Just finished this tutorial, and I’m going to say, Kudos to Mark Stope. He’s an amazingly talented artist, he’s entertaining to listen to, and he delivers his lessons with humor and warmth. He sets forth some basic techniques from the start, and then you have the opportunity to develop those skills as the lessons progress. There’s a logic to how the lessons are set out, and the progressive lessons often build on skills presented in the earlier lessons. So, in other words, you have ample opportunity to practice what you are learning, and what you are learning is interesting, useful, and fun.
It is also fun to watch a real artist work with the drawing and selection tools. I’m not an artist, and I found the parts of the tutorial where drawing and making a complex selection with the lasso tool very challenging. But it was very interesting and educational watching the instructor make it look so easy. I watched parts of these tutorials over and over again, just to see if I could get a feel for how he was making the selections and how he used the drawing/painting tools.
If half-stars were possible, I’d give this tutorial 4.5. As it is, I have to give it a 4. The reason for my half-point deduction is that sometimes too much is assumed, and although all steps are visible and you can see every step in the video, the instructor does not always describe adequately what he’s doing. Granted, this is an advanced Photoshop tutorial, so some things can be expected and assumed, but as a Photoshop user with moderate to advanced skills, I found myself struggling a few times to catch up.
My other little nitpick with this tutorial is that sometimes too much is done for me in the supporting materials. For example, in the creating of the neon sign, all the background elements are done in advance. I would have appreciated being taken through all of those steps from start to finish. Also, there are a couple times where an “atmosphere” layer is added, and it would have been helpful to create my own atmosphere layer so I could see how that part of the project was done. But in fairness, I don’t know if that’s really a valid deduction, as this is a Light and Lighting Effects tutorial, and not a drawing tutorial, and adding the creation of those elements would admittedly have been off-topic and added a substantial chunk of time to the lessons.
All in all this is a well-designed, well executed tutorial, well worth the time and effort to work through.
Incidentally, I recently started a blog about my experiences working with MacProVideo tutorials, and I am writing about my experience as I work through them. You can find my blog, and comments about individual lessons within this tutorial, at http://ayearwithmacprovideo.blogspot.com/.