put a simple moveable bar on your screen for things like Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Del, etc. Maybe Surface users will find these tools handy.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by cynthia » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:15 pm

I agree with Greenlaw that you really need the biggest screen you can afford to do graphic work - more than one screen, even better. After working as a visual artist and book illustrator for 20 years, I really hurt my neck from bending over artwork - car mechanics and dental technicians get the same complaint. I really like the wacom tablet because I can now draw while maintaining good posture and looking straight ahead at the screen. A Cintiq wouldn't let me do that, because I'd have my head down again. I used to use a big expensive wacom tablet, but now find the smallest, cheapest Intuos allows me to keep my drawing hand close to my body, while using a little bluetooth mac keyboard so I can use keyboard shortcuts. I have a magic trackpad for my left hand to try to divide my work flow between both hands, as a physiotherapist recommended.
Re learning to coordinate drawing while using a wacom: I think being able to do things without looking at your hands is a learned skill - you do the same thing playing an instrument from sheet music or touch typing. I agree the tool icons are small, but it's worth it to memorize keyboard shortcuts instead instead of tapping on the tool icon. To help memorize, I wrote the keyboard shortcuts for my most frequent tools on a piece of paper and kept it next to the computer.
Re best drawing software: most illustrators working today combine traditional and digital tools. Nothing beats drawing and painting on paper or other traditional surfaces. Many people tend to draw in a sketchbook, then scan the drawings and refine them in photoshop, or trace them in Moho. (you could also just photograph the sketch with your iOS device if you don't have a scanner.) Victor does that quite often in his webinars, copying or using the drawings of colleagues, such as the penguin for a head turn, and the camel for the quadruped walk. Cartoon Saloon does the same for Puffin Rock; the characters go from sketchbook drawings to finished art in photoshop, which is then redrawn as vectors in Moho.
Re drawing on the iPad, I've tried a few drawing apps, but like Procreate the best.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by chucky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:14 am

Greenlaw wrote: Anyway, just wondering if an equivalent existed for Surface. It seems like a natural extension for any tablet computers, especially without the Expresskeys like the Cintiq and Companion computers have.
I don't like the cintiq buttons they are too anonymous.
Here's a demo of me on the couch with the Cintiq on a timber couch stand I made and' editable keyboard' running on an android.
I also suffered from a sore neck, drawing down on a flat table and surfing was responsible for that.
I keep posting about this software which is my 'left hand man' on every project.

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dirty hand demo

Post by cynthia » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:28 am

Very cool! thanks for the demo of both dirty hand and clip studio. Both new to me. I really enjoy seeing how people work and the tools they use. Also, I love the artwork shown on your Moho screen - watercolour?
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:57 am

mkelley wrote:Yeah, I'm pretty excited about using the iPad Pro and importing the SVG to Moho.

As to the other poster, I have a MacBook Air but I don't like Moho on it either -- again, the screen resolution just doesn't work for me. Where it does work is on my main PC system, with dual 30" monitors. That's the downside of getting old -- your eyes get toasted (the upside is you usually have enough money for large monitors and other toys).

Ironically enough, I went with the 9.7 inch iPad Pro instead of the huge one, mostly because I like that form factor (I've had many many iPads and still have the original Air right now). My experience with graphics tablets is that I don't really need a lot of drawing real estate anyway (I tend to draw in a very small space -- just not one to use expressive strokes). Autodesk Graphics is supposed to be a killer app on the iPad Pro, and at $10 an incredibly cheap one.
"The other poster" here, I am the same way drawing small and tight has always been my preference. However, in school I did experience the benefits from loosening up by working larger. Oil painting was a lot more enjoyable. Drawing, not so much. Back then I had better than 20-20 vision and enjoyed working detailed and smaller. The benefits are less significant when your target is computer cartoon/animation and practicality reigns supreme. I have three 23" ACD's. Two are dedicated to sharing a Mac Pro while the third runs off a Mac Mini for support. Then I have the large iPad Pro. 30" screens would be nice but I am already working in computer graphic Heaven.

Autodesk Graphic is currently on sale 30% off at $5.99. I already had ProCreate but I purchased Graphic to compare the two. So far both are amazing with the iPad Pro the Apple Pencil.
mkelley wrote:In thinking about this, I'm kind of glad I'm going with a program dedicated to drawing. While there is no question the drawing tools have been tuned up in Moho, it was extremely smart of them to improve SVG import to the point where other, better tools could be used in concert. This makes sense and leaves Moho to its strengths, which is animation. The ability to edit those vectors is fine, but in terms of raw creation there was never a need for Moho to be the main tool for that purpose.

It's a bit like using the timeline for audio -- while it *can* be done it's far better to use programs dedicated for that purpose and only use the audio in Moho for a rough pass to animate to. And I'm really happy to go with a tablet for my drawing purposes since it's lighter, has a far longer battery, and doesn't need to have a keyboard. So this makes just a TON of sense.

