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Jan
09

Wacom Intuos4 Small Review

I got the Wacom tablet the other day and I’ve been using it addictively ever since.

First of all, I was slightly worried that the small size (cheaper) would be too small. That’s wrong. In fact, a bigger size would be harder to use in my opinion. I’d suggest that if you are thinking of purchasing a tablet that the Wacom Intuos4 Small is THE cheapest for the quality.

A note about the software… Wacom lied! Instead of giving me a choice of two out of three pieces of software, they gave me all three! What shock! That, my friends, is a wonderful example of doing good business.

From experience so far, I am liking Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 the best for usability. I had a minor problem where the pressure stopped working on the stylus in Photoshop and could not for the life of me, figure out what was wrong. It turns out that it was a driver problem. I simply had to run to http://www.Wacom.com and download the newest driver for my tablet.

As far as the other software goes, they are both quite nice. However, for customization, they both scored 2 stars. There is no way to import more brushes, or make your own with a B/W image, unlike Photoshop. Corel Painter Sketchpad (and Autodesk Sketchbook) have 11 brushes each. In terms of layers, I had pro’s and con’s about both. Corel Painter Sketchpad does not allow you to move layers. (!!!!!) However, it allows as many layers as you like. Autodesk Sketchbook allows only three layers. (!!!!!) But… it allows you to move them around to get any order you want. LOL

For layers, Photoshop Elements 8 allows you to have as many layers as you like and also to move them (or join them) however necessary. All in all, Photoshop (I’m not editing photos in it, just drawing) is very customizable, very usable and if you are new to image editing/drawing probably has the steepest learning curve. I however picked it up realtime as I have used alot of software that is similar (Gimp, for instance) and even imitating Photoshop.

Now that I am done talking about the software, I can talk about the tablet itself! Wacom is genius. They certainly have spent alot of thought as to how their tablets can influence and improve:

  • Daily workflow
  • Pipeline
  • Efficiency
  • Conceptualization

This tablet, (unlike the cheaper, layman’s line, ‘Wacom Bamboo’) does not have multi-touch, or can react to a finger, for that matter. You may be aghast, thinking I got the cheaper end of the deal, but it is not true. I am actually glad that it does not react to anything other than my stylus. lol

I would be continually bumping it and ruining what I was doing. (it can get annoying even with CTRL Z) Put it this way, would you rather finger-paint, or draw? It’s a choice of professionalism. Yes, a bamboo would be seriously fun, but also, if you check out the reviews, people talk about how it doesn’t work unless the pen is at a certain angle, it breaks alot quicker, ect. It’s cheaper, you pay for what you get.

On a note of reviews, I would like to debunk a popular review on the Wacom Intuos. The review stated that the nibs (small sticks that represent the pen tip that you insert into your pen) wear out insanely fast. The person claimed that a nib would wear out every hour of use, thus making it expensive to use the tablet as the nibs are costly to replace.

That is a complete lie. I have seen absolutely NO nib wear and I have use my tablet for many hours since I got it. That review is either by someone who tried making playdoh nibs and pressed insanely hard, or by a competitor just trying, via fraud, to cut down on Wacom’s sales by a coupel thousand. Don’t believe eveything you hear.

Also, not just me, but my whole family has been using it. Below, you can see the results we have accumulated.

The Spectacle 2011

The Spectacle, by Robert Treskillard (my dad) in Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

A planet with a spaceship, by Yours Truly in Corel Sketchpad.

A really quick sketch in Autodesk Sketchbook by Yours Truly. Can you guess what tool I used? ;)

In conclusion, I rate the Wacom Intuos4 Small graphics Tablet five stars!

Thanks for reading.

Dec
31

I just got a Wacom Intuos4 tablet!

Hey guys! I just ordered a Wacom Intuos4 Small graphics tablet!

I’m really looking forward to using it! It’s still in the mail, so I’m going nuts. lol

This purchase is going to be invaluable to the creation of Wolf’s Bard. It will come in useful in multiple aspects of the development.

  • Concept art
  • Storyboarding
  • Modeling
  • Sculpting
  • Texture painting

Yes, it can do all those things. Pretty sweet, huh? Also, it comes with Photoshop Elements and Corel Painter Sketchpad (optionally Autodesk Sketchbook which I will opt out for).

I’ll give an update here when I get it.

– Leighton

Dec
25

Merry Christmas!

A very Merry Christmas to one and all!

A picture I took this morning.

A picture I took this morning.

God Bless!

- Leighton

Nov
24

To Darkness Fled Trailer UNLEASHED!

Hey guys!

Tonight we have unleashed the To Darkness Fled trailer to the masses!!!



Turn your sound up and click the button that looks like four arrows pointing outward to check it out in fullscreen HD!

I played Hadad (the evil guy in the cloak) and did the special effects. :D

It was AWESOME making it so I hope you like it!

