WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

So you’ve decided you want to design some T-Shirts, make the big bucks (what we at Shirt.Woot refer to as Binge Money), and retire to Fiji before the age of thirty? That’s a great plan! So where do you get started? How about choosing the right software for you. Let’s take a look at the three design packages most commonly used by the Shirt.Woot community:

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe
Photoshop CS5: $699 ($199 Student/Teacher Edition)
CS5 Design Standard (including Illustrator): $1,299 ($299 Student/Teacher Edition)
What is it?: Part of Adobe’s Creative Suite, Photoshop is the industry-standard in raster-based) design software.

The Good: Photoshop can be used for far more than just envisioning a fanciful Woot Theme Park or reimagining historical events with animals (vintage Josephus, circa 2006). It’s customizable paint tools make it a great choice for illustration as well. Many of the designs printed here are drawn in Photoshop, typically with the aid of a drawing tablet. It’s is a great choice if you prefer a looser, ‘hand-made’ feel to your design. It also offers some vector capabilities and features Pantone color swatch libraries, which is what we use here at Shirt.Woot.

The Not-So-Good: It’s expensive. Raster-based images can’t be sized up without loss of quality. Illustrator aficionados will thumb their noses at you and your “messy” ways. Clean yourself up, slob.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe
Photoshop CS5: $699 ($199 Student/Teacher Edition)
CS5 Design Standard (including Photoshop): $1,299 ($299 Student/Teacher Edition)

What is it?: Illustrator is the industry-standard in vector-based design software.

The Good: Illustrator allows you to create mathematically based vector images that are more precise than raster and lose no quality of image when scaled up or down. This makes it well suited for graphic design in it can be easily scaled for use on a business card or a billboard. It also has stroke tools and brushes that can simulate a more hand drawn style while maintaining the benefits of vector. If precision and cleanliness is your thing, Illustrator might be right up your alley. Plus check this guy out. Crazy, right?

The Not-So-Good: It’s expensive. Requires more left-brain planning and organization and a somewhat steeper learning curve. Your mind will become consumed with thoughts of cleanliness. Is that a stray speck? Kill it!

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

gimp.org
GIMP 2.6: Freeware

What is it? GIMP is an open source raster based graphics program that runs on Linux, Windows, and OSX.

The Good: It’s free. GIMP is fairly robust and competes with Photoshop’s capabilities on a number of levels, especially for the beginner user. It has channels, layers, masks, custom brushes… pretty much all the basic tools you’d expect from a graphics program – plus plenty of free plug-ins. Did we mention it’s free?

The Not-So-Good: No Pantone libraries. The interface takes some getting used to and is a common complaint even among faithful users (though it’s said to be improving). Can makes something as simple as creating text as complicated as possible. It’s called GIMP.

Those are the three most common names in software we hear our users talking about. Are there any others we missed that are worth a look?

 

imsochady


quality posts: 24 Private Messages imsochady

I still use rock slabs, chisel, and hammer.

alex2aii


quality posts: 0 Private Messages alex2aii

I use Inkscape, a vector-based program that, like GIMP, is free. I like it but then again, I never get close to winning though that has more to do with my skills rather than the program. http://inkscape.org/

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus

I never actually used Photoshop. I have always used Corel Draw and Corel PhotoPaint which cover both sides of the Vector vs. Bitmap battles. They are nominally kind of expensive, but if you have a kid in school almost anywhere, including elementary school, you might want to look into teaching them illustration using the Corel Draw Suite, which includes both Draw and PhotoPaint. Their suite costs about $500 nominally, but only around $100 for an educational version with which you can teach your child, and play with yourself when the kid's at school- you know, to make sure you have the skilz to teach them when they are around.

Basically, much of the functionality of Adobe's products is there, just the names are a bit different, and some of the really cool stuff in CS5 is missing.

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus

can anyone see the other picture? the amusement park? -I can't get it to load.

I miss photoshopping pictures.

Drakxxx


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Drakxxx

pencil and paper


tgentry


quality posts: 111 Private Messages tgentry

Staff

Drakxxx wrote:pencil and paper



...then rub on monitor until graphite has absorbed into computer.

tgentry


quality posts: 111 Private Messages tgentry

Staff

Josephus wrote:can anyone see the other picture? the amusement park? -I can't get it to load.

I miss photoshopping pictures.



Me too. Not sure why the amusement park pic isn't loading and I can't seem to find another version of it... oh well, at least your awesome eagle pic is working (even if it wasn't done on Photoshop. Who fact checks these things?)

