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PROTIP: What App For What Chart 2014 by fox-orian PROTIP: What App For What Chart 2014 by fox-orian
UPDATE: Chart takes into consideration on some recent app updates and some altered opinions on previous apps. Most notably, the release of the absolutely fantastic new Manga Studio 5, which has changed my perception of both Photoshop and SAI compared to the old chart. Give it a look at!

NOTE: These star ratings are pit only against each other relatively, not every app on the market!
NOTE2: My opinions on COREL PAINTER are NOT based on the latest version, X3, which I have not used yet.

I keep seeing lots of debates about what program should be used for what. This is different than the Filetype tutorial I did, where this is dealing with the type of work being done, versus export purpose.

I’m not claiming this chart I made is gospel, but it should give a pretty good idea on what the strengths are of each particular program are based on some basic needs and parameters.

(Of course, your mileage may vary on these ratings.)

By the way, this chart is totally a rip on the old Speed/Accel. chart in the Super Mario Kart instruction manual. (See page 25.)


WHERE'S GIMP????????? (or --other program here--)
I've never ever used Gimp before. I have no professional experience or informed opinion on the program. Thus, I will not list it here since I have no history with it.
On the plus side, Gimp is free -- so why don't you go give it a try and see for yourself? You have nothing to lose!
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:icondsp2003:
dsp2003 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Jasc's Paint Shop Pro (don't confuse with Corel Painter! It was rebranded as Corel PhotoPainter) has extremely powerful type and design features, since unlike Photoshop it uses vector layers for text and allows to manipulate it just like any other vector object, including node editing, slicing, distortion and anything you can imagine with Beizer curves.

Also, I don't see InkScape in this chart, which is a direct OpenSource counterpart of Illustrator. Neither I see MyPaint, which has tons of brushes and options and can be compared with Photoshop in drawing features (yet still loses to SAI due to lack of stroke smoothing).

SAI's vectors: they are non-existent. The only "vectors" SAI is capable of are lines with nodes yet no shapes - that severely cuts out the range of their appliance.

After SAI's brushes, stroke smoothing, floodfill algorithms and transparent mode for ANY brush Photoshop's painting process is a pain in the arse.

Also, where's Krita (way better than GIMP, can be considered a direct replacement for SAI in Linux environment) and Mischief (vector drawing tool which beats the crap out of SAI's vectors)?
Reply
:iconhedz95:
hedz95 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
To be honest Sai would be the best painting tool due to the fact that there are better blending brushes. And you don't have to rely on the eyedropper tool that much to over paint
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:icondana123girl:
dana123girl Featured By Owner May 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
try out ClipStudio too^^
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:iconboonjagga:
BOONJAGGA Featured By Owner May 12, 2014  Student General Artist
MangaStudio is essentially the Western release of Clipstudio. I personally think anyone considering MangaStudio should get clipstudio as that would support the developers directly, as buying MangaStudio mostly supports SmithMicro instead of the Japanese developers of the program itself.
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:iconspaceturtlestudios:
SpaceTurtleStudios Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
A very helpful chart. I have heard a lot of good things about SAI but hadn't heard of Manga Studio; I'll have to check that one out.
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:iconfavmir:
favmir Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist
Clip studio would be pretty much the same with Manga studio I guess? :) And it has an awesome price too!
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:iconashwings:
Ashwings Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Hooo doggy!
Thanks so much for this. I was humming and hawing over if I should get Manga studio 5 or not but reading this simple guide really helped!
What are the differences between 5 and EX 5 for manga studio? I have played around with EX 5 but not just with 5.
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:iconfxmorph:
FXMorph Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you for this
Reply
:iconssj-videl:
SSJ-Videl Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist
Niceee <3
Reply
:iconkoogleblitz:
Koogleblitz Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i cant believe so many people use photoshop instead of MS5 given the the gap between their prices. it is simply an injustice.
Reply
:iconfavmir:
favmir Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist
Ikr? Photoshop's price was simply ridiculous, it's MS-tier ;)
Reply
:iconglimon91:
Glimon91 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
Quite an informative piece. Thanks!
By the way, any suggestions about tutorials to start trying Manga Studio? I got really interested.
Reply
:iconkahzzzzz:
KahzZzZz Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
quite informative
Reply
:iconokashira2:
oKaShira2 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love you! ^v^
Reply
:iconcetriya:
Cetriya Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
seems no one is using Illuststudio?
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:iconsnapai:
Snapai Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional Filmographer
You're not including free programs on the chart, I suppose, but you should give :iconinkscape: (for vector work) and :iconmypaintplz: (for drawing/sketching/tabletpc) a shot if you haven't. :D

I am SOOOooo addicted to MyPaint's infinite canvas. :u
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, Manga Studio is a dream program. It's my new artistic best friend. I still use Photoshop for some things, but 99% of the art I've made over the last 9 or so months was all done with MS5 on my Surface Pro.
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:iconiamair:
IAmAir Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Will check this out later. Thanks for the info.
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:iconliz-darkwarrior:
Liz-DarkWarrior Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really want to upgrade to MS5 now but Christmas already passed and I'm broke
Reply
:iconkoogleblitz:
Koogleblitz Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
its like less than 30$ on amazon
Reply
:iconliz-darkwarrior:
Liz-DarkWarrior Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
REALLY? :iconcannotevenplz:
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:iconkoogleblitz:
Koogleblitz Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
for the basic version (which has like 85% of the features of the EX version), yes
Reply
:iconliz-darkwarrior:
Liz-DarkWarrior Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I have the older version of the basic right now, but I've always wondered, what exactly is the difference between the EX and the basic?
Reply
:iconkoogleblitz:
Koogleblitz Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
here is the comparison sheet:
manga.smithmicro.com/compariso…

