Car sketching thread? Car sketching thread.

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Shogmaster, May 31, 2013.

  1. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I would like to hear more on this, I'll admit.

    For MS5-
    On my ancient le1600, MS5 runs fine. Basically just as fast and zippy as Sai, which is really fast on this. . 3600 x 2400, zoom and pan, move layers around, apply transformations, etc with ease. I could easily double that and still work, but would need to keep my layers down more. Memory footprint is similar to yours for the same sized canvas, though I'm not a layer hog- usually 5-10 max. When sketching and inking at that scale, I tend to use smaller brushes- 25-50. They work fine and are as smooth as h*ll. Painterly brushes I run at 100-200, and they do fine, though with a bit of lag....Textures on the brushes themselves slow things down a lot, though that not much of a surprise there. Of course, a flat 800 pixel brush has lag, but it has lag on my x200t as well. Also, scale matters when discussing lag- for something like 12 x 8 at 300 dpi, I'm usually working with the canvas being about the same size as or larger than the whole screen, something approximately 1:1 in terms of the physical size of my screen to printed size of the image. If I zoom out, lag is, of course, far worse-- we have more pixels to traverse in a physically very small space.


    For CS6-


    I can't get this to run on my ol' le1600. It was a complete bust. Incredibly laggy. Of course, it's a single core pentium m and has only 2 gb ram. Still, I've tried CS2 too, but honestly, it's not really much better. I'm not sure what the story is, but PS has not played nicely with me. Brushes are slow, lag is laaaaaagy.

    On my x200t it's better, I have a SSD, 8 gb ram, it's faster, etc. bur the truth is complex brushes at that 500+ size are a real no go. Very slow unless they're totally flat. The airbrushes, different new brushes with heads, etc. that stuff is pretty slow on my x200t, even if I keep em down to 100-200. The truth is that when painting I find it no faster really than something like Artrage or Painter, both of which are slow IMO, if the final effects are nice. Of course, filters and whatnot, moving layers, transformations, etc. are incredibly fast on PS. That stuff works like a dream. But for painting, no.

    I wonder why it works so well on your and not on mine??? Truth be told, I know that thatcomicsguy uses CS2 (I believe) on his old single core M4, and he doesn't have complaints. I know he paints at a high dpi, but I'm not sure how big his brushes are though. Perhaps he can chime in???
     
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  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chiming:

    The Tecra M4 has a Pentium M, (apparently the first of Intel's 65 nm process chips. We're at what? 14 nm now? I'm seriously running a dinosaur!). It runs at 1.78Gh on one machine and 2Gh on the other. (There's no discernible difference between them).

    I use Photoshop CS4 with no troubles speed-wise, but all PS versions after that are a no-go.

    My brush sizes range from 10 to 200 pixels depending on what I'm doing.

    It did take some tweaking to get everything just so, and I spent a lot of time a couple of years back exploring memory management techniques to squeeze every last drop of speed efficiency out of my system, including figuring out what layers were best to draw on. Though. . , I don't why, but for some reason my system has sped up. -I used to only be able to pencil and ink on Photoshop's bottom layer without stutters. Now I can draw on any layer at any speed without problems. This is great and I'm not complaining, but. . , huh?

    Maybe it has to do with my having installed an SSD, or perhaps one of Microsoft's WinXP updates did something. Who the heck knows? But for whatever reason, CS4 is now flawless performance-wise on my old hardware. (Though, feature-wise, it is lacking. I can't rotate the canvas, for instance, and it has no brush stabilization features.)

    CSP/MangaStudio 5 is basically just a very young program in need of a few more years of dedicated refinement, imho. I really can't seem to get comfortable using it. It has great features, but everything just feels awkward compared to Photoshop's smoothed out everything. MS5's performance speed is okay; no stutters on my machine when drawing, -though opening files and doing basic selection transformations and other things that you would think should be no-brainer tasks at this point in computer history, have significant delays which make me grind my teeth.

    Seriously! -I select a part of a drawing and try to drag it across the screen, and MS5 has to take a half second to consider this. Really? -And it's save times and file-format options just. . , well, they're utterly lousy compared to PS. MS5 feels like working with a plastic toy rather than a properly machined tool.

    I just can't get into it. (Which makes me think that unless PS is working perfectly on those new upcoming Sony Flip machines, then N-Trig 2 ain't going to cut it. But that's a subject for another thread.)

    Paint Tool Sai is one of the best crafted programs I've ever used in terms of speed efficiency. It's just beautiful. Though, its memory hunger is terrifying! I remember reading in an FAQ by the programmer/s saying that SAI's incredible speed is *due* to using full 32 Bits all the time and making no compromises and that this was a deliberate choice. You cannot work in B&W. It's just not an option. I find that interesting, but the downside is that the Tecra's 2Gb max is simply not enough.

    I can't do a comic page all in one go, for instance, in Sai. -I literally need to work on a third of a page at a time and then cobble them back together in Photoshop. That's just a stupid headache. Photoshop simply doesn't have any issues in this regard; Adobe has put some serious work into maximizing memory efficiency to the point where you barely think about how great it is until you work with lesser systems. -I mean, I can have a half dozen full-sized, multi-layered pages on the go in PS with no difficulty at all, whereas SAI craps out on one. -MS5 I've never tried keeping more than one page in memory at a time because I find the program just pisses me off so much after an hour of use that I ditch it and get back to my "real" software.

