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Do I need photoshop?
Is there much of a difference between 6, 7, & CS?
roldar




msg:856416
 8:13 am on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not a big graphics guy, but when I paid the bill for the last logo I outsourced I instantly developed an interest. I realize you get what you pay for, but since I don't usually require professional-grade graphics I think I could get by doing some of my own.

The only thing more frightening than that logo bill was the sticker shock for Photoshop. CS/2 is not an option at the price it sells for. 7.0 appears to be going for quite a hefty sum as well.

So I got to wondering, what are the major differences in 6.0, 7.0, and CS/2? Are they minor things that only a professional would get use out of?

Part of the reason I'm convinced I need Photoshop is because the drawing pad I've had my eye on (Intuos3) has some cool sounding features that only work with PS. I believe the pad ships with PS Elements 3. Is this going to basically do most of the cool stuff from the full version? I assume it supports the pressure sensitivity but I couldn't find a definitive answer.

 

Eltiti




msg:856417
 8:58 am on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I understand that you're asking about PS, but have you considered Paint Shop Pro? It does most of the things non-professionals would require --and it has a 30-day evaluation version, so you can easily check if anything essential is missing...

asquithea




msg:856418
 12:11 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Photoshop Elements is pretty good. Some of the advanced features have been removed, but it's very good value and still extremely capable. If there's some prospect of getting it in a bundle, I'd say you should try it out before considering shelling out for a full version.

I have an Intuos3 A5 graphics tablet (bought on a whim). Build quality is excellent, and the drivers can be customized for each piece of software you use. Price is... high. I'd tend to shy away from shelling out for something as large as an A5 tablet unless you've actually got artistic talent -- with my level of skill, my tablet is a rather expensive toy :-)

Tablets help a lot with subtle colouring and blending -- anywhere where a pressure sensitive tool is useful. They aren't so hot for precision pixel art, because it's harder to hold the pen absolutely still than it is to control a mouse.

j4mes




msg:856419
 12:19 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

The GIMP [gimp.org]

Highly recommended :-)

Mods: this is a free GNU GPL program, obvs. not self-promotion :-)

scottmack




msg:856420
 9:55 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Photoshop 7 probably has everything you need.

CS has something called Shadows and Highlights I think. It is very hard to use.

roldar




msg:856421
 9:57 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I understand that you're asking about PS, but have you considered Paint Shop Pro? It does most of the things non-professionals would require --and it has a 30-day evaluation version, so you can easily check if anything essential is missing...

I actually used PSP for several years, and really got the hang of it. Unfortunately they only make Windows compatible versions :( I've never used Photoshop at all, but ever since "photoshopping" entered the lexicon I just assumed there was some kind of magic to it that I was missing out on.

I'd tend to shy away from shelling out for something as large as an A5 tablet unless you've actually got artistic talent -- with my level of skill, my tablet is a rather expensive toy :-)

Believe me, I know for a fact that the second I get one I'm going to have officially burned a large wad of cash. I just have this fantasy that if I get something that expensive it's got to give my skills a much-needed boost. Right now I just grab onto the mouse so tightly when I'm trying to draw that I end up with a sore wrist and jagged lines.

It looks like the A5 is a Europe-only version, but if my metric-to-American is correct I think the one I was looking at has the same dimensions. Most of the reviews I've read suggest that that size is just right -- while the smaller ones are too cramped and the larger ones are a bit of overkill.

They aren't so hot for precision pixel art, because it's harder to hold the pen absolutely still than it is to control a mouse.

Do you find they are good for freehand drawing? I like to doodle in my free time, and I think it'd be kind of cool to do it digitally. Mind you that doesn't justify the cost, but hopefully I can get some use out of it on the business end as well for touching up graphics and such.

The GIMP

Highly recommended :-)

That's what I'm using! The price was right and I can tell it has a lot of power, but for whatever reason I just can't get my graphics to come out as clean as I could with PSP and other programs. Mabye I just need to work with it more?

