Result #24: Another technical success that I'll be sending to redemption.

#24 Figure out Photoshop CS2

Date: 1-24-2014

Due date: 1-24-2015

Resolution: This year I'm finally going to figure out Photoshop.

If you've been following my progress you may notice that I add pretty simple images to my posts. The most complex I get is adding multiple images to one canvas without any other image manipulations. If I'm feeling fancy I may add text to an image.

That's always been good enough for me so I never bothered to learn more.

I once joke with a friend that I'm a bit of a half assed perfectionist. It does bother me that the stuff I create isn't perfect but rather than get hung up on it, my pessimism kicks in thinking no one will see the thing anyways. so

This doesn't hold me back. I do complete most things that I set out to create. The problem is that I consider everything I do to be a first draft. I get everything to the point where I figure it's good enough to share for feedback to perfect at a later date, always waiting for someone else to say, "Hey this is good, if you perfect it I'll help you do something with it."  I'm usually too busy with the next project to seek out this person so I have piles and piles of first drafts.

I'm currently working on an animation for the free Computer Science Class that I'm taking as part of Resolution #4. If you're wondering how I plan to come up with 365 resolutions, these things are like Matryoshka dolls. For every resolution that I start I find there are at least three thing I could learn to make them better.

I was originally just going to slap together an animation with whatever images I could find. Since I'm getting graded on the coding and not the imagery I figured why focus on the aesthetics. I figured if anyone was interested in this first draft I could revisit it then, or offer the file up to someone else to tidy up the images after I receive my grade.

Yesterday I was working on removing the background to an image using that stupid little wand. Even though I learned from You Suck at Photoshop that this is a stupid rookie tool, I've already come to grips with the fact that I'm also a stupid rookie tool so it seemed like it would be a good fit. 

I fought with this wand and clicked and clicked and clicked and finally gave up.

I know there's a better way, and that's why I'm here.

How to know I have successfully completed this task: I'm still working on that maybe some kind of certification test that I'd have to accomplish within the year? We'll see.

Update #1: 

Date: 1-24-2014

Moments after I posted this morning’s resolution I got a Tweet from Troy here. It's pretty cool when a person that I reference in a resolution approves of the project, especially with such a quick turnaround. I mean it took Emo Philips at least three days to acknowledge my challenge.

If you haven't seen You Suck at Photoshop, go check it out. As you can tell I watched purely for the entertainment value or else I wouldn't need to make this resolution. When I was watching the show I do remember thinking, "this seem to actually be a real tutorial."

Usually shows like this either focus too much on the comedy or too much on the technical aspect, and are rarely a good blend of both (I.E. watching It's Always Sunny to learn how to run a bar.) This show manages to do both. Thanks Troy.

I also almost instantly got offered a friend's old Classroom in a Book books and potential access to Thanks Jess and Heather offering to help!

Now for the rest of my update.

This is going to be more of a general update of my day. I'm eventually going to set up an area for general updates like this. I've worked on several of my resolutions and am making progress, but there was no project specific event worth committing an individual update.

I did however end up working on this Photoshop resolution a lot more than I was expecting. I downloaded the free Adobe CS2 Suite last night so as soon as I posted my resolution I started the installation process. I spent way more time on that than I should have.

They had me download three exe files labeled discs 1-3. I started the first one and then wait. After a while it told me to insert disc 2, so I double clicked disc 2 and clicked the OK button just like the instructions said.


It just kept asking me to insert the second disc no matter how I tried get around it. I gave up quickly without doing much research on what I was doing wrong. I didn't care because I was just there for Photoshop and they had it right there as a stand alone download. Rather than fight with this thing I needed to get back to work on my homework assignment and needed Photoshop to move forward.

So I downloaded Photoshop CS2!

Years ago I was a lot more familiar with editing images from when I taught myself Flash 4 back in 1999. Things have changes a lot since then. As I said I have kept up with some of the changes but for very basic image manipulation. I had no idea about this background eraser tool! Everything seems to have gotten way easier. Now it's just hard to figure out what these easy processes are. Now you also have to be that good to be worth a damn.

I got so excited with my new ability to get rid of background with ease that I pretty much restarted my homework assignment from scratch, the images not the coding. Though with some of the changes I made I had to create new codes for the new effects I was going for. This also of course lead to bugs that took me all day to figure out, but it was well worth it. I feel more comfortable with Scratch now because of the setback.

I have to remind myself that at this point as long as I'm moving at all I'm making forward progress even if it may not seem like it at the time.

Though there was no structure to today's Photoshop lesson, I still learned a lot, or at least a lot came back to me since getting out of practice. I'm probably going to be hunting down techniques as I need them for the next couple weeks, but I'm already excited with the new potential for creating more dumb stuff!!!

I'd offer examples of my work, but everything that I worked on was for projects that I will be rolling out soon.

I can't wait to share!!!

Update #2: The Conclusion.

Date: 1-24-2015

I'm a little confused about this one. I never ended up taking a Photoshop class and am in no way an expert, but I do now use Photoshop daily and know enough to do what I need to do.

Even though this resolution is technically a success I plan to keep at it by tracking down and completing a Photoshop Classroom in a Book of sorts.

I'll keep you posted how that turns out.