New iPad App Helps Users Navigate Adobe Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop: A Tutorial for Beginners’ provides a much-needed reference for users to best optimize the program’s tools.

A veteran digital photographer and professor has released a new mobile app for the iPad that will help users with almost every tool and resource available in Adobe Photoshop.

The app, called “Adobe Photoshop CS5: A Tutorial for Beginners,” was written by Dr. Michael N. Roach, who has years of experience in both working with and teaching students how to use the program. It walks users through Photoshop, illustrating each tool, filter and mechanism while pointing out advantages to certain preferences and options. It also provides real-world examples and step-by-step instructions.

“While Photoshop is an outstanding tool for all types of design work, it is all too easy to want to skip the manual and get right to what you think you want to know,” Dr. Roach said. “However, what you think you want and what you actually need may be two different things.”

In addition to all of the basics for beginners, the app also covers a number of advanced techniques that will help more experienced users fill in any gaps in knowledge they might have. It also allows users to develop the skills and knowledge needed to conquer the incredible toolkit contained in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

One of the app’s most notable features is how it addresses a common issue with Photoshop—the fact that it can solve the same retouching problem in a number of different ways. The app effectively unveils each of these techniques, complete with examples that demonstrate when certain approaches are better than others. And, the app’s tutorial images are all available for downloading.

“I’ve been teaching Photoshop classes since version 3, and as the program has gotten more complex, I have watched beginning students become more and more frustrated. I wanted to really challenge people in the ways in which they use Photoshop, and encourage them to explore new and innovative methods of doing things,” Dr. Roach said. “For the people who are new to Photoshop CS5, this app will go a long way toward helping them find the right techniques to approach and solve a wide range of retouching problems.”

The original artwork featured in the app was created by Dr. Roach using Comic Life by Plasq. This allows the app to follow its graphic novel approach, complete with balloons that provide easy-to-read lines that mimic a teacher talking to a student. In fact, most of the commentary in the app was taken from the professor’s lectures, and the intended audience is 18-34 year olds.

This visual step-by-step instruction is essentially the material I would normally cover in a series of lectures and demonstrations,” Dr. Roach said. “The images are the ones I would be showing with a video projector, and the balloons are my speech.”

The fact that the app has been created for the iPad means that it acts as an interactive “book” that can be placed beside a user’s computer for quick and easy reference. The tutorials let users follow the app’s instructor, image-by-image.

“For both novices and the most experienced designers, this tutorial is a useful and thorough introduction and review of the tools and techniques needed to be successful when using Photoshop,” Dr. Roach said. “If you’ve ever wondered what the patch tool was for or what it meant to have layers and paths, this is definitely the app for you.”

Dr. Roach is a retired professor of art from Stephen F. Austin State University, whose 33-year teaching career spans from the silver to the digital age. As an avid Mac user, he teaches workshops on digital imaging on Adobe Photoshop and digital printing for the fine arts.

The app is currently available at The App Store for just $3.99 through Oct. 9, 2011 (regular price $9.99). To learn more and to purchase the Adobe Photoshop CS5: A Tutorial for Beginners app, visit


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