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Full Version: Photoshop VS everything else
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I don't know if this has been discussed in the past ... tried to search for it without much success , if it has been , please let me know.

Everywhere I look .. the top program I see that is being used by most 2D visual artists (I'd go as far as to say 90%) is Adobe Photoshop.

My question is .. why ?

Is it like some sort of brand that exists in the same way cars/clothes/whatever else brands exist that don't necessarily have to provide the best quality ? (not saying it doesn't ... just saying it doesn't have to do that ... Example: Bought a pair of "nameless" sneakers that lasted me a lot longer, looked better and were way cheaper than a pair of Nike sneakers)

Is it just a habit that everyone got into ? That meaning that it might have been one of the first successful programs of this type and from that point on everyone has kept using it and passing it on in a "from generation to generation" manner ?

From what I've searched so far I found out that there are certain programs that have better line quality than PS (example: Paint tool Sai , Manga studio ...) and also other programs that are particularly better at painting (example: Corel Painter). The examples here are based on opinions of others which sometimes might be subjective so those also need some sort of confirmation ... I can only account for a tiny bit of MS.

Or is it just really that good ? The "powerhouse" ?

Now some of you might say that it's really just a matter of "Go with whatever you like" or "Use the one that advantages you the most". While I agree with that completely ... I have to bring in front the issue that I've started the post with. I not only see it everywhere ... but it seems like it is a requirement everywhere.

Now I don't know about industry ... but I've certainly seen photoshop specifically required in certain online workshops. Workshops that didn't require painting or some specific advanced tools that can be found only in photoshop.

Was it just the fact that the teachers themselves were only familiar with photoshop or was it something else ? What if the industry goes by that same rule ?

Personally I'd like to know more about this in an objective manner. Perhaps I'm overthinking this .. still ... I feel like it needs to be talked about. Thank you !
I don't think thats a requirement. At the end of a day you just need to bring a nice JPG, nobody gives a shit how you've done it. So its up to you to chose. There's lots of tools Painter, Gimp, PS etc etc. I tried most of them. You need to take in account not just what people say in the forums, but your personal feelings. Think how comfortable you feel with the software you choose, is it reliable, and stable? Software can crush and corrupt your Shit, 5 minutes before you hit Save. Anyway I feel like the list is pretty narrowed and PS is on the top for a good reason. Its comfortable, reliable and it has all you need.
I've tried several programs before buying PS - mostly Photoline 32, which is a PS clone but comparably cheap, a very old version of Corel Painter (never got really warm with it, and it crashed a lot), Pixelmator (still in it's baby shoes - good progam, but limited in its painting capacity when I tried it), and probably some others I don't remember ... but mainly worked with Photoline. Never tried Sai, Mangastudio or similar since I didn't know about these back then, or they were not available for Mac.

When I finally decided to just give PS a try, it kind of felt like someone had untied my hands, or removed clunky gloves from my hands - making nice strokes, pressure sensitivity, everything just felt SO much better! As if finally it is me who sucks and needs to get better, and not the program. So it was kind of a instant-decision to buy (with student's discount) and one I've never regretted, despite being quite hard on myself when spending money on stuff. Love on first sight :D
So I guess it's just mainly because it is - mostly - stable (more than Painter), and a high quality product since many years, so people got used to using it as a default option. As for courses, I don't think you really need Photoshop, if it is just about painting in general - but maybe instructors don't want to have to bother with people using weird programs that might make trouble during the course?
As for better line quality etc - I would suspect comic / linework heavy artists do indeed use other programs than PS for their work... or a mix of programs, using the strengths of each.
I used Gimp for 3 years. No issues, did everything I could do in PS.
I am now transitioning to Krita which has an awesome brush engine and is more PS-like
MyPaint is a good Painter equivalent.

Why these over PS?

Principle. I like the open source model over the commercial capitalism model. It is a model founded on passion and the common good, rather than selfishness and greed. Oh yeah, and it's free! It has never held me back in the slightest.

I also used Linux as my OS after ditching Windows out of pure frustration, and hating Mac even more for their terrible proprietary stance. Basically while I believe any tool is just that, a tool, we can make choices about the world we live in and because that shapes the world it becomes, I choose to not support profit over passion as a rule.

