Course Review: Introduction to financial-ratio analysis

Elsewhere on my other project BursaNinja, here’s a DO*DID*DONE recommendation for a financial ratio analysis course.

understanding-financial-ratios

Knowledge of Balance Sheets & Income Statements is not a pre-requisite. Jim & Kay has designed the course for beginners with no accounting knowledge.

You will also learn the very powerful DuPont Framework, a financial ratio analysis framework to analyse a company’s strengths & weaknesses. These insights will allow you to identify areas for improvement & areas of risks. At the end of the course, you will be able to analyse a company’s finanical reports to benchmark its performance & establish its financial health. Your boss will be impressed by your amazing ability to identify areas of risk for urgent top management attention & response.

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Making Levitation Photo Manipulation Effect In Photoshop

Let’s create Levitation magic again! This time it will be even more magical as it is an elaborate piece with more elements to composite. Shadows come into play too.

RafyA’s tutorial is fast paced so remember to replay the video for a review of the lesson. The video is at a nice length of 15m 21s.

You will need Intermediate skills to follow along. Links to the work files are provided for practice & effective learning.

If you are wanting to have a quick start, check out the other post.

 

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools

  • Quick Selection tool
  • Refine Edge
  • Layer Defringe
  • Clipping Mask
  • Levels & Curves
  • Dodge & Burn
  • Transform
  • Eraser
  • Clone Stamp
  • Smudge
  • Brush
  • Selective Color
  • Gaussian Blur
  • High Pass Filter

 

Summarised for the busy people

  1. Extract the Model from the background with Quick Selection Tool & Refine Edge.  Top Tip: Use Layer Defringe for clean edges.
  2. Blend Model (2:00)   > Add S-Curve contrast, Brighten and Dodge & Burn midtones at lower exposures
  3. Add Chair (3:48)
  4. Blend Chair   > Levels Adjustment layer to Darken, Desaturate, Dodge & Burn
  5. Add Shadows (5:15)   > Paint with Black Brush, Transform, adjust layer Opacity
  6. Add Vase. Touchup Vase (7:39)    > Erase unwanted parts. Clone Stamp & smudge to construct Vase mouth
  7. Add Flower (9:38)   >  Erase unwanted parts. Shorten the stem. Erase middle part. Cut top to another layer. Move to join with bottom part. Merge Down layer.
  8. Blend Flower   > Dodge bright areas.
  9. Add Water (11:08)   > Use special Brush. Shape with Transform & Warp.
  10. Add Background Texture & Scene Lighting (12:12)   > Paint Orange #ff8711, Transform, Screen Blending Mode. Do this in several layers. Adjust Opacity to match. Top Tip: Group the Layers to organise your work
  11. Color Toning the Image (13:45)   > Levels (Blue & Red channels) & Selective colors
  12. Finishing Touches (14:20)

 

As always, if you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share if it will help others. Sharing is caring.  🙂

 

Dramatic Black & White Sepia Photo Effect

RafyA shows you how to convert your color photo into a dramatic B&W sepia photo in a few quick simple steps. But you do need to know how to work with curves, layers & masks. Its a nice technique to pick up if you are wanting to create a moody pix.

A Texture is also used for a dark grungy effect.

Links to the work files are provided for practice & effective learning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Gaussian Blur, Transform, Brush, Gradient Map, Photo Filter, High Pass Filter

SUMMARISED FOR THE BUSY PERSON

There is no voice or text narration. This summary will help explain the process & technique.

  1. On a Duplicate Layer, apply Gaussian Blur of 7.0. Mask this layer to hide the effect on the face & front body – paint on the mask with black Opacity 50%, Flow 63%. This creates a Bokeh effect to isolate the girl from the background.
  2. Add a Black Solid Color layer, Opacity 83%. Mask this layer (similar to step 2) but paint further out to the background as this creates the scene lighting
  3. Add the Texture. Transform & Position. Change Blending Mode to Soft Light, Opacity 83%. Mask this layer to hide the effect on the face & skin of front body – paint on the mask with black Opacity 22%, Flow 63%
  4. Add a Levels adjustment layer & tweak the Black levels as shown
  5. Add a Black & White Gradient Map, Opacity 75%
  6. Add a Warming Photo Filter, Density 19%
  7. Create a Composite layer (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E) to merge everything into a single layer / copy
  8. Duplicate the Composite layer. Apply High Pass filter, Radius 4.5 (you may omit the Smart Object step). Change Blending Mode to Overlay to see the Image Sharpening effect.

 

Course Review: Camtasia 8 – UDEMY – Alexandra Krieger

UDEMY COURSE REVIEW

Camtasia 8 – Harness the Power of Video to Grow Your Sales

CAMTASIA 8 UDEMY Course - Training Screen Capture

Camtasia from TechSmith, is a very popular software for anyone (probably everyone?) wanting to produce professional quality videos. TechSmith is also the developer of SnagIt, another industry standard for screen capture software.

While it is possible to learn Camtasia by following their downloadable tutorials, this course teaches you the whole film-making process including video shooting. You will obviously need the right equipment (audio & video) and a proper lighting setup if you are to harness the Power of Video. Alexandra shows you the equipment that she uses and how to light and shoot a talking head video with a green screen. This means that you can replace the green screen with a background (with anything you wish) later in Camtasia, just like making a movie. Just don’t be carried away, LOL!

There are some good tips for getting good Audio recording. It can be as simple as recording it together with the video or having it recorded separately if you must absolutely have the best quality audio. Best quality will however require more work setting up your equipment and in Post Processing as there will be an additional file to work with. It has to be synced with your video of course. You will also learn how to clean up your audio using Audacity, a handy freeware tool, prior to Post Processing work in Camtasia.

The real action and magic begins in Camtasia where you put your video clips & audio tracks together to produce your polished & final cut video. But have no fear, Alexandra is here! She guides you step-by-step, module-by-module with clear examples, instructions & demos. You won’t be overwhelmed by the technical jargons.

You will pick up these essential Camtasia skills:

  • Video & Audio clip (multi-track) editing on the Timeline
  • Transitions / Zoom & Pan
  • Callouts / Animation effects
  • Replacing your static background with a video

This course gets a DO*DID*DONE recommendation. A comprehensive course which is well designed & structured, the training is delivered in digestible packages and tackles the topics immediately. It provides a good learning experience and at the end of the course you will have new skills to create your own videos which should wow & impress your audience.

I have done video editing for quite many years but have only been using other software like Windows Movie Maker, MuVee, ProShow Gold and Adobe Premiere.

Camtasia is another option I will be adding to my Toolkit.

Here’s some quick info about the course. For full details, click on the Course link at the beginning.

 

CAMTASIA 8 UDEMY CourseCAMTASIA 8 UDEMY Course - AboutCAMTASIA 8 UDEMY Course - Instructor