I'm a web designer who likes to code everything by hand in Notepad, but now that I'm upgrading software I am looking to modernize by adding some newer graphic design software to my computer. I have decided on the GIMP for image development, possibly Inkscape for some designing (maybe), and Flash Catalyst to make some lightweight Flash applications.
In doing some research, I've noticed that Flash Professional obviously has all the features I'd need, but it's a bit heavy and it looks really hard to use. I was thinking that I can do most of the web applications development that I need (minimal animations) in Flash Catalyst. But, in watching video tutorials, I see that most people use Catalyst in conjunction with Photoshop and Illustrator. Do I need these programs to import graphics into Catalyst, or can I just manipulate JPEGs and PNGs? What's the essential difference here?
Also, will I need Flash Builder to develop the code for programs made in Catalyst, or is that only for more robust applications development?