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
Josephus wrote:you can teach your child, and play with yourself



at the same time? that seems wrong, somehow.

bellisperennis


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bellisperennis
Josephus wrote:I have always used Corel Draw and Corel PhotoPaint which cover both sides of the Vector vs. Bitmap battles.



I've used Corel Draw for doing line work. It's fairly easy to learn quickly, and I find it a little more intuitive than Photoshop. That said, Corel Photo Paint is more complicated for the coloring than Photoshop, and I haven't yet figured out how to do layers in either Corel program (which makes the Printable Version requirement of each color in different layers quite tricky...).

Also, could woot post a Corel shirt template on the submission page? Or a JPG? Something? None of the ones available open properly in Corel, even though it's supposed to be able to import photoshop files.

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 210 Private Messages Spiritgreen

I use humble ol' Photoshop 6 and Illustrator 9 from the year 2000. Sure, they crash when you least expect it and they don't have fancy brushes or effects, their Pantone library is way out of date and they lag in Windows 7 like an 80s transatlantic phone call but...

Wait, where was I going with this?

kevlar51


quality posts: 44 Private Messages kevlar51

I stick with Photoshop. I periodically try to teach myself Illustrator, but every time I touch it beyond "Live Trace" I get unbelievably frustrated.

And frankly, Live Trace frustrates the hell out of me too.

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
Spiritgreen wrote:I use humble ol' Photoshop 6 and Illustrator 9 from the year 2000. Sure, they crash when you least expect it and they don't have fancy brushes or effects, their Pantone library is way out of date and they lag in Windows 7 like an 80s transatlantic phone call but...

Wait, where was I going with this?



I actually refused to update from Ai10 for years. I hated the CS suite and didn't use it until CS3. Ai10 will always be my baby (shoo-be-doop aahh).

These days I employ CS4 and whatever else I have stuffed into my hard drive.

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus
bellisperennis wrote:I've used Corel Draw for doing line work. It's fairly easy to learn quickly, and I find it a little more intuitive than Photoshop. That said, Corel Photo Paint is more complicated for the coloring than Photoshop, and I haven't yet figured out how to do layers in either Corel program (which makes the Printable Version requirement of each color in different layers quite tricky...).

Also, could woot post a Corel shirt template on the submission page? Or a JPG? Something? None of the ones available open properly in Corel, even though it's supposed to be able to import photoshop files.



I have a vector wrinkly shirt template I'll see if I can figure out how to upload. I took one of the wrinkly shirt templates, maybe Cho's, (maybe not) and did a live trace of it, and then made different layers for each shirt color. So you have a layer for the background, a whole bunch of shirt color layers, and a layer for the design, and maybe one more for text, though I don't remember. I also have one page for the regular woot template, and just drop the preferred color into the shirt for it, since it is only one color.

mikem23


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mikem23

Inkscape++

For creating original designs it is generally superior. Gimp and Inkscape are in some ways complementary.

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus
bellisperennis wrote:I've used Corel Draw for doing line work. It's fairly easy to learn quickly, and I find it a little more intuitive than Photoshop. That said, Corel Photo Paint is more complicated for the coloring than Photoshop, and I haven't yet figured out how to do layers in either Corel program (which makes the Printable Version requirement of each color in different layers quite tricky...).

Also, could woot post a Corel shirt template on the submission page? Or a JPG? Something? None of the ones available open properly in Corel, even though it's supposed to be able to import photoshop files.



which version do you use?

as far as layers go, open this link, and there's an arrow to the button to start new layers:
http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/1512/coreldrawscreencap.png

each layer allows you to do what you want, doesn't have to be only one color. but for the print file, you need to separate your colors to separate layers. you can then export to an AI file, which I assume works for woot, or even an SVG file, though it loses your layers, and groups each layer as a separate group all on a single layer.

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus

For Corel Draw Users
link to my wootshirt 'template' with the heathered layer:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17103342/wootshirt%20from%20most%20recent%20template%20with%20heather.cdr

link to 'my' wrinkled shirt 'template' no heather:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17103342/Wrinkled%20woot%20shirt%20template.cdr

If you want your own Dropbox, pretty handy for file storage online, and easily available for others to access the files, try this link:

http://www.dropbox.com

Lish64


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Lish64

This is kind of off topic but it seems that with something like this it should be stickied so everyone can read it. I don't know what forum software Woot uses so maybe it's not even possible.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
Lish64 wrote:This is kind of off topic but it seems that with something like this it should be stickied so everyone can read it. I don't know what forum software Woot uses so maybe it's not even possible.



unfortunately, i think the best they seem to be able to do is stick a link to it in tgentry's sig. i wonder how long until it makes it there.

zaq2g


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zaq2g

You know, GIMP is available as a portable app. Jus sayin

lonelypond


quality posts: 410 Private Messages lonelypond

Inkscape worked better for me than GIMP but I had too many problems w/ exporting. So now when I fool around with something for Derby fun, I'm back to using a Toon Boom's FlipBoom All Star workaround. Or just doodling on a piece of paper for my own amusement.

omnitarian


quality posts: 15 Private Messages omnitarian

High five for Inkscape.

