Friday, April 11, 2008

Photoshop Lady

Ah, Photshop Lady. Photoshop Lady (PL) is a website that takes free Photoshop tutorials from around the Internets and collects it one one well-designed place. Web-o-nauts can vote on how good or bad the tutorial is (measured in light bulbs). The tutorials are labeled with approximate time estimates of how long it would take you to follow the tutorial in order to create your own masterpiece, if you were to follow it through instead of just downloading the finished source file.

If you create a user name, you can save up to 9 favorite tutorials on PL by clicking and dragging them to the left side of the screen, where they will be stored indefinitely (until the end of time or when their server crashes — whichever comes first). So far there are 131 tutorials to choose from, sorted under 7 possible categories: 3D Effect, Abstract Effect, Drawing Effect, Photo Effect, Text Effect, Texture & Patterns and User Interface Design.

The source of the tutorial is prominently displayed with link backs. Clicking on the title of the tutorial will take you outside to the site that originally posted the tutorial. One could say that while polite and lady-like, this makes PL nothing but a fancy mask. It doesn't contribute anything, because it doesn't create anything. Poppycock. PL edits. It adds enormous value to the Internets by filtering out all the crappy tutorials and presenting the good ones in one soothing place.

Some of the tutorials are cheesy, sure. Okay most of them are. But so's your face. Tutorials are a fun way to level-up on Photoshop techniques. It's nice to not to have to suffer Donnie's abuse or sort through long-winded drivel whose clarity rivals a Vicodin-addled 3-year-old's.

My favorite part of the site are the pretty pictures that let you know right away whether or not it's worth trying the tutorial. The site could be improved by a sort-by-most-light bulbs feature. Overall, Photoshop Lady shows that you don't have to choose between great form or function: a site can have both. A+. Bravo.

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