New Wacom Drivers For PC


Hello Friends,

It’s that time again; there are some new Wacom Tablet Drivers available for PC.  Wacom posted the drivers on 4/27/2016 and I saw them, but at that time, the new 27″ QHD, 27″ QHD Touch, 22″ HD, 22″ HD touch Cintiqs plus the Cintiq Companion 2 were the only products suggested for the update.  So, I didn’t post about it.  However, a couple of funny things happened with my display and I wasn’t sure if it was the Cintiq or the Video Card.  There was a recent video card update, which I applied, but it didn’t seem to help.  So I kept checking my Wacom Desktop Center for updates.  The Center continued to tell me no updates were available.  As a double-check, I went to Wacom site.  Surprise, now the products listed for the new driver included my Cintiq 24″ HD Touch.  Wacom listed the Intuos Pro and Intuos models, too.  Oddly, as I go down the page, the old posting for the Cintiq HD 24″ touch is still showing.  I can’t find the links for the older products anymore.  It seems confusing to me.

I don’t understand why the Wacom Desktop Center doesn’t notify me about updates.  Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Anyway, I am giving the new driver a try.   If you decide to try it, don’t forget to back up your settings. disconnect your tablet, uninstall the current driver, re-start, install the new driver, re-start, and then connect your tablet again.

Link for the Drivers:

Wacom Drivers

Enjoy,

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Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor, Wacom On-Screen Controls


Hello Friends,

After my last post about using the Wacom On-screen Controls with multiple applications, I thought it might be nice to show you how I paint using Wacom’s On-screen controls.  When I demonstrate, I have tons of panels open because it is easier for the viewer, but it does clutter the screen.  I have heard some complaints about Corel Painter’s user interface being cluttered, and I have to admit it can be, but Painter is also highly customizable.  Over time, I have customized Painter a great deal and I love it.  The following three videos will give you an idea of how I paint when not demonstrating.  There is a surprise in the third video.

I paint the following image in the videos.  I call these types paintings inky landscapes.  I love working with custom watercolor variants and inky black color.  At the end of the blog I have a couple of gifts for you.  I hope you like them.

Corel Painter 2016, Custom watercolor variants

Corel Painter 2016, Custom watercolor variants

In the first video, I show how I like to create a paper texture at the top of the layer stack.  I do this to give me the illusion that I am painting on watercolor paper.  To make it easier for me, I created a script to do the task.  A script is the same thing as an action in Photoshop.  Basically, it is a series of recorded commands that can be played back.  I keep the user interface pretty clean.  OK, I better shut up before I give away the ending.  I hope you enjoy the first video.

At the end of the first video, I finished one watercolor layer.  In the second video, I add two more watercolor layers.  Papers are key to my techniques, which is obvious in the first two videos.  With real watercolors, you can adjust the variant to work with flow maps or paper textures.  I find I get subtle textures with flow maps and more aggressive textures with papers.  I love the surprises that happen.

The last video is the longest and I do the least.  I add a few lines here and there to help solidify the landscape.  I am not interested in making an image that screams landscape.  I like to leave it open for the viewer to interpret.  Oh yes, I did mention there was a surprise in the last video.  Prior to making the video, I touched base with Winifred Whitfield and asked her if she would like to sit in on the video.  She said yes.  Winifred gave me some sound advice and helpful tips.

That’s about it.  I hope you enjoy watching the watercolor painting, the use of scripts, and the Wacom on-screen controls.  Oh yes, I promised gifts.  Unfortunately, they are only for Corel Painter 2016 usersPlease do not try to load them in any other version of Painter.

Click on this link to download a zip file containing the following three files.  Inky Landscape Tools

Unzip the file and install per the following directions.

Inky Landscape.BOX, is the custom palette that I used for the painting.  To install, go to Window > Custom Palettes > Organize > and click import and navigate to where you saved the file.

Show Paper.txt is the script I used to place the currently selected paper on the canvas layer.  Be sure you are on the canvas layer when you activate it.  To install, go to Window > Scripts > and click the option button on the top right corner of the Scripts window and select Import Script from the drop down menu.