But I do thank everyone for the discussion. Up until now using an external vector program wasn't really a viable option. Now it appears to be the best one.
If Moho's strength is animation to the point that freehand drawing is unimportant I believe they should not offer any art creation tools until they are ready to offer a robust package that is up to the task. Do it right or don't do it at all. This trickling out and dabbling in drawing tools is a disaster. Whatever has been offered to date has been utilized by users even though they would be better off using additional software. The quality of the end product has been compromised as a result. Overall, artwork created with Anime Studio tools is cold, sterile and robotic. It lacks the warmth of expression that is possible with refined tools.

I think Anime Studio Pro / Moho would have garnered more respect if it only focused on animation all along. The art creation tools thus far have been thrown in with relatively little consideration like offering a plastic spoon with your well-prepared steak. Just look at what $6 (iPad app) - $19 (computer version) gets you in Autodesk Graphic. One huge thing Autodesk Graphic has over ProCreate is a computer desktop version.*

*It is interesting (to me) that when using the desktop version with the iPad/Astropad setup initially the art is aliased then quickly updates to antialiased. I don't see this with my Intuos Pro. This is also the only software I experience this with. I am going to contact Autodesk support and see what they have to say about it.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:03 am

That is pretty cool!

Here's what Clip Studio Looks like with the Wacom buttons I use:

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The bar on the left holds the common commands and the one on the right is what pops up when I'm in CSP. You can assign up to 8 buttons on a strip. You can even set up 'press and hold' buttons, like the temporary key commands in Moho--this works great with a touch screen, and is very useful when you don't have a physical keyboard. CSP is actually pretty unique in that so many commands are exposed in the UI all the time that you really don't need to assign buttons. But I have these bars up anyway. :)

For the physical Expresskeys, I just assign the usual modifiers on the bottom buttons. I use mostly the same buttons in every program so it's not any more difficult than remembering the buttons a regular keyboard. For the rocker, I assign Undo and Redo.

Funny, I don't really use the Expresskeys on the full size 22HD at work that often. I guess it's because my keyboard is right under it so it's less necessary. I'll probably use the on-screen ones for Moho though since some commands are hidden until you select specific tools, which is often an annoyance for me.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:14 am

o0Ampy0o wrote:
mkelley wrote:Yeah, I'm pretty excited about using the iPad Pro and importing the SVG to Moho.

As to the other poster, I have a MacBook Air but I don't like Moho on it either -- again, the screen resolution just doesn't work for me. Where it does work is on my main PC system, with dual 30" monitors. That's the downside of getting old -- your eyes get toasted (the upside is you usually have enough money for large monitors and other toys).

Ironically enough, I went with the 9.7 inch iPad Pro instead of the huge one, mostly because I like that form factor (I've had many many iPads and still have the original Air right now). My experience with graphics tablets is that I don't really need a lot of drawing real estate anyway (I tend to draw in a very small space -- just not one to use expressive strokes). Autodesk Graphics is supposed to be a killer app on the iPad Pro, and at $10 an incredibly cheap one.
"The other poster" here, I am the same way drawing small and tight has always been my preference. However, in school I did experience the benefits from loosening up by working larger. Oil painting was a lot more enjoyable. Drawing, not so much. Back then I had better than 20-20 vision and enjoyed working detailed and smaller. The benefits are less significant when your target is computer cartoon/animation and practicality reigns supreme. I have three 23" ACD's. Two are dedicated to sharing a Mac Pro while the third runs off a Mac Mini for support. Then I have the large iPad Pro. 30" screens would be nice but I am already working in computer graphic Heaven.

Autodesk Graphic is currently on sale 30% off at $5.99. I already had ProCreate but I purchased Graphic to compare the two. So far both are amazing with the iPad Pro the Apple Pencil.
Ironically enough (but not unusually -- I am an OLD person) it turned out I already HAD Autodeck Graphic -- bought it back when it was iDraw and it just morphed into that. I didn't have it on my Air since I hadn't had any luck importing the SVG artwork into Moho 8/9 (or whatever version I was trying it out at the time) and so I never installed it when I upgraded a few years ago. I went to buy it and it just said "install" because it was waiting for me in my apps. So it cost me even less than $6 <g>.

It actually worked pretty good even without the Apple Pencil, so I'm pretty excited to see how much better it is with it (my iPad Pro and the Pencil will arrive Thursday). I went back and forth over whether I wanted the larger iPad but since I will be using this like I use my Air (which is to say, almost everywhere) I didn't want anything heavier or more awkward to just hold with one hand. But we'll see -- I have 45 days to audition it as well and if I think I really could use the extra screen space perhaps I'll go there.

