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Laptop vs desktop for animation/design + wacom tablet

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Laptop vs desktop for animation/design + wacom tablet

Hi,

I am studying 2d anim. & plan on buying myself a new computer setup & wacom tablet... with the intention of also using it for 3d animation software after I'm done this program and move on to 3d studies.. (I have done some 3d studies previously) but went on to study other things and am just now coming back to animation.

Anyways, I was hoping to get some advice on what people find is more useful to use for their work.. Laptop or Desktop?

We will have our desktop computers to use @ the school... but I am wondering if It is going to be better to invest in a desktop for at home... or... if having a laptop is goin to come in more handy being portable?

I imagine I won't need to bring a PC to school... since... there will be one there.... so the only major plus sides i can see is if i want to bring my work with me elsewhere... or sit at a cafe/library or something along that line..

Also for people working in the animation industry... If you are not at the office working... do you use a laptop to work at all? Or mostly prefer desktops?

Any input would be appreciated...

I'm gonna throw down a good 2-3 grand I imagine so I want to make it count.

Also gonna pick up a wacom intuos4.... not sure if a medium or large will be better.. (Medium more portable) but is the drawing surface enough?

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[U]Hi,

I am studying 2d anim. & plan on buying myself a new computer setup & wacom tablet... with the intention of also using it for 3d animation software after I'm done this program and move on to 3d studies.. (I have done some 3d studies previously) but went on to study other things and am just now coming back to animation.

Anyways, I was hoping to get some advice on what people find is more useful to use for their work.. Laptop or Desktop?

We will have our desktop computers to use @ the school... but I am wondering if It is going to be better to invest in a desktop for at home... or... if having a laptop is goin to come in more handy being portable?

I imagine I won't need to bring a PC to school... since... there will be one there.... so the only major plus sides i can see is if i want to bring my work with me elsewhere... or sit at a cafe/library or something along that line..

Also for people working in the animation industry... If you are not at the office working... do you use a laptop to work at all? Or mostly prefer desktops?

Any input would be appreciated...

I'm gonna throw down a good 2-3 grand I imagine so I want to make it count.

Also gonna pick up a wacom intuos4.... not sure if a medium or large will be better.. (Medium more portable) but is the drawing surface enough?[/U]

Hello Mayhem just not it is right way to start or not. I am looking for new tablet. I love playing games so need a tablet which is best for playing games. Any suggestions?

something that doesnt have a keyboard mouse or joystick isnt better for anything really

Why not use Cloud based Software!

I think both as with cloud storage you can use pac-n-zoom.com and can animate any picture in SVG format. Its absoulty free and you can use it to save pictures and then open them on a different computer.

Hi,

I am studying 2d anim. & plan on buying myself a new computer setup & wacom tablet... with the intention of also using it for 3d animation software after I'm done this program and move on to 3d studies.. (I have done some 3d studies previously) but went on to study other things and am just now coming back to animation.

Anyways, I was hoping to get some advice on what people find is more useful to use for their work.. Laptop or Desktop?

We will have our desktop computers to use @ the school... but I am wondering if It is going to be better to invest in a desktop for at home... or... if having a laptop is goin to come in more handy being portable?

I imagine I won't need to bring a PC to school... since... there will be one there.... so the only major plus sides i can see is if i want to bring my work with me elsewhere... or sit at a cafe/library or something along that line..

Also for people working in the animation industry... If you are not at the office working... do you use a laptop to work at all? Or mostly prefer desktops?

Any input would be appreciated...

I'm gonna throw down a good 2-3 grand I imagine so I want to make it count.

Also gonna pick up a wacom intuos4.... not sure if a medium or large will be better.. (Medium more portable) but is the drawing surface enough?

I am favor of laptop for animation specially.
--------
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I am favor of laptop for animation specially.
--------
Whey Protein
Protein Supplements

What reasons/benefits in particular sway you in favor of laptops?

I mostly worry about being limited by a laptop performance wise. And have no idea how reliable they are... I've always used a desktop for everything.

Also concerned about them being more difficult to upgrade.

Research the 3D programs you're interested in and see what the requirements/recommendations are and see if it's compatible with the laptops you're considering. I think a bigger, better, stronger desktop will beat out a laptop every time.

I have a workstation with 2 monitors and a med. Wacom tablet + mouse. I find having all my notes, sketches, reference books and materials in one place is more important than being portable.

