Let's Look at Expresii | Joseph Francis | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Expresii Simulates Asian Brush Painting

    • 2. Let's Take a Short Tour

    • 3. Painting a Stylized Goldfish

    • 4. You Say You Want High Resolution?

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About This Class


Expresii is an advanced digital painting system that simulates Asian-style brush painting. Although it's digital, it looks very organic. You can get a free 30-day trial license from the company that created it. Let's try it out together!

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Joseph Francis

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I started in New York at what is now called RGA Digital Studios, but was then called R/Greenberg Associates. I've worked at many of the top motion graphics and title design companies including yU+Co and Imaginary Forces, and with top creative directors including Kyle Cooper (Prologue).

Visit my LinkedIn profile here.

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1. Expresii Simulates Asian Brush Painting: There's a pretty cool program called Express E that I felt we could take a look at what it does is simulate Asian brush painting, and it does, I think, a very good job of it. It's very organic looking doesn't look digital. It doesn't look technical. It looks very much like Rial Inc real pigment interacting with water and paper. It's something that Ah, the developer Nelson Shoe has been working on since 1995 and he has been presenting his progress at See graph, which is a big computer graphics conference. And now he has a product that we can all use. It's not very expensive. I think it's about $59 it leverages the power of modern graphics cards. So you want to make sure if you do try it that you check out the trial license, make sure that it runs on your machine. So if you're interested in this, let's take a look and see what express he is all about. 2. Let's Take a Short Tour: Okay, let's take a little tour around, expressing and see what there is to see. They're these faint symbols in the corners and sides of it. This one is open. Save down here is dry and clear. Over here is reset View. If that's if you, you know, move your paper around too much and you want to get it back to a set of normal view. There's undo and redo switch, brush and switch eraser. Um, there's a number of tabs up here, and the 1st 1 is paper material. So you can see that there's this kind of paper or that kind or this rough kind or this other kind or this other kind. There's all and they put some effort into making them pretty realistic. Now I realize that that's probably kind of subtle for you to see something zoom in. There were really close up on one of them. Here's another. Here's another. Here's another and let's see. Also, there are various ways in which the ink interacts with the texture. You content the paper various ways. That's probably more visible, but the same textures is above but different tens, and then the strength of the texture and how it how it tiles and how big it is. Uh, papers, actually pretty well done when it interacts with the Yank in the next tab. Is things having to do with canvas its size, its orientation? Whether or not it's landscape or vertical there some devices that can sense, tilts and express he can work with those. I'm working on a desktop right now. There are layers like photo shop, where you can add layers and have them interact with each other. And there are different ways in which brushstrokes go over each other. Next, we have brush categories. We have fine. All purpose, and large can change the sizes of it. And there are various other things in terms of the way that the tip interacts when you press on it, or whether bends or whether it's plays into fibers. Here's where colors are chosen. Here's where a bunch of other things involving loading and saving images are done. So let's jump in to do something. First of all, expresses extremely high resolution. When I save out the final artwork, it's gonna be something like 12,000 pixels wide. It doesn't have to be. You can save it out smaller. If that's obviously you know, it's very rare that you need a picture that big, but it's nice to know you can create one. So, um, there are these various sort of factory preset color sets. Factory pre factory reset. Right now you can see these color tips. Let's pick one called rubber duck just for fun and let's go back to paper and let's make it whiter so we can see what it is we're doing now. I'm hitting. Be for brush and it's us fine. I'm hitting it again. It says all purpose of having it began. Its is large. And then there the brackets small bracket. The other racket is for large. And so if I press, let's go back to color. If I press, you can see that there is, ah, color, great Asian. And it's the same color gradation that's indicated here in this piece of, uh, in this in this device. This thing here and the same thing deal with these other things there is that you could see that when they interact with each other, they're wet and the way they kind of cross over. So there are these pre. There's an interesting one with sort of purples and magenta as um, this one's called Mineral. This one is ink shade tip. Now you're not stuck with these. You can make you make up your own. So let's go over here and clear over here the little symbol or its is clear poop. And, um, that's the sound effect I added. Um and, um so let's make up our own. So let's pick a color and will go Oh, I don't know. Yellow is a pretty common thing to Dio. This is sort of a yellow orange red technique that's often done, So we'll go with we'll go with a warm yellow Now I'm gonna press down here and you can see where it's kind of like building its way up into the it made it all the way across there pretty much all the way across. Now I'm gonna go to one orange color and I'm gonna press a little bit and I'm gonna stop so you see, made it about 1/3 of the way across and I'm gonna get red and I'm just gonna touch it Now there's a little touch of red there, so that is B for brush. There's an indication off that's sort of color gradation. There I go back here and you can change the way here. Let me add some green to it. Gonna go really large. So it's a yellow, A little bit of green. Here we go. That looks like something you would wanna like. Ice like a flavored ice. Almost. Um, so now let's see if I say w for water. W W goes all the way up to 12. So if I do that, you can see the way that there's kind of, ah, a witness to it the way that it could have flows. If I go to the symbol next to W. The letter next W was just Q. I can bring it back down again to all the way to dry. So there is that's about as dry as it gets. That's one. So if you want that kind of look, it's available, and then 234 three to and then let's go with some other colors. So let's see. Take that across there. You can see the way this red kind of raked across the greens, and, you know the reds interact