PixelPants


quality posts: 68 Private Messages PixelPants

Travis, you overlooked Google images and copy/paste as common means of creating designs.

profbrendan


quality posts: 7 Private Messages profbrendan

That Illustrator master, Yukio Miyamoto, is friggin' insane. That site says he's got a How-To book published in Japan, but I'm pretty sure it's just a picture of a big fist that you can repeatedly pound into your head until you forget you ever wanted to try to learn Illustrator.

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
profbrendan wrote:I'm pretty sure it's just a picture of a big fist that you can repeatedly pound into your head until you forget you ever wanted to try to learn Illustrator.



HAHAHAHAHA, sounds like learning just about any program. Fist in the face, HYYAAAAA!!!

If you think Illustrator is bad, try Flash. I've been learning that for the last few weeks and it makes me want to CRIME. I'm a vector hound and I still hate it with the fury of a thousand suns...

Benz145


quality posts: 2 Private Messages Benz145

You missed paint.net (http://www.getpaint.net/). It's like GIMP (free), but has a more user friendly interface. Supports layers and some of that other stuff you know and love from Photoshop.

Does anyone know a free graphics program that takes advantage of wacom tablets? Neither GIMP nor Paint.net seem to know that I'm using a tablet PC with a Wacom active digitizer, and thus the on-screen drawing sucks through these programs.

HANNspree 32" Widescreen LCD HDTV, Pascal's Shirt (shirt.woot), Voices In My Head (shirt.woot), Metamorphosis (shirt.woot), Game Time (shirt.woot)
Urban Painter (shirt.woot)
M.C. Escher: Space Planner for Hire (shirt.woot), Fall (shirt.woot)

profbrendan


quality posts: 7 Private Messages profbrendan
bassanimation wrote:HAHAHAHAHA, sounds like learning just about any program. Fist in the face, HYYAAAAA!!!

If you think Illustrator is bad, try Flash. I've been learning that for the last few weeks and it makes me want to CRIME. I'm a vector hound and I still hate it with the fury of a thousand suns...



Oof. Any time I can avoid working in Flash, I do. Animated GIF in Photoshop instead? Don't mind if I do!

That program eats.

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
profbrendan wrote:Oof. Any time I can avoid working in Flash, I do. Animated GIF in Photoshop instead? Don't mind if I do!

That program eats.



I prefer AfterEffects to Flash, but I pretty much have to become a Flash master if I'm going to stay in game development. :[ Everyone wants Flash people.

(If anyone is interested, here's the ridiculous result of a few Flash tutorials :3)

lucky1988


quality posts: 20 Private Messages lucky1988

Ha, that bouncin' fat kitty is awesome bass!

I use both Photoshop and Illustrator. I've been using Photoshop more though, because I think line work has a more flowing organic and sketchy quality as opposed to Illustrator's clean and precise look.

I've heard good things about Manga Studio but have yet to try it.

bellisperennis


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bellisperennis
Josephus wrote:
as far as layers go, open this link, and there's an arrow to the button to start new layers:
http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/1512/coreldrawscreencap.png



Thank you! And big thanks for the templates.

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
lucky1988 wrote:Ha, that bouncin' fat kitty is awesome bass!

I use both Photoshop and Illustrator. I've been using Photoshop more though, because I think line work has a more flowing organic and sketchy quality as opposed to Illustrator's clean and precise look.

I've heard good things about Manga Studio but have yet to try it.



I've always wanted to know what you use, Lucky! Your lines are so awesome and they have such a unique feel. I'm always trying to get my designs to have the same 'bold' line feel but I always fail and land back in skimpy line land.

I have a trial of Manga Studio that I'd like to check out sometime. Anything that makes inking easier or more pleasant is something I'm willing to look into.