Check your budget, too. you might be looking at a little more than $2-3K especially when you start picking up applications. And buy them while you're a student.

Laptops are more than adequate for 2D work but for 3D work you'd be better off going with desktop in the long run. Laptops when compared to desktops for 3D work are too underpowered, especially when it comes to rendering. While you can get pretty powerful laptops they are extremely more expensive than what it would have cost to put the same hardware in a desktop. Also another problem that rises with these kinds of laptops are heat issues and battery life, something you never what to have while rendering.

EDIT:

Since you are willing to shell out 2-3 grand for a 2d/3d desktop make you get( or build) one that has a quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM or more, a 64 bit operating system (I recommend Windows 7 Pro), and depending on your 3D software a compatible video card. A huge plus (but no necessary) would be to having more than 1 hard drive and a dual monitor setup. All this is quite doable under 3 grand if your know where to shop.

Hope this helps! Cheers!

Software: TVPaint Pro, Harmony Standalone, Storyboard Pro, Maya, Modo, Arnold, V-Ray, Maxwell, NukeX, Hiero, Mari, RealFlow, Avid, Adobe CS6
Hardware: (2) HP Z820 Workstations + 144-core Linux Render Farm + Cintiq 24HD Touch

Laptops are more than adequate for 2D work but for 3D work you'd be better off going with desktop in the long run. Laptops when compared to desktops for 3D work are too underpowered, especially when it comes to rendering. While you can get pretty powerful laptops they are extremely more expensive than what it would have cost to put the same hardware in a desktop. Also another problem that rises with these kinds of laptops are heat issues and battery life, something you never what to have while rendering.

EDIT:

Since you are willing to shell out 2-3 grand for a 2d/3d desktop make you get( or build) one that has a quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM or more, a 64 bit operating system (I recommend Windows 7 Pro), and depending on your 3D software a compatible video card. A huge plus (but no necessary) would be to having more than 1 hard drive and a dual monitor setup. All this is quite doable under 3 grand if your know where to shop.

Hope this helps! Cheers!

Yeah, if I go desktop I'll be doing a custom build with a quad & really beefing up the ram. I hadn't thought about multiple hard drives.

Honestly I also hadn't considered compatibility between the graphics card & the 3d software either.. I just assumed a top end card would work regardless but I'll definately keep that in mind now.

As for where to shop... I can't really say that I know of a lot of the cheaper places to shop. I was just more or less looking through NCIX.com

Outta curiosity. aside from the obvious added space & improved performance with all the heavy graphics files that are going to be stored/rendered.. What would be the additional primary benefits of using extra hard-drives? Or is that pretty much the jist of it.

Thanks again for the input. Appreciate it.

Outta curiosity. aside from the obvious added space & improved performance with all the heavy graphics files that are going to be stored/rendered.. What would be the additional primary benefits of using extra hard-drives? Or is that pretty much the jist of it.

Thanks again for the input. Appreciate it.

NO problem. You are right about added space and improved performance!

The setup I prefer for video editing or 3D graphics is to have a small(in GBs) but fast ( in RPMs) hard drive as your system drive, say a 10,000 RPM Western Digital Raptor in 74GB-150GB or even a 15,000 RPM SAS drive. This would be the drive where would install the operating system and software on. The second drive( or drives in a RAID setup) would act as a storage drive and would be 1TB or more.

EDIT: The place I recommend to purchase computers parts online from is newegg!

Software: TVPaint Pro, Harmony Standalone, Storyboard Pro, Maya, Modo, Arnold, V-Ray, Maxwell, NukeX, Hiero, Mari, RealFlow, Avid, Adobe CS6
Hardware: (2) HP Z820 Workstations + 144-core Linux Render Farm + Cintiq 24HD Touch

I forgot to ask but which Wacom tablet were to looking to purchase?

Software: TVPaint Pro, Harmony Standalone, Storyboard Pro, Maya, Modo, Arnold, V-Ray, Maxwell, NukeX, Hiero, Mari, RealFlow, Avid, Adobe CS6
Hardware: (2) HP Z820 Workstations + 144-core Linux Render Farm + Cintiq 24HD Touch

Cool, appreciate the hard drive info.

I'll check out newegg too ;)

As for the Wacom Tablet..

I don't feel at this point that I'll need a cintiq 21 (We'll get to work on them @ school)

For my own personal setup, I was looking at the Intuos4 Medium or the Intuos4 Large.

