Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp

 

Lesson Info

Toolbars, Menus and Windows

We need to get our interface set up to a way that we like it. And opening up Photoshop initially, this is something rather new. This screen that you're seeing here. This is the let's start a project, opening up in Photoshop type thing. For me, being an avid Photoshop user of the last almost 20 years, this is very new to me. It's actually kind of frustrating. So there's some settings in here that I can change so that this doesn't appear. However, you're a beginner and you've never used Photoshop before, this can be a great screen to get used to how to open up an image in Photoshop. What file sizes you want to open up. So if we go into create a new document, for instance. This is actually a window into some of my other files and folders. At the end of this, we're gonna circle back and I'm gonna talk about what this CC files means. But this area allows us to open any recent documents that we've opened in Photoshop. It's a quick access type of thing when we're in this recent section. If we...

go into CC files... I'll show you what this when we get to the very end this. But the one I want to show here is create new. If we create a new document, it's gonna open up a window that looks like this. And this is all within this kinda opening sequence to Photoshop. What you're gonna see me do, and throughout the rest of this course, is I'm gonna go ahead and shut that off to show you how you can do that. If you want to keep that open, it's 100% up to you. Because when I create a new document, I like my new documents to open up like the did in the CS5 and CS6 days. I know I'm really dating some of this stuff that I've done here. But to me, there's too many options for this here, especially being someone who's a seasoned user of Photoshop. But as a beginner, it's a great place to start. It's a great working space and what you're gonna find, is that as you get more proficient with Photoshop and understanding Photoshop, you will need these two screens less and less. So I'm gonna go ahead and just close this down and I'm just gonna open up this photograph. So now I told you that we have different cabinets. We have different areas within our image in our workspace that we can use to our advantage to get it setup like we want it to. One of those was the toolbars and the other one was the windows and also the menus along the top. So just for clarification purposes, menus are gonna be up here along the top. As I said before, these menus are actually... They're hard coded into the software and you can't change what's being visible up there. Toolbars are over here on the left. This is what I call a primary toolbar where I put my working tools. And then I have a secondary toolbar, which is this toolbar right here where I put things like panels and other things that I use in Photoshop that help assist the tool. So I keep those apart. I like to know when I'm in a tool. I'm in that tool and that tool is over on the left hand side. And then if I need to know the properties of that tool, it can be beneficial to have those in the secondary tab along with all of my other working space that you see on the right hand side of Photoshop there. So let's first talk about setting up the left hand side in our toolbar and getting our toolbar setup to the way we want it to be. Because there's these things in here called workspaces and I'll get to workspaces in a minute. But workspaces, when you set them, allow you to set a default for all of your tools, all of your windows, so that it's kinda like if you had a kitchen and I wanted my kitchen to look exactly like your kitchen, I could press your kitchen's button and magically, voila, my kitchen looks like yours. All set up exactly the same way. Same thing happens here with workspaces in Photoshop. What happens with those workspaces is each workspace not only has its own windows setup a certain way on the right hand side, but it also has certain tools setup for you and prescribed for you. And the workspaces are right up here. So you can see these workspaces up here. We have Blake, that's mine. We have 3D. We have Graphic and Web, Motion, Painting, Photography. Then if you go down here we have Reset Photography, so reset anything I might have done to this specific workspace. New workspace and delete workspace. When you click one of these... If we just click on, let's say, painting. All of Photoshop is going to change now. The toolbars on the left are gonna change. The windows on the right are gonna change because if I'm a painter, I might want to have a color palette here, rather than, say, the properties of a curves adjustment layer. But then if I change this over to Photography, the whole canvas, the whole workspace changes to make this more efficient for me as a photographer. But something's happening there. An assumption. The assumption is that this is how you want this to be setup because you're a photographer. When in reality, you may not want your setup exactly like this. But workspaces are very important. So we're gonna start with the toolbars. So right over here on the toolbar, you're gonna see these three dots. If you right click on those three dots, you can see edit toolbar. And again, lots of options are coming up all over the place. What do we do? Oh my gosh. Get out. It's scary. Too many things to read. What you see here is this