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Here I have a quick picture of my office. And on one of my walls I have this blue VW Bug hood hanging there. And I think it's kind of fun. It looks kind of interesting. And one of the reasons why I think it works hanging on the wall is because it's just one simple car part. Now, imagine if my office was full of car parts, all kind of clutter everywhere. It wouldn't be very visually interesting or stimulating. And one of the things that we can do visually is we can isolate something, and if we isolate it, it becomes more interesting. Now, we need to start to do this as we approach Photoshop and in particular, we need to do this as we approach Photoshop shortcuts.
There are so many different shortcuts and our minds can become really overwhelmed or cluttered with all of these shortcuts. So we need to take a different approach. We need to figure out how can we simplify the keyboard. Here you can see I have this old keyboard that I took apart, and then I laid it down and took a picture of it. And let's start to try to simplify this, just by way of illustrating this concept. Let's say that we know the Bracket key does something in Photoshop. It's a shortcut key for Photoshop. Well, what tool is this associated with? Well, one of the tools is the Brush tool.
Well, still this concept is a little bit cloudy. Let's simplify this even further. All right. Well, if we have the Brush tool, we can press this key, then we can make our brush smaller. Let's distill it even further and then even further. We have really removed the rest of the clutter. We can actually learn the shortcut. And my guess is that simply by showing you the slide, you are actually going to learn that shortcut, and you are going to learn this shortcut really well. From there, we can start to add-on other information. For example, there are some great shortcuts and a new way to work with this in Photoshop CS5, which allow you to change your Brush Size.
What I want to do is show that to you. What you can do is you can select your Brush tool. And if you have your Brush tool, you can change the brush size by dragging in different directions. On a PC, you hold down the Alt key, and then you Right Mouse+Click+Drag. On a Mac, you press Ctrl+ Option, and then you Drag. Let's see what happens. I will go ahead and press that shortcut and drag to the right and then drag to the left. Here you can see that I am either decreasing or increasing my overall brush size.
Well, I can also click and drag up or click and drag down to change the hardness or the softness of the edge of that brush. A really helpful little way to change your brush size. Well, once again, now because we simply distilled this, and we simplified this, we can actually learn that shortcut. So what I am going to be doing throughout this training title is integrating shortcuts into it. Now, sometimes these shortcuts can become overwhelming. What I want you to start to do is to try to figure out ways to isolate this information and really keep it in one particular place, so that you can actually learn it.
Well, here is how this works for me. I spent a year of my life living in Madrid, Spain. And it was a phenomenal year. I love Spain. And one of the things I was trying to do while I was there was learn Spanish. And I had this friend who said, Chris, if you really want to become fluent, keep a small spiral bound notebook in your back pocket and every time you learn a new word, put it in this notebook. Now, of course I had my other notebooks, and these were my bigger ones, where I included my notes from class, because I was studying. I was at a university there in Madrid.
Yet I had this special separate notebook that day by day I kept some of my most important information. And as a result I was really able to pick up a lot of the language. Well, the same thing goes for Photoshop. What we need to do is of course take notes. And we can take notes in creative ways. But then we need to isolate some of the information that perhaps is more important. Perhaps there are going to be some shortcuts that you will learn in this training title that you didn't know before. Rather than tangle those up in some of the other pages of your notes, create a separate page, or for that matter, create a whole separate notebook, just for these shortcuts. Isolate these.
And maybe only put one or two on a page. I mean, you don't want to have a huge laundry list of 600 shortcuts. It won't make any sense to you. It won't be of any value. But if you have one or two on a page, well, you will actually be able to flip to that page, and you will be able to learn that shortcut, and then ultimately integrate that into your overall workflow. And one of the reasons why this is important isn't just to gain technical skill for technique's sake, but rather, what we are trying to do here is to become technical, and to do so by way of shortcuts and by way of speeding up our workflow and to gain these skills, so that ultimately we can become more creative.
Another technique that we can use in regards to note taking is to have a lot of fun with our notes. Now, I see a lot of different types of student notes for the classes that I teach, but this one really stood out. This particular person was going through one of my lynda.com courses and she used colored pencils while taking the notes. And she created these notes that were just so vivid and interesting. And you can actually see her notes by going to Chrisorwig.com/notes.pdf. So thanks a ton Ella for contributing these. and they are a ton of inspiration.
And one of the things that I have discovered from being a teacher in the classroom is that, the more colorful, the more creative, the more engaging the notes, the more the student learns, because you want to go back to those notes. And because there is something about the way that you have created them that will really help you memorize that content and have some fun along the way. So whatever your current note taking habits are, I encourage you to expand things a little bit, and see how you can push the envelope a little bit here in order to take even better notes, so that ultimately you get even more out of this training title.
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