The two most popular packages are Adobe PhotoShop and Jasc Paint Shop Pro. Both offer expandability through "plug-ins" and have a wide variety of tools to create and even animate your avatar and graphics.
PhotoShop is the "industry standard" for professional bitmap editing tools, but it's also the more expensive of the two packages. For more information, see Adobe.
Paint Shop Pro is quite capable of doing just about everything that PhotoShop can do, but costs a lot less money. For more information, see Jasc Software.
A much less expensive alternative to Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop is Ulead Gif Animator. While not as powerful as PSP or PS in terms of tools and capabilities, it has the advantage of being compatible with all of their plug-ins and filters and comes with many of its own, allowing the user affordable albeit dynamic animation potential. For more information, see Ulead.
Submitted by: Rockster
Macromedia Fireworks is another alternative to the above software. It is a powerful stand-alone graphics editor, which is capable of manipulating animations, instead of using a separate program to do it. It supports all the plug-ins and filters that are available for Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, and is priced reasonably well. Student and various other discounts are available as well, making it even more affordable. For more information, see Macromedia Website.
Submitted by: lemekim
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