Paper Overlay.txt is the script I used to place a paper layer at the top of the layer stack.  Use the import directions I give above.

Enjoy,

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Using Wacom On-Screen Controls with Multiple Applications


Hello Friends,

You know the old saying, “Necessity is the Mother of invention.”  As I said in the video, it was true for me with this topic.  Well, I didn’t invent anything, but I figure out how to use Wacom’s On-Screen Controls, previously known as Radial Menu, with multiple applications.  I really, really like the on-screen controls and have set mine up to use almost every command possible in Painter.  Since I use Painter most, I didn’t feel the need to set up the on-screen controls for multiple applications.  Asked if it was possible to use on-screen controls (OSC, I’m tired of writing that out) with multiple applications, I always said no.  Why?  Because the Wacom Tablet Properties grays out Applications when setting up the OSC.  So, I stupidly just stopped my investigation.

I use LightRoom and Photoshop a lot more lately and wished I could have OSC work in those applications, too.  Necessity kicked in and I looked at the problem with fresh eyes.  I couldn’t believe it; the solution was so simple and not different from what I had done all along.  My apologies to anyone I told it couldn’t be done.

At this point, I probably should say that OSC isn’t for everyone.  If you find that you never use shortcut keys, and you don’t mind using the menu system and having lots of panels open, then OSC is probably not for you.  If you do use shortcut keys, but haven’t tried OSC, then you may want to explore the possibilities.  This post isn’t going to tell you much about setting up your Wacom Tablet for Painter, but I have posted about it before.  Check out How I set up my Wacom for Painter.

If you already know a lot about OSC, then skip the first video.  If you are curious about how I use OSC, then watch the first video.  I introduce you to the concept of OSC; it is quite powerful.  I show Painter with a very clean UI and how to use it with OSC.  The image showing is a work in progress and is mainly there for a backdrop.  I don’t paint in the videos.

In the second video, I explain the structure of the OSC.  There is a specific hierarchy followed and that is what makes working with multiple applications possible.  Again, if you are very familiar with OSC, then skip to the last video.

Finally, I actually explain how to use OSC with multiple applications in the last video.

Enjoy,

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Painter Master Dominick Saponaro and more on Painter Tutorials


Hi Friends,

Yesterday I attended Corel Painter Master Dominick Saponaro’s webinar and it was excellent.  I enjoyed watching how he used colorize composite method to color his gray-scale image.  Also, his use of Straight Line Strokes intrigued me.  The recorded video is now on-line.  Check it out at Painter Tutorials.

Painter Master Dominick Saponaro walks you through his painting process

Two other wonderful Painter Master tutorials were also released today.

Painter Master Elite Karen Bonaker demonstrates creative uses of layer masks and graphic stencils.  Karen outlines the technique in a way that is easy to understand and follow, but the results are far from simple looking.  I know you will enjoy Karen’s tutorial using Corel Painter 2016.

Painter Master Elite Karen Bonaker demonstrates creative uses of Layer Masks

Painter Master Elite Cher Pendarvis explains the new Blending Brush Control Panel available in Corel Painter 2016.  The enhanced and updated Blending Panel, previously called the Well Panel, is far more powerful and useful in Painter 2016.  Cher’s excellent tutorial sheds light on this rather complex panel.  Her explanation will change the way you paint.

Painter Master Elite Cher Pendarvis explains the Blending Panel

There are many more Corel Painter tutorials on You Tube.  I believe that some folks only look for the latest tutorials thinking that the earlier tutorials will not apply to the latest version, but that is not the case.  Yes, there are more bells and whistles in the latest version, but the basic underlying principles are the same.  So if you are looking for a particular topic for Painter 2016 and you find it demonstrated in Painter X3, don’t pass it up.  More than likely, you will get the answers you need.  Do visit Painter Tutorials and have a look around.

Corel Painter Tutorials

Subscribe today!

