Where To Begin?

PhotoImpact Portal
PhotoImpact Portal

Who remembers Microsoft Paint?  I used to think that was the coolest thing.  Now I just laugh at the thought, but to be honest, it is a good program for learning about pixels, placement, color and shape.  Of course, I would never go back to that program – well I guess we should never say never – it seems like eons ago when I started with it.

If you are new to graphics software, my suggestion is to start with PhotoImpact.   It is probably the easiest for new beginners to be creating right away.  Now there are some down sides to it.  For instance, it does not have a true alpha (transparent/mask) channel.  This has to do with the transparency levels of your red,green,blue channels and how they should be merged.  There is enough time to learn about that later.  The main thing is you can learn about path shapes, photo editing, layers, color and object manipulation.

The coolest thing about this software is all the filters.  You can create 3D objects with a realistic finish in just a few clicks.  I made the porthole above from scratch in PI.   You will also notice the image of the PI Interface below with the Easy Palette open.  You can see the filter options available.  PhotoImpact creates layers for you on the fly, so you can keep creating without stopping.

PhotoImpact Interface
PhotoImpact Interface

If you are a newbie, give this program a shot.  You can download a free trial at Ulead or Corel and this is also a better fit for smaller pocketbooks – at the time of this posting Corel had version X3 on sale for $29.99.  Below are listed some link resources for web tutorials to get you started.  Have fun.

ThemeScape PI

Rosie Hardman

PhotoImpact Resource Center

Dia’s Dimentions

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