Graphics Expert Peter J. Bauer
|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
Q: Where do you see graphic design software
development heading in the next two years?
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 particular strengths.
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 coffee breaks.
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
4) If you’re not working with the Web, start
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
10) Combination drawing tablets/LCD screens
(hopefully) will mature and become affordable.
Q: List 10 reasons, why would you recommend your
A: 1) It’s fun!
2) The techniques in each lesson can carry over into
3) The Web is, if not now, soon going to be a part
of almost every designer’s job description.
4) It’s one of the few Photoshop books that takes a
serious look at ImageReady.
5) The price is right!
door to some of the most 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
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
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 processor speed.
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
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 your clients.
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….