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Drawing Guides and Photoshop

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2005, 05:03 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Drawing Guides and Photoshop

Hi Folks. Coming from a freehand and mechanical drawing background, I wanted to find out from anyone who might have tips to speed up drawing techniques in Photoshop. I use a Wacom tablet and have tried using ellipse guides, French curves and other drawing aids to compose various things. This of course doesn't work, due to the fact that things don't match up and it becomes inaccurate. I can draw faster on paper using guides, but then the drawing needs to be scanned which takes too much time. Trying to draw clean and sharp edges and curves with the pen tool is ok, but takes a lot of skill and time to master. I don't have or know anything about CAD programs, so that isn't an option. Any ideas? Thanks steveb
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:46 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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It would be helpful to visualize your challenges if you could upload an example of the type of work you're doing.
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:16 PM
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briarrose briarrose is offline
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Steve--not sure what Wacom you're using, but with an Intuos 3, you can force proportions in your tablet properties (so that your drawing area and monitor match up). I suspect that this is available with newer drivers for older Intous tablets as well--although I'm not sure, because I never bothered to use that setting with my Intuos...and I'm now using an Intuos 3.

I also come from an art (drawing) background, and found the Intous incredibly intuitive for me to use, right from the start...but I've never used mechanical aids to draw, so I never missed them. My best friend, however, is a professional illustrator of some 30 years or so--and even though he's been using Wacoms for years--he's always said the same thing you say--that he can't draw as quickly on one, as he does on paper.

He just bought himself a Cintiq, however--and he's never been happier! In just one week of using it, he's adapted to it much better than he ever did with his Intuos tablets...and he's already rhapsodizing about being able to use French curves on it. His workflow used to consist of drawing on paper, then scanning the drawings, then cleaning them up in Photoshop, then inking and painting in Photoshop and Painter...but now he can do everything in the computer--and he's shaving hours and days off some of his larger projects.

He always used the "forced proportions" option on his Intuos 3--not sure about others...but he still wasn't entirely happy with drawing on a tablet...only painting...so it could be that the answer for you might lie in the higher priced Cintiq. (You've got a spare couple grand lying around, right? ;-))

But if you haven't already tried it--see if you can use "forced porportions". (In the Intuos 3 tablet settings, this under the "mapping" tab of the Tablet Properties found in Control Panel, in Windows.)

Sorry I can't be of any more help than that! :-/
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:32 PM
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In terms of drawing curves, if you can wrap your head around the idea of the pen tool and its curve control you can get some very precise curves. I use it a lot for clipping paths but it should work equally well for drawing. You might also consider starting your project in illustrator and then bringing it into photoshop. Illustrator has a looser interpretation of layers and it lets you save out as a layered psd file so conversion to photoshop is no problem. A further advantage is that as you draw you're working vector so you can resize non-destructively.
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:22 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Drawing Guides

Thanks to everyone for your ideas and advice. The Wacom Cintiq would be cool, however that's not on Santa's list year because I haven't a good boy. Kidding aside, I have selected forced proportions in the control panel and it hasn't made much help. The Wacom tab I'm using is the Intuos 2. Say I selected the pencil tool with a 2 pxl stroke and drew with different ellipse guides directly on the tablet, added some French curves, then I could crank out the design I wanted very rapidly in correct perspective directly on the tablet. Unfortunately in my attempts with this method, the result is unpredictable. My scanner broke, so I can't use that again. Another thing that I might want to do is use a French curve to sharpen up a product edge by airbrushing a highlight or tightening up a line on a jewelry retouch. It would be so much easier if I could just use my drafting skills using the computer and software, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards with Photoshop. Anymore ideas, keep them coming. It seems there are other artists that have the same wishes as I do. regards, steveb
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Old 12-22-2005, 03:01 AM
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chrishoggy chrishoggy is offline
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If there are common curves and shapes that you use on and everyday basis, why not try creating brushes in those shapes?
Just an idea
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:20 AM
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These days I've been fumbling around with Deep Paint.
One of the things I stumbled on there was a set of french curves.

Which got me thinking, why not make some french curves in Photoshop? Haven't seen any around, don't know if somebody's already done it.
Use this as some sort of vector mask, and then you can resize and rotate at will. Should be quicker than drawing new paths every time.

With a nice clean mask edge you can airbrush your edges perfectly.

Just building on an idea.

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Old 12-22-2005, 05:46 AM
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Good selection of curves images to start tesing ideas on below
http://www.draftingsupplies.com/ccurves.gif
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:24 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Steve,

You can continue to use FreeHand (or Illustrator) to draw those "technical" things that need sharp accurate curves. Import them into PhotoShop (EPS or Copy/Paste) and add backgrounds that don't require a mechanical look.

I'm not an artist, so rely heavily on generating technical drawings in the drawing programs. Photoshop may not be the correct tool for some things and Illustrator or FreeHand (or Corel Draw) may be the better tools for drawing.

On the other hand, if you have drawing and sketching abilities, study the work of Bert Monroy (he wrote Photoshop Studio). Some of his illustrations done in PhotoShop are amazing.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:41 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Rô:

If one had French curves saved as custom shapes (more accurate than the roughly crafted attachment examples), is this what you meant?

Facinating concept.

~Danny~
Attached Images
File Type: jpg French curves 01.jpg (65.4 KB, 19 views)
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