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About

Jayse Hansen is a freelance visual artist for film and television. He has built a solid reputation as a creative-art director for print, web and motion design with clients ranging from Symantec to MTV and Fox.

More recently Jayse has turned his focus to visual effects in the feature film industry - with an emphasis on fictional-interface design. He has designed concept screens for X-Men Origins: Wolverine and hero screens used in 2012. He's also created VFX and onset shots for use in Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Oliver Stone's Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps.

Cinematography with the Canon 5D mark ii

Cinematography talk on a design blog?

Absolutely.

Broadening your skills in the area of photography and cinematography are excellent additions to your skillset. You’ll start seeing design, composition, storytelling (advertising/branding) differently. You’ll build an entire new way of approaching things.

So I know I usually talk about design stuff – but I’m a sucker for anything motion-visual. I grew up creating films on a super-8 cam, VHS cams, 8mm, miniDV cams and just about anything that would let me capture images.

Below is Chels with a fully functional hand cranked Bolex 8mm film camera that fellow screen designer Mark Coleran gave me in New Mexico Last year. The design on that thing is amazing!

Enter Canon

Now I have the 5d mark II and it’s the first time I feel I have the power of a true 35mm film camera in a tiny little package. Here’s how I filmed NYC with it – pretty much just a Zacuto Z-finder Pro and the camera.

(Gotta mention the Zacuto Target Shooter is ultra light and portable and also goes with me everywhere I go.)

Films

This camera is such great quality that it’s been reported as being used on the most recent Harry Potter film and also onset for Iron Man II. Entire feature films have been produced with this camera. Check out an excellent short-form filmed entirely on a 5dmk2 by my good friend John Nguyen called ‘Denial’

Travel

The last thing about taking on photography and cinematography is that it’s a great way to see the world. My girlfriend, the rawkin’ Chelsea Nicole, has gotten quite famous for her absolutely stunning couples photography. She specializes in photographing people in love and it’s actually allowed us to pursue our dream of travelling the world together (whilst also getting paid to do something that’s just way too fun to be legal.)

Here’s a compilation of a few shoots from Malibu, LA, Vegas, New Orleans, Brooklyn, New York City.

In a few months we’ll be traveling to Texas, Paris, Lille, France, Amsterdam and possibly London. So you can see how a thing like photography can open doors for you in ways you might not have thought of before. It can open your eyes as well.

Starting Out?

If you’re just starting out – I’d recommend two much cheaper cameras that have VERY comparable quality to the 5d: The 7d (about $1,500) and the T2i (an astounding $799.) The differences are mainly ergonomics – but the quality you’ll get out of any of them will blow you away. (Stay away from the non Canon vSLRs so far – they haven’t quite made it yet.)

In the following series of posts, I’ll do some write ups for tips and techniques I’ve learned the hard way. There’s a lot to learn with this camera, hopefully I can save you some of the pain of trial and error.

Stay tuned!

// jayse

August 1, 2010 - 9:43 am george b - Is there anything you aren't great at? That's a pretty sweet rig ya got there. I'm very jealous. Can't wait to see all the other tips and tricks!

August 1, 2010 - 10:53 am Chelsea Nicole - Fantastic post love! You're so talented. :-) P.S. Thanks for the shout-out!

August 1, 2010 - 11:23 am Marcie White - Couldn't agree more - Designers that know composition/story/pacing - a rare breed. It's definitely worth spending time to learn that stuff.

August 2, 2010 - 4:01 pm Victor De Anda - Great post and awesome looking footage! Would like to see more posts from you about shooting and incorporating into your designs! Just starting to shoot stuff with my T2i, can't wait to get into it full on.

September 23, 2010 - 1:53 pm jayse - Thanks for the comments everyone - Victor I just started playing with the T2i and love it - in some ways more than the 5d. It's a fantastic little camera.

Nikon Lenses on a Canon 5d Mark II/7d

[Note the updates in Orange below!]

Yes – it is very possible and yes – it works very well. I’ve been doing it for a while and it works great. I absolutely love shooting on the 5dmkii.

I held off on the whole 5d madness because all of my glass – and Chelsea’s glass – is Nikon. Expensive, fast, and beautiful glass. And we don’t plan on going Canon just because of video.

