As It has remained the undisputed champion of all digital image editing packages for as long as is convenient for anyone to remember, Adobe's Photoshop software program is an indispensable tool for professionals and laymen alike. Photoshop has been evolving continually since its inception and with all the dynamic refinement that goes into each successor, you may rest assured that its latest installation, Adobe Photoshop CS, is the most powerful.
If you have already shelled out the cash for your own copy of Photoshop, or if you have it at work, then you should probably find out how to make the most of this 600 dollar piece of software. Adobe Photoshop is such a complex and powerful package that everyone from printshops to digital effects houses, graphic designers, and professional and amateur photographers everywhere deify it and rely on its support for daily subsistence. There are classes at your local colleges that you can take if you are in need of instruction(my digital imaging class cost me 650 dollars per credit some three years ago at a private college). Or you can buy a book or two and try to decipher our written English Language filled with all its vagaries and subjective connotative descriptions into something you can apply practically on the computer screen. But how about an alternative option that allows a reasonable compromise between all the perks of self teaching and those offered in a classroom setting? Is there something out there that will allow you the affordability and flexibility of a self-teaching option and all the convenience of having a personal mentor at your side?
This kind of experience is exactly what the good people of Total Training Inc. sought out to provide with their series of DVD videos dedicated solely to tuning your fumbling infantile attempts at Photoshop proficiency into the genuine article. With over 24 hours of training on 7 instructive disks and an accompanying project files disk, students of Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS will learn everything they need to know to gain complete mastery over what can be an otherwise overwhelming program. The tutorials go over every aspect of the software. Not only does it cover everything from photo color correction and touchups to layer compositing, digital painting, and filter usage, but it also shows you how to become more efficient at carrying out these tasks. By offering techniques in workspace management, hotkey instruction, and tips for things like file size, resolution, and color theory, Total Training will not only show you what to do, but also why what you are doing is important.
Deke McClelland Instructs from his private casino.
Deke McClelland, the author of over 50 instructive books dedicated to digital graphics, imaging and design, is your silver screen instructor and with his playful attitude and pun pumping rhetoric, he is not only the opposite of the authoritarian professors you had in high school or college, but is also your prophet and new best friend as you descend into the depths of this uncharted new terrain. McClelland's lucid and resonating voice fills students with a healthy confidence and allows them to feel that they have the ability to learn Photoshop regardless of past experience. The learning tutorials are set up in an intuitive chronological fashion for beginners, who won't get left behind if they are unfamiliar with the software at the starting line. As for the people who profess to have intimate relations with Photoshop, myself being one of them, you may be as embarrassed as I was to find out just how little you know about various aspects of the software; tips about things like adjustment layers and selection masks are far from insignificant and I had been living with a narrow view of them prior to seeing Deke work his magic.
Tutorial snapshop: Vector Shapes.
Total Training's success seems to be a consequence of its mode of teaching. It is a complete visual experience where each student is talked and walked through every precarious step of way. It is just like watching in wide-eyed wonder at the screen of your instructor while the lesson is given. Your computer or television becomes the actual program running in real time and you watch with delight as the mouse cursor navigates carefully through each menu, sub menu, and option box, as it does, creating that vivid visual database from which your memory will be able to recall information on command. For those with a vocation for meticulousness, the comfort of a multimedia disk will allow you to replay important or vexing lessons over and over again until the knowledge sticks. It will also allow you to pause intermittently within lessons so you can work along with the teacher at a slower pace. How many teachers have you ever been able to pause in the middle of a lesson so that you could finish writing down notes before they moved on? On the flip side, the experienced or prodigious pupils can easily find lessons they need to focus on without sitting through familiar sections; the comprehensive lesson selection menu breaks it down for you.
McClelland's lesson selection menu.
Because the Total Training Tutorials are so extensive, I didn't have the opportunity to complete them all start to finish, however, I must admit that I learned about techniques unknown to me from each section I went through. Photoshop CS has tons of great new features like the Variations color correction option, Photo Montage, Shadow/Highlight, and the new Filter Gallery option among others. The amount of knowledge that is packed into these seven compact disks is truly indispensable. Rarely do you find software tutorials that are both fun and informative. I commend both Total Training Inc. and Deke McClelland. I recommend their product to all people serious about Adobe Photoshop regardless of individual skill or reason for using the software.
Total Training offers Instructional videos for other versions of Photoshop as well as other Adobe software. Be sure to visit them at www.totaltraining.com
Published on Sep 29, 2004