May 17, 2008

How to sketch with a Nintendo DS

May 17, 2008 - Categories: sketches

As promised, here’s a quick guide to sketching on the Nintendo DS:

Useful sites:

I like sketching on the DS because it’s something I can always take with me. I’ve thought about getting a digitizing tablet, but I’ve always held off because, well, I don’t think of myself as an artist. Not a proper artist–not like Diane, one of my best friends. She has sketchpads full of good stuff, and would definitely make the most of a tablet. Me, I doubt my artistic skill and hand-eye coordination. But I’ve been working on developing my visual vocabulary by taking pictures, looking at photos and great presentations, and trying to explain abstract things with analogies, and I’m discovering that maybe I do have a little bit of an artistic side. Sketching is actually a lot of fun. Maybe my drawings aren’t as cool as the sketches that people have posted in the Colors Gallery, but they’re my drawings, and they make me happy. =)

I’m starting to save up for a tablet PC. =) I think that would be fun to play with, and I’ve learned that it’s good to follow my intuition. I would love to mindmap and storyboard my presentations with a tablet PC, and if I can use that to sketch bigger things, even better! So I’ve made room in my spending plan, and at my current rate of saving, I’ll have the sum saved just in time for my 25th birthday. =) I want the Lenovo X61 multi-touch model, but maybe an even better one will come along by the time I’ve saved up for it. (And maybe there’ll be more software for it, too!)

In the meantime, I want to learn more about communicating with the tools I have. I’ve got so many things I want to share: things I’ve learned, things I’m learning from other people and from books and from the world around me. You can come along and learn with me as we figure things out. That’s what this blog is for. =) So I’ve checked out a whole bunch of books on visual storytelling, and I’m going to be drafting and drawing some other ideas over the next few weeks. (My Wicked Cool Emacs book may turn into a cartoon guide to Emacs… Yeah, right. ;) )

What would be some great ways to improve on this without springing for new gadgets? I’d really love to figure out how to work with the videos I can get from ColorsDraw and turn them into a slideshow where the pace is controlled by the viewer. I’d love to be able to move things around, cut things apart, and crop and greenscreen… I’d love to do proper animations of stick figures and drawings, too. (Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone came up with a DS homebrew app for that?) And there’s plenty to learn even with static images. =)

So that’s where I am with this Nintendo DS sketching thing. I’m learning a lot, and it’s fun. <grin>

New workflow for sketching; ooh, batch import!

May 17, 2008 - Categories: geek

So here’s my new workflow:

  1. figure out the gist of what I want to say
  2. write down some titles
  3. sketch a couple of ideas into my idea book (thanks Mom!)
  4. pull the storyboard together
  5. draw it on my DS
  6. copy the files using the USB adapter
  7. convert the DRW files to PNGs using a scale of 2.0 (nice and not too blurry even blown up)
  8. batch-import all the PNGs in a directory (OpenOffice.org extension or Microsoft Powerpoint Import Image -> Photo Album)
  9. post the presentation to Slideshare.net
  10. blog about it

=)

I really wish I could just automate step 7, but oh well! ;)