Archive for the ‘Studio’ Category

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Cintiq 15x 18SX Pen Repalcements and Compatibility

April 5, 2013

I was recently given an old Cintiq 15x sans pen and cables. I’ll make a separate post on cables shortly. But since it took me a few hours of searching, I thought I’d condense this and post it and hopefully save someone else some time. The 15x and the 18SX can use the same pens per all info I found. I’ll be referring to the 15x as it is the only one I tested.

The Bad News:
*The Cintiq 15X pen and all compatible pens are discontinued.
*The Grapphire and Intuos pens do NOT work with the 15x.

The Good News:
*After a lot of searching. Wacom-asia has a compatibility chart here: http://www.wacom-asia.com/aptky/607/pen.htm
** In case that goes away, the pertinent info is that all PenPartner and UltraPen wacom pens should work. These are pens that begin with the model number UP-###E
** For search purposes, you want: PenPartner, UltraPen, UD Series, PL-300, PL-400, Cintiq 15x, Cintiq 18x

On ebay I wasn’t able to find a ‘Cintiq’ pen for less than $130 + shipping. However, I found a UP-719EA-00A-1 for $25. You can also be clever and note that the completely obsolete Wacom Digitizer and Digitizer II tables use the early UP series pens and those can be had on ebay with pen for less than $20. I saw some listed as little as $1 but didn’t feel like waiting for an auction to get a pen.

** NON-WACOM pens: I have not tried these but I found many people claiming that pens for Tablet PCs would work. The favorite among the people who’d tried them was the Axiotron Modbook pen. However, like the wacom pens, this too is discontinued and while they were in the $10-$25 range 2 years ago, the only ones I saw for sale were closer to $100.

So if you’ve lost your pen, exhale! You’re not completely SOL yet. 🙂

I am mirroring this post on DeviantArt to up the signal.

Coming soon: Cintiq 15x USB to Mini-din wiring schematic and replacement power supplies and a DIY instructable for mounting a Cintiq 15X in an animation desk. 😉

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Optical Registration of Bulk Scans

May 24, 2010

Moved recently and my animation stand is currently buried beneath boxes in the basement of our new home waiting for a house remodel project to finish before it can be put back into service. In the meanwhile, I needed to do some pencil tests.

During the move, my scanner (which had been making funny noises for a while) finally conked out, and my printer was both near-dead and no longer supported by the manufacturer so I took the opportunity to replace both with an Epson Artisan 810 combo unit. Since it comes with a sheet feeder, I thought it might be a good opportunity to check out the state of inexpensive solutions to optical registration of bulk scans.

All of these work by requiring you to black out part of the scan bed where the peg bar sits so that you get solid black peg holes to make it easy for the software to identify the location of the punches. Finding information about automatic optical registration proved difficult. There are of course many high-end solutions in the several hundred dollar range but at the moment, these solutions are out of my range.

Two solutions I did find within my price range are DigiCel’s Flipbook Lite (just shy of $80) and a free beta of a java application called ScanFix written by Duane M. Palyka.

Both applications performed reasonably well. Flipbook’s import is easier to use and it also has some built-in smarts about adjusting the contrast of the drawings to make them show up well. The only minor confusion I had with it was in configuration of the registration offset but this was quickly fixed. It also supports TWAIN libraries and was able to import directly from my scanner with no interim files. I did not invest the time to tinker around with the rest of flipbook’s features for actually creating animation since I’m already familiar with and invested in another tool however, it seemed fairly straightforward and intuitive and may well be worth looking at.

Scanfix is a little less user friendly. I had to do a bit of tweaking to my scan configuration to get files where it could reliably detect the holes. It is also in beta test and I encountered a few problems in using the optional rotations but, once I resolved these issues, it performed adequately. In addition, Mr. Palyka has been quite pleasant to converse with.

On the whole, scanning at 150DPI, the scanner imported equivalent to the fastest I could possibly photograph work on my animation stand (meaning that on average, the scanner was far faster). I even got so lazy as to write a short script to reverse the order of scanned pages so I didn’t have to resort my cels after taking them off the animation desk. Finally, the scanner does not require me to operate the camera. Throw in a stack of cels, hit a button, and off it goes. So in good situations, it’s a bit of a time saver. However, I did run into issues a couple of times where the scanner grabbed more than one page and caused me some problems with a sequence and bogged down my progress. Since this is an invisible fail until you run the pencil test, it’s a bit of a sticking point.

