Classroom in a Book
By Adobe Creative Team
609 pages, $45 US (Includes CD-ROM)
- What the Book is About
- Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book
is the ultimate guide for anyone who wants to learn the popular graphics design program,
Adobe Photoshop CS. The book uses hands-on tutorials as a teaching method and is
laid out more as a lesson book than a manual. Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book allows
you to complete lessons at your own pace and gives you ideas and examples for real-life
work. It starts with the most basic concepts, such as image types and tools, and
gradually advances into more complicated techniques and object lessons. From Marquees
to Vector Masks, Photoshop CS: Classroom in a book teaches this and more in easy-to-follow
lessons and tutorials.
- Target Audience
- Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book
is directed for those who own Adobe Photoshop CS for Mac or PC and those who have
no experience, little experience, or know an average amount of Photoshop. Personally,
I used the book to refresh my Photoshop know-how; learn things I might have missed,
catch up on new features added in Photoshop CS, etc.. This book is also ideal for
teachers and educators to use as a lesson manual. The book is extremely thorough
and moves along gradually, so even those who haven't caught up to technology could
use and understand this book.
- What to Expect
- First off, there should be a "General
Surgeon's Warning" planted on the cover of this book: Do not expect to complete
this book in under a month and still have a life. Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book
is a huge book. Do not expect the "tech humor" that is common with pop
authors such as David Pogue or Michal Rubin. This is a more serious "hit the
grindstone" learning manual.
Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book
is divided into 20 different 'lessons', each with a different themes, techniques,
and several tutorials teaching the fundamentals of those themes. The first few lessons
are easy enough and go into the most basic parts of Photoshop, such as the interface,
tools, layers, and basic photo corrections. After the 5th lesson, the book suddenly
speeds up and dives deeper into Photoshop, discussing channels, masks, painting techniques,
and basic pen techniques. Lessons 10 thru 12 make up the icing of the entire book.
Everything that can possibly help you add more "Wow" to your photos is
found there. The last 9 lessons deal with printing, Adobe's ImageReady, and web graphics.
The book comes with a CD-ROM packed with every tutorial file needed to follow the
lessons in the book. As an added bonus, the CD also includes the completed graphics
representing what each lesson should result with. Also, Adobe was kind enough to
include 34 free professional fonts in the CD, yours for the taking.
The value of a reference book
increases when you use it on a regular basis, so a quick way to reference and look
back through the material is essential. The authors of Photoshop: Classroom in a
Book include review questions and answers covering the main topics at the end of
each lesson, a 24-page index, and short sub-topics under each lesson in the table
of contents. With this, reviewing and research is quick and easy.
- Hands-on tutorials are a brilliant
way to master any skill. With a typical user's manual that contains no tutorials,
I end up thinking, "Okay, so now what am I supposed to do?" The tutorials
give you the experience of using the knowledge you just gained, guiding you along
the way, and helping you improve your skills. What excitement is lacking in the text,
the authors make up for it by including interesting and exciting photos to work with.
Photoshop is a very diverse product
by design; in creative arts, no two people will have the exact same techniques. In
that respect, Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book doesn't show you just one way of
doing things, but guides you through several different techniques. I found this great
because some of my former techniques required twice as much work as those mentioned
in the book, so the book definitely helped me streamline my efficiency.
One thing that often annoys me is when a new version of a product is released that
introduces a new feature, but does not provide enough explanation for me to take
advantage of the feature. For example, in Photoshop CS, Adobe released a new feature
called the File Browser. Previously, I thought this was nothing big and decided it
was just a fancy way of File->Open. Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book has an entire
lesson dedicated to this new feature and others like it, and I became enlightened
as to just how much of an advancement these new features really are.
- Mac Guild Grade
- A (Outstanding)
- Final Words
- In my opinion, Photoshop is one
of the most amazing applications for the Macintosh. Photoshop can do pretty much
anything you set your mind to do: from retouching priceless family photos to creating
web comics. With the right amount of knowledge, the possibilities are endless. However,
achieving that in-depth knowledge of Photoshop is no easy task. There are hundreds
of online tutorials that teach you how to do various effects, and numerous costly
classes and seminars offered by local colleges to further your expertise, but these
methods eat up time and money. Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book gives you a good
inexpensive alternative for learning Photoshop CS in a single book, providing an
in-depth look at the software, as well as quick reference material for learning specific
tasks. The book is well-written, and takes you from the very basics and fundamentals
of Photoshop to the advanced techniques and effects. Comprehensive hands-on tutorials
guide you through each lesson. With Photoshop CS: Classroom in a Book, there is no
reason for you not to be able to know and use Photoshop like an expert.