toolbar, this customized toolbar dialogue that we have here exactly mimics and mirrors what's happening over on our toolbar on the left hand side. So you can see anything in a toolbar that has a little dropdown next to it. See that little arrow? That's basically telling me that more tools exist in that little space than just the move tool. And what tools exist in there? Well, not just the move tool but the art board tool. So we have the move tool in there. We have the art board tool in there. If I'm outside of here. If I just click done. If I click and hold on this, I can change that. So I'll just go ahead and get back into there. Edit that toolbar. I like to get this toolbar exactly the way I'm gonna work. So anything that's over here on the right hand side are tools that are not present on my toolbar and anything on the left hand side are tools that are present in my toolbar. So if you go through here, you can see that there are certain things that aren't here. I actually like the ruler tool. I use the ruler tool quite a bit. So I'm gonna take that ruler tool and I'm gonna bring it over here and put it in with my crop tool. Because that's typically where I want my rulers to be. Now, I typically use the ruler when I'm working with shapes and text and even sometimes when I'm coding the panels that I code. I use the ruler to measure how many pixels, get down to the very pixel, of how far things are apart. And that's why the ruler is good for me there. If you have any no sense and no need for the ruler, again, it's assuming, as a photographer, that you are not going to need that ruler. So if we look the other tools we have here. These are selection tools. We have the rectangular marquee tool. We have the elliptical tool. The lasso tool, the polygonal lasso tool and the magnetic tool can also, because they're selection tools, all kind of go and clump up in the same one as well. And what you can do is... If you see a little blue box surround the side of this, that means all of those tools can be grabbed and moved. So if I grab these tools, I can move them up into here. So now all of my selection tools end up being in one little spot. So if I need any of those tools at any time, I just click and hold on that rectangular marquee icon and I can select any of the tools that I want from, say, the elliptical marquee, the lasso tool, the polygonal lasso tool, and maybe even the magnetic lasso tool. All of these things are things that we're gonna discuss throughout this course. These tools are also selection tools. Your quick selection tool and your magic wand. But I like to keep them separate from the other selection tools cause you'll notice that you're gonna start using the quick selection tool quite a bit to make a vast selection of different areas in your image. So if we look at some of the tools that are over here that I typically don't use, there's gonna be some that we're gonna need to pull in specifically for this course and other things that we need to reorganize. So the eye dropper tool, that can be a good tool to understand to pick out the pixel value of a color to see what pixels that color is or what color that whole fill might be. So I do tend to keep the eye dropper in there. The spot healing tool and the healing tool, these tools I tend to bring and put them together because they're distant cousins from each other. They basically do the same thing. They just do it slightly different. One of them requires you to make that adjustment. The other one makes an assumption essentially. The patch tool, I leave by itself. The content aware move tool, I can put that in with the patch tool because I don't use it quite as much. But notice what's happening to my toolbar on the left hand side. Notice how it's shifting up. I'm getting access to more things. I'm condensing it. I'm making it more efficient. I'm putting whatever tool is the most primary tool that I use in that category on the top of that toolbar list. So, notice over here, the patch tool. If I move this patch tool underneath content aware, and... Look at this. Now content aware is on the top. And because I had the patch tool most recently selected in the past, you're seeing that there. But by default, that one would appear on the top because it's in the topmost portion of the toolbar. So go back into there and keep editing this toolbar and get it more efficient. So we got two there. The brush tool, the pencil tool. You know, pencil, I've never really used it. It's one of those tools I can just take that pencil tool out, but again, if you see a need to have it, keep it there. Again, we're setting this up for efficiency. We're setting this up for workflow efficiency. The clone stamp tool and the pattern stamp tool, they can stay in the same as well. The eraser tool, you probably will never use this once you start to learn masking. So we can basically take that eraser and take it out. I've never really used that after I've used masking. Again, we're setting this up for efficiency. The gradient tool, I like to keep that out on its own. The blur tool, the smudge tool and the sharpen tool. Use them very infrequently, but because they're all very distant cousins of each other, they're all gonna be in the same grouping together. The dodge tool, the burn tool and the sponge tool. They can all stay in the same one. And one thing I'm not seeing over here that actually use quite a bit is gonna be the shapes. I