Jan 18, 2005

PHOTOSHOP: Secrets of the Pros

by Anna Lim
Photoshop: Secrets of the Pros is a book that features one-on-one competitions between twenty top artists and designers. Designers include some of the most talented web, print, broadcast, 3D designers in the world. This friendly competition was called the Photoshop Tennis.

Sounds like another tiring outdoor game? It’s not an outdoor game and it’s not tiring. Well, it may be tiring in a way but not, at least, for those skilled designers.

The Photoshop Tennis was invented by Jim Coudal, founder of Coudal Partners, a Chicago advertising and design agency, one summer before the September 11 terrorist attack. He and a friend “whacked” a file back and forth to kill time. Then he invited designers he knew to play in official matches.

Photoshop Tennis is an on-line game in which players are mostly web designers. The object of the game is to add one layer of design on an image document that is sent back and forth by two players. Only one image document is used. Players are allowed to put different layers of designs such as background and foreground. Results are posted on a website in real time. The game ends whenever the players decide to end it or if it takes hours the decision will be based on the number of votes.

After the four test matches and four official matches were completed, designers from ad agencies and design shops visited his site. Some of them contacted Coudal for a chance to play in a match.

The book PhotoShop: Secrets of the Pros is all about this type of competition. It is the first book to feature such game. As explained by the author of the site http://photoshop.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22104, in Photoshop Tennis in this book, two designers take on one another over the internet over a ten round or volley period. In each volley, the designer either creates a new theme (in the initial volley), or they take what has been sent to him or her and start playing off of what was previously created. The competition results to a different appearance each time out. Programs used in this competition range from Illustrator and Freehand to Flash to 3D Studio Max and Maya. The designers used the basic tools and the basic commands like, brushes, and fills instead of shortcuts.

The book is not about web designing, it is about the 10 different competitions played by 20 professional designers. It is about teamwork and adaptation of different styles from their competitors.

One thing that is frustrating about this game is that sometimes it takes hours for a player to finish his work while keeping the other player waiting and it will only take minutes for the other player to destroy the art work. You can tell a story out of it but most of the time players tend to make his own story. Next thing you’ll notice is that the story of the image focuses on the destruction of the flow of two different stories.

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About the Author

For comments and questions about the article you may contact Anna Lim at 800 591 1644 or visit http://www.colorprintingwholesale.com