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Would like to switch to Linux, but can't.


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#1
Dreylivude

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Hey everyone.

I've been wanting to switch to Linux for quite some time, since it's faster, more secure, lots of free programs, etc.

It took me a while to get over the code hump. The gui's are nice but you still need to know some commands to get through, which is fine.

I was hoping to switch to linux as my main system and have a windows side for gaming. Problem. I'm a digital artist, and use Photoshop, Maya, and Mudbox on a regular basis. I know there are freeware alternatives to most of those, except for mudbox, but have had problems with their counterparts (eg: Wacom tablet pressure not being recognized in GIMP etc.) I managed to get a copy of maya for linux working on a Fedora system, but it was full of errors, and it's gui didn't seem to work quite right. Lots of hangups when minimized and maximized.

I've heard of wine for using windows programs in linux, but I also heard it doesn't work well for anything graphic intensive.

So I guess my question is, is there anyway I can go over to the linux side without sacrificing a lot, or am I doomed to clutches of windows forever? I'd be curious to hear the opinions of other digital artists who have dabbled in linux, or even if they managed to make the switch.

Let the discussion begin!
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#2
silverbeard

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Have a look at Blender. It's an Open Source 3D modeling program used by a large number of professionals.

Ogre should be worth a look.

The GIMP may not be Photoshop but it's free and has a lot of features. I've heard that Wine runs Photoshop quite well.

Virtualbox is a good VM for running Windows. The latest version now has 3D acceleration. I use VMs for most things that I find easier to do with Windows or that have no replacement in Linux.
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#3
M420

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I started with GIMP. As a beginner digital artist, I could not afford CS2 and didn't want to use Microsoft paint. :)

Now, I have a dual boot system. Ubuntu and XP Pro. I use CS4 on Windows most of the time but there are still some things that I prefer GIMP for like: photo editing, logo creation, and web banners (file sizes are smaller in gimp)

If you are big on tablet drawing, you may need to stay with windows for a little while longer. I know that Ubuntu is getting better with that but it isn't perfect. Maybe there is another version of Linux out there that does a better job. I don't know.

I know 2-3 guys that use Blender as 3D modeling software and I've seen some really professional stuff come out of it. I'm not big on 3D so I can't really say anything else about that. It could probably replace Maya, according to people I've asked.

Remember that a lot of open-source software can be improved with add-ons and plugins if it doesn't do what you want out of the box. Generally these are free.

I hope this helps! If I could do it all over again, I would have saved my money and stayed with GIMP. It has evolved A LOT and is getting better.
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#4
Dreylivude

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Thanks for your replies guys.

Yeah, the only reason I've gotten used to Photoshop and Maya is because that's what I started using in college (and the only reason I could have it on my own computer is with the excuse that I just used the college license *cough cough*

Another reason I'm looking into this is the fact that I'm graduating soon, and in order to keep working, especially freelance stuff, I'd either have to switch to open source software, or buy licenses to everything, and I don't have thousands of dollars.

Now, silverbeard, you mentioned Virtualbox. I've looked into using a virtual machine for some applications that are hard pressed to find replacements for, but I'd like to be able to use the windows installation that is already on my system if I can. If you know a good place to get info on that, which isn't too tech heavy it would be much appreciated.

I still have a copy of Fedora 9 partitioned on my system, so I can still play around with a few things if I want.
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#5
silverbeard

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I've use dual and multi-boot systems for years now. It can be the best of both worlds. The advance of Linux in the last five years in compatibility with Windows has made it easier for me to use Linux more with each passing year. The release of ntfs3g has made reading and write from Linux to Windows easy. I find IFS indispensable in Windows for read/write between Linux. With Wine going 1.x running Windows programs natively in Linux is better than ever before.

I've only recently started using VBox to run Windows. The ability to copy and paste between the two system is nice and not having to reboot to another system is also nice. The sad part is Windows seems to run better in a VM. It's also nice to test new distros without a reboot.
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#6
jt1990

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I know 2-3 guys that use Blender as 3D modeling software and I've seen some really professional stuff come out of it. I'm not big on 3D so I can't really say anything else about that. It could probably replace Maya, according to people I've asked.


I use Blender too. It's capabilities are somewhat limited, because it's still in development, but you can do a ton of stuff with it, and it's very simple to use, once you learn it.

I also use the GIMP and Paint.net, depending on what my needs are.
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