Enjoy,

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Webinar with Award Winning Artist Dominick Saponaro 28 April 2016, 12 PM EDT


Hello Everyone,

Corel Painter is having a webinar tomorrow, Thursday, April 28. 2016 at noon Eastern Daylight Savings time with Dominick Saponaro, who is a Corel Painter Master 2016.  I plan to be there; it is going to be a great webinar.  Dominick is an award wining illustrator and has worked for many publishers.

The demonstration will include tips on using color effectively and showcase his illustration work flow.  He states that he works in a traditional way with an initial line drawing and builds from there.  He says that he completes a black and white painting before adding color.  You can find out more and register for the free webinar at the following link.

Digital Painting Process and Technique Webinar with Dominick Saponaro

Don't miss Dominick Saponaro's Webinar

Don’t miss Dominick Saponaro’s Webinar

And a little about me:

I know I haven’t been around in a while.  Family issues have taken all my time.  I have painted when I could and I recently finished 13 videos for Corel about using and making papers in Painter 2016.  When released, I will let you know.

The interest in paper fueled my renewed interest in “inky” landscapes.  I am actually using custom watercolor variants in Painter matched with custom papers to create the images.  I have worked this way before and find myself returning to the style time and again.  It will be fun to see how Dominick adds color to his black and white paintings.  Maybe I can give it a try with my “inky” landscapes.  Following is an example image.  When the release of the paper tutorials, I’ll do a couple of inky landscape tutorials on the blog and showing this type of image.

Inky Forest, Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor variants

Inky Forest, Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor variants

More later…until then, enjoy,

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i1Display Pro…Newest Toy…Monitor Calibration


Hey Gang,

My X-Rite i1Display Pro is awesome.  Why? Because monitors look different from one another.  I can see the differences between my 2 monitors and a 24″ HD Touch Cintiq.  But, I cannot see if my monitors are reflecting my digital files accurately.   Previously, I calibrated my monitors using an eye-one display 2 from X-Rite.  I bought the device in 2008 and loved it.  But, unfortunately, X-Rite discontinued the product.  It was time to get a new display calibrating system.

I had been happy with my previous product and returned to X-Rite to look for a replacement.  I found the i1Display Pro replaced the eye-one display 2, but its listed price was $269.00, which after buying the computer was a bit pricey for my wallet.  However, I discovered that there was a promotion running, which brought the price down about $100.  But, dear readers, the promotion ends today, Dec  24th.  I’ll explain more about it later.

The i1Display Pro arrived yesterday.  I had not calibrated my monitors in a while and I had never calibrated the Cintiq.  All three looked different and the oldest monitor was noticeably darker than the others.  Because the oldest monitor looked so different, I had decided to replace it on the new system and use it with the old computer.  I was anxious to see how the older monitor looked after calibration.

There are three steps to the calibration process.  Setup, or step 1, was simple enough.  Insert disk and install hardware just about covers it.  Oh, yes, I did have to connect the i1Display Pro to the computer via a USB port and place the device in the center of my screen.  Once done, I started the software.  I had the choice of using the automated calibration or take complete control of the process.  I opted for the automated process, but even that requires setting a few options.  It was so easy; when you hovered over an option, its function and suggested setting popped up in a help window, which is a very nice feature.

I clicked “Start” for Step 2.  I did have a hiccup here.  The software didn’t recognize the i1Display Pro.  It took a few minutes to find my problem.  I had not selected the correct device in the setup.  Once corrected, I could click start.

At this point all I needed to do was sit back and watch.  The screen changed to a solid light gray and flickered between several various grays setting the contrast I believe.  Next it set the brightness…well…I set the brightness.  A window opens with a brightness scale.  All I had to do was adjust the brightness to match the scale.  It was easy.  The last part of the process takes about 2 minutes and is quite fun to watch.  The screen changes colors lots…looks psychedelic.

Creating and saving a color profile is the last step.  Again, that required a simple click.  The software saves the profile and opens an image and allows you to toggle back and forth between “before” and “after” versions.  But more importantly, after I calibrated all three monitors, they appeared the same.  I couldn’t tell any difference between them.  Even the old one looked fresh and new.  The i1Display Pro worked its magic.

