Painter vs. Photoshop and why...
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Thread: Painter vs. Photoshop and why...

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    Painter vs. Photoshop and why...

    So I'm curious as to why some prefer Paint to PS and vice versa. What are the major differences digital painting wise? Is one user interface more simple than the other? Any insight into this would be helpful, thanks!


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    Hhhmmm... good question. I find painter's interface to be a little more intuitive than photoshop, and Painter is more a program that is intended to mimic the effects of certain real world media such as oil paints,charcoals,ink pens, watercolor etc, in the treatment of texture and blending properties, (although i find some of the media types to fall short) and there's a ton of different brush properties to mess with

    I prefer painter since it is more related to traditional media which requires me to organize my work process a little more, since i've found many habits i've aquired to be bad and i do them less in painter since it's a little bit more limited than photoshop which is actually a much more versatile and powerful program. so i think painter is good for working up the works and then using photoshop to give it more polish and adjust colors and values or for special effects.

    The downsides of Painter in my experience only having worked with Painter X so older versions may have fewer glitches.

    these have mostly been kind of clunky performance, like brushes suddenly not working anymore which is sometimes resolved by choosing another brush and going back or creating a new layer, only to have the same thing happen thirty minutes or so later, so on two more times and then work fine for hours. Sometimes my layers visibility "eyeball" will not actually indicate whether or not a layer is actually visible (Does anybody know if i can make this stop happening by the way?) and other little pesky nuances, but despite these sorts of things i still prefer the workflow of painter over photoshop

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    FourTonMantis is offline Without vision we will die Level 11 Gladiator: Essedarii
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLEVR View Post
    these have mostly been kind of clunky performance
    It also tends to have a problem with multiple layers, so if you decide that Painter is your forte, be sure to merge layers when they start to add up or they'll devour your memory like a bulldog on a Purina commercial.

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    thing is, if you're not very skilled with real medias like oil painting, you'll face the same troubles using paniter... that is why I prefer photoshop.
    but, recently I tryed paint tool SAI and fell in love, it's just between the both.
    Shortcuts are basically the same as in photoshop, there is a multiple layer system and a lot of options for the brushes.
    you can save your work in psd, it weights something like 3 mo and costs 5% of the photoshop's price..
    perfect for little config or little budget

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    rattsang is offline i am destructor bahhhhhhwwwaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Level 6 Gladiator: Provocator
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    actually most ppl dont prefer ps or painter because they are used for different things. many ppl use both, commonly ps is used for a rough block in because of the hard edge round brush, then painter to color and detail and ps for finishing touches and color correction. this isn't always the case but this is what these apps do best.

    i only use painter but thats because i havent bought ps yet............ i can do everything in painter but if i had ps id use that because its faster and easier to do those things.

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    Hmmm, well thanks for all the useful information from everyone. I guess it's just experimenting from here on out!


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    Very different tools, but why?

    I'm a professional digital artists that uses Painter X and Photoshop CS 3-4 all day every day. The differences between the two are vast, but are only temporary. What you must realize is that Painter should one day take the cake, and that if you are into digital art for the long haul, learn it.

    Photoshop is intuitive. It is, bar none, the most robust, stable, and user friendly image editor in existence. It's tools for painting are simple, yet very useful. They were originally designed for image editing.

    Painter is artistic. It is, bar none, the most technical art tool available in existence....aside from it's image editing. It offers more options than you could dream of, with so many brush and canvas effects that aren't available in Photoshop. There are hundreds of ready to use, very realistic tools. They were originally designed for digital art.

    The catch is that the two are not completely compatible, and that Painter alone doesn't yield professional output. Here, we have Painter, this incredible art tool, and Photoshop, this incredible image editor that is the standard for professional printing. As a professional, I have to bring my paintings into Photoshop to trust the print output. When I open a file in Photoshop that was saved from Painter, whether it be a psd, jpeg, or tiff, it's always too dark with less saturation. Therefore, because Photoshop prints perfectly with our state of the art, 64" inkjets from our 8 core Mac Pros, Painter is not calibrated to industry standards. The only benefit is that I usually can enhance the image beyond how it did look in Painter because of the robust editing tools in Photoshop. That said, Photoshop still doesn't offer the incredible brushes or paper/canvas textures. For my job, both are necessary for now.

