I have been a longtime member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), but only recently started going to their workshops. Last Novemeber, I went to Location Lighting Techniques with Joe McNally. This past Friday, I went to Down and Dirty Tricks for Photoshop CS4 with Dave Cross. As a Photoshop user dating back to version 5, I know Photoshop. But, even this jaded Photoshop pro was impressed with Dave Cross. His mix of personality and technique keep the overflow audience at Javits entertained and under control. Not as easy task for an all-day class.
Down and Dirty Tricks Tour covers material aimed at advanced Photoshop Users. Attendees receive a booklet covering all of the class material as well as a DVD of videos and files to follow along at home. Best yet, Dave Cross did not bore the audience with basics; instead, he jumped right into each exercise, and included many of those hard-to-find Photoshop shortcut keys along the way.
Highlights from Class:
By turning all imported files into Smart Objects, you can keep a link to the highest resolution version without worrying about degrading the picture quality. Scale down and them scale back without loosing resolution!
You can apply Smart Filters to Smart Object and even go back into the Filter to change settings and opacity levels.
Use the New Smart Object by Copy function to create a second linked Smart Object which can be adjusted without changing the settings of another linked Smart Object.
Use the Replace Contents drop-down of a Smart Object to swap the contents. This works best when the original and replacement file are the same size and resolution.
Add guides in the dead center of your document by using View > New Guide and enter 50% for Horizontal and then repeat for Vertical. (Ignore the fact that it asks for pixels.)
Double Click on a layer to fine-tune the blending by adjusting the Blend-If sliders.
Control/Command + Shift + T will transform additional objects based on the last transformation that was applied. Add the Alt/Option key to create a duplicate object with the same transformation.
Shift + and Shit – will cycle through most drop-down values.
Move a text area while still editing the text by just moving the cursor off the text area. You will see the cursor change from the Text I-bar to the Move Tool. Now move the text and then continue typing.
With the Text Tool selected, use ALT/Option + Right Arrow to increase Character Kerning and ALT/Option + Left Arrow to decrease Character Kerning.
With the Text Tool selected, use ALT/Option + Up Arrow to increase Leading (Line Spacing) and ALT/Option + Down Arrow to decrease Leading.
Dave also covered many features of the recently announce Photoshop CS5. NAPP already has a CS5 Learning Center filled with videos showing such features as Contact Aware Fill, new Camera Raw Engine, Puppet Warp and improved HDR processing.
NOTE: If you have Custom Brushes, Patterns or Fills in Photoshop CS4 now, you will need to select them in each panel and export them. This is the only way to import them into Photoshop CS5.
Of course, there was stuff going on outside of the class too. Adorama, B&H, OnOne Software and others had booths with class-only specials. NAPP and Kelby Training even has specials on enrollment. It was a great way to spend the day. I can’t wait for the next NAPP class!