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Digital Artists - what's your fav program?

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Hello all! I'm just wondering what everyone's favorite digital drawing software is and why. I like to try them all - I'm always looking for new and interesting tools to play with.

So to start, my absolute favorite drawing program is Paint Tool SAI. The line work is head and shoulders above Photoshop and it's way cheaper. The blending is also built into the brushes, so you don't need 12GB of RAM to blend things, haha. That being said, because Paint Tool SAI is such a light-weight program, there are a ton of things it can't do that photoshop can.

I don't work with vectors often, so it'd be great to hear what people have tried for that. I expect Adobe Illustrator is probably still king in that field, though, huh?

Oh also, what are the main differences between corel painter and photoshop? I've never tried corel painter and I was wondering what the brush customization is like in comparison.
#1 - April 09, 2015, 12:11 PM
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I've been a long time Photoshop user and it's a great all around program for painting. This last year, I was convinced by my friend to try Manga Studio 5 and I was pretty impressed with that program. Now I pretty much use Manga Studio to paint and use Photoshop to make color and value adjustments at the end. The brush engine on Manga Studio is better and more comprehensive than Photoshop without it being so overwhelming. And the brushes have blending capabilities also.

I have Corel Painter also but I don't really use it. I found the program a bit overwhelming, and I just didn't have the time to stop and learn the program. From what little I know, Painter's emphasis is on recreating that traditional look and feel with their brushes.   
#2 - April 10, 2015, 10:24 AM

I have Corel Painter also but I don't really use it. I found the program a bit overwhelming, and I just didn't have the time to stop and learn the program. From what little I know, Painter's emphasis is on recreating that traditional look and feel with their brushes.   

So it's kind of like those position-of-the-stylus-sensitive brushes in photoshop? Or is it more like ArtRage kind of traditional media imitation? I realize you might not know. But thanks, I was thinking of trying out Manga Studio to see how their brush customization works - can you control the initial shape of the brush? Or is it just that you tweak the parameters of how the brush flows and blends and then there a few already set initial shapes for the brush?

I hope that makes sense. .___.;;
#3 - April 10, 2015, 09:22 PM
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I've used Corel Painter for about 10 years. It offers the most realistic brushes/media in my opinion. You can dial in each and every aspect of the brush to get exactly the results you are looking for. Plus, there is an abundance of resources out there for the Painter community. Many generous souls offer up custom brushes they have created as free downloads. Brushes are not the only aspect you can customize. Custom papers also offer a great way to add texture to your painting without painstaking brushwork.

The downside of Painter is that its not as practical for utilitarian tasks like Photoshop. I often jump back and for between the two when preparing files for print. Painter does offer a free trial version.
#4 - April 11, 2015, 04:18 PM

It definitely has more of an Artrage feel to it, great if you are looking to recreate that painterly look.

Manga Studio allows you to create custom brushes shapes like Photoshop, from there you can customize it further depending on your preferences.
#5 - April 12, 2015, 01:19 PM

I'm totally throwing in to defend Photoshop here! Especially with CS6, the brushes are incredibly versatile, I think with PS if you can't manage good natural media imitation you just need better brushes. If anyone has PS & wants some seriously beautiful brushes I live by Kyle T Webster's gouache, inking & watercolour sets. (http://www.kyletwebster.com/portfolio/brushes/). On his site he calls them 'the industry standard' for artists from places like Laika, Rockstar & Dreamworks. I used to create my line work traditionally, because I felt I couldn't get a comparable digital ink or pencil line, but since discovering these brushes I've cut trad. out of my work entirely...

I used Painter for a while when I was younger, & enjoyed the amount of brushes & papers etc available, but found it frustrating that I didn't feel like I was in complete control of all the elements, if you know what I mean? With PS brushes I know I can pull them apart & fiddle with how they behave right down to the detail, but that could be simply a difference in my depth of understanding. I use Illustrator for when I need to make logos, or an image that *has* to be vector, for use on a vinyl or laser cutter or something, & also for text.
#6 - April 17, 2015, 01:16 PM

I'm totally throwing in to defend Photoshop here! Especially with CS6, the brushes are incredibly versatile, I think with PS if you can't manage good natural media imitation you just need better brushes. If anyone has PS & wants some seriously beautiful brushes I live by Kyle T Webster's gouache, inking & watercolour sets. (http://www.kyletwebster.com/portfolio/brushes/). On his site he calls them 'the industry standard' for artists from places like Laika, Rockstar & Dreamworks. I used to create my line work traditionally, because I felt I couldn't get a comparable digital ink or pencil line, but since discovering these brushes I've cut trad. out of my work entirely...

I used Painter for a while when I was younger, & enjoyed the amount of brushes & papers etc available, but found it frustrating that I didn't feel like I was in complete control of all the elements, if you know what I mean? With PS brushes I know I can pull them apart & fiddle with how they behave right down to the detail, but that could be simply a difference in my depth of understanding. I use Illustrator for when I need to make logos, or an image that *has* to be vector, for use on a vinyl or laser cutter or something, & also for text.

Ah, I didn't mean to say PS has a horrible brush engine, just that it's brushes have an engine that makes them really really really good at some things and then a little lacking in other areas. And PS is truly unique in how it's brushes work - I have yet to find a drawing program that uses a similar method. But for my specific purposes, PS brushes are not as precise as Paint Tool SAI. But yeah, PS is great for a very certain kind of digital painting!

Painter does offer a free trial version.

Oh, I should give it a try, then! : ]
#7 - April 22, 2015, 08:30 PM
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Anthony L. Mata, Illustrator
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For the ipad, Procreate. For the PC, Painter.
#8 - June 05, 2015, 06:04 PM
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I really enjoy sketchbook pro for sketching, it has a really natural feel to it. For finished drawings and editing traditionally done stuff, I use photoshop though, it's just what I'm use to.
#9 - June 05, 2015, 09:54 PM

I still use photoshop elements I got as a gift for my birthday.^^
#10 - June 06, 2015, 10:35 AM
You can find my stuff at: uggc://plorephyg.bet/~fnenu/oybt.ugzy

Photoshop has been my go to program for illustration/drawing /sketching.  I recently purchased some pencil and "real media custom brushes that are pretty cool. http://www.kyletwebster.com/for-sale/ and http://frenden.myshopify.com/collections/digital-art-tools/products/real-photoshop-pencil-brushes .
#11 - July 09, 2015, 06:09 PM

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