with the greens and they got quite dark. That's because this deposition is sort of set in the middle. If I said it all the way to one side, then this will go over the red. If I said it all the way to the other side, it will interact with the with the underlying color. And if I go almost all the way that I can kind of have, you know, the best of both worlds, in a way sort of combining the two so severe some there's some flexibility in terms of how that behaves. Let's see, you can also hit thes like paper towel to dry or the wet area here toe wet. It's the same is hitting w or Q, and that's about it as far as, really just sort of a tour of the of the system. It's very easy to figure out. The difficult thing is not so much figuring out your way around it. It's a little bit harder to just control. Like, for example, let's say I want a thin brush that gets thick and then thin again. You know, I'm not really crazy with the way that it sort of was fat and that dropped down to that thickness and drop down to that one. So it's not. I don't know if this is a question where where I need to kind of play with the curves in the wake home driver or whether it's just the way it's gonna be with expressing. But it's a little bit. Part of the difficulty of it, I find, is getting that toe work exactly the way you want it to work in terms of controlling that sort of thing. Ah, let's see. Was there one more thing I wanted to show? Oh, yeah. Um, sometimes people find it annoying, too. Have this this thing that shows you the brush visible. So if you go here and you go over to this area here, you can see that if I do that all the way to the right, there's the brush and there's a handle. If I go all the way to the left, there is no visible sign of it until you actually touch the canvas. And that could be useful for certain things to, especially if you're you want to make some animation of, ah, characters being drawn and you want to do a screen capture off what it is that you're doing . You don't want to see the brush. You just want to sort of see these lines kind of draw and fade away, interact with each other. Um, let me try that out a bit down to four and then down to oh, and then if I turn the pan around, there's in a race there in the eraser follows the same rules as the brush, so let's see what we can do with it. 3. Painting a Stylized Goldfish: so there are a number of different ways you can work with expressing. One thing you could do is make drawings on paper, scan them in and then color them in this application. Another thing you can do is just work directly here. I'm gonna try that, and I'm gonna try to make on Asian a painting of a goldfish, and it's not really something that I do. So I did a little research and looked around on YouTube and saw how other people did it and some kind of copying something that I saw there in terms of which particular strokes are being used and then kind of how they're being done. But I'm gonna try to do interpret it for for expressing. So let's see. The first thing we want is we want some Black Inc and let's see, on its very good that you have the undue, um, functionality because it comes in handy. Um, because if expressing is very so you know, as the word that they use is serendipitous. So there's a little bit of surprise in terms of what exactly does. And if you don't like you can just control Z and try it again. So I'm gonna try to make smaller brackets smaller brush be all purpose. Be large, be fine. Maybe I'll try Fine, but a little bit larger. So let's see. Press down a bit, stroke it out like that. Press down a bit, stroke it out like that. I don't like the fact that they're touching. Press down a bit. Try it again. Okay, Was with lips. Now I'll try and I and I'm turning my way. Come pan around walking pen around and you have the ability to erase when you do that. So and the eraser has the same brush quality that the pen has or that the brush as so it has this kind of story Streaky quality. If you're working dry or it'll work wet, it'll do that kind of wet edge as well. Let's see, we go to color and I want a yellow a warm yellow. I'm gonna press down and hold. Actually, I'm gonna want a larger brush for this. So let's see. Be for the old purpose will try that one. And let's see. That looks pretty good. And so now go back to color. I have a yellow and I want to get some orange, and I'm gonna press on that a bit and give it about a third orange. You could see that it's about 1/3 orange and 2/3 yellow there now, going to get some red. And I'm just gonna touch it with red. That might be more red than I wanted. Um, you go back to orange. Okay, that's orange. There's red touch of red. Okay, that looks pretty good. Now, if I use this side of the brush, you can see that I'm getting the great Asian that I built into the tip. This is a technique that's used in Asian brush painting. So let's see. Come up here like this and let's try that. And we'll go like this, pulling down, holding down the space bar and moving it with a hand. Now, let's see. It's a kind of these not crazy. What? How Those don't end in points. Let's try that again and ease off on pressure. Ease off on pressure. I'll let that little skip stay there. Now. I want a bigger brush still, so let's say B for brush. Let's go to a large. That looks pretty good. So I'm going to shrink the give myself a little bit more room here. Now here we g o Let's try that one again. And maybe I'll call that my my goldfish. So what's nice about it is you can go in and you can really see a lot of texture. And, you know, I could try. You mean Well, let me let me try a little bit more with some water sort of scion watercolor, and we'll take it. Rule early, De saturated a lot and will go up with water too. Did see w for water. Up, up, up, up, up And where it goes all the way up to 12. So and see where the water is high does that. I want faded water more and opposite of W is the cue next to it. So that dries it up a bit. We'll try some sort of, I don't know, seaweed. See coming off of this like that. Something like that. Okay, I'm gonna call it. I'm gonna call it a finished drawing 4. You Say You Want High Resolution?: One thing I just wanted to show you is I put the painting out into photo shop and you actually have the option of putting it out with the paper texture or not. And I chose just for this example to put it out without the paper texture, just to see how that would go. What's interesting is that you could then use it for other kinds of artwork and, you know, after facts or photoshopped to other kinds of things with it. And it wouldn't be necessarily if he chose it Not to be. It wouldn't be married to the paper texture, so that could actually be handy for certain kinds of artwork. But what's amazing about it is image size. This piece of artwork is 12,000 pixels by 8000 pixels, so that's the maximum size that it put out from from what I was doing. And you can put it out at smaller sizes, obviously, but it's amazing how much resolution it generates