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Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2

By John Virata

Adobe Photoshop CS2 is a huge application with many new features that are designed to extend and enhance your digital imaging workflow. While there are many books that are written on the application, learning the application from a book isn't as intuitive as having a professional at your side as you go along. Because professionals can cost a lot of money for an hour's worth of your time, a better alternative is to have a professional help you learn the tools in this image editor, and that can be achieved via video training DVDs.

Total Training offers a complete collecting of training DVDs for all of the Adobe creative applications and has been shipping the new Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2. Hosted by Photoshop wizard Deke McClelland, the three DVD collection provides close to 22 hours of training footage on virtually all the tools in Photoshop CS2. The collection is segmented in three parts.

Within this review, we'll take a look at a few of the lessons in the series. Part 1 of the collection includes the following 12 lessons, each with their own sub-topics to keep it interesting: 1. What Photoshop Can Do (27 minutes); 2. The Bridge (33 minutes); 3. Setting up 'Shop (24 minutes); 4. Navigation and Resolution (32 minutes); 5. Rotate and Crop (23 minutes); 6. Basic Color Correction (34 minutes); 7. Red Eye Removal and Recolor (20 minutes); 8. Painting with the Edit Tools (32 minutes); 9. Clone, Heal and Patch (33 minutes); 10. Using the Selection Tools (36 minutes); 11. Selecting with Color Range (19 minutes); and 12. Making the Most of History (26 minutes).

Lesson 2: The Bridge opens with a lesson on the Lightbox. McClelland explains the origins of the Lightbox and how it enables you to view your images, enlarge and minimize them and rotate them. Also explained is the use of Bridge to add detailed information to the thumbnail images, including the dimensions, date, and any keywords that might have been added to the image. Following are additional explanations on how to label your images via the Label menu, and filtering images based on the labels that you give them. McClelland then goes over customizing the colored labels with your own definition, such as Hot hot hot for the red label and so on. Next up is a discussion of file type associations and the use of distributed cache files. File naming inside the Bridge is discussed next. He then shows how to rename the files via the bridge one at a time. He then discusses renaming all the files using the batch rename under the tools pulldown. he then goes through the batch rename window and explains the new filenames specifications, detailing the sequence numbers, file extension, and any name that you wish to add to the images. He then let's you know that you can preserve the original file name inside the camera metadata.

After this, a click of the rename button renames all the images in the Bridge. Save custom bridge configurations using workspaces in the Bridge. CS2 ships with several predefined workspaces in the Bridge, but you can create and save your own once you have it all set up via the Window menu and choosing save workspace. You can also switch to different locations that you've worked in Photoshop CS. McClelland then explains how this is done by simply opening a new window within the bridge. he then discusses the new Slideshow feature in the Bridge, which enables you to view a sequence or series of images as a sequential slideshow, pause the slideshow or advance from one slide to the next using the arrow keys, rotate the images, change the rating, all from the keyboard as the slideshow is playing.

Part 2 of Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2 includes the following lessons: 1. Introducing Layers (41 minutes); 2. Groups and Comps (37 minutes); 3. Opacity and Blend Modes (39 minutes); 4. Advanced Blending (38 minutes); 5. Layer Styles (49 minutes); 6. Masks and Channels (52 minutes); 7. Transform and Warp (52 minutes); 8. Creating and Editing Type (32 minutes); 9. Special Type Effects (42 minutes); 10. Vector-Based Shapes (50 minutes); 11. Printing and Output (30 minutes); 12. Actions (32 minutes).

Part 3 of Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2 includes the following lessons: 1. Adjusting Levels (30 minutes); 2. Curves, Shadows and Highlights (42 minutes); 3. Adjustment Layers (34 minutes); 4. Camera RAW (34 minutes); 5. High bit-Depth and Exposure (41 minutes); 6. Sharpening Focus (47 minutes); Blurring and Averaging (58 minutes); 8. Filters and Masks (38 minutes); 9. Distort and Displace (47 minutes); 10. Liquify (35 minutes). In addition, there are two Bonus Lessons: Vanishing Point (37 minutes); and Smart Objects (34 minutes).

Lesson 4: Camera RAW opens with an explanation of Adobe's Digital Negative Format which enables users of camera RAW files to open the files using the Adobe DNG. McClelland announces the availability of the converter on the Adobe website. McClelland then discusses the virtues of Camera RAW versus that of JPEG and how colors can be saved via RAW. He then recommends that you always shoot in the Camera RAW format if your camera supports it. McClelland then discusses the Camera RAW dialog box and the color adjustment tools, white balance, detail, lens, curve and calibrate. He discusses what White balance is and what it does when you make adjustments to the image within the RAW dialog box. Predefined white balance settings are also discussed with examples here as well as the Temperature and Tint sliders, the Exposure, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation sliders.

Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2 takes Photoshop CS2 training to a higher level with the amount of coverage in this series. It is more than 21 hours in length on three DVDs and covers virtually all aspects of Adobe Photoshop's new tools. Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2 is the definitive collection of training DVDs for Photoshop CS2. Use them as a reference and return to them as the need arises when working on a project. Need to know more about Actions? Pull the Part 2 DVD from your resource library. Want to learn how to use the Vanishing Point filter? It is in Part 3. The collection provides you with ready training to virtually all the tools in Photoshop CS2, and it is video-based so you can learn while you work in the application. Price: $299.99 Format: DVD (ROM) Platform: Windows & MAC OS. For more information, visit

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
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