A friend of mine recently stated that they wanted to learn graphics and wondered if I could recommend any good websites.

Graphics is a pretty wide ranging topic and my own experience is still growing so this is the response I provide, which might help other people as well.


What type of graphics are you trying to learn? There’s a pretty wide range of potential items to consider. 🙂

TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio (for PC) Here or TechSmith’s Camtasia for Mac Camtasia for Mac Here is considered to be one of the best screen video capture and editing programs. Its not cheap at about $300 or $180 with an education discount. Camtasia studio comes bundled with SnagIT also (normally about $30). SnagIt is pretty much an essential tool for bloggers doing static screen shots, but its actually kind of cool for creating flash images rapidly and on the fly with clickable or hover over items.

On the graphics side I use the following programs regularly:

  1. SnagIt 12for day to day blogging images and basic image manipulation – sometimes some light web design graphic images.
  2. Camtasia – Excellent for turning a presentation into a video (any format including flash) You can also capture video of your computer screen with easy zoom and focusing options.
    1. Camtasia-campus-tech-educational-discount
  3. Jing– free video capture program made by TechSmith that also makes Camtasia. This is a very limited video capture program, very easy. Only enables output to swf files for embedding as flash (no .avi or .wmv or .mov options which means you can’t make the video viral)
  4. Fireworks– good for taking a graphic designed image and converting a concept into a web page in Dreamweaver (made by Macromedia owned by Adobe and bundled with Creative Suite 3)
  5. Photoshop– Good for creating the designed image above to make a web site concept (made by Adobe bundled in Creative Suite 3)
  6. Illustrator– Good for logos and other parts of images to then send to Photoshop  (also bundled in Creative Suite 3)
  7. Flash – I actually don’t use this much the last 9 months. SnagIt and Camtasia(this month) are probably going to cover most of my flash work as they make it easier than Flash itself.  (bundled in Creative Suite 3 also)


Money Savings Tip! Now Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash all come together if you buy Adobe Creative Suite 3.  That retails for $1700 unless you are student.  Then you can buy it for about $589  through Campus Tech.

That may seem like a lot for a student, but it is not all that much and if you are a college student that needs to find a way to make $600 to buy the software, I can help point you in the right direction.  If you are not a college student, but you want your school aged children to learn how to use this software, they can qualify for an educational discount if they are in k – 12 or in college.

All that said we are both doing it the hard way. Graphics is much much easier if you have a Mac. Doing graphics on a PC is like doing this stuff with your mouse hand tied behind your back.  (my friend and I both came out of the corporate world and still rely to heavily on personal computers)


Not sure what you are trying to do first with graphics, but I’d recommend getting the software above as you prioritize it and then learning it. Once you figure out which software program you are trying to learn I can probably help you more figuring out where to go.