The GPU is a computer component which helps control the output of visual graphics on your monitor. This is achieved by the graphics card taking binary data from the CPU that is provided by the programs running on the computer, this is then translated into millions of pixels and taken away by the CPU to be displayed on the monitor.
Graphics Cards are essential for rendering 3D models, and graphics. However they are not as essential for photography and editing as they are less GPU intensive, as long as your processor has built in graphics and your PC includes a HDMI socket, and a monitor capable of displaying HD images to get a realistic view of the image, you should be set to use it for simple Photoshop picture editing, etc.
Graphics cards with OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) are also a good choice for 2D/3D rendering, as it is a specifically made cross-language API for rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics. The API interacts with a graphics processing unit, to achieve a accelerated rendering speed.
In order to use Photoshop and Premiere Pro to the best of their abilities it is advisable to use an NVIDIA Quadro GPU with a DisplayPort connector, this is because the programs use OpenGL 10-bit per colour buffers which are unable to be displayed at maximum quality by lower bit per colour graphics cards.
The DisplayPort interface supports up to four monitors at 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution each, or two monitors at 2560-by-1600-pixel resolution. This is ideal for multitasking as you can do a separate task on each monitor, for example, rendering a photo on photoshop, while designing on Illustrator.The speed of the RAM you purchase should be at least 1600 MHz, so that it receives requests from the processor at a good pace allowing processes and programs to be executed faster. In the context of the manipulation of graphics, it will help to open and load images to manipulate into programs like photoshop. The memory capacity is the most important aspect to look for when producing and manipulating designs. It is advised, for graphics manipulation, to have 8GB or more, this will help the designer to have open multiple graphics design programs at the same time, e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, and Cinema 4D. The cache enhances graphics production and manipulation by storing a temporary file of each graphics program used, this allows the programs to open faster after the first time they are opened, this is especially good when opening large files in programs, such as 3D files. This is because the CPU automatically checks the cache for instructions before requesting data from RAM (Further away). This therefore increases the efficiency the graphics designer can work at. Digital camera drivers are programs which are automatically installed on your computer when you plug a device into a computer. The drivers tell the computer in computer language that the Digital camera is a storage device for pictures and the computer should access and display the files stored on the camera. They will help the graphics manipulator to transfer pictures they have taken for the work they are producing on a program on the computer.Flash Memory:There are many different storage cards which fit into different digital cameras depending on the socket specification. (SD, Micro SD, SDHC, SDXC, CFAST, XQD)
As most graphic designers will want to take the pictures from the camera onto the computer system to manipulate them. There are multiple ways you can do this e.g. cable, card, wireless etc. When buying one of these to transfer images to the PC, the best SD card type is the SDXC as it is more then 3x as fast as its closest competitors (SD and SDHC) which means it will be easier to transfer the files quicker so you can manipulate them straight away (therefore making the user more efficient).CD/DVD ROM Drive:The CD/DVD ROM is a component within the system unit which uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs.After the user has manipulated or produced graphics work, he can choose to write the pictures on to an optical disk to either display as a slide show or sometimes a picture video. To do this the user will need to look for one of these drives which can write to optical disks as well as read so that after he produces the work the can burn the images to the disk and play them back later on to check the pictures are in the correct order, etc.The graphics user may also need to check the spin speed of this drive as this will decide how fast the data will be stored onto the drive as well as how long after the drive is loaded up it can be viewed. New modern discs can achieve a write speed of 52X and higher however often drives can only achieve a max of 16X DVD-R speed.You can also get portable CD/DVD ROM drives which may help the graphics user take, edit and burn files while on the go as well as being able to do it on other devices as well.USB storage devices:A USB is a “plug and play” portable