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I am a freelancer who is wanting to broaden my abilities by trying my hand at a few different techniques and programs. Right now I am trying to figure out what would be the best method/program to approach creating things like the following:
Game avatar/icons (example: http://static3.thesettlersonline.net...atar/big/7.png)
UI Interface designs (example: the bottom UI bars you find in MMOs or browser/app games, etc.)
Thanks Any extra information/resources on this kind of thing would be most welcome.
Oh, in addition, if anyone knows any free (or relatively inexpensive) programs for 3d models that would allow an artist to practice skinning, I'd love to know!
For something static, any software you are competent with that can save with transparent backgrounds and in a good variety of formats. For UI, it depends on the target platform and engine, but often now the graphics are made in photoshop and the integration in flash.
As for 3D, try Blender. It has come a long way and it's closer to "normal" 3d software than something like SketchUp.
For what you want, Photoshop seems the best option. I guess all the interfaces you see in games are created in Photoshop. Probably some elements come from others, but the making of it is made in Photoshop.