Photoshop Action / Coloring Lineart

Here’s the Photoshop CS action mentioned in an up-coming tutorial series for coloring lineart. As shown, it takes a “grayscale” scan and divides it into three Layers:

  • “Lineart” – Art preserved with alpha range from 5% to 100%
  • “Color” – Beneath the “Lineart” layer and waiting color application.
  • “Background” – The “paper” layer -or whatever you want to place in the background.

Download > “coloring lineart.atn” (4KB .atn)

Storyboard Traffic Management

Here’s what’ll be on the wall beside my desk for the next few weeks. It’s an overview of “project 1” of 3. This particular one requires the completion of 30, full-color scenes. -And soon. So to help alleviate production issues I generally do the following for larger jobs. First, it really helps to print all approved scenes in 2×2 format. After that I…

A). Note the “illustration number” in terms of quantity
B). Records any last minute notations regarding the scene
C). Note the “scene/frame number” as people sometimes refer to a scene’s placement relative to their copy deck or script page
D). Note the date -which simply means I should be at this point, on that date, to insure an on-time delivery

There. And knowing all that…I need to get to work. Cause that information, plus all those scenes staring at me, is really freak’n me out.

Graphic Recording @ SXSW 2012

I recently had the good fortune of doing graphic recording at SXSW Interactive (Austin, TX) with Unified Social and StumbleUpon while wearing the Visualhero cape. Words cannot describe the sensation of being around that many curious, talented, and successful people. However, work-wise, it was easily the most challenging drawing experience I’ve ever had. The pace was intense. The relevance on technology was heavy. And those factors coupled with unpredictable content and zero venue control meant….well, a certain level of creative acrobatics were required.

For those unfamiliar with “graphics recording” just think of it as “visual note taking.” Simply put, you listen to a talk and immediately generate visuals to compliment that same talk. The reason this can be extremely taxing on the mind is you’re listening intently, conjuring images based on what you’re hearing, selecting an image (mentally) which best suits the topic, drawing it –while still listening to the discussion, and conjuring the next visual while completing the prior one. Visual brevity and speed are the soul of graphic recording. If at any point you have to use an eraser you’re probably falling behind ‘n in trouble.

An iPad was assigned to this project. And, like I said before, it was tricky. Because of the glass surface, rubber-like stylus tip, and delay in line rendering it was truly an unnatural experience. My brain struggled with this tactile circus -thus adding to the cognitive load mentioned above. Process-wise, each talk ranged from 45-minutes to alil’ over an hour with 30-minutes to maybe a few hours before the next. Each day was filled with talks. The mission? One visual per talk. Immediately following a talk the visual was uploaded to team members who proofed it, distributed it to various news resources, and also tweeted about it. And BTW, Unified Social rocked like no other (

Side note…more often than not people approached me at the end of talk with questions ranging from “how are you doing that?” to “can you do that for our business?” Great conversations were born within those moments so I’m glad no one was shy. This along with Tweeter comments (@visualhero) really helped me remain charged. I even managed to include “Trudydoodie” (@trudydoodie) within a sketch after she paid a nice compliment via Twitter. :)

With that, here’s the entire collection of images generated using “SketchBook Pro” on the iPad (1024×768 @ 72 dpi) in the order completed. -Cause you can definitely see an improved  (!).

@SXSW 2012


In short, I’m really pleased by all the attention here at SXSW. Seriously. Thank you everyone!

I hadn’t been able to keep up with the posting from various groups, due to pace, but here’s one from Ola Pic.  If you want to keep track of things turn to @visualhero, @UNIFIED, or @stumbleupon, or even mine @diseasedwits on Twitter. Meanwhile, I’ll see what I can do about adding content from the event to this site later. For now…zoom.

Graphic Recording + 2012 SXSW (pt II)

Still practicing for SXSW using “Sketch Book Pro” on an iPad (g1). The event is only days away. Right now I’m on my fourth stylus and so far it’s the best (“Pogo Sketch Pro” by Ten One Design). Although I did recently learn of the “Jot Touch” -which looks like it  could really have hit the spot…but it’s not available yet (?).

(practice’n during an internal meeting)

On top of fine-tuning proficiency within the app I’ve fashioned a glove to aid with the drawing process. Ideally I’d like to rest my hand on the surface while sketching. Like normal, right? But at least three fingers are required for gesturing so alil’ altering to the glove was necessary. Using fabric scissors I snipped the tips of three fingers and applied “Aleen’s “Stop Fraying”” to the edges.

Now the last step will be to dye the glove black using RIT…cause I don’t want to roll like MJ…or a health inspector.

Finally, I also learned my renderings will be captured by a few news sites to utilize however they see fit. Not sure which ones yet. But once I find out I’ll be sure to share details. Of course.

Graphic Recording + 2012 SXSW

Looks like I’ll be doing the graphic recording for the 2012 SXSW Interactive Conference. Slight catch. Their goal is to do it on an iPad 3 using SketchBook Pro by Autodesk. So, yeah. Challenge.

To prepare I’ve been practicing everyday on my iPad (1st gen.) while also trying to narrow-down which stylus performs best. There’s also a number of technical requirements to consider (e.g. res, delivery, formats). But most importantly it’s all about speed. And at the moment I’m 5-6 times faster with a Sharpie. So training includes listening to random conversations in the office, or bits of NPR, and scribing like crazy. The following is from a recent internal meeting…

…and it took 12-minutes to generate. That’s way, way too long. And here’s another from a phone conversation where I scribed low-fidelity to act as instructions for a higher fidelity rendering later…

…which took nearly 15-minutes. That’s 3 times longer than it should take. Granted, I used various features within the app for both (layers, multiple pens, and an eraser effect to generate a gradient feel). But still. I gotta learn to dance faster. Lastly, I have a glove I’m about to test to see if I can minimize the number of false touches from my palm touching the screen. And now that…is gonna make things even more interesting. Stay tuned (and maybe wish me luck too).

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