A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Introducing Layers
Layers add a new world of possibilities to using Photoshop. In this lesson, you’ll create, view, and hide layers. Why do layers matter? Well, they open so many opportunities for fine-tuning your images. You can edit a layered image nondestructively, so you don’t have to start over if you make a mistake or need to change something.
Lesson 02 - Manipulating Layers
Today we’ll focus on the clues Photoshop gives to explain exactly what you’re doing to a layer as you’re working. You’ll create, move, duplicate, lock, unlock, cut, and paste layers. Knowing this information will let you alter images quickly and nondestructively . . . and the lock commands will help you prevent others (and yourself!) from accidentally altering your work.
Lesson 03 - Introducing Smart Objects
Take advantage of Smart Objects—the most awesome and significant innovation in Photoshop since the layers feature was introduced. You can place a RAW-format photo (or JPG or TIF) file inside the Smart Object and re-edit it in Camera RAW anytime you want. You’ll discover how to crop and resize photos nondestructively using Smart Objects, and you’ll love the way they let you make a protected package out of an image.
Lesson 04 - More Smart Effects With Smart Objects
Today you’ll see how you can make an individual layer in an image larger or smaller, rotate it, and use the amazing Warp command. And you can reverse all these changes anytime you want—if you make them on a Smart Object layer. You can even use filters nondestructively, so long as you apply them to a Smart Object (gee, those come in handy!). You’ll also create a pear that, when cut open, has an orange inside it.
Lesson 05 - Using Adjustment Layers
Each time you edit the exposure in an image, you lose image quality. But what if there were a way to edit the exposure as much as you wanted and not hurt the quality? There is! An adjustment layer makes no permanent change to the image, and you can stack up these layers as you wish. You won’t ever want to apply a regular Levels command or Adjustment command directly to an image again.
Lesson 06 - Introducing Layer Masks
In this lesson, you’ll find out about layer masks—another way that Photoshop lets you have your cake and eat it too. If you bring a picture of little Johnny onto a new background image, and you erase all the stuff that was in the background, what happens if you change your mind? You’d better hope you have the original image somewhere, and then you’re in for a lot more work. However, if you use a layer mask, you’ll keep every pixel that’s in the original image and hide the parts of the original that you no longer wish to see.
Lesson 07 - Image Restoration and Retouching
Did the dog eat Grandmother’s portrait? Or did time and water do that damage? No matter. Using layers makes it easier than ever before to restore some of your treasured family heritage. You’ll get ample practice with that today, plus links to websites that specialize in image restoration. Again, the theme of this lesson is nondestructive editing—working in layers so that you can always change your mind about a correction without having to begin again.
Lesson 08 - Grayscale and Gradient Masking
What happens if you want to place a person into a swimming pool or the ocean using Photoshop? To make the composite realistic, you need to transition from total opacity above the water line to total transparency below it. You'll learn that skill today as you work with grayscale and gradient masks. You'll also experiment with vignette edges and other edge effects, plus you'll create a Web page header.
Lesson 09 - More Masks Panel Techniques
One of the most common ways to lose sleep while using Photoshop is to try to add a new background behind a model with wispy, flowing hair. Hair and fur have always been the bane of Photoshop users. CS5 introduces an ingenious new command to make this process easier. That's one of the tricks you'll learn today when we explore some new commands on the Masks panel.
Lesson 10 - Clipping Masks and Layer Groups
Have you ever wondered how to put images inside type, like those old postcards for various cities? You’ll find out today. It’s called a clipping mask, and it’s a digital version of spreading glitter onto a paper that has a design drawn in glue—the glitter only sticks to the glue. In this case, the new layers only stick to the base layer in the clipping mask. Making a clipping mask is easy, but it provides one of Photoshop’s “wow” moments.
Lesson 11 - Luminosity Masking
Photoshop can use the values in an image to correct the image. That sounds scary and mysterious, but it’s actually easy to do. Today, you’ll create luminosity masks and use them to correct images and to develop false duotone images and wonderfully creative image composites. This lesson should nurture your creativity and yet give you some solid ways to add punch to an image or to create stunning sepia tones.
Lesson 12 - Creating Complex Composites
Do you like the look of double-exposed images? Would you enjoy creating a seamless composite of your vacation images? Then this is your lesson! It’s one of my favorites in the course. Up to now, you’ve masked images so that you can either see the image in the layer or not, or you’ve used a gradient or paint in the mask to get a grayscale transition. Now you’ll use photos in the mask to get a hide-and-seek look to layer visibility. You’ll also create an image that has a different photo in each color channel. And you’ll finish the course with a fun assignment that lets you put together everything you’ve learned.