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Video Training Review – Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Part II – Beyond The Basics With Deke McClelland From Lynda.com.

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If you have seen the Adobe Photoshop CS3 One-On-One book review that I did back a while ago, you will have some idea what all of this one-on-one stuff is all about. The Photoshop CS3 One-On-One training video's from Lynda.com are like the book, but on steroids. The DVD contains over 30 hours of one-on-one training. Because it is available online in three parts, I've broken my review into the three individual reviews that correspond with the three parts of the online training system.

For Part II, Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Beyond The Basics contains over ten hours of video training covering nine lessons that will take you to the next level of Adobe Photoshop CS3 as taught by Deke McClelland; the award winning author and Photoshop Hall-of Famer. Exercise files accompany the tutorials on the DVD as well as with the premium subscription which will give you all you need to learn the topics that are beyond the basics of Photoshop.

Lesson 10 "Masking Essentials" (75 minutes) builds off of establishing a base layer and working with the Color Range command. You will learn what to do when the Color Range falls short as well as selecting a base channel. Soon you will begin to see what you can really do with Layer Masks.

Lesson 11 "Sharpening Focus" (73 minutes) begins with some parlor tricks for edge-enhancement as well as explaining what sharpening is all about. You will learn how to use the Unsharp Mask, learn about the Radius value, and learn how to gauge the best settings. You will also learn about USM vs. Smart Sharpen, as well as whether to leave More Accurate on or off.

Lesson 12 "Blurring and Averaging" (84 minutes) starts you off with answering the question "Why the heck would you want to blur?" You will also learn of the Gaussian Blur, the Linear Box Blur, Surface Blur, the Motion Blur filter as well as other techniques for averaging skin tones and smoothing blemishes.

Lesson 13 "Layer Essentials" (45 minutes) explains the usefulness of Layers and the Layers palette. You will learn how to move a layer, erasing with a Layer Mask, how to combine Layers into a Clipping Mask and adding a frame and expanding the canvas.

Lesson 14 "Groups and Layer Comps" (42 minutes) shows you how to organize your layers and how to assemble a base composition. You will learn how to add adjustment layers, create a layer group and group selected layers. You will also be introduced to layer comps and how to save your layer comps.

Lesson 15 "Opacity and Blend Modes" (83 minutes) quickly shows you the kind of power there is in blend modes. You will learn the difference between Opacity and Fill Opacity as well as how to change the values. The author also explains the lightening modes, contrast modes, comparative mode, composite modes and the brush only modes.

Lesson 16 "Transform, Warp, and Liquefy" (87 minutes) will explain how to scale a layer to fit a composition, replay the last transformation, and what are skews and perspective style distortions. You will learn of the envelope-style Warp function, the Liquefy command, how to adjust brush settings, and how to incrementally undo undesirable effects.

Lesson 17 "Vanishing Point 2.0" (68 minutes) is about planes and perspective. Here you will learn about Vanishing Point 2.0 and how you can take a non-perpendicular surface and wrap around multiple surfaces at a time. You will learn how to draw out perpendicular planes, bending the image to its new home, and wrap it around multiple surfaces.

Lesson 18 "Creating and Editing Text" (75 minutes) finishes this series out with "Type: The great imaging exception." Text is a different beast in Photoshop. It forces it self to its own layer as well as sometimes seems to have a mind of its own. Here you will learn how to edit vector-based text, resize the text frame, adding a ghostly shadow cast as well as many other tricks to working with type and text.

It would be helpful if you have already worked through Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Part I – The Essentials With Deke McClelland, but if you are an experienced user of Photoshop, Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Beyond The Basics will take you to the next level of understanding. I reviewed Part I in early August here on Blogcritics.

McClelland's style is entertaining, natural, and never hurried. He takes you from one point to another keeping attuned to the task at hand, but never, never falling into staleness. He constantly shows you tips and tricks that make your use of Photoshop an easier and more enjoyable experience.

You can get Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Beyond The Basics two ways. One is as part of the DVD training package Photoshop CS3 One-On-One with Deke McClelland and the other is part of the online training experience at Lynda.com. The DVD Training Package is $149 USD and contains all three complete training packages:

• Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
• Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
• Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques

The online training Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Beyond The Basics comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year which get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

I can highly recommend Photoshop CS3 One-On-One: Beyond The Basics as the perfect training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It would be of tremendous benefit to the professional looking to upgrade their skills. You can also try out most of the first lesson for free at Lynda.com. The third part of this review is already available on Blogcritics.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • http://totaltraining.com/prod/adobe/photoshop.asp Brent Hollas

    I agree, Deke has some great training. I also like his CS2 training that he did at Total Training:

    Go Deke!