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Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle

All right, here I am looking at the final version of the magazine cover called Pout magazine.psd, and we are zoomed in on this detail of the necklace that's curling around the model's finger. And in this exercise I'm going to show you how I made this sparkle as a combination of a couple of shape layers working together. Now, one of the things I was trying to do is emulate a real-world specular highlight. So I went ahead and found an image lying around, actually handful of images. This was one of them that had some real-world sparkles inside of it.

Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle

All right, here I am looking at the final version of the magazine cover called Pout magazine.psd, and we are zoomed in on this detail of the necklace that's curling around the model's finger. And in this exercise I'm going to show you how I made this sparkle as a combination of a couple of shape layers working together. Now, one of the things I was trying to do is emulate a real-world specular highlight. So I went ahead and found an image lying around, actually handful of images. This was one of them that had some real-world sparkles inside of it.

These are some photographically captured sparkles, in other words, I didn't do anything to this image. And the name of the image is Sparkles.jpg, and this is just a detail of a larger photograph of course, just actually a little bit of a junkie detail really. But what I wanted to do was simulate this effect right here to the degree that it serves the purposes of the image. In other words, this sparkle would be too big and glumpy to actually use as is, because it would end up covering up the details of the pearl. So I wanted to come up with something that had finer definition, but I'll go ahead and select it here and Ctrl+ Drag or Command+Drag and drop it into the other image window, like so.

Notice that it bears a fair resemblance actually. We can see the sparkle, the artificial sparkle that I have created over here on the left-hand side, and the real world sparkle from a totally different photograph albeit, over here in the right-hand side, and ultimately the fake sparkle has more definition associated with it, but I believe it's conveying the same basic effect. So let me show you what I did. I will go ahead and delete that layer that I just added, and I will switch back to my image in progress, which I have called Optical kerning.psd. Now, the first step is to go ahead and add a Starburst layer, and you can create such a layer using the Regular Polygon tool, which is one of your Shape tools.

So go down to the Shape tool flyout menu, choose the Polygon tool. And the Polygon tool not only draws things like triangles and pentagons by default, as you can see here and all sorts of other regular polygons, but it also allows you to draw stars. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z. Apparently, I've got some weird effect automatically assigned here, Linear Dodge, notice that. Anyway, let's go ahead and wipe that out before we draw the actual shape. I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the creation of that first polygon, and I'll click on this down-pointing arrowhead to the right of the word Style up here in the Options bar, and I'll click on this None guy, to make sure that we don't have any special layer Effects or Blend modes or anything else going on.

All right, and next, I am going to change my Sides value here to 12. Now, you could use 8 sides if you want to, and at this point, when we're talking sides, we're talking the number of points in our Starburst. That's what we will be talking in just a moment anyway. But anything from about 8 to 16 points tends to work out pretty nicely, and now I'll click this down-pointing arrowhead so I can change my Polygon Options. And the first thing I am going to do is turn on Star, so that I am creating a star shape. And as things stand, I would draw a star that looks like this, which is not going to look like a Starburst at all, as you can see.

Not just because it's black of course, but also because its sides aren't nearly pointy enough. So I will undo that star, and I'll go back to my Options here, and I'll change the Indent Sides value to at least 90. You want it 90% or higher for the best results. You don't want to smooth out your indents, that would be the inner corners in the star, and you don't want to smooth out your corners, which would be the outer corners. You want to leave everything nice and spiky. And now I'll close that panel, and I am going to draw a Starburst right about at this location here, and I will draw it up into this area, right between the i and M in Minutes, so right about at this location should work out pretty nicely.

You can press the Spacebar, by the way, to move that Starburst on the fly if you want to. But right about here should do it. And then I will go ahead and release, once I have drawn the star shape. And obviously I need to change the color of this shape to something other than black right here, and to get a sense of what color actually I want to use, I am going to click in this gray Vector Mask thumbnail to turn it off, so we're not seeing the gray edges right there. I might go ahead and rename this shape on here. I will call it star, and then I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Screen, so that we get a bright interaction.

