Silly Question of Which Program to Use

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Tin Ear, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. Tin Ear

    Tin Ear Guest

    I'm new to the full feature set for PhotoShop and I'm confused on an issue
    of what program to use for a give task. Prior to getting CS Premium, I used
    PSE to enhance and correct my digital still photos. With PSCS, I am getting
    much further along with my photo enhancement skills.

    I see a lot of posts dealing with using PS as a primary tool to create
    graphics. In my Creative Suite learning, I see Illustrator being suggested
    as the tool of choice for that type of work. I say suggested because
    obviously PS is quite capable of doing the job. I'm not one to argue with
    success: if you create a successful end product, it really does not matter
    what tool you used to create it.

    Therein lies my confusion. If I'm creating, for the sake of an example, a
    graphic that will be used as part of a slide show (Power Point or similar),
    which is the preferred tool: Illustrator or PhotoShop? The same question
    again for designing a logo or other piece of decorative art (not wall hung

    Or is the real answer the amount of experience with one program over

    Hopefully I don't touch any sensitive spots here, this is just a confusing
    point for me.
    Tin Ear, Feb 14, 2004
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  2. Tin Ear

    JP Kabala Guest

    Illustrator is a vector application.
    Photoshop is a raster application

    Your question is a little like
    "I'm hungry, should I eat an apple or an orange?"
    The answer is... it depends on what you need.

    Most serious illustrators make fruit salad-- and use
    both or either-- (they have very different feature sets
    and very different outputs)-- as appropriate to the job at hand.

    Suggest you find a copy of
    ---Photoshop, Painter, and Illustrator Side-by-Side (Crumpler)
    ---Bert Monroy: Photorealistic Techniques with Photoshop & Illustrator
    ---4x4 Photoshop and Illustrator: Light/Dark (Friends of Ed)
    or some such book to get a handle on the strengths and uses of each
    JP Kabala, Feb 14, 2004
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  3. Tin Ear

    Stephan Guest

    Roughly: Photoshop = Pixels, Illustrator = Vectors
    What you have to take in consideration is your output.You can create your
    graphic in both for your show but you are stuck with the original size it
    you use PS
    When it comes to the creative part of the process what tool you use is your
    problem, I have seen someone "paint" with a metal grinder and this someone's
    art was beautiful
    Some people use $600 software plus plug-ins to produce 0.2 cents art work
    and others produce real art with a crayon or a throw away camera

    Stephan, Feb 14, 2004
  4. Tin Ear

    edjh Guest

    The difference is that Photoshop is mainly a raster (pixel based)
    program and Illustrator is mainly a vector program, though there is some
    overlap on both sides. Photoshop graphics are resolution dependent where
    Illustrator graphics are not (meaning they can be any size without
    losing detail)

    Often an artist will use both in the creation of a single piece.
    Either one depending on what the graphic is and where it's being used.
    If it's mainly photographic or "painted" Photoshop is the choice. If
    it's clean, smooth, diagrammatic Illustrator might be your best bet.

    The same question
    Illustrator usually preferred for logos. Since it is a vector program
    the type will be smoother and more scalable. If printing to a postscript
    printer Illustrator is going to do the job.
    More like you get a feel for which is more appropriate for each situation.
    edjh, Feb 14, 2004
  5. I use Corel Draw and Photoshop to produce magazine style brochures and
    PageMaker to create whole magazines. I have done for about 11 years now. I
    am always amazed at what people do with Photoshop and the lengths they go to
    to do it when other products are eminently more suitable.

    A professional Photographer I came across last year complained the 1
    gigabyte of RAM he had in his P3, 1.1 GHz PC was not enough for the work he
    was doing. He was trying to create a wall poster in Photoshop and by the
    time he got all the images he was working on and the final poster open, he
    had run out memory and flooded his scratch disk. Corel draw with 128 meg of
    RAM breezes through these jobs.

    Corel draw and (I suppose) Illustrator makes easy work of such tasks. As a
    general rule of thumb, use a graphic assembly application like Corel Draw of
    Adobe Illustrator to create items like advertisements for later inclusion in
    books and magazines or for creating wall art or brochures.

    Use Photoshop for producing photographic like images to be included in the
    art piece and to manipulate photographs. Of course the line of separation
    where each product is 'better' than the other is quite blurred. Until I
    converted to 100% digital photography, I thought Photoshop to be overpriced
    and (relatively) featureless compared to the (sometimes poor) features of
    other programs.

    Now that I can use the real power of Photoshop to process 100s of images in
    one session, I can see the value of the product and the features I never
    before used have all of a sudden become essential tools not available in
    other programs. I guess this is why it is considered a professional program!
    Douglas MacDonald, Feb 15, 2004
  6. Tin Ear

    Rowley Guest

    Main reason most people use the "wrong" application, is that they know one
    better than the other and they tend to stick with which one that they are
    proficient at. Most professionals don't usually feel like they have time to
    experiment with a different program (especially when working on a commercial
    project) and they tend to dread the time/effort it sometimes takes to get up to
    speed with the new stuff.

    Rowley, Feb 15, 2004
  7. Tin Ear

    Jeff H. Guest

    Coreldraw is awesome, Version 9 is a workhorse for me. Plate preview,
    impositioning, it's all there. Actually being able to preview fonts, and
    having a longer visible "pick list". not to mention being able to quickly
    choose from the last several fonts used in the document. An intuitive,
    completely customizable interface.