don't have shapes over there. So I'm gonna scroll down here till I find the shapes. Now, for most photographers, shapes, you won't find yourself using too much because they're vector based instead of being pixel based as we will discuss. But they're good to have there because if you're doing client work and you're doing some social media work for these clients and you want to showcase on your page that you did this shoot with this client and there's more to come. Well, shapes can be a great way to add a little block so you can put text within that shape so that not only is it just a picture of that couple, it's also a picture with some interactive text so that they see, oh wow, this looks like a professional design. So, while most photographers might not actually use those tools, which you'll find throughout this course, especially once we get to the shapes and text, that incorporating that in with your business is a great thing to do. So we'll just take this shapes and text and if we move this whole group over, we can move that right up above the pen tool, which is typically where I have that sit. And that, right there, is going to be just basically the setup for the toolbar. Just setting up those tools for efficiency. You might, obviously, you might some tools that you're gonna use that I don't use. You're gonna have some tools that you find to be more prominent to be on top of those areas than I find. So don't just take what Blake says. Take what I say, take what works for you and kinda mix them and meld them together. I'm just here to show you what I do. I want you to be able to develop a nice workspace that works for you. And I'll press done. Now the next thing that you're gonna see over here that we're gonna talk about are windows and modifying these windows. By default, you might think it's nice to see the histogram up here all the time. But in reality, sometimes that just taking up a little bit of space for me. Now if I really... I know that the histogram for me, histogram is data. I like to say let data be data and access it when you need it. I talk a lot about repeating patterns. So, do I necessarily need to peek at the histogram every single time I make a slight adjustment to my image to see if the histogram is gonna move 1/10th of an inch to the right? Not necessarily. But if I ever need to see it I can have that maybe in a secondary toolbar so I can pop it open to see what's happening with my histogram so I can assess what's going on. But as it stands, it takes up a lot of real estate up there at the top of my workspace. So I tend to take the histogram out and maybe move the histogram over here to a secondary toolbar. This is a secondary toolbar. It's a toolbar that shows me the properties of a given tool but not necessarily the actual tool itself. Notice how I keep all the tools over to the left, all the windows to the right, and I have a secondary toolbar that can open up other windows if I need them. The navigator is another thing. The navigator, if we look at our image. If we zoom into this image, what the navigator is doing is it's just basically telling us where we are in our photograph. And if I am zoomed in really far in a photograph, I don't necessarily need that navigator too much for most of my work. I can just press control and space bar. Right click or command and space bar and right click and say fit on screen. So, if I'm somewhere zoomed into my image, sometimes I don't necessarily need to know where that is. And again, that's valuable real estate that's being taken up by something that's just showing me what I'm looking at in my photograph. So I might take that out and just go ahead and close it and get rid of it so it's not there. There are other things here like the libraries and adjustments. These are important. Adjustments, these are all of our adjustment layers. We'll talk about those when we talk about layers. But, it's taking up real estate that I don't need it to take up. I'm a huge fan of getting rid of redundancies especially when you talk about workplace, workflow. You know, you have to file this paper here and the same paper has to be filed here and the same paper filed there. Why don't we just file all those papers in the same place? Makes sense to me, right? Well, the same thing kinda happens here with adjustments. Adjustments is already here in a window by default because we're using the photography workspace. But if I click down here, I have access to all the exact same adjustment layers in the place where I'm gonna be using them, which is in my layers palette. So for me, that one just goes also. And then I have libraries. Libraries are something that we're gonna talk about towards the end of this. That you'll see how libraries can work in a collaborative process or also in a design process. So I do keep them here for myself even though many people might not touch libraries too much. It's basically a way to access other things that you've worked on at any given time through the Adobe cloud. I'm gonna leave libraries there. Down here you're gonna see layers, channels and paths. Now these layers, channels and paths, these all three of them are actually really important for photographers. So when you're setting this up, having layers there is great. Having channels there is great. Also having paths there is great. Channels are one of those things that some people say you might not need it when you're first starting. I