Graphic design??

hi I'm ben and I'm 14 and want to get started early in graphic design on a mac I know its what I want to do when I get older I have an iMac DV SE 500MHz 384MB RAM and a 60GB HD (30GB internal 30GB external) MAYA sounds really cool and I'd like to work with it I know I should probobly have a G4 to do this but that might not be for a bit still saving : ) sooooooo?????
First of all, Maya is not a graphic design program. That is for creating 3D animation and that type of stuff. Photoshop, Illustrator and Pagemaker/InDesign are where to start. But those are also expensive. Since you are in school, you can get educational pricing from Creation Engine. But that's where I would start. Get a book on it and go from there. But you will find that graphic design isn't something that everyone can do. It's art. You have to have an eye for good design and have to have good ideas for good designs. Look in magazines and brochures and CD covers and all sorts of stuff for ideas.
You don't need a G4 to do print or web design.. Even an old Quadra with a bunch of ram is perfectly capable for web stuff, and at work, the most powerful Mac we have is a PowerTowerPro 225 with a Newer G3 card and 128 megs of RAM. Hardly a world beater.

And read Print & Communication Arts religiously.
I've already gotten into it a bit and money for a program is no problem I would be able to get MAYA if it was out,, and I like drawing but i also like computers so I figured graphic design, so just to get started what is the best program....
I think that I would consider 3D design to be a subset of graphic design. You still use a lot of the 2D graphic design tools in 3D.

There are so many programs that are used in the Graphic Design field.

Page Layout: (listed in order of preference)
QuarkXPress, Pagemaker, & InDesign. These applications help you manage and create documents from a one page flyer to a 1000+ page book. They are very powerful, but the main core of these programs are their text and layout capabilities. 90% of the time you import images created in other programs to mix with your document.

Freehand, Illustrator, CorelDraw. These programs help you create vector art. A logo that you design in as a vector will have the same sharpness and quality on a business card as it will on a billboard. You can import images and work with multiple pages, but these programs are designed for single page jobs (like an Illustrated movie poster).

Image Manipulation:
Photoshop, GraphicConverter, (Gimp). These programs edit bitmap files. Photographs, scans, and the like. Absolutely needed for any graphic designer in any speciality field you go in (even 3D). I have not tried Gimp yet, but I hear it is pretty powerful.

Web Design:
Flash, Dreamweaver, GoLive, (and about a hundred others). Speciality programs for designing web pages and web content.

3D Design:
Lightwave, Maya, etc... Create animations or flat artwork (bitmap). You know...

It sounds to me that you are leaning toward 3D which is perfectly fine. My 15 year old brother is designing better stuff in 3D than I am now without a lot of experience with the other graphic design programs. Learning to design and think in 3D on a 2D screen is a big challenge at first (it would be a LOT easier if we had holographic monitors).

WhateverJoe posted:
ILM's version of ElectricImage at $269 is a great start.

I looked at their site, and while I do not know anything about ElectricImage, I would still recommend this package as a learning tool. 90% of everything that they teach you would apply to any 3D package, and the tools that they bundle with it would work with any other 3D software too.

Especially if money is no object, buy this package first to see how you like 3D. Then go by your 3D package of choice.
Originally posted by benp
I've already gotten into it a bit and money for a program is no problem I would be able to get MAYA if it was out,, and I like drawing but i also like computers so I figured graphic design, so just to get started what is the best program....

It sounds to me that you are interested in 3DCG, so.......

You will need both traditional and computer art skill eventually, so don't choose one over the other, keep doing both as much as possible. Most good design jobs require art degrees, and computer skills, especially 3DCG. I am a 3DCG professional and have a Fine Art Degree, and Computer Science Degree. It's not a easy field to get into by any means. You usually need exceptional drawing, sculpting, modeling, and animation skills if you want to work at one of the bigger studios like Pixar, PDI, DreamWorks, and so on. One cool thing is that most of the bigger studios have added game deveopment departments, so you can get in with minimal skills and work your way up. It's also a very time consuming and stressful job, so I would recomend just dabbling in it for awhile, you have plenty of time before you are going to need to get serious about it. Don't rush it, focus on your drawing, and other traditional skills until you get out of highschool, then take classes at a art school. Most major art schools/colleges have weekend and night classes in computer graphics. Then when you've built up a good portfolio, apply to one of the art colleges computer degree programs. Then say goodbye to life as you know it! From their it's all caffeene and looking into a glowing box till the wee hours of the night, ha ha. No really, It's a very rewarding job, and you'll love it if it's wht your ment to do. You'll know right away if it's right for you, but don't get discouraged if you find the first few year are tough. Most beginners have a hard time grasping 3D environments. The usual mistake is to think that another package will be easier, and jump from package to package thinking the next will be easier, just to find it's just as difficult. Pick one and stay with it, once you learn one well, it's pretty easy to translate that knowledge to another package. Try downloading the Cinema4D Demo, it's a good starting point. Most importantly have fun, and don't forget to be a kid, most of us artist are still kids inside anyways. Spend lot of time outside and study lighting, and materials. Take lots of pictures, and look closely at nature. It's important to spend as much time away from your computer as it is with it. Computers can eat your soul away, so be carefull not to spend to much time working on 3D stuff, because it's time consuming. Take breaks every hour, because it's not uncommon to work 16 hours straight, I do it every other day!