My Comprehensive “Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals” Goes Live

Hello and welcome. Last Friday witnessed the release of my first video course on Photoshop CS5, Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals. That’s you and me on a 17-hour, 38-minute video journey, produced and distributed by It’s the usual entertaining and exhaustive plunge into the latest version of Photoshop. But with one big difference: All but perhaps a dozen of the 194 movies in the series teach new content using new sample files. Which means > 90% new content.

Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One

Now, I realize that 194 movies, averaging roughly 5 minutes apiece, might seem like a daunting proposition. In fact—and here’s an interesting statistic—if you watch just one movie a day, it’ll take you another 194 days (!) to get through them all. (Admittedly, I had to use a calculator to figure that out, but after checking my math, I believe it’s accurate.)

Here’s a visual outline of the series:


These initial movies explain how to establish Photoshop as your default image editor (our #1 PC tech support issue), install dekeKeys, and load the Best Workflow CS5 color settings.

Chapter 1, What Photoshop Can Do, Part 1: The Avatar.

I first showed how to transform a portrait photo into an Avatar-style Na’vi in Photoshop Top 40, Feature #2: The Layers Palette. Now’s your chance to work through the steps of creating the composition with me, or just watch the process unfold in detail. Note that this is the first of a three-part project that continues in the Advanced and Mastery courses. The image below shows the progress we make in Chapter 1, from base photograph to big-eyed, blue-faced proto-alien.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 1

Bear in mind, that’s just the beginning. The final Na’vi features enhanced eyes, warpaint, and foliage.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Final Na'vi

Chapter 2, Setting Up ‘Shop.

A few movies on adjusting the preferences, understanding the interface, and setting up a custom (better-than-default) workspace. Nothing exciting, but important info.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 2

Chapter 3, Opening and Organizing.

An exhaustive tour of the independent Bridge application and Photoshop’s built-in Mini Bridge, featuring a grab-bag of photographs in desperate need of organization and annotation. Such as this one of my youngest apparently relishing the sensation of getting his head smashed.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 3

Chapter 4, Navigation.

Everything you wanted to know about zooming, panning, rotating, and otherwise manipulating the view of your image on screen. This chapter features four images from the Fotolia microstock library, including this stellar piece from Ilsur Gareev.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 4

Chapter 5, Image Size and Resolution.

Everything you ever wanted to know about downsampling, bicubic interpolation, image size, and resolution, including comparisons of upsampling images in Photoshop and onOne Software’s Genuine Fractals.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 5

Chapter 6, Cropping and Straightening.

Learn how to crop and straighten your photographs using a variety of tools and commands, including the new Straighten button which does both. This is one of the very few chapters that features an image I’ve used before, including this (altogether unretouched) one of my oldest communicating with mysterious visitors (?), back when he was very young and had special powers.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 6

Chapter 7, Basic Color Correction.

This chapter explores Photoshop most elementary color-correction functions, including Brightness/Contrast, Color Balance, Variations, Vibrance, and Hue/Saturation, which I employed to change the sweater and hair color below. I also introduce you to such essential concepts as the histogram, the Fade command, adjustment layers, and the target adjustment tool.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 7

Chapter 8, Making Selections.

Learn how to make good use of Photoshop’s automated selection tools, even such underperformers as the magic wand and quick selection tools (neither of which is particularly magic or quick). I also include a preview of the enhanced Refine Edge command. Projects include the ominous composition below, assembled using the rectangular and elliptical marquee tools.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 8

Chapter 9, Retouching and Healing.

I seem to have a twisted aesthetic sensibility, and it doesn’t get much more twisted than making you look at my empty staring face for an hour. Hopefully, this grim, sometimes terrifying examination of the brush, dodge, burn, sponge, history brush, patch, and healing brush tools will scare you into a world of better work habits.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 9

Chapter 1, Layer Essentials.

Learn the most essential tricks for working with layers inside Photoshop. You’ll create a synthetic star field, a dark-matter len flare, and a pattern of declining martini glasses—the last using Photoshop’s little-known power-duplication function.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 1

Chapter 11, Printing, PDF, and Web Gallery.

You haven’t experienced the joys of printing until you’ve tested the color fidelity of your inkjet printer. Plus, we’ll export a PDF contact sheet and an HTML Web Gallery from the Bridge. (The image below hails from Jason Stitt of the Fotolia microstock library.)

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 11

Chapter 12, Saving Images for the Web.

The final chapter examines how to export graphics for use on the Web, complete with copyright and other necessary metadata, in the JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats—and get splendid results.

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, Chapter 12

And that’s it, my friends. My hope is that while you’re in it and when you’re done,  you’ll be glad you made the journey.