    The point is, learn both or miss out. If you must choose one, learn Photoshop's hard edged, low spacing brushwork. It will work for creating dynamic art, and it's better to end up in a trustworthy image editor. If you want the best that digital 2d media can offer, paint your work in Painter, then do post work image editing, archiving, and printing from Photoshop. If it wasn't for some simple things, I would just say use Painter, but unfortunately from my endured experience, that isn't the case. One day....

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    I totally agree with James Thorton. Painter is my No.1 choice all day long for actually creating the artwork. After you have learn't what the program can do (and I'll admit it may be daunting at first as it is quite a different way to work than in PS - but no harder to any other complex program) I think the scope for "painting" and creativity is great.

    I am totally coming at it from the simulating traditional media angle - as far as any program can.

    However I always take the finished work into PS to check colour and maybe tweak levels etc or maybe change a colour without repainting it.

    The only time Photoshop is my choice for painting is if I'm required to create flat tone (or shades of). Then I find the ability to set consistent flat opacity/tone (no brush marks) is better in PS than Painter.

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    James Thornton hit the nail squarely on the head. Thanks, James. Well said.

    I'm a retired illustrator and have used both Photoshop and Painter since version 1.0 of both programs. (It was a ton easier to learn both software programs back then!)

    After about 15 years of using PS and Painter professionally, it's fun to be able to just play in both programs now. I play in Adobe illustrator these days and that's fun too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Thornton View Post
    When I open a file in Photoshop that was saved from Painter, whether it be a psd, jpeg, or tiff, it's always too dark with less saturation. Therefore, because Photoshop prints perfectly with our state of the art, 64" inkjets from our 8 core Mac Pros, Painter is not calibrated to industry standards. The only benefit is that I usually can enhance the image beyond how it did look in Painter because of the robust editing tools in Photoshop.
    James;
    I completely agree with this. It's a problem I've been having for some time, and I first thought it was simply a calibration issue; but after wasting dozens of sheets trying to get good prints from my Epson Stylus Photo 2200, I've come to realize that Painter is simply not a good printing platform.

    Which leads me to my question...

    What's the easiest and/or most reliable way you have found to fix the image in Photoshop for printing? Curve adjustments? I always seem to end up destroying some of the tonal qualities I'm trying to salvage (for example, lightening the darks tends to destroy the contrast, etc.) Is there any basic technique or general principle you can pass on to help me make my Painter art print better in Photoshop?

    Ideally, I'd love to figure out a basic fix that I can incorporate into an Action, if possible.

    Last edited by sigmadog; December 3rd, 2008 at 09:21 PM.
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    I just found painter after being a long time photoshop user (my focus in university wasn't illustration so it mostly was used for photos). All I have to say about painter is, where have you been all of my life? Its an amazing tool. Learn both though

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    Strange. I have no problems printing my Painter files out of Photoshop. If your Photoshop working area is set to match Painter, it should print fine as long as your file is RGB. Changing it to CMYK requires quite an adjustment in Photoshop. All of my magazine illustrations had to be drastically altered before printing plates could be made for a litho press.

    I use an Epson Stylus Photo R1800 printer and I print on Epson 13"X19" Watercolor paper. (Epson's work best with Epson brand papers.) I think that's the intent of Epson, of course.

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    I litterally have both ps and painter running at the same time when working on something, and I'm constantly hopping between the two on a 'ok, bored, lets see what I can do with this' mentality. Not the best, I know, but on a more structured workflow I tend to do most my rendering in painter, switch to ps for corrections, photo manipulations, and slapping down a few custom brushes, then hop over back to painter to blend what I've got....then back over to ps for clean up and sharpening, and then I'm done....I hope

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    Youd dont compare the two you use them againts there weekness, like what ps cant do pianter can and vice versa. you use them together as any real or good artist would. depending on the picture

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    Or, you can put them both in a Caged Death Match. Two enter. One leaves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrien. View Post
    you use them together as any real or good artist would. depending on the picture

    Well said. I never understood this 'either/or' attitude with software. You're not swearing an oath of allegiance to a country or your spouse-it's a tool people! :-)

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    You would understand if you could only buy one or the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portus View Post
    You would understand if you could only buy one or the other.
    Oh? You know nothing about me or my financial situation.

    I only own Painter and PS Essentials. I can't afford PS as well either. But I am able to admit that both are useful tools.

    Cheers

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    James Thornton makes some excellent comments here.

