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Dynamic Learning: Photoshop CS3 Paperback – 26 Jul 2007
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a very easy to read and understand book and with the videos it becomes a very powerful learning experience.
-- BlogCritics Magazine, April 2007
About the Author
Jennifer Smith, co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Aquent Graphics Institute www.agitraining.com, a subsidiary of Aquent www.aquent.com, has been working in electronic publishing for over two decades, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities in electronic publishing and design. She has authored a number of books on print and Internet publishing, including the Adobe Creative Suite for Dummies (CS and CS2), Adobe Illustrator Classroom in a Book (CS and CS2), GoLive CS2 Classroom in a Book, and Sam's Teach Yourself Adobe GoLive in 24 Hours. Most recently, she has helped author much of Adobe's internal training for the Creative Suite 3 launch. For more information on AGI, please visit www.agitraining.com.
The AGI Creative Team is a highly experienced group of authors and instructors with a strong track record for developing and delivering best-of-breed books, video content, seminar series, and conferences.
Top customer reviews
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WARNING. Play the videos at your peril!!!! The voice of the woman doing the narrating could cut through solid steel. It is quite awful. Sorry madam, but i suggest you steer well clear of narrating your own videos.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The problem with this book, is that they teach you how to create the lesson final product, but just have you push some buttons on the keyboard to reach that point, without ever giving you practical reason for why you're doing it. It does a very poor job of showing the different menu choices and what those menu choices accomplish. For example, very little was done with filters and showing how they work and what they accomplish.
The DVD/CD that comes with the book is virtually worthless. It just takes you through a series of button pushing sequences to get a final result, the exact same sequences the book walks you through. Totally redundant and without purpose.
Although in the end I learned a few things, overall, this book was a disappointment to me. I would not reccomend it to anyone that wants to learn photoshop from ground zero or has a remedial knowledge of it like I had.
I am making the transition from Abode Photoshop Elements to the Photoshop CS3 Extended so some of the features are new to me. I found the book to be at the right level for someone who is new to Photoshop.
The book gives you three different ways to learn with each chapter in the book. You can read the book, you can read the book and follow the projects that come on the DVD, or you can watch the Adobe Flash videos on the DVD. I found reading the book hard to follow without being in front of the computer and following the project steps. The video does give you enough detail to do the project but the chapter videos are fast paced compared to Training video from Lynda.com, Studio Works, or Total Training. The nice thing is you can look back at the instructions in the book without having to re-watch the video. A nice feature is you can copy the video to your hard drive so you do not have to carry are around the DVD or with Lynda.com online training you have to have an internet connection. I like in the video because there are certain items that are hard to describe on paper which make it so much easy to explain visually. One of the items that is a lot easier to understand by video is the vanishing point filter. The author shows how to put a picture on a white product box.
The book also gives some small demos on how the Photoshop works with other Adobe software such as Adobe Illustrator and shows you how Photoshop work together.
I find when I launch the Flash video for each chapter it does not seem to go anywhere. It takes time to load the video so be patient. When I picked up the book to review it did not realize how extensive the video tutorial was. The book seems expensive at $44.99 because of the size of the book for that price but if you realize how much effort the author has but into the video on the DVD the book is a good value. You get a book, project files, and videos for that price. I think O'Reailly the books publisher should emphasize the how extensive the videos are on the front cover of the book.
I found the book a good learning tool as long as you what a book that covers information for graphic professionals and photographers. As some one that is use to Adobe Photoshop Elements and moving to the full version of Photoshop I found the book helpful for me to understand Photoshop CS3.
System requirements for Windows or Mac, how to load the lessons and the lesson files, the importance of resetting your defaults for each chapter and everything you could possibly ever need to know is covered in careful detail. A newcomer to Photoshop could easily follow these instructions. Each and every step is explained down to the smallest detail, in a clear and concise way.
I found it helpful to watch the video first, read the lesson through and then actually do the lesson in the book using all the expanded explanations. (We all know a video is worth ten thousand words.) This allowed me to set my own pace, quickly glossing over what I already knew about Photoshop and to spend more time on what was new to me.
After the start up session, Dynamic Learning digs right into doing a little creation. Instead of the boring part of getting to know your way around the tools and palettes and the layout of your workspace, you get to actually do a project first. I found this interesting and a way to encourage me on to the following lessons.
The tutorials are great, Ms. Smith whisks you through the lessons and a slider makes it easy to back up and go over the instructions as often as is necessary for you to grasp the concept of that lesson.
Each chapter concludes with a self study project and review questions along with the answers right there where you need them. The projects reinforce what you have learned and can be fun, whether you use the provided images in the lesson files and/or substitute your own, which can make it more interesting and personal. These projects also let you evaluate how much you have learned or if you need to reconsider backtracking on the lesson.
Overall, I found a wealth of information spread throughout the lessons regarding color and its importance as to how it conveys when printed, displayed on a monitor or viewed on other devices. And, if understanding color is the life blood of Photoshop, then layers is the muscle to support and manipulate it. Two lessons are devoted entirely to learning the effectiveness and value of layers. If you can master layers, you have unlimited flexibility to generate creative images, your creative images!
In case anyone wants to further pursue their Dynamic Learning experience, there are resources beyond this book and DVD. Training videos and conferences are available as are in person seminars conducted by the authors of the Adobe Suite series. Information is also available for educators on line.
Considering the expense of Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended, the small price paid for Dynamic Learning Photoshop CS3 seems like a worthwhile expense. The books step by step learning process is a great aid to becoming proficient with Adobe Photoshop CS3 and that's why you bought it in the first place.