February 15, 2007

Exercise your brain

Posted in Blogroll, Commentary, OSX Software at 8:46 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

One of the best things about the digital revolution and the internet is all the new ways to get training resources. I have personally made several tutorials using different tools on the PC like Camtasia, Robohelp and others. They worked pretty well but my experience with video and DVD editing on the PC was sorely lacking. In fact, making DVDs and movies was one of the primary reasons for moving to the Mac as my main workstation.

Since those days, I have become much more interested in Photoshop, Video making and making custom DVDs. And I have taken a few classes on Photoshop but then tend to be very expensive. Of course, this leads to an interest in sound and apps such as Audio Highjack and others. I have been searching for self help/Tutorial videos and books to help me learn these applications without spending a small fortune. I have decided to share a few opinions of what I have found so far. Right now my current tutorial is from Software Cinema which has a range of DVD products. The tutorial is for Photoshop and is called “Image Restoration, Repair and Enhancement”. I bought a second one called “The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting” which is four DVDs. I bought these DVDs blind, I had not read any reviews but I had a need for the restoration DVD and lighting has always attracted me for setting moods with my pictures. I did have some experience with one of their instructors, Jack Davis, from my Geek Cruise where Jack taught some Photoshop classes and some of the shorebased photo sessions. So I had a decent reason to blindly trust that the videos would be worth the money, Jack had put on some great classes and I strongly recommend his DVD called “How to WOW”.

I started with Image Restoration and I was pleasantly surprised. While Katrin Eismann (the narrator and the teacher) is not as polished as some, she is effective and has a nice, informal way of presenting information. Here is a couple of the topics included on the DVDs.

Session 05 : Removing and Repairing Stains
In this session you will learn how to make quick work of image oxidation, staining, and strong color shifts. In addition, you’ll learn to inspect the image channels to identify where the damage is the worst and where there is hidden image information you can take advantage of.

Session 06 : Extreme Color Correction
In this session you will learn how to conquer the strongest colorcasts and contaminations. In addition, you’ll learn the value of neutral and how to share adjustment layers to make quick work of correcting numerous images.

Session 07 : Rebuilding Color
In this session you will learn how to repair extreme damage caused by light leaks and color decomposition. In addition, you’ll work with the Apply Image command and learn the basics of hand coloring images.

There are 15 sessions on the DVD and they cover a wide assortment of training on how to restore your precious images. My need came from a pile of pictures from my dad who had been ready to toss them out as unimportant. This small project gives me the motivation to really play with Photoshop in depth and right now, I’m working with the CS3 beta for Intel Macs. The good news is that the differences between CS2 and the CS3 beta are small so I can use this DVD with CS3. I did find an interesting feature of the DVD is that if you run CS while you run the DVD, when you watch the DVD and then click to bring CS up front, the DVD pauses. This is a great feature and I dont know if it is intentional or accidental but I like it alot 🙂 I watch and listen to how to adjust the black point using a mask and I can click CS and try it right away without alot of fuss or muss.

A favorite book right now (and I have several) is called the Photoshop CS2 HELP DESK BOOK by Dave Cross. This is nicely finished book with high quality coated paper, glossy images and print. The book is filled with questions and answers written in a clear and concise answers. The question is in black and the answer is in red which is a bit distracting on the bright white paper but still usable.

Where to start when things don’t work: from tool settings to re-installing Photoshop

• The most common warning dialogs: why they appears, how to fix them, and how to avoid them

• The Photoshop CS2 Checklist: what to check when things go wrong, or before you start working, to help avoid problems

• Solutions to typical problems when using the Adobe Creative Suite

• How to avoid problems by creating flexible documents (adjustment layers, layer masks, groups, smart object, layer comps, and more)

• Frequently asked questions—and their answers—in all key areas of Photoshop CS2:
• general operations (palettes, workspaces, menus, etc.)
• color (CMYK, color management, spot color, choosing color, etc.)
• type
• selections
• making adjustments
• layers
• preferences and settings
• image capture (resolution, Camera Raw, file size)
• sizing (canvas size, image size, copping)
• automation (actions, batch, built-in automation commands)
• common image problems (exposure, focus, noise, color cast, etc.)
• painting (brushes, choosing color)
• output (web, PDF, video, printing)
• special effects (filters, layer styles)
• tools (that don’t fit into any other category)

• How to customize Photoshop CS2 to work the way you want it to (actions, menus, workspaces, shortcuts, preferences)

• How to make your own brushes, swatches, shapes, styles, and patterns

This is an excellent ready reference book to have right next to you while you work with CS2 and CS3 to a great extent.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: