Attention Web Graphic Whiz Dopers!

I’ve been using Microsoft Picture-It for my web graphics/images for awhile now. Nice, easy program (I highly recommend it for beginners), but now I’m ready to invest in something more challenging – specifically deciding between Paint Shop Pro 6 and Photostop.

I’ve never used Photostop, but I know people who do and are thrilled with it. The few times I’ve tinkered with PSP on a friend’s computer have left me crazed with frustration, especially about the vectors and other technical stuff…

I don’t consider myself a web graphic whiz, but I do have basic HTML skills. I’m also not a techno whiz, so…

In your opinion, which program is better in terms of ease of use? Are there features one has that the other doesn’t? What have your experiences been with either? Which would you recommend?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I haven’t been able to find any reference to a program called photostop on google. Are you by any chance referring to Adobe Photoshop?

That’s a bit of a snarky response, Kalashnikov!

To answer the question, Paint Shop Pro is designed for the average beginner-to-intermediate user and as such has a fairly smooth learning curve if you want to put the effort in. And it’s got a free version.

It’s not necessarily easy to learn, but neither is it difficult, you just have to dedicate some time to experimenting and learning, rather than being overwhelmed by it all.

Photoshop is designed for professionals or advanced users, it has a thousand features most users will not need (because each user has different skills and requirements, those un-needed features are different for everybody).

The way to get the most out of these programs is reorder your way of thinking. Think in layers, understand transparency and selections, and you will be able to grasp the finer points a little easier.

Photoshop, Photoshop, Photoshop.

I absolutely love it. Version 7 comes with ImageReady 7, which is designed for web graphics. Though, if you are primarily interested in web graphics, have you considered Macromedia Fireworks? It’s considered to be quite excellent, though I don’t know how it compares to Photoshop/ImageReady 7, which just came out about 2 weeks ago. (Yes, I already have version 7. I am a pre-ordering geek.)

I used to use PSP, and even got a popular book teaching me how to make web graphics with PSP. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I mean, I thought I liked PSP and I did use it a lot (scanning in pictures, fixing contrast and color casts, etc.) But I NEVER could figure out some of the more “advanced” stuff, even with an instructional book. Perhaps this had something to do with me having an energy-sucking job (ex-job now, thankfully) that left me beaten and exhausted at the end of each day. But then again, I doubt that the job is completely to blame because I taught myself how to use a computer and HTML while working at that same job. I just couldn’t learn PSP. YMMV.

My opinion of Photoshop is that it’s more logical and easier to learn, on one level. However, Photoshop is a huge, deep program, and you’ll probably never learn it all. But even when I knew very little about it, I was able to make some really fun digital artwork with it. (Check out the site I have listed in my profile. Most of the digital art on there was done when I was still a Photoshop “newbie”.) Also, Photoshop is clearly the “industry standard”, and is a marketable skill. You may never need to worry about that, but because it is an Industry Standard, there are TONS more books, instructional videos, support websites, you name it, dedicated to Photoshop. (Not that you sound like you’ll get that geeky over any graphics program, but it is nice to know that the support is there, if you ever need it.) Heck, Photoshop even has its own organization, NAPP, (which includes an excellent magazine that is just about Photoshop!) Yes, I’m a member of NAPP. (sigh)

If you can’t afford Photoshop, try Photoshop Elements (which is about the same price as PSP). It’s a very nice graphics program too, and is obviously related to Photoshop (so a lot of the support for Photoshop would apply for Elements too). The thing I love A LOT about PS and PS Elements is that they have these “styles”, pre-sets that you can design yourself, or download. Apply a “style” to some text, or a graphic shape, and it’ll automatically take on the appearance of the “style”. (One pre-set “style” I love is a “metallic” style, that will make your text metallic looking with one click of a mouse! You can create your own “styles” (specific shading and coloring effects) and then save it for later. I use this on all my web sites. I name the “style” after my web site, so that when I want to add more web graphics to that site later, the “style” is waiting for me. Easy easy easy.

I second the motion on Photoshop (tho I haven’t yet ordered 7).

I got Macromedia’s Fireworks when I bought their suite because I wanted Dreamweaver. It works seamlessly with Dreamweaver so I use it for buttons & stuff. I also use it for slicing larger images that come from Photoshop. If you don’t use Dreamweaver, Fireworks may not be your best choice.

Again, I agree with Yosemitebabe that photoshop is logical - and it sure is powerful. If you decide to get it, be sure to get the “Classroom in a book”, too. It makes learning a breeze.

Photoshop. The learning curve is steeper than most imaging packages, but you’ll be able to do more with it. There’s greater third party product support, a lot of excellent references, and PS skills are in demand.

Whew! The vote’s going toward Photostop in RL too, although I have one friend who insists PSP’s the better of the two. Then again, she understands vectors…:wink:

GuanoLad, I do appreciate your saying I should reorder my way of thinking about it. Picture-It does have a basic transparency program, and, combined with what I already know about such, it works fine for me – that is, when I use it. From what you said, I’m thinking that PSP’s a bit more technical, learning curve notwithstanding. Is that true?

yosemitebabe, have you ever thought of becoming a spokesperson for Photostop? :smiley: Your info is awesome! I don’t see myself using every single element Photostop offers, either, so perhaps I should look into Photostop Elements, which never dawned on me…hmmm…

**OldBroad, is Fireworks necessary for making buttons? Can buttons and icons be made on Photostop? I’d think that you could do those on Photostop, but perhaps I’m wrong…

Kalashnikov…mmm, I don’t know if I would’ve said “snarky” like GuanoLad said, but I was under the impression if I said “Photostop”, everyone would automatically think of Adobe Photostop…

And evilhanz, thanks for mentioning PS skills and the job market. Although the computer industry has nosedived here in recent months, I agree it’s a handy skill to know…:wink:

whoops…sorry about the coding!


whoops…sorry about the coding!


Not to mention PhotosHop…:rolleyes: