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A first peek at the Calculations command

From: Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

Video: A first peek at the Calculations command

As promised, I am going to show you how I made the Alpha Channel that we used as a layer mask for the swirling tiles layer. Now you don't have to work through this exercise if you don't want to. There is not to learn a new stuff going on inside of this exercise. I just provided by way of a practice exercise to give you a little more experience because the more experience you have with masking, the better you are going to get. So it's totally up to you whether you follow this exercise or not. I am at this point working inside this image called Study in blue.psd which is the final version of the composition as you may recall, found inside the 10 Advanced Blend folder. I am going to bring back up my Layers palette. Now I am going to switch over to the Channels palette. Inside the Layers palette incidentally you can see that layer mask that I am talking about. This is a layer mask, that's assigned to the Tiles layer, to the swirling tile smart object layer.

A first peek at the Calculations command

As promised, I am going to show you how I made the Alpha Channel that we used as a layer mask for the swirling tiles layer. Now you don't have to work through this exercise if you don't want to. There is not to learn a new stuff going on inside of this exercise. I just provided by way of a practice exercise to give you a little more experience because the more experience you have with masking, the better you are going to get. So it's totally up to you whether you follow this exercise or not. I am at this point working inside this image called Study in blue.psd which is the final version of the composition as you may recall, found inside the 10 Advanced Blend folder. I am going to bring back up my Layers palette. Now I am going to switch over to the Channels palette. Inside the Layers palette incidentally you can see that layer mask that I am talking about. This is a layer mask, that's assigned to the Tiles layer, to the swirling tile smart object layer.

I am going to switch over to the Channels palette and here is where I created the mask. These are the Alpha channels that lead up to the creation of the final mask and each one of them tells an important step in the story, but we are going to be walking through every one of them. This is the red channel inverted with these Levels values assigned to it. This is the blue channel with these Levels values assigned to it. This is those two Alpha channels multiplied together and this is the final cleaned up version of the mask. So let's do it people. I am going to switch to this image right here, it's called Her blueness.jpg and all it is the image, the original version of the image from photographer Kevin Ross, without any layers, without any Alpha channels, without any extra special stuff going on.

So here is the RGB version of the image. You should go ahead and switch over to the Channels palette incidentally and I am going to make my palette a little less wide. So it doesn't take up this much room on screen. Now I am going to grab the red channel. We are going to be working incidentally from the Red channel and the Blue channel and the reason we are working from these two channels is that they provide the highest degree of contrast and they are the most different from each other. So they are going to fill in each others gap. It's basically what it comes down to. Bear in mind, we want her to be black and we want the background to be white, because we want that swirling tiles layer to fill in the background and that's where these channels are going to be proved to be so useful. So I am going to go ahead and grab the Red channel and I am going to duplicate it by dragging it to the little Page icon at the bottom of the Channels palette, there it is and the first thing I am going to do is invert it, by pressing Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac. Now why did I inverted because I want her to be black and I want her background to be white and this comes close to that obviously.

Now I am going to go ahead and apply some Levels Settings to increase the contrast. I will press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac and the settings I came up with were 70 for the black point and then 190 for the white point. I am going to leave the gamma value set as it is. Then I am going to go ahead and click OK. That pretty radically increases the contrast of this image. I am going to go ahead and rename this channel, R inv I might as well we will call it to indicate that it got inverted, 70//190 and that // is telling me that I didn't change the gamma because I don't have a value in between the slashes. That's my first channel right there. The first base channel.

Now let's go grab the Blue channel because basically what we need to do is fill in some more colors. For example, we need her hair to be black. Check out inside this Red Alpha Channel, this Alpha channel that began from the Red channel that is to say. The hair is white. So we need to bring in the black hair and it will be nice to bring in the black goggles, make the goggles black but that's not actually going to be possible. We are going to have to draw the goggles by hand. But anyway the Blue channel does have black hair. I get some white background so that's great. Go ahead and grab that Blue channel, duplicate it by dragging it down to little Page icon at the bottom of the Channels palette. Let's bring up the Levels dialog box by pressing Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac.

