Book Is Done. I Am Back.

Hey, gang. Just a brief note to let you all know that I and my team have finished work on the project that has recently consumed our every waking moments, the forthcoming book Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One. Believe it or not, all 512 pages of it went to the printer today, with all 6 hours of companion video edited and ready to go. While I slept like a baby, my designer David Futato and lead editor Carol Person were up until the wee hours generating the final PDF documents. (Thanks to them both!) And while no one is going to accuse me of being overly timely---Illustrator CS5 started shipping about the same time as Columbus---I'm convinced that we've managed to create the best book that we could, as well as the best title in the One-on-One series.

Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One

The book should be available for purchase in about three weeks. For real. I'm no longer the boy who cried "Illustrator book!" I'll actually have one. Read more » 

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Photoshop Mastery, Celtic Knots, and Other Mysterious Digressions

Well, gang. As many of you know, I've been remiss on the site lately. But only because I'm fulfilling my contractual obligations. Including this, check it out: I figured out how to create a Celtic knot in Illustrator. If that sounds like ho hum, big ole deal---I politely beg to differ. The illustration below contains not only paths that flow in and out of each other---meaning that one path can be simultaneously in front and in back of another, which is fundamentally not even sorta something you can do---but also paths that weave in and out of themselves. Themselves, I say! Which is not only currently impossible, but theoretically improbable within the construct of a vector-driver computer graphics application. And yet, it can happen---not in the future but right-this-second-now---thanks to the near-limitless depths of Live Paint combined with the seemingly infinite obsession of yours truly. (Let me make it clear: These are three shapes, filled with gradients, interacting with each other. And nothing---but much, much, much---more.)

A Celtic knot pattern in Adobe Illustrator CS5

My sidekick Colleen is the one who put me up to this challenge, so blame her for my lack of posting as of late. (Ha! I love blaming stuff on Colleen!) Incidentally, this will be part of "Chapter 17, Live Paint" in my forthcoming Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced video course for, which will be available in November.

I'll come back to that topic in a moment. In the meantime, the final leg of my video bible on Photoshop CS5, Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, is live and ready for viewing on the Online Training Library. Read more » 

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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced Goes Live

Some of you have been asking when my Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced series is coming out. And I was all prepared to tell you this Friday. But, being the incredible juggernaut of a video publisher that they are, began releasing it today. Chapters 13 thru 18 are up this very second. That's more than 100 movies, so it should keep you occupied for now. (If not, I totally suck.) The remaining Chapters 19 thru 24 will be up in 10 days.

Here's a live-action frame from the series. My director told me that, in retrospect, my spendy Elie Tahari shirt "looked a little disco." Let me assure you that this is one of the best shirts I've ever owned. It's a matte forest green with some excellent under-collar and inner-sleeve highlights. In the video, I don't look disco, I look positively wet. Meaning that I glisten. Like someone is misting me. Which is not necessarily what you want in a training video. But it's what you get.


That said, who gives a tinker's gumph what I look like? Read more » 

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I Just Finished Recording All My Video Series "Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced"

Tonight I finished recording the 228th screen-capture for my comprehensive course, "Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced," the second installment in my cradle-to-grave Photoshop CS5 video series for the vast and unparalleled Online Training Library. I'm told I submitted more than 34 hours, unedited. For the record, that brings the total number of my Photoshop CS5 movies to 436. And I still have the Mastery course to go (plus perhaps a little something more).

If that seems gratuitous, bear in mind a couple of things: First, Photoshop is a gargantuan program, one that requires a certain amount of attention to fully understand. Second, as much as it might sometimes seem to the contrary, I take no pleasure in exploring topics that you won't find useful. I have constrained myself to 436 videos because I decided to kill a few hundred others that, on balance, seemed a tad bit overindulgent. Besides, the surviving videos are an entertaining and educational lot, so really, who the hell's counting?

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Oh, and one more: When I pimped my Fundamentals course a month or two back, I mentioned that it includes more than 90% new content. Which remains true. But this time around, it's 100% new. Which, by my reckoning, means the Advanced course is all new. (The first time I did the math, I divided 100 by 100 and got 1. Obviously, I have a bad calculator.) Every stinkin' lickin' bit of it. Above you see an image from the course. One that almost killed me. And yet, I live and there's more to tell. Read more » 

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Why I've Been So Absent (A Father's Day Post)

A few of you may have noticed that I've been inexplicably missing the last few days. In part, that's because my sensational team and I have been working late into the night getting Adobe Photoshop CS5 One-on-One (the book) to press. It boasts a revamped outline, gobs of new sample files and exercises, and just shy of 5 hours of video (4 hours and 50 minutes to be exact). Colleen, my industrious editor on these projects, will provide more details on Monday.

Meanwhile, when not working on the book, I've been altogether preoccupied with my personal life. Specifically---and very much in keeping with Father's Day---the one involving my powerful sons, Max and Sam. Saturday, for example, the two engaged in a swim meet. (Swimming was the only sport I lettered in, so the apples remain close to the tree.) My contribution was to cheer them on and draw Marks Of The Warriors on their backs, as pictured below. That's Max on the left and Sam on the right.

Max and Sam

CGI: 0. Sharpie and freehand fumbling: 100. Read more » 

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