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When I did the poll for the Making of a Dio-Story subjects, the scripting/storyboarding won out, but it just barely nicked this topic…  “Recommended Software”.  I get this question a LOT.  What do you use?  How do you use it?  Where can I get it?  It’s not all as easy as a one sentance answer, but I’ll give it my best shot, anyway.

Recommended Software

  • Photo Manipulation Software
  1. Adobe Photoshop; This software far and away gets my highest recommendation for any potential dio-story author or general photographer out there.  It’s quite simply the most robust, powerful, and capable photo editing software on the market today.  Nobody beats it.  Many of the effects I use many of the layouts I use…a lot of that stuff would not be possible without Adobe Photoshop.  But there is a downside…  Photoshop is expensive.  $600-700.  Of course computer experts out there know where they can find their software, and if you have the budget for Photoshop, I strongly recommend that.  But for folks who can’t get it, there are alternatives.
  2. GIMP; Yes, it’s a strange name, but it’s an actual piece of photo editing software, and it’s free.  I’ll be honest, I’ve never used GIMP, but I’ve heard some great things about it, and for the most part, I’d imagine a lot of what you need to do for Dio-Stories can be accomplished with GIMP.  The Windows download for that software is here, and you can get for Mac here.
  3. Photoshop Elements; It’s basically an “Adobe Photoshop Lite” which isn’t nearly as powerful as its more expensive cousin, but in a pinch it can do some good things and it’s a whole lot less expensive.
  4. Paint.Net; It’s in the early stages and it’s only for Windows, but it’s a free Image Editing program that supports layers, special effects, etc…  all the stuff that I use with Photoshop on a regular basis.  Something definitely to look into.
  • Script Writing and Word Balloons
  1. Microsoft Office; Everyone knows about Office these days, and I echo the sentiments.  Sure, Apple users all of their own preferences, but from a usability standpoint, I’ll just go with what’s out there.  I use Word to write the script, Powerpoint to do some Word Balloon and effect letter publishing.  There’s a bunch of different important software mixed in there.
  2. OpenOffice; For those folks who are unwilling or unable to support Micro$oft, there’s always the open source OpenOffice, which is a free download offering many of the same functions and features as the Microsoft flavor.
  • All in One Software Packages
  1. Comic Book Creator; As web publishing becomes more and more popular and mainstream, expect more software packages like this, which essentially is an all purpose photoediting, special effects, and layout package all rolled into one.  I’ve used this here and there and it’s remarkably powerful and capable.  It doesn’t do absolutely everything, but for the price (around $50.00) it does its fair share.  A decent software package for sure, though currently only available for Windows.  Make sure to have a bookmark for as well, as they offer some great tutorials and instructions for using the software.
  2. ComicLife; I’ve used Comic Life quite a bit actually, and I LOVE it.  In my experience it works a bit better than Comic Book Creator, plus it’s cheaper and it’s available for Windows and Mac both.  It does a lot of the same stuff as Comic Book Creator does for a little less money, though keep in mind I haven’t used Comic Book Creator 2, I’ve only used the first version, so things may have changed.

That pretty much wraps up the Software Portion of the “Making of a Dio-Story”.  If there’s other software-related questions you have, shoot them my way, I’ll see if I can answer them!  Next up…  “Making Speech Bubbles”!