Posts Tagged ‘sketches’

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Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) and Tablets

I just had to mention this: The latest version of Ubuntu finally supports input hotplugging. What this means is that you can plug in your tablet at any point and start taking advantage of its pressure sensitivity, etc. Previously, it would only work correctly if Ubuntu (the X server part of it) started with the tablet plugged in. Let me just say: OMG, I’ve been waiting for this for years! Seriously. I hadn’t been keeping up with every detail on the release (and I’m surprised I hadn’t seen mention of this yet), but I always plug in my USB tablet and run a quick test with new releases. This time, it actually worked! My test turned into a quick (and random) doodle:

How to Test

Plug in your tablet.

Run GIMP (included with Ubuntu by default).
Applications > Graphics > GIMP Image Editor

Enable Extended Input devices in GIMP.
Edit > Preferences > Input Devices > Configure Extended Input Devices

Find your tablet under the Device dropdown (mine is a Wacom Graphire) and select Screen or Window for the Mode. (It defaults to disabled.)

Create a new image, select the paintbrush tool and start drawing. To play with the features of your tablet, expand the Brush Dynamics section in the paintbrush options window (should be below the toolbox, where you selected the paintbrush). Here you can adjust things that pressure of your pen will control, like size and opacity. Fun stuff!

It’s not perfect (only works with the stylus – eraser doesn’t work without configuring), but it’s a HUGE step!! 😀 And the fact that this also includes the latest version of GIMP (2.6) makes this upgrade an absolute no-brainer for linux graphic-philes. 🙂

I found the new UI in GIMP a little strange at first, because I became so accustomed to the old one, but it is much better.

Upgrade Problems

Related to the upgrade, I lost wireless connectivity with my laptop upon doing it because the hostap_cs driver is used. I forgot about this issue that I had with previous releases and my super-cheap 1000yen wireless card. Blacklisting the hostap_cs driver and forcing the orinoco_cs driver fixed my problem again. The lesson: the upgrade wasn’t perfect and it should never be assumed that they will be – please backup your stuff! But do do the upgrade! 😉


(Had this sitting in my drafts for about a week… time to finish it up and push it out!)

After setting up my Wacom Graphire tablet on my laptop (copy-pasting some xorg.conf stuff) I decided to leave it on my bed. If I leave it on, with the Gimp (graphic application) open and the tablet plugged in, I will often do a little doodle before going to sleep. So these have been done while lying down, usually in (much) less than 5 minutes.

One thing I really like about comics is the expression (often exaggerated) portrayed through the characters’ faces.

This is something I don’t really have much practice with, so I started looking at some online comics that are good at it (and that I read): Penny Arcade, Octopus Pie, Butternutsquash, C&H… (Note: xkcd is excellent but obviously doesn’t even use facial expressions.)

PA Gabe, clearly very happy and excited

And this will be a good test of wordpress’ new gallery functionality combined with my hacky theme: I present, doodle gallery!!

An online comic is something I would love to do, but I would need to develop characters and story and be committed. 😮 Trying to illustrate different expressions is fun. Now accepting ideas. 🙂

Zaurus Sketches

I’m alive, and I thought I’d better make a quick post to prove it. Actually, I think my disease has finally dissipated. I’ve done a few geeky things which I will blog about later, most likely. But for now, here’s the grand total of four sketches I’ve created on my Zaurus with either the default “image memo” (for the birdy) or Petite Peinture (for the others).

All images are half their original size.

I need to get back into drawing more.
(Note: I discovered my tablet actually works in Linux! But I’ll save that for another post… heheh)