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Who Needs Pricey Graphics Programs?

A little while ago wordpress released version 3.0 along with a new standard theme. I figured that it was time for a blog redesign, mostly because I wanted to use the available widgets (of which there are many). My problem was that I couldn’t find my photoshop cd. I’d lost it somewhere along the way. I looked into buying the new version, but I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on something that I used maybe once a year. (What about photo editing, you say? I enjoy taking photos. I do not enjoy editing them. I take them. I upload them. That’s it!)

So I went in search of the inter webs and discovered that not only were there cheaper options, but there were, in fact, free options. I downloaded paint.net (free), but didn’t use it all that much. It has all the same basic tools as Photoshop, but none of the fancy filters. What it reminds me of is what photoshop was a few years ago.

What I did end up using a whole lot was inkscape. It’s a free vector graphics program and open source. The only problem was that it didn’t natively support illustrator files. I had found some free graphics over the web that I could use. there are a lot of great artists out there willing to share their goods for free! unfortunately, almost all of them are in illustrator format. But do not fear! There are workarounds.

How I did it was to open the eps in acrobat (not the reader version). i had a copy for work, so I didn’t bother fussing with the other stuff. There are plugins you can install to import eps files if you don’t have acrobat. So I opened in acrobat, saved as pdf, opened in inkscape. All the layers were there as well as the groupings.

All I did after that was modify the original image, slapped my photo on it and voila!! New banner.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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