After all – Nikon will soon come out with a great vSLR too right?

Nope. D90, D5000, D300s, D3s – they all pretty much suck video-wise. After the D5000 was announced with such horrible reviews and comments about the quality, jello-cam effect I asked good friend Jim Geduldick ‘can’t we just use our Nikon lenses on the 5d?’. To which he said, “Yes!”

And in fact – some serious filmmakers using the 5dmkii were doing just that. Nikon lenses have aperture rings – Canon lenses don’t. This means they could manually dial in their aperture. With canon you had to half-unturn the lens from it’s mount to break it’s electronic connection and risk dropping your lens in the process.

So adapters. Which are the best? What works and what doesn’t? Well – forget the expensive $100+ ones. They are no better than the cheaper ones. If you have time – order some on ebay from Hong Kong for about $10 and then wait a few weeks. Just be careful that you get a Nikon F mount to Canon EOS. I originally got one that were for a canon EF-S mount (I didn’t know there was a difference, but this is Canon’s cheaper line and the mount won’t fit the mark ii).

Forget the focus confirm versions. My experience with them is that they short out the live view mode and shut it off. I sent it back the same day I got it.

I was left with two from Fotodiox, ordered from Amazon.com – These work perfectly.

UPDATE 09*23*10: There is a new Pro adapter from fotodiox just came out for about $80 – the benefit of this one is that there’s no ‘play’ between lens and camera. The cheap ones are sometimes hit and miss – Out of three that I have two have a developed some play after a while. So it’s up to you whether to double the amount you spend or not. http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Pro-Adapter-Nikon-Lens/dp/B002JWYAXA/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285274028&sr=8-1

Update 09*28*10: Been using the new Fotodiox adapter for G-series lenses – it’s awesome! You don’t know exactly what f stop you’re on – but for video it’s fine – you’re in live view. The important thing is you can slide the aperture ring to wide open or fully closed and anything in between. The adapter is SOLID. It works with the normal f mount lenses too. Best thing is it makes your Nikon lenses feel like canon lenses as opposed to a nikon lens with an adapter. Highly recommended!

At first you’ll find them a pain to get on and off. (It gets easier once you understand them – and the above Pro version is much a bit easier to mount and dismount) If you’re not sharing lenses – get one for each of your lenses and leave them on. If you are sharing them, as Chels and I do – practice getting them on and off quickly so that you can be quick about it.

Since you’ll be shooting manual focus anyway – you can search e-bay and camera stores and score some very old, very good glass and adapt it to work with the Canon 7d, 5d Mark 2 etc.. Below is my 24mm 2.8. I love it because it’s a rather fast lens – yet is TINY and LIGHT compared to our huge 14-24mm 2.8 G series lens. It’s become an ‘always bring’ lens just because it fits anywhere. Some of the older metal Nikkor lenses may have a now-unnecessary tab that will prevent it from mounting. I simply wrapped the entire lens (VERY WELL) in tape and dremelled it off. Works perfect now.

Fixing a Nikkor lens to fit on a Canon 5d Mark ii or 7d

Nikon Lens on Canon 5d Mark 2

Special Case: Nikon G Series Lenses

Now – for the awesome g-series lenses – like our faves: 70-200 2.8, the 14-24, 2.8 and the 105mm macro 2.8, you will need yet a different kind of adaptor. It took me a while to track this down – and at $230 it’s a bit pricier than the previous solutions. However, this adaptor is much cheaper than re-buying each $1800 lens.

UPDATE 09*23*10: – Fotodiox has just come out with their version of the G series adapter for much cheaper – about $120 http://amzn.to/b8e1tG

This looks promising – I’ll be picking one up for sure!

I’ve found the best thing is to get an adapter for each lens and keep it on. And that’s about it for tips on Lens adapters. Hope that helps some of you nikon folks get started with quality Canon/Nikon hybrid shooting.

July 31, 2010 - 11:56 am 2oughLv - I agree - the cheap ones work just as well and yo can buy one for each lens. this is perfect for me who owns nikon already. Now hurry up Nikon! Make a Canon killer! :D

July 31, 2010 - 12:34 pm Marcie White - This is magical - i guess the auto focus isn't needed if you're doing video - I never thought of that. Thanks for the info - maybe I won't suffer the d90 any more!