I wonder if it supports the pressure sensitivity.. I'll have to look around.

faltered




msg:856422
 1:43 pm on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another GIMP lover here. I was using photoshop for a few years and decided it was time to upgrade. But when I saw the price on CS (and read some reviews) I decided it wasn't worth it.

I downloaded the GIMP and the rest is history. Love it.

Lobo




msg:856423
 5:46 pm on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

PS is quoted everywhere because it is great ...

If you are basic web based then pehaps there is not a need, but any design company you may work with will expect you to know it..

A good option is fireworks ...

hcstudios




msg:856424
 9:01 pm on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

If being "creative" isn't something you really truly enjoy and if you only have a limited amount of time to learn then be good to your blood pressure and stick with paying someone else to make your logos. If you love to draw, drool over the idea of writing your own Photoshop Actions, are passionate about fonts, and love to discuss the merits of Relative Colormetric vs Absolute Colormetric, then go for it.

Drawing tablets actually can take quite a while to get used to so be ready to spend some time learning how to select menus as well as how to draw lines. Most tablets are pressure sensitive so it's not just like transferring your mouse skills so be prepared to practice a lot before it works well for you.

Elements is a good program and probably will do most of what you want, but be aware that it does still have a Photoshop-ish learning curve in some areas. The product also doesn't have some of the fancy features that are the fun part of working in Photoshop CS, but it does have some non-PSCS features that are great for working with digital photographs (like a special RAW tool).

In terms of the differences between older and new versions...the CS version of Photoshop got rid of some annoying instability issues and added some nice integration features with the other items in the CS family (Illustrator and InDesign). Just because of the stability of the software I recommend paying for CS versions (not older versions) if you decide to get the full thing instead of just Pshop Elements. I wouldn't get the new CS2 version though -- there's a lot of frustration about bugs being voiced on one of the design lists I frequent.

I think CreativePro.Com still has articles on the website about what the exact differences are between versions so you might want to poke around there. You might also want to think about spending $99 and joining the National Association of Photoshop Professionals just to have access to all the online tutorials and reviews for a year -- membership includes a print subscription to Photoshop User magazine as well.

BTW, if you're paying less than the cost of Pshop CS for a logo you're getting a good price. I'd tell you what I charge but I don't want to give you a heart attack (LOL).

CorvusCorax




msg:856425
 3:55 am on Aug 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am relatively proficient in PhotoShop 7 and use it on most everything I do. It is an amazingly powerful program.

I highly recommend in your case NOT getting it, however. 90% of its ultra powerful features you will likely never learn to use--unless you plan to go to a digital media school... or take a two-day expensive workshop might get you started.

It is not an intuitive program, and even if you are proficient with MS programs, you will find yourself lost in some case. Photoshop requires a lot of Cntrl+delete's Alt+deletes, and..uhh that's not even the beginning of it really..

I also have Photoshop Elements on one of my systems, which I think is a much better investment for you from what you have just described. It is about 1/2 of what Photoshop is(possibly more..dunno), but it CAN drive PS Pro's crazy: I notice things like the magnetic lasso tool, various adjustments, and other features working much better in 7, plus things like Quick mask mode and guides dont exist in Elements, which furstrates me--but, again, in your case, so what?

However, I think that Elements could even be a little more user friendly in my opinion than it is. It's not the best proggy on the market for a beginner ,imho.

I suggest thinking about PSP, perhaps. It's realtively cheap and is readily available on the shelves at most computer stores. I used Paint Shop Pro a long time ago, so I dont know how it compares to Elements, per se, but I think you will have better luck with it than any Adobe product. My 2 cents--dont buy Photoshop--and that's coming from a PS Junky!

collymellon




msg:856426
 10:41 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

photoshop CS2 is highly powerfull graphics program when you get the hang of it and unlease its powers..