from looking at it, i think basically the EX version has more features geared towards making entire comic books whereas debut is for single illustrations only

ps. if you have an older version, its highly recommended that you upgrade to version 5, from what ive heard, ms5 is leaps and bounds ahead of any version before it
Reply
:iconliz-darkwarrior:
Liz-DarkWarrior Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much! :iconallmyloveplz:
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:iconkoogleblitz:
Koogleblitz Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no prob
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:iconretronator:
Retronator Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
And as an additional alternative to the poor value of Painter, you can get ArtRage for awesome (probably even better) traditional painting simulation for $50!
Reply
:iconsmoketh:
smokeTH Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you forgot pixelart category. >_<
Reply
:iconspacekitty:
SpaceKitty Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just to note on SAI, there has been new, recent development: www.systemax.jp/ja/sai/devdept… (page in Japanese, but latest release date for 1.2 beta 6 version is Dec 2013, and it also notes that SAI2 is in the works - sounds like SAI owners will get a free upgrade to SAI2 as well.)
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:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
If true then that's really cool. Once it becomes available I'd change this chart definitely :) I do wonder how long it will take for them to make an english release, though. If I recall correctly, isn't the current english version of SAI just a fan translation that was made for Systemax? (That being, they were never planning on an english release until that guy did it for them?)
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:iconspacekitty:
SpaceKitty Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It seems like there's an official English version, as well as a fanmade one for SAI - I'm not sure if they're one and the same.  But I wouldn't be surprised to see a fan translation happen for SAI2 if it debuted without one.
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:iconblofu:
Blofu Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Smith Micro really upped their game quite a lot with MS5, it is a great app that works for basically everything i need to do.
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:iconpharan:
Pharan Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Smith Micro is actually a localization company.
The developers are called CelSys and they now sell the English version of the more frequently updated Clip Studio Paint (MS5) themselves... and for pretty cheap too, I'd say.
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:iconblofu:
Blofu Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thats right, I had forgotten that. Thanks for the reminder.
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:iconpharan:
Pharan Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Anyway, I share your opinion of this program. It's awesome. :p
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:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, interesting. I didn't know about this. Was Manga Studio developed in Japan originally? (Yeah, I know, I could go look it up myself but for the sake of conversation-----)
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:iconpharan:
Pharan Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Student General Artist
lol. Yeah.

Clip Studio Paint is like Photoshop and SAI had a genius baby. It does a lot of the things both are able to, and more. I appreciate a lot of the features geared towards illustrators and constantly wonder why Adobe hasn't stuck the same features in Photoshop. I'm sure you'd like the program.

Technically, it's an entirely new program. I think the branding SmithMicro did, calling it "Manga Studio 5", does it quite a disservice as... I thought Manga Studio 4 and everything prior were utter pieces of crap compared to this. XD
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:iconcompliment-pin:
compliment-pin Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ahh, nice, very informative!
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:iconkaiazes:
Kaiazes Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I used to use exclusively Photoshop, but wound up switching to MS5 after adobe essentially told Australia they could get stuffed. I've gotta say, I was surprised by how functional it was. I only jump back to Photoshop if I want to make a texture seamless or something. The only real drawback is that almost all of it's documentation is in Japanese, at least last I checked.
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:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
It really is dumbfounding how much better Manga Studio is than you'd think it would be, ESPECIALLY given that LOW price. I agree, there are SOME specific little things it doesn't do that Photoshop does, but for 95% of the time I'd say Manga Studio does everything I need it to (if a little slower.....)
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:iconkaiazes:
Kaiazes Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
:nod: Yep. Interesting that you bring up the slow bit. I actually noticed that it's slowest function is probably saving on large file types, and that it's native file type (.lip, I think) almost always saves slower than a .psd counterpart. Still, minor complaints. I'm willing to give it some leeway considering a) it's price and b) the fact that it easily installed on all my machines without telling me "this license only works on two computers" or some garbage.
Reply
:iconreferencedesk:
ReferenceDesk Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Artist
Adobe PSD and Ai. That's it. CorelDraw for Signs. Quark died I think, replaced by InDesign. Sketchbook - does anyone really use it?
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Like the chart shows, Sketchbook is really best for Tablet PC's. It's perfect since it has a gestural based UI with no need for a keyboard to be used efficiently. It's SUPER low price makes it worth owning for its simplicity.

Make no mistake though, Manga Studio 5 is seriously good. Ever since I got it, I almost never use Photoshop anymore except to make stuff like this chart here or large format work (at my job.)

I never hear Quark mentioned anymore. Only outdated print shops and marketing firms seem to still list it in their job requirements.
Reply
:iconxobybr:
xobybr Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Student Photographer
ive been using Corel Painter for a bit and its been really really great
i have sai but idk it just seems a bit too confusing. i have heard lots of good things about it though so ill keep trying to work with it 

i love all of your tutorials though thank you very very much!!
Reply
:iconcircuscatgirl:
Circuscatgirl Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with you mostly. I use Skeatchbookpro6 and I think its beter at painting then most give it credit for but whatever.
Reply
:iconworldhero:
WorldHero Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Student Filmographer
That's the only problem with Paint Tool SAI for me...It's not compatible with Macs. :grump:
Reply
:icondoggy080:
Doggy080 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013
Very helpful.
Reply
:iconbjoernsiebolds:
BjoernSiebolds Featured By Owner May 16, 2013   Digital Artist
useful :)
Reply
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