By Colleen Wheeler | Monday, April 2, 2012
While we’re committed to providing you in-depth training on the subjects that are central to your interests and professional goals, the breadth of the lynda.com library also allows anyone, members or not, to dip in and explore other areas of interest or growth that might spark curiosity. For that reason, this week’s Featured Five free tutorials focus on foundational courses that aim to provide a jumping-off point to launch yourself into a new area of learning, whether you’re a manager who loves business skills courses for professional development but also wants to explore the science of Photography, or simply a curious learner who omnivorously wants to extract every bit of interesting information contained in the lynda.com library.
1. Exploring web site design In Web Design Fundamentals, James Williamson provides the background and foundational knowledge you’ll need to learn solid web design. As James explains, this course is for you if you are brand new to web design, or if you’ve been working with it for a while but missed out on some of the background of the web and would like to know more about why you do some of the things that you do. This particular movie demonstrates the six steps a traditional graphic designer needs to think about as they make the transition to web site design.
2. What is programming? In Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals, Simon Allardice provides the core knowledge you need to begin programming in any language. I love this reassuring line from the introduction of the course: “If you don’t even know where you’d begin to write a line of code, that’s where we’re starting.” In the clip below, titled What is programming? from chapter one of the course, you’ll get a sense of how Simon is able to break down possibly complicated instructions into comprehensible steps. Turns out, as he points out in this video, that’s also exactly what computer programs do:
3. Diving into audio: What is a soundwave? Our newly expanding Audio segment now includes a series of foundational courses that cover specific areas of audio production, which are especially powerful if you’ve been through other lynda.com courses on digital audio workstation applications. But you don’t have to be a budding sound engineer to get value out of this Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters movie that graphically explains the anatomy of a soundwave. This is one of those videos that, with help from some powerful motion graphics, will expand your general knowledge of audio science.
4. Learning photography: All about lenses
Our Foundations of Photography series from Ben Long has a wealth of information for those who would like to better understand the art and science of Photography. In Foundations of Photography: Lenses, Ben takes a specific look at the anatomy of a lens, including how to choose them and take advantage of the creative options they provide. What I particularly like about this movie is its graphical depiction of how lens optics work:
5. Improving your business skills: How to define a project I could make an argument that everything you do in every aspect of your life benefits from good project management. But Bonnie Biafore actually nails down the specific definition of a project in this excerpt from her Project Management Fundamentals course. This movie explains the four qualities that make up a project (uniqueness, centered around a specific goal, defined beginning and end, and a budget) and how to consider each of those aspects as you get started:
Feeling inspired to explore some of the uncharted learning paths on your own to-do list? Remember, 10 percent of all lynda.com content is free to try. Just click on any of the blue links on any course table of contents page in our library.
I’ll be back next week with five more free selections. In the mean time, have you recently seen any free movies from lynda.com you’d like to share?
Suggested courses to watch next:
• Web Design Fundamentals
• Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
• Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters
• Foundations of Photography: Lenses
• Project Management Fundamentals
By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Styles is a catch-all term that refers to a set of particulars like font size, color, effects, etc. that can be saved and applied over and over again. With no need to re-set your style preferences every time, you can save your sanity, your wrists, and perhaps most importantly, your time. Variations on the styles feature exist in many different applications, from word processors, to graphic design applications, to web-page authoring programs. For this week’s Featured Five, I’ve selected five free movies that reveal how styles can help you work more efficiently in five different creative applications.
1. Creating your first style with Microsoft Word
It’s quite possible that the first time most of us encounter the concept of a style is in Microsoft Word, where it can be very handy to establish font type, color, and size styles for various repeating elements of a document. In Word 2010: Styles in Depth,Mariann Siegert covers the whole gamut of style tools that Word provides. Here’s an unlocked excerpt from chapter one of the course that demonstrates how to create your first style:
2. Applying styles to objects with Adobe InDesign
InDesign, Adobe’s layout program, allows you to create five different kinds of styles, depending on what kind of elements need to have repeat formatting, and you aren’t just limited to creating text styles. In this excerpt from chapter five of InDesign Styles in Depth, Michael Murphy introduces object styles, which allow you to repeat the created attributes of your specially designed frames:
3. The nuances of style creation in Adobe Illustrator
Of course, InDesign isn’t the only place you may be working with text elements that would benefit from style creation. In this video from chapter six of Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text, Mordy Golding takes a look at the particulars of working with text styles in Illustrator:
4. New styles features in Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta
For those of you who have struggled with managing your text settings and effects within Photoshop, your day has finally come. In the latest latest beta version of Photoshop, character and paragraph styles have finally arrived. As with any new feature, there’s a little bit of a learning curve. In this movie from Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview, Deke McClelland gives an overview of the new Photoshop text and style enhancements feature. (Note: For a limited time this course is completely unlocked, so consider checking it out as my featured five-plus bonus of the week.)
5. Creating styles for an entire website in Dreamweaver
You can efficiently establish a consistent look for every similar element in your entire web site by using Creative Style Sheets (CSS) in Dreamweaver. In this excerpt from chapter six of Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, James Williamson takes you on a tour of the CSS Styles panel and reveals how much time can be saved by establishing consistent styles for your site.
Suggested courses to watch next:
• Word 2010: Styles in Depth
• InDesign Styles in Depth• Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text•Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview•Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
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