July 31, 2010 - 1:03 pm Andy Stetter - this is a bit of a lifesaver - I was holding off too! Question tho - I see it works with the 7d and 5d - so I assume it works with the T2i?

July 31, 2010 - 1:08 pm jayse - Andy yes - it should work just the same on all canon cams that accept the EOS mount. Keep in mind that with both Canon and Nikon lenses the crop factor of the 7d and the t2i will factor in. (so a 50mm behaves more like an 85, a 24mm might be more like a 50mm etc.)

July 31, 2010 - 1:14 pm jayse - Guesses are that Nikon will do some more prosumer 'tests' and then launch a D4 next spring - but that's a lot of missed shooting time! I say start now!

September 15, 2010 - 11:25 am adrianoesch - hey there, thanks for infos. i wonder how photoquality is with nikkor lenses on the 5dmarkII. i also really would like to go canon because of the the video features, but dont want to loose the possibility to shoot great photos. do you know further details? already any report on that? thanks for an answer. cheers.adrian.

September 15, 2010 - 10:01 pm john - hi, my gf has a sigma lens for nikon, i have a t2i, would these adapters work from nikon sigma to a canon body?? It's hard for me to get a firm answer but you may have crossed this one at some point, thanks!!! john

September 23, 2010 - 1:32 pm Jayse - Adrian and John - sorry for the delay - just got back from shooting in Europe! http://bit.ly/cSq4Jt Adrian - the quality is the same - the adapters have no glass elements so you're not degrading the quality at all. The ONLY drawback I've found is that you don't have auto focus (which really only hinders still-picture taking) and that the G series 70-200 2.8 won't have the VR/Image stabilization. That being said - the latest Nikon that is about to come out is still bleh video-wise... so I'm thinking Canon's still the way to go for a while now - especially that Canon 60D - I've already preordered!

September 23, 2010 - 1:33 pm Jayse - John - Yes - if your sigma lenses are made for Nikon (in other words, have the nikon mount) then the adaptors will work for those lenses. Same with Tamron, Rokinon, Samyang etc. So yes - for $30 you can really open up your lens possibilities!

February 20, 2011 - 7:23 pm Casey - Question, the image at the top of this post... what kind of HDDSLR rig is that? looks simple yet useful

February 21, 2011 - 7:40 am jayse - Casey thanks for writing in - that rig is the u-boat commander http://bit.ly/cfC0jz + cavision 3"x3" mattebox from b+h (used with P-series cokin filters) and a Zacuto z-finder. Actually a nice rig - lately I've been using something similar with rails that all fits on a spider-holster (my favorite invention ever made). Hope that helps!

September 21, 2011 - 1:02 pm jonathan - Hey - great stuff! Thanks so much for taking the time to write about your experience - I really appreciate it! Is it true that you lose a stop with the adapter? Thanks so much!

March 23, 2012 - 7:50 am sean chandler - I'm glad I found this site - I thought my only option for Real Estate video was a D7000 (as the D800 likely will be unavailable for a long time) I currently offer RE stills and virtual tours (360 panoramas), but want to expand into RE video - the plan is for mostly tripod mounted zooms and pans, with very little hand-held, at least for now Would I need a VR lens for RE video though? None of my current Nikon lenses are VR (14-24, 24-70, 80-200 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 12-24 f/4) If I decide to get a 5d MkII, and I do need a VR lens, which Nikon VR lens should I get - the 16-35? I think I need a wide (fast) lens for RE video Thanks for any input

March 23, 2012 - 9:56 am jayse - Hey Jonathan - no stop loss with the adaptors. That's usually only with glass adaptors that have their own lenses. You'd probably have that trying to use a minolta or something like that. But for Nikon to Canon it's only a mount adaptor - no glass needed - and therefore no image quality loss, or light loss.