I am going to go ahead and click in this Input Levels value and change that black point to 140, Tab, change the white point to 205, click OK and I will go ahead and rename this layer, B and then I will call it 140//205 because those are the values I have applied. And the reason that I am being careful about naming my channels, it just in case things don't really go right as I get closer and closer to the final mask and I need to change out my values. It's helpful to be able to see what my original values were.

Now we want to go ahead and multiply the Red image, the red Alpha channel by the Blue Alpha channel here in order to darken things up across the board. So we have dark hair, we have got dark face, we have got all kinds of dark stuff going on, but now we can't really composite one image on top of the other and apply the Multiply blend mode because we don't have layers inside of channels. Instead we have got to take advantage of the thing called the Calculations Command. We are going to be looking at the Calculations command in more detail inside a later chapter but for now, a little preview of coming events. I want you to go up to the Image menu and choose Calculations. Now by default it's probably set to these settings right here which is to say, we are taking the channel inside of Her blueness. So both Source 1 and Source 2 should be set at Her blueness.

Both the layers should be set to Background because there is only one background layer inside of this image and then the Channels probably, as I say probably are by default B 140//205 in both cases. So what we are doing we are multiplying by default the blue channel, the Blue Alpha channel by itself at an Opacity of a 100% and that's how things work inside the Calculations dialog box. Should basically specifying the two channels that you want to blend together using the string Source 1 and Source 2 options and then we are specifying the blend mode and the Opacity value that we want to apply.

In our case though, we want the first channel to be R invert 70//190 because that first Alpha channel right there and then the second channel should be set to the second Alpha channel which is B 140//205. blend mode should be Multiply because we want to darken the images. We want to darken up these channels. Opacity should be a 100%. So everything else is set fine by default. So why don't you just go ahead and make sure that all of your options match mine on screen and then click OK in order to generate this new Alpha channel right there and I will go ahead and rename it R*B to indicate that it R times B.

Now let's go ahead and duplicate that Alpha channel because I want to keep R*B in its original condition there and we will go ahead and call this one cleanup because that's what we are going to do. We are actually going to cleanup this Alpha channel and we are going to be doing that in the more or less traditional way, the same way that we saw couple of chapters ago using the Brush tool set to the Overlay mode. So I will go ahead and grab the Brush tool. Make sure that you have a pretty large brush going and it should be soft as well. Then switch from the Normal mode to the Overlay mode by pressing Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O on the Mac.

Your Opacity should be a 100%. Flow and all that other stuff should be set to their defaults. The foreground color will probably be set to white. If it isn't go ahead and press the D key in order to switch the foreground to white. Then I am going to Shift+Tab away my palettes for a moment so I can see the entire width of the image and I am just going to scrub away. I am just going to paint some of this background area to white like so and then I am going to paint over here on the other side of the image as well. A second douse of brush, I am going to paint up there. I am going to paint back over here, again. So basically I am really going to town brushing away and I can get away with that because we multiply the Alpha channels on top of each other. We have a lot of darkness that we need to get rid of. That's pretty good actually. Now I will just go ahead and get the Lasso tool and maybe I will do a little cleanup like this in order to get rid of these weird little sort of pock marks that are still infecting this left side of the image and I go ahead and Shift+Drag around that little guy there. Otherwise, things look pretty clean.

So now I am going to press Alt+ Backspace or Option+Delete to get rid of that garbage. The only thing left to do really is fill on of course the lips and then fill in the goggles. That's going to be the hard thing. Luckily the goggles are fairly circular, so we can use the Elliptical Marquee tool. So I am going to press the Tilde key in order to show the RGB image and the Alpha channel at the same time and notice that inside of this document I have the Alpha channel set up to display in standard quick mask mode that is to say as Rubylith overlays which contrast nicely with the blue image.