    MangaLabo, (which nobody but me will ever use, so I don't know why I bother even talking about it), is also really good at memory management, with four "New Layer" buttons right on the layer pallet offering vector, single, 8 and 32 bit options with no need to pull down menus and screw around with conversions. Everything is SO streamlined. I can do things in a single mouse click which take MS5 several. But MangaLabo's render engine (courtesy of PortalGraphics) just isn't all that speedy for drawing. For my "ink" work, it's perfect, because I'm tight in where its speed works well. But pulling out to draw on a whole large canvas causes it to drag horribly, making it useless for pencils. But sticking with inks is fine, and with good brush stabilization and canvas rotation features, it's basically the perfect inking tool for me.

    I can also keep both it and Photoshop open at the same time and cut & paste files back and forth between them with ease.

    I can't have MS5 and PS open at the same time without running into troubles on my machine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  3. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wow, I thought I was the only one still using ancient hardware! Hive-five for 'dinosaur' tablet users! :thumbsup:

    My Protege M200 has likewise been a very solid performer. Digitizer is still accurate and responsive and (with a lot a tweaking) you can even get a very functional set of drivers for Windows 7.

    My experiences with Photoshop pretty much exactly mirror yours. CS4 is the sweet spot for single core processors. Then comes CS2 for memory constrained systems.

    However, I noticed you lamented the lack brush stabilization. Well sir, I just might have a solution for you :) Have you heard of a little program called LazyNezumi? Basically it is a very useful software brush stabilizer, that completely configuration and usable on any drawing program. The developer has discontinued the free version, but made a pro version with more features. (If you want the free version just pm me, or you can try out the pro version.)

    It really is amazing how long a solid machine will last you eh? I mean, I know this will sound crazy, but I actually chose my EP121 over the Surface Pro which I gave away. I've spent hours pouring over every possible replacement, but none of the new contenders is seriously making me want to switch! They all have just one-flaw.

    Like the SP2's drawing area is just a little narrow/small. The Sony's all have inconsistently performing N-Trigs. The Companion seems just a little underpowered (for the price). It's very odd, but for some reason, the EP121 (with a few key upgrades) just has a very well-tuned balance of hardware that just makes it a pleasure to use—I tell you, it's both frustrating and comforting at the same time! :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Yo. I'd like to move this thread to the Artist's forum. Anyone got issue with that? I'm trying to collate similar subject matter there. This thread is just such a thing, but it predates the forum's creation. If you've got issue with my moving it, please let me know. Otherwise, I'll shift it over early next week.
     
  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    That would be great. It may be helpful to move the last few posts with their helpful info/experiences with differing programs into a new thread too if it's not too much work... perhaps call it: What Art software runs the smoothest on limited hardware? or something.. I sorta derailed the car sketching thread from being about sketching cars.
     
  6. tijo

    tijo Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That is actually pretty easy to do.
     
  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Actually, I don't think that segregating the arts, trades and sciences from each other is necessarily a good idea, (sorry). There are a lot of posts I've benefited from up to this point which were written by people who aren't artists.

    Putting them down three click layers means that what is left over on the front page is news stories and discussion for people primarily interested in media *consumption*.

    If that's the intended goal of this site, then that makes perfect sense, but up until now I was under the impression that the basic assumption of stylus-enabled hardware was that it was geared towards media *creation*, which automatically implies professional/academic/creative usage.
     
  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thanks for the link!

    What an interesting piece of software! It definitely affects the stylus input in PS, though I couldn't get it working nearly as well as the brush stabilizers in Sai, MS5 or Labo. I wonder if Adobe has put any energy into trying to sort that at all? They *must* know about it as a feature, one would think. I've not tried the most recent PS, so maybe it's included now. It seems like one of those 20:20 hindsight features; so obvious and common sense, but only after somebody has already invented it.

    Also, I know what you mean about old hardware!

    I was just hanging out with a math professor friend last night, and she had an IBM Thinkpad x61. I'd never seen one in person before. What a beautiful machine! (Though man, that old 1024 x 768 screen res seems so small these days!)

    She used it to explain the P != NP problem to me, which I've been trying to wrap my math-dumb art head around for the last few days. Finally got it sorted!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  9. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    No problem! Yeah, effect is subtle and takes a bit of getting used to, but what I really like is how much precision you can get for drawing/tracing delicate curves. If you use MS5 or Illustrator, this means that your vector freehand curves approach the accuracy on the pen tool!
     
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  10. ali1362

    ali1362 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello every one. I am new to this forum and was hoping to get some advice or suggestions for getting a tablet/laptop for sketching. I am a designer, and I use a Wacom Intous 4 to sketch cars and products in Photoshop. I am looking for a tablet or a preferably a tablet pc so I can have full Photoshop on it. My budget is between 600$ to 850$ but obliviously want to spend less. Any suggestion would be appreciated. And also between the i3 or i5 processors and atom processor which would be more suitable for Photoshop sketching and some renderings? I hope I am posting this in the right place.
     
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