When you're creating Glows and Starburst and that kind of stuff, Screen is your when in doubt mode, and we can adjust it from there, as we will, but that's a good place to start. Now, Screen treats black as invisible, so that's why we're dropping off black, because you can't lighten anything with blackness after all. So in order to cast a light inside of this star, we need to change the color. I am going to double-click on this Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and I eventually lifted a color from the image itself using the Eyedropper, and then I finesse that color a little bit.

And notice, right off the bat, we're getting something resembling a Starburst right here. It's too spiky. It's too obvious. We will change that shortly. But for now I am going to change my Hue setting to 35 degrees. I just want to make it a little redder instead of quite so yellow. And then I am going to increase the Saturation value to 65, and I am going to take the Brightness all the way up to 100%. Then I will click OK. Now, it felt like that still wasn't bursty enough, so I've decided to switch from Screen to the Ultimate Lightning mode, which is this guy right there, Linear Dodge (Add), and that ends up giving me this very bright effect here.

All right, next I want to go ahead and soften these edges a little bit, and that's something you can do from the Masks panel. So if you bring up the Masks panel, either by clicking on the little Masks icon or choosing Masks from the Window menu, then you should be able to adjust your Feather value on the fly. That's a parametric modification, so it's not permanent; you can always change your mind anytime you like. Only problem is it's dimmed currently, and that's because I don't have the Mask selected. And I just hate this, because as soon as I do select the Mask, either by clicking on the gray thumbnail here inside the Layers panel or by clicking on this little icon right there, which selects the Vector Mask, then I see the darn mask, and I can't see what I am doing.

Thankfully, however, I can press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide that Vector Mask for the time being, and so that way I can see what I am doing. So I'll go ahead and raise the Feather value to its lowest setting inside of this panel, which is 1, because notice any higher than that is really going to wipe out the effect. So 1 pixel of Feathering, Parametric Feathering, on-the-fly, applied, and bear in mind that this is a Blur Effect that's being applied to a Vector Shape here inside Photoshop, and then I will go ahead and close that panel.

All right, that's not quite everything we need though. If you check out that real-world Sparkles.jpg image, you can see that not only do we have that Starburst effect, we also have this very bright center, and so we need to fill in that center using a circle. So I will switch back to the image at hand here, Optical kerning.psd, and I am going to add another shape using the Ellipse tool, and I am going to draw from the center out there. So I am going to start with my cursor in the center and then begin dragging, before you press any keys, definitely begin dragging first and then press and hold the Shift and Alt keys like so, so that you are drawing a circle.

That's the function of the Shift key. And by virtue of the fact that you are pressing the Alt key, or you on the Macintosh press the Option key, you are drawing from the center outwards. So that's Shift+Alt on the PC, Shift+Option on the Mac and create a circle that's about that big. It should be automatically filled with that last color you used, which it is for me. It should already be set to Linear Dodge. That's awesome! Let's go ahead and call this new shape circle, and let's press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide that vector outline, and then I am going to bring out my Masks panel once again.

The Feather value should be available to you, because your Vector Mask is selected, and I want you to raise this Feather value this time. I am just going to press the Up Arrow key until I get the effect I like, which happens at about 4 pixels right there. Now, you can go higher if you want to, but I like 4. 6 looks pretty darn good, but 4 looks better in my opinion, and that is the effect right there. It's that simple. And even though it's a blurry effect, it's fairly naturalistic as well, it's created entirely using vector-based shape outlines, which will scale of course along with the image.

All right, so I am going to switch away from those shapes for a moment. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how to export this final version of the magazine cover, so that you retain every single one of your vector-based outlines, your clean sharp editable text, along with your pixel-based photographic imagery.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

