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Total Training's Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 Unleashed

A first look at this training DVD for Photoshop Elements By John Virata

Adobe's Photoshop Elements 3 sports a similar interface and toolset to that of Adobe Photoshop, giving digital photo enthusiasts access to some of the same technology that professionals use. To get a better grasp of the power of Photoshop Elements 3, Total Training has released Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 Unleashed, a training DVD that covers some of the most popular new features that are in Photoshop Elements 3. Hosted by Deke McClelland, one of the most well known authorities on Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 Unleashed features 10 training videos on the following subjects: The Art of Imaging (30 minutes), Making the Most of Quick Fix (31 minutes), Adjusting Colors (39 minutes), Using Adjustment Layers (56 minutes), Importing Camera RAW 27 minutes), Selection Techniques (28 minutes), Photorealistic Distortions (39 minutes), Healing and Sharpening (32 minutes), Effects, Filters, and Layer Styles (43 minutes), and Text and Shapes (48 minutes). Video training is one of the most efficient means of learning a software application. It helps to mitigate some of the tedium that some folks experience when trying to learn from a book or the manual, and Total Training offers some of the best training DVDs on the market for Adobe tools. Because there are 10 chapters on the training DVD with hours of lessons, within the scope of this review, we'll go over a few of the training sessions found on the DVD, starting with the Art of Imaging.

When you install Total Training's Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 Unleashed, you have the option of installing the project files, installing Deke's presets so your copy of Photoshop Elements 3 is set up like Deke's to help you follow along, and to install the training application.  When you follow steps one and two, it makes it easier to follow along with the presentation.

Lesson 1: The Art of Imaging opens up with a discussion on how to open an image on both the Macintosh and PC versions of Photoshop Elements 3. Deke McClelland, the host, walks you through locating and opening images on both platforms both using the File menu as well as via keyboard shortcuts. He discusses both keyboard shortcut6s for both platforms. Following this lesson, we learn about Palettes, Layers & Visibility and the liquify and healing brush. We don't yet learn how to use them because those lessons are later on in the training session, but we do learn what effect they have on Deke's mug shot. the training is sort of set up in reverse.

First we see the finished results of an image that has been manipulated, complete with the layers that go along with the fixed image, and then later on, we learn how to work with those tools to get the results we are looking for. Deke does show us in this section the three different lasso selection tools that are available and how to use the lasso tool, in this case to select stubble around his mug shot. he then offers tips on how to correct for selections that might be a bit too unnatural by using the lasso tool in conjunction with the magnetic lasso tool to fix the selection. Deke also points out the keyboard shortcut to all functions when appropriate for both PC and Mac.


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