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Photoshop and Wacom Tablet
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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 11:05 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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I was wondering how many other artists use Photoshop in some form to help realize their designs and also, how many use a Wacom Tablet?   I draw and sketch as much as I can using paper and I don’t use Photoshop for drawing, but once I’ve worked out different ideas on paper I move to Photoshop where I can make different layers for leadlines, paint, color, etc.   I work the sketch out further on the computer and can try different things with each element without  disturbing the other layers.  Then the final version can be enlarged for the cartoon.
 
 I started to use Photoshop a few years ago and found it very useful and pretty easy to pick up on one’s own.  For my first design on the computer I used the little touchpad on my laptop, pretty tedious, but it worked.  For my next design I got a Wacom tablet, which made a world of difference.  The mouse is a very clumsy tool, once you’re used to the tablet.  I now have two of them, one for working at home and one for my studio.   So, I wondered if others use both the program and the tablet, and what do you all think?

Mary


 

Last edited on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 11:10 pm by Mary Clerkin Higgins



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 07:03 am
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mmezalick
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Mary,

I use the same as you for the last 10 years or so. I have a large tablet and I would hate to go back to the old paper and pencil. I find that it allows for correcting mistakes very easy and trying different effects without overworking the original.

Michael

 



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 08:10 am
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Don Burt
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I use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Turbocad. I use a Calcomp tablet that I got back in 1994, that still works. If I want to do fluid line drawing I use a pencil on paper then scan it into photoshop for manipulation.  All color work, tone work, layer trickery and of course photographic stuff is done in Photoshop.  I find myself using the tablet mostly for airbrush-like tone work,  and imprecise line work.  I use Illustrator for geometric work and Turbocad for precise geometric work. I don't use the pen and tablet in Illustrator or Turbocad. I like the mouse for drawing with bezier curves and sine curves in the vector programs because of its ease in clicking. My pen and table are awkward to click-with. The better I get with vector tools like Ilustrator, the more I find myself using them. It is probably affecting my style. My wife is quick to point out when my stuff looks too precise and controlled.



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 08:40 am
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bbates
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I utilize computers very heavily.....

In photoshop, don't forget about the magic wand and the "paste into" fucntion...

I can actually take glass samples and insert them into the drawing.  I know magic eye work like this, but photshop has far great functionality...

Here is a custom design for a door glass insert, in which I used photoshop.  It only took me a couple hours and I had something relatively exact to show the customer. 

 

Attached Image (viewed 364 times):

new1color.jpg



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 09:05 am
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mmezalick
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Ben,

Your picture doesn't come up on the forum.

Could you post it again so that I can check if it is a problem on my side of the computer.

Michael



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 10:37 am
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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I find myself wanting to "control Z" to take a step back on my pencil sketches! 

I've never tried Illustrator.  I guess I should check it out.  I bought Turbo Cad, but I haven't had the time to figure it out yet.  

I like the idea of putting photos of glass in and have done that for one sketch, which ended up looking like a finished panel, but I don't have photos of all the different types of glass.  I use a lot of antique, so there are lots of colors.  Sometimes, if I have the time, I'll shade the sketch with lighter tones to make it look more like antique glass, because the client may have a hard time turning the flat color into lively antique glass in their minds.  I'm seeing that for some projects, it's worth the time.  But, of course, everything is up for change when the actual selection starts and you need to make sure that the glass on your easel is relating, even if it means changing the palette a bit, in order to make it sing. 

Mary



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 10:49 am
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mmezalick
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Mary,

Many of the glass makers have pictures of their glass samples on line which you can "Save-As" and make a nice collection of real samples. You can also adjust the color and brightness of the glass samples to come even closer.

Michael



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 10:52 am
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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I didn't know that, Michael, Thanks.  Mary



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 11:12 am
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bbates
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i'll repost, but the pic doesn't show up in preview either...

Attached Image (viewed 317 times):

new1color.jpg



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 11:15 am
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bbates
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Kokomo glass has an awesome HQ cd library of glass samples for under 10 bucks.  Spectrum's sucks, too low res.  I usually just take digital photos of the glass and insert them in photoshop...



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 11:26 am
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mmezalick
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Sorry I still can't see the picture.

Ben, The picture size limit is 610 Kilobyte (KB) or .50 Megabyte (MB).

What size is the picture you are posting.

Can anyone else see it?



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 11:33 am
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bbates
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The file is only 117 kb, just turn off my security, let see if that helps...

