You’ve heard of the numerous tutorials in Photoshop available as online lessons and through CDs and have probably wondered if they are as effective as they promise. After all, you don’t want to waste your time and money on a method of learning that will not have any benefits for you in the end. But can you effectively learn Photoshop through tutorials as well as you would in a classroom setting? Here, we examine the pros and cons:
Practical reasons for using Photoshop tutorials
Let’s face it: taking classes in Photoshop are more expensive than online and video tutorials. You will be paying not just for the instructor’s fees but also for the facilities and use of equipment. However, you will be exposed to an environment where you have direct and immediate access to an instructor. Any questions or confusions you may have regarding a particular topic or instruction are easily resolved.
With tutorials, you work on your own. This is an effective method of learning for you if you get distracted by other people easily or if you’re shy. Tutorials cater to the different learning styles of users and learning is achieved depending on their willingness and on the effort they put in.
Another reason why tutorials are more attractive is because of its convenience, which attracts many people who want to learn Photoshop to the various online programs available. These are usually the people who can work well by themselves, have access to the Web and have reasonable computer skills. Tutorials also allow them to work anywhere, any time, at their own pace. If they want to skip some lessons, advance to another topic or spend more time on a particular subject, they can.
And now the question: what are the effects of Photoshop tutorials?
Photoshop is not just about learning how to use special tools, producing digital art and using special effects. It is also about understanding how these functions work separately so it is easier to use them in combination to create an integrated picture.
That is why online tutorials such as Adobe.com, CBTCafe.com and PhotoshopCafe.com offer tutorials on the basics of Photoshop. Even video tutorials have sessions that introduce the program in its basic instructions. Learners are encouraged to know what Photoshop can do so they develop enough understanding to actually make it work. After all, users don’t just memorize a series of steps in order to produce a certain effect. They must be able to use the instructions to create an entirely different work.
Granted that you have the background and skills required for the software (knowledge of terminologies, basic computer skills), tutorials should be enough to teach you the basic and intermediate knowledge you need for learning the software. And you don’t have to stop there. There are thousands of tutorials you can access online, most of which were developed by some of the industry’s well-respected professionals. With so many resources available for your use, you need only to tap into them to learn everything you need to know.
But tutorials alone will not turn you into an expert. Even the best Photoshop artists didn’t get there by just knowing what to do. They had to work on hundreds of projects that range from the simple to the complicated in order to work with Photoshop confidently.
Photoshop tutorials are effective if you have the inclination, interest and resources. After all, tutorials are just a method of learning and have been used for many years to teach people a wide variety of subjects from technical know-how to academics. It is what you do with what you know that will spell the big difference.