The Incrementals

So, here’s a page from the latest book. It marks what I feel is a certain newfound comfort with Clip Studio Paint, having made the switch away from Gimp earlier this year:

There’s a lot going on there production-wise. I’ve been an open source advocate for a long time, and I have not disposed of Gimp in the workflow entirely. I still use it for various tasks – particularly anything that requires a higher bit depth since Clip Studio is still only and 8-bit application.

Changes in my workflow have been both by leaps and increments, but Gimp’s 2.0 launch left me wanting better hardware. On my current Surface Pro 4, with only the standard RAM and processor, Gimp 2.0 runs too slowly to be usable. I love all the new features, but I exceeded the maximum resolution at which my hardware and Gimp were able to handle very quickly.

Speaking of switching applications, Siggraph was this week – snooze. Just kidding. Plenty of software news floated around but nothing really ground breaking, just tons more VR related buzzwords and usability tweaks from – well – everyone. I’m playing this off as usual, because for the most part the real nuts and bolts of the artistry of everything at Siggraph is mostly old hat by now.  I think most people in CGI feel that most of the big problems of image creation have been solved and everything is just focused on “make it faster and easier” as well as more affordable.

In the meantime I’m having fun with my favorite app – Zbrush – which has been updated to include my favorite formerly free sculpting app – Sculptris. Sculptris was never really taken very seriously – but its ability to add resolution while sculpting made it a terrific solution for picky sculptors like me with slower hardware. Thanks, Pixologic.

Bit by bit, I am changing nearly every aspect of my workflow as a digital artist. The opportunity presented by different tools always leaves me asking “why not try it.” Whether it’s speed, experimentation, user experience, or old fashioned problem solving – I have tried different tools as the default asking the questions – does this help, hurt? Is this better or just different? Is this adding or subtracting from my process and results?