Raster & Vector layers in same image - Pixelmator?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by eejits, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    #1
    I currently create a bunch o' cartoon creatures known as 'eejits' (hence the username!) using Windows and Paint Shop Pro X2. I create them using a mixture of vectors and raster layers within the same image. Paint Shop Pro does all this and it's a great bit of software (plus I'm stuck in my ways...I've been using it for years.

    I am looking to move over to the Mac this year sometime and unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's gonna be a Mac version of PSP anytime soon. So I was wondering if there are any similar software packages out there, except PhotoShop & Illustrator, that would be able to do the same thing? Pixelmator looks very interesting and I was wondering if any of you guys had any experience with it.

    You can visit my creatures over at http://www.eejits-online.co.uk to see the type of work I do...... :)

    Thanks for your time,

    George
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I haven't used Pixelmator much since I bought into Adobe's system, but from my understanding, the new versions are capable of vector artwork alongside raster graphics. In my opinion, it's overall not as versatile and full-featured as Photoshop and Illustrator, but it's definitely competitive and much cheaper.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #3
    Pixelmator is only $15 at the moment and I believe it's still possible to download a free trial from their website. You can get questions answered from their Support site, there is a helpful community of users, plus tutorials. --And other tuts sites include pxm-tuts.com & tripletsisters.com, ideavenue.com, etc. are very, very helpful.

    You should check out iDraw as well from indeeio, $25. It is vectors only but you can import textures, etc. It's a pleasure to use, especially compared to Adobe Illustrator. They're currently waiting for Apple approval for a massive update with more power features, vector importing/exporting. check out their Facebook Page. They are in the process of setting up a tuts site for the new update. I found that I can use iDraw to do Vectortuts+ AI tutorials. Sometimes even Pixelmator, and that was before the 2.2 release.

    Until Pixelmator's recent vector update, I was using iDraw & Pixelmator combined.

    I just bought Manga Studio 5 for $67 on Amazon --and based on your website images, you should take a look at this program too. You can combine vector and raster layers within one image file, choose brush & pen and textured brushes in EITHER raster or vector format, just a lot of options but more complex than iDraw and Pixelmator. MS 5's brush engine is fabulous with a tablet.

    :)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Cheers guys. I'm not on Mac yet, so can't d/load a demo version o' Pixelmator to try it out.

    I thought Manga Studio was raster only, didn't realise that it could do vectors too. I'll look into that. Can it do layer styles too?

    George
     
  5. CrickettGrrrl, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #5
    Well, hurry up! :)

    Here's a link to the overview, with more specific videos on the right hand side:

    http://manga.smithmicro.com/tutorials/manga5/NewFeatures.html

    Things are set up differently than Ps, but it seems set up better for illustrators than Ps. I got it not so much for the manga/cartoon stuff but for the line work controls for illustration. I'm coming from a mostly non-digital background and dabbled lightly with digital art for almost 10 years before committing to learning digital in more depth a couple years ago. So I'm in a constant push-pull between hand/brain muscle memory and the computer. So far (I've only had it less than a week!) MS 5 seems more like drawing/drawing, if that makes any sense.

    I've become very comfortable with Pixelmator and iDraw so the only complaint I have so far with Manga Studio 5 is the very light grey UI, it bugs the crap out of me. Ironically, the biggest complaint people have with Pixelmator is the very dark UI. But I wish I could set preference in MS 5 to darken it.

    BTW: Check out the top comments about Manga Studio 5 on Amazon too, some very useful information there.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2013
    #6
    Thank you CrickettGrrrl.

    The trouble I have with new software is that I'm so set in my ways with using Paint Shop Pro, it's hard to switch over. I like the look of Pixelmator and it's UI and I agree that the Manga Studio one is a bit washed out looking.

    I'll see how I get on though. Thanks for the tips and the info.

    George
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #7
    For the type of work you're doing I would have to suggest Inkscape would probably be the better option because it's 100% vector based.

    It means for print and upscale it will be much better compared to Pixelmator.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    ezekielrage_99: I use vectors for inking (bezier curves) and objects (vector shapes) but I use raster layers too to do the colouring, the highlights and shading.