tend to agree with that. I don't go too far into my channels very often. If I do, I do it with selections and other ways. So really, having channels there, would I say is an absolute necessity? No. If that was something you wanted to get rid of, to take up some real estate, to free up some real estate, you could go ahead and get rid of that. Paths, I do keep paths there cause if I'm working with something like the pen tool, paths can be very helpful to see what path I'm creating with my pen. So that's not it with windows. You see up here along our menu, we also have something that says window. So I'll click on that window. There are many other windows that I can have open at any given time. That I can plug and play into this area. So the two, specifically that I really like in here, to have in my workspace right next to my libraries, are gonna be the properties and also the history. History is your eraser. You know, we can't go back into our past and wipe things out. But with the history palette, we can. We can go back into the history palette and if we made a motion on an image that we don't necessarily like, it'll be logged into that history log and it'll show you that brush that you made was right here. You can go back and act as if it never even existed. So I'm gonna go ahead and add history there. And by default, it might pop out like this in my secondary toolbar. I'm gonna go ahead and grab it. Just drag it and drop it and when you see blue highlighted, within that blue circle, or within that blue square I should say or rectangle, that's placing it in there. If I move I up here, it's gonna place it above like we saw the histogram. Because you see that solid blue line? That's saying make a new window spot. This is saying just put it right in with the libraries. Because I use history more than libraries, I'll even move that libraries over. Then I'll go up to window and I'll go up to... What's the other one I said? Properties. And again, that might have a fly out over here on your secondary toolbar by default with that photography workspace. Click and hold it, bring it in here and put that, either first or second in the histories or properties. Because this properties area is where we're gonna use things like the curves adjustment layer, the gradient map. Anything that has any settings in it that we want to adjust, we can do it right there within that properties. And why I like it over there is because it's not doing a fly out over top of my images. It's happening on a spot that's already designated for tools anyway. So let's just keep it over there. Now, with the windows, we also have the ability to save this workspace. So once I get it set up like this, I've got the windows are all setup. I want to save this workspace so that I can use this workspace at any time. If for some reason someone comes into my Photoshop and messes it up, I know that all I have to do is go up and select my workspace and everything's back. So if I go up to this area right here and I click new workspace, I can call this Blake's. And it's gonna ask you what do you want in here? Do you want your keyboard shortcuts? Do you want your menus? Do you want your toolbars? I want my toolbars and I want my menus. And I can say I want my keyboard shortcuts too. Which I'll tell you how we can change some of the keyboard shortcuts within Photoshop too. The thing about this program is it's completely adaptable to how I want to work. I've got a friend who introduced me to a new piece of software and he said man, this thing is incredible. You can do this, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this. It's absolutely brilliant. So, I jumped in there and immediately said I don't like it. Can't work in it. He was... But, look what it can do. It's not what it can do, it's what it's holding me back from doing. And he didn't understand at first but really, the reality is our brains are wired a certain way, whether we like it or not. Our brains are wired in a way that when we see something, we can adapt to it based on what our brain likes and what our brain doesn't like. So if I jump into a program and that program isn't necessarily wired to my liking and my working, I will never get along with it. Or if I do get along with it, it's gonna be a long learning curve to get along with that program. So much that I might not have that learning curve to really bother with it anymore. This modular set up allows me to map out Photoshop exactly how my brain works and how I want to work. Notice how I said how my brain works because you're gonna have windows that you want available. You're gonna have tools that you want available and that's how your brain works. And there's nothing wrong with our brains working differently because in a program like this, it can get along with any brain. And that's the cool part about working in Photoshop. And once you get that setup, if I were to go over here and change my workspace to photography. Actually, I have to reset photography first. So if I were to go here and reset photography back to the photography workspace, because we used the photography workspace as a base to build our workspace, so it still assumes that we're in the photography workspace. So once I reset that photography workspace, my toolbar changed. Notice on my left hand side, my toolbar changed and all my windows changed as well. If I go back up here and select Blake's, we now have the