If you have Adobe go to [any of the Photoshop tutorial sites] and follow some of the tutorials - you will reliase you can do anything

[edited by: tedster at 8:30 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2005]

MikeBenson




msg:856427
 12:04 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Photoshop is the industry standard and I believe it would be money well spent. I bet that after you install it, you will find other great ways to use it. I'd suggest picking up 7, which is what I use now, if you don't want to drop the money on CS.

If you're looking to only do logos, you may want to look at Adobe's Illustrator product, which is vector art software. More often than not, this is where logos are created due to the scalability of vector art.

MaryC




msg:856428
 5:06 pm on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

For most uses, any version of PhotoShop is more than most people need.

Do a Google search for adobe software + wholesale and you can find PhotoShop CS and 7.0 for as little as $49!

Beagle




msg:856429
 7:58 pm on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

...which is vector art software.

I've read this software distinction before, and it always confuses me. I use Paint Shop, and each image I create, even each layer I add, can be designated as raster or vector. Is Paint Shop just giving a "looks like" version of one of these? Or can PhotoShop, Illustrator, etc., also do both but are just better for one or the other?

Harry




msg:856430
 8:12 pm on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't suggest trying to replace your logo designer, just because you think you can. If you really could, you would not be asking questions about Photoshop CS or 7 or PaintshopPro. You would know what to do already because it would be a natural part of your job.

Since graphic design is not part of your job, you're better off with PaintshopPro or Fireworks for basic Web integration.

Photoshop is a bitmap program. Think of the small colour dots on a magazine that make up a large image.

Illustrator is a vector graphics program. It uses mathematical curves to calculate the distance between each points.

Nowadays, each program has elements of the other ones, but for some specific tasks, pros usually prefer to stick with the real thing.

As for designing a logo in Photoshop, I suggest that you fire your designer and hire another one whon knows that logos are designed with a vector program, to give you as much flexibility as possible.

Alioc




msg:856431
 9:39 pm on Aug 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

You will not get much out of your Intuos using Photoshop. It's mainly designed for use with natural painting applications, Corel Paint being the lead in this area.

Intuos is also not useful for working with vector art. It's for industrial designers, graphic designers and paint artists who wish to work more efficiently without the limits of real paper, pen and brushes.

MikeBenson




msg:856432
 9:06 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

beagle,

photoshop will also allow you to create a vector shape to manipulate, but is not a true vector art program. you wont be able to save the file as vector.

photoshop and illustatrator have inherent differences in how they save files. as another poster mentioned, photoshop is bitmap, which means it literally saves each pixel in the graphic*. when you try to enlarge a bitmap file, interpolation occurs.. meaning, the software has to create pixels which were not there before, and in effect guess what they should be by comparing adjacent pixels. The results are often blurry images when you enlarge.

illustrator saves points and uses math for distances etc. for example, illustrator would save a square simply as 4 points and fill it in with a color. to enlarge it, the software simply changes the equation for distance between points. this is why illustrator is hands down a better choice for logos... you can expand to the size of a billboard if you need to without sacrificing quality of the image.

* The slight exception to this rule is a .gif. This file format will save pixels, but will string together like pixels. For example, where a .jpg may see something as "blue, red, red, red", a .gif will see "blue, red x3"

dumai




msg:856433
 4:04 am on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It really depends on what kind of graphics you will be doing. If you are planning to do some fine detailing graphics photoshop is the way to go. I have a degree in graphic design and still use photoshop 7. If you are thinking of doing lots of logos you will need Adobe Illustrator.

and

If you are doing lots of website graphics I recommend using Macromedia Fireworks. It's much cheaper then photoshop and has everything you need for the web. Plus it optimizes JPG's better.

collymellon




msg:856434
 12:26 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Plus it optimizes JPG's better.

How does it? im interested in this cos ive allways relied on PS for optimization - you get control over the level of optimization for JPG (% bar) I allways thought this would give me as much control as the other graphics software.