storage device. Its capacity can vary from 2GBs to 128GBs. This is a useful device for graphics users as if you are away from your computer (without your Hard Drive), you can temporarily transfer your pictures from your camera to your laptop and then easily drag and drop them onto the USB file browser. USBs are large so you can fit thousands of 4K images on it, without it becoming full. You may also choose to have your USB as your main storage drive because of its portability and size, although the USB is often prone to corruption in some cases so this may not be the smartest idea. The USB also comes in a slightly larger variant with more then 10x the capacity, this is called the portable USB Hard Drive. The USB wire connects to the computer as well as powering the drive. The graphics user could also just use this Hard Drive type to store their graphics programs needed, so that when on another computer you can use the programs without having to download them again.Magnetic Hard Drives:The Hard Drive is a storage device which uses magnetism to store and retrieve information by using rotating disks. The data is read with magnetic heads, usually arranged on a moving actuator arm. The data is accessed randomly, meaning data can be stored or retrieved in any order. They are non-volatile, so retain stored data when powered off. The Hard Drive is a quick place for you to save all your graphics files as the system unit will look there first by default. The Hard Drive also is developed enough to be very large in capacity meaning you are able to store a lot of photo/graphics files before you need to upgrade again or delete old pictures.The speed of the Hard Drive is another large aspect, the faster it rotates, the faster the user can access the data. The speed is often measured in RPM (Rotations Per Minutes). When doing graphics manipulation, there are many programs you need to keep opening, this means that you need a fast HD so it finds the programs files fast, so that it can execute the program swiftly. This also applies to opening graphics files on programs.SSD:
The SSD is more portable than the Hard Drive so may be better for a graphics designer as they are often on the move with their laptop, taking pictures etc. The Graphics designer will benefit from a USB SSD as they can edit and store pictures, while on the move with their laptop whereas with the Hard Drive they will have to go back to their Desktop computer each time. Pictures don’t take up much space on the drive so the smaller space on SSDs will not effect the graphical user.Graphics Tablet:The Graphics Tablet is an input device with a touch sensitive drawing surface which translates pressure occurrences into graphical content (Lines, and shapes) which is displayed on both the tablet screen and the monitor.This is essential for graphics designers creating cartoon sketches and other precise graphics work which is less easily done by mouse and more easily done physically drawn.The size of the active area on graphics tablets is very important for image manipulation as although you can singularly zoom in on anchor point in an image, the larger the touch screen, the larger and more detail you can put into an image at once. You can still put in the exact same amount of detail just it will take longer as when zoomed into an area a larger screen will show more of the image.Mouse:•The mouse is used to move the cursor and interact with various aspects of the programs used for image manipulation.•A key thing to look out for when purchasing a mouse is whether it is optical of laser, in how it tracks movement. For graphics design however laser mice are often favoured for their obsessive DPI, which allows them to track more dots per inch, therefore making it more sensitive and allowing for more detailed work.•Whether the mouse is wired or not is also a aspect that needs to be considered when buying a mouse for graphics design. A wire may get in the way while you are designing and make it hard to do small details without having to redo over and over again. Although if you got a unwired mouse to combat this, you will have to keep changing batteries when they run out.•3D modelling
•The best ModelGraphics Tablet – The brand is also sought-after, the best brand in consumer and commercial graphics is said to be the Wacom due to its overall quality of materials and sensitivity of the screen and pen.
Mouse – When dealing with 3D modelling work however there have been developments in a new type of mouse called the 3D mouse, these of which are massively more expensive (£300+) in trade for more 3D navigable features. Most 3D mice have a single nob which you can push, pull, twist or tilt to pan, zoom and rotate your model or camera precisely. Some of these mice may have other features also such as added buttons to do tasks such as an on screen number pad, to avoid going back to your key board to input small integers. The Quick View buttons also help you to swiftly move to a more advanced position on your 3D model.
