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Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners scores a dead center bulls-eye getting the inexperienced user productive and up to speed quickly.

Video Training Review – Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners With Dave Cross From NAPP

Released in June 2007, Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners is the new video training DVD for those who are just beginning to learn Adobe Photoshop. It is hosted by Dave Cross ,the senior education and curriculum director for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, or NAPP. If you are not familiar with NAPP, please read my review on Photoshop User magazine to gain more insight on what NAPP is all about and why you might want to join.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners is contained on a single DVD that runs 140 minutes and can only be used on a computer based system. It is aimed at new and relativity inexperienced Photoshop users. The author goes over the basics in 24 lessons that will have you navigating Photoshop like a pro.

Lesson 1 "Key Concepts" walks you through what image size and pixel resolution means with regard to your pictures. You will also learn how image size reflects on printing. Lesson 2 "The Work Area" explores the palettes, icons, how to use the colors-swatches-styles palettes, hiding palettes, as well as saving your workspace.

Lesson 3 "Navigating" will guide you through using Actual Pixels to make decisions on your image corrections, use of the Navigator Palette instead of the scroll bars to move around images, and moving between documents. Lesson 4 "Tool Overview" covers the use of some of the tools available to you within Photoshop. Lesson 5 "Changing Your Mind" examines the use of undo, step backward and the history palette. It also covers the initial use of the Layers functionality as well as how to save a file in different ways.

Image courtesy NAPPLesson 6 "Making Selections 1" shows you how to use the Marquee tool, Magic Wand tool and the Quick Select tool to make selections. Lesson 7 "Making Selections 2" covers the Lasso tool, the Magnetic Lasso tool and the Polygonal Lasso tool to make more complex selections. Lesson 8 "Bonus Lesson 1" covers some tips to save time and work smarter while making your selections.

Lesson 9 "Layers 1" gets started on what many consider to be the most important feature in Photoshop, Layers. It gives you the power to do many things without compromising your original image. Lesson 10 "Layers 2" explains how to reorder your layers and select multiple layers to process as well how to group layers. Lesson 11 "Layers 3" explains how to use layer masks, what they are good for, and how best to use them. Lesson 12 "The Type Tool" examines how different the type tool is from many of the other features in Photoshop and tips and tricks to work best with it.

Lesson 13 "Adjusting Images 1" begins by showing you how to adjust the quality and brightness of your images and how to use adjustment layers to work with your photos. Lesson 14 "Adjusting Images 2" continues adjustments by working with the Shadows/Highlights control and the Hue/Saturation control. Lesson 15 "Colors and Brushes" focuses on the Color and Swatch Palette and the Color Picker tool. Lesson 16 "Bonus Lesson 2" will show you how to create your own brushes.

Lesson 17 "Intro to Filters" begins by giving you some guidelines on the key ways to use filters as well as briefly explaining the different types of filters. Lesson 18 "Filter Gallery" works with the Liquefy filter and the Reconstruct tool as well as the Filter Gallery to create layers of filters.

Lesson 19 "Retouching 1" explains how to retouch photos to lessen the blemishes on a person while still making the image look natural. You will learn about the Spot Healing brush and the Healing Brush. Lesson 20 "Retouching 2" continues by working with the Clone Stamp tool as well as with selections to restrict the area to be fixed.

Lesson 21 "Resizing 1" focuses on changing the size of the image by use of the image size menu and re-sampling the image. Lesson 22 "Resizing 2" does the same but now with the Crop tool. Lesson 23 "Saving and Output" walks you through the print dialog and talks a little about color management. Finally, lesson 24 "Bonus Lesson 3" You create a montage and work with the Free Transform tool and Layer Styles.

What impressed me most about Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners is how much is packed into this DVD. I thought that in 140 minutes that only the basics could be covered. But what Dave Cross has done is put together a very streamlined and targeted curriculum that flows like an arrow to its target and hits the bulls-eye dead center; getting the inexperienced user productive and up to speed quickly.

If you want to learn Photoshop and learn it the right way then Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners is the perfect place to begin. Not only is it NAPP certified, but it is taught by one of the foremost trainers in the world. Cross' no-nonsense method of training will have you picking up Photoshop up in no time.

The retail price of Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Beginners is $69.99 USD. You can get it from PhotoshopTraining for $62.99 USD, an 11% discount, but for NAPP members it is only $54.99 a savings of 22%. There is an online version as well available from PhotoshopVideos, again $69.95 USD Retail and $49.95 USD for NAPP members.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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