Tuition & Learning outside of the classroom

Your first stop is LCF Open Access / Learning Technology Support. Remember, your tuition fees pay for this so make sure you use it! They hold regular workshops for all of the major applications. They are currently planning for the new academic year & are taking requests – details are here. Importantly for Flexible Learning students, you can request that they run courses on evenings & weekends. Online Training Library offer all of their video courses online for fixed monthly fees. The basic package is $25 per month (approx. £16) and a more complete package that includes access to the exercise files that are used in the videos for $37.50 per month (approx. £24). Having access to the extra files is very useful but if you wanted to save money, not totally essential.

You can tryout parts of the courses without having to subscribe. Usually most of the initial videos of courses are available for free, e.g. the Adobe Illustrator CS4 One-on-One Fundamentals offers the first two chapters for free. Click on the underlined titles to view the videos. also have an iPhone app that can access the free videos and, if you are a subscriber, all of their library.

UK training company Talented Pixie are a good and slightly cheaper alternative.

They offer an online subscription service from £15 per month and you can buy the courses on DVD for a reasonable price – £35. Subscription details are here.

Their range of Photoshop & Illustrator DVDs is here.

Subscription services offer an excellent way of learning and, importantly, keeping up with different applications. You can save money by only subscribing for a short period and do some intensive study, or go for an annual subscription and have the resources on hand whenever you’ve got an internet connection.


Illustrator CS4 – The Pen Tool

A new academic year starts and the website springs back into life. Welcome back, or welcome for the first time.

So we start with Adobe Illustrator, the application that has been known to drive sane artists to the edge due to it’s seemingly unintuitive drawing tools with the main culprit being the Pen Tool. I’ve gathered together a few videos which should help those of you getting to grips with this for the first time.

First is a series of three videos from Jamie Yeates which give a nice, easy introduction.

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