KNOW YOUR GRAPHICS SOFTWARE

This morning I want to discuss is "Know Your Graphics Software"

When I first tried to make my own clothing for SL, I barely knew how to use my graphics program; I currently am using Photoshop CS4 for a Mac. Not that I know it very well now, but I do know more than I did a few years ago. I consider myself a hobbist CS4 user. I got into the whole graphic software thing because of SL, and from talking to people, a whole slew of folks had little to no idea how to use a graphics program prior to entering SL either. So, if are new to graphic software, you are not alone!

If you do not already own a graphics software product, I would encourage you to do research online and look at the many products available. Look at those that suit your budget and your graphics needs. Not every one needs nor can afford Photoshop, I have it because where I work offers it for a third of retail so I scrimped and saved for it. Do I really need it? No, I could have chosen to use GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/), which is a FREE graphics program that is just as powerful as Photoshop and is similar in design.

While I was shopping, I weighed my options via research and found many more tutorials for Photoshop because I knew I would need ALOT of help learning the software. I didn't and don't have time to go outside my home and take classes for a number of reasons, such as additional cost, travel distance, and time. You will need to decide for yourself what is the driving force is for what software you decide on.

Something else to consider is how do you learn? Are you better at text based learning? Do you do better in a formal class where you have specific projects and deadlines? Are online courses easier for you and fit better into you schedule? Do you need documentation to go along with your learning style? Do you need the back and forth interaction with a live trainer/teacher?

The way I learn something is directly related to a project I want to do. I learn better by doing something that is interesting to me. I started out with Photoshop in order to correct and/or create textures I used for building structures I created in SL. When I was looking for tutorials, I found that I do better if the tutorial was text based. I could print out the tutorial and follow along much easier than a video tutorial. But, we all have our own style of learning. The learning process is something that is individual and you should search for those educational tools that fit you...not what someone else things you should do.

Here are a few resources that might be of interest to you that may assist you while searching for what best suits your needs. Keep in mind this is a very short list. There are many thousands of resources available on the internet awaiting to be discovered, and the best part, many are FREE.

RESOURCE:
http://www.lynda.com
This is an excellent place for learning about Photoshop and other software programs. It is geared to online learning, but there is a cost per month for usage, and an additional cost to download user materials if desired. The are professional online course. I have used it myself and find it very useful for beginners.

http://www.youtube.com/
Another excellent place for learning about many things, including Second Life. It offers many User created videos from around the world. There are even SL clothes making videos. It is quite useful.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RobinWoodEnt
Robin Wood (Robin Sojourner in SL) has an excellent group of Photoshop tutorials on youtube.com. While not necessarily SL geared, they do show you some how to just a variety of features and tools.

http://www.google.com
Another source is simply googling or doing a search on your favorite web search for tutorials of all kinds.

Happy Hunting!

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