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Although Photoshop is largely known as a great image software, there are many designers that use the Corel alternative: Photo-Paint. This article is not intended to say which one is the best, we just want to help those who want to start using Adobe Photoshop instead of Corel Photo-Paint.

The first image editor I saw (except for MS Paint, of course) was Photo-Paint. Everything was great for me, I quickly learned to use the tools and started playing with photos. I used to do simple things, adjustments, corrections and manipulations, and that lasted about one year. Then, I bought a second-hand computer from a friend, which had Photoshop (version 6) installed, and he sold me his license for a cheaper price. When I first saw Photoshop’s interface… I didn’t understand a thing! Everything seemed to be so complicated, so much that I had to spend many weekends looking at tutorials to start understanding the new interface. But once I started to figure out all that tools and new things, I fell in love with Photoshop.
If you are thinking about changing Photo-Paint for Photoshop, I’ll give you some recommendations:

1 – Buy it

There’s a big difference between Corel’s and Adobe’s suite. While the Corel Graphics Suite X4 (including CorelDraw, Corel Photo-Paint and PowerTrace, plus supporting apps and services) costs US $429.00, Adobe’s design pack, the new Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Standard (including Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Acrobat 9 Pro and more) costs US $1,799.00. You can’t buy only Photo-Paint, but you can buy only Photoshop, which costs US $899.00 (CS4, standard version) or US $1,117.00 (CS4 Extended version). I suggest you to buy the pack, if you are a designer, the Adobe softwares work great together. It may be big investment when compared to Corel’s suite, but needed if you want to start using Adobe.

2 – Understand the layers

The interfaces are not completely different, but Photoshop has some interesting palettes. One of those is the Layers palette, and you should soon learn to use that. In Photo-Paint, you can arrange the objects, send them to the back or the front, but you don’t have a visual organization for them. With the layers palette, it’s much easier to put everything in place and it gives you a lot of options by using the blending modes, controlling each layer’s opacity, blocking, masking and visualizing layers.

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3 – Learn the new tools

As you can see in the image above, there are some similar tools, but Photoshop has a few more. They work differently, so you need to get used to each tool’s feature. Even Photoshop’s help is useful and it’s quick to see what these tools can do. Experiment a lot, play with the tools to get used to them.

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4 – Get used to masks and adjustment layers

Using masks and adjustment layers is a non-destructive way to work. Using masks instead of erasing pixels is much better, because you can restore any part you have masked (“erased”), anytime. With adjustment layers you can correct color and lightning without affecting the original image, and you can readjust them anytime without quality loss. It’s a little bit confusing at first, but you should know that it’s much more secure to work with non-destructive resources.

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5 – Read tutorials, many tutorials

To start learning by yourself you’ll need time, dedication and good sources of tutorials. Practice is the best way to learn, so the more you explore, read tutorials and visit forums, the more you will be able to start walking by yourself.
Here is a list with good sites to follow. There’s a section here at snap2objects with tutorials, it’s right there on the side menu (categories – how to).

Conclusion

Both softwares are great image editors. Of course the good results come from the talent of each person, but someone talented with the best tools has bigger chances. Each of these softwares has particularities, and you decide which one is the best for you. Photo-Paint is much faster to work, intuitive and quick for learning, while Photoshop needs a powerful computer and hard work to learn all the tools, but offers a bigger array of options to work with. Now it’s up to you. Show us your opinion and experiences with these two softwares by sending a comment.