My Illustration Tools

I am frequently asked about the tools that I use, so here is a list of all the hardware and software that helps to keep Black Sun up and running.

NOTE:  This page is a work in progress. I will be making more additions in the future.

Illustration Software

DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio is 3D scene creation software. It allows you to create original characters and virtual sets via the use of 3D models. One can even animate and do some basic 3D modeling in it. Best of all it’s free.

Photoshop

I was first introduced to Adobe Photoshop when I made the move to digital photography around 2001. I used it mainly for photo retouching but eventually started creating photorealistic digital art with it. Photoshop in conjunction with DAZ Studio are the ultimate power couple when it comes to digital illustration.

Graphic River

It's all about working smarter, not harder. Graphic River is an excellent resource for the Photoshop Actions that allow me to do just that. I use them to give my DAZ renders the cartoon look that you see in my illustrations. I've listed a few recommendations below.

Use these for a cel-shaded cartoon effect

Use these to enhance the outlines of the subjects in your images.

FilterForge

I do a lot of photo manipulation to the images that I render from DAZ Studio. FilterForge is the Photoshop plug-in that helps create the “comic book look” that appears in my illustrations. It's a bit pricier than the Photoshop actions that I listed earlier, but it's well worth the investment. The results are second to none.

Illustration Hardware

Apple Macbook Air

I do the bulk of my work on this machine. It's fast; it’s lightweight and extremely portable allowing me to work almost anywhere I can take a laptop. My only complaint is that you are not able to upgrade it.

Logitech MX Master Mouse

The dull pain that I had been experiencing in my wrist made me take notice of my poorly designed mouse. It was time to upgrade. Purchasing this mouse was a big shift for me because I had never spent more than $30 on one before. However, after using it for only a day, I instantly noticed a difference. I can’t go back to using a standard mouse ever again.