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  1. #1
    Ms Dumb Ass ... but, *NOT* Today! westgroup's Avatar
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    Do you feel that Photoshop is needed
    Ok, so that sites that I have been creating the last few years or so are basically copy & paste or work within a template atmosphere that is included with my web hosting.

    I have tried a few scripts & webmerge, but sorry I just don't get it. They are probably simple enough for most but confuse the crap out of me.

    I have seen a few simple templates that I like but once complete really do look simple and unprofessional.

    The other templates that I like and seem easy to work with usually say something like this 3 PAGE DESIGN - PSD - CSS - HTML - BLANK IMAGES

    If I don't have Photoshop would this template still look good or would it look cheesy?

    Is Photoshop something that I should really invest in or can I get around it ?

    Do you use Photoshop or do you feel you don't need it to have a site that still looks professional?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Think about it like this.. Would you rather hire somebody to do your graphics and logos or would you rather try to do them yourself? Photoshop can be a cheaper solution if you've got some artistic talent. If you aren't so skilled, maybe it's better to hire somebody to do your logo design. It also comes down to your budget. Photoshop is a great long term investment.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  3. #3
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    I can't live without Photoshop for a lot of what I do, but because I do so much of my site development from Linux or from one of my Windows laptops that doesn't have a PS license, I've found myself using the free program GIMP for a lot of quickie stuff (resizing, cropping, converting) that I used to do exclusively with Photoshop/ImageReady. I'm not always keen on GIMP's user interface, but it is very powerful once you get the hang of it.
    Tim
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  4. #4
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    I use Photo Impact by Ulead. The latest version (PhotoImpact XL) has lots of bells and whistles for graphics and experienced graphic artists - but you could easily do anything you need with versions 6 and up. In fact I use my version 6 more than I do XL. (I have both installed on my PC)

    They do come with some templates and there are many PI tutorial places on the web to teach you graphics. It also comes with premade graphics and banners - all you have to do is add text. There is a small library of photos too - plus more on the website. You can also use it with your own photos.

    The main reason I like it, it is cheaper than a lot of other graphics programs and still does everything I need it to do.
    Ebudae


  5. #5
    Marketing Mistress Lectrickitty's Avatar
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    I've never used photoshop. I've always wished I had it, but never took the plunge. I use a couple of free programs that came bundled with a printer I bought several years ago.
    [color=blue]"Those who give up their freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security" - Benjamin Franklin[/color]

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Like the name suggests, Photoshop is great for editing photo images. When I have to do something with an actual photograph, I'm always amazed at its capabilities.

    If you're not doing something photo-heavy, though, I'd say save your money.

    And, the kicker with any program is the same as with other tools: You have to practice to get anything worthwhile out of it! None of them (yet) can make an artist of you if you aren't one. Like in carpentry, a power saw is better than a hand saw, but you still have to have the basic ideas on your own.

    As for your PSD template, it may just be that whoever made the template used Photoshop. It should be fine, unless you want to change the images (in which case you'll need *some* way of doing it...not necessarily PS. And if you've already got an image ready to switch theirs for, you should be able to just drop it in).

    More generally, a site template can look fine without Photoshop. DW MX, for example, comes with some CSS templates already in it. I just modified those, for some of my aff sites. That's the most "professional" those sites have been! Makes it look like I know a lot more CSS than I do. Mainly all I had to do was get rid of the ugly "programmer's gray" (I don't know what programmers see in those depressing gray [or sometimes gray-blue] shades) to bring some life into the things, and change the links to match the new color. Also ditch a few elements I didn't need.

    I have tried a few scripts & webmerge, but sorry I just don't get it. They are probably simple enough for most but confuse the crap out of me.
    Oh oh...WARNING! "Serious" graphics programs like Photoshop and Fireworks have a BIG learning curve! At least IMO. (Personally I found WM fairly easy in comparison to the graphics programs.) I'd STRONGLY suggest downloading the trial versions of any program you think of buying first, considering your statement.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    I use Paint Shop Pro and love it. There are lots of tutorials out on the Internet and anytime I want to do something I don't know how, I just find a tutorial and go step by step.

    I agree with Leader, download a trial version first and see if you can work with it before you make the investment. I know that PSP gives a 30 day trial.



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  8. #8
    Member C.Whyte's Avatar
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    I disagree with Leader
    If you're not doing something photo-heavy, though, I'd say save your money.
    There is nothing that Photoshop cannot do. Yes it is great for photos, but it is also one of the most powerful design tools I have ever come across. It is a little tricky to get the hang of with all the different tools and options, but the manual that comes with is pretty much a walk through tutorial. I really do not think that any other program even remotely comes close to the power of Photoshop and if you want my opinion never will. Try Photoshop out with one of those trial versions Adobe sometimes gives out and see how you like it. A few weeks with the program and you will be a pro; it’s not as hard as people make it out to be.