    I don't think Inkscape would be the all-in-one solution for me. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    George
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #9
    I would suggest checking it out mainly because it's a vector drawing program opposed to a bitmap based program you are using vectors in. From experience designing these types of things in the past a raster application isn't usually best suited for this type of work.

    It's free and it does have a very good community for learning the application, this to me is a huge bonus, thus the recommendation.

    http://inkscape.org
     
  10. CrickettGrrrl, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #10
    Hi George,

    I asked the universe and got a Manga Studio5 5.02 update this morning which allows one to change the UI to a darker shade, with further adjustments. Plus quite a few extra features. (Next time I'll ask the universe for a cool million bucks.)

    Here is a screen shot of the new UI, --I doodled in a vector layer with an inking brush on my tablet, then selected to adjust the bezier nodes of the stroke. There is also a way to adjust the width of the strokes in a vector layer but I can't remember how just yet --still learning this new stuff. :)

    Edit: D'oh! I see the vector line width options now in the menu on the left... :rolleyes:
     

    Attached Files:

  11. thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2013
    #11
    Ok, you've convinced me..... I'll have a gander at it.

    Looks more like Paint Shop Pro now, which is nice. There's an awful lot of control points on that line though. My lines have 2- 10 at most. I assume that because of the way it was created rather than using bezier curves first? Is that right......

    George
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #12
    Yes indeed, the reason it has so many control points is because I first selected a new vector layer, chose a pen tool and simply drew it with the tablet. You can create things point by point. --And there is a menu option to simplify the line.

    Pretty much like Photoshop & Illustrator, iDraw and Pixelmator, where you can use the freeform pen tool to draw vector lines, then go back and delete extraneous points. Except you can't adjust the vector line or stroke width in iDraw and Pixelmator just yet.

    This is exactly what I've been looking for, software which is more like real drawing but with nice clean, scaleable vector lines, and combo raster & vector, less inscrutable than Illustrator. --Although so many features have been added, perhaps it's not less inscrutable, I don't know yet.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Going point to point is how I do it currently as I only have a wee Bamboo tablet at the moment. This all sounds promising.

    So...when's the trial for MS5 out?

    George
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #14
    The trial versions for 5 and 5 EX are supposed to be released soon, not available just yet. Looks like 5 EX was just released this morning, that'll make a lot of people happy. --And if you do buy MS 5, it's about $13 less on Amazon.

    Don't bother with the trial version of Manga Studio 4 --from everything I've read, it's completely different than 5 & 5 EX.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2013
    #15
    It seems that you can no longer download the retail version of Manga Studio 5 or 5EX, you can only purchase a physical copy.

    My fear is that there won't be a trial version for download. They may have dropped the download version to combat piracy? I dunno...... seems strange.

    George
     
  16. CrickettGrrrl, Sep 7, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #16
    Hi George,

    Yes, there's a weird thing going on between Smith-Micro and Celsys at the moment. Hopefully it's only negotiations--because Celsys are the actual software developers in Japan and Smith-Micro is their distributor & have been doing customer support. Smith-Micro have also been responsible for the the English translations from original Japanese. Apparently Celsys are using the S-M translations verbatim in their downloads because they have identical errors.

    I hope the dust settles soon. I've had some very responsive tech support from Smith Micro, but I've read that Celsys's isn't too great. I bought the box set & so far both companies are saying there will be update(s) to Manga Studio 5/5EX. I haven't shelled out the $99 for the EX upgrade so far.

    Have you got your iMac yet? Oh well, even if you don't, you can download a trial version of Clip Studio Paint from Celsys at this link and see how you like the software:
    http://www.clipstudio.net./en

    It is identical to Manga Studio 5.

    Also: Ray Frenden said he was going to offer some free beta Manga Studio 5 brushes this weekend, hasn't released them quite yet, but look for them if you do download CSP trial version.
    http://www.frenden.com
    EDIT: Beta brushes (brushpens & watercolor tools) delayed to next weekend probably.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #17

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