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Thread: Image Creation Newb

  1. #1
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    Image Creation Newb

    I feel very stupid for asking this, but that's never stopped me before <grin>.

    I want to be able to create my own images. This would help my web-design in many ways. I purchased Paint Shop Pro 7. I played around with it a bit, and have read many tutorials.

    However, these tutorials seem to have a common problem. They mainly deal with photo manipulation. I don't have a photo, I want to create my own images from scratch. I cannot seem to find a tutorial to teach me techniques and such.

    I can create my own images, but they are very basic. I use fonts, gradient colors, filters, and other very basic methods to eachieve my ends. I want to create more complex and eye-pleasing things.

    I would be grateful if somebody could point me to a wonderful tutorial or give a little bit of advice about how you got started. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Umm... I think the best tool for creating images would be Photoshop. Creating images is hard and can take time. Use the blur tool for soft edges. I don't know what other advice to give you because I don't know what kind of image you're trying to make.

  3. #3
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    Umm... I think the best tool for creating images would be Photoshop

    That wasn't the question. Photoshop and PSP provide generally the same features. To scrap a program that cost hundreds of dollars to buy another program that costs hundreds of dollars that does about the same thing would be pretty stupid.

    I can create my own images, but they are very basic. I use fonts, gradient colors, filters, and other very basic methods to eachieve my ends

    Fancy filters and effects can never take the place of artistic creativity. I think you'll find that the majority of Web sites that have a good appearance don't use much more than fonts or gradients.
    http://www.cnet.com/
    http://scifi.com/home2.html

    As far as tutorials go, just like anything else, the best place to look is always with the group that created it.
    http://www.jasc.com/learncenter.asp

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the replies guys!
    Jeff, I think you may be correct. Maybe all I need is a bit of good taste and a HUGE list of fonts.

    What I'm trying to come up with is a business type logo. I want it to be professional, clean cut, and sharp. I was just havinga tough time picking out what I liked. Everything I thought of seemed either contemporary or juvenile. I think I may drop in for a few digital imaging classes and see if I can't learn first hand. I will certainly be reading those Jasc tutorials!

  5. #5
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    Wow, those tutorials are pretty informative! I didnt' even know I had a way to make an image map with PSP! Amazing. Right now I'm running through their business card tutorial, something I need to do anyway.

  6. #6
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    A very good image softeware (on PSP & PS level) that is also FREEWARE is the Gimp.

    Since it's free that is also an enourmous ammount of online guides and tutorials for how to make images & effects with it.

    www.gimp.org (for Linux and Win)

    Here is a link to one of the user sites
    http://gug.sunsite.dk/

  7. #7
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    Image Creation Newb

    Don't feel stupid! Graphic design can be pretty challenging. One good program (though pricey) is Adobe's Illustrator 10. We have it here, and I just attended a 2-day training session on how to create graphics. Illustrator has tools, like a pen, pencil, and other tools, to create drawings from scratch. I'm sure there are many other programs out there that do this, but I'm not familiar with any others myself.

    Here's one site that may help - http://www.sketchpad.net/illustrator.htm

  8. #8
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    Ah, I just found out Gimp is offered for Windows! I've done a LITTLE bit of work with it on my linux box, so I guess I will download that and give it a whirl!

    I've looked at Illustrator, and frankly, I'm too cheap to buy it! I figured it was between Adobe Elements and PSP, so I went ahead with PSP.

    I'm running through some of the advanced tutorials now, and it's really fun. I made these great looking (well, not great, but decent) rollover menus, so I was pretty excited. I'm also learning tons about terms! I found that the Jasc tutorials are a little weird, they throw these terms around like Alpha Channel and don't explain it, yet in another tutorial they will throw the term around and explain it there. Makes it a little tough understanding all the concepts. However, I'm sure I can look this stuff up when I get the time, right now I'm just enthralled (sp?) by the tutorials!

    I learned their is just so much more than I imagined to digital imaging! It's just amazing their vast amount of information available, but that just allows me to keep learning!

  9. #9
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    acutally, the illustrator-hint pretty much hits it. you pointed at what you want to do : a clear-cut logo using a font. well, for that purpose, neither photoshop nor paint shop pro nor gimp will help you too much. what you need is an application that has more vector-editing capabilities than any of these. (i may be mistaken on the paint shop pro, i don't know it in depth, but i think it is one out of the pixel graphics -family, not one out of the vector graphics - family.)
    illustrator is expensive, as are all adobe products; but it is good. a cheaper alternative is macromedia freehand, of course. it is about of the same quality. (opinions differ on that point.) as far as i know, all others (there must be others) are not quite as wide-ranging; but would maybe help you out for the moment.

    here's another hint: of you want to do graphic design, a pencil, paper, and walk-taking helps a lot. at least, it does in my case.

    have fun!

  10. #10
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    Well, I know PSP can create things as vectors, but I don't quite understand the term well so I can't really say if it has good vector supoprt. I may go ahead and download freehand and see how I like it.

    As far as a pencil and paper go, that is one of the reasons I turend to digital imaging. I'm trying to improve my artistic skills on the computer. I have little to no talent with pen and paper. That's another question I have:

    Can you careate original graphics on the PC wthout any real pen and paper talent? I think you can, to a degree, but I'm only guessing. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    case that's your question: a vector is basically a 'line', defined by end points; it may be curved, consisting of curve points and curve grades, as well as shades wich are defined by grades.
    Letters now are usually formed by outlines (some are bitmaps, though). outlines can be converted to vectors (the font loses some of its information then), and then transformed. (most special effects, like 3-d etc., are made by vectors, too.)

    pencilpaper: i think it depends on why you have little to no talent in using them. if you don't have an eye, then a computer won't help much. if your hand is unskilled, well, that can be trained, and it helps a great deal, i think. it is a very different, a very immediate and sensual approach. after all, pen and paper are the fastest and most flexible editor, at least at some things.
    but i too am only guessing. i have been trained as draftsman and painter since i was 13 years old, when computers where still roomfilling machines with litte green-black screens. anyway, if you decide not to be afraid of paper and pen, you can ask me for some hints (wich certainly can never replace a teacher, a studio, patience...).

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the reply and definition. As far as the offer for tips about pencil and paper, thanks, but I will have to pass. After years of art classes, I've decided that I have no talent. I'm not sure whether it's an eye or a hand thing, however, I know I can't produce the pretty pictures. Oh well, can't be good at everything. At least I'm good at math.

  13. #13
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    PSP is a superb entry level program, eventually one accquires professional software like PhotoShop and Fireworks. I am known to drop images into all 3 programs at different stages to get the desired output.
    Perhaps you can look at the free filter "texturizer" and the classic "eye candy".
    Search for dingbat fonts, there are whole sites dedicated to them, you may definately want to be using "webdings" and the "international" dingbats.
    Time is the only thing you need to play and play and play some more, after about 1 year you can really look like a pro.

  14. #14
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    For the very basics, use what you already have in your computer, "Paint". You can really make your own images from scratch and save them as gif's or jpg's as well as bmp's.
    With "Draw Opaque" not checked, you can get wonderful effects. When you make your image there is no way to use filters in Paint as it is basic, but you can open it in PhotoShop later to do that.

    I create all my animation images in paint This will point to one. http://www.citlink.net/~jdavia/merge.gif

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