I recently attended a Photoshop Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. Two classes were offered, beginners and advanced. The beginner's class was just that, an overview of the interface, components and so on. I could not imagine sitting through another beginner's Photoshop interface run through. So, I opted for the advance training class.
I had no expectations as to the relevance of the course to my particular design field, Web Design. I was completely open to learning more about the advance Photoshop tools, masking techniques, tricks, etc. And I did.
The class started on time (8:30am), which was great. The class size was much smaller than I expected. But the smaller class size made for a more intimate and engaging atmosphere with plenty of one on one questions and answers. The class was also very diverse. There were young professionals, obviously just starting their careers in design with much to say, without actually adding anything of use to the conversation. And there were established designers (like myself) flexing their creative muscle and experience. Just kidding, everyone was nice. I was very surprised by the amount of Grand Professionals at the conference. Yes, 65 and more years old and still creating. Gotta love it.
The instructor was very good. His knowledge of Photoshop was impressive. And his humor kept me giggling, like a little girl, the entire class. Some jokes were not so funny to the females in the room, though. Which made me laugh even more.
I anticipated the instructor covering parts of Photoshop that I am very familiar with like, actions, simple masks, curves, filters, layers, brushes, shortcuts, etc. But, what really got me excited was advance masking, color/ alpha channels, camera raw, HDR, content aware, distortion techniques and using the Bridge.
As with most new tools or techniques you learn in Photoshop, if you do not use them on a regular basis, you will forget how. So, I have made an effort to use most of what I have learned. I have already forgotten half! Damn.
However, I did manage to use a few of the techniques regularly which I think are pretty cool. And now they are a part of my skill-set. One uses a distortion mask to place an image on top of another with realistic results. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to explain it in this blog without video or images. So, I will leave you with this tip:
Occasionally we (designers/ graphic artist) are presented with an image that is 300ppi, but 2"x2.5". And the client wants to enlarge it to 8"x10". Naturally you would go to your Photoshop header: Image/Image Size, and increase the 2"x2.25 to 8"x10" and click enter. And your image would be distorted beyond belief. Well, you can increase that image without losing any quality. The trick? Increase the image by increments of 110%. It is a high res photo (300ppi) and all of the information is there. So, by increasing in small jumps, that information is passed on each time. The result is a high quality image once you reach your desired size. NOTE: this will not work with a low res image, 72ppi.
So, if you get a chance to participate in one of these conferences, I am encouraging you to attend. This particular conference was presented by CompuMaster.
Some Guy at That Agency