247 video lessons · 33274 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 1s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 6s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. What you can do with Photoshop
      1m 46s
    2. The mission-critical eyes
      2m 44s
    3. Copy Merged and Paste in Place
      6m 52s
    4. Sharpening details to match
      4m 34s
    5. Masking eyes
      9m 22s
    6. Working with clipping-mask layers
      9m 5s
    7. Shading with layer effects
      8m 10s
    8. Color and highlight effects
      4m 2s
    9. Refining layer masks
      5m 43s
    10. Fabricating the highlights in the pupils
      7m 33s
    11. Using a merged copy to sharpen
      5m 34s
  3. 2h 14m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      1m 16s
    2. Introducing the Auto commands
      7m 23s
    3. Adjusting Cache Level settings
      6m 8s
    4. Reading a channel-by-channel histogram
      6m 21s
    5. How the Auto commands work
      5m 22s
    6. Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color
      7m 7s
    7. Blending the Auto results
      4m 4s
    8. Introducing the Levels command
      6m 15s
    9. Using Levels as an adjustment layer
      3m 12s
    10. Applying custom Levels adjustments
      6m 8s
    11. Understanding the gamma value
      7m 39s
    12. The futility of Output Levels
      2m 56s
    13. Selections and adjustment layers
      5m 48s
    14. Opening up the shadows
      3m 40s
    15. Previewing clipped pixels
      4m 51s
    16. The black, white, and gray eyedroppers
      5m 7s
    17. Gray card tips and tricks
      6m 5s
    18. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      7m 29s
    19. Introducing the Curves command
      7m 44s
    20. Curves dialog box tricks
      7m 16s
    21. Curves adjustment layer tricks
      5m 45s
    22. Correcting an image with Curves
      5m 32s
    23. Filling in the highlights
      5m 42s
    24. Neutralizing casts and smoothing transitions
      5m 37s
  4. 1h 46m
    1. The art of enhancing edges
      1m 26s
    2. How sharpening works
      6m 2s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      6m 7s
    4. Introducing Unsharp Mask
      6m 19s
    5. Radius and Threshold
      6m 24s
    6. Sharpening colors vs. luminosity
      5m 56s
    7. Gauging the ideal settings
      8m 59s
    8. Unsharp Mask vs. Smart Sharpen
      7m 1s
    9. Using the Remove settings
      9m 30s
    10. The More Accurate checkbox
      6m 8s
    11. Saving your Smart Filter settings
      5m 31s
    12. The Advanced sharpening settings
      7m 52s
    13. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 18s
    14. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      6m 43s
    15. Sharpening with High Pass
      9m 23s
    16. The new and improved Sharpen tool
      6m 22s
  5. 1h 34m
    1. Edge's evil twin: noise
      1m 12s
    2. Color vs. luminance noise
      7m 21s
    3. Reducing color noise
      7m 45s
    4. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 59s
    5. Relegating an effect to the shadows
      6m 27s
    6. Switching between layer and mask
      6m 59s
    7. The Dust & Scratches filter
      4m 56s
    8. Adjusting shadow saturation
      5m 52s
    9. Combining High Pass with Lens Blur
      6m 57s
    10. Masking a layer of Lens Blur
      7m 34s
    11. Painting away High Pass sharpening
      8m 22s
    12. Building up a noise pattern
      6m 40s
    13. Converting noise to texture
      4m 24s
    14. Bleeding colors into paper
      6m 16s
    15. Matching different noise levels
      8m 31s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. We are the stuff of light
      1m 24s
    2. Applying automatic lens correction
      5m 53s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 44s
    4. Shadows/Highlights in depth
      7m 59s
    5. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      4m 43s
    6. Sharpening on top of blur
      7m 3s
    7. Sharpening the merged composition
      6m 16s
    8. Grouping and masking layers
      5m 40s
    9. Adjusting the density of a mask
      7m 14s
    10. Creating a Shadows/Highlights shortcut
      5m 47s
    11. Restoring detail with Shadows/Highlights
      6m 23s
    12. Changing the Shadows/Highlights defaults
      6m 21s
    13. Smoothing skin details with Gaussian Blur
