Archive for May, 2010

Three Microsoft Office 2010 courses released: Excel, Word, Access

Published by | Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Click on any one of the following images to view the trailer for that course:
Excel 2010 New Features Course Trailer Word 2010 New Features Course Trailer Access 2010 New Features Course Trailer
We’re happy to announce the release of three New Features courses covering Microsoft Office 2010 software: Excel 2010 New Features, Word 2010 New Features, and Access 2010 New Features.

Excel 2010 New Features covers Excel’s Backstage view, improved sharing and collaboration capabilities, its graphics features, and enhanced data analysis and visualization tools. Word 2010 New Features shows how to use the features in Microsoft Word 2010 to proficiently create professionally formatted and richly illustrated documents. Access 2010 New Features covers the Backstage view that replaces the File menu in Office 2010, shortcuts for building tables, new layout tools and navigation controls, and more.

Over 17 hours of Photoshop CS5 One-on-One training

Published by | Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Join Deke McClelland as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers in
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals. Gain expertise with his step-by-step processes and time-saving techniques using real-world projects that you can apply to your own work. iPhone App version 1.1.0 supports IP and student/educator accounts

Published by | Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 iPhone App version 1.1.0 released today, and here’s what’s new:

  • • Site License IP user support for campus-wide and corporate-wide training programs.
  • • Student/educator account support: now students and instructors can log in via their iPhone or iPod Touch to view classes on the go.
  • • Improved error messaging to help members recover from account or system errors, if any.

If you have a previous version of the iPhone App installed, open the App Store app on your iPhone or iPod touch, and click on the Updates icon. It should be listed as an available update in the App Store.

If you haven’t installed the iPhone App yet, head over to our iPhone App page and click on the Download from the App Store button. It will take you directly to the iPhone App page on iTunes.

And yes, we know you want an iPad app! The iPhone App is fully compatible with the iPad, but we highly encourage accessing the web site via the Safari browser on the iPad for optimum viewing and performance for the time being.

Texting Google for instant directions

Published by | Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

For some reason, I’m the guy people are always asking for directions. Whether it’s because of my seemingly non-threatening demeanor, or my confident stride down the sidewalk, I seem to attract all the lost and desperate drivers, trying to get wherever they’re going. Because of this, I’ve developed an inflated sense of pride in my ability to get people un-lost, and I hate to be stumped or reveal that I don’t know how to get to a particular location from wherever I happen to be. Admittedly, this sometimes results in me just making something up, yet delivering these fictitious directions with such a confident tone that the driver will cheerfully drive off in whatever random direction I’ve suggested, leaving me standing there with the awkward contentment of having made a stranger temporarily happy.

If your phone can send and receive text messages, it can almost instantaneously receive driving directions from Google.

At least, that used to happen. These days when I’m approached and stumped by the rarer and rarer breed of driver who dares to take a road trip without a GPS device or smartphone, I simply ask if they can send and receive text messages. (So far, I haven’t come across anyone who does not have a mobile phone.) When they say yes, I instruct them to send a text to GOOGLE (466453), formatted as “A to B” with “A” and “B” as their origin and destination. These can be exact street addresses, the names of towns, zip codes, or any combination of the three. Within seconds, Google will text back with the same set of directions they would have received by visiting in a web browser.

Even if you have a GPS or phone with GPS capabilities, you still might want to use this tip just so you have a backup set of directions should your GPS lose reception or run out of power. Bear in mind that your normal charges for text message will apply, depending on what your contract stipulates, but it’s probably a small price to pay for getting a reliable set of directions. Well, at least they’ll be more reliable than what you might get if you asked me.

For more info on Google’s wide array of text-based services, including movie times, flight schedules, translations, currency conversion, and more, visit

3D training round-up at

Published by | Friday, May 7th, 2010

There have been a lot of new releases in the 3D category at lately, with more to come.

First-time author Rob Garrott was just in town recording a new project-based course using Cinema 4D training. Rob has worked in the industry for 17 years as an art director, animator, editor, and an instructor at Art Center College of Design teaching 3D motion graphics, compositing, and motion design.

Rob Garrett

Rob Garrett on the live action set.

Veteran author and channel manager for 3D and video, George Maestri, just wrapped up recording new Maya 2011 training. Maya 2011 is a really significant upgrade, and George’s new training will explore the numerous upgrades and functionality.

George Maestri

George Maestri in a recording booth.

Jeff BartelsAutoCAD 2011 New Features course was released recently, and covers all of the new and cool features AutoCAD 2011 has to offer, from transparency, to the new 3D surfaces, to hatch creation. Look for more AutoCAD training from Jeff soon.

The highly anticipated Rhino 4 Essential Training by Dave Schultze was released this month, and is proving to be an exciting addition to the Library. In addition to building with the curve, surface, and the solid, members can learn how to create shoes for their robots and watch as their sketches come to life.

And in case you missed the New Deal Studios, Visual Effects Creative Inspirations documentary that was published in February, you might want to check out how this visual effects house uses Rhino and other 3D applications to create models, miniatures, and other computer graphics you will probably recognize from major motion pictures like Shutter Island, and The Dark Knight.

Mother’s Day is this weekend: Give a gift subscription

Published by | Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Gift Subscriptions: give nowWhether your Mom wants to learn the intricacies of editing photos in Photoshop CS5 for work projects or to post on her Flickr account, is contemplating a change of career and needs online resume tips, or needs to create dynamic charts for financial analysis and promote her business via social media and smarter SEO, the gift of even just a month-long subscription to can go a long way. Many of our membership subscription gift plans cost less than a bouquet of flowers, and if what you tell us is any indicator, we’re guessing it will make much more of a lasting impression.

Gift subscriptions are available to fit every budget—from a 1-month membership for $25 to a full year’s Premium access for $375. Choose the gift subscription type and denomination that’s right for you (and Mom), customize your gift message, and set your delivery date for Sunday, May 9. We’ll send her an email with her gift subscription information and instructions on how to redeem her gift from you.

Happy Mother’s Day! member story: Scott Haines and the Virtual Choir project

Published by | Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

I was introduced to Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir through a music-loving author who had seen the video Lux Arumque on YouTube, and had written to find out more about the project.

It turns out that Scott Haines, the producer and editor of Lux Arumque, had relied heavily upon his membership and our After Effects training tutorials to complete his truly massive project.

I was able to reach Scott via a Skype video call this past weekend to talk to him directly about his story. I hope you enjoy.

And by the way, please forgive the choppy edits of this interview. I was so excited to share Scott’s story with you that I conducted the interview in Skype, and used iMovie ’09 Essential Training to learn how to edit this together. It was my first editing attempt.

And now, for really impressive editing and production, here’s Lux Arumque, edited and produced by member Scott Haines. Turn up your speakers and watch full-screen for the best effect.

For more information on Eric Whitacre’s projects, and Scott’s next editing jobs, check out Eric’s Facebook fan page, and Eric Whitacre’s Blog.

Senior staff author James Williamson delves into Dreamweaver CS5

Published by | Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Join senior staff author James Williamson for an introduction to the latest features and enhancements to Adobes web design and development software. Dreamweaver CS5 New Features covers the improved CSS workflows of CSS Enable and CSS Inspect, integrated services with CS Live, and the program’s support of popular content management system (CMS) frameworks such as Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress.