SOD.015 – Old man


I also screen-cast this one. It's kind of long, if anyone knows of an easy way to re-record movies at double speed or something, please let me know. I'm ignernt. I tried figuring out iMovie, but for a design-oriented company, some of Apple's software interfaces are confusing at best, incomprehensible and frustrating at worst.

This one proceeds the same way all my illustrations do. First you lay down some basic sketch lines so you know in general how the drawing is supposed to look and where things go. I then make a new layer, turn the old one either gray or turn on "onion skin" mode for it, then draw on top of it with darker lines. If I were doing this by hand I'd just use very light pencil strokes to start, then get firmer and firmer til the drawing took shape.

I remember when I was a kid, sitting and watching my brothers Jimmy and Johnny sketch. I was mesmerized. Sometimes they'd let me request a particular subject, but really it didn't matter, I just was fascinated by the whole process of starting with a blank page and ending up with something awesome looking. It was like a kind of magic, and that it was my own brothers doing it just added to the whole thing.

Jimmy ended up becoming a dentist, and though he continued to have a passing interest in comics I don't think he kept up with the sketching. Johnny's a geologist, and around high school I think it was, ended up turning his creative energies to music instead of visual art. He's not only darn good, but his kids are amazingly talented musicians as well.

So I guess it fell to me to uphold the family honor in the visual arts. You can in part blame them for my love of drawing, and in part my dad for bringing home comics from time to time. But mostly, you can blame Superman. Punk.

19 Responses to SOD.015 – Old man

  1. Demented The Clown says:

    Thats Nuttz, U Make It Look Easy.

  2. Demented The Clown says:

    @Jeff there is one more body you should add to the list of MaleAlternate.

    This one in male standard, would be nice to have broken up.

  3. Jester the Great says:

    Nicely done – I don’t think there’s any need to speed up the video, the current length seems natural and appropriate.

    I truly wish I had your ability. You’re right, it is a kind of magic. There are ideas (visual ones, not literary ones, mind you) for things in my head that ache to get out, which is probably why I value HeroMachine so much; its the closest thing I can get to making my creations as “from my head” as possible. I lack the know-how of drawing; where the lines go, how to shape them, etc; and though I might perhaps have the talent somewhere, I lack the focus and patience to both learn the technique and hone the skill. I barely have patience with my writing – my hands move too slow, even on a keyboard, to keep up with my brain. When I go to draw, I automatically have an set-in-stone image of the finished product, and the prospect of “setting down basic lines now, details later” phazes me entirely.

  4. Kaldath says:

    The only request I have for your videos is to add audio to them so you can explain what you are doing, as you are doing it. I must say that Heromachine ( which I love and will not stop using ) has me a bit spoiled and has caused me to stop drawing by hand, but seeing this video truly makes me want to pick up my sketch pad and pencils again.

  5. kingmonkey says:

    I hear what you’re saying, Jester. I love to draw and do passable cartoons, but when it comes to drawing somehing more in-depth I lack focus and patience. It’s like I have ADD or some

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    I get like that sometimes too. The patience of the craft takes some people (like me) a long time to acquire. Others seem to have it innately. That long wait between when you sit down to begin and when you can sit back and declare “finished” is the doom of many a project.

  7. Jeff Hebert says:

    @DTC (#2): That would be nice. No promises, but it would be a good addition to the Materials one maybe.

  8. Tim says:

    That’s quite an amazing video Jeff. It’s interesting to see how your creations come to life.

    @DTC (#2): A while back I asked for the same body to be broken into parts, but Jeff wasn’t interested. If enough people want it in, who knows.

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Tim: My understanding of the best way to go about these body sets is steadily evolving. I think if I can fit it in with a set of 12 “materials” it could be a good thing. Or, I could do a set of 12 “robot” bodies maybe. What I am learning is that if I am going to do these, I need to do the following groups:

    >> whole body with hands and feet
    >> whole body with no hands or feet
    >> whole upper body
    >> right arm
    >> left arm
    >> torso only
    >> right leg
    >> left leg

    For 12 basic bodies, that’s 96 items. Which is a heck of a lot. Once I get beyond 70 or so the program starts to slow down, and file size starts to be a problem. Beyond 100 or so, I can’t actually get the preview items to place properly on the screen.

    So I have to break these down into groups of 12, but then you have to do two versions of each (male and female). Which starts to crowd that drop-down menu quite a bit, and gets confusing to find the items you want.

    So long story short, I can only do so many of these before it’s not worth the time. I think it’s worth doing a Materials one, and if I can fit the robot in, great. If not, then not. I think you can make enough robot parts out of what’s already there that it’s not really a priority.

  10. Kaldath says:

    I have an idea Jeff, if it is possible why not add in a third drop down . Drop Down One: Picks the general item you are working on, Body, backpane, insignia etc., The Second one selects Gender, and then the 3rd picks the sub groups of items such as Blade, tech, guns etc.

  11. Jeff Hebert says:

    I do think I am going to have to do something new with the navigation. It’s starting to be a bit of a problem on the backend as you describe Kaldath, but also on the front end. It would be nice to have them arrange into larger groups so you’d have like “Upper body” “Lower Body” “Environment” and such, then the slots that make sense in that grouping, then the set.

    But something has to be done differently, starting with the ideas Mark put in his usability study.

  12. Demented The Clown says:

    I like Kaldath’s idea, maybe that could be how Advanced Mode works, and Novice Mode could be a simplified version of how it is now.

  13. tristan says:

    Wicked!!!!!!! Amazing talent. what computer program is that id love to have it?

  14. Tim says:

    @Jeff #9: Seeing it all in perspective, it’s really logical. I apologize I wasn’t aware that in situations like this was a matter of the program’s limitations.

    @Kaldath #10: The same idea has been floating around in my head for a while as well. I too think this will greatly organize HM3.

  15. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Tristan: I use Flash for general illustration work as well as the actual programming for HeroMachine. Which is probably using a sledgehammer to swat a fly, but there you have it. Most illustrators who use a computer for their work probably draw in Adobe Illustrator, but Flash has always felt more organic to me for whatever reason.

    But really, any application that is aware of a pen and tablet (I use a general Wacom one, nothing special) and that allows layering would work. I know Hammerknight’s been trying one out with or somesuch, you might check with him and see how he likes it.

  16. Denise Adams says:

    Awesome video! I am amazed how you do what you do, Jeff. I remember watching Jimmy and Johnny but mostly, I remember watching you draw. You’re amazing!!

  17. The Imp says:

    Jeff: that was cool to watch. I always love seeing how other folks get their stuff from head to paper (or puter).

    Was it a challenge learning to draw with your tablet? I bought one a couple of months ago, and for me, it’s been a pure nightmare learning to use it. I seem to have some kind of mental disconnect that doesn’t allow me to draw without looking directly at my hand/what’s coming out of the pen. I can’t get the knack of looking at the monitor instead of the tablet when drawing. Gah.

  18. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’ve been using it for so long now Imp that I can’t really remember what it was like when I first started. But looking at the RESULTS, clearly I was not very good when I began. I guess for me it wasn’t too much different than touch-typing, I was already used to having my hands down there doing stuff without looking (ahem).

  19. Tigerguy786 says:

    “But mostly, you can blame Superman. Punk.”

    I laughed when I read this.