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Adobe Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book 1st Edition
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About the Author
The Adobe Creative Team is made up of designers, writers, and editors who have extensive, real-world knowledge of and expertise in using Adobe products. They work closely with the Adobe product development teams and Adobe's Instructional Communications team to come up with creative, challenging, and visually appealing projects to help both new and more experienced users get up to speed quickly on Adobe software products.
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As you would expect, the authors begin by discussing the workspace's new layout which has several improvements to help you streamline your work. The next few chapters cover the basics of photo correction, retouch and repair. You will also learn how to create a PDF presentation and how to use the Adobe Lightroom. Next, the authors move on to discuss the many ways to make selections. They discuss some of your old favorite selection tools and new additions such as the Quick Selection tool.
I especially enjoyed the sample projects that were more interesting than usual in a book such as this. In one chapter the authors used an example scrapbook page to show how to use layers to organize the objects on the page and how to work with layer comps and blend modes. The next project was a book cover which the authors used to teach masks and channels. You will learn how to create temporary Quick Masks, store a mask as an alpha channel and how to use filters, effects and blend modes with masks. Working with type in Photoshop is one of my favorite tasks and the authors use a poster as a sample project for this chapter. They cover the Type palette, paths, shapes and Smart Objects. I especially liked the lesson about applying text to a complex path.
If you have never tried your hand at the Photoshop vector drawing tools, you will enjoy the chapter which covers drawing paths with the Pen tool, layer shapes and more. Advanced layers is next and the authors show you how to use adjustment layers and the Vanishing Point grid to achieve a 3D effect for product package design. Next, you will create a four image montage and learn about advanced compositing. In this chapter, you will also learn about automating a series of steps to speed up your workflow.
Photoshop is still the best when it comes to creating and optimizing images for the web. You will learn several tasks including slicing an image, adding HTML linkage to image slices, rollover buttons and optimizing GIF, JPEG and GIF animations. You will like how easy it is to create an animation with the Tween feature. The authors included a chapter that touches on some of the features in Photoshop Extended. You will learn about the Measurement tool, Measurement Log palette and more. The last chapter covers color printing, four color separation and preparing for PostScript CMYK printing.
The members of the Adobe Creative Team for this book were Andrew Faulkner and Judy Walthers von Alten. The CD includes files for the lessons, fonts, stock photos and training videos from [...] and Total Training.
The book is well written and nicely produced (although the screen shots are all of the Windows version of Photoshop CS3 something that is not likely to impress Mac users.) It contains a CD-ROM with sample photos, videos and quite a number of royalty free images. The book was written by Andrew Faulkner and Judy Walthers von Alten who are part of the Adobe Creative Team. So a lot of information is from internal Adobe sources. Not too shabby.
There are some downsides to the book (beside the high cost for a paperback.) The book sometimes assumes that user knows where to find certain tools and options within CS3. That may work for some folks who are extremely knowledgeable with CS2 and can translate the new UI in CS3 to something they can work with. For Photoshop newbees and those who may not be able to make the transition from CS2 quite so easily, this makes parts of the book frustrating. There are some minor errors such as the section on the Zoom Tool. The authors state that the maximum zoom is 3200% for Windows and 1600% for the Macintosh. Ah, no. It's 3200% for both platforms.
Still, even with these small issues, the book is a good read, very informative and the exercises are downright fun.
While not as poorly done as the InDesign CS3 CIB edition, this book is far from a good value at the price. If it cost $15 I might rate it differently but this title is no different than your average computer manual that you find in a box (from companies other than Adobe). Some good examples here and there but mostly thin on details and screenshots.
Buy this book only if you have many others (such as those from Martin Evening, Scott Kelby, Deke McClelland, Katrin Eismann and Ben Willmore) and are still not finding what you need (very unlikely BTW).
CIB is written textbook style. It has chapters on basics topics like layering, retouching, making selections, using type. Each chapter works you through one or two examples provided on the CD that comes in a sleeve under the back cover. At the end of each chapter are review questions and answers.
The writing is excellent and the examples thoroughly cover what the chapter aims to teach you. The problem is that it's not nearly enough. Some terms are defined in the text but a lot of other information is left out. There is no glossary or other type of reference chapter. Sometimes the authors explain the purpose behind the techniques, sometimes they do not. I found I had to work through chapters twice to understand what I was doing. Nothing is offered beyond the basics.
While CIB does give you a good run through of CS3, I would only recommend it if you have some basic knowledge of photoshop. I found myself seeking out other books to help me get a better grasp.
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Hilary W. Allen