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We have been studying CSS using site like http://www.csszengarden.com/.

I am wondering what type of graphics tool they use to create those stunning back ground images?

Do they draw them originally or use existing images and just alter them to fit the site?

Where can I learn more information on creating / modifying those back ground images.

Thanks for reading my question.

Thanks for the answer regarding PhotoShop. I have been reviewing videos on Lynda.com. What videos do I need to review to learn on how to work on those back ground images?

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closed as off topic by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, random Jul 28 '10 at 19:14

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This was a perfectly valid question and may be FAQ needs to be updated. You guys are supposed to serve the user and not throw random FAQ on us. Thanks Any hows answers were very helpful. –  dotnet-practitioner Jul 28 '10 at 21:03
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5 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Most likely Photoshop, or Photoshop and Illustrator in concert. There are some alternatives to Photoshop and Illustrator which may be more affordable. Wacom tablets are also very popular among web designers. To get at the meat of your question though, it's not the software which creates the stunning imagery, it's the artist.

Doug Bowman has a good overview of the design process used to create a CZZ Zen Garden piece, Golden Mean. In this example he started with some stock photography and layered effects and filters on it until he found something he liked. Unfortunately some of the links to the intervening stages which are likely of interest to you are broken. Perhaps he'll restore them for a nicely worded request.

A similar article by Dave Shea focusses on the specifically imagery part of the process and has more examples of the intermediate steps.

It's a fascinating world, have fun and good luck.

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THANK YOU VERY MUCH !! –  dotnet-practitioner Jul 28 '10 at 21:03
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Here's a pretty nice tutorial on how to make something similar from other peoples' images with Photoshop.

Illustrator is great if you're creating from scratch, but you can certainly use the Photoshop techniques described in that article to wonderful effect!

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I would guess either Adobe PhotoShop or Illustrator. But really, any graphics program could be used. Theoretically, pen, paper and a scanner could also do the job :p

Stunning graphics usually has more to do with artistic skills and creativity than computer software.

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Another really good alternative to Photoshop, also free, is Paint.NET. I had done a lot of work in Photoshop back in version 6 i think was the latest I had used, and I just could not afford it anymore. I had tried gimp, but just could not get used to it... it was extremely confusing, the UI layout. Paint.NET I find very easy to use.

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Any tool can be used to create images. But there is a 90% probability it was Photoshop. If you are going to get into webdesign then you will need a to learn a program such as Photoshop or it's free simi-equivalent gimp. Lots of times you need to get an image to an exact size, or add some transparency, rounded corners or gradients real quick.

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do you know what version of photoshop do i need to use to work on those images? Which website or book would be a good resource. Most of PhotoShop tutorials to me show on how to improve people photos. thanks –  dotnet-practitioner Jul 28 '10 at 17:31
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