Resources for all types of graphics.
These resources are for everyone, whether you're a beginner or pro.
http://itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm (Great general information)
Copyright / Tools:
Web Developement Tools:
Tools Of The Trade
Photoshop is the backbone of the graphics community. Photographers call it the "Devils Camera" because you can pretty much do anything with it (given you have the skill.) PS is what most of the graphic artists use for the majority of their work. If you are looking to start graphic designing, learn this program first.
Vue is the current leader in landscape generation. It has the combined attributes of Terragen and Bryce, plus much much more. It's a little tougher to learn than Terragen or Bryce, but it's well worth the learning time. It has great animation skills, and doesn't require any plugins to export the terrain to pretty much any other 3d program. This is very usefull when modeling landscapes in other programs. It also has modeling capacities, and is often used to model such things as castle landspaces. Current version: Vue 5 Infinite.
Bryce is another 3D Landscape rendering program, but it is not a great one. The renders take maybe 5-10 times longer than that of Terragen, and come out not even half as realistic. A perk of Bryce's that Terragen does not have though, is it can be used for abstracts as well. It also has many things, like bushes, and other landscape items, that Terragen does not offer.
Terragen is an amazing landscape rendering program. It is quite easy to use, and produces completely photorealistic renders. One of the best perks about this program, is it has many plugins (even plugins where you can import terragen landscapes to many other programs.) For beautiful landscapes, this is a must have. Best of all, ITS FREE! (for non-commercial use.)
Maxon Cinema 4D
Cinema 4D is definatly the most user friendly 3D rendering program that is used by the graphics community. It can create abstract, or even professional models with ease (compared to other programs.) It's renders come out nice and smooth. This is a must for aspiring graphic artists.
Discreet 3d Studio Max
3D Studio Max is not as user friendly as other 3D rendering programs, but it is definatly the most powerful. It's MANY rendering options put other programs renders to shame. If you're looking for the best in 3D capabilities, this is your program.
Maya is a very powerful 3D modeling program. This program is used widely in the gaming industry. If you have ever played Final Fantasy X and above, you have seen the great work this program can do. This program is not as user friendly as C4D, but it is definatly easier than 3DS. So, if you would like great quality, with a moderate challenge, here is your program.
NewTek Lightwave 3D
I have used Lightwave many times, and I must say it is the master of 3D modeling and special effects. It has very advanced settings for such things as bump maps, and materials, giving your scenes the realism they need. This program is the REAL DEAL. Beginners beware, this one will take some time for you to get the hang of.
Curious Labs Poser
Poser is the ultimate in fast and efficient character design. This program is specifically ment for character design, and animation. The characters you create in this program can easily be exported to other 3d modeling programs, to be integrated into your scenes. If you want realistic characters, and fast, this is what you need.
Apophysis is a fractal generation program. You can program your own scripts for it as well. Apophysis is a great program to use for textuing your art. Best of all, it's FREE!
Things you should know:
If you are looking to become a professional graphic designer, here a few things you will need to know.
Television and Movies:
If you are looking to work on Television, then you are going to need to learn either Maya or Lightwave, because those are the leading 3d modeling programs in television. Adobe After Effects is the main program used to compose and edit scenes on television and movies, so you will need to know that as well.
Video Game Design:
As of now, 3d Studio Max DOMINATES the video game industry. Softimage|XSI is followed closely behind it though, so you will need to know those programs well if you are thinking about game design.
Photoshop/Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver are the base programs for web design. Flash MX 2004 Pro is an unstopable force in web design effects, a good flash site can run from $1000 and WAY above.