Category Archives: art

Huion Digital Artist’s Glove



Huion Digital Artist GloveI recently purchased a Huion brand Digital Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet via Amazon for use when drawing and painting with my Surface Pro 3 using the Microsoft Pen digital stylus. The idea of a digital artist’s glove is to electrically isolate the parts of one’s hand that would normally rest on the surface of a glass capacitive touchscreen when drawing or painting. This allows the same relaxed natural hand posture that is used when writing or drawing directly on paper, allowing the side of the hand to rest directly on the surface of the glass without interfering at all with the drawing or painting process with the digital stylus.

I find that the Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet works perfectly to isolate the side of my hand from a glass capacitive touchscreen such as on my Surface Pro 3 and also my iPad Air. It provides a very natural, relaxed drawing experience. Normally one must hold one’s hand in a rather unnatural hovering position when drawing or writing with a stylus on a touchscreen surface. An artist’s glove neatly solves this problem. The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet seems to be made of some sort of stretchy, smooth lycra material.

However, trying the same glove on my Lenovo C40 all-in-one touchscreen computer, curiously the glove does not work at all to isolate. I don’t know this to be a fact, however I suspect that the Lenovo C40 touchscreen is made out of some sort of plastic conductive material and not true glass. Tapping lightly on the Lenovo C40 touchscreen to my ears sounds more like tapping on a plastic material than it does tapping on true glass. If you decide to get one of these artist’s gloves, make sure that the capacitive touchscreen you intend to use it on is made out of glass and not a form of plastic material.

The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet seems to be sized a bit small. Reading the Amazon reviews ahead of time, I ordered the large size. I’m glad I did. The glove fits my hand just fine, but it is certainly not what I would in any way consider a loose fit.

The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet is constructed in such a way that it can fit either the right or the left hand. It completely covers the wrist, the little finger and the figner next to it; leaving the middle finger, index finger and thumb completely exposed since those are the fingers we typically use to hold a pen or pencil.

Even though my Surface Pro 3 has great palm rejection with included Microsoft applications such as OneNote, the palm rejection feature does not function in every application, especially third party drawing and painting applications such as Adobe Photoshop Elements. Using the digital artist’s glove gives me complete freedom to rest my hand on the screen as much as I want, especially useful when making delicate interactions with the stylus on the screen.

I suspect one using an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil stylus would enjoy similar benefits.

The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet sells for $17.99 and is an Amazon Prime item. I highly recommend it to anyone that draws even casually on a glass capacitive touchscreen device. I would suggest going ahead and ordering the large size.

 


ArtRage Touch



artrage4-logoThe Surface Pro 3 I purchased a few weeks ago came with the bundled Microsoft Pen, which is a fancy name for a stylus. At first I didn’t make much use of the stylus, but after a while I decided it was time to experiment with it and see what it could do. Unlike the fat stylus’s for sale that will work on any capacitive touchscreen, the Microsoft Pen will work only with Surface devices and offers extreme precision.

The Surface Pro 3 with preinstalled Windows 10 comes with a program called Fresh Paint, and I played around with that for a while. Then I started looking in the Windows App Store and found ArtRage Touch which sells for $9.99. I was already familiar with the iOS version of ArtRage on my iPad, so after playing with the trial version in short order I ended up buying the full version.

ArtRage Touch has a very similar interface across all versions. There are full desktop versions of ArtRage for both Windows and Mac, as well as iOS and Android versions.

ArtRage Touch for Windows is similar to the iOS version, but perhaps somewhat abandoned. The most notable shortcoming is with the lack of much ability to save creations. While it is possible to save creations to the standard ArtRage PTG file format, there are apparently zero non-ArtRage applications that can open these files. If you do a direct share to Facebook, ArtRage Touch simply shares a screen capture including the ArtRage interface. I found an acceptable work-around by “printing” the file I want to a PDF format file, making sure that I have the paper size adjusted to landscape and to “print” the entire image to a single page. Then, I open the just-exported PDF file in Adobe Photoshop Elements and export the image as a standard JPG file. This lack of the ability to export directly to JPG is a major shortcoming, so would-be buyers beware.

The ArtRage website itself doesn’t even list ArtRage Touch as a version for sale, though they still sell ArtRage Touch in the Windows App Store.

If I ever were to become a more serious artist, I would consider buying the full version of ArtRage 4 for desktop machines, which sells on their website for $49.90.

Setting aside the problem of how to share creations with ArtRage Touch, it is a lot of fun to play with digital draw and paint tools. Digital versions of various paints, airbrush tools, pencils and papers can create extremely realistic effects with no wasted paper or messy, expensive paint supplies to futz around with.

On larger touch screens, “digital gloves” are available that allow the side of the drawing hand to be rested directly on the screen without interacting, though obviously many other types of open-finger gloves or even a piece of cloth would likely have the same effect of preventing capacitive contact with skin. The Surface Pro 3 has excellent palm rejection with native apps such as OneNote and others, but even so the appropriate digital gloves would seem to be a no-fuss solution with larger-screen devices. It is very tiring to try to hold and use a stylus on a large touchscreen device without anything to rest the side of your hand against.

Every version of ArtRage includes the ability to pre-load another image, typically a photograph, that allows a “trace” layer(s) to be placed on top. Thus, it is possible to accurately trace out the lines of an image and then paint it afterwards, which can result in some interesting, and sometimes hilarious images.

There are also many serious video producers on YouTube that lay out extremely good “learn to draw” lessons that can teach you how to draw if you follow along.

Once purchased, ArtRage Touch can be installed on up to 10 Windows devices.


The Most Comprehensive Chart of Spaceships Ever!