  9. #9
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    While I will agree that Photoshop is indeed a very powerful program, even if you HAVE a photo heavy site, you do not necessarily need photoshop. I have more than 2000 photographs that I've taken posted on my website. Despite this, I've never had a use for Photoshop. Instead, I find Fireworks is much more easier - and quicker - to use for basic web graphics and basic photo editing.

    Simply put, if all you need to do is to crop images, do basic image manipulation, optimize them for the web (for fast loading), create funky little web graphics, etc....Photoshop is a very expensive, confusing and memory-hog overkill program to have. For basic web graphics, whether it be photos or designing your logo, numerous other programs will work just as well. I personally use Fireworks for all my web graphics work, and dust off Photoshop only when I need to seriously manipulate photos for whatever reason.

    My two cents.

    Jim

  10. #10
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    PaintShop Pro is waaaay cheaper than Photoshop and easier to learn - it's great for pretty much everything and even has an application for doing animated GIFs which can be useful for banners.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  11. #11
    Ms Dumb Ass ... but, *NOT* Today! westgroup's Avatar
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    I basically just want to change some of the navigatation text and change the site name from a generic one to mine.

    When I had contacted one template company they said that the template would look like junk if I used any program other then Photoshop to change the text and then in a few days I received an email stating that any HTML editor would do the trick.

    At the moment I don't have any plans for fancy graphics or anything like that. I've played around with a few of the very basic templetes but want to use something a bit classier.

    Didn't think of StudioMX. Have that.

    Really wish that I had more time to experiment. Working full time & trying to be creative and use brain power after a crappy day at work is hard.

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    You have StudioMX?? Then you've got Fireworks already! You're sitting on all the power you need for your project and then some, then!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    You really need some talent to do good logos and graphics. If (like me) you recognize that you don't have that talent, you can always find a graphic artist to do logos and graphics for you.
    Michael Coley
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    I use Dreamweaver MX and Fireworks..
    Fireworks is a better program for web graphics in my opinion..
    and I have both - PhotoShop 7.0 and Fireworks MX..

    Fireworks - well - it just works..
    Flash is also another cool program for making graphics.. but I rarely use that... it's Fireworks for me.. the MacroMedia Studio MX - RULES..

  15. #15
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    Westgroup,

    Photoshop is a huge program these days and has so many features that you'll probably never get to use. Why don't you try Photoshop elements. It's the cut down version of Photoshop and only costs about $100 as opposed to the full Photoshop which is close to $600. There's a free 30 day trial version available at the Adobe website. I downloaded it recently and was really surprised how similar it was to the full Photoshop. You'll be able to edit those PSD files using Photoshop Elements and that's probably all you'll need.

    Honey

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    For graphics and photo editing use PhotoImpact XL. Its the best and most cost effective program to use. I've used Photoshop, Corel and Paint Shop Pro. I've found PhotoImpact XL to be the easiest to master and it has the best features to due a wide range of graphics and photo editing.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  17. #17
    Member sendmemybill's Avatar
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    If you plan to buy Photoshop and you are new with it, Buy a graphic tablet Wacom. And with this tablet, you get Photoshop Elements 2.0, that is enough for you to do all you can imagine, you will never use the professional pre-press stuff and advanced layer style in Photoshop anyway. It is a Photoshop light version, but with the same power and interface. I barely see the difference myself when I do basic works, and I use Photoshop since 8 years now. Indeed I am a master, cause I love it, always want to learn and did a 1 year Photoshop class, but took me 8 years to master it A-Z(really).

    A lot of fun with your 100$ graphic tablet too!!

    Personnaly I prefer Illustrator to do my web graphic, ho vectorisation, I like you!

  18. #18
    Master of Design AlexBet's Avatar
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    I can say that I am an Adobe junkie. I can't do anything without Illustrator, Photoshop, In Design, etc. The great thing with Adobe products is that they have a common user interface, and if you know one of them, you basically know them all. The only one that I don't like is GoLive, I use Dreamweaver instead. BUT, Dreamweaver will be part of Adobe very soon and I am very happy about it.

    In terms of Photoshop compared to other software... Well, it really depends on your aristic skills. If you are artistic and if you combine Illustrator and Photoshop, there is basically nothing you can't do with an image. The only problem would be the idea. If you got the ideas, then you will be able to realize them in Photoshop because it offers the best tools in a graphic software and they are very easy to use. Leader said that it is good only for photographs (read images), but aren't logos images too, or any other image for that matter? Whatever you can do to photographs, you can do to other images too. Photoshop started (and still is) in the category of a "photo manipulation" software, but the last two-three major versions have brought many "web image maniulation" tools into it, as well as simple vector tools into it. It's a package that no other software even comes close to.