If you do, then click ‘Like’ and do a blog/twitter/facebook post about it!
Thanks!

– Leighton

Nov
09

I respond to comments!

Ever felt that somebody is ignoring you?

Ever been to somebody’s blog and they have 20+ comments and have not responded to ANY of them?! Why comment on a blog like that, huh? You’re just talking to cyberspace — or the other commenters who don’t know the answer to your question and won’t benefit from your kudos.

It’s not hard to wonder… do they even read their comments? If they did they would surely be overcome with the desire to respond! But alas they never do respond.

Here at SLY Games blog I have made it my policy to respond individually to EVERY comment I get. Seriously.

For all you bloggers out there, a piece of advice. If it has never occurred to you to respond, don’t just sit there thinking “Man, why didn’t that occur to me?!” start responding!

Here is a quote from socialmediarockstar.com:

5. Personally Respond to All Blog Comments

People are secretly craving warm digital fuzzies and personal feedback – so give it to them when they make the effort to comment on your blog. The first year, I spent anywhere from 2 to 20 hours a week responding to blog comments. People will begin to see your blog as a conversation, a friendly destination where they can get a little burst of personal attention and they’ll keep coming back.

Sound like a good idea? I think so too!

One way that response to comments ties in with SLY Games as a company is that when I post a piece of artwork (or a game screen-shot for instance) I CRAVE feedback!

And you guys … are the people who can give it to me.

I will very soon be starting official work on Wolf’s Bard (after I am done with a different project) and I will hopefully be posting screenshots of my work quite often in their respective stages of development.

So remember, I promise to respond to your comment!

Also! It’s not just me that needs to respond. It’s also you. You need to make sure that after you ask a  question or whatnot, you leave the page up and reload it until you see a reply! I usually try to respond to comments as soon as I see them, which is pretty soon. ;)

If you guys think up some REALLY mind blowing questions… I might even answer in a blog post!

That’s all for now!

- Leighton

Oct
22

Book Trailer Filming!

Exactly a week ago on Friday the 15th, I picked up two teen authors at the airport, Christian Miles and J.R. Parker.

J.R. Parker has written Kestrel’s Midnight Song, in print with Flaming Pen Press and is also working developing the following trilogy and maybe even another really AWESOME book. I’m not quite sure exactly how secret that is so my lips are sealed. ;) You can find him at The Yodeling Dwarf and Songlore.com

Christian Miles, has written A Twin Hope, yet to be published but soon to be regarded as the most awesome book ever written in WI. You can find him at Teen E-zine and My Ink Spot or even more simply, on the couch in my living room. He’s trying to catch up on some sleep. Why you ask? Because those two authors didn’t come here to play billiards…

…They came here to film a Book Trailer.

But before I tell you all about that, I have to tell something else first. So bear with me. lol

On Saturday the 16th, we all went to a booksigning/party event put on by authors Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. It was absolutely awesome. To be able to interact with, make jokes with, EAT with two totally sweet authors was a blast. Not to mention that now, all the books of theirs that I own are now autographed. :D

Back to the trailer!

Together, J.R. Parker, Christian Miles, my dad, my sisters and I have been working on creating a VERY cool book trailer for To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson.

We will be releasing it on HD DVD as well as lower res on Youtube and Vimeo. Right now, we are editing, removing greenscreen, working on CGI and whatnot, doing ADR voicovers and foley. Once we’re done, we will send it to Jonathan Maiocco and he will compose a score for it. Pretty awesome, huh?!

That’s all the update for now! Thanks for stopping by!

I would post photos… but it’s secret! Mwahaha!

Sep
29

Venom and Song – A Review II

Venom And SongHey! Day two on the CSFF Blog Tour! I’m reviewing Venom and Song by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.

Check out the previous post in which I remarked about the thing I didn’t like about Venom and Song, and today I will speak on the things I LOVED about it.

Ok, first of all. Because the first book had a TON of characters to introduce and get us liking them, (that must have been a pain to write but it was handled well)  the second book didn’t have to deal with that! Therefore, the plot was surprisingly smooth and I really came away refreshed.

I have a great sin to confess. I actually crept into my parent’s bathroom (the book had just been taken from me and stashed there) at night and I stole it and read it almost all night. (I’m a dirty sneak <_<) I am NOT making up this story. I got to bed around 3:30 AM. The book is that cool.

PLOT SPOILERS!

I had one plot feature I couldn’t stop laughing and cringing at. Kat and Tommy both like each other alot. But Kat you see, has a VERY low self image and imagines that Tommy is going after Kiri Lee, who she thinks is prettier than her. Tommy likes Kat but doesn’t really even stop to think that she likes him because she is mad at him (because she likes him) for ‘going after Kiri Lee’ in a sense (all imagined) and it’s all very messy. lol

Of the all the characters I understood Jimmy the most. I think alot of his choices are probably what I would have done (yes even the bad ones) and his thinking is pretty similar to mine. Except about his parents I guess. lol

The humor in this book is pretty epic. The 7 teens tease around alot and the book is practically dripping with wit. I caught myself laughing quite a bit.

