Using iMac For Digital Drawing Help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shuffles, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. shuffles macrumors 6502

    shuffles

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    dublin, ireland
    #1
    I'm looking at buying a 27" iMac in the next few months and as well as using it as my computing base and link for an iPad I'm also toying with the idea of doing some digital sketching. Thing is, I've no idea what accessories and what software I should go for? I've heard Wacom tablets are good but I'm new to this. Also, is an iMac a suitable machine for this task? Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Finally, should I wait for a refresh? Will better cpu's and gpu's greatly benefit the type of work I'll be looking to do? Mostly, the iMac will be a hub for movies, music, web browsing, digital drawing, and some light music editing (I'm going to be getting a keyboard piano and will hook it up to the iMac). The reason I ask is that, as of now, I have enough to either purchase a new iPad 64GB 4G model or an iPad 1 64GB 3G model & a 2009 iMac 27" for the same price.
     
  2. boto macrumors 6502

    boto

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #2
    I would definitely wait patiently. My career path lies in the field of Animation and I plan to wait until the next release for a better screen display. I owned the current 2011 27" high end model and it was fabulous until my eyes got strained over time. I was not able to withstand the glossy glass panel that kept reflecting myself in a bright light environment and it interfered with my designing performance. Also, the new GPUs and CPUs will make a slight difference in completing tasks and projects quicker if your willing to wait. This year's model will most likely be more worth it in terms of value for the buck.
     
  3. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502

    shuffles

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    dublin, ireland
    #3
    In terms of hardware & software, what should I look at? Bear in mind, I've never created any digital content before.

    ----------

    Digital drawing content I mean
     
  4. Gloops macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #4
    It really dependants what sort of work you want to produce. For my illustration work I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. If you want to do vector designs Adobe Illustrator would be better.

    For input you can't go wrong with a Wacom Cintiq, or an Intuos if you're on a budget (but then you have to look at the display while you're drawing elsewhere, which can take some getting used to).

    Really, the reflective iMac display isn't conducive to graphical work. As the previous poster said, you may want to wait for the next release and hope Apple produce a matte option.
     
  5. iMcLovin macrumors 68000

    iMcLovin

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #5
    iMac is perfect for an artist. Though as mentioned here, reflection on the screen....IF the next update of the iMac has something which are more anti reflective I would consider waiting a couple of months for that and you probably get more for your money then too.

    I´ve worked professionally as a digital artist for 20 years. I use Wacom and it´s the best tablet you can get, without doubt (I have tested others).

    I´ve been using the Intuos model, currently on Intuos 4. This is the professional line from Wacom, and its a great product. I dont know how much money you are willing to invest, but if 349$ is ok then the Medium Intuos 5 Touch is perfect: http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Intuos/Medium.aspx

    But if you want to do it as a simple hobby, the low end wacom tablets are great product too. The current low cost model is actually good products, despite the low cost - in fact you get more from the bamboo serie today than what Intuos had to offer 5 years ago. So hobby work, no need to think you can achieve less on this or that drawing a nice drawing is harder on a Bamboo. I would go for the 199$ larger bamboo:
    http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Bamboo/BambooTablets/BambooCreate.aspx.
    But even the small models are fine if you just want to play a bit. They dont have multitouch and eraser baktip, but I´ve never used those anyway...and the buttons on the tablet is also something I never used. so you can easily create good stuff with a cheap 79$ bamboo too...and you still get pressuresensitivity:
    http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Bamboo/BambooTablets/BambooSplash.aspx


    Or of course, if money doesn´t matter and you wanna go pro at once, the Cintiq´s are a completely different ballpark! I´ve just ordered a Cintiq 22HD, and I can´t wait. But it´s a different pricetag too though, and they are huge...so no point unless you are a professional.
    http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Cintiq/Cintiq24touch.aspx
     
  6. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502

    shuffles

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    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    dublin, ireland
    #6
    The Cintiq 22 is amazing!! Price is not an issue for me if the experience and output potential far outweigh the initial cost. This is definitely an area I want to spend my life in. I've been obsessed with art and drawing my whole life and I think digital drawing is my calling. I've never ventured into that area before and I know that a product like a Cintiq 22 could be considered as overkill for someone who is not in the industry but as soon as I saw it and it's potential from the link you provided, I knew it was definitely the product that I need to buy.

    Matte is definitely an option I think I would really need, glossy displays are really annoying when creating and drawing I imagine. Hopefully the next update of the iMac will have a matte option.
     
  7. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502

    shuffles

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    dublin, ireland
    #7
    If there is no matte option included in the refresh would you still recommend picking one up or opting for a used MacBook Pro 17" with a matte display?
     
  8. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #8
    I hope I can be of help, because I use my iMac for lots of digital art, media and graphics.

    In my opinion, even the base iMac is not underpowered and has plenty of grunt to push pixels fast enough for drawing. The higher you go of course, the better CPUs you get, and that can be advantageous if you need to use lots of effects and things such as gaussian blurs. If you don't need the iMac at the current moment, you can always wait, especially if you need USB 3.0, but otherwise, it doesn't matter a whole heap amount.

    As for software, both Corel draw and Adobe Photoshop/Fireworks are good tools, but I prefer the free and open-source Gimp which has all the features at a much cheaper price (free!). For vectors, Inkscape is a good free alternative to the expensive Adobe Illustrator.
     
  9. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502

    shuffles

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    dublin, ireland
    #9
    I've been on Apple's online store sifting through the various Adobe software program's and packages but need a little help deciding what to go for/what do I need.

    For someone looking to create both digital artwork using a tablet based input device like a Wacom tablet and also creating hand drawn & painted artwork which would be scanned into the iMac for effect adding/touch-ups, what package should I look at?

    My partner is extremely interested in digital photography, typography etc so I'd be looking to kill two birds with one stone in terms of buying an all round package that would satisfy both our needs.

    Also, I've noticed the standard editions and student/teacher editions of each Adobe package along with the hefty jump in price tag. What would you recommend?
     
  10. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Queensland Australia
    #10
    To be perfectly honest, I think even a base 21.5" iMac and $200 drawing tablet with Gimp would suffice.

    If you have the money for a 27" iMac, Cintiq and Adobe suite then by all means go for it (I know I would and did in the case of my iMac). However they're not necessities, a fantastic tablet won't make you a fantastic artist, your skill as an artist will determine the quality of your work not how expensive your hardware is.

    My point is don't get so caught up with what you use to produce content, just buy what you can, learn how to use it and learn how to use it well. For what it's worth I use a 27" iMac (the large resolution really is great for digital art) a $240 Wacom Bamboo touch and Adobe Photoshop CS5 & Corel Painter.

    EDIT: Maybe take a look at Photoshop Essentials, it has less features but is a lot cheaper. And good luck mate, I'm trying to make my way as a digital artist myself, slow progress so far though.
     
  11. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502

    shuffles

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    dublin, ireland
    #11
    Cheers for that. I won't have enough money to buy all three items at once. I see myself getting an iMac first, possibly picking up a cheap second hand Wacom whilst saving in the background for a good tablet.

    You're absolutely right about being a good artist first and foremost. Good luck with your endeavours.
     
  12. iMcLovin macrumors 68000

    iMcLovin

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #12
    Yeah the glare/no glare ain't such a big problem, it's just that IF they make a less glare screen then it's worth waiting for. But the reflection is only a problem when you have a window or strong light behind you.
    If you buy a cintiq then its no problem anyway, you won't hardly look at the imac screen anyway
     

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