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