Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2

Total Training
DVD – 21 hours, 50 minutes. $299.99 Photoshop trainer par excellence Deke McClelland takes on the persona of the Renaissance Man Leonardo “Deke” Vinci for Total Training’s superb Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2. The three DVD set provides more than 21 hours of in-depth video instruction on Adobe Photoshop CS2 that mixes rock-solid teaching with bursts of inspired humor for a truly engaging learning experience.

To get started, install the 36 MB training application. You should also install the project files folder (587 MB) and Deke’s Preferences (color settings and keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop CS2). The latter two items are not required but are highly recommended.

Instruction is divided into three parts: Photoshop Fundamentals, Essential Photoshop and Photoshop’s Finest Hours. Each part contains twelve lessons, and each lesson is divided into five to fourteen short topic segments. Printed and on-screen tables of contents are available to help you find particular topics, making the wealth of material surprisingly easy to navigate. Project work files are keyed to the lessons, so you can work right along with the presenter.

McClelland intersperses serious learning with entertaining lesson introductions and summaries (Renaissance-themed, of course). Don’t miss the particularly funny “Segway” segue at the end of Part 1.

The video quality is top-notch, not to mention the set design, costumes and Leonardo-inspired title effects. A sleek new Total Training video interface features simplified controls and unobtrusive pull-down menus.

Want to learn about Smart Blur? Use the menus at the top of the video window to hop to part three, lesson seven, topic four (you’ll need to change DVDs to move between parts). Time to take a break? A tap of your keyboard’s space bar pauses and resumes the video. Lessons and topics can also be bookmarked so you can readily get back to where you left off.

Be sure to click on the Bonus button to register with Total Training. In return you’ll get a code to unlock two bonus training lessons on new Photoshop CS2 features –Vanishing Point and Smart Objects – plus free images from iStockphoto and Photospin.

Total Training is the gold standard for Adobe training. The proof? Every copy of Adobe Creative Suite 2 ships with a Total Training DVD in the box. Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2 is the best “off the shelf” solution I know of for mastering Photoshop CS2. Most highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano

Total Training for Adobe Photoshop CS2
System requirements: DVD drive, optimized for 1GHz+ Macs and 2GHz+ Pentiums and runs on Mac OS X, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Mac training requires QuickTime 5.0.2 or later.

Copyright ©2005 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the June 2005 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.