View Full Version : Comparing CP to PS

03 March 2005, 08:54 AM
Does anyone have experience of both CP and PS ? I know this is a CS forum but i would be interested to hear an "unbiased" comparision of the 2

I run PS v7.01 and am considering wheter to upgrade to v8 (CS) though i want to look at the alternatives such as CS and PSP

Sorry for all the TLA's but i am a lazy typist

03 March 2005, 04:30 AM
I own all three and can maybe give my .02.

PSCS is the most powerful and has the largest "community" support. All the others try and copy PS. You will find more tutorials and help for this app than any other CG app available now.

PSP is surprisingly good, the ones who doubt this have likely never used it. IMO it has the friendliest interface (in fact I've heard Adobe was going to make theirs more like PSP next time around). It's completely customizable with roll-in/roll-out pallettes and pretty much all you could ask for in an interface since you can make it exactly like you want it. You will lack some pro features like PS's color management plus a few other things, but many would never miss the features it lacks.

Painter is cute, but the latest release seems to lack stability. It is fun to use and has big advantages over the others, like natural media. I think the people who will like it best are those who have a background in natural media. If this is what you're looking for try and find a copy of Painter Classic, it comes with some tablets free and does most of what the latest release does without all the bugs. I have both versions on my machine and usually use classic when I'm looking for that kind of effect. I've heard most complaints coming from windows users so the mac version must be pretty stable.

03 March 2005, 05:55 AM
Painter is cute, but the latest release seems to lack stability. It is fun to use and has big advantages over the others, like natural media. I think the people who will like it best are those who have a background in natural media. If this is what you're looking for try and find a copy of Painter Classic, it comes with some tablets free and does most of what the latest release does without all the bugs. I have both versions on my machine and usually use classic when I'm looking for that kind of effect. I've heard most complaints coming from windows users so the mac version must be pretty stable.

I'd have to respectfully disagree on this. Painter 9 is a powerhouse of a painting application in the hands of someone that knows how to use it. It does things that Photoshop just can't do well. I use both in tandem and they are great. If you have to choose between the two, Photoshop is probably the best all around application but Painter is an invaluable tool to many.

Classic lacks alot of the features that the full product includes. If you are basing your opinion on classic than you dont have the full view of Painter. It is a ton faster this time around and I find it very stable. To call it "cute" implies that its a novelty and doesn't have much value but I can say this, Painter is one tool I am glad I have in my workflow.

Thats just my opinion.

03 March 2005, 06:53 AM
Photoshop is great for extensive and detailed image editing. You can definitely paint masterpieces with it, as artists like Craig Mullins has more than proven. However, its brush engine doesn't behave anything like traditional media, and you have to think digitally to work with it.

Painter mimics traditional media, and for people that have used traditiona media, you'll feel right at home (at least relatively so compared to other apps). Its brush engine is far more advanced than Photoshop's, but editing capabilities lack in comparison. That is not something they will change because they want to concentrate on painting, not editing.

Paint Shop Pro is a lot like a compromise between Photoshop and Painter, but if you compare just the editing to Photoshop or just the painting to Painter, it is not quite comparable. But, it's a great combination of the two.

03 March 2005, 06:55 AM
Thanks for the replies and the good and to the point review !!

I have tried psp in the past and did find it much more user friendly than PS but as said there are far more tuts out there for PS, as for corel i think i will have to d/l a demo, thanks for the heads up on the stability issues

03 March 2005, 02:19 PM
IMO, the essence of Painter is its brushwork, and the responsiveness of the brushes to paintstrokes. I would never use Painter without a tablet-- it is a stroke oriented application.

PS is quite different-- while it now has a creditable painting capability, it remains --for me anyway-- a mostly mouse driven app. Define regions, alter curves, apply filters. . .that's the way PS works.

Again, its just my opinion, but the similarities of Painter and PS are a little deceptive. . .if you look at how people actually _use_ them, they're quite different. I purchased Gnomon's CD of Ryan Church doing concept art . . . its an education to see him using Painter (version 6, interestingly. . .a lot of folks standardized on this) to speedily whip out sketches -- its something what one _could_ do in PS, but it just doesn't seem to be the way that app is set up.