March 23, 2012 - 10:15 am jayse - Sean - yeah we've all been waiting on the d800 - But we're not even sure what it can offer in reality. (video-wise). From what you describe, you probably wouldn't need a VR lens (or IS lens, Canon-speak). Especially for wider angle lenses. But it depends on how much you plan to invest in a great tripod and a great fluid head. If you do that a lot do yourself a favor and get the best you can afford (especially head-wise - you can always weight a tripod down for extra stability) - that way you won't constantly be fighting the head (which VR lenses won't really compensate for.) Your 14-24 2.8 is a gorgeous lens and a fave of mine - It also has some nice rectilinear correction (tho the canon 14mm 2.8 is a bit better). It looks like you have a good range - if you wanted your next OMG lens I'd suggest the 24mm 1.4. Once I got the Canon version Chels could not stop drooling and got the Nikon incarnation. It's become my fave lens. Just a note tho - on a crop sensor it's going to be more like a 35mm 1.4 - so if you're looking for ultra wides on a crop sensor (DX) I might go with the super cheap but much coveted Tokina 11-16 2.8. http://bhpho.to/NouSW Hope that helps!

March 27, 2012 - 1:46 pm sean chandler - Thanks for the prompt response jayse - I've got Manfrotto 475 legs and a 701 fluid head already - so next step is to determine which body to buy

April 5, 2012 - 1:35 pm Chris Fairfowl - Hi, this may be of interest to people with more than one lens.... I got three different adaptors and selected the best one for my Canon 5D ii. I removed the lens locking pin so the adaptor can stay on the 5D all the time. I can remove it using the lens release button on the body as you would if you were removing a lens in the normal way, I have Nikkors 24 2,8, 35 2,8, 50 1,8, Micro Nikkors 55 2,8 and 105 2,8. extension tubes etc. Using the adaptor minus the locking pin allows me change lenses quickly and simply. I've used these lenses for many years on my Nikon film cameras - 2 FE2s, F3, FM2 and now they are giving excellent service on my Canon DSLR. The reason I bought a Canon and not a Nikon body was simply this…. I prefer the handling, menus and custom settings on the 5D. I’m a stick in the mud and prefer to do everything manually anyway. And no, without the lens locking pin the lenses don't rotate and fall off, they sit as tight as a camels backside in a sand storm and don't move. Regards, Chris.

April 11, 2012 - 12:36 pm sean chandler - I've ordered a 7D - 5D MkII was out of stock Is this the adapter I will need for my 14-24 and 24-70 Nikon lenses? http://www.fotodiox.com/product_info.php?products_id=571

April 12, 2012 - 11:31 am Jayse - Hey Sean, sorry for the late response - I'm in vacay in hermosa beach! But yes - that's the new and improved adapter. Your 14-24 is a g series - so that type of adapter is necessary. If your lens has a physical aperture ring, the cheaper adapter will do. That being said, my fave adapter in terms of quality and performance on all lenses is the one you linked. Hope that helps!

April 12, 2012 - 7:27 pm sean chandler - Thanks Jayse - never made it as far west as CA when I lived in the US, but it looks awesome on TV! Does anyone make a matte box that fits the 14-24?

April 25, 2012 - 1:06 pm sean chandler - I've got one of the fotodiox adapters, but my aperture setting reads 00 on my 7D - I can't see any other way to mount the adapter to my Nikon 24-70 lens

April 25, 2012 - 2:12 pm jayse - Hey Sean, The 14-24 is a beast so not sure of a matte box that wouldn't vignette - I think it'd have to be huge! Your 7d is just telling you it's not 'electronically' connected to your lens. So you're basically eyeballing aperture while adjusting the knob on the adapter (which I kind of like better - smooth dark to light - almost like a Fader ND filter.) So that's correct - just a different way of working. Your exposure meter and or your live view will tell you if your exposure is correct.

May 2, 2012 - 6:53 am sean chandler - Thanks Jayse - will take some getting used to for sure. I've now got to get some video lights - looking at these http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/285812-REG/Lowel_T1_923Z_Tota_light_Trans_kit.html Would that be sufficient for interior real estate videos you think? I've been using 500W work lights but they're not putting out enough light

July 22, 2012 - 8:07 am thiago - Hello i was wondering if the VR/stabilization of the Nikon will keep working since it is not on the camera but on the lenses. because for my use it would really help me, i take sport photos of surfers so sometimes i can really manual focus in but the stabilization is one thing that i do not want to loose .. have any idea if because of the lack of electronic contacts with the camera i lose the stabilization?