In short, I greatly reccomend this book and all that follow (and go before it) it in the series. I’d probably say that for an age rating that 12 is pretty safe.

Also! WTB! You commented on the previous post, and I responded to you. :D

That should be all for this post, thanks for stopping by!

Sep
27

Venom and Song – A Review

Hey guys! As part of the CSFF Blog Tour, I am going to review Venom and Song by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.

Look mom, no LOTR cliche! Oh. :P

OK, first off… for a rating! On a scale of 1 out of 5 I rate this book 4.5 stars. This is an awesome book.

For those of you who know about the Berinfell Prophesies series and have read it’s prequel (The Curse Of the Spider King) may (or may not) want to watch this trailer made for it by Christian Miles, Jon Maiocco and last of all… Me.

If possible Venom and Song is better that COTSK. I was really able to get into the characters more than I had been expecting. I must admit though, there was ONE thing that I disliked about the book.

And it’s not WTB and CH’s fault. Seriously. The problem I had with it was the COVER! You can see it to the right. To me, (just my personal opinion) it looks like the artist took the gwar on a spider from the first book cover, and pasted it in this cover on a dragonfly!

Something else. The gryphons don’t match the lighting, therefore looking pasted in as well. Now for my BIGGEST problem with the cover.

The tower. Ok, let’s think together… A big evil tower, a red light shining the top. It’s crumbling. Remind you of something? Haha. Yess, my precious. The Lord Of the Rings.

Yeah, it’s cliche. Ahh well, one piece of advice, Wayne and Christopher… don’t underestimate the effect of a cover with the current culture. Many people (me included) don’t buy the book only by it’s first chapter, but also by its cover.

Many of you who are thinking to yourselves, “How can this Leighton guy be SO mean as to criticize this awesome cover!” But I have to tell you, I personally feel more able to criticize art than writing being an artist myself. (Not that there is much to criticize about the writing)

On to more happy topics. The book is an absolute blast with a strong plot as well as believable characters. If you are considering getting this book, or are interested in any kind of fiction, this is for you. Buy it by all means! Just… ignore the cover. :P

For those of you who follow my blog… Or even if you are a first timer, please join the “Google  Friend Connect” thing on the right with only me as a member. :P Also, feel free to comment. :D

CSFF Blog Tour Participants links:

Angela

Brandon Barr

Keanan Brand

Amy Browning

Beckie Burnham

Morgan L. Busse

Melissa Carswell

Jeff Chapman

Valerie Comer

Amy Cruson

CSFF Blog Tour

D. G. D. Davidson

April Erwin

Tori Greene

Ryan Heart

Bruce Hennigan

Timothy Hicks

Becky Jesse

Cris Jesse

Jason Joyner

Julie

Carol Keen

Krystine Kercher

Dawn King

Leighton

Rebecca LuElla Miller

John W. Otte

Donita K. Paul

Chawna Schroeder

Tammy Shelnut

James Somers

Kathleen Smith

Rachel Starr Thomson

Robert Treskillard

Steve Trower

Fred Warren

Sep
12

New Wren Song Band Photo!

Hey guys! Yesterday I put together a finished band photo after having taken some photos the day before! Using blender’s compositor (you can do practically ANYTHING with that baby) I touched it up and added some zoom.

Yes, I used some other image editing software to do different things (such as cutting us out of the photo so we wouldn’t be “zoomed” along with everything else. :P )

Here it is:

Wren Song

For more information about Wren Song, go to http://www.wrensong.org We will be performing at the Missouri River Irish Fest on Saturday the 18th. I’m the guy in the green shirt holding the Bodhran. ;)

Thanks!

Sep
09

B2evolution to WordPress!

WordpressMann… I have finally finished going through the VERY messy process of migrating blogging software. It was actually very simple. So simple it took me about a week of constant hair-pulling to figure it out! ;)

Ack.

I was basically trying to somehow get B2evolution to EXPORT as some comprehendable format that WordPress could IMPORT. I tried:

  • Importing B2evolution directly into wordpress.
  • Messily turning B2evo into “Movable Type” and importing THAT into WP.
  • I even considered bringing B2evo into BLOGGER and then importing THAT into WP.

What a mess. I ended up doing NOTHING of the sort. It actually was way simpler than  I thought. All I needed to do was use the RSS importer on WordPress! How’s that for simple? Haha

There was my WHOLE blog all organised in a nice XML format. WordPress imterpreted it with a RSS importer plugin and Voila! Here you are!

For you readers who are wondering how the TDF trailer is going, I have FINISHED all the CGI pre-production stuff and am on to props and stuff like that. :D

That’s all for now!

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