Quick tutorial on utilizing Windows Journal for digital sketching

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Shogmaster, Aug 17, 2012.

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  1. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks very much for that, very good of you.

    You've just given me reason to stop saving for a Cintiq and look at a brand new convertible.. I can only dream what the new barrier will be with a machine that doesn't break.

    Drool.

    I'm afraid not, your video taught me a few tricks I hadn't even considered - the grouping trick gives me the opportunity to design colour-images with 2 or 3 or more colours and I can separate the areas needed for different print plates using that group command. Your trick turning off handwriting recognition has sped up my old tablet even though it will always break when I reach 1.5 mb
     
  2. klachowski

    klachowski Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Wow, what a nice little free gem of an art program! I noticed you posting sketches from Windows Journal around this forum, but I had assumed it was a crappy little raster program that you just were really comfortable with. The fact that it is vector but so intuitive and can be pasted into illustrator makes this very interesting. What is MS Paint's excuse for remaining so crappy when Journal is so lite but powerful.

    Question: I may have missed it, but I didn't understand what "tool" yo used to grab the grey under-drawing of the car. Sorry its probably a dumb question easily answered by rewatching the video, but I'm not at libitery to do so at the moment.

    Oh and doobiedoobiedum your drawings are awesome!
     
  3. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I just used the lasso selection tool. To select a group, you simply need to tap any part of the group.

    I think MS should add couple of features to Journal (transform selection w rotate, flip; layers), add better export options (JPG, PNG), strip out handwriting recognition and make a version called "Sketch Journal".

    That one was free, Microsoft. You're welcome.
     
  4. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Firstly, thanks for the kind words klachowski. as Shogmaster said - the little lasso selection tool will pick up your group.

    Love the ideas to improve and create "Sketch Journal" - I wonder why no art app out there imports or opens Journal files too. I've killed Illustrator at work trying to copy paste large sections of my drawings in. The workaround is to do small parts only - time consuming but the result is far more accurate than doing a screen-grab and then using mechanical trace within Illustrator.

    Anyhow here's a couple of pics for a personal screen print I am working on after trying shogmaster's "group" trick. It's now part of my working process in Journal. (The empty white space will have other parts of the drawing if Journal / Windows XP will handle the file size

    000-157.jpg

    This is the layout sketch - I grouped the different parts just in case the traceover wasn't as good and then grouped all so I could grey them to trace over.

    000-158.jpg

    Rework of one part of the design. This is where rotate / flip would be great. I prefer the quick sketches to this more "finished" drawings but if I could flip or rotate the group I could use it elsewhere in the design.

    000-159.jpg

    This one's just horrible, perspective in the wheels / wheel trims is out.
     
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Interesting, so you're sort of simulating layers by grouping-- is that right? You can "separate out" different parts of the drawing and let them function independently by doing it? For example, can you put one group on top of another? And if you do so, can you erase or alter one group without affecting the other? If so, that's a pretty essential element of layers.

    Then, after you've grouped something, and it's not necessarily part of your final piece, you're shifting it's color to help you understand the different groups?

    BTW, what programs are accepting these files as vectors? I don't have Illustrator, as an example, but generally use raster based art programs-- Sketchbook Pro, Paint Tool Sai, Artrage, Painter. I've honestly never tried using anything vector-based beyond doodles, so I don't know much about manipulating it after the fact. Like-- if I want to do a pen and ink sketch and resize it to a larger size, then perhaps import it to a raster based program, how do I get it to import at a nice, clean, large size? Do I need a intermediary program? What's a good example of a good, not oh-my-god expensive tool I could use for that?

    A really intriguing tool. And journal is smooooothhhhh...
     
  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I had to try what you were asking to make sure I understood properly but yes - you can group different lines together. You can also draw on top of an existing group and then create new groups - however when you are selecting you have to be careful not to select the underlaying groups as part of a new group.
    Before I watched Shogmaster's video I did sometimes draw a line, select it and then move it to another part of a page / surface to work into it and then bring it back. It's one of the benefits of being able to select and move an individual line or pen stroke from within your drawing.

    Yes - it's not like layers in Photoshop or Illustrator though where you can change properties and if you selected a complex group with lots of different colours - changing the colour of a group makes all the group the same colour. If you want to recolour your individual lines afterwards you have to ungroup and then select and change.

    Only illustrator as far as I know and file size goes up exponentially in Illustrator. I read your questions and tried copy paste into Sketchbook pro - worked a treat but it pasted raster information which you can then edit using traditional raster techniques.

    The images I posted of hands are done on an A3 file. Journal allows you to zoom up to 1000% but I usually only zoom at about 300% and then screen-grab parts of a file which I then paste and "stitch" together in Photoshop or similar. I use transparency to line things up as closely as possible before flattening. I always keep a master .psd file as reference.

    You could cut journal out by simply using drawing tools in whatever raster programme you prefer but for me and this is personal preference - I like and need those crisp edges and journal cannot be beat for that in my opinion.

    If you already have journal and sketchbook pro and are happy to stay in raster format - you don't need anything. If you want to work into vectors - copy paste into Illustrator - I've tried other vector programmes and all that pastes is a raster image to trace over with vectors. For automatic tracing from raster to vector - I actually prefer Inkscape, not because it's free but because I prefer the interface of the trace engine.

    Just remember to turn off handwriting recognition and also watch your file size. If you have something like Shogmaster's convertible you could go beyond 1.9mb file size.

    One thing I don't like is if I want to ink a large area, I have to use lots of individual lines which adds to file size. It would be great if it does what Adobe Flash (the application and not the youtube player) does which is to simplify an area of shading into a simple fill.
     
  7. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I kept the pasted line group open in Sketchbook Pro - the line was drawn in Journal with pressure sensitivity switched on - pen colour black. For your own test - try creating the same rich black pressure sensitive line in SBP or Photoshop using the native tools and see what it takes in comparison to get the same rich pure black.

    That pure black line is why I use Journal so much.
     
  8. elfdragore

    elfdragore Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Shogmaster I am curious about the pen you used in your tutorial. Is it a regular wacom pen? what model is it?
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Normal Wacom pen for a tablet pc. Nothing special. :)
     
  10. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's the old Axiotron slim pen that was selling on Ebay for $15 while back. I picked up liked 7 of them before they disappeared lol.
     
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