What's the best software to teach talented youth digital tools for design?
July 11, 2012 2:51 PM   Subscribe

What's the best software to teach talented youth digital tools for design?

My 8-yr old loves to illustrate, and wants to extend his interests via graphic design software. He uses Bitstrips all the time, and loves it. But I want to encourage him down a path of motion graphics animation. I have a background in that kind of work, and I think he could have a great career by the time he's out of college. I want to get him started sooner.

What is an easier Mac program that will allow him to explore his creativity digitally, but not so dumbed down that it limits him to kid stuff (like KidPix)? Illustrator and Photoshop are just way too complicated for his attention span. I searched for previous related questions, but didn't see any. Thanks!
posted by ValveAnnex to Education (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Pixelmator might be a good stepping stone to Photoshop, perhaps on the more complicated side than on the kid-stuff side. But it's worth taking a look at, I think.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:07 PM on July 11, 2012

Two pieces of software related to the 'motion graphic animation' part of your question are:

SAM animation

Scratch programming

I use both with students (K-8) with much success. I just checked and they both have Mac versions.
posted by atlantica at 5:23 PM on July 11, 2012

Oh and I was just looking at this page too, you might find something there:

ICT Mindtools
posted by atlantica at 5:33 PM on July 11, 2012

Photoshop and Illustrator. That way the kids have a marketable skill. Get them started early!
posted by swooz at 8:36 PM on July 11, 2012

If a child can use MS Paint, they can use Photoshop, it just has more buttons. I got a demo of Paint Shop Pro when I was about 12 or 13 and started from there.

Illustrator is way harder to learn the basics, but once you know them you can do pretty much anything. I was around 21 when I started using Illustrator at art school.

Graphic Designer of 6+ years now : )
posted by stackhaus23 at 12:52 AM on July 12, 2012

Also, remember it's not all about software and computers. They should try different art activities, give them a cheap camera, let them try print making, if you have a camera that can shoot basic video (even an iPhone is capable)... help them edit together a little movie in iMovie or something.

People sometimes forget that a computer is just a tool, albeit one that can do a lot of things, but just because someone can operate a computer, it doesn't always equal creativity.
posted by stackhaus23 at 12:54 AM on July 12, 2012

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