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  1. #1
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    Disabled Designer

    I am an architecture student who has a chiari malformation, a brain disorder that causes constant severe neck and shoulder pain. Due to this problem, being in a reclined position is the only way I can work for an extended amount of time . I am looking for suggestion of iput devices and software that will allow me to purse design process using the computer. I am looking to do everything that is involved in design digitally, from concept to process to finished product. I have been experimenting with a digital tablet and several programs - Maya, Z-Brush, Sketch-up, and Painter. What I need are suggestion for programs that would allow me to be loose at the beginning stages of design. The tablet I have is a wacom intuos 3 6 x 8, I am still getting used to it, but I am starting to think that it can't totally replace the pen and pencil. The good think about it is that it allows me to draw without looking down.

    I would really appreciate any suggestion. So far it seems that Sketch-up is the best for process since it is so easy and I was also thinking of Studio Tools- haven't tried it yet though. I am not experienced with all the programs and computer iput devices due to the fact that I have been using traditional media and your help will be appreciated. Thanks alot

    "Nasty Nose" Nate


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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastyNate
    I am an architecture student who has a chiari malformation, a brain disorder that causes constant severe neck and shoulder pain. Due to this problem, being in a reclined position is the only way I can work for an extended amount of time . I am looking for suggestion of iput devices and software that will allow me to purse design process using the computer. I am looking to do everything that is involved in design digitally, from concept to process to finished product. I have been experimenting with a digital tablet and several programs - Maya, Z-Brush, Sketch-up, and Painter. What I need are suggestion for programs that would allow me to be loose at the beginning stages of design. The tablet I have is a wacom intuos 3 6 x 8, I am still getting used to it, but I am starting to think that it can't totally replace the pen and pencil. The good think about it is that it allows me to draw without looking down.

    I would really appreciate any suggestion. So far it seems that Sketch-up is the best for process since it is so easy and I was also thinking of Studio Tools- haven't tried it yet though. I am not experienced with all the programs and computer iput devices due to the fact that I have been using traditional media and your help will be appreciated. Thanks alot

    "Nasty Nose" Nate
    Just quick question about your situation: you said that it was good that you didn't need to look down - I'm assuming this is because of the neck pains - but you might want to check out a tablet pc. The way I'm thinking of now, it would be a bit hard to use without looking down but you could use it in a reclining position. It's just a heavy and expensive piece of equipment though.

  4. #3
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    What you need is not nessesarilly special equipement but equipement to mount what's available onto. If working in a reclined possition is best then you need something to hold your monitor. That's easy, lots of stuff in the entertainment supply field for that. Best choose a quality flat screen (less eye fatigue AND lighter weight to mount).

    Next you need to have a keyboard mounted. A mini-keyboard will be easy to mount on flex tube (like what microphones are mounted to).

    Next comes the WACOM pad. This should eliminate the need for a mouse. While it's nice to use both try sticking to the one unit. Just take the time to get used to it. The WACOM needs a more rigid mounting than the keyboard since your be pressing hard against it.

    Next software: It's true that the tablet won't replace pencil and paper with paint programs but it goes a long way the more you get used to it. However, if you adapt to using a vector art program like Illustrator or Freehand in conjuction with other programs like Photoshop and Painter then there is nothing to limit you from achieving maximum quality in any art field. Further, a CAD program for architectual work (vector based) or 3D programs will also expand your horizons.

    The point is where sktching in the WACOM doesn't product the results you want it is possible to us vector lines to trace over sketches to achieve clean results.

    Good Luck to you.
    Peace, Love and Harmony... I could never get them all into bed at the same time!

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, a mini-keyboard sounds like a good idea. I was thinking along the same lines myself. Thats good to know that you get used to the tablet- it feels so different than drawing on paper. I will try incorporating vector lines when I can't get the line quality I want. I actually am having great fun with the tablet even though I am not used to it. The good thing about this situation is that even though I have done more traditional work, I actaully am fascinated with computers. Just haven't had the time to really learn how to use it as an effective tool as I have been doing mostly traditional work before.

  6. #5
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    You can stick a sheet of paper on your wacom (larger than the drawing area tho, so your pen doesn't fall off the edge) some people find it easier because it gives them the friction of paper with a tablet. I usually find that having my wacom or keyboard in my lap when I'm reclining is comfy and I can work a long time.

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