The best model for these 3D mice is often given to 3Dconnexion for its numerous advanced ergonomic designs which other brands do not achieve. Although this is the best brand, there are other cheaper alternatives which just lack in features but perform the same main tasks.Digital Camera:Getting a digital camera is a great purchase, it allows you to take high quality photos which you can then edit and manipulate on programs like Photoshop and GIMP. These cameras are great as they have a wide range of lenses and settings which you can choose from to enhance your picture taking capabilities. For photo editing you would be best of with a high resolution camera as it will produce higher quality images which will be easier to edit and add effects too. However most digital cameras have a high price tag as they are higher quality then other cameras.Lenses for cameras come in all different resolutions and zoom length. Depending on use, different lenses are better. Zoom is often measured in mm. Scanner:A scanner is a device which scans and copies physical leaflets, photographic prints, posters, and magazine pages into a file on your computer as an image file, from there on you can put it on other documents and import it into other programs.
The graphics user needs to make sure the size of the pages they will be scanning will fit fully on the scanning glass, or it wont scan fully. The graphics designer can scan his artwork to put on his website or portfolio, if he has lost the prior file.DIGITAL CAMERA:Digital cameras are cameras that allow you to take still images of anything you like. Graphics designers tend to use digital cameras because they are easily portable and high in memory. SCANNER:
In 2017 scanners have now progressed onto scanning 3D models, for example, Wax models are made by scanning the actual human themselves if still alive with a large circle of cameras and lights which go of in unison and create a 3D image. This will help Graphics designers working for Wax modelling companies.Printer:A printer is a device that takes files from the computer and transfers the information to paper, usually to standard size sheets of paper and ink. Printers vary in size, speed, and cost. In general, more expensive printers are used for higher-resolution and bulk colour printing.Connectivity: The type of connectivity between the computer and your printer is important as if you have to have a wired connection to your printer it means you will have to have a space for the printer nearby, but if you connect to it via Wi-Fi you can have it nearby within your house. Having the printer close would be better for the graphical user as after printing out what they need, they can see any improvements needed without having to stand up and walk to the printer, they can make the changes and re-print.Print Methods:•Inkjet•Laser•LED•3D PrinterThe best printer method for a graphical user would be the LED/Laser printer as it enables you to be able to print high-quality images quickly and at a lower cost then the Inkjet. Graphics is about quality which the Laser printer will provide in a mass amount.Plotter:A plotter is a printer that take commands from a computer to create line drawings on paper with automated pens. Although unlike a regular printer, the plotter can draw continuous point-to-point lines directly from vector graphics files. These are very expensive machines due to their precision and factory quality prints. These machines have loads of different speeds due to different paper types. This type of machine is used more for industrial use as it is for swiftness more then quality, it mainly draw lines and not extra details. You wont see singular users using this very frequently.Inkjet – This recreates the digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto the paper.Laser – This uses a non contact, photocopy technology, Which when a document is sent too, a laser beam “draws” the document on a selenium-coated drum using electrical charges.LED – LED technology uses a light-emitting diode array to print the digital image onto the page.
3D printer – The 3D printer allows users to make physical 3D sketches come to life in physical printer form. The 3D printer will allow product designers to print out previous versions of a products before the final version is made to test out the concept.Mobile Phone:The mobile phone is a telephone device which is not wired, it uses frequencies to transmit data to nearby cellular towers to connect calls between two devices.The mobile phone is an essential tool for graphics designers to contact clients, and get extra details about work that is needed. The mobile phone also provides an app that allows you too draft up designs, allowing for the graphics designer to make use of his spare time away from his computer/travelling.The screen size is vital for this as, most are very small and imprecise, the graphics user will need to find one with a touchscreen which when contacted is very precise to the touch. The best phone for this would be the Samsung Galaxy S8 for its exceptionally large screen and high quality camera, although it doesn’t have 2 cameras, it makes up for it with its sensitive but precise screen.PDA:A PDA is a term for a small, mobile, handheld device that provides storage capabilities for personal or business use, this is often used for keeping schedules, calendars and address book information.Screen Type: A touchscreen will help the user to navigate the menus faster, meaning the graphics user can organise his pictures in a quicker and easier fashion. Battery Power: These devices often only have a battery power of one day which is enough for a graphics designer to use for a day of organising the graphics work he has to finish and complete on time for their clients.Computer Monitor:The monitor displays the computer’s user interface/OS and open programs, this allows the user to interact with the computer, typically using an input device such as the keyboard and mouse.Screen Size: For graphics manipulation, a large screen is not necessary as it does not effect the amount of pixels and detail you see in graphics you view, this is all down to the screen resolution. Although this is not as important, it is still recommended that you get at least a 20″ screen.Resolution: This is the most important part of the specification to look at, as the resolution is the amount of pixels which are displayed on your monitor, the more pixels on the screen, the higher quality picture you have and the more individual details you can see. If you had an 1080P monitor and change to a 4KHD monitor, you will see a much crisper picture as well as singular details on images. Although 4KHD monitors come at a larger cost.