    I use Painter for painting and drawing, seems like a digital dream moving from traditional media, all these tools to use; variety of brushes, great for layer adjusting and manipulation, fantastic blending variant tools.

    When it comes to printing any artwork, I do not like the results in Painter.
    Instead I use Corel Photo Paint and then make comparison to Painter prints on an inkjet printer. Photo Paint, like Photoshop has much richer and vibrant colors that look more like your monitor display.
    As James pointed out better color callibration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Lo Piano View Post
    Instead I use Corel Photo Paint
    I don't see that program listed at Corel. Is that anything like Paint Shop Pro Photo?

    Cheers

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    James Thornton's post needs to be stick and in it's own thread. This question comes up way to often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Improv View Post
    I don't see that program listed at Corel. Is that anything like Paint Shop Pro Photo?

    Cheers
    It comes in the bundle with the CorelDraw suite of applications (you can't buy it separately). I always thought that Corel Photo-Paint was Corels more professional app than Paint Shop Pro (it's very similar to PS in what it does). But since I've only used Photo-Paint I maybe completely wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fes View Post
    It comes in the bundle with the CorelDraw suite of applications (you can't buy it separately). I always thought that Corel Photo-Paint was Corels more professional app than Paint Shop Pro (it's very similar to PS in what it does). But since I've only used Photo-Paint I maybe completely wrong.
    Thanks, Fes. No wonder I couldn't see the product on corel.com!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadog View Post
    What's the easiest and/or most reliable way you have found to fix the image in Photoshop for printing? Curve adjustments? I always seem to end up destroying some of the tonal qualities I'm trying to salvage (for example, lightening the darks tends to destroy the contrast, etc.) Is there any basic technique or general principle you can pass on to help me make my Painter art print better in Photoshop?
    Hey sigmadog,

    Have you tried playing around with the Levels tool yet?

    I don't think you could work it into an action per se because every image needs only a certain amount of adjustment, but it will lighten the lights without destroying the darks.

    Hope that helps!

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    It all depends on your background i suppose. Personally, I never did much digital art till a few years ago. Coming from a fine arts background, Painter was definitely a much easier transition for me as it retains the tool names and whatnot for the most part. Photoshop is much more utilitarian, which isn't to imply it can't be used in a painterly manner. It's merely more oriented to those with a photography background in function. The names of it's filters and tools reflect that background and the needs from it. So if you did more photography traditionally you will probably flow more easily with PS. In otherwords, Use them both to accomplish the tasks they are best at. ;P

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    Painter, as I understand it, is a completely RGB working color profile. As soon as you lay that first stroke down, if the image wasn't RGB before, it is now.

    So- when you start an image in CMYK in photoshop and/or export out of painter to photoshop with CMYK and then later put it back into painter, you've converted the image in one way or another color profile-wise. The more times you do this the more it'll look worse somewhere not on your monitor. I heard someone say one time that if you intend to paint in painter, always start in RGB and only convert once, at the end and use color adjustments when needed (photoshop tends to saturate the hell out of some colors and warms the whole thing up for me).

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    Painter vs Photoshop

    I use Painter strictly for painting and Photoshop for just about everything else. (I also use Adobe Illustrator, but not as much as I did before I retired.)

    Examples:

    PAINTER



    PHOTOSHOP CS3 Also used for color corrections, retouching, making composite photos and way too many other things to mention here.



    I print everything out of Photoshop CS3. I never tried printing out of Painter since PS CS3 works so well.

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    and that Painter alone doesn't yield professional output.
    Wait, what? I think that Painter rewards the person who has just moved from traditional media to digital, and with a tablet, it feels like you never stopped working with the old tools. The end product is just as refined imho, it just takes a bit more work.

    Saying it doesn't yield professional output seems off though. There is a ton of amazing work being produced all the time, using only Painter.

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    Not exactly, most rely on Photoshop layer effects and layer modes for certain effects and color retouches even though they only used Painter to paint the whole image, you have no idea how useful layer styles and adjustment layers are until you try them, seriously great!

    About colors appearing differently in Photoshop<>Painter, I can say it's all the user fault, I use SAI, Painter and Photoshop and the files all look exactly the same on all programs and print very closely to what I see on screen, it's all about color managment and choosing the right profile.

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    I'm just about sick of Painter crashing on me though...Using the masking on painter at your own risk. I keep trying though.

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