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Rayek
07-30-2006, 05:08 PM
In case people haven't picked up on this: Expression 3 is a free download for both mac and pc at:

http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/graphic_designer/previous/expression3_downloadlinks.aspx

It's a great illustration app that's very handy in use, even alongside Illustrator. Drawing works great. Nice for those people wishing they'd had some kind of professional illustration package, but don't take kindly paying through the nose. Also comes in useful for creating splines / logo's that you'd like to import later into Lightwave. Or perhaps creating a layout of your renders and saving those to pdf.

Cheers,

R.

manholoz
07-31-2006, 07:28 AM
I'm always suspicious of THEM, and anyway, I already have a vector illustrating program (called Manga Studio, btw). Thanks anyway for the link. You can never beat the price of something that is free!

Rayek
07-31-2006, 12:42 PM
I know, I "sometimes" wonder about MS. Expression was bought by MS in 2003 and the development of a brilliant illustration package was halted... Don't forget, it was originally created by Fractal Design (like Painter). Though Expression hasn't been updated for 4 years, it still has features that no other illustration app has. Skeletal strokes being an example. I prefer working with Expression rather than with Illustrator, Freehand, Coreldraw and Xara.

Anyway, I've used Manga Studio a bit, but really don't like that division between vector layers and bitmap style painting. Some tools you're allowed to use in one mode, and some not. Not very logical, if you ask me. And for a layout app I couldn't find eps or pdf output. It seems to be limited to jpg, bmp, tga formats, which is a shame.

However, it does have some great features like page layout, the panel layout and the option to include 3d models. Tones are quite powerfull too. Manga Studio is exactly as its name implies: an excellent good app aimed at b&w comic layout and creation, though by no means a complete illustration package.

For example, I think its vector drawing tools are almost childish compared to those of Expression's. Creating illustrations in Expression is superior, in my opinion. It really is possible to create stuff that looks like it's Photoshop or Painter bitmap based work, but turns out to be vector based! Wacom support is very good, by the way.

Anyway, it's free and a great asset to anyone's toolset. Don't be put off because you can get it for 'free'. Not so long ago this app was heralded by reviewers as a powerful and evolutionary new illustration package.

R.

Celshader
07-31-2006, 01:13 PM
First, thanks to Rayek for the tip!


...I already have a vector illustrating program (called Manga Studio, btw).

I just bought Manga Studio Debut this weekend! I look forwards to learning this app, so that I can eventually graduate to EX.

Does it get easier to draw with a tablet in Manga Studio? I'm so used to drawing on paper, that it feels a little weird to sketch with a tablet.

Also, if you own EX...what's it like to import a LWS file into EX? Do you get to adjust the camera afterwards, or does it just take the existing camera position as a guide for what to render?

Rayek
07-31-2006, 02:32 PM
Hi Celshader,

As far as I tried, Manga Studio EX creates a camera with default settings. You'll have to adjust afterwards; it didn't seem to recognize the camera settings I set in Layout. Size, perspective, distance, xy and rotation can be set.

So I've asked a friend of mine, who bought EX some time ago and has had some practical experience now, to mail me an example. I sent him 'the girl' (daz freebie) as a lws-scene. I also asked him whether camera settings are maintained, but he couldn't find a way either. He did tell me it's possible to render up to 1200 (!) dpi.

Have a look at the example he sent me. I had to reduce the resolution a bit, though.


Drawing might have a more 'traditional feel' if you stick a sheet of paper on the surface of your tablet. I sometimes do that... ;-)

Cheers,

R.

Wonderpup
08-01-2006, 03:38 AM
Hi Rayek,

Thanks for taking the time to post that link- Expression looks nice and fills that illustrator shaped hole in my toolset perfectly.:thumbsup:

Stooch
10-19-2006, 01:38 PM
i think she looks a bit too old in that one....


Hi Celshader,

As far as I tried, Manga Studio EX creates a camera with default settings. You'll have to adjust afterwards; it didn't seem to recognize the camera settings I set in Layout. Size, perspective, distance, xy and rotation can be set.

So I've asked a friend of mine, who bought EX some time ago and has had some practical experience now, to mail me an example. I sent him 'the girl' (daz freebie) as a lws-scene. I also asked him whether camera settings are maintained, but he couldn't find a way either. He did tell me it's possible to render up to 1200 (!) dpi.

Have a look at the example he sent me. I had to reduce the resolution a bit, though.


Drawing might have a more 'traditional feel' if you stick a sheet of paper on the surface of your tablet. I sometimes do that... ;-)

Cheers,

R.

soioartist
10-21-2006, 08:32 AM
i consider manga studio the BEST app i've used for years. for one who has benn spending more than ten years drawing as a daily job it's the FIRST program that fully takes the needs of a tradidionally trained illustrator in consideration.
an example: you have a button in the toolbar, wich lets you quickly mirror your drawing (wich is very important to check your drawing for unwanted distortion)
it's fast and intuitive (also the vector tools), theres no fiddling around on bezier points (which is a big plus in my opinion) it has got very elaborated guide and ruler tools and professional output for print.
all in all far better for freehand drawing than tools like alias sketchbook, illustrator etc.
best regards

two examples (color in photoshop)

JBT27
12-09-2006, 06:04 AM
In case people haven't picked up on this: Expression 3 is a free download for both mac and pc at:

http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/graphic_designer/previous/expression3_downloadlinks.aspx

It's a great illustration app that's very handy in use, even alongside Illustrator. Drawing works great. Nice for those people wishing they'd had some kind of professional illustration package, but don't take kindly paying through the nose. Also comes in useful for creating splines / logo's that you'd like to import later into Lightwave. Or perhaps creating a layout of your renders and saving those to pdf.

Cheers,

R.

Just stumbled on this thread......that link is now broken and MS are offering three varieties of Expression with a fourth to come, but none of them appear to be free, but then that was four months ago.

Julian.

Phil
01-08-2007, 03:20 AM
Inkscape is coming on quite strongly. Might be worth a look :) www.inkscape.org

borkus
02-19-2007, 08:31 AM
http://www.artweaver.de/index.php?en_version http://www.squirreldome.com/cyberop.htm artweaver is an amazing app. been using it quite a bit lately. very like photoshop. not as eccentric as gimp. project dog waffle has a free version. and there is also a plug-in that connects the 2. but they also have a 4 pro version for $90 that i've been seeing alot in mags lately.