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Photo-Art 101 This forum is a place for those new to photo-based art to ask questions and post their creations. Seasoned veterans are welcome to offer advice or assistance, but we ask that images posted be from members with less than 6-months experience.

newbee is overwhelmed by choices

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2007, 01:10 PM
chauncey chauncey is offline
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Question newbee is overwhelmed by choices

I have a 10 MP DSLR that I like because it allows me to learn and work up from the point and shot mode in a moderate amount of time. Will be getting Elements for the same reason, good choice or no? My editing will be directed toward a "paint" program that would give my photos a Tom Kincaid "look".

Based on information from sites like yours, I'm leaning toward buying Alien Skin's Snap Art. Is this a good choice or is there something else that would better fit my needs? This is for my own enjoyment.

Thanks

PS: working in RAW seems to give the best quality in editing, does the same hold true for the "paint" programs?
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:49 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

chauncey, welcome to RP.

my own experience with Elements is rather disappointing. and i wouldnt recommend it as an entry level program. but, i shld also point out that i've only tried Elements 4.

my preference for entry level editors is paint shop pro. it's a fairly simple interface but powerful enough to compete, in part, with photoshop. photoshop is still the cadillac of paint engines and if you really want to 'go pro', that would be what you want. but for hobbyists and semi-pros like myself, psp is about a sixth of the price but about half the power of photoshop. so, you get quite a bit of bang for the buck. and, it will accept almost any and all plugins that you can get for photoshop.... almost. it will certainly work with all .8bf file extension type plugins (and that's what most are).

as for plugins and auxillary programs, there is a wide variety, ranging from free to quite expensive. you might start by having a look at the adobe site and the corel site. both offer a wide variety of graphic packages. from the look of tom kinkaid's work, i might guess you'd like some of the Corel programs, since they lean towards more 'paint' type programs.

you might also like 'Impressionist', which is a free plugin and as the name suggests, does impressionist type works. deep paint 2 is also a freebie and has some remarkable features, but little documentation.

also, have a look around retouchpro. there are a LOT of references to plugins and programs and have a look in our Library of Links. there are sections in there on both plugins and full-blown programs. more are being added all the time.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:11 PM
chauncey chauncey is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

I appreciate your response.

Are you suggesting that I use PSPP XI as my entire tool or with plug-ins, ie, snap art? You folks seemed pleased with snap art in another thread. And since PSPP supports RAW can/should I use it in the plug-ins?
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:11 AM
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Steve Conway Steve Conway is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

May I recommend Gertrudis Pro for getting the painterly look you want.

It is not expensive and gives you many built-in choices of paint strokes and types. It is a stand-alone program and does not need any other graphics program to run. It's also very easy to learn. You can complete your first painting in less than 5 minutes.

Here are before and after images done with this program using just one of the many settings available.

Steve
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:21 AM
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

chauncey,

i'm simply suggesting that psp makes a good, first program when breaking into graphics work.

you might also have a look at 'the Gimp', which is a free and pretty remarkable program. and, it's supported and being constantly improved. in the long run, this one may even overtake photoshop some day and it has a plethora of plugins already.

there is no ONE program that does it all. you'll find most folks here use several main programs and often quite a few plugins. we've a pretty diverse group when it comes to what we all use.

and as for RAW, yes, it seems to be a good idea to shoot in raw, edit it in a graphics engine for a base image and then use whatever else you want to 'artify' it or whatever else you wish to do with it.

but back to the main point, for me, psp is the best entry-level program out there. it's moderately priced, has a good, clean interface, and will give you the basics of graphic alteration without putting you to sleep. elements is good, but i found the interface a bit cluttered and i was a bit disappointed that it seemed to be missing some things i wanted. but again, i bought it with the idea of augmenting what i already had, so this evaluation isnt completely fair in that regard. and, i shld also point out, that if you are going to eventually go to photoshop, elements would be a fairly natural progression towards that, being that both programs are made by the same folks.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:39 PM
chauncey chauncey is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

Took a look at gertrudis and it looked veerry interesting. How does it stack up against snap art? Using a bunch of applications now would only confuse me.

Are you suggesting that I use Paint Shop Pro as my initial edit software and then use the "paint" program.

Ya gotta go slow with me as my atrophied brain isn't as quick as it once was.

thanks
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:23 AM
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by chauncey
Took a look at gertrudis and it looked veerry interesting. How does it stack up against snap art? Using a bunch of applications now would only confuse me.


Ya gotta go slow with me as my atrophied brain isn't as quick as it once was.

thanks
I also use Snap Art and like it, but as an entry level pgm it is pretty pricey. And it has to run in a graphics program, which Gertrudis does not.

Steve
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:27 AM
chauncey chauncey is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

I've done more surfing and the "paint with light" techniques ascribed here and dpreview really appeal to me. I assume it would be done first in the editing and then worked on in the paint pgm. Does Corel PSP handle it as well as Photoshop? I have decided to go with Gertrudis Pro.

I appreciate the help you've given this right brained aged person.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:52 PM
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Steve Conway Steve Conway is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by chauncey
I've done more surfing and the "paint with light" techniques ascribed here and dpreview really appeal to me. I assume it would be done first in the editing and then worked on in the paint pgm. Does Corel PSP handle it as well as Photoshop? I have decided to go with Gertrudis Pro.

I appreciate the help you've given this right brained aged person.
I think you will be happy with Gertrudis Pro. It's so easy to work with, you will turn out your first painting in about 5 minutes. When you get into the more involved settings later on, it may take more time. But a good first one can be done in around 5 minutes.

Also, the man who wrote the program is your help if you run into any difficulties.

Happy painting.

Steve C.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:33 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: newbee is overwhelmed by choices

chauncey,

maybe i shld explain a bit... there are 'general use' graphics engines, like photoshop, paint shop pro, the gimp and so on. then there are specialty programs, like some of the 'paint' programs, which specialize in making oil or watercolors or many types of painting type effects. and then there are the plugins and special use stand-alone programs. plugins come in many, many flavors and generally work WITH and through a graphic editor. you load the graphic editor and call up the plug-in. special use programs are things like Neat Image, which may also work as plug-ins, but do work by themselves and generally have a fairly narrow purpose, or at least more narrow than a full graphic engine.

so, my recommendation in using psp was meant as a general use, stand-alone, entry level, graphics engine for general purpose work. photoshop is MUCH better and MUCH more versatile and powerful, but has a MUCH higher learning curve and i would not recommend it as an entry-level program.

the 'art' programs, like gertrudis and studio artist and deep paint 2 are not general purpose like photoshop. and, if all you are expecting to do is artwork, then these would be fine. i'd just suggest having at least one graphic editor for those times when an art program wont do all that you want. you'll also have access to a very LARGE selection of plug-ins with a photoshop plug-in compatible program, which psp is.

hope that explains it
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