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Thread: Beginner looking for some advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Question Beginner looking for some advice

    Hello there,

    My name is Robin, 29 years of age and just starting out in the world of digital painting/drawing.
    I am a hobbyist programmer, but always felt my projects were hampered by my inability to sketch up ideas and create graphics for my projects.
    After some extended research I ordered a Wacom tablet and I am now the proud owner of a brand new Intuos4 M. Probably a bit overkill in relation to the level of proficiency I have, but in the past I have started projects without the right tools and as a result they were abandoned after some time. At least with this piece of hardware I am sure I can grow a lot without wanting something different.

    With the Intuos4 comes one free software download, either;
    -Adobe Photoshop Elements
    -Corel Painter SketchPad
    -Autodesk Sketchbook Express

    Because you only have 1 download I browsed the web to see which software would be recommended for my situation, remember I am just starting out and did not receive any training (yet).
    It was within these discussions that ArtRage was mentioned several times. It being a piece of software that was liked over the two sketch apps listed above by many.

    So here I am, ready to try out ArtRage, but I was wondering which version I should get?
    The price for the 2.6 version is very nice, so that one has my attention for now, but I was wondering wether that would be a good beginner's buy or you guys would advise to go for the 3 Studio version instead?

    Many thanks for your time and input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NC, USA
    I'd recommend ArtRage Studio Pro for the exact same reason you decided to purchase the Intuos4, and that's for room to grow. Being a programmer, I figure you have enough experience with complex interfaces to pick up and use the Studio versions of ArtRage easily enough (not that any of the ArtRage programs are that difficult to use, anyway). Having the extra features AR Studio Pro has will probably come in very handy (especially things like the Selection tools, PS filter options, etc).
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Soap Lake, Washington
    I agree with Someonesane. Artrage Studio Pro is EZ to learn and if you'll look at my signature, I made a boatload of tutorials and uploaded them to Youtube because I love this program and want everyone to use it.

    I bought a 21 Wacom Cintiq and gave it away to my Son-in-law. I found after 11 years of working on my old graphire, I didn't like it. It was hot and my hand kept getting in the way. Better hand, eye coordination with the Intuos 3 my son-in-law gave me.

    I have an iPod Touch and don't like the programs you mentioned. Not enough blending which Artrage does easily.

    See ArtRage2.5 and 3.0 Studio Pro Tutorials:

    Children's Book - The Wonderful World of Wunks
    Written, illustrated, animated and narrated by Judith Tramayne

  4. #4
    I didn't like the Elements program. To me, it seemed more like a photo manipulation program. It doesn't sound like you're looking for a photo manipulation program.

    It all depends on the price you want to spend, but the studio version will provide you with the most tools available and the most room to grow and improve. I have seen wonderful works of art from all versions of this program, so I dont think you would be disappointed in any of them. I believe there is a trial version that you can download and decide which one is best for you.

    The Artrage tools respond very much like the traditional art mediums. I had been searching for something like Artrage for years and messed around with Photshop CS3 and 4, Corel and GIMP. While all very excellent programs, they were lacking the feel of the traditional stuff. I also felt very lost in them. I had to find tutorials for just about everything.

    The AR interface is easy to pick up and learn on all versions, much less complicated than some of the programs you mentioned and the price is cheaper than some other art programs out there. My 8 year old niece was able to understand the program basics and move around in it without too much trouble.

    So they would give you more time sketching and less time trying to figure out how to use it. Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Atlanta (Georgia) area
    Artrage Studio Pro and Photoshop Elements work very well together, so much so that my CS3 is rarely used. Don't chuck the Photoshop!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Thank you all for the overwhelming amount of replies; very much appreciated!
    I went for Corel Painter SketchPad as my digital free download bundled with the Intuos. After some research this seemed the best deal; Photoshop Elements does not really provide what I am looking for, it's the full Photoshop that would be more fitting.
    Autodesk SB Express is too limited in its features to take it over Corel Painter SP. So that's what I did. I like it so far.
    I have also ordered a digital art course with a well known home-study institute here. They provide you with a educational license for Corel Painter 11, so I am going to be using that a lot as well. The course should make me proficient in it.

    I have downloaded the ArtRage 2.5 Starter version. I like the program very much so far. It does have a very natural look to all the paints and inks you can use. I might even prefer this one over SketchPad once I get aqainted with it more!

    Indeed the Pro version would give me the most room to grow, so that might be the best and most cost efficient option in the long run.

    Thanks all, you'll be hearing more from me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    brighton uk
    hi I'm a complete blockhead on a computer plus I'm eighty+and I found artrage so easy to use that once I had got the pen and eye talking together we were laughing I had studio pro on a trial but it does'nt make a lot of difference for me as i'm not compentence to use them yet but will go back to studio as soon as I have a new tablet plus everybody is so helpful and friendly regards eighty +

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Docsmith626 View Post
    Artrage Studio Pro and Photoshop Elements work very well together, so much so that my CS3 is rarely used. Don't chuck the Photoshop!
    I agree.... I'd go for AR Studio Pro 3 and Photoshop Elements (or Corel Paint Shop Pro)... A combination of AR Studio Pro & Photoshop Elements (or Corel Paint Shop Pro) is a formidable combo...

    Judith's tutoirals (Judith Tramayne) are top notch...and well worth the time watching....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I went ahead and bought AR 3 Pro after doodling with the free 2.5 version. I like it very much and I do prefer it over Corel SketchPad, so much is clear already.

    I felt with ArtRage I could immediately focus on the creativeness without really have to get used to working with the pen and the tablet.

    I managed to sketch up a very rudimentary sketch of an Ogre carring a cow, featured in the current issue of ImagineFX and I was quickly able -just by doodling- to get a decent looking cloudy sky as a backdrop and get rather near to the original image. And all that without ever having had any training in, or experience with using a tablet or ArtRage!

    Funny that you bring up Corel PaintShop Pro. It's quite a bit cheaper than Photoshop and I was wondering wether it would be a good choice for a hobbyist over Photoshop? 90 euro's over 999 euro's is quite a bit, but then again this is without a doubt because Photoshop is much more powerful than PSP.
    But does PSP give us as digital painters all the tools we need for touching up our work?
    Last edited by Yskonyn; 07-23-2010 at 08:20 PM.

  10. #10
    I found Photoshop CS4 to be an excellent program, but for me, it has been a learning process of at least 5 years to get what knowledge I have. It has a lot of filters and effects that are pretty neat. I use it mainly for animated gifs. I think GIMP is similar to PS CS4, but it is free.

    You being a bit of a programmer, you may pick up on it faster than I did. I do a bit of HTML stuff, but very simple coding. Everything that I've learned about it has been by trial and error and trying to understand tutorials. Honestly, I haven't touched my Adobe stuff since I found Artrage. I've found that I could produce much of the same effects on my own and they turn out more pleasing to my inner critic.

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