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

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

After being requested some instances, I’ve decided to position all the statistics collectively in a list. And in view that I recognize no longer everybody 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 way, the easiest way, the most popular manner, but it’s how we do matters for now.


Graphic Design

The number one application that we use at work for graphic design is Adobe’s Photoshop. If you don’t know, Photoshop is the end-all, to be all application. Every professional photo dressmaker both uses it or wishes they did. If they don’t, then they may be the exception to the sector. We use Photoshop for every visual print or 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. Photoshop levels from around $500 to $1500, depending on the suite and the version. You can get the normal Photoshop or an Extended version that does three-D and a few different stuff, which expenses 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, whilst InDesign does your desktop publishing. Acrobat makes and edits PDF files. All of those are expert 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 approximately the picture layout. Now, if you want an opportunity to 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 (free net-primarily based application), and Photoscape (amongst many others).

If you are seeking out 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, 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 the high price for Photoshop, you could do this too. There’s Paintshop Pro, Pixelmator, Pixel Image Editor, and lots of extras.



As you likely can inform, 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 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 out there called DarkTable that attempts to mimic some of the functions of Lightroom. You can deliver it an attempt. I used it for approximately a week on and off earlier than 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, take a look at our Photomatix. It’s gotta quiet rate tag on it, too – the Pro model is $one hundred. But they do have some other model that sells around $40, I believe. But in case you’re going to get it, cross it all out. If you need to do a little HDR, there are a few options. Nik’s software has software called HDR Efex Pro, but it is more than Photomatix. There are 3 unfastened options that I understand, but they’re loose, and it suggests. There’s Luminance HDR or QTPFSGUI as it is also known as, Picturenaut and Essential HDR.

Desktop Publishing

To make our newsletters, we’ve got used numerous distinctive applications within the beyond. At one factor, we were using MS Publisher, which’s what we presently use to make our e-letter. To try this, we create it in MS Publisher, then export it to MS Outlook to send out thru e-mail through MS Office’s capabilities. Currently, although we use Apple’s Pages, that is a part of Apple’s iWork suite. We, on occasion Adobe InDesign, as nicely on every occasion 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. And for all of our video modifications, we use Final Cut Studio. Apple just got here out with a new version of Final Cut Pro, which we don’t take care of clearly. We’ve decided to stick with model 7 for all of our stuff. For all of our video manufacturing, we use Final Cut Pro to modify and import. To burn it to a DVD we’ve got used a spread of factors.

To do a complete and professional DVD in the workplace, we use the applications that come within the Final Cut Studio suite. Those software program pieces encompass Soundtrack for composing a song, Motion to do movement pictures, and DVD Studio Pro to make the DVD clearly. 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 nonetheless in beta and is most effective available for PC; however, by the stop of the summer, it is supposed to be on Mac as well. Also, it’s the video editor that becomes used to edit “The King’s Speech” so that you realize it’s good. To make your personal tune at 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 for video enhancing and audio enhancing, you could check out some of Adobe’s Creation Suite. They have Premiere for video enhancing and Audition for Audio enhancing. The premiere is available in three versions as nicely – Elements, Express, and Pro. There are additional After Effects for motion pics. Avid has ProTools and ProTools LE for audio creation and editing. You also can test out Sony’s software – Acid for audio advent, and 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 alternatives are as infinite as Google seeks outcomes. However, that is what we do. To certainly create our internet website, we use a Photoshop plug-in known as SiteGrinder. 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 backward and forward among TextWrangler and Aptana Studio (each loose). Of direction in case you put money into Adobe’s Creative Suite, you may use Dreamweaver to construct your websites and get a visual and a code layout interface. There are cheaper alternatives to Dreamweaver, though. Check out Coda, Espresso, RapidWeaver, and TextMate for Mac. You can also inspect Web Image Studio, EditPlus. You can also do a Google look for “options to Dreamweaver.”

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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.

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