Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) 6.0 Studio Techniques

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9780201716122: Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) 6.0 Studio Techniques

This is the definitive guide to mastering the most essential features of Photoshop. Experienced Photoshop instructor Ben Willmore provides lessons that will help all users truly understand this popular image editing software. The text starts out with basic Photoshop techniques and moves on to more complex tasks and features, including layers, resolution, line art scanning, compositing, color correction, and displaying images on the Web. With these concepts and skills explained in a "technobabble-free" way, readers will master even the most complex Photoshop concepts. This is not a special effects cookbook or a primer on digital design; rather, this reader-friendly book is designed to boost users' productivity by showing how and why to use certain Photoshop tools.

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Review:

Ben Willmore's readers tell him that after reading his books, they "finally get Photoshop!" For this latest edition, once again he focuses on helping readers understand Photoshop rather than just leading them blindly through step-by-step projects. Looking at those techniques most useful to print and Web designers, and learning not just how to carry them out but the reasons behind each stage, readers will find out more than just which tool or filter does what. Once understanding is achieved, the author promises, creativity and efficiency levels soar.

This is not a special-effects cookbook, filled with chrome highlighting or other slick tricks, but it does show all the essential production techniques. For example, there are sections on color correcting, using creative effects like working with blending modes, and creating Web content like banners and animations. Nor is this a tutorial-based book that simulates a classroom at home, although the pages are rich with examples, screen shots, and professional-quality images that clearly mimic common Photoshop problems (like trying to silhouette strands of hair). And all sample images are on the CD-ROM for the hands-on experience of following along on the computer. In addition, the CD-ROM has bonus chapter supplements that show even more techniques.

But it's the author's non-technical approach to explaining how Photoshop works that makes the difference between this and so many other similar how-to books. He uses stories and metaphors to get to "why would I want to do that" and not just "how do I do that." For example, he quickly gets to the bottom of the sponge tool by saying it works like a sponge full of bleach, soaking up the color wherever you paint with it (or doing the exact opposite if the blending mode is set to Saturate). And, at the end of each chapter, he includes a list of the official technical terms so that you can talk like a pro now that you have the skills of one. --Angelynn Grant

Topics include:

  • Tools and work environment
  • Basic selection techniques
  • Basic layer techniques
  • Basics of resolution and scanning
  • Working in grayscale
  • Using levels, histograms, and curves
  • Basics of color correction
  • Working with channels
  • Creating effective and technically correct shadows
  • Working with blending modes, layer masks, and clipping paths
  • Filters and retouching tools
  • Working with type and background effects
  • Creating Web graphics--slices, rollovers, GIF animations, and optimization techniques
  • CD-ROM includes project files, demo version of Photoshop 6, and chapter supplements in PDF format

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