Port Connections: The port connections the monitor has, has to match that of the graphics cards sockets, this is because they have different connectors so therefore will not fit in the port of one and other. A graphics computer would be better of using the display port as it is more capable of delivering 4KHD images over a 2M radius which will help the designer to put more detail into their work. The display port is also better as you can run a cable up to 15 metres with 1080P images still intact, whereas with HDMI after 2 metres of cable you need to use a booster to boost the signal/picture to travel further.CorelDraw is a vector graphics editor developed by the Corel Corporation. It is designed to edit two-dimensional images such as logos and posters. It is mainly used for industrial hence its highly expensive price tag compared to other graphics programs. The program adds powerful stylus enhancements which allow for a more natural drawing experience and allows designers to achieve more expressive results with the support for the Microsoft Surface and other advanced stylus surfaces.Vector based image editors:
These software’s are used to create and manipulate Vector images which can also be imported via a file or copy and pasted from an external source. Vector images do not loss quality when resized, they are made up of lines, shapes and mathematical equations which are easily scalable. These graphics are often used to create diagrams and non-detailed logos. These files are also considerably smaller than bitmapped images.Photoshop is the world’s best imaging and design app create developed by Adobe Systems. It allows the user to work on both desktop and mobile devices to create/enhance photographs, different app designs, 3D graphics, GIF videos, and lots more. Photoshop is a bitmap based image editor which means its photos are more photo realistic although they are not easily scaled.These software’s are used to create and manipulate Bitmap images which can also be imported via a file or copy and pasted from an external source. Bitmap images, unlike Vector images have a large file size and are made up of millions of pixels combined together. When enlarged they become pixelated and distorted which makes them hard to stretch and enlarge. Bitmap images are often used on websites and for more photorealist images taken by a camera, etc.Healing Brush Tool – One of the tools is the Healing Brush Tool, you can use this tool to repair scratches and stuff like that on images. It works like the Brush tool. You choose your cursor size, then holding the Alt key, you select a nice/clean area of your image. Let go of the key and paint over the bad area. (Bitmap)
Eraser Tool – The eraser tool is classed a “Destructive tool” which means it deletes parts of images instead of creating and what you remove is permanent unless undone. The eraser tool is the same as the brush although it deletes pixels instead of making new pixels on your image. The Eraser can be set too 3 different modes, Brush, Pencil or Block which changes the area, shape and density that the tool deletes pixels in. (Bitmap)Photo manipulation software are applications which are tasked with changing the appearance or creating new bitmap based images. Some of the effects this can include are text boxes, cutting out portions of images, switching image layers, changing contrast levels, opacity levels, etc.Affinity Photo is an extremely fast, smooth and powerful photo manipulation software which includes a massive range of tools engineered for professionals in the photo editing field. The software can be downloaded on your desktop (For office use) or on a iPad (For portable use).FastStone is a image viewer which allows the user to view and sort through images saved in local storage space. It is the best viewer in the market and allows you to delete, slideshow, email and print images at the press of a key.Image viewers are applications which display images stored in a file on the user’s computer. Some allow you to slideshow multiple photos at once as well as being able to edit images minimally on one.