Dealz on different Art Software Options

Discussion in 'Artists' started by ron2k_1, May 17, 2013.

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  1. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    Anybody knows any deal on Art software options.

    I'm not familiar with anything other than SketchBook Pro. It is pretty much what I can afford. However, I'm sick and tired (you have no idea; really frustrated) that the following does not work on my S7S Win8:
    1. Pinch to Zoom
    2. Two-finger hold to pan
    3. Two-finger hold to rotate

    I bought for $21 from Amazon, from this seller selling digital download + emailed serial (so far so good):
    Amazon.com: SketchBook Pro 6 : Software

    How do you guys manage not having zoom, pan and rotate in SBP 6 on Win8?

    What else is good out there that does not cost more than 100 bucks? I heard good things about Manga and Art Rage, but I don't know anything about them.
     
  2. Jamie-B

    Jamie-B Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Clip Studio Paint (the new name for Manga Studio, as I understand..?) is lovely, so lovely. It costs 5000 yen ($48). You can set in the preferences for it to use either WinTab or the TabletPC service to read your pen location and output, and in the default WinTab mode, it supports pinch-to-zoom and two-finger pan (neither work in TabletPC mode).

    Reasons I like it:
    - Has the most powerful bucket tool of any program I've ever seen (it can reference multiple chosen layers while filling only a select one). It can also close gaps in raster lineart!
    - The brush engine is gorgeous for lineart. It draws as fast as lightning, with brilliant interpretation and smoothness, and the brushes have incredible features (some of them really have to be witnessed to be believed). I don't think it is as powerful as Artrage or SAI for pushing colours around, but it's brilliant for filling in base colours.
    - It has hatch fills, gaussian blur, masks with alpha, can export to PSD and has most of the layer blending modes of Photoshop.
    - It has a limited yet impressive 3D engine tucked away inside it!! It was a real shock for me to realise.
    - It's so fast and light!

    If you can figure out how to download it (I used the Japanese site), definitely try the demo and fall in love with it. Note: if the pen calibration is crazy-wrong, rotate your tablet 90 degrees and back again, it will update the orientation.
     
  3. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    Just from your explanation that really sounds good!

    I'll sure try it. For 48 bucks; I've had way worst investments (I've purchased iphones before. ..).

    I'll Also try Sai or artrage. Out of both which do you recommend for the casual doodler? Take into consideration that I really like SBP - the brushes, the tools, smoothness, intuitiveness, low weight on system...

    I have a lil experience in PS as well, but I'm trying to go all legit and I'm tired of pirating (if you know what I mean)...

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    GIMP version 2.8 is a pretty good Free, Multi-platform Open Source option to use as an alternative to PSP. There is no liquify tool but they have added a new cage tool feature which allows some selected area tweaks, plus the brushes have under gone some serious work in this release. It's more tablet friendly than previous versions and now has a new full screen view mode. It plays nice with the Wacom driver plus you can tweak multiple points in the pressure curve within the GIMP preferences. Release Notes - Download Here you may also be interested in installing this plugin pack which enhances the functionality with a number of filters and animation tools etc. Get it here Extension Pack 2.8.

    MyPaint is also worth checking out for a more dedicated art orientated experience.

    Microsoft's Journal can also be used for some quick doodles.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Clip Studio Paint is the original from which Manga Studio 5 was re-packaged. (They translated all that fun Kanji/Katakana, but otherwise, it's identical).

    I'd recommend going with the Manga Studio 5 version, even though it costs about $30 more, simply because of the headaches involved with the unofficial fan translation of CSP, and because the ordering system is *extremely* difficult to navigate if you don't read Japanese.

    Paint Tool Sai doesn't have a finger touch interface, but it's a fine and very reliable piece of software. It's great for sketching in, but its selection tools, as with ALL Japanese art packages for some reason, including CSP/MS5 just mentioned, are missing certain basic functions common in western art software like Photoshop. But if selection tools aren't that critical to you, then Sai is amazing. It's cheap too, at 5250 Yen and a LOT easier to order than CSP! Also, it was most recently updated last December, so even though it's an older piece of software, it's up to date and rock solid.

    Personally, I prefer Sai to CSP. CSP is a much more powerful program, but it's very young and as such, it isn't tweaked to perfection. I find the GUI gets in the way of the work; many functions take a lot more mouse clicks between inspiration and execution than they do in Sai or Photoshop. Also, it's font options are quite limited. The whole package needs refining, and I am personally looking forward to what Celsys does with it in future updates.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  6. klachowski

    klachowski Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Adobe is being very trusting with their CS2 Suite: Adobe - CS2 Downloads

    Keeping in mind Adobe's explaination/terms of use:
    "Adobe has disabled the activation server for CS2 products, including Acrobat 7, because of a technical issue. These products were released more than seven years ago, do not run on many modern operating systems, and are no longer supported.