Spaceship chart sampleOne of my favorite things on the Internet is this chart, created by DeviantART user DirkLoechel. The chart contains a large selection of spaceships from a multitude of different science-fiction themed TV, movie, and video game franchises. The chart itself measures in at a whopping 4268×6890 pixels and it gives one “real-world” meter to each pixel, allowing you to get an idea of just how large different ships are in comparison to each other.

For example, the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original Star Trek TV show measures in at 289 meters, which feels like a pretty impressive number. But compared to the 15,000-meter long Imperial Star Dreadnaught from Star Wars, the Enterprise seems miniscule.

The chart also provides interesting comparison opportunities such as the original 1978 Galactica vs. the 2003 version. To really put things into perspective, the International Space Station, coming in at a scant 100 meters, is shown at the top of the chart. If humanity is ever going to truly build the spacecraft of our sci-fi dreams, we’ve got a lot long way to go!


BASE Sends Photos to Pictures



British Inventors ProjectGNC’s Gadget Show Live coverage kicks off with two concept product ideas entered into the British Inventors’ Project. First up is Kristina Parkes’s BASE which “enables new forms of connection between distanced people, creating a tangible channel of communication through a system utilising flexible displays and remote app-based transmission.”

BASE Shelf

In plain English, you send photos from your smartphone using an app to Polaroid-style flexible displays in a friend’s or relative’s home. It’s a neat idea that builds on the impact of Instagram to keep family and friends together, and the display shelf concept shows BASE as attractive and functional. The video below demonstrates the concept well.

 


iSketchnote Brings Pen & Paper Sketches To iPad At CES



iskn logo

The iPad is the perfect tool for creativity, productivity, and innovation. However, it’s often difficult to draw and write on an iPad using your finger or stylus. The folks at ISKN have developed a solution that will make creating digital art and notes much easier.

Jamie and Nick interviewed Claudia Vance from ISKN about iSketchnote, a product that instantaneously transfers your pen-and-paper notes and drawings to your iPad. Just place a notebook or sheet of paper over the Bluetooth-connected Slate and use the included pens to draw or write whatever you want. As you sketch, your creations will be digitized instantly, and you can view and edit them using the free iSketchnote app on your iPad.

You can purchase the iSketchnote pack, which includes the Slate, two pens, and a kickstand-enabled cover for just $179.99 on the iSketchnote website. They are accepting pre-orders now and will begin shipping later this year.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly and Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Monoprice Action Cam and Drawing Display



Monoprice LogoStarting out with cables and then moving into consumer electronics, Monoprice is well-known for its competitively priced products. This year sees Monoprice come to CES with two new products, the MHD 2.0 Action Camera and a new drawing display, the 22″ HD SmartTouch Interactive Pen Drawing Display. Jamie sits down with Monprice President Bernard Luthi and Product Manager Chris Apland to find out more.

The new MHD 2.0 action cam records full HD at 1920 x 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second with an ultra-wide 170° field of view. It can be mounted using a range of mounts and is waterproof to 10m without any additional casing. Cleverly, the cam uses gyros to make sure that footage is filmed the right way up. Available now, priced at $89.99.

The 22″ drawing display is a 1080p HD display which supports ten point multitouch and 5000 level of sensitivity, and comes with a rechargeable pen stylus. It’s Mac, Windows 8.1 and Linux ready, and is available now for $799.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly for the TechPodcast Network.

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Art Undressed (or Cross-Dressed?)



Reith Lectures 2013For many geeks, art is a bit of a mystery. What is art, what makes good art and why is it so expensive? And as for contemporary art, does anything go? Is a urinal art?

This year’s BBC Reith Lectures are presented by Grayson Perry, a “cross-dressing potter from Essex” who is about as far from the Establishment as you can get. Winner of 2003’s Turner Prize, he’s funny, frank and demystifies the world of art in four very entertaining programmes. I say four: only two have actually aired but based on the track record so far, I don’t think the remaining episodes will disappoint. An edited extract from the first episode is available at the Financial Times, but it’s much better to hear Grayson present the lecture.

Available as podcasts via RSS, iTunes and direct download.

As Alan Bennett said, the thing about art is that you don’t have to like it all.


Pogo Connect Stylus is Pressure Sensitive



Ten One Design has created something artists are going to immediately recognize as awesome! It’s called Pogo Connect. It is the world’s first pressure sensitive Bluetooth 4.0 stylus for the new iPad. The stylus can detect if you are pressing hard with it or if you are just barely grazing it across the surface. This is very much like how it feels to use a pencil on a regular piece of paper. Artists won’t have to “re-learn” how to draw in order to use the Pogo Connect.

Another cool thing about the the Pogo Connect is that it has palm rejection capabilities. It means you can draw with the Pogo Connect stylus without worrying about having the edge of your hand be interpreted as the stylus. The act of drawing often requires you to have your hand touch the “page”, especially when you are putting in tiny little details in a small space. With the Pogo Connect, your hand won’t mess up your artwork. The Pogo Connect also works at any angle, which gives artists a lot of freedom in how they create art.

Ten One Design has been named as an International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree in Computer Accessories for the Pogo Connect. Pogo Connect and other Ten One Design products will be available for viewing at their booth during CES 2013, from January 8th through January 13th, 2013.

Image by Ten One Design


Lego Bridge



In the Germany city of Wuppertal urban artist Martin Heuwold, aka MEGX, has transformed a dull grey concrete railway bridge into a brightly coloured Lego construction.

Here’s the bridge as it originally appeared.

Original Bridge

And here it is after the reconstruction.

Lego Bridge

Of course, the bridge hasn’t really been rebuilt with super-sized Lego Duplo bricks but instead the brick-effect has been painted on. It’s very convincing, though. Regrettably the Lego bridge can only stay in place for four weeks.

Lego Bridge

All pictures courtesy of Martin Heuwold. There are more on his website.