Now I am going to switch over to the Elliptical Marquee tool and this is the hardest step. The one we are about to apply because this area of the goggle is not quite standard ellipse. We are going to have to do a little distortion but go ahead and try your best to surround this portion of the goggle. We are just concerned about the lower right corner if you will, the lower right region of the goggle and we are going to go ahead and get it inside of that marquee to the best of our ability. It almost fits inside the marquee properly in my case.

But I am going to have to do a little bit of distortion as I say. So go to the Select menu and choose Transform Selection and then once you have done that you want to Ctrl+Drag or Command+Drag the corner handles in order to distort that ellipse, ever so slightly actually. Just to get it into the proper position. So that it exactly or as exactly as possible traces the edge of the goggles. That works up pretty good for me. Now you might have to do a little bit more work depending on how accurately you trace the goggles in the first place and when you are done, press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. Now still armed with the Elliptical Marquee tool.

Let's Shift+Drag with the tool in order to surround some other portions of the goggle and notice that I am using the Spacebar in order to align one ellipse with another and then I am going to Shift+Drag around this upper region of the goggle like so. So I want to clip down to the corner of the arm there. I don't want to come in any farther because I don't want to see like a little bit of ellipse coming down below the arm and notice this little bit of goggleze stuff going right there. I don't know what that is but I am going to go ahead and Shift+Drag around it as well.

You know it's actually kind of lumpier than an ellipse but an ellipse is good enough to approximated that figure and then I am going to Shift+Drag around this portion of the goggle on top, right there and I am using the Spacebar to right to get into the position. Sometimes it's a little hard. Now let's go ahead and zoom out and I will go ahead and Shift+Drag around the lips in order to grab them. Shift+Drag around this portion of the goggles. Notice you want to avoid the beads. So keep the marquee down a little bit. So it just surrounds this area of the goggles. You are going to have a little bit of goggle stuff at the top here off her heads. So go ahead and surround that as well by Shift+Dragging around it and that's pretty good.

Now I am going to fill the selection with black and in my case, the foreground color is now black. So I will press Alt +Backspace or Option+Delete to fill in the selection with black. So that we are deselecting this region of the image. Now press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image and press the Tilde Key in order to hide the RGB image. So you can focus in on the mask and make sure you selected everything as well as you need to select it. I am going to go ahead and zoom in and notice I have got a little weird thing going right there next to the arm and then I have a lot of weirdness right here underneath the goggles and I am going to get rid of those just using the Brush tool. What the heck? So I am going to reduce the size of the brush by pressing the Left Bracket key a few time. I am going to increase the hardness of the brush to a 100% by pressing Shift+ Right Bracket four times in row and then I will switch back to the normal painting mode by pressing Shift+Alt+N or Shift+Option+N on the Mac.

Now I want to paint with black. So I am going to press the X key in order to make black my foreground color. I am actually going to reduce the size of the brush a little more and then I am just going to paint like so in order to get rid of that area and then I am going to paint right there. Just a single click right there in order of get rid of that thing. Oh, another click that will do it. All right, now I am going to zoom out groovy, looks actually really great and in fact I am done. This is the final version of the mask and this is indeed the Alpha channel that we used to mask the contents of this swirling tiles layer.

So there you have it, a little more practice for you. Hopefully you feel that much stronger about masking inside of Photoshop, if not, you are going to have yet another opportunity to create a mask in the very next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