I found out the Surface Pro 4 (which started this thread) is arriving tomorrow so I'll at least get to check out Moho on it before I return it, which I almost certainly will do so. I have found with various portable solutions over the years that I really can't animate except on a desktop with dual screens, but creating small pieces of artwork (and with my talent I almost hesitate to call them that -- scribblings would be better) is something I enjoy doing in bed while my wife and I watch television.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:16 am

Oh, and I have ProCreate as well -- I'm just an app junkie, and I bought these in an experiment quite a few years back thinking I was going to be creating a lot of stuff and importing it into Anime Studio. It's taken this long before that's a viable option, but I AM excited about it.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:54 am

cynthia wrote:...Re learning to coordinate drawing while using a wacom: I think being able to do things without looking at your hands is a learned skill - you do the same thing playing an instrument from sheet music or touch typing.....
To a point. I understand you are referring to how you can get a general feel for the active drawing area of a tablet, the location of the stylus tip, the shapes it forms though movement and the feel for pen pressure sensitivity but you still have to devote significant mental resources to imagining a relationship between the stylus and result. This is less effective, less efficient and arguably less rewarding of an experience.

When reading sheet music or touch typing you are just plunking a key and producing a corresponding symbol or sound. Plunking the same key produces the same symbol or sound. So memorizing all key locations means you can compose words, sentences, songs. However, when drawing you are translating a form or idea into something else without consistent corresponding keys. Each touch and movement is coming from a process involving observation/interpretation and manipulation of a tool that could generate many possible and inconsistent results. The later is exponentially more dependent upon a combined visual, mental and physical process. When working with computers dimensions of the process are inherently missing. At least with a Cintiq-like device you gain something back by working directly on the surface where the result is seen providing a degree of instant gratification that facilitates the creative process.

On the other hand, intricate surgery is performed using remote control apparatuses........May I mention a good book? .. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (not only a surgeon but a good writer who can talk about brain surgery in a manner the layman can appreciate.)
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:14 am

mkelley wrote:Oh, and I have ProCreate as well -- I'm just an app junkie, and I bought these in an experiment quite a few years back thinking I was going to be creating a lot of stuff and importing it into Anime Studio. It's taken this long before that's a viable option, but I AM excited about it.
Without going back and rereading the whole thread, I believe you will be new to the Apple Pencil but have had iPads and tablets? I prefer the feel of the Apple Pencil and iPad over a Wacom tablet for several reasons. I always produce a flippy flourish at the end of lines using a Wacom tablet and pen. The springy tip probably has something to do with it. The light stylus is another factor. The Apple Pencil is somewhat less sensitive yet sensitive enough. The stylus is heavier. It does not have a springy tip. All things considered I have more control and can produce much better results.

I bought Anime Studio Pro several versions back, upgraded without using it and it has taken me this long to commit to using it. I just upgraded to Moho 12. I am probably attempting the same workflow you will be using.......vector art from outside software animated with Moho. I hope you like to talk about what you are doing. I'd like to hear what you think of everything as you do it.
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Re: dirty hand demo

Post by chucky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:55 am

cynthia wrote:Very cool! thanks for the demo of both dirty hand and clip studio. Both new to me. I really enjoy seeing how people work and the tools they use. Also, I love the artwork shown on your Moho screen - watercolour?
Thanks Cynthia... :D The art work is clip studio and moho, I really don't need much else other than storyboard pro , plus audio and editing apps.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by chucky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:51 am

o0Ampy0o »
Overall, artwork created with Anime Studio tools is cold, sterile and robotic. It lacks the warmth of expression that is possible with refined tools.
I disagree and have evidence. Admittedly I used a low frame rate for this example, but it was a rushed example purely to show the potential of the Moho drawing tools. This was done long before the bezier controls came to make the freehand drawing better.


All of this is entirely drawn and animated in Moho using freehand vector drawing, tell me that this is sterile.
It was very easy to get this inky loose look and I developed all those brushes from real ink which I believe are available in the core program.
I think moho is on the verge of becoming a force to contend with, in the freehand department, it just needs one more big push.
The recent improvements are in no way a waste of time as drawing is implicitly crucial for animation.
Please don't discourage exploration and improvement in the freehand tools we need them to improve, not stagnate. :)
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:30 am

I said "overall" which is different than "all" and leaves room for exceptions. Some people can turn water to gold, so to speak. That example is unconventional and interesting how everything is sketched like animated tree branches. I would like to see good examples of standard cartoon art animated well utilizing the principles of animation.

I am not discouraging development of tools. I am advocating going at it full force. Trickling out small improvements inch by inch also generates a lot of video and forum chatter discussing work-arounds instead of how to utilize a well thought out system of tools. At the least it gives the impression that things are inadequate for the task. If the software is capable it would behoove SM to hire animators to produce an abundance of examples showing off the software's potential.
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