The world of digital imaging can be a daunting place for
the beginner—especially when you go online and take a
look at what people can accomplish with tools that at first
glance seem so…well, worthless. We can’t teach you creativity,
but if you’ve got some, and you’re looking to get started with
digital imaging, welcome.
It’ll be obvious from the following pages that this Fast Track is
for beginners. Summer vacations will soon be upon us (well,
you—we work all year round), and we’ve got to get something to
occupy those idle hands, don’t we?
So here we are, starting with the very basics. In the first
chapter, we’ll go through many of the terms you’re going to
encounter in this area, and how to apply basic edits to your
photos (or artwork, as the case may be).
Once you’ve cut your teeth on that, we’ll take a trip through
more advanced image editing techniques—right from working
with Camera Raw images, to changing colour tones to turning a
perfectly innnocuous image into a psychedelic monstrosity.
Then come the layers....
Image compositing is a highly underestimated art. It seems
like the simple act of slapping one image on to the other, but it’s
so much more. All those hoaxes you’ve seen on the Internet—the
ghost in the digital photo, the ultra-creepy mermaid skeleton,
the...ahem...fake nudes—all made through the magic of
compositing. We’re not going to teach you how to create your
own fake pornography, but by the end of this chapter, you might
be skilled enough to do so anyway.
Another facet of the imaging realm is the vector illustration.
It can be difficult to fathom, but if you’re ever planning to work
with the print media or even Flash-based projects,
understanding vector graphics is a crucial skill to have.
And finally, when you grow beyond the scope of this Fast
Track (as you inevitably must), you can take to the Web to refine
your skills, and show your work to the world!