Painter also has workflow items which makes if more useful to me than PS-- the ability to use a mask as source for a distortion. . .for whatever historical reason, PS requires distortion source images to be saved PSD files. . .if you do a lot of work with distortion, you'll find Painter _much_ faster to work with. Similarly, the "Apply Surface Texture" function in Painter is much easier to work with than the analogous "Render Lighting" function in PS.

03 March 2005, 08:40 PM
Lordy, lordy, lordy!

Some opinions are way too much based on lack of knowledge and experience!

To quote sacslacker,

I'd have to respectfully disagree on this. Painter 9 is a powerhouse of a painting application in the hands of someone that knows how to use it.

Painter IX or any full version is neither cute nor comparable to Painter Classic except that Painter Classic 1 was based on the full version Painter 5 and Painter Classic 2 was based on the full version, Painter 7.

Painter Classic 2 is an extremely stripped down software to get people interested in buying a full Painter version. It came bundled, along with other pared down software versions, with Wacom tablets.

It has:

Limited brush categories and brush variants - a rough count brings up 15 brush categories and 51 brush variants in Painter Classic 2. In full Painter versions, there are many more, 18 brush categories and 303 brush variants in the default Painter 7 brush library, 32 brush categories and 762 brush variants in the default Painter 8 brush library, 33 brush categories and 789 brush variants in the default Painter IX brush library.

Limited art materials

No Movie or Shapes main menus at all

Limited main menu commands in the menus that are available

No palette menus at all

Only five brush controls, for Size, Opacity, Grain, and the two Draw Styles, Freehand and Straight Lines

No Composite Methods (similar to Photoshop's Blending Modes) for Layers

An incomplete Tools palette - no Pen, Quick Curve, Oval Shape, Rectangular Shape, or Shape editing tools, and no Magic Wand tool

In addition:

Extra brush libraries and art materials libraries cannot be added and used in Painter Classic 2. Custom brush variants and custom art materials cannot be created and used in Painter Classic 2.

Full Painter Versions:

In all full Painter versions there are extra brush libraries and art materials libraries on the CD's. In addition, the user can create unlimited numbers and a huge variety of custom brush variants, brush categories, and brush libraries as well as custom art materials. The user can also add brush libraries from third party Painter book CD's and custom brushes can be downloaded from the Web and used in full Painter versions. The same is true for art materials.

It's true there are stability issues with Painter IX and most of us learn how to work around them by following suggestions gathered over the years to keep Painter running smoothly. Others wait for a patch which may come and may not come, considering it's been difficult to pin down any kind of pattern to some of the problems. Some users never experience a Painter crash for instance, while others do fairly frequently. Rarely can those users repeat the crash at will or identify the cause which, again, makes it difficult to fix.

In the last year or so, I've heard of quite a few instances in which Photoshop CS, too, just shuts down without warning. My own, very unscientific thought is that this is most often caused more by the user's system and possibly other interferences than by either the Painter IX or Photoshop CS software.

In any case, Painter IX is a great program, powerful, versatile, and great fun to use, so don't be discouraged by people who haven't learned how to deal with it yet. Just download the free 30 day trial version and see for yourself if you like it. Then be sure to listen to experienced users, several of whom have given you some good information on Painter IX.

03 March 2005, 10:53 PM
Definately get the trial first.

I am up to 5 consistent ways to make PIX vanish now. No other software on my machine crashes like this and I have many different applications. Some people have trouble and others do not, just get the trial and read the forums, try what others say causes their's to crash and decide if it's worth the cash to you.

In fact, I am a member of one forum where there is a "Project" thread where they started trying to figure out why Painter 8 went "poof".

It would be great if it would work but every time I got really going well on a project it would disappear. Personally I like PSCS best but partly because I haven't been able to keep PIX running long enough to learn it in depth.

Something else you might do is look here and other galleries. cgtalk's 2d gallery is especially good because the artists usually specify what software they used, that may help you make up your mind.

03 March 2005, 12:18 AM

I forget now if I've asked you this:

Have you written down the details describing each scenario in which you can predictably make Painter IX vanish, then e-mailed it to Rick Champagne at:

That would be a big contribution to the project of pinning down what's causing the POOF! factor.