I used to use a program called Creature House Expression on my old Win XP system. It was a vector program that had a more organic feel. I adored it, but then Microsoft bought it and did weird stuff with it. I still have the CH version but not sure if it'll work with Win 7 :{.

thatrobert


quality posts: 26 Private Messages thatrobert

As for more organic looking lines, Illustrator CS5 now has the ability to pick different shaped lines as well as grab the edges of lines and selectively widen or narrow the lines anywhere.


bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
thatrobert wrote:As for more organic looking lines, Illustrator CS5 now has the ability to pick different shaped lines as well as grab the edges of lines and selectively widen or narrow the lines anywhere.



That is awesoooome. Paint Tool SAI also lets you do that. I hope to upgrade my Adobe suite later on.

megsck


quality posts: 6 Private Messages megsck

i use both photoshop and illustrator, i won them both years ago when an animation i worked on was a finalist in one of adobe's animation competitions...i am in huge need of upgrading, sounds like they both can do so much more now. i taught myself both and know just enough to get by i guess, i think i've actually used it more and learned more since entering these derbies than i ever needed it in college. i wish this place existed back then, it would have improved me greatly, although where i would have found the time to submit each week baffles me.

as for flash, its a *&^%# to work in, but its fast and cheap, which is why its so popular. if you know how to work it though, you can get some awesome stuff out of it =)

runnerfrog13


quality posts: 10 Private Messages runnerfrog13
Benz145 wrote:You missed paint.net (http://www.getpaint.net/). It's like GIMP (free), but has a more user friendly interface. Supports layers and some of that other stuff you know and love from Photoshop.

Does anyone know a free graphics program that takes advantage of wacom tablets? Neither GIMP nor Paint.net seem to know that I'm using a tablet PC with a Wacom active digitizer, and thus the on-screen drawing sucks through these programs.



I managed to get GIMP to recognize my tablet at one point (Graphire 3.0 or 4.0), but sadly I don't remember what I did! It was not as intuitive and easy as Photoshop, but don't give up hope! I would suggest trawling the GIMP forums/help page, or google something similar to "GIMP wacom tablet"

I haven't tried to get my tablet recognized by Paint.NET yet. However, I will give it a shout-out because it's quite a nice little program. It isn't as powerful as GIMP/Photoshop, but what it does do is very easy to figure out, and I know their website has a bunch of plugins that can extend functionality if you're willing to do some research and experimenting. The Paint.NET forum has a sticky post with them all listed even

runnerfrog13


quality posts: 10 Private Messages runnerfrog13
Benz145 wrote:Neither GIMP nor Paint.net seem to know that I'm using a tablet PC with a Wacom active digitizer, and thus the on-screen drawing sucks through these programs.



Oh, didn't realize you're on a tablet PC. I seem to recall hearing that drawing on a tablet PC will never compare to a separate tablet, so you may never be able to get as high quality as you might otherwise with a separate wacom piece of hardware. But... I may be remembering incorrectly.

Andy47240


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Andy47240

Anyone know of a good free alternate to Adobe Flash? I have tried a couple of freebies and they were not good at all.

As for the thread topic, I am into CorelDraw and photoshop.



Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus
Andy47240 wrote:Anyone know of a good free alternate to Adobe Flash? I have tried a couple of freebies and they were not good at all.

As for the thread topic, I am into CorelDraw and photoshop.



Oddly, Powerbullet Presenter is pretty usable. If you go to their page, you find that they've quit developing it, and instead of paying more for a full version, they give a code that unlocks its full features. pretty cool of the developers. not that it's the easiest, but it does have some of the features of Flash, including allowing you to create swf files for cough, cough, ***less, like this failed submission.

blackberryjam


quality posts: 2 Private Messages blackberryjam

I use a bunch of programs for different reasons- I do a bunch of vector work so I mainly use CorelDRAW X3, Illustrator CS3.3, Xara X, Flash CS3.3-- for raster work or effects: Photoshop CS3.3, CorelPAINT X3, Painter, Xara X... Once you figure out what the capabilities and limitations of each program, it's fun to figure out ways to use multiple programs to create stuff nobody else could reproduce...

blackberryjam


quality posts: 2 Private Messages blackberryjam

not to get way off topic, but I LOVE Flash- once you figure out how it handles layers and objects, you can create some really cool vector stuff- or import Illustrator and Photoshop files with layers INTACT and editable... The only reason Flash gets a bad rap is that people don't know how to use it correctly. I have found no other program that can do everything that it is capable of doing.

CorelDRAW and Illustrator are similar and do many of the same tasks, they just do a few of them really different.