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Customer Discussions > Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 forum

Beginner digital artist need help/recommendations.


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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 2, 2010, 8:38:31 PM PDT
E. Ocasio says:
I've been an artist all my my life, now I feel is the best time to make my transition from regular handmade art/illustrations to digital form.
Anyone can please recommend me a good software,(perhaps I should buy this one) and drawing tablet.
Thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2010, 3:47:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2010, 3:52:40 PM PDT
T. Adlam says:
Hi Mr. Ocasio,
Let me say up front that transitioning from traditional to digital media may not be an easy one, but if you're willing to stick with it, it could be quite rewarding.

Wacom is the most well-known and well-respected maker of graphics tablets. I personally have a medium Intuos3--latest in the line is Intuos4--and adore it, however, Wacom has a number of different makes/models so you should look into the various features/price points to determine what might be best for you.

If you don't feel like investing a ton of money right out of the gate, you could start with their Bamboo pen tablet line--just make sure whichever graphics table you choose is pressure sensitive.

Feel free to check out the Wacom site for an idea of what's out there: http://www.wacom.com/index2.php

As far as software, the most popular for digital artwork are Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. Both of these software packages can be quite pricey and intimidating for the uninitiated. And truth be told, they aren't entirely necessary when you're just starting out.

Both Photoshop and Painter are amazing programs, but I find they both have their strengths and weaknesses--Photoshop is more for rendering/finishing, whereas Painter is more for drawing/painting. If you do decide to go that route, you're probably going to need to get some instructional books, tutorials, or take some classes.

Gimp is a free and open source alternative to Photoshop. It's a good way to dip your toes in without the huge monetary investment. It's not my cup of tea, but it's worth a try.

I've only been using Sketchbook Pro for a short while but I love it. It's a lightweight program, the price is certainly friendly (at least when compared to Photoshop and Painter), and it's quite easy to wrap your head around. The only drawback is that it doesn't have as many features as Photoshop/Painter. Of course, those are the features you probably won't need right away. In fact, you could easily start with this and graduate to the big boys. :)

Another option would be ArtRage, which is like a blend between Photoshop and Painter. I've used it and while the interface is similar to Sketchbook Pro and Painter, I found it somewhat unintuitive. But that's only my opinion--this might be one you can start with before graduating to Photoshop/Painter.

All of the software programs mentioned have free trial periods, so I'd recommend downloading them from their respective websites and playing around. Just make sure you have ample time to test them before the 30 trial period ends.

Hope I've helped and if you have any other questions, I'd do my best to answer.

ETA: Forgot to mention that whichever software programs you choose will depend on the type of artwork you do. The ones I've mentioned are great for drawing, sketching, painting, and fine art. You'll need different programs if you plan to go into 3D rendering or architectural design.

Posted on Nov 6, 2010, 8:46:23 PM PDT
E. Ocasio says:
Thank you so much for your detailed response. I really do appreciate it! :)
I've seen teenagers do wonderful illustrations in Photoshop, which got me into thinking if those kids can do it why can't I? But is too expensive for me at the moment., and also somewhat complicated. I've looked at all the controls and such and was intimidated by the whole thing. Yes you may laugh but it's true.
Now that you've mentioned 3D art, that would be even better on the long run. Any additional information on it will be appreciated! As I've metioned I am very new to these mediums, since all I've know are papers, markers and pencils most of my life.
I've included the Bamboo Wacom tablet in my Wish List here along with ArtRage and SketchbookPro 2011 to buy later.
Again my sincere thanks!

Posted on Nov 7, 2010, 7:13:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2010, 7:14:01 PM PST
T. Adlam says:
I can assure you, Mr. Ocasio, that I do not laugh. :) Photoshop is very intimidating, especially when you're completely new to digital design. As far as 3D goes, and whether it would be better in the long run, it depends on what your personal goals are. If you're an illustrator/painter/fine artist, you can do quite well without going the 3D route. And if you don't come from a 3D background, it can be even more intimidating than Photoshop/Painter.

But, if you wish to pursue it, some software programs you'll want research are autoCAD, 3ds Max, Mudbox, and Maya (all by Autodesk)--the downside is that they're all quite pricey as well.

For now, though, I'd say your best bet would be to start with a beginner's digital painting book (or you can search Google for some tutorials for your selected software program) and just practice with your tablet. When you feel comfortable with the tablet, then move on to using more advanced software programs and trying exercises from some more advanced digital art books or tutorials.

Posted on Apr 16, 2011, 10:28:19 AM PDT
XKL says:
I used to look at the Adobe software, wondering when I'd ever be able to afford them. I just saw their announcements about Creative Suites 5.5. They are now offering month to month subscriptions of their software. My Photoshop trial had ended, so I followed the link and saw the new products. Photoshop itself was $49 a month (I think that was if you subscribed for a year). It would be a good option for those with little money left over each month!

Posted on Jul 30, 2011, 1:30:25 PM PDT
j says:
Does anyone know whether Sketchbook is compatible with Photoshop? And can i use sketchbook to retouch or add to photographs as in photoshop. Also are those two programs compatible? Thanks

Posted on Oct 14, 2011, 1:43:31 PM PDT
You can export from Sketchbook files which can then be opened in PhotoShop.

Posted on Jan 20, 2012, 10:37:56 PM PST
Jelantik says:
Mr. Ocasio,
I'm creative director so I use lots of graphics program for my job such as Photoshop and Illustrator to do lost of concept sketch and storyboard. Recently, I bought a new tablet PC slate that runs window 7 (ASUS Eee EP121) so I can start doing sketching digitally. I paired my tablet with Sketchbook pro, and it was like a match in heaven. The pressure sensitive that the tablet has (it comes with wacom stylus) and the easy of use of sketchbook pro makes it this table close to the feel of pencil and paper. I was amazed how the program responses to the pressure sensitive stylus. You can see the result of the drawing looks exactly like drawing on a paper. The best part is, Sketchbook Pro is so cheap compare to Photoshop, Painter etc. Even though the software is not as sophisticate or has extensive features like photoshop or painter, you still can get an excellent result (depending on your skill). And on the top of that since you are new to digital drawing, this software won't be so daunting to learn. So I would definitely recommend you to take a look at this software. You can download free trial first to see if you like how your stylus feels with this software. I pair mine with Asus Eee EP121 and it works flawlessly. The wacom pressure sensitive that comes with the tablet, response really well inside this software.
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This discussion

Participants:  6
Total posts:  8
Initial post:  Nov 2, 2010
Latest post:  Jan 20, 2012


This discussion is about
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 by Autodesk PSG (Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard / 10.6 Snow Leopard / 10.7 Lion, Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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