freehand sketching software

can anyone let me know what software program they would recommend for freehand sketching and any recomendations for hardware (tablets and whatnot)also.

wacom cintiq screen/tablet with alias sketchbook


I prefer a very powerful desktop PC so I can still run Alias Studiotools, Rhino 3D, and SolidWorks… so I choose to run the desktop with a Wacom Intuos2 tablet. If I had another $2500, I would have purchased the Wacom Cintiq… another day.

But if you’re not doing 3d modeling, I would purchase a tablet PC.

I use Alias Sketchbook Pro 2, save my work in Tiff, and then touch up in Photoshop CS2- paper doesn’t come close for the time I save.

I run all my 3D software plus Sketchbook Pro on a Toshiba Techra M7. 3D software being Rhino, Pro/e, Solidworks.

Laptops are at the point now where you can do virtually anything you want. I have even had pretty large assemblies running on it with little to no bogging down.

I would recommend a strong pc, but pay special attention to a good video card. I use painter for freehand sketching, it is simple but you can make really nice sketches. For sketching on a tablet I would advice you to at least use an A4 size. They are expensive but Wacom offers good quality tablets.

I have a robust tower for most of my “everything” needs (solidworks, vellum, Cad, Adobe, Macromedia, Ect).
A couple months ago I bought- and have used ever since- a tablet pc and use that for nearly ALL my formal sketching sittings now. Doubled the ram to 2G, add in Adobe and Sketchbook Pro… man it’s great.
Hope this helps.

Software - I have used both painter & sketchbook pro for sketching and some light rendering. I will say that people sometimes overlook Painter, but it offers the most tools and is generally a very robust package.

Hardware - I am tower biased, but like some others I think a tablet PC would be great for 2D, unless U can afford to shell out 2G’s for a Cintiq.