Still. If you’re a student or otherwise on a tight budget, both tools are worth checking out, depending on your personal needs. Though I must confess that I enjoy drawing 12 field and since my scanner does not support paper of that size combined with the scanner feed issues means that I shall not be tossing out my animation stand just yet.

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Adobe Premiere CS3 Product Review

February 1, 2008

Premiere was the first serious video editing application I used, starting with versin 4 around 1996ish and as such, it holds a special place in my heart. We’ve had some good times together. I was very disappointed when MacOS-X came out and Premiere was not ported to it and for years afterwards, I faithfully ran it in Classic mode, right up until my purchase of an IntelMac.

Happily, Premiere has returned for the Mac. I purchased the CS3 production suite and paid a visit to my old friend. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Godzilla: Guest of Honor

January 31, 2008

Work on the Godzilla project is now complete, though perhaps not exactly what I’d ideally have liked. There were a number of problems with the shoot itself stemming mostly from the green screen being too small and outdoors with a short shooting schedule and some costume problems. However, aside from a few problems with the screen and enough jump-cuts to make any film student cringe, it came off reasonably well.

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Current Events in the Studio

September 14, 2007
The past couple of weeks have been an exciting time. I was contacted by a Kaiju group to help them film their next Battle Royale! They’re fun people and they really enjoyed the quick sound-editing job I did on one of their live battles. It turned out, they also needed a director and storyboard artist, so I’ve been running through pages of layout and screen writing. Kaiju big battle live at Further Confusion
“Kaiju?” you ask? Men in monster suits smashing buildings!
Click that link and watch!

When I’m not playing fangirl to the biggest monster movie star ever, I am still keeping busy! I’ve done a lot of still-art lately. (Check the DeviantArt and FurAffinity links to the right) And, thanks to the encouragement of podcasts like Michael Stackpole’s The Secrets and Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing I decided it was time to dust off some stories, edit or finish them and send them out for submission. My first submission Thylacine went out last night and more will soon be on the way.

I’ve also taken on a project to try to help a friend finish an ashcan comic, AND I’m going to finish that hideous baby animation that’s been sitting on the corner of my animation desk for the past two years! Really! I mean it!

Dozens of other things in the queue, but let’s get through these first! At any rate… I should be writing.

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PHP… Meet Flash!

February 14, 2007

PHP is really cool! For a long time, I’ve had little directories that were full of short animations that weren’t really great enough to post about or put in my main animation archive but were fun enough that I wanted to keep them. Rather than make a database to maintain them, I just threw together a PHP script that looks for stuff with the same names and creates a web page for it. Better yet. I made it smart enough to recognize flash animation and create HTML for it on the fly if it didn’t have some specific requirement. Keen, and a lot less hassle!

So. Here’s a couple of directories of weird little bits!


Artist’s Ambush Entries

The Artist’s Ambush is a weekly get-together I sometimes join. The original idea was: A topic is created, you have 30 minutes to draw something based on it. I decided to be even MORE insane and try animating a concept in the same 30 minutes. I’ve had varying levels of success. You can find more on the Ambush at this location.


Flash Class

Oooh! Holdovers from my school days taking a Flash class. Of course, it was never any fun just doing the required assignments so I always did additional weird and crazy stuff. Have a look.

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Changes at Half Circle

December 23, 2005

Finished a major website redesign. A ‘games’ section will be added soon to cover some of the Flash and Java games I’ve put together. There should also be new animation up soon. I took some time off posting ‘finished’ works to study motion. Lots of fflour sacks and stick figures. Stuff I’m enjoying and happy with but it’s not worth posting. I’ve also been busy in the still-arts. These get posted under the art section but generally don’t feel significant enough to update the main page.

Finally, I should announce The 1.3 version of my BVH exporter is now available at this link. This version fixes a couple of calculation problems for a small set of values and adds an option to change the rotate order of the joints for the root joint and child joints.

Along with the BVH exporter, you can click here to download a fully rigged model which is compatible with Second Life, an interactive social environment available for free on Mac and PC, where you can model, animate, and interact with other people in real time.

That’s all for now. New animations, art, and games coming soon!