      3m 56s
    14. Smoothing with High Pass
      5m 44s
    15. Lowering contrast with Gaussian Blur
      7m 4s
    16. Inverting a sharpening effect
      7m 5s
  7. 2h 32m
    1. Color becomes monochrome
      1m 31s
    2. Converting an image to grayscale
      6m 49s
    3. Extracting luminance information
      7m 37s
    4. Introducing the Channel Mixer
      10m 23s
    5. Aggressive channel mixing
      9m 42s
    6. Proofing CMYK colors
      7m 49s
    7. Color settings and intent
      7m 6s
    8. Practical Channel Mixer variations
      4m 30s
    9. Saving variations as layer comps
      7m 57s
    10. The default grayscale recipe
      8m 55s
    11. Creating a custom black-and-white mix
      6m 59s
    12. Shadows/Highlights in black and white
      4m 58s
    13. Introducing the Black & White command
      5m 55s
    14. Adjusting Black & White settings
      9m 39s
    15. Mixing a Black & White portrait
      6m 32s
    16. Black & White vs. Channel Mixer
      9m 21s
    17. Adding tint and color
      8m 0s
    18. Introducing the Gradient Map
      7m 10s
    19. Loading custom gradients
      4m 32s
    20. Editing gradient color stops
      9m 58s
    21. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      7m 13s
  8. 2h 10m
    1. Two great commands working great together
      1m 18s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 13s
    3. Setting key colors and Fuzziness
      5m 38s
    4. Predefined vs. sampled colors
      3m 57s
    5. The Localized Color Clusters option
      5m 41s
    6. Defining a selection with care
      4m 44s
    7. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      5m 20s
    8. Testing edges with the Magic Wand
      5m 14s
    9. Hand-brushing a selection
      5m 39s
    10. Saving and loading an alpha channel
      4m 35s
    11. Converting a selection to a layer mask
      2m 46s
    12. Switching between an image and a layer mask
      6m 58s
    13. Protecting elements with a layer mask
      8m 5s
    14. Duplicating and editing a layer mask
      7m 34s
    15. Introducing the Refine Edge command
      4m 46s
    16. Accessing the various Refine Edge options
      5m 35s
    17. Refine Edge's preview options
      6m 21s
    18. The Adjust Edge values
      4m 11s
    19. Edge Detection and Smart Radius
      6m 5s
    20. Using the Refine Radius tool
      8m 8s
    21. Using the Decontaminate Colors option
      7m 30s
    22. Old-school masking adjustments
      7m 7s
    23. Four micro mask adjustments
      8m 33s
  9. 3h 13m
    1. Photoshop's vector exceptions
      1m 11s
    2. Making text in Photoshop
      6m 18s
    3. Creating and editing a text layer
      6m 56s
    4. Font and type style
      7m 35s
    5. Type size and color
      7m 52s
    6. Combining layer effects and type
      10m 57s
    7. Drawing a custom shape layer
      8m 34s
    8. Side bearing, kerning, and tracking
      10m 36s
    9. Point text vs. area text
      8m 26s
    10. Selecting and formatting a paragraph
      5m 19s
    11. Copying and pasting unformatted text
      7m 45s
    12. Creating text inside a custom path
      6m 26s
    13. Creating text along a path
      8m 13s
    14. Adjusting baseline shift
      6m 16s
    15. Drawing a fading arrowhead
      7m 29s
    16. Fading a shadow with a layer
      5m 32s
    17. Logo creation and Fill Opacity
      7m 44s
    18. Stretching a background element
      6m 9s
    19. Drawing with shape outlines
      6m 18s
    20. Combining vector-based shapes
      6m 42s
    21. Masking vector-based shape layers
      6m 7s
    22. Correcting spacing problems
      7m 44s
    23. Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle
      8m 45s
    24. Preparing text for commercial output
      5m 9s
    25. Saving a high-resolution PDF file
      7m 11s
    26. Inspecting the final PDF document
      7m 8s
    27. Saving large poster art
      9m 32s
  10. 2h 36m
    1. What filters ought to be
      1m 25s
    2. Layer effects vs. filters
      6m 14s
    3. Carving with an Inner Shadow effect
      7m 45s
    4. Selling an effect with Drop Shadow
      7m 17s
    5. Creating blurry shadow type
      5m 30s
    6. Saving custom default settings
      6m 22s
    7. Creating a custom contour
      7m 3s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 35s