Next entry:Best Workflow CS5: The Ideal Color Settings for Photoshop and CS5

Previous entry:Coming very soon, to a small screen near you


  • Simple Question

    If you look at this cool new image on Adobe’s web site (found by going to the photoshop extended section here:  You will find this amazing surrealistic fantasy like image.  OK, whats the deal.  How long would it take to do something like this?  Did this take a team of Adobe engineers 2 months to finish or is this a 2 week project for a man on a mission.  Also, is this image mostly photographs or is it mostly created from scratch?  I see these things and it makes me wonder if I could ever reach this level of proficiency.  Come on Deke - shoot me an answer on this one!

  • Where should beginners start?

    Deke, I like your sarcasm but if you say at the beginning I’ll be compelled to slap you when I meet you in person!  wink  On a serious note.  I have and CS5 and for sake of argument (as it’s most likely true) I have NO Photoshop Experience whatsoever.  I understand to start with the first video on CS5 but if I have older versions too would you recommend starting somewhere else first?  I tried following the CS4 lessons but as I have zero knowledge on the product I kept getting lost.  Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

  • I am not Deke

    But I think I can answer your question.  I have been using photoshop since version 7.  I have a strong proficiency across the entire application.  My problem is that I am just not that creative and I can’t draw very well but I can put together some decent stuff once I have a solid idea.

    I started watching Deke when he was working at Total Training (around version 7 timeframe).  No matter what series your interested there are three things you need to do in order to be ensure comprehension. 

    1. Overall its better to make sure your using the same version of the software that the videos are based on.

    2. ALWAYS start with the Fundamentals series then move to Advanced and then Mastery.

    3. Download the practice files and follow along - try to perform the same tasks - pause as much as needed.

    One extra tip is sometimes it is helpful to watch a group of videos on a specific topic (say masks) at one time without even touching the computer.  Just to get a sense of what the goal is and what tools are used in order to accomplish the tasks associated with that topic.  Then go back at the videos one at a time, and try to follow along!


  • Missing panels?

    In chapter 2, “Setting Up ‘Shop”, movie 6, “Creating and saving a workspace”, you talk about two panels, “Character Styles” and “Paragraph Styles”, and even open them, but in my Ps, those two panels are not available in the list, in fact, I’ve just checked the Essential Training series and they aren’t available there either. What happened there? Are they gone? Where have the features in those panels go?

  • Of character and paragraph styles

    I haven’t heard anything about those features in a while. And given that the panel icons magically disappear in Chapter 7 (which I recorded a few weeks later using a different beta), I’m guessing they hit the cutting room floor.

    I have an email into a couple of product managers to confirm. If necessary, we’ll make an edit. Thanks for the heads up!

    At least you have a sense for the sort of features Adobe would like to add to Photoshop. grin

  • re: simple question - nor am I Deke

    Having had some experience with Adobe’s reality distortion field, I can almost guarantee that this was a team project…...and BTW it is an animated Flash file…..not a static image.

    But, yes, you can create such an image in Photoshop…...with a little help from Illustrator and maybe an 3D app as well…..but really….who knows? More to the point, who cares? Photoshop is a tool that is used by many people for many things in many disciplines. Most of us mortals carve out a niche which allows us to create what we need. Some freaks like Deke (and a handful of others) make it their business to know PS inside out. (OK, the use of the word “freak” is meant to convey my awe at how Deke can have a life and know as much about PS as he does…....I don’t think I’m alone in this)

    Back to Adobe. They want to sell the software, and don’t care how far from reality they need to lead you to do it. PS is a rockin’ great app, but takes years to master…..there is no quick fix.

    That is all.

  • Control+H

    I found that control+H cannot hide the selection outline; instead, by dekeKeys, it links to “Extras”. My question is, how to hide the selection outline? Thanks.

  • CTRL + H

    Ctrl + H is not a (so-called) “Deke Key”... it’s the shortcut (hotkey) that comes with PS CS5.

    and, as such, it works perfectly in the two installs we’ve done.  YES..  if you pull down the “view” menu you will see that what Adobe (for some reason) calls “extras” is called by Ctrl+H but… it works as advertised.

    Simple test…. load any image, make a quick selection with the Marque tool, then do a “Ctrl+H”... the marching ants vanish and then the the same hotkey combo brings ‘em back.  What more would you have it do?

  • missing panels (not)

    I’m not sure if the user is complaining that these two panels are missing in Photoshop itself or missing in the training video… but they sure as heck exist in our copies of CS5.

    If not already moved into position on/in the panel(s)... they’re readily available in the pulldown “window” menu.

  • Missing panels (YES :))

    I dont know what version are you using, but there is NO char and paragraph styles panels.

    I really doubt people would “forget” to look under window menu before come here to ask “Where the heck they are?” smile

    We are still waiting from Deke and product managers on this one.


