Options besides Photoshop?


Over the past few months, I’ve become increasingly interested in shoe design, technology, and aesthetic components. Looking over the forums, I see that Photoshop seems to be the most popular application for creating final renderings.

Unfortunately, as a 17 year old, the 300-700 price tag for the program is definitely out of my price range. As I’ve begun designing over the course of the past few weeks, what more cost effective options would you guys reccomend to me for finishing off my shoe/project? I see that prisma color markers are pretty important.

Secondly, taking the advice of many here, I’ve begun working on my proportions–specifically in the basketball realm. My good friend John told me that tracing templates is a good way to get a feel for proportions. Is there anything else I can be doing?


I would just stick to doing everything by hand right now. Prisma’s, markers, pencils and pens. I think it will give you a better feel in the long run and I think it helps the computer renderings that will come later, plenty of time to learn that stuff in college.

It’s great to see other young people getting a head start. Get the jump on your future competition!

JButta - Don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that has bought a copy of Photoshop. Not that I’m promoting illegal downloading of software or anything like that, just saying :stuck_out_tongue: They not have it at your school or anything?

Like you I’m just getting into footwear design and from what I’ve seen the majority of final renders usually tend to be rendered with markers or photoshop. Neither is the correct way, it all depends on you and what your strongest with, and what best communicates your design to the person looking at it.
If you can’t find photoshop don’t worry you’ll be introduced to that come university. So maybe focus on sketching and markers. The better you get at rendering with markers, the better you’ll be at rendering in photoshop.

As for proportions, check these out:
Basketball shoe - http://i18.tinypic.com/4xp8mxi.jpg
Running shoe - http://i16.tinypic.com/4zx9t3b.jpg

Also check out Yo and R. tutorials on their websites…


Also sketch shoes that you own and see how its constructed, take it apart etc.

Everything I’m telling you has been said to me from other users on here, so I’m just passing it on. Hope it helps.

When you do decide to go to photoshop get photoshop elements. It’s only $100 approx the last time I looked and I think it comes free when you buy a wacom tablet. It has everything you need to do good renderings. But for now, definitely just keep with the markers.

It took me around 5 years worth of using Photoshop before I actually bought the official program. Your high school should have a web mastering type class. They surely should have computers that have Photoshop on them.

yea man.

stick to markers and pencil for a while. this will help you develop the ability to get good stuff down really quickly.

in most cases you want to do like 10-15 pages of sketching before you render so you know you have explored MANY possibilities. Then render. Maybe do more sketching then a follow up render.

really though, you wil spend about only 1/3 of your time at the most rendering, so stick with quick sketching and marker rendering for now.


The direct answer is Corel PhotoPaint. But why waste time learning something besides the industry standard?

You can grab the “academic license” of Photoshop for around the price of a complete set of markers ($290.)

Also, if you get a Tablet PC, check out Alias Sketchbook pro for $200.

Hey guys,

I really appreciate all the responses.

I definitely cannot disagree with you all here…I’d rather work on the basics–getting the overall feel for proportions and quick sketches with pencils, pens (among other things) then rush ahead and try to create something that’s not necessarily wholesome.

I’ll look into purchasing some Prismas in the upcoming week.


B-Man/Yo: Thanks for showing pictures/giving tutorials on proportions. Such a simple yet implausibly important part to making your shoe perform as it should.

I know a lot of people use Gimp, its like a open source (free version) of Photoshop with very similar tools and interface.
Try it out and see what you think:


Best of luck![/url]

try www.journeyed.com, HUGE discounts for students. not sure about teachers.

as for markers… if you have a michael’s near you, i would suggest looking for their weekly 40% off coupon (every sunday in the newspaper ads! maybe it’s just by me?) or wait for thanksgiving for the 70% off-ers (and long lines).

I’ve used both Paint.Net and Gimp - Paint.Net is not very powerful, and Gimp has a not-so-intuitive interface.
Im looking forward to using GimpShop [http://www.plasticbugs.com/], it was designed to mimic the Photoshop interface.