The tools to produce effective web graphics are invaluable. The Web is increasingly a graphic medium. On this page, we
give you access to software and advice resources that will help you to source and produce excellent web site graphics.
Software, such as PaintShop Pro and Photoshop (and all the resources supporting these software packages) as well as Flash
resources, and image manipulation software such as JPEG Optimiser and Xara 3D software.

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Home > Resources > Web Design & Graphics Resources > Graphic Tools & Software Resources

Graphic Tools & Software Resources

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The tools to produce effective web graphics are invaluable. The Web is increasingly a graphic medium. On this page, we give you access to software and advice resources that will help you to source and produce excellent web site graphics. Software, such as Paint Shop Pro and Photo Shop (and all the resources supporting these software packages) as well as Flash resources, and image manipulation software such as JPEG Optimiser and Xara 3D software.

A word of caution.. despite the spread of broadband, you still need to optimise all of your graphics. This means:

  • Every graphic on your site should be on trial for its life. Does it serve a purpose? If not, ditch it!
  • Every graphic should be optimised to reduce download time. Forget about broadband users. I'm one. And I still get impatient! If your site doesn't load fast, I'll click on to another site.
  • Excercise good taste. Taste? That's a bit subjective, isn't it? Yes it is, and that's how your web site visitors will react. Design (good design) is a very subjective topic. Is this site well designed? I'd like to think so. But maybe you think otherwise? (if so, let us know - contact us). What you must do is to get other people to comment on your design ideas.

OK - on to the resources that may help you...

Another word of caution. There's bias here. Most of the graphics on this site were designed with PaintShop Pro. I don't see any point in splashing out $600 for software such as Adobe Photoshop if you can get almost the same results for $100. OK, maybe that marks me down as a non-professional (in graphic design terms), but stuff such as PaintShop Pro is good enough for the average Joe (I guess that's me - I've been with PSP since version 1.3 - too late to teach an old dog new tricks!).

So - lets cut to the quick, with some useful graphic design resources...

The Main Graphics Software Tools
(manufacturers' websites)

  • Paint Shop Pro 7 - A powerful graphics application by Jasc Software, Inc. that can be used for anything from creating simple images to complex, multi-layered graphics by combining raster-based and vector-based graphics technology into one program. Offers free download, tutorials, support, and upgrades.
  • Photoshop - The official page of Photoshop the world's standard photo design and production tool.
  • Fireworks from Macromedia - some people swear by it. Some people swear at it. I'm in the latter group. But it might well suit you.
  • CorelDRAW 9 Graphics Suite - CorelDRAW 9 Graphics Suite delivers powerful integrated tools for illustration, page layout, photo editing and painting.
  • PhotoImpact6 - Ulead Systems - First image editor to address both image editing and Web page creation. Vector 2D and 3D graphics with imaging and painting tools. For Windows 95/98/2000 or NT 4.0.
  • JPEG Optimizer - Adjust the compression level of a JPG file and preview the results before saving. Program supports variable compression. (Note - this is what we use at Marketing Magic. It's invaluable! Typically, it can reduce a 60k jpg file to 10-15k without losing quality. And it's really easy to use.)
  • Swish - "The ultimate Flash creation tool". If you want to use Flash but can't afford Macromedia's offering this is for you. It costs just $50 ($20 for the "lite" version that just manipulates text). It's a great piece of affordable software.
  • Flash from Macromedia - the expensive one. Great if you've got the cash and - even more important, the time to learn this great software. Otherwise, stick to "Swish" (see above)
  • Xara 3D Graphics - another neat and affordable package that produces excellent 3D graphics. Costs just $39.

Paint Shop Pro Resources

  • PSP Power - A weekly newsletter where one can find news, tips, and tricks needed to master Paint Shop Pro.
  • Web Elegance - Original PSP tubes, tutorials and Blade Pro presets. Shareware graphic sets for your personal webpage.
  • Diana Free Tubes - Free Paint Shop Pro picture tubes in png format, tutorials, brushes, masks, gallery, textures, clipart, BladePro presets, 3D models, props, GIF animations and others.
  • Barrys Place - PSP tubes, tutorials and an interactive discussion forum. Freebies area with plenty tubes for download. Subscription required for unlimited access.
  • PSP Toybox Home - Resource site for Paint Shop Pro help, tutorials, links, contest, background sets. Also help with the PSP 7 version.
  • Paint Shop Pro Education Destination - Community for PSP users with online classes, tutorials, challenges, tools and helpful information.
  • Tephra's Web Studio - An array of assorted graphic related items such as PSP tutorials, Blade Pro presets, plugin filters, webpage backgrounds, textures, and vector shapes.

Photo Shop Resources

  • PlanetPhotoshop com - The launch site for finding Adobe Photoshop resource on the web. It's all here, links, tips, and resources to get you the information you need fast.
  • Teamphotoshop - Full portal for Adobe photoshop tips, tutorials and help. Also HTML and web design tips and tricks.
  • About.com Adobe Photoshop Resources - Tips and tutorials, free downloads, actions, plugins, training and support, and other resources for Photoshop users.
  • PhotoshopCafe - Free actions and articles, user forum, original tips, tricks and tutorials for beginners to advanced users. Adobe PhotoShop 6.0 photorealistic illustrations updated every week.
  • The Photoshop Roadmap - Photoshop tips, tutorials, techniques and articles. Also a large plugin directory with download links, animated tutorials and a Photoshop bookstore.

 




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