July 23, 2012 - 10:01 am jayse - Hey Thiago - the VR won't work unfortunately. It's one reason I started buying some Canon lenses (wide lenses are fine - but 100mm to 200+mm can really benefit from it) - Specifically the newer ones have an 'IS' (image stabilization) that works really well for Video. If you're handheld and using telephotos, you definitely want to think about that. I have an awesome 135L f2 that is really very shaky handheld - kind of a shame. But using it with a good monopod or tripod is fantastic. So - just things to think about. My fave IS lens is the 100mm macro L 2.8 - supah sharp and sexy. The 70-200 IS 2.8 (and f4 if you don't shoot lowlight) is also quite delicious. Hope that helps.

Stuff to see at NAB

I’ll be updating this when I can and adding detail.

But here’s a few things of interest.

Hardware

Wacom has a new Cintiq – looks and works beautiful.

Just a 3d model at the moment – but Panasonic announced a new hybrid cam that is a cross between a dslr+vid and an actual video camera. It’s called the AG-AF100. It features 60i 1080 for in camera slo mo but the coolest thing is that it features uncompressed HD out. Might be worth checking out the booth for the details.

Zacuto – My favorite gear maker for HDSLRs – check out their latest z-finder jr and their ultra light rigs that I use.

Red Camera… the Scarlet is still… on hold? I still think about it – even tho the 5d has made life easier to live without it.

I followed these guys around a bit while they’re were filming a lot of hdSLR new gear – check out their blog for videos of new gear:

http://www.dslrnewsshooter.com/

Software

Definitely check out the Adobe booth for CS5 new featuers.

The Foundry announces a new end-to-end filmmaking program called Storm Looks sexy at first glance!

Red Giant is having a 30% off sale of all it’s products and plugins – definitely cool!

Presentations  - TUESDAY April 13th

Adobe Booth (used on everything)

  • 10:30am – AE Cs5 – RotoBrush – top new feature -
  • 11:30am - Premiere Pro Cs5 – breakthrough new rendering engine – native 5d editing in realtime
  • 4:30pm - CS5 and HDSLRs -
  • 5:30pm - Speed Production – Script to Screen workflow

Cinema 4d and Bodypaint Booth (used on Avatar, District 9, Beowulf, Narnia,  Spiderman III etc.) – Maxon

  • 10:30am –  Rob Garrott of Bending Pixels will demo the over-the-top show opens he created at Point 360 West for the Spike Network’s Super Dave’s Spike-tacular mockumentary-style series.
  • 11:30 – Mike Senften, a motion graphics artist with 4dthieves.com, will use the high-energy, street smart spots he created for Ecko Watches to showcase the Sound Effector feature in CINEMA 4D’s MoGraph module.
  • 1:30pm – Nick Campbell of Greyscale Gorilla, a seasoned motion designer (Dexter, the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Target, Blackberry), will demonstrate the incredible ease with which CINEMA 4D sparks creativity.
  • 2:30pm – Working fast in c4d – John LePore, associate creative director for Perception shows the studio’s latest motion graphics campaigns using CINEMA 4D on behalf of NBC, Powerade and SPEEDtv.

The Foundry Booth – Nuke (used to composite the Iron Man HUD), Mari (awesome new 3d painting system used on Avatar) – The Foundry

  • 10:45 ILM – Jason Billington – Transformers II and Avatar – Nuke
  • 11:30 ImageWorks – Carey Villegas – Alice in Wonderland – Nuke
  • 12:14 Weta – Robin Hollander – Avatar – Nuke and Ocula
  • 13:00 Weta – Zoe Lord – Texture artist on Avatar – Mari
  • 13:45 ILM – Jason Billington – Transformers II and Avatar – Nuke
  • 14:30 Jim Geduldick – AENY/OffHollywood – AE Plugins – MUST SEE
  • 15:15 Mike Romey – Zoic – Nuke for Postproduction on ‘V’

April 13, 2010 - 10:10 am Andy Stetter - fantastic stuff - I'll be checking the foundry today

August 1, 2010 - 11:24 am Marcie White - I've never gone to these - but now I feel like I've been missing out.

NAB – April 12-15

If you’ll be at NAB let me know. I plan to go to most of the parties for a bit. In the daytime I’ll be in the software South Hall just catching up with people and sitting in on lectures and such.

