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January
2003

Photoshop Tips Are Just A Click Away

Have you been looking for the best information available for Adobe Photoshop users? The best tips, techniques and tricks to keep your images on the cutting edge? The World Wide Web is full of great resources for the full range of Photoshop users…from the beginner to the jaded pro.

Of course, the place to start on the Internet is Adobe’s own web site (www.adobe.com). Adobe has all of the current updates to Photoshop available for download. They also offer online training for many of their programs. The training is in the form of Shockwave interactive movies powered by Element K, similar to online courses provided by New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. There are a couple of free sample lessons available and a one-year subscription for the Photoshop course is $59. Click on the ‘Training’ link under the ‘Support’ heading.

Adobe also hosts an active discussion forum. Users ask lots of questions and have plenty of comments for other users and moderators. These discussions are fully searchable for your specific topic. Click on the ‘Forums’ link under ‘Support.’ Also, be sure to check out Adobe’s Photoshop page (www.adobe.com/products/photoshop) (Fig. 1) for links to Photoshop-related products and content.

Fig. 1

The real gold mine at Adobe’s site is the Adobe Studio site (http://studio.adobe.com) (Fig. 2). Here you will find downloadable plug-ins and actions (many for free), online portfolios of users’ work, tips, tutorials, and the Photoshop Expert Center. This site is so incredibly packed with information that it would take days or weeks to fully explore it. The Adobe Studio site requires a site registration, but it is free and worth much more.

Fig. 2

Another great Web resource is the National Association of Photoshop Professionals homepage (www.photoshopuser.com) (Fig. 3). NAPP produces the slick monthly Photoshop User magazine. Individual membership costs $99 per year ($89 per year for students), but it is well worth it. You get the magazine as well as access to the members’ area of the web site full of great discussions, live chats, downloads, tips and answers to common questions. Additionally, NAPP members get discounts on a wide range of hardware, software and services like Photoshop plug-ins, software upgrades, magazines, web hosting, clip art, stock photography, training videos, hotels, car rentals and lots more. But wait, there’s more. NAPP hosts the annual Photoshop World convention (www.photoshopworld.com) and members are automatically invited. The association also boasts a Help Desk with one-on-one confidential answers to urgent problems. A service like that can be worth more than the membership fee.

Fig. 3

Creative Pro (www.creativepro.com) (Fig. 4) is another site that is aimed at professionals. The content is more general, but there are some great Photoshop-related articles. There are also reviews of hardware and software, graphics news, updates and links to graphics companies on the web. PrintingForLess.com owns and operates the site, originally founded by plug-in and utility maker Extensis. You can conveniently get quotes on your print jobs through the site.

Fig. 4

Planet Photoshop (www.planetphotoshop.com) (Fig. 5) is a cool site that collects a copious amount of Photoshop information in one fantastic portal. The site sports articles, techniques and reviews; and you can sign up for an email Photoshop tip-of-the-day. The Planet has an active discussion forum with users of all levels exchanging views and information. The Tutorials section is especially good with sections on Effects, Photography, Text, Web, Tools and Correction. Planet Photoshop links to many great training resources, seminars and books. The site is supported by advertising, so you will also find relevant ads for products that you may need.

Fig. 5

If you are looking for a crash course in Photoshop, look no further than WebMonkey’s Photoshop Crash Course (http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/design/graphics/tutorials/tutorial1.html) (Fig. 6). While this tutorial is not completely up-to-date, the information in it is timeless. You will find lessons on cropping, resizing, selection tools, file formats filters layers and plenty more. The lessons are written in an informal, easy-to-read style with a lot of humor thrown in for good measure.

Fig. 6

Another good choice for beginners is the University of Hong Kong’s Adobe Photoshop User Guide for Beginners (http://hkusuc.hku.hk/cc/document/photoshop). This site covers the basics of Photoshop, but also throws in some basic computer graphics concepts as well. This site is not a paragon of high design, but the information presented is straightforward and valid.

There are plenty of sites that show off techniques; one that I like is Screaming Banana (www.screamingbanana.com) (Fig. 7). Click on the ‘SmartyButt’ link to see the Photoshop-related content. The site features things like making bronze text, torn edge effects, chrome effects, and a close knock off of Apple’s Aqua effect. The site has not been updated for a while, but the content is still worthwhile.

Fig. 7

The Xanthic Eye (www.xanthic.net) is another site from an individual who shares some of his experience with Photoshop and Jasc Paint Shop Pro and you can also download wallpapers, skins and icons. The site is full of eye candy and an interface that is out-of-this-world.

The Internet give us access to an incredible library on information on practically any subject, including Adobe Photoshop. Next time you are visiting a search engine, boggle your mind with a search for ‘Photoshop.’

Paul Vaughn is a freelance graphic artist, writer and web designer. If you would like to see the Graphics Guy address a specific topic email Paul Vaughn at paulv@mac.com. Another great web resource – the Graphics Guy’s own site www.GraphicsGuy.org.

 

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