Friday
Sep052014

Winners announced in "Live it. Sketch it. Share it." 

We're excited to announce the winners of the "Live it. Sketch it. Share it." competition! 

Age group 13-18


Most inspirational visual story

 

Leonie U., Canada

Best use of color

 Kathleen B., Philippines

Best artistic composition & overall design

 

Jenice O., United States 

Age group 18-24


Most inspirational visual story

 Sergio S., United States

Best use of color

 


Jacob D., United States 

Best artistic composition & overall design

 


Jordan B., United States

Thank you to everyone who participated!

You can see all the entries here.

 

Wednesday
Sep032014

Concept Art by Randall Mackey

I have been drawing since I quit eating crayons. I never really took it super seriously, or thought that I would end up doing it as a career, but it was fairly constant throughout my whole life. I joined the Army when I was 20, mostly because I had no other options. I was stationed at Fort Bragg when tattoo shows started airing regularly on cable. Watching these people tattoo, I told my wife that I could totally do that.

6 months and a whirlwind apprenticeship later, I was getting paid to permanently ruin people. It was through tattooing and my wanting to get out of the Army that drove me to actually push and pursue art as a career, focused on being a concept artist for games. 

Of course, I had no idea where to begin. I just knew that other people had figured it out, so it was possible. I quit tattooing so I could focus on drawing even more. I signed up for some classes at a well known school that actually turned out to be a horrible waste of time. So, I took a half semester, quit and signed up for a much better school. I was getting better faster just by being passionate and drawing a lot. Also, affording school was getting to be difficult. Being on active duty only left so much free time, and I felt that it was better spent focused on what I wanted to learn. I picked up my first Wacom Bamboo tablet at the end of 2008, and got a copy of Photoshop and Sketchbook. 

The first real consistent job I worked on was SimCity for EA/Maxis. That game was a blast to work on. I would be given a series of buildings that they needed concepts done for, and I would start with Sketchbook Pro and just jam out a bunch of ideas at a pencil sketch level, then we would discuss them and pick out the ones we liked and then I would go in and create a clean line drawing. Sketchbook is absolutely amazing for that. I would then port those over into Photoshop and do final color and render there. I really enjoyed looking at real world reference for buildings, but then having the freedom to create combinations that I liked. It gave them a really solid grounding in reality, but also gave me a real sense of ownership of the designs. 

 Since then I have worked for clients such as Riot Games, Volta and Topps. I love the challenges associated with creating commercial art for entertainment. Especially with games, you have to always keep the balance of time constraints, limits of what the 3D and FX teams will be able to accomplish. On top of that, there's consumer expectations and what's essential to gameplay- all the while trying to create the best art and designs possible. It is not always easy or stress free, but I love it and can't see myself doing anything else for a long time. 

 I learned to paint digitally, of course, but my first love has always been drawing. I learned by pouring over the pen and marker drawings of guys like Doug Chiang, Marc Gabbana and Scott Robertson -  trying to emulate them. Hard surface designs, specifically ships and weapons have always been my favorite thing to draw. I love the order and sense to them, but the freedom that is still available by not being in the real world. I still keep a drawing table stocked with heavy paper, grey markers, and ball point pens. With Sketchbook Pro 6, and the recent addition of my Wacom Cintiq Companion, I find myself going to it less and less. With the direct input of the Cintiq versus my Intuos4 I am able to rapidly sketch and draw inside of Sketchbook Pro, and with the ability to undo, create layers and then save directly as a digital file it saves me a ton of time. It probably saves a few trees, too! 

Sketchbook Pro is an invaluable tool to me as a professional. The input is much sharper and more repsonsive as a drawing tool than any other art software package out there. With the real time ellipse, ruler and french curve tools, it becomes a powerful digital drafting table.  The symmetry tools come in handy as well, especially when trying to bust out a quick orthographic drawing, just noodling around for ideas and exploration, even tattoos or logos that might fit inside of your universes.  It combos amazingly well with any other art software out there you might use. But is a potent stand alone to be sure. It is absolutely my favorite place to draw on my Cintiq Companion. I look forward to getting my hands on the next version and putting the perspective tools through it's paces.

