I have been very fortunate to know a great number of talented people. These cutting-edge pioneers worked in small corners of a diverse industry and never received recognition or fame. Fortunately, many of them were generous in their giving of knowledge, never fearing that teaching a young upstart would jeopardize their career or prestige.
When I entered the workforce, the practice of apprenticeship was essentially dead. Due to budget cuts and the emerging digital tools, video and television were being made by fewer people on tighter deadlines. Many people pulled inward, set up small shops, and became fiercely competitive.
Many great tools emerged that let the industry reinvent itself. The advent and subsequent widespread adoption of computer-based editing carried us into a world where even a small corporate video could have visual effects and a rich graphic identity. Soon the tools of the print and emerging web industry were crossing paths with those used for video. Unfortunately, there were few, if any, books in those early days beyond the owner's manuals. Many creative individuals had to struggle with these new tools and spend many late and isolated hours working diligently to climb to the top of this rapidly shifting industry.
But things have started to change. Our industry has become a recognized art form. Students now formally study things like nonlinear editing and motion graphics. When I work with our future peers, the concept of physically editing videotape with two decks or making art cards to shoot with a camera seems arcane and foolish to them. These new co-workers are going to challenge the status quo. All they know is digital; all they have ever seen is visually rich and entertaining television. These students don't define themselves with narrow job titles such as editor, animator, or producer; they want to do it all.
All of these changes have dramatically reshaped the industry. Terms such as preditor are emerging (as in producer/editor) for situations where one person is guiding a creative project from start to end, being responsible for completing most of the hands-on work. Even the "traditional" editor is now being expected to create motion graphics, color correct, and understand sound. Because the same computer that can run the nonlinear editing software also runs graphic and sound applications, the editor is expected to grow (sometimes overnight).
So what does this have to do with you? If you bought this book (and thanks if you did!), you are probably working as an editor or motion graphic artist. I am sure that you want to make more visually interesting videos to meet your artistic (and client) demands. You have taken it upon yourself to learn what is often considered the world's best graphic application, Adobe Photoshop. You also need results immediately and don't have time for long-winded explanations or searching through several sources. While you'll find thicker books on Photoshop, it has been my goal to create a book that discusses only the issues facing a video professional. I believe I have succeeded, and I thank the wonderful contributors and editors who have helped shape this book.
It has been my goal to give back to an industry that has been nurturing to me. I sincerely hope that this book makes your job easier and your videos better. Even more so, I hope I can make you faster so you can make your deadlines and get home to see your family and loved ones sooner. Mastering Photoshop takes several approaches; be sure to explore the disc, try every tutorial, and make it through every page (even if you read them nonlinearly). No matter what your experience level, I am sure you will come out better for investing your time.
It has been several years since we released the first edition of this book, and Photoshop has undergone fundamental changes (thank you non-square pixels). I have strived to bring this book fully up to date with the latest changes in Photoshop as well as emerging technologies like High Definition video and DVDs. I've also added in several new topics based on discussions with professionals like you. It has been great to hear feedback and success stories from so many of you at conferences, in a classroom, and online. Please continue to be vocal in your feedback to help this effort grow. I wish you luck, and I look forward to seeing many of you when you manage to get out of your edit and design suites.
Have fun pushing your pixels around.
Richard Harrington RHED Pixel April 2007
I have worked in several deadline-driven industries: newspapers, broadcast news, waiting tables. . .writing books is harder. I could have never gotten through this without the love, support, and knowledge of many others, I must thank all the people who have made things possible for me to write these words. Thanks to the following folks for keeping me on track and helping with the load:
My wife Meghan who was with me in the beginning. You are an inspiration.
My son Michael who reminds me to have fun and live my life.
Paul Temme for the opportunity to write and guidance through the years.
Dorothy Cox for helping me get through so many books and teaching me how to get a book done.
The Staff of RHED Pixel who held it together while the boss went off to finish his books.
Future Media Concepts Ben Kozuch for letting me teach other pros. Marcus Geduld, Jeff Greenberg, and Christopher Phrommayon for providing insight and support.
VASST Douglas Spotted Eagle and Mannie Frances who have pushed me to try new things and reach out to more people.
Technical Editor Thanks to Glen Stephens for tracking both the big and little details, as well as helping me see my blind spots.
Adobe Kevin Connor, John Nack, Daniel Brown, Julieanne Kost, and Jeff Tranberry for being so helpful and listening to my demanding ideas.
Contributors Thanks to my friends and peers who made the time to contribute great tutorials and share advice. There are so many people who believed in this project. I could not have done this by myself.
Trish and Chris Meyer Thanks for paving the way for this book to be written. I appreciate you refining my outline and raising the bar for professional video books.
DV.com My online home. Thanks for your support and resources. To the forum members, thanks for the challenges and keeping me sharp.
The Art Institute of Washington Thanks to Ron Hansen, Michael Davidson, and Alex Buffalo; thanks for encouraging me. Your support has let me contribute to our industry. To my students past and present, you inspire and challenge me.
Apple Patty Montession, Anne Renehan, Abba Shapiro, and Steve Martin for helping me with Final Cut Pro.
Avid Greg Staten for being my Avid guy. The participants of Avid's Master Editor Workshop for showing me how many true professionals are out there.
NAPP for being a great organization and reaching out to video pros as well.
Educators Mt. Carmel High School—for giving me confidence and courage, as well as introducing me to journalism. Drake University—for sharpening my skills and teaching me how to communicate visually. Keller Graduate School of Management—for teaching me the world of business and project management. Special thanks to great teachers like Billy Stone and John Lytle, who helped steer me.
KCCI John Pascuzzi, Dave Legg, Larry Hawk, Jack Tow, and Eric Fishback for teaching me so much about being a pro.
You, the reader for being a concerned professional and improving our art form.
Caffeine Pepsi One, Diet Coke, Coca Cola Blak, Starbucks, and Jammin' Java for keeping me going.
My wife Meghan who is with me in the end. Thanks for putting up with my deadlines and all-night writing. I am looking forward to the challenges and rewards of raising our second child.
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