Art Programs- user reviews and preferences

Discussion in 'Artists' started by Steve B, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Art_N00b

    Art_N00b Scribbler - Standard Member

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  2. cspaint

    cspaint Pen Pal - Newbie

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    PaintTool SAI 2 — 2018 updates available
     
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  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Download the beta here.

    Koji Komatsu's SAI2 is going to be a beautiful program. The brush engine is smooth and flawless. I'd rather be drawing in SAI2 than any other program right now.

    When he gets it working with touch input, (panning, pinch zoom and other basics), I'm jumping ship whether it's out of beta or not. I am SO done with pen driver bugs in CSP. There's really no excuse. It's obviously not a Windows Ink or Microsoft update issue. Not if Koji Komatsu can get it working perfectly all by himself using the same drivers -and all in under 3 Mb.

    I want SAI2, like, yesterday!

    And when it comes out, buy a copy! If the last version is any indicator, he's probably going to under-charge, and given that he's apparently the only programmer on the planet who is both capable enough and cares enough to make drawing software which allows you to draw a line perfectly, regardless of zoom level and speed.., he's worth rewarding.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  4. Art_N00b

    Art_N00b Scribbler - Standard Member

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    So on a Zbook would the lack of touch not matter? I mean you could use the quick keys for pan, zoom and rotate...
     
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  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Huh. Now that you mention it...

    My desktop Cintiq doesn't have touch, so it might be good to run it there.

    Except.., my desktop/Cintiq is powered by Windows 7, where the stylus drivers work perfectly, CSP is dreamy and my old version of Photoshop is a rock solid performer which doesn't freeze up while using the selection tool. As nice as SAI2 is looking, it's still a beta, and I'm not going to mess around trying to fix what ain't broke. -Plus, my desktop is an older system, running on 8 Gb ram and an old Core i5; SAI2 has no grey scale/black & white mode, so files are by default a lot bigger and less wieldy.

    My Samsung portable (with it's 16 Gb and Core i7) is where I want to be running SAI2. -Exactly because SAI2 brings up the stylus performance to the same level as I've come to expect from my Win7 desktop.

    Windows 10 has had a lot of trouble getting pen displays to work properly! SAI2 is the first program I've run in Win10 which draws a perfect line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Just look at some of the changes he lists for this latest iteration of beta SAI2...

    Koji is a clearly programmer who is in love with fine-tuning the digital pen experience. It's that level of nit-picky affection for the medium which is why SAI has been, since the beginning, the best representative of just how good and natural drawing on a computer can feel. Koji is a haptics connoisseur.

    ClipStudio Paint, when it first rocked the scene, it was a total bombshell of awesome, but even then, its brush engine came in (at a very close) second behind SAI in terms of feel and responsiveness. It was so close, and CSP was so powerful, that I and everybody else with a stake in the digital manga/comics game were perfectly happy to stop worrying about SAI's stunted development (the last major release of SAI listed itself as being compatible with Win98, but recommends WinXP) and jump aboard the CSP bandwagon -and the new century.

    However, with the introduction of Windows 10 and new stylus tech, Celsys (CSP's production company) has had trouble keeping their brush engine up to par. It must be pretty difficult especially because any changes they make have to work perfectly across their entire feature suite. CSP is a big and complicated software package with many key programmers involved in its development.

    By contrast, a single man operation like SAI, (especially one which hasn't shipped a product in, like, a decade and where there's no weight of customer demand or probably, money flow; I'm sure Koji is holding down a real job somewhere else), means he can fine-tune to his heart's content and nobody can tell him "No" or breathe down his neck.

    I just hope his heart will be content to add a couple of simple touch features in the near future! (And the ability to arbitrarily program the barrel button on my pen; right now he has it set to activate the eyedropper with no way to change it. I'd like to use the button to re-size the brush).
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  7. cspaint

    cspaint Pen Pal - Newbie

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    A $1000 program for me.
     
  8. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey @stoneseeker and @thatcomicsguy, sorry to join the conversation so late (responding in this thread to be topic-relevant) but I was wondering what your thoughts on Affinity Photo as a suitable alternative to PS?

    Like you guys, I've been a photoshop junkie ever since the days of CS2, but I've found AF can replicate about 90% of PS functionality and is capable of production workflows (with some fiddling).

    For example, it can import PS brushes and the overall brush engine is about as smooth (from my limited testing). It can also read/write PSDs while preserving all text and layer effects, which is a far cry better than most programs' compatibility.

    AF can also perform the much-vaunted "poly-lasso" select switching on the fly, which is again a rather unique feature for a PS alternative.

    Overall, the only downside is the program some program performance/stability issues, which are slowly getting ironed out by quite active devs. Overall for $70 CAD, it say it far more palatable than Adobe enforced subscriptions and Cloud bloat.
     
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  9. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    I tried importing some Photoshop brushes I had in there: they became a mess, completely different from the corresponding Photoshop brushes I used to use.
     
  10. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    That price is compelling!!
    I've seen how Affinity Photo is a fantastic substitute for photo editing and has some more intuitive features with simpler UI.

    I haven't tried it simply because I can't afford to try switching software mid-job, especially becuase guaranteed there would be bugs to work out if I just tried to pretend it was photoshop (in terms of file compatibility and pipeline)

    My biggest doubt is handling large complex PSD's. If everyone I work with on my team paints in photoshop, and hands me massive PSD's with thousands of layers and modes, groups and quick masks etc. would Affinity Photo open it, view it and export it flawlessly?

    My other concern would be how nicely it would play with After Effects. If I can't use it in tandem with Adobe's other software then its dead in the water. There are so many synergies between the Adobe software that it would be doubtful that Affinity Photo would be able to emulate that. But of course I havent taken the time to find out, as that would be quite a bit of testing.

    Also, does it take brush tool presets and translate them correctly? You said it was able to use photosho .ABR files for custom brushes, but the best brushes and more complex brushes are tool presets, often using a combination of brush settings, blending mode and sometimes the newer blending brush engine. Is it possible that Affinity Photo uses all those? Of course if one were to embrace a new application, it would be just a matter of time before new brushes bult from the ground up for it would come, but at the moment there is just such a plethora of amazing brushes for every occasion in Photoshop. Honestly though, that would be the least of my worries, since I use mostly a custom basic brush and chalk brush for 90% of my work anyway.

    If somehow none of that were an issue, and the program is indistinguishable from Photoshop in all my workflow scenarios then sure, it could be used as a substitute. But that also means re-learning the new UI, accustoming myself to a new brush engine feel/response (maybe not an issue?). Possible in all accounts, but very doubtful?
     
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