May 24, 2011

Help Topic # 1: Which Program?

Recently, I've been receiving more and more questions about my work and process so I thought it might be a good idea to start answering some of these here on my blog and also writing some help topics for people just starting out.

One of the most common questions is "which program do I use?" so let's start there;

At the moment, I'm primarily using Photoshop CS4 on my iMac. Prior to this I was using Photoshop CS5 on my PC laptop. There are a few differences between the 2 versions such as the addition of 'Real Media' brushes and effects in CS5. I had a quick play with them when I first got the software but aside from that, I never used them - I much prefer the standard Photoshop brushes I've been using since Photoshop CS3.

I also have a copy of Corel Painter X on my PC laptop but so far, haven't picked it up for my Mac. I quite like the kind of painting and effects that can be achieved in Painter and just like Photoshop, you can customize your keyboard, etc into a layout that feels comfortable for you (mine was mapped exactly as it is in Photoshop). I have found that Painter can be a little more glitchy and unstable compared to Photoshop so I'll rarely ever finish a painting with it. Instead, I'll save the file out as a .PSD (Photoshop Document) and finish it off where I'm most comfortable.

And there's the most important thing to consider; What are you most comfortable using? Both programs are excellent and offer a huge range of choices. Artists such as Ryan Church (who worked on the Star Wars prequels, Transformers and Avatar) do amazing things with Painter and Daryl Mandryk is brilliant in his use of Photoshop. Each using the program they are most comfortable with on top of a solid background of hard work and study (a topic for another time maybe?)

These also aren't the only programs available - there's ArtRage, Sketchbook Pro, Colors, Alchemy, etc, etc. Many of the programs are free or have Trial Version you can check out to see if you like them. There's also the good ol' fashioned pencil and paper, canvas, oils, acrylics, waters, etc. Grab whatever you've got in front of you and just start creating!

More to come and please leave a comment if there is a particular topic or question you're curious about.

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