Friday, January 25, 2008

Video Training Review - Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials With Taz Tally From

Written By T. Michael Testi

If you are trying to prepare your color or black-and-white images for print use, it can be a nightmare what with what you see on screen being represented in the RGB color set and what your printer uses is based on CMYK color set. Unless you take the time to learn what you see is definitely not what you get. In this video, Taz Tally, Ph.D will show how to use Photoshop CS3's prepress features by guiding you through concrete, practical exercises in image editing, correction, and adjustment to get real-world professional results. Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials runs 7.5 hours and is divided out into 13 lessons.

Lesson 1, "Concepts and Setting Up" begins by letting you know in no uncertain terms that the author likes to get things done and to get them done fast. So he begins with an overview of the Photoshop CS3 interface. Then you will learn about RGB and CMYK Setup. Finally you will set up preferences for working efficiently in the Photoshop environment. The operative word here is efficiency.

Lesson 2, "Integrating Bridge with the Prepress Workflow" then takes you in to the world of Adobe's workflow companion; Adobe Bridge. Here the instructor shows you how this product fits in to your prepress workflow. You will customize preferences and learn how to navigate files as well as work with Metadata.

Lesson 3, "Workflow Enhancements" shows you how to create and work with duplicate images so that you can work on copies and not harm your original images. Next you will learn how to setting up your workspace which will allow you to change workspaces depending on your output needs. You will also learn how to easily navigate through your images and the various tools via the keyboard.

Lesson 4, "Image Fundamentals" delves into the world of pixels and vectors. Here you will begin to understand image channels, bit depth, and RGB/CMYK images. You will also get into AM and FM halftone Screening and Ripping; Raster Image Processing.

Lesson 5, "Working with Input Devices" briefly examines the concepts of calibration and the calibration of devices. While you concentrate on input devices, the concepts apply to both input and output devices. You will also learn about the cleaning of scanners and images.

Lesson 6, "Dimensional Adjustments" begins with a discussion of how the resolution requirements for specific screening outputs will affect the resolution of your images. This is followed up by making linear and dimensional adjustments, cropping and re-sampling images and working with vectors as Smart Objects.

Lesson 7, "Assigning and Creating Colors" shows you that to get accurate color in prepress, you will need to get in to Pantone swatch books. Here you will learn all about Pantone, the process of assigning and building process colors, assigning spot colors, and matching colors from Photoshop to other applications.

Lesson 8, "Correcting and Adjusting Grayscale Images" begins by evaluating an image to find out where the important parts of the image are. Here you will examine tonal regions, work with histograms, curves, and the info palette. Then you will work with an image adjustment layer to set highlights, shadows, adjust brightness and contrast, as well as make adjustments for newsprint and dot gain.

Lesson 9, "Correcting and Adjusting Color Images" now applies some of the same techniques learned with black-and-white to your color images. Whereas the last lesson worked with one channel, now you will apply your knowledge to multiple channels.

Lesson 10, "Image Editing" focuses on what needs to be adjusted for prepress output. The topics here include JPEG posterization, the removal of dust and scratches, image sharpening, creating silhouettes, and adding type to images.

Lesson 11, "Mode Conversions and Color Separations" asks the question: if you want to print in grayscale, should you capture in grayscale or capture in color? Here the instructor shows you how to convert between modes such as RGB to grayscale, RGB to CMYK as well as creating custom CMYK profiles.

Lesson 12, "Output" is all about putting your image into some other format. To output to other formats reliably you should know about these target formats (TIFF, EPS, PDF, DCS) and the programs that will use them.

Lesson 13, "Automation" will show you how to streamline your efforts by creating actions within Photoshop. As was said at the beginning, this is all about efficiency and how to get things done without being bogged down. By using actions you can automate many of the routine tasks and get back out to doing what you would rather be doing; shooting pictures.

Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials can be a technical topic for those who have not worked with it before. It can also be confusing because you are dealing with different color spaces to generate output that looks correct. What looks good on the screen, most likely will not look good in print unless you get it done right.

In Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials, Taz Tally takes his time and guides you through the pitfalls of learning how to work with prepress techniques. If you are finding problems getting the output that you want or need, then this video will clear up a lot of problems and get you well on your way to getting that correct output.

You can get Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials two ways. One is as a DVD training package Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials and the other is part of the online training experience at The DVD Training Package is $99 USD and contains everything you need.

The online training Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year which get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

You can use Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials as a training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding the prepress output generation. You can also try out the the first and part of the second lesson for free at


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