X-Rite has another less expensive product called the ColorMunki Display.  I have never tried one, but I have heard good things about it.  I believe there are promotions on both products.  To get the best price for the i1Display Pro, I needed to buy from Amazon Prime or B&H Photo Video Pro Audio shop.  I use both online stores and can recommend both.  The cost on both sites was $199.00, but there is a mail in or online rebate available from X-Rite for $30.00 bringing the cost down to $169.00.   But, remember, to get this deal, I had to place the order by today.  The rebate requires proof of purchase for today or earlier.

Have a Merry and a Happy,

Skip

 

New Wacom Drivers, Win 10 Finally, and My New Computer


Hello Everyone,

Wacom released new drivers for the PC and the Mac yesterday.  As usual, my desktop center didn’t notify me, but my friend Miguel did.  If you aren’t having any problems, then you may not need to upgrade.  Per usual back up your settings, uninstall old drivers and install the new  drivers.  Disconnect your tablet, too.

OK, so I have told you folks that I was in the market for a new computer, but before I bought it, I wanted to install Windows 10 on my old system.  Many of you will remember my post about the difficulties I had with Microsoft support and then never got Win 10 loaded.  They did take copious notes.  But many folks told me it was my system or me or both.  It wasn’t.  A couple of days ago, I decided to try the upgrade again.  Fingers crossed, I started the upgrade.  It took less than an hour.  I had no problems…well…there was one minor one with Outlook, which is a Microsoft product.  I must tell you, everything I had seen about Windows 10 looked inviting.  I really wanted to use it from the get go, but it just wasn’t possible.   Maybe those copious notes did help, because now everything is working fine.

OK, so what computer did I buy?  As you know, I was considering going Mac.  I looked at a Mac Pro and an Alienware Area 51.  Both machines looked mighty fine, but I went with the Alienware Area 51.  Why…old versus new is the answer.  The Mac Pros haven’t been updated in a while and talk on the street indicated that there would be a new Mac Pro out last August and continue to this day.  I had to buy before the end of the year.  I simply couldn’t wait any longer and I didn’t want to buy the current Mac Pro and have a new one come out a week or two later.  I know…I’m crazy, but that is how I was thinking.

So, what did I get with my Alienware Area 51.  It is a screamer!  Here are some of the basics.

Intel Core i7-5960X (8-cores, 20MB Cache, Overclocked up to 4.0 GHz w/ Turbo Boost)

32GB Dual Channel DDR4 2133MHz (8GB x4)

Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 with 4 GB GDDR5 each (NVIDIA SLI Enabled)

512 GB SSD 6Gb/s Main + 8TB SATA storage

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 @ 5GHz + Bluetooth

Alienware 1500 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply

Win 10 Pro (64 bit) English

OK, that’s enough stuff.  I’m sure you don’t care about key boards, monitors, speakers, and optical drives.  Maybe I will take some pictures it is all set up, or not.  In the meantime, check these screen shots from Alienware’s web site.  I do love the design of it.  It is so much easier to get to the ports.

My new Alienware Area 51

My new Alienware Area 51

Ports are easy to access. I will probably have mine on top the desk, though.

Ports are easy to reach. I will probably have mine on top the desk, though.

I did purchase one thing that has been a big disappointment.  I got Laplink’s PCmover with a high-speed cable.  They offer 24/7 free installation service as well.  Don’t believe it.  I tried contacting them for three days and stayed on the phone about 30 minutes each time.  At the end of the 30 minutes, I would get a recorded message telling me they were having trouble with their phone systems and to call back later.  I was able to do all the required setup without tech support help, but when it came time for the actual transfer, it was going to take 156 hours.  What?  Instead, I have reloaded the software manually and am transferring data via my network.  I was really disappointed in PCMover.  The hype promised to move software and data…sigh.

Well that’s it so far.  I have a few more goodies coming and I’ll talk about them next time.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Holiday Season and the Best New Year ever.

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