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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Search the chapter names in this series for the word Filter, and you'll find just one match. Chapter 30 of the Mastery course, Nondestructive Smart Filters. Search the movie names for some specific filters, say Fresco, or Ripple, or Stained Glass, and you'll find no matches. Why? Because most filters are a waste of space. Out of the hundred plus commands under the Filter menu, perhaps a dozen - Smart Sharpen, Reduce Noise, Liquefy, a few others - are any good, and they are great.
But the rest rank among the worst features in Photoshop. You know how everyone makes fun of the Magic Wand tool. Spend an afternoon with the Extrude Filter. Honestly, when you choose Extrude, Photoshop should produce a honking noise and a Cancel button. That's it, just honking and Cancel would be better than the current interface. The reason I bring this up is that most folks associate filters with special effects. But the real effects are layer affects. Malign drop shadows as much as you want. But in truth you can achieve some excellent effects with the Drop Shadow options, not to mention Inner Glow, Bevel and Emboss, and even the simple Color Overlay.
These commands are parametric. They offer real-time previews, and you can adjust them six ways to Sunday. Filters are Photoshop's bad effects, layer effects are the good ones, as I will explain in the following movies.
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