A place to seek advice and answers on those particularly challenging issues.
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I was busy testing some of the tools of the Elements + package I referred to in a recent post. Among other things, it recovers some capacity to work with shapes, paths, vectors, not to mention smart objects and smart filters. (Part of those enhancements were already covered in hiddeneelements or Graffi's tools).
This was not my main interest, but all those interested in srapbooking, montages and creations should have an opinion and experience in the following questions:
1 - do you use an external vector graphics software, such as illustrator?
2 - are there low cost compatible software producing vector graphics that Elements can read?
3 - as far as I know, I can use .ai files (there are many in the patters/postcript patterns folder), .wmf files (with an additional plug-in), and even .pdf files made from the free draw module in Open Office.
4 - It seems that the best format to save vector graphics layers in Elements is simply the .psd format, which enables you to create sort of libraries
5 - I don't think there is any add-on like the pen tool in the full Photoshop, which may be used for intricate masking. Otherwise, I would be satisfied with an external vector graphics editor?
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
Whew! Those are a lot of difficult questions! I am definitely no expert, but I will give you what information I know from reading and fooling around.

MichelB wrote: 1 - do you use an external vector graphics software, such as illustrator?
I have tried Illustrator, and I like the pen tool there better than in PS from what I have seen. I think it must make drawing much easier. But I haven't done enough to really be able to say. I want to work with the pen tool in PS more since it is easier to go from hard to easy, right? :bigwink:
MichelB wrote: 2 - are there low cost compatible software producing vector graphics that Elements can read?
I have heard that Inkscape, a free program, is very good, but have no personal experience. Also do a search for "online vector graphic creator". If you have an image you would like to convert to a vector graphic, sites like Vector Magic ($7.95 for one month unlimited use) do a good job. There may still be free ones around, too.
MichelB wrote: 3 - as far as I know, I can use .ai files (there are many in the patters/postcript patterns folder), .wmf files (with an additional plug-in), and even .pdf files made from the free draw module in Open Office.
Have you tried EPS? I know they can be used in PS though they are not proprietary PS files.
MichelB wrote: 4 - It seems that the best format to save vector graphics layers in Elements is simply the .psd format, which enables you to create sort of libraries

I have absolutely no idea! :?
MichelB wrote: 5 - I don't think there is any add-on like the pen tool in the full Photoshop, which may be used for intricate masking. Otherwise, I would be satisfied with an external vector graphics editor?
I am almost positive that there is no add-on for PSE, so you will have to be satisfied with an external editor or do without, I guess. :sad:

Hope this helps! I am anxious to see what others have experienced.
Reka
CS3 on Vista, Nikon D40 (50mm1.4, 18-55mm and 70-300mm VR) and FIREFOX
ImageMOM

My galleries <------------------> My blog
Reka,
Thanks for taking the time to answer and share your experience. I am mostly interested in photography, but seing what creative minds can do in this forum makes me curious. And, like everybody else, I may need minimum skills for montages, greeting cards, or as I stated recently, templates for different purposes.
I'll leave aside the need for the pen tool to make selections. This is pretty well integrated in Photoshop and unavailable from within Elements. I don't really need this feature and if necessary I could do without it with a lot more work and time with other tools...
Vector graphics have the main advantage of being scalable, that is, not losing quality when downsized or upsized. Particularly with text, and that is where additional tools are very useful.
There are lots of vector graphics freely available on the web, and I wonder what are the usual file formats besides .ai, .wmf, and .pdf (or .eps). I had a look at the free draw program in Open Office, which should be able to read other formats and save them as .pdf for using with Elements. I'll have to do a search on the Web, as you suggested.
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
Serif DrawPlus 4 is free and, assuming it is as good as other Serif products, it would be fully compatible with Photoshop. Serif give away their slightly older versions and I used Photo Plus quite happily for years. It was fully compatible with Photoshop and used the same plug-ins and other presets.

Similarly, Serif PagePlus was a miniature of Adobe PageMaker (for DTP) and their WebPlus was/is far better than Microsoft's rip-off FrontPage.

Got to be worth a try out...... http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/
PSE6 on WinXP, Pentax K10d...... and now a Canon G10.

Gallery
Thanks Reka and Geoff. I have downloaded both software (really, I went for DrawPlus version 6 for 9.99 pounds... by the way seems the pound is now at 1.07 euro?)
There will be a learning curve, I have had only a very short experience with Freehand 10 years ago!
I hope we'll get more suggestions and ideas on this theme.
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
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