Photoshop Elements?

October 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Photoshop Elements Q&A

LibraGirl asked:

I’m a hobbyist, and I’m interested in graphic design.

I’m planning to get Photoshop Elements, but none of the sites I’ve seen have mentioned if it is still good for drawing.

Just the photo editing options.

I know that’s probably because of Illustrator, but I’m not willing to spend that much money.

So, is Photoshop Elements still good to draw with?


One Response to “Photoshop Elements?”
  1. amybeader says:

    You need to do a little studying of basic concepts. Photoshop in all its versions, as well as free Open Source apps like Gimp and, and other for purchase apps like PaintshopPro are all RASTER programs. They work with pixels. Illustrator is a drawing program, but to be more correct, it is a VECTOR program. It thinks in lines, curves, points. Vectors don’t care about resolution because they are mathematically generated (you don’t have to worry about the math, the computer takes care of that.) A VECTOR is infinitely scalable: you could create a vector design at a small size, say 6″ by 6″ and then scale it up to 6 feet by 6 feet or even 60 feet by 60 feet and you would not lose quality. You can also scale it down: thus people will do graphic design work such as logos in a vector program like Illustrator (its main competitor, Freehand, was killed by Adobe because Adobe bought Macromedia, which produced Freehand) and test them to see if they look good at various sizes (you can end up with a font that’s too small for example, even if the overall design still works.)

    Illustrator also deals with text better than Photoshop: once text is rasterized (converted to pixels) in Photoshop, which you have to do eventually for various reasons, it is no longer editable as text. You can do some manipulation, but it’s like manipulating anything else in the image. In Illustrator, text can remain text, it does not have to be rasterized. Instead, if for some reason you need to change it from actual text, you create outlines. Now the text has become an object, and can be manipulated like any other object in a vector based drawing.

    Although you can “draw” in a raster program like Photoshop, your lines will be fuzzy, if you look close enough you will eventually see the little squares. If you try to enlarge it too much those squares, the pixels, become even more obvious. So in Photoshop or any other raster program you need to work pretty close to your actual size. The problem with working with large images is that your file size goes up. And when you learn to use layers (a must for using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements) you will find those files can get really big. In a vector program, you will not get that fuzziness because the lines are not constructed out of pixels.

    So you should investigate both. Note that there is at least one free OpenSource vector program that you could try and that’s InkScape.

    Hope this helps.

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