Attached Image (viewed 322 times):

new1color.jpg



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 12:05 pm
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Don Burt
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Mary, I have some Illustrator examples of how I use it stored on a website you can look at:

http://home.cinci.rr.com/frogacuda/jpgs/illustrator/

I think vector drawing tools require more of a introduction and expectation setting than other graphic art tools. People get frustrated really quickly with Illustrator because its not intuitively like drawing with a pencil. But once you 'get it', you find ways to use it, and it begins to even influence your creativity.

 



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 01:42 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Don,

Thanks for posting the link to your examples, nice.  I can see how Illustrator could be really useful.  I think I read somewhere that vector art can be blown up as large as you like and it doesn't lose any of its detail, which would be great for keeping little details sharp when enlarged.   Is that right?

Mary



 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 01:57 pm
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mmezalick
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Mary,

You're correct in that Illustrator projects can be enlarged without losing any sharpness. They are vector art.

Photoshop is more for Photos. But if you use a high DPI you can enlarge a drawing up pretty large without loosing much.

Michael



 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 11:37 am
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troymoody
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hello all,

this is an interesting thread.
out of curiosity do you use a mac or a pc, does it matter with the wacom tablet? also i noticed most tablets come with some "photoshop-like" software and yet most people opt for photshop or illustrator over the tablet's version, is this acurate?

i use a mac and will most likely be purchasing a tablet soon to use in pretty much the same fashion Mary discribes. any advice would be much appreciated.

thanks,
troy



 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 11:47 am
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bbates
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I have a cheapie tablet and it works fine, the brand is aiptek.  Generally speaking the software that comes "bundled" with items is not very powerful or functional...  rather it has limited ability.

It's strange, I only really use the drawing tablet when drawing in photoshop, however, in illustrator, with the bezier cruves and all I am faster with the mouse.  Especially when using the "keyboard dance."



 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 12:06 pm
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mmezalick
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I started with a aiptek some years ago. I switched to Wacom because it offers a larger working surface.

I agree that the programs that come with the tablet are short on depth, but not bad to start with. You will most likely get board quickly once you see what else can be done with photoshop.

If you want to see good manipulations of photos I would suggest you check out http://www.worth1000.com and check out the contests.

Some good, some not so, but people are trying.

Michael



 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 12:20 pm
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joseph2bears
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Hi Mary, and all.  In 1990 I started with MacDraw in the day job for technical illustrations, and from there started using it for SG patterns.  From there I went to Corel Draw in 1993.  In 1996, Dragonfly Software (http://www.dfly.com) introduced Glass Eye.  I have used it since then.  It is a very simple program to use, but is devoid of a lot of the features in more difficult programs like Corel Draw, Illustrator, or Photoshop.  Glass Eye has only a single layer, but it is tailored to SG.  You can easily set line widths for came and copper foil and show both face and heart.  The professional edition has all the glass photos from the manufacturers to fill pieces, but I find the transparents, like the Cathedrals, to have poor representation of the true color of the glass.  It is the old problem of photographing glass.  I find myself using the solid color fill pallette more than the glass photos to get a closer representation of the tranparents to actual glass samples.  The professional edition also calculates feet of came or foil, square feet of each type of glass, and usage of other materials.  I find it quite useful for building a bill of materials and material costing.  It doesn't do all that I wish it would, but it is a useful tool.  You can download a free 30-day trial version of Glass Eye from Dragonfly's website if you want to evaluate it. 

The next step up in SG software is American Bevel's Designer II (http://www.americanbevel.com).  It has all the features customized to SG that Glass Eye has, but also has a lot of the features found in Illustrator.  It has multiple layers and bezier curve drawing.  It has a much steeper learning curve, like Illustrator, but is half the price.  You can download a free version of the previous edition, Designer I, from American Bevel's website if you want to evaluate it. 

Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw are the premier graphics design programs.  They have just about everything you could ever dream of having.  As such they are diffcult programs to learn and master.  I use Illustrator CS2 for my sandblast stencil designs since it will directly drive my stencil cutter like a printer, but I have only scratched the surface in using Illustrator for anything else.  I resort to Glass Eye for my window designs, since I never seem to have time to learn to use Illustrator. 

I learned to draw with the mouse back in the old days of MacDraw, so I have never used the Wacom Tablet.  If you are more comfortable with the Wacom, it will work with all of the programs mentioned above.  There re many users of Glass Eye and Designer II that use the Wacom Tablet. 

--Joseph 2bears



 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 01:46 pm
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judi
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As I sit here, pen and ink in hand, sketching yet another Resurrection, Windsor Newtons on the ready; I must admit to being in awe of all the artists who have ventured into the realm of technology and are able to successfully incorporate it into their method.  I, on the other hand, am not even sure I am posting this note correctly!



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