The first book I illustrated is now a Kickstarter.

Wight - Crypt of the Vampire Gamebooks - Leo Hartas

The Wight

This was one of the first commercial illustrations I did back in 1983 for the book Crypt of the Vampire by Dave Morris. It was for a series of choose your own adventure game books that were very popular back in the day. I’ve coloured the version you see here for the new Kickstarter campaign run by Mergara Entertainment who are looking to re-issue this classic as a full colour deluxe collectors edition. If the project hits it’s target I’ll get to colour up all of my original drawings and paint a brand new cover.

If you love classic game books and/or my work please consider backing it.

Crypt of the Vampire Kickstarter

Windows 8 Wacom tablet press and hold FIX

Worth a try possible easy fix for the Windows 8 Wacom tablet Windows Ink ring around stylus point and drag problem.

Tedious story follows, if you want the fix quick skip the next couple of paragraphs.

I’m writing this as a reminder to myself. I just spent a frustrating day hard up against a deadline, struggling with a sudden loss of pen pressure sensitivity on my Wacom tablet. It brought home to me how much I rely on computer technology to do my work. I’d love to return totally to brushes and paint but these days it’s just isn’t practical. Normally my Wacom cintiqu WX13 performs perfectly but for reasons I won’t go into now I had to uninstall and reinstall it. There has been a longstanding problem revolving around a conflict between Windows 7 and 8 ink pen feature and using the Wacom stylus to paint and draw. The problem is that Windows by default installs this annoying feature that causes a ring to appear round the stylus or a dipping effect as though you are breaking the surface of water, and a dragging or delay when you attempt to draw a stroke. It is fantastically irritating and at it’s worst can seriously impact on the speed of drawing, productivity and ultimately income.

Anyway, I’d forgotten about this hassle which I’d solved a while ago until today when it reared it’s foul suppurating pustule infested bonce again after I’d reinstalled the Wacom. No worries, I thought, as Wacom, had finally released a driver fix with a neat little check box that turned off the dreaded effect. However, for some reason this time it also turned off the pressure sensitiveness of my pen. Argg! After several restarts and re-installs attempting to solve it I was on the verge of admitting failure to complete my deadline, with all the resulting loss of work and income. A hunt around the web revealed various solutions most which I didn’t like the sound of such as rootling around in the registry or installing some suspect homebrew .exe file made 5 years ago. After a while it dawned on me that you had to be able to turn it off in Windows and I found it all where one would expect in the Pen and Touch settings. With these features unchecked my tablet worked again as it should though I cannot say that it will work for you, but it’s certainly worth a try. If I were to have a little rant, which I won’t, but if I did I would say, “Wacom and Microsoft can you get your heads together to *&^$£*^! sort this thing out once and for all! Particularly Microsoft for adding completely *&^$£*^! useless features instead of concentrating wholly on reliability!” (Having said that Windows 7 onwards has been remarkably reliable and I virtually never have the grey hair inducing days lost to frustrating technical problems I remember with previous Windows.) On to the fix… (Usual disclaimers that it may not be a fix for your set up.. but it’s worth a try and easy to put back if it doesn’t work.)

Windows 8 Wacom tablet pen press and hold, ring around stylus, Windows Ink, problem FIX.

Wacom Tablet properties Use Windows Ink

Wacom Tablet Properties Use Windows Ink

If you haven’t already try unchecking the Use Windows Ink box in the Wacom Tablet Properties window. This should work. If it does but causes other effects such as loss of pressure sensitiveness, which is what happened to me, leave it ON and try the following.

Windows 8 settings control panel.

Windows 8 settings control panel.

Open your Windows Settings Control Panel and click on Hardware and Sound.

Windows 8 Control Panel Hardware and Sound.

Windows 8 Control Panel Hardware and Sound.

Open Pen and Touch (Obvious really!)

Windows 8 Control Panel pen and Touch options.

Windows 8 Control Panel pen and Touch options.

Uncheck the “Use the pen as a right-click equivalent2. I unchecked the “Use the top of the pen to erase ink” too because I never use the eraser on the Wacom pen anyway.

Windows 8 Pen and Touch options. Press and hold settings.

Windows 8 Pen and Touch options. Press and hold settings.

Click Press and Hold in the pen actions list and then settings.

Windows 8 Pen and Touch. Press and hold settings.

Windows 8 Pen and Touch. Press and hold settings.

Uncheck Enable press and hold for right-clicking. That should stop those annoying rings and drag.

Windows 8 Pen and Touch. Flicks settings.

Windows 8 Pen and Touch. Flicks settings.

Go to the Flicks tab in the Pen and Touch dialogue and uncheck Use flicks to perform common actions quickly and easily. Unless you have a big quiff which you want to flick now and again for effect.

I hope it works. 🙂

Storyboards 4 – Skeletons at the seaside

Leo Hartas - Skellies Seaside - Storyboard

More skeleton adventures following the same undead family from my last post as they take a trip to the fun fair and seaside. These storyboards were designed for eventual 3D computer animation which still requires as much pre-planning as traditional animation.

For anyone looking for storyboards for movies, advertising or game design please contact me for a chat about your requirements.


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Storyboards 3 – Skeletons visit the museum

Leo Hartas - Skellies Museum - Storyboard

This was a storyboard I was commissioned to do for a speculative presentation by a client. I like the idea of the skeleton family wearing x-ray specs to feel more comfortable looking at the living people around them. It’s nice to see that general society is completely accepting of the undead living, or rather not living, as neighbours.

Storyboards 2 – Fruity drinks

Leo Hartas -Storyboard - CuteFrutz

Here is another storyboard following on from my last post. Of course these fruity drinks are all natural and totally safe and not obesity causing. I just noticed that I didn’t put any camera moves in, but looking at the story I’m guessing that most shots are pretty static. More storyboards to follow.