All the programs I mentioned previously are well-known industry standards. But they also cost money — sometimes lots of money — and they take time to learn. The number of programs you decide to purchase and how you use them is up to you. The following list outlines a few specific ways to use Photoshop alone and in tandem with other products:
♦ After scanning and adjusting an image inside Photoshop, use InDesign or QuarkXPress to place the image into your monthly newsletter and then print the document from the page-layout program.
♦ After putting the finishing touches on a lovely tropical vista inside Photoshop, import the image for use as an eye-catching background inside PowerPoint. Then save the document as a self-running screen presentation or print it to overhead transparencies or slides from the presentation program.
♦ Capture an on-screen image by pressing the Print Screen key or using a screen capture utility. Then create a new image in Photoshop and paste the screen image from the Clipboard. That's how the screens in this book were produced.
♦ If you want to annotate the image, import it into Illustrator or CorelDraw, add arrows and labels as desired, and print it from the drawing program.
♦ Paint an original image inside Photoshop using a pressure-sensitive tablet. Use the image as artwork in a document created in a page-layout program or print it directly from Photoshop.
♦ Snap a photo with a digital photograph. As I write this, the best midrange cameras come from Olympus, Nikon, and Kodak. Correct the focus and brightness in Photoshop (as explained in Chapters 10 and 17). Then add the photo to your personal Web site or print it out from a color printer.
♦ Scan a surface texture such as wood or marble into Photoshop and edit it to create a fluid repeating pattern (as explained in Chapter 7). Import the image for use as a texture map in a three-dimensional drawing program. Render the 3D graphic to an image file, open the image inside Photoshop, and retouch as needed.
♦ Create a repeating pattern, save it as a BMP file, and apply it to the Windows desktop using the Display control panel.
♦ Take a problematic drawing that keeps generating errors and save it as an EPS file. Then open the file inside Photoshop to render it as a high-resolution bitmap. Place the image in a document created in a page-layout program or print it directly from Photoshop.
♦ Start an illustration in a drawing program and save it as an EPS file. Open the file in Photoshop and use the program's unique tools to add textures and tones that are difficult or impossible to create in a vector-based drawing program.
♦ Record a QuickTime movie in Premiere and export it to the FilmStrip format. Open the file inside Photoshop and edit it one frame at a time by drawing on the frame or applying filters. Finally, open the altered FilmStrip file in Premiere and convert it back to the QuickTime format.
Obviously, few folks have the money to buy all these products and even fewer have the energy or inclination to implement every one of these ideas. But quite honestly, these are just a handful of projects I can list off the top of my head. There must be hundreds of uses for Photoshop that involve no outside applications whatsoever. In fact, so far as I've been able to figure, there's no end to the number of design jobs you can handle in whole or in part using Photoshop.
Photoshop is a versatile and essential product for any designer or artist who owns a personal computer. Simply put, this is the software around which virtually every other computer-graphics program revolves. I, for one, wouldn't remove Photoshop from my hard drive for a thousand bucks. (Of course, that's not to say I'm not willing to consider higher offers. For $1,500, I'd gladly swap it to a Jaz cartridge.)
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