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Programmers Should Know Basic Graphics!

How much does Your Programmer Know?

by D1J1T — in Design — Updated: Mar 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

Graphics designers and web programmers often have complimentary skill sets. You'll even see certain programming skills (like HTML) on an artist's resume and (Photoshop) on a programmer's.

It is very important for a programmer to know certain specifics about graphics design. I need to preface this by saying that I am by no means a graphics designer per se. I do however, know Photoshop in and out, Fireworks, Illustrator and InDesign. I am also familiar with 3D tools such as Blender and 3DSMax. I've experimented with many different graphics utilities (such as Gif Animator off the top of my head), used exported 3D objects and animated them using C++, know the important differences with web/print graphics, vector vs rastor, dpi, modes, filters, shading, blending, lighting, file types and with video the same applies: (After Effects, Flash, Premeire, YouTube, aspect ratios, etc.) This doesn't make me a graphics expert or videographer. It does however give me the necessary knowledge to communicate with these departments efficiently, without having to even contact them in many cases when a situation arises that I can fix myself.

If you have a veteran graphic artist, he or she will be in a similar situation. They may be able to make a quick edit to a PHP file and re-upload to the server if need be.

Most web programming demands the embedding, manipulation, and re-sizing of graphics, along with other common graphic editing tasks. This applies to most stand-alone application development as well. Mobile development can factor graphic sizes/formats in even more, all of which the programmer must implement and in most cases adjust their code to accommodate these other mobile device specific factors.

Don't discount the need for video skills/knowledge either. You may think that programmers just have to embed the video and in many cases, you'd be correct. I've worked with companies that sent me a HUGE mov file, and to boot, had errors in the sequence. I had to use both my 2d graphics tools and video tools to re-create it with layers that matched the spec and convert to the proper format in order to meet the deadline that day. Imagine having to go back to the 2d artist first and then to your video vendor? Sometimes that time/cost simply can't be afforded.

If you find these articles to be helpful, I could always use another cup of coffee! Social media likes/+1s are also much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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