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Photoshop CS for Digital VideoVASST Training DVD taught by Richard Harrington
DVD-based training is a valuable way to learn software as you can watch the DVD on your computer, pause when needed, and switch over to the program youre learning and try out what you just watched. If you dont understand something, watch it again. Know that technique already? Skip it.
"Photoshop CS for Digital Video," the first in a series of training DVDs produced by VASST, is like having its author, Richard Harrington, standing over your shoulder showing you what to do. Harrington is a well-known authority on Photoshop and this DVD does not disappoint. The instruction is very in depth, yet still easy to grasp.
The pace is neither too brisk for beginners nor too slow for advanced Photoshop users. There is a lot of information here, presented step-by-step, and Harrington keeps it informative and interesting. Thats no easy task considering there is nearly six hours of training here. Each chapter concludes with a review of everything covered and websites of additional information and resources.
Whats most important, as the DVD title implies, the training is designed to help you use Photoshop CS for video projects. That makes this tool invaluable for photographers and print designers who know Photoshop, but very little about video. If your employer and/or clients are asking for your help prepping photos and graphic elements for video, you need these DVDs.
The first DVD covers the basics thoroughly, giving beginners a firm grasp on the concepts of layers, masking, adjustment layers, importing media, etc. Chapter one covers every single aspect of the preferences dialogue, which may be a bit tedious for the experienced Photoshop user. After that, the following chapters cover many new features CS has to offer, such as non-square pixel aspect ratios, and a few practical tips and tricks of which you may not be aware.
Harrington knows this application inside and out, and most of the processes he uses to complete specific tasks are those he developed and refined out of years of experience. The result is an often-unique approach to situations that even the most advanced users may not have considered. This incredible insight permeates this training DVD, and for that we highly recommend Photoshop CS for Digital Video.
The second DVD shows how to apply the techniques explained to digital video projects. Construction of visually brilliant lower thirds, seamlessly looping bumpers, and preparing printed media for video (and vice versa) is covered in full. Harrington even takes time to offer crash courses in typography, design fundamentals, and basic color theory.
Photoshop's integration with After Effects is also covered extensively. Harrington shows you how to create visually exciting looping animations, DVD motion menus (complete with highlight layers), and camera movement effects from scratch.
Also covered are very detailed explanations of working with alpha channels in video stills, the power of automation, including the creation of macros, batch processing, and automated creation of contact sheets, web sites, and PDF slideshows.
Processing photographs for video output gets full coverage.
Harrington provides instruction on digging out the best possible quality including how to clean up video "jitter", deal with interlacing issues, and make sure your photos are broadcast legal. Custom gradient wipes for digital editing applications are also briefly touched upon.
There was some repetition of information occasionally. Processes covered in depth in previous chapters were sometimes covered again. While we feel repetition is good for learning, precious time was wasted that could have been filled with more projects. If you dont understand something, you could always watch that section of the DVD again.
In conclusion, "Photoshop CS: Essentials for Digital Video" is an incredibly helpful tool. The DVD set not only in covers the powerful new features of CS, but also shows older features in new ways and how apply them to digital video appropriately. For the beginner, the groundwork is laid down firmly in an easy to learn manner, allowing a smooth transition into the more advanced procedures used by professionals daily. For professionals, theres enough here to augment your skills and speed up your workflow.
Contact: VASST (Video, Audio, Surround, Streaming Training) at www.vasst.com.
Jeffrey P. Fisher provides audio, video, music, writing, training, and media production services. He also writes about music, sound, and video for print and the Web. His latest book is "Instant Sound Forge" from CMPBooks. Also, Jeffrey co-hosts the Acid, Sound Forge, and Vegas forums on Digital Media Net (http://www.dmnforums.com).
Christopher Bodel studies audio and video production while working for the College of DuPage multimedia arts department.
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