How do you become a professional artist in an age where almost everything we do is challenged by AI-driven generators, filters and what else is there? “Professional” means that you can live at least partly from what you create. If we hold on to that definition of the word, there are many categories of visual artists with some of them earning a lot more than others, so the first thing to decide when you’re thinking about making a career out of art is why you’re doing it and what you’re willing to sacrifice.
Universe, Red Giant Software’s subscription-based plug-in for Adobe After Effects and seven other NLEs and compositing apps, has been updated to version 3.1 and incorporates some interesting new modules.
Clip Studio Paint EX is the most complete suite of drawing and painting tools available from Celsys in Japan. It’s perceived as the biggest competitor of Corel Painter. Both these apps were designed for creators who love to draw and paint with a brush feel that comes close to the real-world thing, but Clip Studio is also a complete comic strip and animation creations tool.
A new summer means a new Corel Painter. This year around, we’re welcoming Painter 2020. The new version is an improvement over the previous ones in many ways and it’s not just about new brushes. It’s principally about performance and interface design. And that’s a good thing.
I remember buying my first and last Power Mac Pro many years ago. It looked gorgeous, it was blazingly fast and I used it for about eight years. Keep in mind that last figure as I take you on a city trip to the price level of the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
On the Mac, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a newcomer, but the application suite has been around for many years on the Windows platform. The Mac version is a successful port in terms of feature set, but it probably won’t dethrone Adobe apps, nor kill the Affinity Photo and Designer apps. Corel has waited a bit too long and hasn’t fit out the Corel apps with a streamlined enough interface for that to happen, in my opinion.
There are five new text effects and a brand new dashboard in Universe 3.0. I tried the new version with Final Cut Pro X and Motion, and while the dashboard still needs some tweaking, the new text effects were brilliant for enhancing sci-fi and thriller movies.
I have a hobby that may surprise people and simultaneously make them think I’m bonkers… I love dabbling in astrology. I know, most people will say it’s rubbish, but I’ve erected enough astrology charts to think Hamlet was right when he said: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.” I used to be a Kairon user, software developed by an Austrian astrologer/programmer who stopped updating the macOS application a few years ago. Then I started using iPhemeris on the iPad by Clifford Ribaudo, but that software gets updated very occasionally and you Ribaudo hides behind an alleged Apple bug in iOS that prevents users from exporting complete charts and tables. But in the week between Christmas and New Year I’ve found a macOS/iOS/Android software that might be the astrology app Mac users have been craving for a long time. It’s Astro Gold and it’s been developed by the same people who made Solar Fire the industry standard on Windows PCs. So, although it’s off-topic, here’s a review of Astro Gold.
For special effects like HUDs, graphs that move and text that floats through ballooning organic forms, many blockbuster 3D compositing artists use Yanobox’s Nodes. The FxFactory plug-in for After Effects, Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and Motion has become an industry standard. Nodes 3 is the latest version of the generator, which I tested with the latest version of Apple Motion.
Word Pop is one of FxFactory’s latest addition. It’s a set of Final Cut Pro X titles. They allow you to create anything from lower thirds to a full explanation in the centre of the frame. I first thought it was pretty much limited in what you can do with it, but it turned out to be more than meets the eye.