    I'll say that HALF the people who have PS loaded on their systems don't know
    the difference vetween a raster and vector object. Every day bus
    cards/brochures come into the shop with lousy typesetting, everything
    rasterized at 150 ppi.

    Jeff H., Feb 16, 2004
  8. Tin Ear

    JP White Guest

    A particularly insightful comment. I consider the WORST insult people
    throw at me when complimenting my photographs goes something like this...

    "Oh look at these wonderful photographs, you must have a really good camera"

    I just bite my tongue. They mean well.

    JP White, Feb 16, 2004
  9. Tin Ear

    Hecate Guest

    No, not Illustrator. Would you believe the latest version *still* only
    allows one page at a time. Multipage art in Illustrator? Maybe next
    century ;-)

    My favoured combination is actually Corel Draw and Freehand, but then
    you use what you're familiar with :)
    Hecate, Feb 16, 2004
  10. Tin Ear

    Jeff H. Guest

    I looked at Freehand for the first time this week, out of curiousity. I have
    some experience with Flash.

    After only 20 seconds, Freehand felt more "like home" to me than Illustrator
    ever did, or probably ever will.

    Jeff H., Feb 16, 2004
  11. Tin Ear

    Hecate Guest

    Yes, the latest version is so far ahead of Illustrator - the only
    reason it;'s still on my hard disk is in case I have any compatibility
    problems. I haven't yet :)
    Hecate, Feb 17, 2004
  12. Tin Ear

    Jeff H. Guest

    My workhorse remains CorelDraw, more than capable for my extensive needs.
    But I think I could get into Freehand more readily than illus.

    Looking at Illus.' UI reminds me of flipping through an algebra textbook for
    the first time. Layer styles are cool, the program will be dependable... but
    my God, I couldn't work with that for 8 hours a day like I can with Draw.
    The UI sucks the life right out of me. I know I'm not alone, at least one
    company has created a thirdy part solution for a variety of Adobe UI's.

    it's still on my hard disk is in case I have any compatibility problems. I
    haven't yet :)
    Jeff H., Feb 17, 2004
  13. Tin Ear

    Hecate Guest

    The real killer for me is the lack of multipage. You can only do one
    page at a time and that's useless.
    Hecate, Feb 18, 2004
  14. Tin Ear

    Tin Ear Guest

    Wow, that's a lot of material to digest. I've been playing with Illustrator
    some and I'm coming to like it. Mind you, I said "playing", as in getting a
    feel for what it can do. This is a new world for me, so I'm going slowly. So
    far, I have not run into any barriers with either PhotoShop or Illustrator,
    but I have not tackled any real complicated jobs yet.

    Thanks for the information everyone!
    Tin Ear, Feb 18, 2004
  15. Tin Ear

    Jeff H. Guest

    Useless to us, but not Adobe :)

    How can a company be profitable by putting relevant tools and resources in
    one place, instead of having users bounce around from app to app to app to
    get anything done? The money's in the multiple apps at multiple prices.
    Adobe excels at this. They package it all together in sales bundles like CS
    and prev. the Designer Collection and are able to make people feel like it's
    a "good deal" relative to the competition.

    What would be interesting is seeing Macromedia throw a page layout app into
    the ring. They have the engineering talent to do it. I have a feeling
    Version 1 would be more useful and productive than Quark version 6.

    The "round-trip workflow" between Draw and Photopaint is awesome. It allows
    designers to design, not open and close 4-6 programs all day, hunting and
    pecking for linked files. And you can have multiple pages! With Adobe, that
    "feature" is 300.00 more!

    Jeff H., Feb 18, 2004
  16. Tin Ear

    Hecate Guest

    Yes, I agree :)
    That would be nice, but I think Macromedia have decided the
    electronic, i.e. web world is where they will concentrate their
    efforts. You only have to look at Freehand where they have heavily
    developed the web side whilst hardly doing anything with the print
    side. Having said that, anything has got to be better than Quark (and
    InDesign definitely is). However, I don't need all the features of
    InDesign and as they will no doubt be adding activation to that in the
    near future I've been looking at other options. Basically, anything
    that isn't Quark :) And there seems to be a nice alternative if
    you're interested. Take a look at Serif's PagePlus v.9 It can output
    in all versions of Acrobat and even comes with two PDF/X1a presets.

    You can find it at:
    Yes, I find that useful although, I have to say I use Photoshop more
    than anything. But when I don't have much manipulation to do it's
    easier to just drop something into Photopaint. What worries me however
    is that, since Corel collapsed and got taken over by Venture
    capitalists, nothing much seems to have been done. The last review I
    read of Draw 12 concluded that the Draw Suite "seems to be dying on
    it's feet". :(
    Hecate, Feb 19, 2004
  17. Tin Ear

    Jeff H. Guest

    *** I was reading yesterday about Indesign CS's ability to create "rich
    media" pdfs - that have embedded video right inside a PDF file. That's
    really something...

    However, I don't need all the features of
    *** Someone I know across the pond bought it recently and found it
    surprisingly capable, for 1/10th the price of Quark..

    ***Some of the more interesting things happening in the Corel community
    lately are VBA Macros that do unique things. Check out the link if you are
    bored. The securidesign plugin is pretty cool.

    Also, this guy has a nifty site and tool.

    A unique thing about the community of Corel users is the enthusiam to assist
    other Corelians. Sincere and useful help is only a newsgroup post away.

    Jeff H., Feb 19, 2004
  18. Tin Ear

    Hecate Guest

    Thanks for the info. :)
    Hecate, Feb 20, 2004
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