7 Learning Studio
V. Kappel, send
to the web site
95 and above and Mac OS 9 and above Pentium 200 with 64MB
RAM and 4X CD-ROM, Power PC G3/233 MHZ and 4X CD-ROM
people learn best with classroom instruction and
some by reading and following an instruction manual
with examples. Photoshop 7 Learning Studio provides
you with both for about $120 dollars. The Learning
Studio package comes with a special training CD-ROM
and a copy of Sybex's Photoshop 7 Savvy manual which
also includes a CD containing chapter-by-chapter
files of images to be used with this how-to reference
manual. All in all quite an offering to those interested
in learning and mastering Photoshop 7.
I need to point out right away that you do not need to own
Photoshop 7 to use the Learning Studio as you are provided
with a simulated interface that works like the actual program
to step you through the lessons. On the other hand, in order
to follow the Photoshop 7 Savvy manual and examples on its
CD you do need the full program installed.
The Photoshop 7 Learning Studio CD
This CD-ROM is the heart of the learning system. I'll start
right off by telling you that it works and I like it. It's
like having an instructor sitting on your shelf ready to
pull down when you're all set to dive in and learn how to
use the basic, intermediate and advanced features of Photoshop
7 (a wonderful, complicated, feature-filled program that
is also not so easy to learn).
The disk auto-loads and Steve Romaniello, author of the
Learning Studio and the Savvy book, is poised to greet you
with your first mouse click. It's a good test of your computer
as the program uses QuickTime and Macromedia Flash and Shock
enabled software. I had to load the latest free versions
of these programs, which I usually like to do anyhow, and
afterwards Steve popped up on the screen in a sharp crisp
player image with full sound and color.
The opening screen also provides you with a graphic navigation
image that includes dynamic menus to select the sections
and lessons you're searching for. The navigation image includes
five selections: Hands-on, Reference, Photoshop Savvy, Photoshop
Color and Photoshop Core. The list is long on the training
and information associated with each selection but here's
a short outline:
Hands-On Projects: Making Selections, Layers and Type, Restoring
a Color Photograph, and Web Design
Reference: What's New in Photoshop 7, Tool Descriptions,
File Formats, Quick Keys, and Glossary
Photoshop Savvy: Photo Retouching, Using Filters, Advanced
Layer Techniques, and Digital Video
Photoshop Color: Color Management and Printing, Modifying
and Mapping Color, and Spot Color
Photoshop Core: Foundations of Photoshop, Setting Up Photoshop,
Making Selections, Layering An Image, Working with Type,
and Creating and Applying Color
This is not a complete list of the coverage on the CD-ROM,
but it should give you a good idea of the content. In addition,
not every feature or lesson has an instructor video attached,
but there are a large number of instructional videos and
hands-on lessons on the disk.
The Hands-On-Projects section is interactive with a unique
training process. The interface and lessons utilize a unique
Show Me, Try Me and Test Me interactive instruction process
that actually takes you through the sequence of steps to
learn the particular technique you're studying. The instructor
shows you how to do the technique, the program steps you
through trying the technique yourself, and finally you're
tested and shown when you've made the right or wrong choices.
It's a learning process with reinforcement to help you remember
long after you've finished studying.
This training method is a good deal less expensive than
classroom training, works in the comfort of your home or
office, is there when you have the time to use it and is
easy to use for beginners and intermediate users. Advanced
users may find some tips and tricks in the training that
they're not familiar with, but the Savvy book is a great
quick-reference when you haven't used a feature in a while
and need a reminder.
7 Savvy Book & CD
sales feature of the Learning Studio Package is that the
book, "A $50.00 Value is Included Free!" The
book does sell separately for that price, is a June 2002
1st edition, is 656 pages in softcover and includes a CD.
The book also has a 32 page full-color section of examples.
Savvy is defined as a noun meaning practical know-how. That's
a pretty decent description of this book and the layout of
its material. It's not exactly a reference book - more like
a how-to (follow these steps) type of training manual. It
is, of course, a beautifully book with glossy pages and crisp
printed images and text, something Sybex always does wonderfully
with its graphic books.
There is, in my opinion, one nasty annoying little thing
included on the CD. There is a demo of the Photoshop 6 Learning
Studio. The instructional videos on this disk show the speaker,
Steve Romaniello, reading his lines from a teleprompter over
the top of the lens of the camera. You know, he's not looking
right at you like he's speaking to you, but he's reading
off the teleprompter which makes it seem like he's speaking
to someone over your shoulder. I find that annoying even
in a small video window. I'm happy this isn't a review of
that product. Thankfully they did a much better, much more
professional job of the videos on the Learning Studio 7 disk.
I have used a number of Photoshop 7 books to learn the program.
I found the learning sessions on this CD both informative
and fun. I took the lesson on retouching and restoring old
photographs with the Clone Tool, the Healing Brush and the
Patch Tool, all of which I've used, and I learned a few new
ways of doing things. By the way, the lessons and images
in the Savvy book are the same as the ones used in the Learning
Studio. So if you own Photoshop 7 and want to try what you've
learned in the program, you can do so.
This is a wholehearted buy recommendation of Photoshop 7
Learning Studio. I believe we will see more of this type
of computer-based training (CBT) with manuals and lessons
to reinforce the learning process in the future. So, if you
have a need to learn this program for home photography use,
web creation or business applications, this product is the
best bet I've seen in quite a while.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org