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Best of the Best: Top 10 Creativity Software

Best of the Best: Top 10 Creativity Software

| On 19, Jul 2010

Take your summer vacation memories to the next level with the best in creativity software.

Summertime, and the living is easy. I hope you are enjoying summer as much as I am. I feel as if the bustle of spring and early summer has quieted down a bit and now we are into those hot and lazy days. It’s prime vacation time. Here is a photo I took while kayaking at the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge last week. It was nice to get away and be forced to stop and see nature, in the form of a White Faced Ibis, Sandhill Crane, Snowy Egret, Kestrel and a Huge. White. Pelican.

It was beautiful, but I digress. I am not much of a design software buff, but since I do work at a software company and have access to all sorts of programs, I decided to edit some of my vacation photos into more usable and interesting depictions.

In my first attempt I wanted to remove the photographer’s kayak from the picture so that all you see is yours truly. To teach myself how to do this I used an article from Layers Magazine outlining how to remove elements from a photo. (If I were using CS5 I would have tried out theContent Aware Fill feature Brian wrote about back in May.)

I’m betting the Photoshop experts out there will have some criticism of my editing skills, but for my purposes this will work perfectly.

For my second editing effort I created a “painting” with my photo using Corel Painter. For this I used Kevin’s Corel Painter Tutorial, which I must say was very easy to follow.

It’s amazing how you can preserve your memories in unique ways with computer software. At we carry such a variety of design and creativity software programs. Curious which programs rank best of the best creativity software? Find out which programs fared the highest in our user tests (user ratings are coupled with popularity to determine the best of the best).

Best of the Best: Creativity Software

Best for User Friendly Photo Editing

Photoshop Elements
Make your photos look extraordinary with Adobe’s pared down version of Photoshop. This is a great way to get your foot into the door editing photos. It is both powerful and simple, and allows you to change a photo’s size (without distortion), fix photos, whiten teeth, adjust color and give your photos a fresh look with artwork templates. MSRP $99.99.

Runners Up: Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo, Roxio Toast Titanium

Best for Professional Photo and Image Editing

Adobe Photoshop
This one may seem a bit obvious, but when you’re the best, you’re the best. Adobe continues to innovate and be the industry-leading standard in professional image editing software. It is used worldwide by professional photographers, serious amateur photographers, and designers who want to perfect their digital images. MSRP $699.00.

Runners Up: Photoshop Lightroom

Best for Cool Photo Effects

Corel Painter
Make your photos look like they were illustrated with unique brushes, materials, and textures that mirror the look and feel of their traditional counterparts. This program is fun to use and with some basic instruction it is also very intuitive to learn. MSRP $429.00.

Runner Up: Autodesk Sketchbook Pro

Best Scrapbooking Software

My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbook Software
Build beautiful pages from scratch or make a page using one of the templates provided within this affordable software. Print individual pages, create a professionally-printed hardbound book or create a movie which you can view on DVD, iPod, online and more. Download it instantly or have it shipped to you. MSRP $39.97.

Runner Up: Scrapbook Factory Deluxe

Best for Home and Small Business Publishing

Microsoft Publisher
If you are used to the Microsoft Office interface, using Publisher will be a breeze. You can easily create a myriad of publication types, such as brochures, newsletters, postcards, greeting cards and more, without needing any prior graphic design experience. Get started easily with built-in templates and font and color schemes. MSRP $139.99.

Runner Up: Encore Print Shop

Best for Professional Desktop Publishing

Adobe InDesign
With InDesign you can design professional layouts for print and digital publishing. You get precise control over the elements of your design down to the tiniest pixel. Built-in tools help streamline design, preflight and publishing, while included interactivity, animation, video and sound in page layouts help to fully engage readers. MSRP $699.00.

Runner Up: QuarkXPress

Best User Friendly Video Editing

Sony Vegas Movie Studio
Produce spectacular HD movies with powerful tools for video composting, color correction, and surround sound. Edit video in nearly any format including HDV and AVCHD, working simultaneously with standard and high definition in the same project. Customize window layouts, burn DVDs, create slideshows and more – all within an easy to use interface. MSRP $99.95.

Runners Up: Adobe Premiere Elements, Corel VideoStudio, Roxio Creator

Best Professional Video Editing

Adobe Premiere Pro
Offering breakthrough performance for video production, Premiere Pro enables you to work dramatically faster. Eliminate transcoding and rewrapping with tapless workflows. Move from script to screen faster with Adobe Story (offered online), among dozens of other new time saving improvements. MSRP $799.00.

Runner Up: Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant (plug-in for Vegas)

Best Priced Design Suite

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
This suite has it all, and for less than a third a cost of the cheapest Adobe Creative Suite. You get tools for vector illustration, page layout, photo editing and tracing, web graphics and animation – all in one tightly integrated suite. The programs and easy-to-learn high quality design tools that let you do more than you thought possible. This suite is perfect for professional and aspiring designers alike. MSRP $499.99.

Best Overall Design Suite

Adobe Creative Suite
Once again, Adobe proves to be the best, but not without a price. Of course if price were not a consideration, the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection would be the ultimate suite for a professional designer. But with a suggested retail price of $2,599, you may be wise to choose your edition based on the features you need. (Try our CS5 version comparison). Adobe has provided six different editions to address the creative need of a variety of different disciplines.

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