Leosghost




msg:856435
 1:07 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Depends on the resampling method that the soft uses ..if I remember correctly fireworks is defaulted to "Bicubic" ..which is probably the best compromise between the files size reduction and quality loss..

Beagle




msg:856436
 3:31 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

beagle,

photoshop will also allow you to create a vector shape to manipulate, but is not a true vector art program. you wont be able to save the file as vector.

I picked this up from other posts, and was wondering about Paint Shop, as it seems very similar to photoshop. (I know, people see a "p" and an "s" and...) But I do think the way you describe photoshop here is the same as in Paint Shop -- layers can be vectors, but have to be merged for the image to be saved. So your reply put the pieces together for me -- thanks. (With CorelDRAW being the parallel vector program, I think...)

joel2280




msg:856437
 6:48 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have Paint Shop Pro 9, and also Macromedia Studio MX 2004.
I have no clue how to use most of both programs.
I also bought how 2 guruous....to learn.
anyway it seems to be pretty complicated stuff.
I know enoughf to get by in Dreamweaver.
but It seems I have a ton of cool stuff that will take 100 hours of class time to learn.
does anyone have any advice to make things a little easier?
thanks,
Joel

Beagle




msg:856438
 12:24 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Joel -
I love Paint Shop 8 and am salivating over 9 but haven't upgraded yet. With the discussion in this thread, I'm thinking I should also get the CorelDRAW "Essentials" program.

I'm not a pro, and am basically self-taught, but if you have specific, not-too-technical questions on Paint Shop, I can try to help. I'm still struggling a bit with layers and masks. The Corel website has tutorials, etc., which might give you some ideas. (Don't ask me anything about Macromedia, though!)

Stefan




msg:856439
 4:42 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another vote for the GIMP. You can do incredible things with that program.

linton




msg:856440
 8:43 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

"So I got to wondering, what are the major differences in 6.0, 7.0, and CS/2? Are they minor things that only a professional would get use out of?"

But back to one of the original questions, what would be the main differences between the PS versions? Presumably CS2 does everything that PS6 does, but just with more bells and whistles?

hermanp




msg:856441
 8:53 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

After all these suggestions about high-end and sometimes high-price programs with steep learning curves: if your only interest is to create web graphics Real Draw Pro might fit your requirements.

Myself I use Photoshop Elements 3 mainly for editing pictures from my digital camera, as a part of the digital darkroom.

I use RealDraw Pro to design web graphics, logo's and other stuff. Much easier to use than PS in my opinion, although in the end everything can be done in PS as well.

Enjoy!

topr8




msg:856442
 9:24 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>>So I got to wondering, what are the major differences in 6.0, 7.0, and CS/2? Are they minor things that only a professional would get use out of?

well i guess i'm like you, running a small operation with no graphics specialist here!

i think photoshop is fantastic i know how it works, i find the tools easy enough to use and i've learnt to do the things that i need to do - which is basic logos, manipulating photos, and the odd web graphic (sure i know it's not a vector program but it works well enough for me)

... i got a full version of 5.0 which came free with a scanner, it seems to do all i need. i'd agree with the advice above, you can pick up an old/out of date version very cheaply which will be just fine.

limbo




msg:856443
 12:20 pm on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

One of the issues we have in the print industry is backward compatibility. Newer versions come onto the market and suppliers upgrade to support those clients who have also upgraded. Conversly those clients/suppliers who use older software might have to shop around to find compatible suppliers/clients. Having the latest version means I will always be able to supply printshops and clients alike with a graphic that works for them and their system, what ever that may be - this reduces my handling time. For example I recently had to supply a logo design in Illustrator 3 and Quark 6 leaflet to the same client!

The CS2 version of Photoshop is much improved for digital Photographers. But if I was just producing webgraphics I could get by using Fireworks 3, for the most part :)

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