    To sum it up, Photoshop is THE MOST powerful software out there, period! BUT, if you are not an artist and if you don't have ideas in your head, then it is NOT worth buying AT ALL. You will be much better off with Paint Shop Pro which I heard many people are using and they say that it is wonderful. You can even open Photoshop files in Paint shop Pro.
    Alex
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  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Leader said that it is good only for photographs (read images), but aren't logos images too, or any other image for that matter? Whatever you can do to photographs, you can do to other images too.
    I didn't mean that it was only good for photographs.

    Rather, it seems to excel with photos, over Fireworks. For images that are less visually complex, Fireworks seems to do a fine job.

    And it's easier, for me anyway, to do things with text in Fireworks. I've seen your portfolio, so it's obviously possible to do it in PS, but in FW the "hows" have been a lot more obvious to me!

    BUT, if you are not an artist and if you don't have ideas in your head,
    I have the frustrating condition of having ideas--but not being an artist! Something always seems to get lost in the translation, so to speak. But I bought PS last year or so, so the money's been spent...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Hey Alex nice to see you around

    Of course, you could always hire Alexbet to do it for you *professionally*!
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sendmemybill
    If you plan to buy Photoshop and you are new with it, Buy a graphic tablet Wacom. And with this tablet, you get Photoshop Elements 2.0, that is enough for you to do all you can imagine, you will never use the professional pre-press stuff and advanced layer style in Photoshop anyway. It is a Photoshop light version, but with the same power and interface. I barely see the difference myself when I do basic works(really).
    I agree. If you can get Photoshop elements with a graphic tablet you should go for it, although I must say that I never got around to being comfortable with my Wacom tablet, but if you are artistically inclined (using a pen or type instrument) it might suit you.

    I still say try the 30 day trial of Photoshop Elements just to see if it's what suits you.

  22. #22
    Master of Design AlexBet's Avatar
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    Rather, it seems to excel with photos, over Fireworks. For images that are less visually complex, Fireworks seems to do a fine job.
    Fireworks is an excellent program. I have some experience with it, and I liked it very much. However, I was very limited in what I could do with it. Same goes for Paint Shop Pro. With Photoshop however, I can do whatever I can visualize in my head, literally anything. That's why I am saying that the idea is the hardest part, not the actual making of the image.

    My final advise would be the following... If you are a professional and you make a living out of graphic design, then you definitely need Photoshop (possibly on a Mac). If you are not a pro and you only need a program to make images for your website(s), then you are better off with Paint Shop Pro, Fireworks, or any other good graphics software (**Hint**: I heard Microsoft launched some graphics software that is supposed to be good). Just FYI if you haven't heard, Adobe is aquiring Macromedia and this process should be completed by some time next year I think. This means that Fireworks is going to be asimilated, and Dreamweaver and Flash are probably going to become Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Flash. Hehehehe... Resistance is futile! So, if you want to buy Fireworks, I would suggest waiting for a year so we see what happens to it, or just buy Paint Shop Pro and get it over with.

    Hey Alex nice to see you around
    Hey Dynamoo, nice to be around. I just wish I had more time to spend on ABW.
    Alex
    AlexBet.com - Professional Website Design, Website Development, Mobile App Development!


    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"
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  23. #23
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    This means that Fireworks is going to be asimilated, and Dreamweaver and Flash are probably going to become Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Flash. Hehehehe...
    Just as long as they don't mess up Dreamweaver, it's fine with me
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  24. #24
    Master of Design AlexBet's Avatar
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    Just as long as they don't mess up Dreamweaver, it's fine with me
    I would be VEEERRYYYY mad if they mess up DW because GoLive just sucks. I tried to switch to GoLive a couple of times, but I would go back to DW in 1-2 days. I don't think that they will mess it up, but I think that they might want to put their fingers on the DW interface. That of course will mean the end of DW as we know it. I LOVE DW's interface and I don't want it changed.

    Well, we'll see what happens. Adobe and Macromeadia are my favorite companies, and I think that they will surprise us all with what they come up with.
    Alex
    AlexBet.com - Professional Website Design, Website Development, Mobile App Development!


    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"
    Benjamin Franklin

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager
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    I just gotta chime in about Fireworks: IT IS A GOD.

    I use it for both web graphics and software interfaces (most of WebMerge's UI elements were made wih FW), and I've found no other software as optimally suited for those tasks.

    As for the original poster's comments about learning WebMerge:

    Try posting any questions you have about the product in its forum here on ABW:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=194

    Myself or one of the expert users there will be happy get lend a hand getting you started.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

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