Yes, there have been a few message boards where there's a thread dedicated to figuring out what makes Painter vanish without warning. So far, there have not been many like you who can make it vanish at will and it would help if there were more.

Mostly, even though people have made an effort to note everything that was going on preceding the vanishing act, there's such a wide variety of scenarios it just doesn't come together. Often the user just has no idea what happened since everything seemed perfectly normal and they were doing what they usually do without any problem.

One of the POOF! factor thread sites is TutorAlley Forums, another is In Depth Arts and less dedicated threads have gone into this subject on Sijun Forums, Forums, and here.

We will all be eternally grateful when this issue is behind us.

By the way, anyone know if spyware could be a culprit?

03 March 2005, 12:45 AM
I have only one specific procedure defined that will make it crash, but I also have four completely different image files that will make it crash, one of which was created and edited entirely in PIX. I have one file that I started in PSCS that crashes PIX on command. It's quite comical actually, I can start PIX and open this .psd and PIX pops up the "Now Copying Photoshop File into Memory" and it cranks along until it gets to about 70% or so and POOF!!! It's gone! :argh:

I don't mind if they contact me with questions but I paid a premium for this software and don't feel I should shell out big cash for a product and then help them to make it work.

I will give you one to try though. This kills PIX every time on both my primary and backup machines.

Note: I found this by mistakenly trying to open a 16 bit image in PIX, and PIX can't handle advanced 16 bit technology (hehe) but I think it might be valuable scoop:

1- Save a file, any file, in PSCS in 16 bit mode.
2- Try to open in PIX and get the proper error message.
3- Now this is important. Leave PIX open. Open the same file and ONLY change the mode to 8 bit and save. Take no other steps in PS. Now close PSCS and go back to PIX and File>Open, then try to open again. POOF!

It's like PIX is jealous of Photoshop or something. That's okay, PIX is kinda like a lovely young lady and PS is like an old coggy sailor but it really cracks me up at this point. I'm curious to see if this works on anyone else's machine, if not I could probably sell my hard drive to the Corel engineers for a premium.

Jin - don't take this personally, but as long as the public accepts paying and then doing free beta testing, software like this will continue to be released before it is ready. I would be glad to help anyone individually but unless Corel wants to cough up some beta testing perks I'll let them run their own business the way they see fit and I'll stay out of it.

03 March 2005, 01:47 AM
It's up to you, though it seems a shame for you to know things that might help, not be willing to send the information to Corel, and sit there with "premium" priced software not enjoying it like the rest of us are.

I guess I've been around Painter for so long watching users work with Painter's developers, and the developers work with users, that it seems like a team and we all benefit from helping each other.

That's at least since before Painter 6 was released, and long before Corel had anything to do with it. I expect it happened even before that time but I wasn't so involved until then.

To each his own, I guess.

Steve Green
03 March 2005, 08:24 AM
I quite agree Jinny, Corel can never match the range of OS/Hardware combinations that Painter will be used on 'in the wild'. I'd give them any pointers I can if the problem is reproducible.

Discreet who make 3DS Max ($3495) also ask for reproducible steps for bug reports, so I'd hardly consider Painter a premium priced app.

I would imagine that most companies would like reproducible steps if possible. Obviously everyone would like totally rock solid apps, but unless you can lock down the hardware and OS (and the OS itself is bugfree, as are the graphics drivers) then it's unlikely that a developer can do that internally, and stay in business.

- Steve

03 March 2005, 06:28 PM
I tried the steps listed to make PIX crash with the 16bit/8 bit thing and it didn't crash for me. It is quite possible that I didn't do the same steps you did but I thought I'd throw that out there.

On a side note I had my first "poof" the other night and have to admit it was frustrating but I've been using the software fairly solid for a while and that is my first crash. I've had photoshop crash too. Oh and don't get me started when Maya crashes on me. Now there is an app that likes to barf.

My opinion is that the higher end software often push the limits of what software can do. They all crash, it's software and the nature of the beast. I'm not saying that we should except it. However, I do agree with Jin - if the userbase is proactive, we can improve the product. That may be too much to ask though, for the people who just don't like Painter. I personally love the Photoshop/Painter combo. I'd be hurtin if anyone removed those from my workflow.

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