    Adobe strongly advises against running unsupported and outdated software. The serial numbers below should only be used by customers who legitimately purchased CS2 or Acrobat 7 and need to maintain their current use of these products."
     
  7. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    Nice!

    Thanks everybody for tips. It's nice to know what everybody else is using and their opinion on their preferred software.

    I almost jumped the gun last night on Artrage, but I don't see anybody mentioning it so I guess Manga it is then.

    I think the best advice I can give myself is not to use many art applications. On my note 2 and note 10.1 I strictly limit myself to Sketchbook, although I pretty much own every self respecting art app there is. I see many of you with the whole lot and use a lot of them on all your art pieces at one stage or another. But I think I'll just concentrate on one. I just really thought artrage was better sketching painting app than manga. Sketchbook would be enough if it was more touch friendly ;)

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. Rousing_Dipthorne

    Rousing_Dipthorne Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I would argue that the selection tools for Sai are one of the most powerful of all art programs. It has controls that are not only matched by color but also by relative opacity for their magic wand (as well as flood fill) tools that can be bound to the current layer, current selection, or the entire image with optional anti aliasing, just like the best of them. It also has the standard lasso and brush-base selector (Selbrush) so other than polygonal and magnetic lassos I would have to ask what it's missing? You can make selections by ctrl+clicking the layers, invert them, hide the boundaries... it all seems there.

    That aside, due to how well it's optimized for lower end computer hardware (It was first shown to me on a netbook) I would have to say that with proper overlay touch controls or external hardware (in my case a nostromo macro pad for left hand use, which includes a wheel for quick zooming) Sai, with it's pressure/ stroke stabilizers and deceptively powerful brush engine and the extensive community support is actually the most reliable option for drawing on a tablet pc (samsung 700t in my case).
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I think a lot depends on what you're going to be doing with the art programs, and how much additional extra material you want "offered to you" by the program.

    I love Artrage and basically use it 70-80% of the time for my personal art. If you want digital media that emulates natural media, nothing beats Artrage, hands down, IMO. For people who like sketching, oil painting, pastels and chalk, etc. I think it's superb, easy to use, cheap, has an active online presence, and is well supported. Sadly, it's a cpu hog, and doesn't do as well as other programs if you're planning on working at high res (6000 x 6000 or more, for example)

    If you want fantastic inking tools, powerful layout tools, etc then Manga Studio 5 is an excellent deal for the price. It's also actively supported, and lots and lots of comic artists are using it, so I'm sure you can find lots of additional brushes, etc. to use. I can easily run 10k x 10k canvases in this program, and it just doesn't seem to blink an eye, even on an old single-core Pentium M processor.

    Personally, though, I find Paint Tool Sai better comparatively, for the price, if you're willing to go the extra distance, and learn how to import paper and brush textures. This is a big if, and takes a while to learn. Sai is largely abandoned, but it just works so well with large canveses, is so cheap, and inks so well, it's hard to let go of. If that was all it did, MS 5 would be just as good or better, but IMO Sai is also very very good at doing color work. It blends very well. Even though it has a forum of its own, it's actually not used much. It's 4 year old program, and it's unclear if it will ever be updated. Still, at the price, and for what it does, and how well it works on light weight/ less powerful machines, it's a dream.

    So, that's why I think a lot depends on you and how you're planning on using it. Sketching and doodling for fun? To make comics? With aspirations to be a pro? etc.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Agreed, Sai has powerful selection tools.

    But. . .

    Try toggling between free hand selection and polygonal on the fly. Ain't going to happen.

    I use this feature *all* the time in Photoshop. I do a lot of gray tone work for comics, and the job of selecting complex areas for fade-fills really benefits from being able to free hand an area and then switch to polygonal (tap, lift stylus, tap) around areas, and back again to free hand without having the selection area auto-close while shifting functions. Also, being able to hold the ALT key down while I reposition my hand and not have the selection automatically close is a huge benefit. . , I don't see how people manage without that feature. It makes selecting easy rather than stressful. In Sai or MS5, if I screw up while tracing around an area part way through, I have to start again or fix the selection. That's a pain.

    Honestly, it seems like a very, very simple bit of coding to make a keyboard toggle, but clearly it isn't seen as a requirement for many. I really find that hard to grok. It was one of the very first things I learned how to do in Photoshop.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
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