    9. Adjusting Angle and Altitude
      7m 8s
    10. Exploiting global light
      8m 11s
    11. Gloss and edge contour
      5m 8s
    12. Applying and creating layer styles
      6m 45s
    13. Loading, saving, and merging styles
      6m 17s
    14. Creating a textured bevel effect
      6m 56s
    15. Using shadows as highlights
      7m 39s
    16. Combining filters and effects
      6m 58s
    17. Working with random effects
      6m 55s
    18. Smoothing with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 13s
    19. Masking blacks from whites
      4m 37s
    20. Applying liquid styles
      4m 36s
    21. Simulating liquid reflections
      8m 12s
    22. Finessing and cropping a liquid effect
      7m 25s
    23. Initiating a displacement map
      6m 17s
    24. Applying a displacement map
      7m 37s
  11. 1h 12m
    1. Two words: Free Transform
      34s
    2. Scale, rotate, and constrain
      6m 30s
    3. Using the transformation origin
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a slant (aka skew)
      3m 37s
    5. The four-point "perspective" distortion
      7m 51s
    6. Two ways to make gradient text
      5m 59s
    7. Building complexity from a simple shape
      4m 42s
    8. Duplicating a series of transformations
      6m 3s
    9. Rasterizing a layer with its effects
      6m 41s
    10. Applying a custom warp
      7m 24s
    11. Blending and softening a warped layer
      4m 39s
    12. Creating spherical highlights
      6m 30s
    13. Using a center-source inner glow
      3m 51s
  12. 2h 42m
    1. Distorting reality
      1m 33s
    2. Extracting a foreground element
      6m 45s
    3. Introducing the Puppet Warp command
      7m 20s
    4. Setting and manipulating pins
      7m 48s
    5. Rotating pins and switching warp modes
      6m 41s
    6. Expanding and contracting the mesh
      6m 11s
    7. Changing the Density setting
      8m 0s
    8. Adjusting the pin depth
      5m 18s
    9. Winding an image into a pretzel
      6m 2s
    10. Applying Puppet Warp to type
      6m 30s
    11. Warping single characters
      6m 25s
    12. Editing puppet-warped text
      8m 24s
    13. Extending an image with Free Transform
      8m 46s
    14. Extracting from a white background
      10m 5s
    15. Tracing a shape with Puppet Warp
      9m 1s
    16. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 4s
    17. Warp, Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat
      8m 53s
    18. Saving and loading a mesh
      5m 59s
    19. Push, Mirror, and Turbulence
      11m 49s
    20. Lifting and slimming details
      8m 22s
    21. Warping fabric, arms, and legs
      7m 1s
    22. Masking and finessing the results
      10m 8s
  13. 3h 3m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 44s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw
      7m 40s
    3. Adjusting white balance
      7m 0s
    4. Selecting and synchronizing images
      6m 9s
    5. Making automatic adjustments and saving changes
      7m 19s
    6. Creating and managing snapshots
      8m 23s
    7. Adjusting the Exposure value
      6m 24s
    8. Working with clipping warnings
      5m 5s
    9. Adjusting Brightness and Contrast
      7m 35s
    10. Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity
      9m 25s
    11. Recovery and Fill Light
      6m 57s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      7m 2s
    13. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 44s
    14. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      7m 49s
    15. Applying manual lens corrections
      7m 19s
    16. Vignette and chromatic aberrations
      6m 21s
    17. Introducing the Tone Curves
      6m 9s
    18. Parametric curves and targeted adjustments
      6m 26s
    19. Correcting a low-noise photograph
      7m 35s
    20. Sharpening and high-noise photos
      8m 25s
    21. Selective Hue/Saturation adjustments
      5m 34s
    22. Selective Luminance adjustments
      5m 39s
    23. Adding grain and vignetting effects
      5m 23s
    24. Mixing a subjective black-and-white image
      7m 53s
    25. Colorizing with the Split Toning options
      4m 29s
    26. Opening a raw image as a Smart Object
      5m 39s
    27. Camera Raw wrap-up
      8m 38s
  14. 55s
    1. Until next time
      55s

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