Monthly Archives: October 2009

Illuminating York Festival – Press night

Last night was Press night. We arrived early to get everything set up and ready for the arrival of the official photographers.An outdoor broadcast unit from BBC Look North parked up alongside our tent and by the time it was dark they were joined by several other groups of photographers, cameramen and interviewers all wanting to film, take photos and find out about the Tagtool. This photo shows Jörg Steffke who is documenting the whole of the Wall of Light projections for O.M.A. International.Everyone was captivated by Luca’s beautiful (and apparently effortless) calligraphy!The photo above shows the introductory drawing for the festival press night that he created with Maki and Iink. At times there were so many people gathered round them that they could hardly see the Multangular Tower and what they were drawing.

Once the press people had gone we did some more drawing together, just for fun and some of the people who had come to find out what was happening also ‘had a go’.

I think that the expressions on the faces of these three lads conveys much better than words what fun it is to draw with the Tagtool!

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Illuminating York Festival

We arrived in York yesterday afternoon and were met at the station by Ben from GaiaNova (the London based events company who are providing the outdoor projection equipment for the Wall of Light performances ) and Josef from O.M.A. International (the Austrian developers of the Tagtool). We went straight to the Museum Gardens where the projector tower, looking like a very impressive oversized black bird hide, and a nice awning to protect us, the Tagtools and the rest of the equipment from the weather, were already in position. By the time it was dark all the equipment was connected up and we were ready to test it out.

Wow!! The super bright projector picked out every detail of the beautiful Roman brickwork of the Multangular Tower, making it an ideal canvas for Tagtooling. I began to draw with Maki.
This was our first equipment test – the colours were so bright and the scale of the projection so large! It was really exciting and, despite the rain, I felt I could go on drawing all night! We did another drawing together and everyone took lots of photos.
Then Luca Barcellona arrived and I handed my pen to him. (It is Luca’s beautiful calligraphy in the photo at the head of this post.)

There will be another opportunity to test the equipment this evening and I will try to do a posting every day during the festival. I will also make a big online photo album to document this event as well.

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Our New Tagtool

This is a photo of our new Tagtool-in-a-box. It is a family effort – Dima made the Tagtool and I designed and made the box!
This shows the box packed up and ready to put the lid on, with the gamepad, plugs and all the cables needed to connect it to the projector inside. The Tagtool section has slots on either side so that it can be positioned for right or left handed use and the drawing surface can also be lifted out and angled for drawing.

Now that I usually use my new Wacom drawing tablet and wide-screen laptop with my Tagtool Mini, Dima’s original idea was to use my old Intuos and laptop to make a D.I.Y.Cintiq which he would then build into a Tagtool all in one so that we could use the two together in some collaborative drawing sessions. Although I was really interested in the idea of having a D.I.Y. Cintiq to play with I was less happy about having it embedded in a Tagtool all in one (Dima is right handed but I draw with my left hand so would have to draw with my arms crossed if I wanted to use it!).

The initial stages of the ‘build’ could more accurately be described as ‘destruction’. First Dima took to pieces (literally) the laptop, then it was the turn of my old Wacom to have all its innards removed. As I have no technical know-how this looked all very alarming and I couldn’t imagine how the bits and pieces could possibly be put together again, let alone work! I took lots of photos of the various stages and have put them in an album so that anyone who is interested can view the whole process step by step.
Dima made a test of Tagtool drawing through the laptop screen by laying it over our new Intuos and as the picture below shows, this worked fine.
However, when he put the screen over the ‘sandwich’ of the innards of the old Wacom and laptop, some parts of the drawing area didn’t work so well. Rather than take everything to pieces again Dima decided to abandon the D.I.Y.Cintiq idea for this build. As by this time he had cut up the outside of the Wacom to make the box for the Tagtool, he put a piece of thin perspex over the drawing area of the Wacom instead. (This has been a great success, as the perspex gives a much enhanced sensitivity to the pressure of the pen – which I find really useful for drawing.)
I was absolutely delighted when the old Wacom, laptop, Tagtool and gamepad worked first time when Dima finally put them together. All that unscrewing and undoing of wires, pulling things apart, sawing bits off, repositioning and joining up had been a success!

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