If you’re a motion designer, video editor or vfx type you might want to check these out too:

I might do the traditional Thursday Monte Carlo Brew Pub gathering.
Carey Dissmore describes is as

“Informal ‘come and go when you want’ nature… everyone is in ‘wind down’ mode and this is a lot of fun!
This is one of the most beloved NAB traditions in our community. A lot of plugin & other software vendors tend to show up and hang out with the gang. Always fun, never boring, and nobody ever leaves hungry or thirsty, LOL.
The NAB show closes at 4pm this day and people generally start gathering at the Pub from about 6pm.”
http://www.montecarlo.com/restaurants/restaurants_the_pub.aspx

I sometimes will twitter things I find interesting or some cool training going on that I’m attending so check @jayse_ for those.

Have fun, see you there!

April 12, 2010 - 10:20 am Joi - I will see you there!

April 12, 2010 - 10:56 am Andy Stetter - Hey man I'll text you when I'm there - going straight to Adobe booth!

Motion 2010 – $99 April 6th Only.

Didn’t want you guys to miss out on this.

What is Motion? Click the logo for more info. It’s not your standard ‘how to use software’ type of convention. In fact it’s rather more like a disneyland of creative learning and inspiration for motion designers, animators and visual effects artists.

Unlike a lot of training resources, Motion focuses on art direction and creativity first and foremost, and they’ve managed to attract some super amazing people to speak and discuss. I’m lucky enough to be included along side them this year in the Motion Advisory Board.

The MAIN reason for this quick post is – tomorrow (April 6) is Motion 2010′s site launch and to celebrate they’re allowing registrations at a pretty insane rate.

Here’s the details:

Are you a pro with a minimum of two years experience in motion graphics, animation, or visual effects? Tomorrow, 04.06.10 motion is launching their site. To celebrate, experienced pros will be able to register for $99. This is valid for 24 hours only. Simply fill out the registration application. When you are approved, motion will contact you for payment information.

I definitely recommend the experience. I’ve been twice and it’s definitely an uplifting, educational and fantastic networking and friend-making event.

Hope to see you there!

Check out the site launch tomorrow:
http://motion.motion.tv

// jayse

April 5, 2010 - 11:57 pm Michael K - I might actually show at this one.

April 12, 2010 - 10:57 am Andy Stetter - Definitely looks interesting - missed the sale. But I'll wait a bit to see how the work pans out.

Flattery

A friend recently pointed out that the website of the new highend hotel in Vegas called Vdara has a similar look, feel, color, layout, and composition to a site I designed for the famous Architect Paul Steelman (also in Vegas) a few years back.

My design:

And Vdara’s new site:

I would have preferred that they not both be for Vegas architects of course but I’ll take the similarities as a nice compliment.

April 5, 2010 - 11:36 pm Cedrik - LoL - That's a bit more than coincidence!

April 5, 2010 - 11:56 pm Michael K - Wow... some boss probably told them "Hey I want it just like that Steelman site!" and they were like, "Okay."

April 6, 2010 - 11:35 am Joi - The other pages have even more similarities - too funny. I'm usually not into who copied what as I think we all derive inspiration - but the fact that its two architects both in Vegas with nearly the same colors, highlight orange, layout and bio images is definitely a bit on the bold side.

April 12, 2010 - 10:58 am Andy Stetter - haha - at least they could have made it look better.

The joy of making messes – Digital Painting with Artrage 3.0

So I’ve been meaning to introduce you to a new favorite program of mine. Designing is one thing – drawing is an entirely different experience and one I wholly recommend. It’s good for the soul. It’s a nice break from font choices and pantone swatches. It’s something every designer should make an effort at. Employers usually recognize that a designer who’s an artist has a large edge over someone that just knows how to kern text properly.

I usually paint in Photoshop. I like the ability to create custom brushes and the tools are familiar. But when I just want to draw – whether storyboards or sketch ideas or just to make a fun mess – Photoshop just doesn’t seem to cut it sometimes.

Enter: Artrage by Ambient Design.

I found this program when it entered version 2.5 and was really impressed with how it was made to work with a tablet – the interface was unique and yet immediately intuitive. It was made to get out of your way and just let you create. You don’t need keyboard shortcuts or long menus to change the most important parts of your painting – everything is immediately available right when you need it.

