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So, in my last journal, I mentioned that I'd won a contest, right? Well, about 2 weeks ago, my prize (Manga Studio Debut 4) arrived in an email...and it was very nice to receive! Because since the Saturday the results were released, I'd been stalking my emails for days, waiting for it to arrive. I did end up bothering alot of people about it, which I feel really bad for, so I'm sorry to everyone who had to put up with me (you know who you are; well, if you go to my school and can actually be bothered to read this, you'll know who you are! :XD: )

Anyway, I've got it now, and I'm enjoying using it very much (so much that I've nearly missed a couple of homework deadlines....oops! ^^; ) That's why there's been a huge bulk of uplaods recently; because I've been on it non-stop for about a week! (these are my favourites of what I've done so far: Chibi Youmu by lillilotus APH - Cell Block Tango by lillilotus ) I've done a few pictures with it, and now I'm trying to draw a really quick comic with it, since it has panel settings! I've got a lot to say about this program, so I thought 'why don't I just review it? Actually, I've a lot to say about a few art programs...hmmm...' So, I'm going to do a couple of quick-fire reviews of art studios I ahve tried and tested, and which one is my favourite! I've had my tablet since I was 10 (5 years), so let's start there:

MS Paint: The absolute bog-standard in computer arts; it's the program that comes with pretty much every computer (I think it's on MAC's too?) It's not bad, because it did give me alot of enjoyment when I was little, even before I had a tablet. Heck; I've seen peoples work from MS Paint that's been drawn with a mouse, and it's amazing what some people can do! I just don't think there's much going for it, since it's so basic and everyone has it.  Plus, it used to annoy me when I was little that, when I wanted to use the fill bucket, there was always one pixel missing that would stop me from colouring it properly, and it'd take me ages to find and fill it! ( I also remember when it got updated, and it was really hard to use the brushes, the colours were dull, and it was even harder to use the fill bucket!)

Art Rage: I think this one isn't that common, but it was the program I got with my graphic tablet, so it should be mentioned. It's been 4 years since I used this, so I don't remember much, but I do remember that it was quite smooth to use, and it had this tool that could swap all your colours from normal to metallic, which I absolutely loved at 10/11 years old! However, it didn't have layers or anything particularly advanced (in comparison to the stuff today), but I still got loads of fun out of this! It was a bit like the MS Paint for the graphic tablet; basic (not as basic though), but still fun! AND IT WAS METALLIC, DAMNIT! *shot*

Sketchbook Pro: I got a non-consecutive 15 day trial of this from one of my Dad's work friends (she works in the graphics department, and it's what she uses), so ididn't get as much out of this as the others, but I still used it....alot! I got as many pictures as possible out of those 15 days! I ahve to say, it was really, REALLY good! The colours were lovely, the tools were smooth, and I've had my dA/FB ID picture the same for about 2 years, because it was done on that program! You could import, ink, colour, and th ebest part was that the shading was well done (the worst part of art for me is shading; I don't care what medium or tools I use, I suck at shading!) When the 15 day trial was up, I begged my Dad to try and get me the full version, but....well....£90 is a bit too much for us, and (for good reason) we didn't get it. I tried to save up for it, but I couldn'r do it, no matter how badly I wanted to use it again. I still have it on my netbook, but it's more basic than Paint now, so you've only got about 7 colours and one file size. So yeah; amazing program, but WAAAAY too expensive for me!

Photoshop CS?: I got this via a really nice deviant, who sent the link to a download after I was ranting about not having it on one of Niko's pictures (sorry Niko; I know I'm a whiner~ :heart: ) I've used it for about a year and a half now, and it's been pretty good, even though I didn't use it to it's full extent. Only a few weeks ago did I find out there was a burn tool! It has served me well, and some of my favourite and best pictures were done on Photoshop, but I always had one problem with it; it was really 'clunky'! It's hard to describe, but it never fet quite right, because I could never get the effect that I wanted, I could never draw onto it because it would look terrible, and my shading was utter crap! When the contest for came around, I saw the othr entries and was so convinced that I'd fail that I thought 'better get used to photoshop' and started watching a few tutorials on YouTube. But that made me depressed, because every person on there was amazing while I was (and still am) crap! I've still got the texts I sent to H when I was upset about it; I just felt so pathetic! And on Photoshop, I never felt like I could advance, other than make my lines thinner. I'm not blaming the program, because I was behind the tablet, but like I said; it was clunky and not suited for me (probably because it's not designed for drawing), so I was never fully happy with my results! BUT; it is still a very good program, and recommended. (NOTE: the download isn't avalable anymore since SOPA shut down MegaUpload)

