Sunday, November 30, 2014

Product Review - Surface Pro 3

I recently was given a Surface Pro 3 to try out, to see if it was a step up from your standard drawing tablet. During the course of the week I had the Surface, I did all of my drawing on it instead of my Huion (if you're interested in that review, it can be found here).

Let me begin with what you get in the Surface Box. You receive a power cord, a wireless pen, and the Surface itself. The Surface runs Windows 8 and does not come with a keyboard, however there is one sold separately. Out of the box I already ran into an issue. For some reason the Surface was already on! I'm not sure why this was the case as I was the first person to open the box, but I feel it should be mentioned. The next issue I ran into was with the pen, for some reason when I went to the bluetooth options on the Surface, it would detect the pen but not connect. The pen still worked, but seemed to lag a little bit. Later on I did get the pen to connect, but I still felt like it was slightly laggy.

The Surface Pro 3 Box

The Included Pen (note while it does have two hotkeys on the front, I was unable to map them to any Photoshop shortcuts)

The device itself was quite nice. It wasn't super heavy and the adjustable stand on the back was a nice feature. I also liked the power cord as it was similar to my Macbook cord, where it worked no matter what way you plugged it in. The device had a nice finish and the screen was quite clear.

The Surface front

The back of the Surface

The kickstand

The two programs I installed on the Surface were Adobe Photoshop CC and Mudbox 2015, however, I was only able to test Photoshop as for some reason Mudbox never opened. I was really disappointed by this, as I had hoped to try some sculpting on the Surface. With Photoshop, I tried to work without using a keyboard, as I didn't have the accessory. I found this incredibly frustrating as it slowed down my workflow immensely. Eventually I caved and plugged in an USB keyboard into the single USB port on the Surface, which sped up the process, but also made the device less portable.

Once I began to draw with the Surface, I was pleasantly surprised at the pressure sensitivity. It was nowhere as good as my Intuos tablet, but it was much better than I expected. I did have to press fairly hard for the device to work, so it made faint line work a bit difficult. I was able to do some decent sketching with the device, but overall I found that it took me longer to draw things as a result of the pressure issue.

An example of the pen pressure

All in all, the Surface pro is a nice tablet for general use I used it for some basic web browsing, and played some music off of it and had no issues. When it came to using this as a digital sketchbook however, I found the device was severely lacking. No matter what I did, I just couldn't seem to find a decent way to use this over using my Intuos or Huion. I enjoyed the tablet as a tablet, but I don't think I could recommend it to someone as an alternative to a traditional drawing tablet. As a tablet I would give it an 8/10, but as a drawing tablet I'd have to give it a 5/10.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

JoshCam - Free Maya Camera Download!

Last year while working on Celestial, I began to develop a camera rig to use for future productions of my own. The idea was to create a rig that took the features that I liked from other rigs and combine them into one super rig! After months of trial and error, I finally was able to complete the rig of my dreams! It is now available for download from Creative Crash, which is an AMAZING resource for anyone in the 3D field. For those of you who want to try out my rig, you can download it here!

JoshCam - Free Maya Camera Download! from Josh Janousky on Vimeo.

I hope you get as much out of this rig as I have!

As always enjoy!


Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Day Disney Challenge!

A little over a month ago, my friend Jess Minoso and myself came up with this idea for a drawing challenge, where everyday we would draw a different Disney character for 30 Days! It was a really fun challenge and I think it helped me out a lot as an artist. There is still a lot I need to do to improve, however, I've now been able to narrow down exactly what it is I need to work on! You can follow us both on Instagram to see all of the drawings, and if you decide to participate in the challenge yourself, make sure to tag us!

As always enjoy!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Piece Breakdown - The Tardis!

Now anyone who knows me knows how much I hate to model. I'm talking about 3D modeling by the way, not modeling for photos. Anyways, it's just been something I've never really been good at. Recently, with the help of my good friend James Bridges talking me through his process, I was able to model one of my favorite props from Doctor Who, the Tardis! Now this model still isn't 100% done. While the geometry is completed, I'm still working on the textures and materials. I plan on compositing this into a live action scene soon, so I can't wait to share it all with you! I'm very proud of this seeing as I was responsible for every stage of this project; modeling, UVing, texturing, rigging, lighting, and compositing. Below I've included a turntable of the model along with the texture images!

This is what the textures look like!

This was a quick render using an Image Based Lighting system. Thats why it appears as if the Tardis is floating

Tardis Turntable from Josh Janousky on Vimeo.

The final turntable!

As always enjoy!