  • v12.0 (CS5) extended

    That version and, as the years go by, I’ve learned that nothing people do, forget and/or overlook surprises me :(

    Sadly, we’ve come to a point in time, computer wise, that if there is not a cute little icon where somone expects one to be… it’s panic time :(

    BTW and FYI - I would not have posted my comment if (a) I were not running a current version and (b) said panels were not there and fully useable.

    Please feel free to view a screen cap at:

  • I’m not surprised you

    I’m not surprised you overlooked the actual panels in the discussion, these are not the “character” and “paragraph”, but the “character styles” and “paragraph styles”. Just watch the movies I’ve mentioned in the first comment and you’ll catch up with the discussion.

  • Overlooking things is for people

    You’ve learned that people overlook things. Now you need to learn that you can make mistake and overlook things too smile

    So, as some of us stated, we still wait for “Dekemaster’s” answer and explanation! Give it to us! raspberry

  • Character & paragraph styles cut @ 11th hour (JNack blog)

    John Nack commented on this is one of his blog post.

    10:18 AM on April 12, 2010 Reply to this comment

    ...I’m a little more interested in the not-so-impressive ones though. I’ve looked through the website, but haven’t been able to find any information about any text updates in Photoshop. Any idea if there’s character / paragraph styles?

    [Sorry, Jesse, I’m afraid not. I don’t know whether this makes it better or worse, but we had to cut character & paragraph styles from CS5 at the 11th hour. I know they’re something people (esp. Web designers) really want, and making the decision to hold off support until a later release was a real bummer. I think everyone would agree, however, that it’s preferable to do fewer things better than to ship buggy stuff that’s not ready for prime time.—J.]

  • My bad for not getting back to this

    But, yes, Character and Paragraph Styles got the yank. Meanwhile, the Bridge’s Export panel doesn’t actually work yet (missing modules, which are due sometime in the nearish future) and Image > Adjust > Variations is for all intents and purposes dead on the Mac. (Works in 32-bit and 64-bit under Windows, but just 32-bit on the Mac, which rules out most Mac folks.)

    I’m especially looking forward to Export working. In beta, it permitted you to batch-convert raw files to JPEGs without scripting thru Photoshop. It was fast and seamless and I already miss it.

  • Photoshop CS5 Problems


    This might not be the proper venue for these comments/questions but I am having a fair number of problems with Photoshop CS5 in 64 bit mode.  I work on a Quad Core Mac Pro with 8MB RAM set to about 5400 in Photoshop Preferences and also have a whole 1 TB hard drive dedicated as a scratch disk. 

    What I am experiencing is that Commands like Merge to HDR, Photomerge, Load into Photoshop Layers crash when I attempt to use them.  Also I have recently found that many of your multi-layered PSD files will not load into Photoshop from Bridge.  At first I though it was the size of the files (~20 MB), then I found similar size files with only a few layers which loaded appropriately.  Finally, all of these functions work fine in 32 bit mode despite the niggardly amount of RAM allowed in 32 bit mode.

    Are other people having these problems?  It would be helpful to know whether these problems are specific to my system or not at the least.  Also Deke ,since you have the ear of Adobe engineers, perhaps you could pass this on.  I have tried the Forums in Adobe but no luck so far.

    Herman R.

  • CS5 Avatar Project

    Hi Deke and Everyone

    I am and have been a member of for a few years now,  So when I called the tect team asking for some good directions on a project for college I need to complete this by 9/20 they said do Deke’s Avatar project.  So I thought great, I can do this and turn it in by the 20th completed and printed out.

    So here I am, seems they forgot to let me in one FACT that the final version of the Avatar was not posted and would not be tell Oct sometime.  So here I am with a almost complete Avatar and my PELL and STUDENT loans hanging in the balance.  I Need help and I need it fast, either with written instructions or some links on how to complete this.  I was really looking forward to using the paint and doing this background.  Everything is completed on her as I followed both Pt 1 and 2.  Can you help? or anyone…  anyone at all.

    my email is Thanks everyone.. Melanie

    If your lost, then read the map.


    yep, I do have the same problem….

    I have an Intel i7, 12GB DDR3, 3 HD’s.. 2X1TB ‘n 1X500GB…  Running Win7 64Bit. I dedicated 1TB HD as scratch disk as well.

    When working with multiple/big files PS CS5., 98% percent of the time PS will crash or the disk full error will appear..

    Can anyone help?????

  • hide selections

    very simple…

    Ctrl + H or click on View Extras option

  • hiding the marching ants

    I have the same problem and the reply below doesn’t help me. I have CS5 on a Mac. Have you found a solution?

  • Installing \“One on One\” for CS2

    OK, I am slow to get around to things. I am trying to install the CS2 lessons on my Mac running Snow Leopard and I get the message “invalid source pathname”. I realize I have an ancient version of Photoshop and a newer computer but can I somehow put the lessons on my computer now?

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