In all, we received 12 entries for Deke's Techniques: The Anything Goes Challenge. As was the case for the previous Photoshop and Illustrator Challenges, the entries are exceptional. And I have to tell you, it's truly astounding how much I've learned in the course of watching these videos, even when some of you are racing to come in right at 10 minutes. Plus, you're all so damn entertaining. You know that I know this isn't easy. And yet you guys rose to The Challenge and did a terrific job!
This time around, I am happy to announce a total of four winners, including one Grand Prize and three Finalists. Here they are:
Grand Prize: Photoshop for Math
Saša Popović (sasa) doesn't claim to be a designer. Far from it, he's a math teacher. And yet he uses Photoshop in about the most distinctive way I've seen, as a simple and practical way to record math tutorial videos, "free of advanced editing." Saša will receive $6800 in prizes, including Creative Suite 6: Design & Web Premium. In his honor, I created the following variation on his graph paper technique, which also happens to highlight each of the three Finalists. And just check out that equation at the bottom. As Saša himself will tell you, it's accurate!
Why did Saša and the others win? Well, I'll tell ya. Read more »
Coming in at Number One is Deanne Topping (pingtop), who will receive $6300 in prizes, including Creative Suite 6: Design & Web Premium. In her honor, I employed her technique, "Monogram Snowflake," to render my own swirly rune. My one addition was to reverse my first initial from the center of the snowflake. (Or perhaps it's in honor of Deanne? I'll never tell ;-)
Why did she win? You mean, in addition to the fact I could do that with her idea? Well, I'll tell ya. Read more »
Last Tuesday marked the end of the first contest in Deke's Techniques: The Challenge, which I called The Photoshop Challenge. In all, we accepted 12 submissions. And while that's a small quantity, they more than made up for it in quality. A few in particular were quite compelling, not to mention entertaining. Which made me A) proud and B) irritable, because it made my job as a judge all that harder.
Fortunately, we have a crack team of industry-leading judges, every one of whom offered up their opinions, and some of whom provided thoughtful comments (as you'll see). Every judge's opinion (including my own) was given equal weight. We merely counted up the votes and determined the winners accordingly.
That is to say, you won't have to shell out cash. But you will have to expend some attention. Because, and make no mistake about this, CS6 is one of the biggest upgrades to Photoshop since its inception.
Which is why I've created a total of 29 movies on the topic for lynda.com, including the one above and five more embedded in this post. The full 29-movie course is available, in its entirety, for free to members and non-members alike. Just click on this link, Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview, and start watching.
Meanwhile, here's my take on the product: After many months using the application, I put it in the same rarefied air as Photoshop 1 (a big upgrade from no Photoshop whatsoever), Photoshop 3 (layers!), Photoshop 5 (color management, layer effects, history, editable text), Photoshop 7 (healing, Camera Raw), and Photoshop CS3 (smart filters, 3D). Feature-wise, it's closest to the 1990's-era Photoshop 5. Because the damn thing's dripping with the stank of the spanking new. If this were a car, you'd be driving it for a month just to learn all the gizmos and then sitting in your garage just to smell the upholstery. And honestly, friends, this is one good-smelling application.
In fact, Photoshop CS6 may be the most impressive upgrade to the program since Adobe assigned the CS trademark. My two cents, love to know yours.
For example, there's the infectious tang of the dark interface, feature in the above movie. (Lightroom users will say they already had this, but this is Photoshop, so where's the comparison?) The darkness is calming and it allows you to focus on your image without the distraction of the bright stuff around the edges. On the PC, it looks like the image below. On the Mac, it's topped off by a light gray menu bar, which sucks, but it's a necessity of the light OS. Click the image below to see a full-res view.
So I decided to try out an experiment, in the form of an 11-page PDF companion. Available for free to members of dekeOnline, this file provides a few helpful services: First, it provides an introduction to the course as a whole. Second, it outlines the contents of each of the nine chapters, including the names of all 128 movies. Third, it provides links to the free movies, of which there are 12 in all. (It is lynda.com's custom to make 10 percent of any course free to non-members.) And finally, I recommend what I consider to be the three most useful movies in each chapter. All links are live, but to see the linked movies, you'll need an Internet connection, you'll have to be a member of the lynda.com Online Training Library, and you'll need to be logged into the lynda.com Web site.