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I've had a number of people ask what I use to create my graphics.
I've listed all my tools on this page. Hopefully it will help you make
the right choices from the beginning and avoid the mistakes
I made (like buying over 450.00 worth of software that I never used).
WHAT I USE:
Wacom Art Tablet
Some great sites on the net
A good eye and lots of
In my opinion, the best graphic program around is Adobe Photoshop. I don't think there is anything that you can't do with Adobe. Yes, it is expensive, but that's because it is reliable and can do just about anything in terms of graphic creation. It allows someone who can't draw (like me) to become a digital artist..
There are hundreds of sites with tips, tricks, tutorials, and a score of books written by Photoshop lovers, so there's no end to the help you can find on the net. Plus, Adobe has a wonderful website themselves!
Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe graphic programs are the preferred choice of special effects artists, TV and Advertising production staff, and graphic professionals around the world. And it's definitely the program of choice for this graphic artist!
It is a pricey program, but you might find an earlier version on Ebay for a fairly reasonable price. I did over half these graphics in Adobe 4.0 and only upgraded because I got a good deal on the upgrade. Adobe 4.0 is probably to old to find, but any full earlier version will be less expensive then the current version if you are on a budget. Then any upgrade is going to be less expensive from there.
Paint Shop Pro
Ok...so you want to get into Graphics, but not
in such a big way. (are you sure now?). A much less expensive Graphic program
is Paint Shop Pro.
Wacom Art Tablet
Unless all you are planning on doing is resizing images taken from the net, and adding text, then you don't need to worry about a Wacom Art Tablet. If, on the other hand, you are going to make graphics, GET A WACOM GRAPHIRE ART TABLET and force yourself to learn to use it. You'll never regret it!
Try tracing that close to the outline of an object with a mouse! It is like when you were a kid and were trying to color, staying inside the lines with a very fat dull crayon! Remember how wonderful you could color when you had a very sharp crayon? The wacom art table and the tools in Photoshop give you a VERY SHARP CRAYON!
Don't be confused by the different sizes. The 4" x 5" is plenty large enough for most things you'll need for the internet.
To find a good digital camera that will suit your needs go to www.cnet.com or www.pcworld.com and look up their camera reviews. I never purchase any hardware with out first reading online reviews from one of these two sites. The only time I did, I got a real lemon of a scanner...so I learned my lesson on that.
You don't need to spend a fortune on a camera if you're going to be taking images close up and using them for the web. If, on the other hand, you are going to be wanting to take pictures at a distance, such as at zoos, bird shots, etc, then a camera that will allow you to add telephoto lens, such as Cannon or Nikons SLR cameras. At least 5 mb.
WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT GOOGLE?
Advertise through Google - Consider buying space on sites that cater to yoru target audience through the use of Google Adwords. Check first to see if the high ranking sites in your field (the ones that show up high in the links when you do a search of your site's keywords) and see if they run Google ads on their sites. If they do, there's a very good chance you can get on those ads through the Google Adsense program. It's worth checking out! A way to stretch your advertising budget and get your ads in front of those that really count! You start by opening an account through Google and fund it with a set amount of money. Google runs your ads on their network of websites, as well as on their search engines as sponsored ads. You only pay when someone clicks on one of those ads and visits your site so you are getting a lot of advertising bang for your buck!
Dynamicdrive.com! They are a great resource for fun and useful Java scripts to help your sites stand out among the millions of sites on the net! The scripts are free to use on your own sites, either commercial or personal. There are a few restrictions as to the use of their scripts so be sure to read their terms of usage page. The mouse trail scripts that I used at the begging of certain categories here on this site came from Dynamic Drive.
More sites will be added as I come across them, so check back often.
IN A NUTSHELL...
STEP ONE ...GET A WACOM ART
STEP TWO ...You'll need an imaging program, the best, if you can afford it, is Adobe Photoshop, without a doubt. Photoshop 5.5 is an older version you might find on the net and is every bit as good as any newer version you'll find. Just be sure to find a book that will go with whatever version you buy.
If you don't have the money to put out for Photoshop, then an inexpensive route to follow will be to purchase an earlier then version 9 copy of Paintshop Pro on the net. Paintshop pro is a pretty good program, from all I've read, and is less expensive then Photoshop.
If you've got the money, go with a Wacom Art Tablet and purchase Paint shop Pro.
FOR SERIOUS FUTURE GRAPHIC ARTISTS WITH A BIT OF CASH TO INVEST: If you want the best and have the money, then go with the Wacom Art Tablet, PHOTOSHOP, and a good digital camera. When I began 5 years ago, my total initial investment was 2100.00 (prices of cameras have come way down since then though, and now you can often find good deals on software and hardware on sites like Ebay...just be sure to check feedback ratings on the sellers.) You're cost to start out will be nearly half of what my costs were!
STEP FIVE: Don't go it alone. There are plenty of sites out there that offer help for the new graphic artist and webdesigner. And this help is FREE in most cases. Good thing too, because if you bought all the equipment I mentioned on this page, then you're broke! I know I was after I bought it all, but I've never regretted any of the above purchases!
Any questions, feel free to email me, Dustie, at email@example.com
HAPPY GRAPHICS CREATION!!
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