You Suck At Photoshop

The first sign that you’re not in Kansas, anymore, Toto, comes right from the first. Delivered in a monotonic voice that mixes despair and put-uponness, Donnie Hoyle welcomes you to the show:

My name is Donnie and … you suck at Photoshop. You do. You’re awful, and that’s why you’re here. All right, let’s get started.

The series, You Suck At Photoshop, seems to endeavor to tread some of your basic hints and tips territory. But Donnie seems to be having, as Arthur Dent might have said, “a great deal of difficulty with his lifestyle”, and it seems to be playing out mostly in the background as he diligently attempts to tutor the viewer through the grim maelstrom that his life seems to be.

The result is something we didn’t before think possible – a darkly humorous tutorial that teaches you quite nifty PS tricks that will actually stick with you.

Job’s Tale

It would be gilding the lily to say that the character of Donnie as portrayed in the tutorials has issues: it would be more correct to say he has possibly a lifetime subscription. His marriage is falling apart, he has fertility issues, he’s dismally unhappy in his job, his co-workers don’t respect him, and he has a friend who’s constantly Skypeing him to go on an MMORPG raid.

Yet he soldiers on, through (so far) five chapters of video tutorials, so far covering very clever things you can do to simplify your PS work with layer effects, warping, manual sampling of areas to cover other areas, and a dead clever thing in which he aptly demonstrates why you should use Color Range for Magic Wand selecting for complex background areas. I’ve used some of the knowledge to up my own PS game just a bit.

Savage Humor

The humor might not be for the sensitive. All the character’s demons are on full display, many of which attack him while he’s trying to perform the tutorial. His wife berates him while he’s doing them. His co-workers at the his apparently-fictional employer Phebco (which appears to have been gloriously hacked at this writing) treat him with thinly-veiled hostility, and his supervisors treat him with almost open disrespect. It’s PS tutorials via The Office. It might make you squirm in a place or two.

Donnie’s attitude toward his viewers are summed up in the series title, but you’ll also be berated by Donnie for using clone stamp and magic wand when he has a better way for you to do it. But it will leave you laughing; in chapter 5 he advises those who were offended by his demand not to use the magic wand tool that it’s okay – it’s actually awesome; go ahead and grab a juice box and a fruit rollup and he’ll check you out in about six hours.

But, if the feedback the videos get at MyDamnChannel are any indication, YSAP has a loyal following, and many are waiting for the sixth installment in the series.

You’ll come for the humor, and you stay for the information.

How To View ‘Em

The videos debut at MyDamnChannel in the Big Fat Brain Channel; they can also be found on YouTube by doing a search for “You Suck at Photoshop”.

Be warned of the adult humor, but if you’re brave, dive and and be prepared to laugh your side off, and learn something. In the end, you might not suck at Photoshop so much.