I've been looking for a solution to something that's been bugging me for a while.
The Photoshop "Shakes"
Click on the image to see the full image - which is rather large...
Let me try to explain this phenomenon - when working at a magnification less than 100%, I get odd hyper-sensitive "shakes" in my lines. I may not even notice them until I zoom in and then - too late, I feel the horrible urge to clean them up.
Granted, MOST people won't see my work at 100%, it's something that irks the living daylights out of me. If I want the cleanest lines possible, I need to work at 200% magnification or higher... which can make it challenging to draw, since I can't see the rest of the drawing things get out of proportion and perspective real fast.
Every now and I again, I attempt to work in Corel Painter X, which I've had some luck with at smaller resolutions, but working at my usual 14"x5" 600dpi, I experience a lot of lag when working. Some attribute this to an incompatibility to the Mac OS, others suggest it's a bug, a few say it's my computer. So I leave Painter for my smaller, less computer-taxing projects - like the nemu*Olympics drawings. ^^
It's a drawing program, but very simplified. Just the basics, no filters or fancy bells n' whistles. Their tool set is based off of physical art supplies like brushes, markers, ballpoint pens, pencils, etc and are customizable. If the brushes aren't to your liking, you can create new brushes based on the existing presets and easily adjust them by size, opacity, slant, roundness, and sharpness.
The commands are controlled by a "wheel" control panel that you click and hold the icons and "strike thru" the command you want. It takes a little getting used to, if you use hotkeys or menus, but it's pretty innovative and quick.
There are options for layers and the program even allows me to save as a PSD file, so I can load it in Photoshop later for further work.
I spent the last couple days playing with it, inking a couple strips - even using a straight edge (ruler) to draw my lines directly on my Cintiq. The lines appear crisp, even when drawn at a lower magnification, which has made my drawing backgrounds and miscellaneous objects less "painful".
I only started playing around with the other brushes and colors this evening:
These were drawn directly on the Cintiq - no scanned drawings to trace/reference from. Used various tools, but mostly the pencil and custom pencil for sketches/lines and the paintbrush tool for colors.
My overall thoughts? I can't say this will be my end-all drawing program, but it is very nice for linework and sketches and a nice alternative for my inking. The tools act very much like the tools they are emulating, which is nifty. I get clean and smooth lines and am pretty happy with the end result.
Truthfully, I'd prefer to just stick to a single program to do all my work but until I can find a fix to the "Photoshop Shakes", I'll just have to work around it.