General Question

madcapper's avatar

What programs would anyone recommend learning, besides illustrator and photoshop, to get a job in digital art/design.

Asked by madcapper (3095points) December 2nd, 2008

I am a traditional 2d artist that for a while did computer art but I am out of the loop again and taking a hiatus from school and am self learning Illustrator, I already have a large knowledge of Photoshop, but I want to know what else I should learn. Especially things that can be self-taught without being too complicated.

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18 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I know you’re 2D, but it would probably be very helpful to have a working knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Dreamweaver. If you’re working with photos as well, knowing how to use Adobe Bridge or Lightroom might help too.

forestGeek's avatar

You should definitely be proficient in Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Flash is often something employers want people to be familiar with. HTML, or at very least Dreamweaver, would probably help you quite a bit too. Oh, and Sadly, Word too!

StudioKillah's avatar

I think for a 2D artist Adobe-Freehand MX is a really good alternative.

madcapper's avatar

I have worked with Final Cut before and would like to learn more. I don’t know anything about dreamweaver, but I’m not too into web development stuff. I have done traditional photography but sadly never gotten into using Photoshop for it’s true intention as I just haven’t had the money to buy a nice digital camera. I will check out lightroom though. Thanks titmcgee

madcapper's avatar

great answer forestGeek! Luckily I already know word very well haha!

madcapper's avatar

Is Freehand a tablet program?
A Wacom tablet another thing I have always wanted to get and could probably afford very soon. Unfortunatley the really big ones can be pretty pricey…

StudioKillah's avatar

You can use a mouse like in Illustrator, difference is, it’s a feels more natural in Freehand, kinda like doodling with ur mouse… a wacom pad just makes your life that much easier, if u can afford it.

forestGeek's avatar

I agree Freehand is great, but since Adobe bought it, they have stopped developing and updating it, so it’d be best to stick to Illustrator.

madcapper's avatar

ok well I will check Freehand out for sure and see if I like it, thanks!

artificialard's avatar

Freehand is officially no longer under development. There will be no new versions of it coming out which means it will eventually become extinct as there are no new users picking it up. I wouldn’t suggest picking it up as a future job skill.

Digital art/design means a lot of things to me – can you be more specific about potential titles that you’d apply for or what the deliverable work would be?

I agree with others that Flash skils are in excellent demand. If you’re going to be skilled in Photoshop and Illustrator then it can help to have a working knowledge of InDesign – the three are kind of the ‘trifecta’ used together for many large print and design projects.

While it’s not very common Painter is considered the best tool for replicating “real” art supplies and mediums (i.e. different types of brushes, on different types of papers, watercolors that bleed, etc.)

madcapper's avatar

Oh well scratch the freehand then haha.
I wish I could be more specific for you but I am at that point in my life that I can’t pinpoint exactly what I want to do. I hope to one day work in illustration but that will not happen right away, well it could but I am being realistic. I really like Painter and have used it in conjuction with photoshop to make a few pieces.

meemorize's avatar

As already mentioned, learn Ilustrator and InDesign along with Photoshop. Those will get you a long way.
If you are looking into web at all, have a look at Dreamweaver.

And if you are using photography in your work learn Lightroom 2, which is far better at RAW processing than Photoshop’s/Adobe’s standard Adobe Camera Raw module.

Last but not least check out Adobe’s KULER. An online module that helps with the creation of colour pallets and their saving and importing into adobe products.

fireside's avatar

I agree, almost noone uses Freehand anymore.
InDesign is a good one for print layouts.

Many designers do their web layouts in Illustrator, but having some experience with Dreamweaver or Flash couldn’t hurt. But unless you are technically proficient, it would be better to do the design and let someone else do the coding.

Captivate is another good program if you end up designing presentations for clients.

steelmarket's avatar

InDesign is great, but you’d be surprised how many shops are still using Quark. Might consider getting a little familiar with it.

artificialard's avatar

I know many people are mentioning Dreamweaver but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend learning that one before becoming well-versed with web development. Learn to code by hand first (feel free to use text-editors that are for that purpose). Dreamweaver’s GUI tools can help but I’ve seen it stymie people that treat it as a WYSIWYG web editor, which limits the potential of your design.

Even if you don’t see yourself becoming a web coder in the future it can help you greatly in understanding the differences between creating for typical print mediums and the web and making content that’s suitable for one or the other (designing for one medium is rarely well-suited for the other).

TitsMcGhee's avatar

The good thing is how easy Dreamweaver is to learn; it’s pretty simple, even if it is kinda tedious.

forestGeek's avatar

@artificialard – I agree with you 100%! Even learning to hand code basic xhtml, would be very valuable!

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Also: Aperture would be useful too.

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