from National -- Current Articles
Graphics Expert Peter J.
Interview by S. Ibaraki, I.S.P.
In this, the third and final series of interviews by Stephen Ibaraki,
I.S.P. dealing with graphics experts, Stephen interviewed Peter J. Bauer,
contributor to Photoshop 6 Web Magic:
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 got my start with computer graphics while in the US Army at the George
C. Marshall Center in Germany. The Center needed a multi-lingual graphic artist,
and decided that it would be easier to teach a linguist to draw on a computer
than it would be to teach an artist to speak Russian and German. Once in the
field, I fell in love with it and, after leaving the Army, I decided to stick
with it. With my wife’s encouragement, I devoted myself to becoming an Adobe
While this worked for me, I will say that I think formal training is a better
route for most. Experience is great, and necessary, but it should be based
upon on solid foundation, rather than learn-as-you-go.
Q: Where do you see graphic design software development heading in the next
A: I expect to see less specialization in software. Just as Adobe Photoshop
now has vector-based type and uses clipping paths to simulate vector objects,
Adobe Illustrator’s latest version gained transparency and improved raster
(bitmap) capabilities. We’re probably not too far from incorporating 3D and
motion in our illustrations and images. Animation is already a part of both
Photohop/ImageReady and Illustrator. Each program, I suspect, will retain its
Q: What top ten technologies should graphic design professionals be watching
for in the next two years?
A: 1) If you think the hardware is fast now, watch out! No more time for
2) Low- cost, high-volume storage will continue to allow us to develop more
and more complex illustrations and images.
3) High- speed Internet connections will become the norm. Animation and
streaming media will become the standard.
4) If you’re not working with the Web, start learning!
5) Digital imaging will reach a plateau for still photos, with
multi-megapixel shots affordable. (Another reason to pray for #2!)
6) Digital video will make great strides, with near-broadcast-quality
available in “home” cameras.
7) 3D modeling will become more common-place, and some 3D skills will be
required at all levels.
8) The SVG standard will finally be adopted and all the rules will change.
SVG has the potential to become the vector standard for both Web and print.
9) The pre-press world will continue to move toward PDF.
10) Combination drawing tablets/LCD screens (hopefully) will mature and
Q: List 10 reasons, why would you recommend your book?
A: 1) It’s fun!
2) The techniques in each lesson can carry over into many projects.
3) The Web is, if not now, soon going to be a part of almost every designer’s
4) It’s one of the few Photoshop books that takes a serious look at
5) The price is right!
advanced features of Web image design and production.
7) The accompanying CD has a ton of extras!
8) Animation, animation, animation….
9) The descriptions are complete, yet easy to follow.
10) Jeff Foster’s imagination is near limitless.
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: One of the big things in the next couple of years is high-speed Internet
access. As things get faster, we can (and will) do more and more to take
advantage of that bandwidth. But it will important to still maximize
efficiency, so I’ll be looking at utilizing new technologies in a
“minimalist” way. SVG, for example, will allow us to do great things on the
Web, while still keeping file sizes down. I’m looking forward to this format
becoming integrated into the browsers’ capabilities.
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: 1) Join a professional organization. For example, the National Association
of Photoshop Professionals offers member discounts, an extensive Web site, a
top-notch magazine, and a free Help Desk.
2) Participate (responsibly) in on-line discussions and other forums to keep
current. The Adobe Web site offers a number of user-to-user forums.
3) Subscribe to a couple of carefully-chosen magazines, rather than trying to
find time to a dozen or more every month.
4) Everyone who works with imaging should have some “play time” built into
their week. If you’re the boss, schedule it for your employees – and make it
untouchable! Without time to experiment and learn, we stop growing.
5) Learn to be your own Help Desk. Become as fluent as possible in the
operating system with which you work.
6) Discover and explore those “other” tools and commands in your favorite
programs. If you don’t know what they do, check the User Guide or the Help
menu. And then play with them.
7) Buy more RAM. When upgrading, spend the money on memory rather than
8) Learn frame-based animation.
9) Start looking at SVG now.
10) And, of course, have Photoshop 6 Web Magic nearby at all times!
Q: For those relatively new in the field and for seasoned veterans, which
areas should they target for future study, what are the high-growth areas?
A: Animation, especially vector-based, will continue to grow in importance.
SVG will soon be taking off – it’s too good a technology to ignore. Become
the in-house expert.
Q: What changes do you see for the future of graphics, computing, conducting
business, and the use of the Internet?
A: High-speed access will become more common, allowing us to do far more
complex things over the Web. Don’t get too carried away. Keep in mind that
not everyone will be viewing on a 21” monitor with a gazillion-by-gazillion
resolution. Be prepared to conduct more and more business over the Web. The
day is coming (it’s here for many of us) when you never meet or speak with
Q: Many analysts are predicting a transition in design and graphics that
could last years for many companies. What are your predictions?
A: Animation, 3D, streaming media are the easy answers. But don’t overlook
the inclusion of sound with illustrations and imaging. You just don’t know
where creativity might lead….