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Total Photoshop 6

New series from Total Training By Stephen Schleicher

Total Training for Adobe Photoshop 6

Deke McClelland

Host and Photoshop Guru Deke McClelland covers the ins and outs of Photoshop 6.

Every time a new version of a software application is released, there are always new features that users must get used to, old features that have been dropped or changed, new shortcuts to learn, changes in the interface, and of course a bigger, thicker manual. For users who have been using the program for a while, adjusting to the new stuff can have a short or long learning curve, and new users can find themselves completely lost. While manuals are an excellent source of information, the printed media doesn't have the ability to show you how the application works without resorting to long tedious steps with no explanation as to why you are doing things that way. Luckily there are training videos available and some of the best ones for Adobe products come from Total Training.

If you are a frequent reader to Digital WebCast, Creative Mac, or many of the other sites in the Digital Media Net community you have probably seen our streaming tutorials that will often touch on techniques for Adobe products. These are provided to us from Total Training and they give an excellent sneak peak at the full training series. This week I had some free time to sit down and look at one of their latest releases, Total Training for Adobe Photoshop 6.

In this very comprehensive set of videos, Photoshop Guru Deke McClelland covers all the ins and outs of Photoshop 6. Deke, with more than 50 books under his belt, has a superb understanding of Photoshop and explains things in an easy to understand way. With a good dose of humor and real world examples Deke is an excellent instructor.

This 20-hour collection begins with a four part series on the basics, and is targeted toward those people who have not used Photoshop a lot or who are brand new to the program. Items covered in the first program range from setting up and navigating the program, dealing with resolution, saving images, and more. Program two deals with selections and how to use them correctly, make modifications and make use of the transform tool. The third and fourth programs in the first series discuss in depth how to paint and retouch images, and covers everything you ever wanted to know about layers. While the topics in this first series are basic, a casual to intermediate user may want to view the first four programs to discover some cool tips and tricks that you will not find in the manuals.

The second series delves further into Photoshop and discusses many things targeted toward the intermediate user. The fifth program discusses creating and manipulating masks. This is an excellent program, and really clears up confusion users may have had over the years on the proper techniques to obtain a perfect mask. This program can be especially useful for those working in a postproduction related field where working with masks is a must. Programs six and seven talk about blending layers (another useful program for those in the post industry), using vector based shapes, and how to edit them to fit your needs. Program eight is an everything you need to know about the type tool, but were afraid to ask show. The mystery of creating rotating type is revealed here as well as creating some very cool type effects. If you find yourself sometimes scratching your head over many of these concepts, then the second series is one you should definitely consider.

In the final series Deke shows Photoshop at its best. This is where the nitty gritty of putting Photoshop through its paces is covered. Color manipulation and the clear explanation of curves are covered in the first two hours. Adjustment layers and tips for using filters is discussed in program ten and eleven. The final two hours covers history, actions and color management.

I mentioned earlier that this is a 20-hour collection that is broken into three different series. Each series can be purchased separately or as an entire collection (my recommendation). To make things even better, you have your choice of purchasing this collection on VHS or DVD. If you are like me and reference videos a lot, then you know how difficult it is to fast-forward and rewind to try and find that one particular section. The VHS version comes with a rundown and timing for each of the segments, but my preference is the DVD option. Most computers come with a built in DVD player, and being able to watch and work on the same screen is quite handy. Regardless of your format preferences, the price is the same. As an added bonus, the series comes with a CD-ROM which contains all of the projects and examples used in the training.

Final Recommendation
Even if you are a long time user of Photoshop (like myself), chances are you will find these tapes a valuable addition to your reference library, and more importantly will learn many new shortcuts and theories to help in the creation of your media masterpieces. The price is very reasonable and I place this as a strong buy.

For more information about the Total Training for Adobe Photoshop 6 series, please visit

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (, where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at [email protected]

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