Your Questions About Digital Art For All

James asks…

Are all Wacom graphics tablets appropriate for digital art?

Things such as drawing, colouring and editing photographs?

I was looking at the Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch, as its relatively cheap for my first excursion into digital art work.

Your thoughts?

Timo answers:

The wacom bamboo fun tablet, you can pick it up for just under 100. The bamboos usually last me about a year before they break down and something goes wrong. If you have an extra 100 to throw into it I would recommend getting the smallest intous4 or even getting a used intuos 3 or something. I have some old Intuos tablets that are almost 10 years old and still working.

Maria asks…

How can I print digital art without losing all of the colors?

Whenever I try to print out something that, for example, I colored in with photoshop, the colors ALWAYS end up coming out muddled, dark, indistinguishable…etc. I have an Epson printer…is it the printer that’s giving me problems? I printed my art out on another printer, though, and it still had the same issues.

What’s up, and can I fix it?

Timo answers:

Big can of worms here. Printing from home is tough. The very first thing is you need to calibrate your monitor. From there you will need to use a printer profile that matchs the paper and ink combination you are using. It is a time comsuming gig to get set up. Having said that one can get very high quality results these days from an inexpensive desk top printer.

Charles asks…

Is Photoshop Elements good enough for digital art?

By digital art I mean stuff where I’d need to use blurs, colour mixing, different textures, a tablet, cel shading, etc. Would Elements be able to cover all this? Or is it more a basic photo retouching kind of tool?

I’m just wondering as a starting artist, as Elements is cheaper than CS5 and I don’t feel like pirating.

Timo answers:

It must be good enough, it is bundled with some of Wacom’s latest Bamboo Tablets, for free. So, if you don’t own a tablet yet, BUY a Bamboo and get PSE 8 for free. Having said that there are specific limitations to Photoshop Elements. Great program but difficult to do any advance layering work. Perhaps a better bet is to buy CS3 or 4 used from Ebay or a pro in your area. Good choice not to pirate. That is what drive up the prices of high end software.

Mary asks…

Is it possible to do digital art with a mouse and not a tablet?

I have been drawing for a couple of years and i have been sticking to traditional art. Now, digital art has become quite popular with tablets. I am a little tight on money so sadly, i cannot afford a tablet. I was wondering if you can use the same skill just by using a mouse. Please tell me all the benefits and disadvantages about having a tablet and just having a mouse. thankyou :DDD * also which one you would prefer*

Timo answers:

Both are possible. The common comparision is that using a mouse is like trying to draw with a brick. There is no way you can get the subtle movements from a mouse that you can with a stylus. A pad and stylus will not only save time but you will able to create much more precise and detailed work. Save your dollars and buy a tablet and stylus, even an old used one is better than a mouse.

Ruth asks…

In digital art terms what does “camera ready” mean?

I have submitted digital art to be printed on all sorts of media. One thing they always say is the image must be “camera ready” what exactly does this term mean.

None of the things I have ever submitted have been rejected for not being camera ready, but I still have no idea what this means technically…?

Timo answers:

“Camera ready” is a term that goes back to when prepress art was prepared by hand, that is, galleys of type and black-and-white art were pasted onto a board that had trim and bleed marks on it, ready to be shot by a camera and made into negative film from which a printing plate could be burned. In the digital world, camera-ready usually means that the digital files are ready to be output as is, without needing additional work such as stripping in images. The digital file should be created in a page layout program (e.g., InDesign, QuarkXPress) using the final document size. So, if it is a 4×6 card, the document size in the page layout application should be 4×6, not 8.5×11 with the 4×6 card floating in the middle of it with hand-drawn crop marks. All images should be in place, and the high-resolution files for images should be supplied (unless they are already on file at the printer’s).

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