190 video lessons · 26325 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 2h 13m
    1. The Odyssey Continues
      2m 39s
    2. Mapping one image onto another
      7m 12s
    3. Making a custom contrast mode
      7m 10s
    4. Luminance blending
      8m 40s
    5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
      4m 4s
    6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
      4m 34s
    7. Selecting a Blend If channel
      6m 12s
    8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
      5m 9s
    9. Smart Object first, layer mask second
      7m 22s
    10. The Fill Opacity Eight
      4m 30s
    11. Blending Smart Filters
      7m 24s
    12. Cleaning up edges
      7m 39s
    13. More fun with luminance blending
      6m 22s
    14. A first peek at the Calculations command
      12m 11s
    15. Masking a softly focused model
      11m 46s
    16. Moving layers and masks between images
      7m 35s
    17. Matching colors
      9m 13s
    18. Building transitional blended layers
      6m 33s
    19. Restoring normal colors
      6m 50s
  2. 2h 33m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      1m 20s
    2. Rotating and stretching
      7m 54s
    3. A jet of motion blur
      9m 18s
    4. Keyboard tricks
      5m 4s
    5. Merging sky and landscape
      6m 3s
    6. Masking an adjustment layer
      6m 37s
    7. Creating two windows into an image
      7m 42s
    8. Whitening teeth and adding other highlights
      3m 46s
    9. Mapping a texture onto an image
      4m 1s
    10. Isolating a texture with a layer mask
      6m 44s
    11. Welcome to the glass composition
      3m 18s
    12. Balancing shadows and highlights
      5m 51s
    13. Masking the glass
      7m 24s
    14. Masking the text
      9m 23s
    15. Adding and blending the goldfish
      8m 45s
    16. Assembling the perfect group photo
      5m 12s
    17. Aligning photographs automatically
      5m 26s
    18. Masking in each person's best shot
      5m 18s
    19. Masking densely packed people
      6m 17s
    20. Crafting the perfect final poster
      5m 16s
    21. From the improbable to the impossible
      1m 56s
    22. The fantastical "world of clones" effect
      10m 0s
    23. Upsampling and blurring a background
      8m 39s
    24. Adding a knockout mask
      8m 3s
    25. Choking edges with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      3m 46s
  3. 2h 27m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 22s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 22s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 4s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      6m 0s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 40s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 56s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 35s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 48s
    14. Adjusting the knockout depth
      8m 48s
    15. Fashioning a depth map
      6m 12s
    16. Invoking a depth mask from Lens Blur
      6m 38s
    17. The perfect depth-of-field effect
      6m 25s
    18. Sharpening an archival photograph
      7m 7s
    19. Creating an edge mask
      8m 29s
    20. Making a High Pass sandwich
      7m 46s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 2s
    22. Customizing your sharpening effect
      4m 6s
  4. 2h 3m
    1. Channel Mixer, I am your father!
      1m 39s
    2. Three ways to gray
      7m 49s
    3. Meet the Channel Mixer
      8m 26s
    4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 10s
    5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
      5m 36s
    6. Employing the Black & White command
      8m 1s
    7. Extreme channel mixing
      4m 50s
    8. The infrared photography effect
      6m 43s
    9. Taking shadows to the brink of black
      3m 56s
    10. Elevating highlights, leeching saturation
      5m 58s
    11. Deepening a black-and-white sky
      5m 49s
    12. Infusing luminance levels with color
      5m 44s
    13. Creating an opposing colorization scheme
      4m 58s
    14. Bolstering contrast with the Green channel
      5m 37s
    15. A tiny improvement to a terrific technique
      7m 39s
    16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
      6m 39s
    17. Channel-mixing red pupils
      9m 18s
    18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
      5m 20s
    19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
      8m 9s
    20. Making pupils match
      4m 8s
  5. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      1m 37s
    2. The Calculations command
      8m 16s
    3. Blue Screen blending
      7m 40s
    4. Refining the Blue Screen mask
      5m 53s
    5. Brushing away color fringing
      7m 24s
    6. Locking the transparency of a layer
      6m 22s
    7. Nondestructive layer painting
      7m 36s
    8. How the Add blend mode works
      8m 40s
    9. How the Subtract blend mode works
      6m 43s
    10. Focus, noise, and other masking challenges
      5m 33s
    11. The Add mode in action
      7m 51s
    12. The Subtract mode in action
      8m 25s
