I'm going to be starting my MLA program in Aug, and the program is offering this 2 week, 40hr crash course into the graphic programs that we will be using in studios (illustrator, photoshop, indesign, autocad). The program is $1200 which is quite hefty considering the other expenses for the year (tuition, new laptopm, studio supplies). I personally don't have any experience with the programs and I believe about 4 or so people in my 20 person class have an art/LA design background - so I don't want to be at an advantage in the program. Apparently the learning curve for these programs are high but maybe I think too highly of myself - but I think I can pick it up? I also have an architect friend and my sister is a graphic designer, so I do have access to some sources if I needed help throughout the semester...I just need some insight from people who have been through it - Is the crash course worth it?
Given that context, I do believe I am a fast learner and I do have Adobe suite on my laptop - so I can in theory try to learn some of the skills now and see if I really need to take the crash course in mid Aug. Can anyone provide some example of things/tasks that are done in those programs so that I can start trying to pick up now?
Thanks in advance!
Personally, If you're concern about the cost, I will suggest you forgo the class and explore the free or lower cost resources online, such as:
Adobe TV, YouTube, Cadeeze, Vimeo, Lynda.com/cs4
In a two-week course all you probably get are basic commands and tools.
Hope this helps...
I'm a good self-learner so my way of going about learning new things is www.lynda.com >it does have a monthly cost but the tutorials are AWESOME (versus free ones around the internet). I HIGHLY suggest this site. It additionally has a vast amount of tutorials for different programs.
For indesign - I would start out with putting a simple image board together of plants you like, places, etc. This can teach you pretty much how to make a kick-ass board that you'd show a client at an initial meeting. Just play around with layout and colors. Add a title block and you're set.
For photoshop - I would start out with the "Essentials" of any of the Adobe programs and move on to bigger things. To have something to work with, start by simply saving b/w landscape plans/planting plans and doing basic renders (filling in colors, playing with layers and layer options). Then go into sketchup and make a basic perspective of ..something like a streetscape - I think easiest to start to learn scale and perspective (import a building, throw in a few sidewalks in sketchup and export as jpeg) After that putting in grasses, trees, people, cars, play with shadow and lighting, etc.
Illustrator I would work with last - It's great for after you know AutoCAD and photoshop. You can import CAD documents into Illustrator and render plans (the basics like buildings) quicker because it picks up the linework.
Just play around - all the programs can be a lot of fun :)
You can easily add trees by clipping out backgrounds of images and such. Here's a great site that has the trees ready.
I agree - but it's quicker to use those and brush that out than it is to start from scratch... What do you usually use?
I'm not familiar with the site, I'll have to check it out!
I'd love to teach that course for half that cost...
In addition to the aforementioned resources many design schools have short how-to handouts available online - might be helpful to browse around through those as well. Key to learning software is to have a project goal in mind and see how it operates and helps you get there. InDesign will help a lot with presentation layouts, Illustrator can produce great line graphics and diagrams (It takes AutoCAD output to another level of clarity), Photoshop is good with photos and similar graphics. Get to know folks in school and around you that know the software well - they can be immensely helpful with shortcuts and strategies.