There’s An App For That: Media Programs and Cheaper Alternatives

My job as Director of Media, Communications, and Technology means I have to cope with many duties that contain many different things. I’m responsible for getting CD and DVD messages collectively, growing and updating multiple websites, developing classified ads, jogging internet social networks, and sending newsletters and e-letters. In all of this, I need to work with various unique packages. Frequently, I’m asked how we try this.

After being requested for some instances, I’ve decided to position all the statistics collectively in a list. Because I recognize that no one longer has the money to buy Photoshop and a gaggle of other luxurious apps, I’ve put in a few cheaper and free alternatives. This might not be a fine, easiest, or popular manner, but it’s how we do matters for now.


Graphic Design

Adobe Photoshop is The number one application we use at work for graphic design. If you don’t know, Photoshop is the end-all, to-be-all application. Every professional photo dressmaker uses it or wishes they did. If they don’t, they may be the exception to the sector. We use Photoshop for every visual print, web image, and even some in our DVD menus. Our message inserts, commercials, and some greater matters are all finished with Photoshop. I’ll get to the extra things’ later.

Though we use Photoshop, I understand everybody can no longer. Depending on the suite and version, Photoshop levels range from around $500 to $1500. You can get the normal Photoshop or an extended version that does three-D and a few different things, which costs extra. If you get the design standard suite, you also get Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, and Bridge. The Bridge is an application for organizing documents; Illustrator creates and edits vector files, while InDesign does your desktop publishing. Acrobat makes and edits PDF files. All of those are expertly popular packages. This way, the magazines you see on Walmart’s racks are probably made using this software (in some way, shape, or form).

Photoshop also has a ‘lite’ model called Photoshop Elements, but I’d bypass it if you’re serious about the picture layout. If you want to do this, you could always Google “unfastened opportunity to Photoshop.” But one of the massive alternatives to Photoshop is an application referred to as Gimp. For a loose application, I’ve heard notable things about it. There’s also Krita, Adobe Photoshop Express (a free net-primarily based application), and Photoscape (amongst many others).

If you seek alternatives to Illustrator, you can test out an application called Inkscape. It’s along the identical strains as Gimp. And once more, for free software, that’s pretty correct. Again, you may do some Google searches and come up with some true stuff, I’m sure. If you are looking to buy a photo program and don’t need to pay a high price for Photoshop, you could do this, too. Paintshop Pro, Pixelmator, Pixel Image Editor, and many extras exist.


As you likely know, I do a lot of photography. If you do many pictures or perform a little and want to streamline the whole manner, I endorse Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. However, at a feed tag of $300, except if you do several photographs and want to edit your pix loads, you can want to stay with doing this in a cheaper/loose pictures program. There is an unfastened application called DarkTable that attempts to mimic some of the functions of Lightroom. You can deliver it in an attempt. I used it for approximately a week on and off before I decided to fork out the coins for Lightroom.

Since I’m placing this list together, I would possibly as nicely add this. If you need to do some stylized pics and want to attempt a few HDR, look at our Photomatix. It also has quiet rate tag – the Pro model is $one hundred. But I believe they have another model that sells for around $40. But in case you’ll get it, cross it all out. If you need to do a little HDR, there are a few options. Nik’s software has HDR Efex Pro software, but it is more than Photomatix. I understand three unfastened options, but they’re loose, and it suggests. There’s Luminance HDR or QTPFSGUI, also known as Picturenaut and Essential HDR.

Desktop Publishing

We’ve used numerous distinctive applications within and beyond to make our newsletters. At one factor, we were using MS Publisher, which we presently use to make our e-letter. To try this, we create it in MS Publisher and then export it to MS Outlook to send through e-mail using MS Office’s capabilities. Currently, although we use Apple’s Pages, that is a part of Apple’s iWork suite. We, on occasion, use Adobe InDesign, as nicely on every event we do magazines. Scribus is a loose, open-source program for page layout that you can use as an opportunity. If you want a free, open-source office in shape, strive for Open Office.

Audio/Video Editing

To edit our CD messages, we use SoundForge. However, we used to use the free Audacity program. For all of our video modifications, we use Final Cut Studio. Apple just came out with a new version of Final Cut Pro, which we don’t take care of. We’ve decided to stick with model 7 for all of our stuff. We use Final Cut Pro to modify and import all of our video manufacturing. To burn it to a DVD, we’ve used a variety of factors.

To do a complete and professional DVD in the workplace, we use the Final Cut Studio suite applications. Those software program pieces encompass Soundtrack for composing a song, Motion to-do movement pictures, and DVD Studio Pro to clarify the DVD. However, if you need to do a little video enhancing, you can try the unfastened Avidemux, which does easy video enhancing. You could also have a look at HyperEngine-AV (Mac simplest).

Also, check out Light Works. It’s in beta and is most effective for PC; however, by the stop of the summer, it is supposed to be on Mac as well. Also, the video editor is used to edit “The King’s Speech” so you realize it’s good. To make your tune on the PC, you could use the Soundtrack software noted above, as well as Apple’s Logic Pro and Logic Express (each is intended for expert musicians, at the same time as Soundtrack is meant to add a rating for your motion pictures) As a long way as a loose software program; there aren’t tons.

But you could check out some of Adobe’s Creation Suite for video and audio enhancement. They have Premiere for video improvement and Audition for Audio enhancement. The Premiere has three nice versions: Elements, Express, and Pro. There are additional After Effects for motion pics. Avid has ProTools and ProTools LE for audio creation and editing. You can also test out Sony’s software – Acid for audio advent, Vegas for video enhancing, and DVD Architect for DVD and BluRay creation.

Web Design

Like all different regions of media, there are loads of alternatives. For internet layout, the other options are as infinite as Google seeks outcomes. However, that is what we do. We use a Photoshop plug-in known as SiteGrinder to create our internet website. This plug-in takes Photoshop documents and converts them into HTML websites. From here, we edit whatever needs to be edited in the code using diverse text editors.

Right now, I’m leaping back and forth between TextWrangler and Aptana Studio (each loose). Ifput money into Adobe’s Creative Suite, you may use Dreamweaver to construct your websites and get a visual and a codlayout interface. There are cheaper alternatives to Dreamweaver, though. Check out Coda, Espresso, RapidWeaver, and TextMate for Mac. You can also inspect Web Image Studio and EditPlus. You can also do a Google look for “options to Dreamweaver.”

Internet practitioner. Twitter expert. Analyst. Communicator. Thinker. Coffee advocate.
Spent a year testing the market for sock monkeys in Naples, FL. My current pet project is donating robotic shrimp in Hanford, CA. Spent several months getting my feet wet with weed whackers worldwide. Spent 2001-2006 training shaving cream in Hanford, CA. Crossed the country lecturing about bathtub gin in West Palm Beach, FL. Spent 2001-2007 implementing licorice with no outside help.