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Graphics Design Weekend

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Planet of FireMy graphics design knowledge doesn't extend much beyond Microsoft Paint and Picture Manager. I'm not very artistic but I've always wanted to learn a bit more about making simple art and manipulating photos on the computer. Photoshop is the tool of choice for professionals. We have some talented people in the art department where I work who can churn out fantastic material in little time. I've dabbled in Photoshop a bit in the past, but for my purposes it's just too daunting of a task to learn this advanced program. Besides at my level, it would be a waste of money.

But a few days ago I discovered a free program online that actually captured my interest and kept me busy most of the weekend learning some graphics design skills. It's called Paint.NET and, according to its author, it's written entirely in .NET, mostly C# I believe.

Paint.NET is certainly not an all-encompassing graphics design tool, but for an amateur like me, it has just enough features to keep me interested without frustrating me. A wonderful aspect for me is a recently introduced plug-in (currently in beta) that allows programmers to quickly prototype a desired effect in C# code and then produce a plug-in to use for themselves or share with others using Paint.NET.

My appreciation to the makers(s) of Paint.NET for a great utility for newbies like me. Not only did I learn a number of terms and skills this past weekend, but I put some of that learning to actual use by creating this admittedly garish art. I call it the "planet of fire."


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