Enough chatting, I am off to draw!

Check out more of Randall's work over on his Tumblr.

Monday
Aug252014

SketchBook at Fan Expo 2014

Fan Expo Canada is this weekend! Want to get your hands on the new tools in SketchBook 7? Stop by our booth, #647, and try it out on a Wacom Cintiq 22'' or a Wacom Cintiq Companion.

Our friends from Epson will be projecting our live demos in SketchBook and Pixlr on their new 120 inch screen, so we should be hard to miss! Get your photo taken in the Pixlr photobooth, or pick up a free SketchBook art print.

The show runs from the preview night on August 28th to 31st.

We hope to see you there!

 

Saturday
Aug232014

SketchBook Membership Explained

Wondering what the different SketchBook Membership levels get you? Check out the differences in this video below: 

Starter - Essential - Pro

You can also check out these support pages- they'll help you understand how the tools work!

Ready to get started? Download SketchBook now!

Wednesday
Aug062014

Announcing the brand new Autodesk SketchBook


To our SketchBook family: 

The day we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. Today, we’re incredibly proud and excited to announce the global availability of Autodesk SketchBook Pro 7, as well as introduce the all-new membership-based Autodesk SketchBook for Windows® and Mac®.

Greater choice for SketchBook users

Providing a natural drawing experience for everyone who loves to draw has always been the driving force of the SketchBook team. Today, by giving our users more choice in how they access SketchBook fulfills not just the “natural drawing experience” part of our mission, but the “everyone” part as well. Some of our users like to buy SketchBook as a perpetual license, and they can continue to do so at the Autodesk Online Store for USD$65 SRP*. On the other hand, some users want a little more flexibility in how they buy and use SketchBook, so we’re introducing three membership tiers:

  • Anyone can start using SketchBook completely free with a Starter membership. The Starter edition of SketchBook includes core tools to create basic drawings, and allows artists to become familiar with the natural drawing experience of SketchBook.
  • Create a completely free SketchBook account to upgrade to an Essentials membership. The Essentials edition of SketchBook includes layer management, a full color palette, basic brush customization, dynamic symmetry, and ruler tools to enable more precise control for more complex drawings and illustrations
  • Purchase a Pro membership for USD$24.99 SRP* annually or USD$2.99 SRP* monthly to unlock the full feature set of SketchBook, including Perspective Guides, Flipbook, Distort Transform, an improved layer editor, blending modes, layer grouping, and improved selection tools. Pro members will also automatically receive all updates to the SketchBook family, including new features and versions, for as long as their Pro membership is active.

To recap: If you want to buy SketchBook as a standalone perpetual license, you can still do that and get all the same powerful features as Pro members. If you want a little more flexibility with a membership-based license, you can do that, too, and choose the plan that’s right for you.

All-new SketchBook.com

As you might have noticed, we completely rebuilt SketchBook.com with a new look and feel. We also created a new SketchBook knowledge base and are adding new help content and tutorials all the time. Check out the new knowledge base here.

Dive in and get started

There are a lot of new features and tools for users to experiment with in SketchBook, so we created tutorials to enable you to get started quickly. Check out the video tutorials for Perspective GuidesBlending Modes, and Flipbook, and see all the new features in SketchBook in a single place by downloading the What’s New Guide.

Download SketchBook and start drawing today

SketchBook is available for Windows and Mac, and can be downloaded free in the Mac App Store and at SketchBook.com. If you purchase a perpetual license from the Autodesk Online Store, you will get a download link in your confirmation email. 

Check out the cool new Perspective Guides.

 

See the new blending modes in action.

 

Flipbook adds motion to SketchBook for the first time. 
   

 

Thank you for using SketchBook. We can’t wait to see the beautiful art you create!

*The Autodesk Suggested Retail Price (SRP) shown is Autodesk's suggested retail price for the specified products.