Hell, half the reason we struggle as artists is because passion seems to have no real value in today's world, and to survive we have to monetise the shit out of everything we do in order to feel worthy.

Yes PS is an awesome product no doubt, but their main motivation is profit, no two ways about it. They just happen to be the monopoly share of the painting software world due to being around for ever. It's not that hard to pick up quickly if needs be if you need to work in a studio.

Your choice. Go with the majority, or take a stance. Either doesn't matter at all (except to your wallet) if all you care about is to have a tool to paint with. :)
Yes Photoshop is all about monopoly. All companies are using it, community is biggest etc. Why? for me it's because it's very powerful tool, but not focused on painting. What is missing in most other software is possibility of working with different color models/profiles what is externally helpful for printing, easy editing color channels and alpha channel what is needed in textures and game assets, and PS is fast.
What I don't like in Photoshop is brush engine. For many years I painted In non-photoshop software and I don't see any need to invest money in PS if you don't need to. There are other awesome companies like guys making Clip Paint Studio who are not ripping you off every year with "new" version of software. And I love Corel Painter! Other thing about photoshop is that when you paint in it You look like everybody else. Few of my last works where in photoshop and I feel it looks too much like other artists works. So my conclusion is that software is also part of your style!
Honestly, I wish that there was a solid competitor for Adobe Photoshop, because in all honesty, it really is about commercialism and profit.

I tried Gimp, and though I liked it... It lived up to its name in comparison to PS. Especially considering the limited selection of brushes. With PS, I can get brushes from my favourite artists to experiment with, to try things in a different way. With Gimp, that's not an option, because everyone is using PS.

If everyone was using Gimp, there'd be more brushes, I'm sure, and more workarounds, and more work being done on that project.

I think the only reason people use photoshop is because people use photoshop. It's kind of like why people use Windows, rather than Linux. Accessibility, ease-of-use, convenience, and easier to do gaming. Well, maybe not that last one. Grin

Opensource stuff is getting better, though, and I hope that it starts to measure up to these big names, but it's difficult to do a lot without a lot of money to fund it, I think. Sad, but true.
Of course Adobe is all about making a profit. It's a company. That's what companies do. So while I *LUUUURVE* the ink tool in Manga Studio and I'm sure there are other software that are better at painting (I don't "get" Painter, even though I tried) there is nothing that comes close to Photoshop for general digital work. You can paint, you can do basic animation, you can do vector, you can resized stuff, you can paletize stuff, you can touch up photos and screenshots, you can do all kinds of operations that might not be obvious to you, and so it's the standard in studios around the world. I worked in major studios and EVERYONE uses PS. Of course, sometimes we had to use specialised tools (debabelizer for palettes, fireworks for weird file formats for vintage engines, pro-motion for pixel animation etc) none of them were ever useful enough that we'd have more than a handful of licenses in the studio.
Also, if you have a problem in PS, there are thousands upon thousands of people who are proficient with it and can help you.
(12-18-2014, 10:57 PM)Bookend Wrote: [ -> ]I tried Gimp, and though I liked it... It lived up to its name in comparison to PS. Especially considering the limited selection of brushes. With PS, I can get brushes from my favourite artists to experiment with, to try things in a different way. With Gimp, that's not an option, because everyone is using PS.

If everyone was using Gimp, there'd be more brushes, I'm sure, and more workarounds, and more work being done on that project.

Have you tried the GPS brushes? They might not be great, but they are much better than the default brushes that come with Gimp.

The biggest problem with open source in my opinion is fragmentation: there's Gimp and there's Krita and MyPaint and Drawpile (and probably others as well that I don't even know about) and somehow they all look promising, like they could be made into really solid software with just a bit of focused effort, but instead of one good free software we end up with many half-baked ones.
I work in studio that does casual games and I do all sorts of stuff there. Painting is only small percent of that job. There's preparing textures, retouching certain things, making user interface (vector shapes and layers styles help here a lot), compositing images together and many other things. I think that's the reason that Photoshop is the default program for 2d artist. It's universal, fast and very reliable. Once in a while we tried doing some stuff in Gimp and it almost always lacked some option or functionality to do the job quickly.

What I would like to see more in Photoshop is more customizable and comfortable color palettes for painting and better brush stroke smoothing. Perspective grid snap would be nice addition too.