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  • Elements vs PSP8

    Richard and others: I have been coming up to speed on Paint Shop Pro 8, but spend a lot of time here at RetouchPro because my main interest is retouching and restoring photos. The messages and examples are geared almost exclusively to Photoshop, so I was drawn here (PE) to look into the "lower cost alternative".

    As a result, I have downloaded PE2 demo and have even installed some of your free "actions". I am wondering if you could answer some questions for me.

    1. While this may be obvious, could you still confirm: PE is not designed to run actions but your innovation somehow uses the "Welcome" screen to display and run actions...do I have this correct?
    2. The instructions talk a lot about swapping folders around (in the correct subfolder). Is this a limitation of PE in general or just because I have the free downloads rather than the stuff that comes on your CD?
    3. Am I correct that I can not now, nor will I be able in the future to "capture" or record my own actions? If this is true, is there an easy way to "write" action statements in simple code language?
    4. Have you (or anyone else) ever put PSP8 and PE2 in a head to head comparison? I have 30 days to do this with my PE demo but it would be interesting and useful to hear if anyone else has made this comparison.
    5. There appear to be strengths in both programs, and it is possible to see using both (total cost approx 230 + your book and CD). Still less than the $700 PS full program, yet perhaps with many of the same benefits....any comments in support or in opposition to this pov?
    Any other comments on my questions?
    Thanks for answering. It looks like you discovered an interesting and valuable niche for the PE program.

    Ken

  • #2
    1. While this may be obvious, could you still confirm: PE is not designed to run actions but your innovation somehow uses the "Welcome" screen to display and run actions...do I have this correct?
    Mostly. PE is designed to run actions, it just doesn't give you an easy way to do it. I tried to simplify that task a little.
    2. The instructions talk a lot about swapping folders around (in the correct subfolder). Is this a limitation of PE in general or just because I have the free downloads rather than the stuff that comes on your CD?
    Swapping was an easy way of moving the information around and allowing people to customize without having to teach them HTML or XML.
    3. Am I correct that I can not now, nor will I be able in the future to "capture" or record my own actions? If this is true, is there an easy way to "write" action statements in simple code language?
    Well, I don't know about 'simple' but you can write them in code. One of the best solutions is to find a demo copy of PS6 and you can write most actions there -- then use them in Elements. I have no idea if you'll never be able to, or if Adobe will open up recording somewhat.
    4. Have you (or anyone else) ever put PSP8 and PE2 in a head to head comparison? I have 30 days to do this with my PE demo but it would be interesting and useful to hear if anyone else has made this comparison.
    I've used PSP, and while there are a bunch of users, there are just more ways to get support issues answered for Adobe products. I haven't used it in a while, but PSP was a little rougher around the edges than PE. Both are decent programs. If you are using it for yourself, both are very good solutions. I have my preference because I work on Mac and PC.
    5. There appear to be strengths in both programs, and it is possible to see using both (total cost approx 230 + your book and CD). Still less than the $700 PS full program, yet perhaps with many of the same benefits....any comments in support or in opposition to this pov?
    I recently had the opportunity to get a graphic program license for the company I work for. I opted to get Elements INSTEAD of Photoshop. I've been a PS user for 10 years and just could not justify the cost. Also, I really feel I can do just about anything in Elements, so couldn't justify it. I'm serious -- PE can do a ton of stuff -- more than most users will ever need.
    Any other comments on my questions?
    You sould give that demo a workout.

    I have some questions of my own: what do you think you are missing? If nothing, I would stay right where you are. If something specific, I'd be sure you don't have it already. If just that people keep telling you you need Photoshop -- don't believe it. There are people that do, but not until the possibilities of PSP or Elements are exhausted.

    That help?

    Comment


    • #3
      Richard: many thanks for the great reply.

      Since I posted the message, I have worked through several tutorials for PE and am quickly beginning to like it a lot. This seems not to be because of major numbers of new or better functions but rather details of the user interface that I find appealing.

      The selection manipulation controls seem more convenient than PSP. The magnetic lasso works subtly different than the smart edge similar selection tool in PSP, but is vastly nicer in visualization and application. I still have more study and comparison to do, but already am leaning towards an investment in PE and your book.

      You asked what am I missing....I spend a lot of time on simple cloning in PSP8 and am looking for improved efficiency in making photo changes. I think this is largely due to my inexperience but I also think it has something to do with the program capabilities. Example, the noise reduction commands in PSP seem not quite as robust as those within PE (but I am still early in my test comparisons). Selection control may be another important area of difference (benefit going to PE).

      OTOH, script recording and user interface customization may be a nod towards PSP. Aside from what your Hidden Tools provide, there is no question that PSP offers more detailed photo analysis and change tools (Levels, Curves, etc)

      As I mentioned, perhaps using both ultimately becomes the route to the most efficient and effective experience with photo improvements.

      Thanks for your reply and helpfulness in general in this part of the retouchpro forums.

      Ken

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