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Photoshop Vs GIMP and Tablet info


6150 rpm and spinning.
I'm giving thought to getting back into art and have decided to try the digital realm rather than the paper one. As such I would like the opinion of the myriad of artists here on which would be better for me; GIMP or Photoshop. And Further more what tablet do you lot suggest? I won't be using the tablet just for drawing but for general interface as well.

Thanks in advance!



Well-Known Member
Well, GIMP gets a lot of love simply because of its price tag (or lack thereof). Photoshop has more powerful features, but its minimum requirements are higher to match.

Photoshop also manages just about everything inside one contained window whereas GIMP manages its toolboxes using discrete, separate windows.

Photoshop has better tablet support, as well. It's disorienting to attempt drawing with a tablet when the program lags behind your movements by a 1/4 second....

As for the actual tablet, a Bamboo Fun is a good, cost-effective place to start. The Intuos tablets are where you'll find the real power, but only a few programs can harness the tablets' advanced features. Pressure-sensitivity is all you really need for most purposes.

As for general usage, that's easy: Treat it as if it were a stylus-driven touch screen. When the pen is in proximity to the pad, it will override the mouse as your on-screen cursor.


a ghost in a shell
Photoshop VS GIMP is mostly a matter of personal preference. Most artists don't utilize Photoshop to its full capabilities and may consider it a waste considering its price. GIMP is an easy way to test things out to see if maybe Photoshop would be worth the investment, etc. I personally prefer Photoshop over GIMP, but it is mostly out of habit as I've been using Photoshop since version 5.

As far as tablets go, I am a big fan of Wacom's older Graphire line. You can find new and used Graphire4s on eBay for around $50-80 usually, which is very cheap for a tablet. The only real difference between the Graphires and the Intuos is the level of pressure sensitivity, which, unless you're gonna be really hardcore, doesn't make that much of a difference. Me, I'm still using a six year old Wacom Graphire2... even in its old, overused, half-abused age, it works for me.

Also, as far as tablet size goes, that's also personal preference. Since I've had my tablet so long, I am very used to its tiny 4x5in mouse pad size. Most casual users seem to like the 6x8 and a lot of art kids I know like the lap-size tablets. There's a bit of a learning curve going from one size to another, but other than that, it's all up to you.


The Real Wheels of Steel
And remember the majority of tablet users don't actually draw their pictures completely from scratch digitally (unless they're doing an online OpenCanvas session), but use them to process, color, and modify/retouch hand-inked pencils.

I've been using tablets as primary pointing devices since Windows 3.1 was still in common use, and I've only done two or three pictures (out of several hundred) from the ground up as digital.


QT Melon

AMF Member
I use Painter the most personally, but I also use Open Canvas. I rarely touch Photoshop for effects and usually only use it to edit the final raw image to one I put on the web.

I heard good things about Sai Paint, and Art Rage.

I also do most digital instead of scanning something traditionally. If I work traditionally it's mostly 100% if it's digital it's also 100%. It is up to personal style.

For tablets I guess it depends how intense you are going to be with your tablet, intuos has buttons you can program shortcut keys for any program. Bamboo is just a general shortcut that isn't specific to each program.

Graphire is alright too but no program keys.


6150 rpm and spinning.
My thanks for the info and thoughts. For now I'm going to stick with Gimp until I really feel I need photoshop. As for the tablet I'm going for a smaller Intuos for now and will get a bigger one when need be.

Thanks for the thoughts folks! Peace!