If you’ve only recently started reading this blog you’re probably unaware of it’s previous incarnation as a Webcomic called “Panoptia“. My wife and I started that Webcomic a few years ago after a hot afternoon of weeding. I think the heat must have clouded our judgment. After drawing a couple of seasons of the strip we abandoned it in favor of other interests.
To those of you who don’t happen to have your own Webcomic, I can tell you that it’s both a lot of fun and also extremely time consuming. We’re fortunate to live in an age where the bulk of animation can be done on low-cost computers, but the fact is that somebody still needs to power that mouse.
In our case, it was two of us. I’m not a great freehand drawer, so I need all the assistance I can get. Luckily for me, my wife is good at drawing (musician, artist, writer – if you’re getting the idea she’s talented – you’re right). When we put our heads together, I took care of the technical side and the character animations, dialogs and story and she did all the backgrounds and assets.
I found that working with Anime Studio Pro (now Moho) I could do everything I wanted, from character design to scene composition. It’s really one of the best and most enjoyable software packages I’ve ever used. I highly recommend it if you ever get sunburned enough to start your own Web-comic.
For the backgrounds and assets we mainly used GIMP, with occasional forays into ArtRage and Inktip. They’re all good tools, but GIMP was the best overall for asset creation and composition. Being able to easily work with layers is essential to scene design.
If you’ve ever tried drawing on a computer, you know that using a mouse is less than optimal. I sometimes imagine how the art world would have evolved if the Old Masters had used bricks instead of brushes. The Renaissance would have had a distinctly Minecraft vibe to it.
We ended up buying a mid-range Wacom tablet for doing the drawings. These are excellent tools in the right hands. It takes a bit of getting used to drawing on a tablet and looking up at a screen at the same time. Being gamers we are both used to working with a lot of eye-hand coordination so it was probably easier for us than some.
The better solution, and one that I would use now if we ever get dizzy enough to start a Webcomic again is a drawing monitor. Why I didn’t go this route in the first place I don’t remember, although I think it has something to do with the huge price tag of those Cintiq monitors.
The good news is that competition has arrived in a big way in this market and several of the makers are creating great low-cost and full-featured drawing monitors. If you’ve ever looked at these products and thought “Those are just too expensive”, now might be the time to take a second look.
The Ugee UG-2150 is a high resolution drawing monitor with adjustable stand that will work with just about any computer. It includes 2 pens, a drawing glove (to prevent smudging) and a screen protector for less than half the price of what some others are charging.
Ugee UG-2150 21.5 Inches LED Graphics Drawing Monitor
- 21.5 inches IPS LED screen size, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Two 2048 levels rechargeable pens
- Ergonomically designed stable stand makes the monitor much more steady.
- 12 months Warranty.
- Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS latest version.
- Works with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop CC, Illustrator, 3D Max, Autodesk Sketchbook,Corel Painter,Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic, ZBrush etc.
- Active Area: 476.64 x 268.11mm
- Resolution: 5080LPI
- Accuracy: 0.25mm
- Reading Height: 15mm
- Report Rate: 220 reports/per second
- Response Time: 14ms
- Support Color: 16.7M
- Contrast Ratio:1000:1
- Interface Support: VGA input, DVI input, HDMI input, USB port 1.1
The UG-2150 is an IPS LED graphics drawing monitor. It needs to be connected to a computer, laptop or PC. Drawing, sketching, painting, designing and editing can directly be done on the screen. It supports duplicate and extended mode. The interface ports are HDMI, VGA and DVI. HDMI and VGA cable are included.
Some customer reviews
High Resolution graphics on the screen looks great. It has a really nice laminated screen that makes everything looks crisp and well detailed. I game as well, and this monitor holds up well enough to be used for gaming, web browsing, watching movies, you name it. The active stylus works amazingly smooth on the screen, like buttery smooth.
For a first time monitor tablet, especially for someone who isn’t quite in the professional field yet, I feel this works really well. I definitely think I got my money’s worth and would recommend it to others who aren’t quite so keen on Wacom having a tablet monopoly.
This drawing monitor is amazing! My son wanted a larger one for his drawing, and this definitely delivered. It has fantastic imagery, and the pens work very well on it.
I am extremely happy with the ugee 2150! In my opinion it works just as good as a cintiq and better than a huion. I have had no issues and work on the ugee tablet 5 hours every night completing client and personal work.