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Design & Graphics Resources > Graphic Tools & Software
Graphic Tools & Software Resources
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:
graphic on your site should be on trial for its life. Does it
serve a purpose? If not, ditch it!
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.
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...
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...
Main Graphics Software Tools
- 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.
- The official page of Photoshop the world's standard photo design and
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.
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.)
- "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.
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)
3D Graphics - another neat and affordable package that produces
excellent 3D graphics. Costs just $39.
Shop Pro Resources
Power - A weekly newsletter where one can find news, tips, and tricks
needed to master Paint Shop Pro.
Elegance - Original PSP tubes, tutorials and Blade Pro presets.
Shareware graphic sets for your personal webpage.
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.
Place - PSP tubes, tutorials and an interactive discussion forum.
Freebies area with plenty tubes for download. Subscription required
for unlimited access.
Toybox Home - Resource site for Paint
Shop Pro help, tutorials, links, contest, background sets. Also help
with the PSP 7 version.
Shop Pro Education Destination - Community for PSP users with online
classes, tutorials, challenges, tools and helpful information.
Web Studio - An array of assorted graphic related items such as
PSP tutorials, Blade Pro presets, plugin filters, webpage backgrounds,
textures, and vector shapes.
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.
- Full portal for Adobe photoshop tips, tutorials and help. Also HTML
and web design tips and tricks.
Adobe Photoshop Resources - Tips and tutorials, free downloads,
actions, plugins, training and support, and other resources for Photoshop
- 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.
Photoshop Roadmap - Photoshop tips, tutorials, techniques and articles.
Also a large plugin directory with download links, animated tutorials
and a Photoshop bookstore.