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Graphics Design
by PaulSonny
10 Nov 2008 21:48

Hello all,

I am really looking to get into graphics design.

Would you recommend Photoshop or Paintshop Pro?

Also can anyone recommend a good drawing pad to use with my computer. I think they are drawing pads, tablets?

Regards, Paul.

Shelley_c 10 Nov 2008 22:05

I would recommend getting photoshop if money isn't a factor. Overall, it's got all the options and features your ever likely to use 10 fold. I would say go for wacom Based brand with regards to graphic tablets.

PaulSonny 10 Nov 2008 22:08

i've been doing a little digging and some recommend drawing the sketch on paper and then scanning it in and then colouring it in.

Which tablet would you recommend from that site?

What would you recommend?

Regards, Paul.

Shelley_c 10 Nov 2008 22:16

Personally I would sketch, scan it in and then re-colour. There's something about re-colouring from a scanned image that gives off that personal feel to a project. I have a wacom tablet and for 2 years, I've used it 2-3 times which leaves it redundant in my designs.

Again, if money is no object I would personally go for the Cintiq as you will be working onscreen which outweighs drawing on a tablet from your desk.

You can see the Cintiq in action here.

PaulSonny 10 Nov 2008 22:23

Ah right so if you sketch and scan then you dont really bother with the tablet?

Sorry for all the questions - but which cintiq model?

Regards, Paul.

southernlady 15 Nov 2008 05:50

Actually, I use Paint Shop Pro X2... (I have version 7, 9 X, and X2 on my system)

Which does everything that PS does and can export into layers and psd files, uses vectors natively, uses the same plugins, and is less than $100. Also you can try it for 30 days for free to see if you like it. There are more than enough classes out there, in fact I teach at one. I know of several others.

IF you EVENTUALLY decide you want to shell out the money for PS, then go for it...I have a copy, it gets opened about 2 times a year. My psp stays open.


PoetJA-1975 15 Nov 2008 08:16

Hey PAUL, SHELLEY & SOUTHERNLADY - I can actually recommend PhotoImpact by Ulead - It's a very nice program and can work with psd and layers as well - It's easy on the wallet at only $69.99 - Highly recommended.

Hey SHELLEY - still gonna take you up on the PS lessons one day :P


southernlady 15 Nov 2008 09:47

Jacquii, I have that one and if I hadn't already had my head wrapped around PSP, I'd be using it. I've been using PSP for 7 years now.

I signed up for lessons at PS_BW but had to stop due to real life and haven't had a chance to go back. I still have the email from my mentor starred so that once I get a chance to go back, I can email her and ask for her.

There ARE differences but it is as GOOD as PSP, you're right. And the differences are mostly in the names of what things are called. Once I had the "code" word out as to what a tube in psp is an object to you unless it's a multiple, then it's a stamp but then it's still a tube to me, I was okay...it's just learning a new language. And since PS X3 is by Corel, it's almost the same horse. Not quite but close.

I've discovered that tubes are called renders in photoshop. But they aren't neatly as popular about being used/shared the way we use them.

Now, if you really want to go to graphics suites...Corel Draw Graphics Suite is a good SOLID one, can rival the Adobe one and is much cheaper. And it seems that Corel is going after a new market with their Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite X4 One that Adobe can't come close to touching.

I don't know if PI has native vector support, never got that far in my classes, but it's in the Corel and the inherited Jasc PSP products. I know that is one thing that adobe has to have as an add on...it has it but it's not native to ps, at least not yet.

Paul, if you decide to try PSP, if you have XP, go to ebay and try and find version 9...works as well as verson X2 but has Animation Shop as part of it. Corel took Animation Shop out with Version X and made it a separate program. It's still a separate program on the version 9 disk but it works within 9. Then if you ever upgrade to Vista, AS will still work in Vista very easily even when version 9 has to run in compatible mode.


Shelley_c 15 Nov 2008 13:23

I really do like having these debates with you every several years about your love for corel/jasc products. To be honest, I haven't followed their products in a number of years and they have come along way since the jasc days but you always seem to revert back to explaining about tubes/plugins etc... If I wanted to render some tubes I would load up 3ds and construct/render tubes which would surpass anything that these programs can render, More wire framing/points and superior rending capabilities. As for plugins, I've never used plugins, plugins are for lazy people who want a one click solution in creating a specific affect, when infact it can be achieved using multiple blending modes/using other features to get a far better desireable more realistic affect. Sure, it takes a lot more time... but you learn from it, and mostly you learn how to create designs by using multiple tools and features instead of the one click solution.

Example: You see all these sig/tube creators post their creations and what have they learned? nothing. They have only learned how to create a tube/signature by clicking 2-3 times and voila job done. Nothing learned.

