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Monitors are an importance consideration when it comes to digital art. The only two primary considerations to be made aware are maximum available resolution as measured in pixels and the highest possible vertical refresh rate at their highest resolution. Secondary considerations for monitors include bright whites, deep colors, and a flat screen. When I say flat screen, I simply mean that the actual display is flat instead of a curved surface.
LCD, liquid-crystal display, monitors take up a minimal amount of desk space, use less power, and have higher refresh rates. The traditional type of monitors is called CRT, cathode ray tube. CRTs tend to have superior resolutions, cost far less than LCDs, consume massive amounts of power, and take up enormous desk space. CRT monitors are the most recommended choice for digital artists due to their superior resolutions at large sizes. The leading brand for digital art is the LaCie .
The higher the resolution the more content that can be see at a single moment. Higher refresh rates are especially important for artists who produce high-resolution art for print. Often the size of an image greatly exceeds the maximum resolution of a monitor by several times. As a result, only a fraction of the image is visible at any point without zooming out. This makes life difficult for the artist who has to continually zoom in and out to view details versus composition.
The higher the refresh rate the easier the monitor will be on your eyes. Refresh rates tend to be a minimum of 60Hz, which is visible to the human eye as a passive flickering. Low refresh rate will result in eyestrain. Refresh rates over 70Hz are typically ok, and over 80Hz is great. Refresh rates higher than 80Hz is not typically noticeable, but the higher the better. Since artists stare into their monitors like a cat with catnip, it is important that we do what we can to keep our eyes relaxed and comfortable. We only get one pair of eyes during our life so lets not wear them out.
Dual-monitors benefit high-resolution 2D artists and 3D artists in much the same way. Most professional Photoshop artist use two monitors at the same time, due to a feature in Photoshop that allows an image to be open in two windows simultaneously. This means that an image can be open at standard zoom in one window on one screen, and can be open in a different window on the other monitor completely zoomed out, so that the image fits entirely on the monitor. Imagine working on an image 6000x9000 pixels large. There are no monitors with a resolution anything close to that size. This means that it is impossible for such a large image to fit on any monitor at standard zoom. That is bad since the image would be so heavily zoomed out to balance compositional problems, and continually zooming in for the details that would be otherwise invisible so far zoomed out. An additional benefit in Photoshop is greater work area to arrange the tool bars/windows to free up additional work area.
Different 3D programs allow for the arrangement of tool sets in different manners. The benefit of dual monitors for 3D programs is a greater flexibility to move things around to increase the display work area. This is of great comfort to reduce the amount of moving to different viewpoints and constant zooming. Some 3D programs also allow the ability to open a project into multiple windows so that the 3D artist can work on the same project from multiple view angles simultaneously.