windows and the toolbars exactly setup like I had setup before. We can even save workspaces. So if you wanted to, you can save this workspace out. It's saved in kinda the background of Photoshop so wherever your Photoshop folder is, whether you're on a Mac or PC, if you just do a search for whatever you named your workspace, you can find that workspace there. And that workspace can be saved and shared. It's kind of difficult to get to. It's not one of those things that you can just open up that window right now and see it. So you kinda have to drag and drop things into there to figure it out. Kinda like the hacking, I guess, of those background folders like that. This is now saved into my workspace. I can always use this workspace on my machine when I come in here. Now beyond the windows and beyond the toolbars, we also have the menu items up here. Don't be afraid of these. A lot of tools actually exist within here and don't be afraid to familiarize yourself with these tools. Going under file. Just looking at file, seeing what's in there. We have the ability to browse in bridge. Just look at the things. Exporting, generating. You're gonna see things like save as here. You're even gonna see printing within here. Importing scripts. You can run scripts from outside of Photoshop. A little script file. A JavaScript file that can be built from whatever you do within Photoshop. If you make an action, you can export out as a JavaScript and actually make a script. That's all way out there. But, you can run scripts within the program. A lot of programs don't allow you to do that. So it's adaptable in many different ways beyond just setting it up for your liking. In the edit, you're gonna find a spellchecker. There is a spellchecker in Photoshop. If you're writing in text, it's not gonna do the squiggly lines under there because it's gonna ruin your design. But if you spelled Photoshop pho-toss-hop or pho-toe-sop or something like that and then did spellchecker, it'll spell check it and make sure you're working correctly though. Find and replace text. Very similar to what you would do in Microsoft Word. Let's say you're doing a big invitation. Wedding invitation or a menu or something like that. You want to find all the words that say chicken in it. You can find and replace the text within a text block. Your fill dialogue is also within edit. We talk about some of these things that we do when we fill a layer for dodging and burning. That's found in here. It's also quickly accessed by what you see right there. It says shift F5. Hotkeys make the world go round in Photoshop and hotkeys will be your friend. Get to know them. Get to know them well. We also have our warping that's happening in edit, too. When we get into the transformation section, a lot of these will be really important to know where they are. Especially when we get into just the regular transform warp and the perspective warp. What you're also gonna see in here is under image. You have your different modes. Whether you're in grayscale, RGB. This is really important to know because if you're working in indexed color, then you can only use basically the colors that are within your image to edit on. So RGB is the place to stay for that. You can also see whether you're working in eight bits or 16 bits right here. So eight bit for a jpeg and 16 bit, preferably for something that you come in from Adobe Camera RAW with to then save as something like a 16 bit tiff. And we'll talk about saving at the end of this lesson. You also have things like image size in here. I can change the whole image size of this image by going into this image size dialogue and seeing how big I want the width and the pixels of this image to be and also the resolution of this image. Now, it's pretty tricky. You can't just say okay, you're saying the resolution of this image is 100. What if I wanted to print this and change this to 300. That's gonna quadruple... Or triple the size of my image and basically interpellate and make things unprintable. Or it'll print, it just won't be as pretty. It'll be... You'll have blurry, hazy edges and stuff like that. But your image size dialogue, you'll find yourself coming into this place quite a bit when you're saving your images down. So, if you wanted this image to be smaller for the web, you could change this to 1200 pixels which is a really good web size. Or you can change this to inches. So, if you're printing this with, say, a printer, and you need this to be a four by six, you can change your size to four by six. Now, this by default, isn't found within your windows. It's not found within your toolbar. And it's not necessarily a tool. But it is within the menu and you need to know where these things are so that you can conduct things like image sizes. Another thing that's in here that's also rather important is going to be the preferences. So we'll scroll all the way down to our preferences. We have Adobe Camera all preferences at the bottom. And then if you see here, we can jump into any preference we want within Photoshop just by clicking any one of these buttons. But if we just press control K, there's even a hotkey for going into your preferences, or if we click on general, that's gonna bring up all of our Photoshop preferences. Again, more shock and awe. Oh my gosh, too many questions. Just go through it one by one and see exactly what it is that you want in your version of Photoshop.