I have not really been persuaded that there is a need to fork up the extra on my own cintiq just yet.

Having seen the medium in person.. it seemed a little small.. (half a sheet of paper) but I haven't worked on one yet. I am waiting to get more insight into whether the increased drawing surface of the large size tablet will be better or not. I definately don't want a small or an X-Large.

I wonder if I might be better off getting a laptop setup adequate for 2d for the time being , and purchasing the desktop for my 3d work at a later time... the next 2 years are going to be focused on 2d work primarily.. and 2 years... is long enough for changes in available performance vs cost for a 3d focused machine.

Guess I'll sit on it and think about the pros/cons for a little longer. Ideally I'd like to have my system up & running in 2 months time.

Desk top. Definitely a desktop. Honestly, how much animating are you going to get done sitting at a cafe? You'd be better served bringing a little sketch book and draw and take notes in. Animation is a process, not something that you bust open your lap top, animate a frame or two, then pack up again. Spend your money on a nice desktop with a nice big 24 inch screen. You'll get way more for your money and it'll be expandable so it will last longer. Pluss you won't go blind as fast working on a big monitor instead of squinting at a small 14" laptop screen.

Aloha,
the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

I hate doing animation stuff on laptop may be cos my laptop's screen is quite small(9 inches). But in emergencies i use it along with a usb mouse.

Research the 3D programs you're interested in and see what the requirements/recommendations are and see if it's compatible with the laptops you're considering. I think a bigger, better, stronger desktop will beat out a laptop every time.

I have a workstation with 2 monitors and a med. Wacom tablet + mouse. I find having all my notes, sketches, reference books and materials in one place is more important than being portable.

Check your budget, too. you might be looking at a little more than $2-3K especially when you start picking up applications. And buy them while you're a student.

Thanks,

programs... I'm looking at Maya or max
zbrush & cs5.. and a win 7 operating sys.
As for the budget, I am not factoring any of the software or accessories into my budget.. the 2-3 grand was just for the PC itself... everything else will be an addition to the budget.

Do you find the medium tablet is sufficient? I am a little concerned about whether the drawing space is large enough.. If I am going to go the desktop route, I was thinking a Large might be the better setup with the added drawing space. And assumed a medium would certainly fit the portability of a laptop better.

Thanks for the input!

I use a 17" Toshiba laptop with an nvidia 9600m card, 4 gigs memory, for my 3d modelling gig right now. It works adequately enough. I hooked up a 15" secondary monitor for extra desktop space. Max, Maya, Zbrush, Mudbox...they all run fine for my needs. Same with Photoshop, Painter, Flash. My Intuos 3 still does it's job even though I have a Cintiq 21ux.

Basically, when you shop, you just have to look closer at the video card (as nvidia cards are reputedly more compatible with the major cg apps), the ram (12 gigs DD3 is pretty good); You don't really need a huge hd space. You can also get an external drive or a thumb drive or a virtual space for storage. And also consider screespace and weight. 17-18" is too cumbersome to lug around. And you'll need a freaking suitcase too since it'll be too big for a regular school backpack.

If I were a student, I'd pick a 15" laptop because I'd it take it a lot to life drawings/sculpting, and use my digital tools for those. Or paint/ do art out doors. There's a limit to battery life of course, but a couple of hours just using an app like Artrage (not a resource hogger like Photoshop) would be enough for me.

I would go with the laptop so you will always be able to work where you want.

Just offering my $0.02...

I'm currently an animation student, but I've been doing my own short films for a couple of years now, from a 10-year-old desktop computer. I'm kind of fed up with how slow and limited it is, so I'm planning to get a laptop pretty soon. Just a fairly cheap one, under $1000, as they seem to have what I need. It's gotten to the point that literally the cheapest ones on the market now are more powerful than the computer I'm using now, so anything will be a step up. Of course, I'd like to get as good a computer as I can afford.

Anyway, the point I wanted to make was that portability CAN be useful for animation. I know there have been lots of times when I've thought "I've got a half-hour break now, and nothing in particular to do... if only I could be working on my animation!" I'm doing hand-drawn frame-by-frame stuff, not flash puppetry, so I do have to clean up every frame. If I were able to get a couple of frames done during even just a 10 minute break, I'd be that much further ahead, and my projects would get finished much sooner.

For actually doing the rough initial animation, I'd probably wait until I had a bigger chunk of time though.

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