Paint Shop Pro
I have been a big fan of Paint Shop Pro for many years now. It just offers a lot of the powerful tools that the more expensive programs like PhotoShop have but at a much more affordable price. They have a few different packages but this one is my favorite because it is a bundle of software that gives you a lot of flexibility. You will be able to manipulate photos, create drawings, and make/modify web graphics. They also have some very strong software for photographers. Just a lot of power for a very little price. More Paint Shop Pro software and books at Amazon
A Sample Tutorial with Paint Shop Pro
Become The Invisible Man
I touched up a normal photograph to make myself look like the invisible man. You can do the same exact thing in less than half an hour! This tutorial takes you through the whole process step-by-step. And don't let this stop you! Experiment! try different things. Just make sure you keep a clean copy of the original so you can always start over again.
Remember: The variations are endless. Here is a variation of the same picture without the eyeballs. It also gives a great effect.
Step 1: Choosing the right Photograph
There are a couple of things to consider when choosing a photograph. First off you should save a digital photograph with good resolution. The original file for this photo was taken straight from a $50 dollar digital camera and the file size was 425K. Now this would be no good for a website. It would take a user on a 45k modem a long time to download this photo but we will adjust the size and the resolution after we are done manipulating it. The final file size will be suitable for putting on a website.
You should also consider the elements of the photo. In this photo I wanted to remove my head and when we do that we don't actually remove the head from the photo we just paint over it with the same colors and textures of the background. So I chose a photo with a background (in this case the walls behind my head) that was soft and not of a distinct pattern. If the walls were striped it would be much more difficult to do. You would have to exactly match the stripes.
So lets begin by opening up the original picture. Here is a thumbnail of it.
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