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Old 05-10-2009, 09:24 AM   #4
Rocz's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 22

Also, it depends on what you are trying to do, In most cases I use the pen tool in Photoshop to create clipping masks on hard to define edges. (stuff the magic wand or color detection can not handle). If I am using Illustrator and creating vector images then I tend to use the pen tool more to create actual lines. In either case DWcourse is right on the money for creating a stroked path. While Photoshop is amazing and you can create some very extreme images in it, if you are looking to do more free hand stuff/art then may I suggest Illustrator and other vector based software. Vector gives you the advantage of not being pixel bound like raster based images are. Allowing for scalable images with no loss of quality. On the other hand Photoshop tends to be much better at pixel (raster) based image manipulation. This is why most photographers tend to use this software.

If you would like to see what I mean check out my website, while it is still under construction I have great examples of both techniques.
On the splash page you will see the 'plasma ball' this is done entirely in Photoshop. It is what allows me to create all the layers of effects. The electricity on the ball actually started out as a filter/render/clouds effect that then got filter/render/difference clouds then I played with levels and inverted the image added a gradient overlay, dropped the opacity and bang you have electricity. All this is just pixel manipulation.

On the 'home' page you will see some fancy lines/scroll type effect I use to boarder my body content area with. These lines were first made in Illustrator with the Pen tool, I would create one wave line, then duplicate it, play around with the handles to make it different than the first, and move it away a bit from the first. Next I used the blend tool, set it to specific steps, put the count to 25 and used the selection pointer to pick an anchor on each line and it made the lines between the two lines I originally made.

I'm sorry this isn't really meant to be a tutorial so the explanation is not the best. Anyways, by changing the color of the first line and the last line I create a color gradient effect. Now I have an image I can change to any size and I will not lose resolution as it is a vector based image. I copy it over to Photoshop as a smart object, place it where I want, convert it to rasterized image, throw some color dodge and burn on it to add high and low lights, merge the blue and orange layers together (I should of said I made two different images in the beginning), re-touch with color burn and dodge, then add a bevel effect to give it a depth of field effect. That is what gives it that plastic type look.

Anyways from there it goes to Fireworks were I create the rest of the page design, gets sliced up into an background image and exported to Dreamweaver as CSS and Images and *ding* you have a web page.

My Point with all this long winded explanation is.... Each program has something different to offer, one you know what you are trying to do You will learn to know what program to use to best accomplish this.
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