They’ve now released version 3.0 – and many are saying that it has finally entered the digital painting race with the ‘big’ guys: Photoshop and Painter. The odd thing is – it costs a fraction of what those programs cost.

In a day where software is barely affordable to mere mortals – Artrage can be bought for $20. The pro version is only $80. And if it sounds like I’m a commercial for them I am. An unpaid one of course – but I really love good products with humble prices and I think they deserve as many users as possible. Not to mention – the program is a pure joy to use (and abuse.)

So – how is it different from Photoshop?

Many, many ways. The first major difference you’ll notice is the interface. It’s made for you to create. With a single right-click everything disappears and leaves you with an empty canvas. Otherwise you have sliders that allow you to dial in colors, opacity, rotating canvas etc. intuitively with your pen.

Below is how I have it set up on my Toshiba Satellite in Tablet mode.

The second thing is how paints work – they work like natural media – they have texture and two colors next to each other will blend and merge in ways that Photoshop can only dream of. Below is an example of orange, yellow and white oils mixed together with various levels of dryness and thinner.

Version 3.0 just added water colors and I must say – they are beautiful for the grungy looks I like to get. Below is an example of chalks (orange) mixed with water colors in orange and yellow.

Stencils can be made from any black and white image – and allow for an incredible range of ideas – from adding textures, scratches etc. to… well… stencil art.

I love the way it handles things all artists need like reference images – just import them in and position them where you want them. Hide them – bring them back – reposition. It’s a fantastic way to work.

One of the greatest things about Artrage is how customizable you can make it. You can have preset brushes you’ve made so that the program becomes truly yours.

Version 3.0 adds a brush called ‘sticker spray’ which sounds a bit childish – and it definitely can be. But there’s huge potential for it. It’s essentially like a pattern brush in Illustrator. It will repeat an image – or even more powerfully – a series of images – randomly across your canvas. This allows for some really complex brushes – like alternating numbers such as below

It also does full color images – but I’m not to into that. I’m more excited by how it can add texture and dimensional patterns to my work.

A few people on Ambient Design’s forum were discussing how to convert Photoshop brushes into sticker brushes in Artrage. It was a bit of a process but doable and very exciting. Then they announced an small update to Artrage that imported the Photoshop abr files directly.

The update also allows pods and interface items to be hidden (something myself and a few other members were creating interesting work arounds for).

This tells me this company is listening – it’s actively improving and making this program even better for artists who just want to have fun creating. And I’ll do all I can to support companies and people like that. So give it a try – I think you’ll have some fun making messes (and even art!) again.

A demo for mac or PC can be downloaded here: http://www.artrage.com/artragedemo.html

// jayse

April 3, 2010 - 2:13 pm Barry T - Definitely looks like something worth getting back into. I haven't touched a pencil in ages.

April 4, 2010 - 5:09 pm Jamie Anders - This looks so fun! Awesome paintings by the way. Thanks for the tips!

April 12, 2010 - 10:59 am Andy Stetter - This looks bad ass actually - the one thing about tablet pc's is that when they're in tablet mode they're missing the keyboard shortcuts... so something actually set up for tablets looks awesome! Great painting too btw.

August 1, 2010 - 11:25 am Marcie White - This makes painting actually look fun! Nice post. Love the first painting you did.

March 11, 2011 - 8:24 am Harmony - I couldn't agree more. I love artrage because I can use it and still feel like an artist. One question though, where did you get the modeling image in your 5th image? Is this from a program?

Apple iPad – Good or bad?

Apple Ipad

So the iPad is finally here. I’ve been dreaming of it since the first tablet computers came out. Talking to Wacom a few years ago about why Apple hadn’t tapped them for a tablet they replied, “Believe me – it’s not us that’s not been trying.” It was clear – Apple had their own idea in the works.

But is this the tablet I’ve been dreaming of?

No.

This is more what I was dreaming of:

itablet19

The ultimate ART TOOL!

But it’s not.

That doesn’t make it bad – it’s just a different beast. I wanted pressure sensitivity and a stylus so I could paint with it. I wanted a camera so I could use the excellent Storyboard app with it. I wanted to be able to use Photoshop and ArtRage with it. I wanted to see websites with it and not worry that they had something Flash (as 90% of all my site designs are).

