What is a good program for creating graphics

I'm looking for a good program for creating ghaphics to use on the web.
I'm interested in creating graphic button (links), back ground images, and small animated gif files.
I need the program to be able to add shading and fading.

What is a good user friendly for web graphics?
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AxterAsked:
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JPSxpConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you are looking for a (semi-)professional solution, the best programs are Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 and Adobe Image Ready CS (included in  Adobe Photoshop CS).

Fireworks is aimed at semi-pro and professional webdesigners, while Photoshop is the standard graphical application used by almost all graphic-artists (not only webdesigners). Image Ready is bundled with Photoshop and adds the features needed by webdesigners.

If you are interessted in webdesign only, I would recommend Fireworks. It's cheaper and offers almost everything a webdesigner could ask for. Some webspace providers even offer cheap OEM copys of Fireworks to their customers.

Fireworks MX 2004:
http://www.macromedia.com/software/fireworks/?promoid=home_prod_fw_082403

Adobe Image Ready CS / Adobe Photoshop CS:
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/main.html 

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chakaalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Paint Shop Pro is good, cheaper than Photoshop and has lots of tutorials available from the maker and on the Net.  It's not free, but you can try it out for 60 days.

http://www.jasc.com

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Lobo042399Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Axter,

The best that will ever be is Photoshop, of course. It's pricey but very well worth. The ImageReady app that comes with it is designed specifically for web graphics; and there's an enormous wealth of tutorials not only at the adobe.com website but also at a lot of websites dedicated to it. Places like planetphotoshop.com are packed with tutorials and other resources for Photoshop.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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weedConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There's always the scaled down version, Photoshop Elements which is super cheap, and does a better job than the competitors cheapo versions. Itll also get you familiar with the Adobe interface.
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Jaime OlivaresConnect With a Mentor Software ArchitectCommented:
If you just want to make buttons, take a look to www.buttongadget.com
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hendridmConnect With a Mentor Commented:
My vote is for Fireworks.
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prifreConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi,

I would vote for http://www.wowwebdesigns.com/tools/id_36/ IrfanView. It has I believe as many formats as PSP for viewing.
But to create buttons, Firework excels. I would recommend to download a FW tryout http://www.macromedia.com/downloads/ and check it out. If you feel it is cumbersome and you want more freedom, more "photo-type" effects, Photoshop might be a better choice. I personally LOVE the possibility to JavaScript whole Fireworks.

(...check out my Fireworks-JavaScript labyrinth at http://www.prifre.com/program/fireworks/fireworks.html - I was kindof proud of it when I wrote it ;-)

with a smile
/prifre
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AxterAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your input
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AxterAuthor Commented:
prifre,
>>check out my Fireworks-JavaScript labyrinth at http://www.prifre.com/program/fireworks/fireworks.html - I was

None of the links in the web site you posted works.
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prifreCommented:
Well,

Of course the links dont work. They are JSP (JavaScript programs). You have to download them (Right-click and save locally) and then open using FW when. Sorry - I never thought of making the webpage userfriendly - not had much input...

But... I have updated the page slightly now...

/prifre

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