    13. Comparing two channels with Difference
      5m 24s
    14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
      9m 11s
    15. Gathering details with Apply Image
      9m 43s
    16. Dodge highlights, burn shadows
      6m 6s
    17. Dodge and Burn in action
      8m 24s
    18. Painting in the scalp
      10m 1s
    19. Painting away the face and chin
      4m 53s
    20. Compositing complementary images
      4m 13s
    21. Multiply, Minimum, Blur, and Apply Image
      6m 40s
    22. Crafting the final composition
      7m 7s
  6. 1h 57m
    1. Mark of the Pen tool
      1m 35s
    2. The big paths project overview
      6m 51s
    3. How to make a path
      8m 25s
    4. Corner points and freeform polygons
      8m 6s
    5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
      5m 2s
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      5m 15s
    7. Adding and deleting interior points
      6m 6s
    8. Converting a path to a selection
      3m 35s
    9. Converting a path to a mask
      6m 38s
    10. Smooth points and control handles
      8m 57s
    11. Making cusp points
      6m 0s
    12. Combining paths in a vector mask
      7m 55s
    13. Turning a path into a shape layer
      8m 57s
    14. Combining paths to make a layer mask
      7m 52s
    15. Mixing layer and vector masks
      10m 14s
    16. Editing character outlines as paths
      8m 39s
    17. Using the Convert Point tool
      7m 8s
  7. 3h 17m
    1. Where there's a will, there's a way
      1m 18s
    2. Masking natural cast shadows
      4m 10s
    3. Applying the cast show
      4m 2s
    4. Creating a difference mask
      3m 7s
    5. Applying an arbitrary map
      3m 50s
    6. Making the flesh mask
      7m 17s
    7. Roughing in an object mask
      6m 49s
    8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
      4m 7s
    9. Combining flesh and object masks
      3m 53s
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    13. Masking blond hair
      5m 48s
    14. Using Levels to mask iterations
      3m 14s
    15. Drawing an iteration boundary
      4m 55s
    16. Merging the best of two Levels iterations
      4m 4s
    17. More fun with Dodge and Burn
      6m 14s
    18. Fixing edges with the Pen and Stamp tools
      7m 29s
    19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
      4m 52s
    20. Blending clipped layers independently
      5m 43s
    21. Building the flame mask
      9m 22s
    22. Amplifying the flame
      3m 53s
    23. Masking an image against a busy background
      5m 15s
    24. The Freeform and Magnetic Pen tools
      6m 52s
    25. Masking with arbitrary maps
      9m 32s
    26. A more deliberate approach to arb maps
      10m 51s
    27. Combining arb maps with paths
      9m 28s
    28. Masking with the help of the History brush
      11m 38s
    29. Creating a High Pass mask
      7m 25s
    30. Coloring in the outlines
      8m 31s
    31. Mastering Calculations
      7m 29s
    32. Subtracting and merging the beak
      11m 6s
  8. 1h 33m
    1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
      2m 50s
    2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
      5m 9s
    3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
      8m 9s
    4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
      9m 31s
    5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
      6m 13s
    6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
      8m 22s
    7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
      8m 18s
    8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
      5m 6s
    9. Using the Merge to HDR command
      6m 0s
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      6m 0s
    11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
      6m 29s
    12. Properly exposing land and sky
      4m 25s
    13. Modifying a layer mask in 32-bit
      4m 56s
    14. Converting to and correcting in 16-bit Lab
      12m 7s
  9. 2h 8m
    1. Photoshop flirts with the third dimension
      1m 13s
    2. The displacement map
      8m 24s
    3. Making custom waves
      7m 14s
    4. Creating a Gaussian distribution
      4m 32s
    5. Using a two-channel displacement map
      6m 28s
    6. Creating a rustic edge effect
      8m 21s
    7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
      6m 34s
    8. Moonlight reflecting off water
      8m 48s
    9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
      7m 7s
    10. Dipping the moon into the water
      6m 18s
    11. Turning flesh into stone
      7m 55s
    12. Wrapping the stone around the face
      7m 27s
    13. Softening a displacement map
      8m 5s
    14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
      9m 22s
    15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
      10m 48s
    16. The amazing credit card type effect
      6m 56s
    17. Lightening the credit card letters
      6m 16s
    18. Wrapping the background around the text
      6m 27s
  10. 1m 43s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 43s

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