So – it’s not the tablet I dreamed of. But it still is pretty cool if you think of it in different ways. It will likely become my main ‘away from home’ machine. (when not designing).

It WILL replace my kindle 2 as fast as you can say SOLD.

And I know that I can paint on it. I’d already painted with the iphone (here’s a video of one) – majorly tricky at first – but strangely liberating at the same time. (I often find myself wishing I could use my fingers to paint on my PC Tablet.) The only major problem was actually the tiny size of the screen for details.

Of course – i could always mod a 13″ macbook for a TRUE Apple Tablet

modbook2

I am actually tempted. But I’ll wait until I play with my new iPad for a while first!

January 29, 2010 - 1:00 am Macy - I'm definitely getting one - you can paint with the apps Brushes or Layers or Sketchbook (new one). Too much fun to ignore! Thanks for your review.

January 29, 2010 - 2:16 am Jessica - I have mixed options on the iPad. I don't think it's nearly as 'revolutionary' as Apple is trying to say it is, but it has potential. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

January 29, 2010 - 3:53 am Libby - It's too bad about the Flash capabilities. I'm surprised how much it lacks. It could have been such a powerful tool, instead of merely a big iphone (without the phone and camera). I do really love your iphone painting though. Would love to see what you can create on this with the large screen!

January 29, 2010 - 4:02 am Michael K. - I don't care what people say, I think it's pretty effing awesome! Leave it to Apple.

January 28, 2010 - 12:09 pm jayse - (just fixed the time settings - now the post time is correct!) The more I see of it - the more I love it for what it is. No doubt painting on it will be super fun. MS's new Courier looks pretty interesting too. Anyway you swing it - it's a fun time to be seeing the birth of all these fun new things. :-)

March 3, 2010 - 11:23 am Gregg - No multitasking....no deal.

August 1, 2010 - 11:26 am Marcie White - I gave in and got one - final verdict: Very worth it.

Symantec Spots

Here are two recent spots I designed and animated for Symantec. I wanted to present an overview of part of the process that goes into making these things – so check out the preceding posts for some ‘behind the scenes’

RSA: 0:30 – click below to view

constrictor-4271

CxO: 2.45 – click below to view

constrictor-2

They were both done as 1920×1080, and each includes a long continuous cam move (always fun in AE) with simple-yet-detailed 3d animations.

jayse_aeworking

There were 12 3d icons to make and animate and I profiled some of what goes into creating them in the previous posts:

Super fun project – looking forward to future ones!

// jayse

April 5, 2009 - 6:07 am Joi - These are beautiful work - write more making-ofs - Very helpful to understand a pro's workflow

April 5, 2009 - 2:01 pm Andy - Those are both bad ass... thank you for sharing your process - totally cool to see how it's really done

April 20, 2009 - 2:55 pm Cedrik - As always lookin' good Jayse - the flow of these is really nice and the 3d parts are superb.

April 20, 2009 - 8:12 pm jayse - Thanks guys - hope to see you at NAB!

August 1, 2010 - 11:28 am Marcie White - So simple - yet so nicely done.

Symantec Progress: Steering Wheel

Part three of the project breakdown of the Symantec spots.

The Control Wheel

Their stock photo was actually a momo rally wheel – I wasn’t able to buy one in time tho I was tempted. I found some on ebay – and luckily the photo reference was good enough to go by.

jayse_wheel_ref

Modeling begins with a simple torus – smoothed

jayse_wheel_modeling

Drew the ‘spokes’ part in Illustrator – traced the photo to get it near exact – then bend them into shape

jayse_wheel_spokes

Then on to texture tweaks

jayse_wheel_tex

picture-113

March 24, 2009 - 5:13 pm AmbEr - I love how your wheel texture even has little dents and flaws in it that keep it looking real - nice attention to detail.

March 27, 2009 - 3:38 pm Asfault - again your textures rawk!

April 6, 2009 - 7:14 am Cedrik - looking good man

April 20, 2009 - 8:08 pm jayse - Thanks guys! You may or may not see it in the final projected on big screens - but that detail has got to be there because in my opinion - you'll 'feel' it if it's not.

April 5, 2009 - 5:08 am Symantec Spots » designer4play - [...] The steering wheel [...]