Manga Studio Debut 4: This is my current program, and it's by far the best of them all! It's $50 usually, so I'm very lucky to have it at all* (thank you to Pugz, HAM Japan, and of course SmithMicro!) The tools are amazingly smooth, and I can actually draw straight onto the computer, and it'll look good! :D I like how you've got different brushes (pen, pencil, amrker, pattern brush), and I can actually use them without being scaed of not being able to set it back to how I like it! Heck; I've been drawing certain pictures on purpose just so I can use certain pattern brushes! It's amazing, and I like how you have different layers per colour, because I can block in colour in pink and then change it all to grey, so I'm not straining my eyes to see a faint colour! There's loads of panel pages and paterns to choose from, and there's a pattern brush which makes a trail of musical notes (which I LOVE!) However, I do have some critisisms, because I'm drawing a manga page at the moment (oh, the panel cutter is awesome, by the way!), but everytime I click on Panel or Tone in the beginners guide, it freezes the program and shuts it down. Does anyone know how I can fix that, because it is very annoying! I also wish there was a way to fill in a certain shape with a pattern for comics, because I can't do it with the bucket, and need to erase around what I've selected! However, I am still learning about it, and I'm sure I'll find ways around these, as I'm still trying to find the colour wheel so I can make my own colours! :XD: But seriously; it is AMAZING! I'm bringing in my netbook to the next HAM Japan meeting so Nikku, Hailey, Keshi and everyone else can have a play on it! :meow:

So, there's my reviews, and I hope you find them helpful! I'd definitely recommend Manga Studio Debut, despite the price, if you're going to make the most of it. If not, then maybe Photoshop, or I've heard GIMP is pretty good! (I should point out that Manga Studio EX is $200, so...yeah...)

In other news: my exams start on Tuesday, but I've only got 7, but I've still got to revise for them, so I may not be able to draw for a little while (but I WILL make sure I draw something, because I really want to draw this quick manga!) I've also gotten into Touhou recently, so I'll probably be drawing quite a bit of that from now on too! :XD:

One last review; Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: It's a Final Fantasy film, and I blame everyone at HAM Japan, H and her boyfriend for getting me into this! I watched it once with H and Tom when they borrowed it, and loved it so much that I went out and bought it as soon as it was avalable in CEX! It's really well animated, the music is awesome (I didn't download the OST....*shifty eyes*), the battle scenes are epic (the best one is when everyone is boosting Cloud upwards into the sky to finish off SIN) and Kadaj! OMG; HE'S AWESOME! I love his voice in the Japanese, and he looks like Prussia, which means I could cosplay as him someday, maybe! Reno is awesome, because he's so stupid and yet so clever at the same time, and the way he interacts with Rude is brill! Yazoo; I've got to mention him, because he's so creepy! His body languade and his voice; I don't know what it is about them, but the way he acts and talks just makes him really creepy, calm, and somehow possessed! Which is what a villain should be! Sephertoh is alot like him because they're both calm, but Sepheroth is super evil! :D *head explodes* At least watch this film; because it is definitely worth your time!

Peace Out and Ciao~ X :heart:

(*one thing that just annoyed me at school was when I was excited about finally getting Debut 4, and then my friend said 'oh I could have gotten you that for free the whole time!' *twitch* hehe...yeah, 1) Why didn't you say something?! 2) It's $50! 3) Shut up and let me be happy! Recently, most of my friends have been cynical about my art, saying how I shouldn't be drawing right now, and just inoring me in terms of it; so don't expect me to talk about art at school anymore, few-people-at-school-who-don't-give-a-crap; but for the love of God, when I get pissed off at you for constantly wanting me to draw you, don't you dare be surprised! Something I did today was fulfil a request by someone who asked me to draw someone else! Being nice and respectful to others (especially your resident artist) will get you far; remember that! *rant over* )
  • Listening to: Touhou Vocal - Flower Flag
  • Reading: History Textbooks
  • Watching: Final Fantasy VII; Advent Children
  • Playing: Super Mario 64 DS
  • Eating: FAB Ice Lollies
  • Drinking: Milk
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Submitted on
May 24, 2012