PaintShop Pro 9 offered vector layers and raster layers, and it has been a handy tool for web design and drawing objects. While I'm somewhat proficient in it, the program has its limitations, and I'm thinking about moving to Photoshop. Are there any "gotchas" to be aware of, besides what could be a steep learning curve? Does experience in PaintShop Pro mitigate some of the learning curve? I would especially appreciate the perspective of those who have experience in both programs.
I'm more familiar with Photoshop than with PaintShop Pro, but here are some objective things:
Interface: It's a matter of habit and personal taste. Both let you customize the layout.
Color and Tone: Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro offer almost identical sets of adjustment commands. Both support adjustment layers (non-destructive correction method).
Retouching: Both have good tools, I personally prefer the options in photoshop.
Layers: Both support layers, the handling is different but the technique is similar.
Masks: In Photoshop, a mask always belongs to a layer; in Paint Shop Pro, masks are separate raster layers. However, the work principles and achieved results are very similar.
Transformations: Quite the same in both (transform, rotate, distort).
Automating tasks: Photoshop macro commands - "actions" - are a bit more stable, while Paint Shop Pro "scripts" are more flexible.
"Photoshop feels the strongest, Paint Shop Pro - the fastest" (source) "PSP is cheaper" (source) If you already know PSP, you will get PS in a day, functionality-wise you can do the same things. Your curve will be a straight line, and there are plenty of tutorials to help you in the process.
I personally love Photoshop and not even my love for open source can let me migrate from it. If you also have illustrator, even better, you can use both in combination. PSP and PS do basically the same, I think PS is a bit more popular so there might be more elements around (brushes, effects, etc). I have only tried PSP so it would be good to read some other opinions on people who have actually crossed the frontier.
Here's a list of command equivalences for both programs: http://paintshoppro.info/tutorials/photoshop_to_paintshoppro_dictionary.htm
I learned computer graphics on PS6. There was a lot to learn and I only used it for a couple of years before deciding my hobby needs were 95.8% filled with a program 1/10th the cost of PS... Also, in either the 1st CS or next, the spyware was attached. (Whenever opened, sent a packet home to verify paid license). In those days, we still used aliases as the net was still evolving from it's wild west days and us 'netties' didn't trust anyone. (We spent over half our time on-line tweaking firewalls, proxies, protecting IPs and chasing un-mutuals to their basement control labs and turning off their computer fans!. Lol.) It was not until PSP 10 that Corel followed suit, which is one reason I still use PSP9!
Psp 12+ is a mystery to me, the entire working controls are completely unfamiliar to me... I know when I need to do something PSP9 cannot handle, (or other inexpensive stand alone), I will probably drop the cash for PS.
If you are in any way a professional, I could not urge you enough to get PS and spend the time to learn it... as sooner or later you WILL need it AND many of the same actions always come out better with PS without a lot more post processing which can be a huge time killer.
Always start with the best (in this case photos), post process with the best and develop the finished product with the best materials (or files)... the time you save in the end is a fraction of what you will need to learn PS in the short run.
As I see it.
*I see people knock people that sell graphic files that can be used in PS or PSP for 2-3-$5 not realizing that buying that item can save a professional artist 20-30-60 minutes... at 60 to $100 an hour, that purchase pays for itself on the 1st use! Same thing with buying more expensive programs that appear to do many of the same things... the money spent on PS and the time to learn it can pay for itself, sometimes within 1 or 2 jobs!
~Ðog§cout (Still using that alias! Lol.)