I always noticed to have always been anti photoshop (for reasons unknown) but without posting the pros of the industry standands (adobe) features and strengths your comments are biased and suggestions a tad flawed. Like I have said 3-4 times to you liz, every program has it's own strengths and weaknesses, that's a fact. Mostly, (and I've always stated this) a program is only as good as the person that uses it. It's what the person behind the wheel feels most comfortable with to get that desired result.

Like I stated. This one click solution you have praised in promoting plugins/tube creation is very much a flawed selling point if at the end of the day the person using the program is not going to learn. By learning the tools of the trade, you know beforehand what features and tools you are going to use before the design is even on paper and when you have got to this stage plugins are a thing of the past and most people will never ever use them. So, If you would like to use (plugins/filters etc) for that one click solution then go right ahead, you willnot learn from it.

Anyway, just my 2 cents factual piece so that the original poster keeps an open mind and makes the correct purchase. If you hunt around on ebay you can pick up adobe photoshop prity cheap. Try going for cs2.

southernlady 15 Nov 2008 14:07

Actually I don't use the plugins that much myself. I prefer blending as well and the effects that come standard to the program. I was just letting the OP know that all the Corel products use the plugins.

I know you like to debate with me on this subject...it gives others a chance to see both sides since I am not gonna change your mind and you aren't gonna change mine.

Copy of PSP X on ebay...BIN 24.95 (couldn't find 9 but PSP Users Group has AS available for download)

Copy of PIX on ebay BIN 23.94

Copy of PS CS2 BIN on ebay 329.95.

If he's gonna play with one, PSP or PI are the cheaper ones to play with, IMO.


--------------- Added 15 Nov 2008 at 14:20 ---------------

I have one question, Shelley. Have you ever used PSP or PI? Liz

Shelley_c 15 Nov 2008 14:39

I started to use ulead products when I found them to be somewhat restricting in what I wanted to create. I then moved on to jasc products which was fine for a while but I soon found the tools were somewhat restricting and versatility was thrown out of the window (The early days) I know, which is why i stated that jasc now corel have evolved since the good ole days.

I then moved to photoshop, That was when I started to pull my hair out which is why I can understand a little why you don't use photoshop. It's daunting and I will be the first to admit that but once you start to understand that there is more to photoshop than it's infamous filter gallery (which I never use) and the array of plugins that it pocesses and start learning the tools and features it's in a league of it's own. I can't see anything that touches it for versatility.

Because of the vast feature rich options you have within photoshop most designers will never touch 10% of photoshops potential. That includes me but for me photoshop was difficult at first but you learn by using the tools.

@ paul: Don't get me wrong. If you are anything like me (which I'm sure your not) you'll be pulling your hair out and screaming at photoshop. Heck, I once asked photoshop to create my designs... would it comply? It's a feature I still want included to this day.

southernlady 15 Nov 2008 15:26

I found PSP version 7 VERY restrictive...can't stand it. I only keep it around because I teach tubing and it's the best one to tube with by far. *I* tube in version X2 but I am the exception to the rule. And that may have been the version you ran into.

The newer versions have a better flow and are more intuitive. That's including version 9 on up. But even I admit there are things I would fix with them. And I use most of what I have in my program on a daily basis esp if I am tubing.

I am not a tag maker for the most part, I leave that to others altho I know how. But I love animation. And resizing a gif in Animation Shop is easy, even if made by someone else.

Okay, reviews of Paint Shop Pro..

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Review

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

I've said before that Paint Shop Pro gives you Photoshop-like powers at a Photoshop Elements price, and that holds true in PSPPX2. For professional printing, Adobe Photoshop CS3 is still the only way to go, and for a complete photo management and editing package, Photoshop Elements 6 remains tops. PSPPX2's real strength is in image editing and graphics creation, and, truthfully, there's not much in those areas that the program can't do. This new release only strengthens the program's toolkit.
Bolding is mine.

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 for Windows

Guide Review - Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 for Windows
Paint Shop Pro has often been lauded as an affordable Photoshop alternative. In the past I didn't feel it measured up, but with each new version, it has become more mature and refined. While some of the new features were a matter of catching up to the competition, Paint Shop Pro has always had a nice set of unique features--picture tubes, screen capture, and tons of special effects.
Shelley, I know I won't change your mind but for those who just have a HARD time swallowing the ridiculous price $699 that Adobe wants for PS CS4, then maybe PSP is worth a look. Even the NEW price of $59.99 for the standard edition of PSPX2 or $99.99 for the Ultimate (and personally the ultimate is just a few extra bells and whistles, I have the standard) or $59.99 for PhotoImpact X3 isn't going to break the bank.

Even if they decide later to go for PS CS4, having both isn't an issue. I know many people who have both, myself included.


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