News from National -- Current Articles
Graphics Expert Jeff Foster
Interview by Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P.
For this issue of News from National, Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P. had a chance
to interview another world expert in the area of graphics design and IT. As
with last week's interview, whether you are new to the game or an old pro,
you will find useful information in the books and in the comments from this
Interview: Jeff Foster – Photoshop Web Magic series
Q: Some in the audience are considering long-term careers in design,
graphics, and computing. What personally prompted you to enter the field?
A: I was a traditional commercial artist for about 8 years prior to going
“digital” in 1990. I specialized in airbrush photo retouching and
photo-realistic illustration. Since there wasn’t any training programs for
advanced desktop graphics programs in the early 90’s, I had to get close to
the developers to learn the cutting-edge tools to continue to be in the lead
of the industry. Thanks to software companies like Adobe, their beta programs
not only allow power users a sneak peek at the new tools, but they also
solicit functionality requests from those who use their products. The
concepts I use in my writing have been proven in classroom settings
throughout several Southern California College and University programs.
Q: Where do you see graphic design software development heading in the next
A: I don’t think there will be any earth-shattering advancements in the next
two years, but I believe there will be more focus on refining the tools we
have – making them better work in concert with each other – and continue to
be more Web-specific. There are some companies making development tools
available online – not just to download demo versions of packaged software,
but to actually function as an online application. Onflow.com is one of many
companies charging-ahead with “instant” Web graphics and animation on-demand.
Higher-speed access and broader bandwidth to a greater number of people will
definitely increase the demand for this technology. I believe that people
will want to make their own space more personal – including their work space.
Anyday.com is an example of personal/work space, communications and active
scheduling on-demand via the Web.
Q: What top ten technologies should graphic design professionals be watching
for in the next two years?
A: Adobe upgrades (Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive and AfterEffects)
- Mac OS X (and
- More FireWire
connectivity with peripherals
Quicktime 5 (More Web-savvy than ever! – Watch for cubic VRs)
- Better Mini-DV cameras
(quality, resolution, storage & price)
- Better digital cameras
(quality, resolution, storage & price)
- More on-demand
development tools, libraries and plug-ins available online.
- An increase in the
number of high-speed, broadband connections
- More books and
articles by Jeff Foster!
Q: List 10 reasons, why would you recommend your book?
A: Here is why:
- Great new
easy-to-follow format (and a great new Publisher!), with full-color
screenshot images throughout the book.
- Overview of the new
tools and features in this important upgrade.
- Real-world techniques
you won’t find in any other Photoshop 6 Book.
- Step-by-step “recipes”
for creative components that will not only be useful for Web design, but
they will teach the user new techniques they can apply to all of their
- Concepts in this book
have been proven with live-classroom participation.
- All Project files,
sample images, Custom Libraries and Styles come on the enclosed CD-ROM.
- Companion web site
that will support the material in the book with downloadable free Custom
Styles, Shapes and Patterns each week.
- Web site will also
include an area to share your custom libraries with other users for
- Written by a real
artist/designer – not just a computer geek!
- Buy 10 and get a free
goldfish in the mail!
Q: Can you describe your role with your company and how
you plan to shape the company one year and two years into the future, and in
the long term?
A: I am currently the Director of R&D and Training at Narratus, Inc. My
role changes daily, as our requirements are constantly changing and shifting
to meet the demands of our clients. We have a growing team of artists and
technicians that constantly strive to grow in all of their diverse areas of
expertise. This keeps me on my toes to make sure they are prepared to handle
the challenges that may come – and be equipped with the hardware, software
and knowledge to use it.
Q: What are your top 10 tips for the professional from your experience base
and your book (“useful” and reality-based real world checklist) including
which resources (book, utilities, tools) to use and any advice of where to
obtain these tools?
A: My advice:
- Local User Groups
& SIGs… Join. Get involved!
- Online discussions and
organizations. Get involved!
- Software producer’s
discussion groups and beta programs… Get involved! Tell them what you
- Take time to “joy
ride” an application… don’t just sit down with a think manual and expect
to find where everything is and what it does.
- Bug people and ask
questions… computer people love to help!
- Check out the web site
– www.photoshopwebmagic.com (starting Dec. 17th) for more information
Q: For those relatively new in the field and for seasoned
veterans, which areas should they target for future study, what are the
A: Anything visual. We use Photoshop several times a day – hardly ANY project
goes out the door without some Photoshop work in it… especially Video and Web
work. Learn an HTML program (like GoLive or DreamWeaver) – even if you aren’t
currently building web pages… you will greatly benefit from not being left in
the dust down the line. Get involved with local and online User Groups and
SIGs. They will be the lifeblood in your special interest community!
Q: Can you provide five book extracts that best reflects the tips/pointers in
your book and provide a compelling reason to thoroughly study your work?
A: Check out the samples online at http://www.photoshopwebmagic.com