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Visual

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Visual presentation methods

Visual art is a common creative response to reading. Art can be created digitally, using one of many software packages designed for the purpose. Work produced offline can also be scanned or photographed and uploaded. Photography allows the sharing of works that are not 2D as well, such as costumes, sculptures, or even baked goods.

Scanning and Digital cameras

Scanners allow the digitisation of material produced offline for storage or manipulation by computer. Digital cameras store their images electronically, bypassing the need for film. Each device will have their own instructions in this regard, but it’s very rare these days for the process to be more than three steps, or take more than a few minutes. Once the images are on the computer, they can be uploaded or manipulated.

Image uploads

Flickr

Flickr is an online photo and video sharing website with a strong social element. Users have lists of friends and contacts, and can see updates of what friends have posted. 

Images can be tagged, or can be included in groups, which help to find and share images on specific topics.

Flickr has a special collection of Creative Commons images

Flickr accounts are free, provided you wish to host less than 200 photos. More images than this can be stored, but only 200 are viewable. To be able to display any more images than that requires a Flickr Pro account. Video posts are limited to 90 seconds in length, and are best seen as more of a “long photo” than a short movie. Free accounts can only upload two videos per month.

Photobucket

Photobucket is, as the name might suggest, an image storage site. It has sharing and community features as Flickr does, but does not emphasise these as much.

Photobucket offer both free and pro services, with the pro accounts having much larger storage limits.

Picasa

Picasa is an online photo service that has a downloadable desktop app for basic photo manipulation and to manage uploads. Again, it does not focus as heavily on the community aspects of the site as Flickr does.

Image editing

The best known image editing suite is Adobe’s Photoshop, but it is far from the only entry in the field. Basic image editing applications often come baked in with the operating system, but this section will cover some other options.

Online image editing

There are many web services that offer capacity to do image editing and manipulation online.

Picnik

Basic photo editing, works with most online storage options.

Imageeditor

Online image editor, with instructional video and a range of tools:

Fotoflexer

Online photo retouching:

Phoenix

Phoenix from the Aviary website is an advanced image manipulation and drawing tool

Downloads

GIMP

GIMP is an image manipulation package that performs many of the same functions as a programme like Photoshop. Gimp is a free download.

Drawing

Most computers come with an included drawing package. MS Paint and iDraw are the best known of these. Programmes such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw include many useful tools, and specialist programmes like Manga Studio and Poser have functions that suit their particular uses. This section highlights some online alternatives.

Artpad

A straightforward drawing application

Flashpaint

An in-browser painting tool. Images can be saved or shared online.

Sumo paint

Online painting tool with an active community and gallery system.

A comprehensive listing of online drawing tools can be found here.

See examples of artistic responses on our featured page