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop® expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop®. Topics covered will include:

Week 1
• Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
Week 2
• Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
Week 3
• Smart Objects , Transforming, Actions, Filters and Editing Video
Week 4
• Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop® prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.

Software Used: Adobe® Photoshop® CC® 2018

Lessons

Bootcamp Introduction
The Bridge Interface
Setting up Bridge
Overview of Bridge
Practical Application of Bridge
Introduction to Raw Editing
Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
Global Tools Part 1
Global Tools Part 2
Local Tools
Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
Toolbars, Menus and Windows
Setup and Interface
Adobe Libraries
Saving Files
Introduction to Cropping
Cropping for Composition in ACR
Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
Cropping for the Subject in Post
Cropping for Print
Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
Introduction to Layers
Vector & Raster Layers Basics
Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
Organizing and Managing Layers
Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
Screen and Multiply and Overlay
Soft Light Blend Mode
Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
Introduction to Layer Styles
Practical Application: Layer Tools
Introduction to Masks and Brushes
Brush Basics
Custom Brushes
Brush Mask: Vignettes
Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
Mask Groups
Clipping Masks
Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
Practical Applications: Masks
Introduction to Selections
Basic Selection Tools
The Pen Tool
Masks from Selections
Selecting Subjects and Masking
Color Range Mask
Luminosity Masks Basics
Introduction to Cleanup Tools
Adobe Camera Raw
Healing and Spot Healing Brush
The Clone Stamp Tool
The Patch Tool
Content Aware Move Tool
Content Aware Fill
Custom Cleanup Selections
Introduction to Shapes and Text
Text Basics
Shape Basics
Adding Text to Pictures
Custom Water Marks
Introduction to Smart Objects
Smart Object Basics
Smart Objects and Filters
Smart Objects and Image Transformation
Smart Objects and Album Layouts
Smart Objects and Composites
Introduction to Image Transforming
ACR and Lens Correction
Photoshop and Lens Correction
The Warp Tool
Perspective Transformations
Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
Making Your First Action
Modifying Actions After You Record Them
Adding Stops to Actions
Conditional Actions
Actions that Communicate
Introduction to Filters
ACR as a Filter
Helpful Artistic Filters
Helpful Practical Filters
Sharpening with Filters
Rendering Trees
The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
Introduction to Editing Video
Timeline for Video
Cropping Video
Adjustment Layers and Video
Building Lookup Tables
Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
ACR to Edit Video
Animated Gifs
Introduction to Creative Effects
Black, White, and Monochrome
Matte and Cinematic Effects
Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
Gradients
Glow and Haze
Introduction to Natural Retouching
Brightening Teeth
Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
Advanced Clean Up Techniques
Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
Portrait Workflow Techniques
Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
Landscape Workflow Techniques
Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
Composite Workflow Techniques
Landscape Composite Projects
Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR
 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.
  • WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!
  • A superb course and excellent overall job, beautifully presented and easy to grab the material, in total the material the style and the whole set of classes is just great love to g back and watch again and again