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 lynda.com 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?
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.
Chapter 13, What Photoshop Can Do 2: The Eyes
It all starts off with a continuation of the ongoing Avatar project. In which I draw some big, beautiful eyes, almost from scratch.
Chapter 14, Levels and Curves
Then it’s off to the race with how to use, wrangle, and ultimately master the Levels and Curves commands. I explain how to edit the black and white points, modify gamma, apply channel-by-channel edits, lift points into a curve, and otherwise turn a lackluster photograph into one that matters. The image below starts out dreary and ends up beautiful and tactile.
Chapter 15, Sharpening Details
Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, and High Pass filters compare neighboring pixels in an attempt to convert soft detail into sharp. They often succeed, but like squirrels first getting to know each other, they may take it too far. Learn how to make these filters your fast and furious friends.
Chapter 16, Noise and Texture
Sharpening a photo makes sense. You take something soft and make it pinpoint accurate. But why blur? Lots of reasons. I mean, just look at that stunning butterfly. Can you have any doubt?
Chapter 17, Shadows, Highlights, and Contours
Every Tom, Dick, and Harriet has his or her favorite technique for rendering a faux HDR image. In which you exaggerate the luminance levels in a photo to create something more. But what about contour? What about the thoughtful creation of roundness? What about chiaroscuro? I ask you.
Chapter 18, Black & White and Colorize
I got a bit carried away with this topic. 20 movies devoted to the mixing of that perfect black-and-white photograph. And not a second wasted, I swear to you.
Chapter 19, Color Range and Refine Edge
The Color Range command is that amazing feature that selects images like you wish the magic wand would. Refine Edge is that command that Adobe has pimped through the rooftops, but is it actually any good? Here, let me show you.
Chapter 20, Text and Shape Layers
Imagine you are me and that you have been explaining how to create and format text for the last 23 years. Just saying the word “leading” reduces the space between the lines of my enthusiasm. All I can say is, I newly discovered text and shape layers in these 27 movies. Despite its pixel prowess, no program handles vectors like Photoshop.
Chapter 21, Layer Effects and Styles
You photographers imagine Photoshop to be a photography program. Really, it’s all art. The things you can make using nothing more than an outline and a layer effect! These movies will have you yearning to do more.
Chapter 22, Transform, Distort, and Warp. Initially, this and the next chapter were slated to be one. And then I realized: everyone thinks of Photoshop as being that program that distorts reality. Let’s put it through its paces. All I can tell you is Photoshop (and its robotic friend below) distort reality just fine.
Chapter 23, Puppet Warp and Liquify
Every time I post a video on the Liquify filter, it garners more views than I could possibly imagine. This chapter not only covers Liquify, but also its modern cousin, Puppet Warp. I do things with the latter that I haven’t seen anyone attempt. Including molding an image to a shape and twisting a guy into a one-leg-forward-another-leg-back pretzel.
Chapter 24, Adobe Camera Raw
I originally planned to take it easy on this topic. After all, I’m not a photographer, and if you want to learn Camera Raw, there are lots of folks more qualified than me to help you through it. But in the end, I recorded 26 movies because A) I have a decent eye, B) Camera Raw is a program unto itself, and C) I’m the guy to walk you through the technical details. Man I had a fun time with this one! (That’s my youngest below.)
This course went a long way toward reminding me why I love my job. I hope when you watch it, you feel the same way. About your endeavors, that is.
So why are you sitting there? You could be checking out the lynda.com Online Training Library as we speak. And feeling the goodness as you wait for “Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced” to arrive.