ACA Test Prep
ACA Photoshop Exam Study Guide
Photoshop Standards Check-off Sheet
Need a break from the ACA videos? Try these- they are the best
Adobe's Creative Magazine
Welcome to the 2019-20 Adobe Photoshop Class Page
Week 16: January 6-10
You will be taking the ACA Practice Exam on Tuesday/Wednesday- January 7th & 8th
You will take the Final ACA Exam on Tuesday, January 21st and Wednesday, January 22nd.
  • Finish the curriculum a week early. If you finish the curriculum a week early, you'll have time to use the ACATestPrep quizzes and reviews most effectively. Wait until the last minute and you won;t know what you need to review! Finish every project, and watch every video.
  • Do the prep quizzes and review in the box below.
  • Relax on testing day. Stressing on testing day can lower your score as much as not studying or finishing all the projects. If you watch all the videos, do all the projects, and spend time reviewing, you've got a darn good chance of passing! If you don''re rolling the dice! Don't gamble on this, especially if you don't get to test again if you don't pass the first time (many people don't pass the first time, but do on the second.)
  • TO PREPARE, DO THE FOLLOWING LISTED BELOW (they are assignments &you will receive a grade for doing them)
Week 15: Dec. 16-20
Christmas Project - to practice your Photoshop Skills: 200 points - DUE FRIDAY
  • Download and load the snowflake brushes: Google Docs LINK
  • Check out Pantone Color of the Year
  • Here's another site for inspiration on this color
  • Load the Pantone of the Year swatch (go to Window>Swatches, click on the little menu at the top of the dialog box, click on Load Swatches,. In the right bottom dialog box, change the type to: Swatch Exchange .ASE and the file should appear), or create a new swatch: RGB= 0,70,128 (in the zip file)
  • Create a new file: 500x500 SQUARE, 96 ppi
  • Make a card for the Holidays, Christmas, New Years, or whatever you celebrate using the Pantone Color of the Year & the snowflake brushes.
  • Use one of the Sweeny Overlays in your design (in the zip file)
  • Name the file: YourFullName.jpg and turn-in using the bear button (upper left of this page)
Week 14: Dec. 9-13
Time to get back to watching the videos. Before the holiday break, you need to have finished watching the Brain Buffet videos. You must show me your project from each unit to get credit for that unit.
Assignment DUE Friday - no late work accepted
  • Open the file: AppleLayersAssignment.psd
  • Immediately rename it with YourFullName.psd
  • Methodically,SLOWLY and carefully go through the entire Photoshop menu bar. You are going to apply 30 different commands - of your choice - to the apple image.
  • IMPORTANT: As you apply commands - rename the layer with the command you used.
  • The idea is to explore, remind yourself, and learn the different features of the menus. In other words, this is TEST PREP.
  • Do NOT race through this task. The assignment is designed to help you become more familiar with the menu items, and this is the best way to do it. If you don't know what one of the menu items is, go to Help>Photoshop Help and search the feature about which you are curious.
  • Do not change the image size or canvas size or mode. The file is designed to be as small as possible.
  • Do NOT FLATTEN the laters. Save the file as as a Photoshop PDF and turn-in using the Bear upper left.
Week 13: Dec. 2-6
We have five weeks left of classes in the semester: That is 15 class sessions for each class. Don't waste time. Every minute counts.
Monday, December 2:
  • REQUIRED: 50 points EVERYONE must complete this: Quick Quiz and ACA Question
  • Durkin will show a video introduction to the ACA exams
  • Two quick tests (14 minutes each) to determine what you need to study for the ACA exam. (100 points each)
  • Important State CTE (Career & Technical Education) SURVEY (50 points)
Drastic change of plan: Continue with the Poster project, but the project has changed to ONE poster. Create the poster in Illustrator, if that is what you are studying (you know who you are).
Week 12: Nov. 18-22
SELF-PORTRAIT ASSIGNMENT: WORTH 100 POINTS: Access the Assignment Reflection HERE
Assignment for ALL Adobe Software Students Worth 300 Points
DUE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2019 - Late work will NOT be accepted
  1. Create a public-awareness campaign with a message that promotes a social cause or issue—something for “the greater good” of society.
  2. You will develop ONE 18x24 poster on your cause/issue.
  • IDEAS: plastic bags, recycling, extinction of species, global food shortages, extreme weather, water pollution, child abuse, violence, drug abuse, responsible fishing practices, forest fire prevention
  • Do the research. Do NOT just explore one site on your subject. You are required to write down the sources you used in your online reflection piece.
  • Your point of view may highlight the positive or negative aspects of your chosen topic.
  • Consider who your audience is and how you would like to speak to them.
  • These elements together make up the "look and feel: of your campaign:
  • Concept: Is it memorable? Does it have a call to action? POSITIVE ACTION MESSAGES are best.
  • Content: It must be original. Original headline, body copy (you MUST take the time and write it yourself), Do NOT go online, rework an existing poster or meme and expect credit. This is YOUR message - not a re-hash of someone else's.
  • Execution of concept: Is your layout of elements compelling?
  • Use of Typography: Readability and Legibility.
  • Use of Color: Are the color choices random, or did you develop a color palette/scheme?
  • Read the rubric!
  • Research online. Visit, read and write-down the web addresses of EACH site you visit on your subject. You MUST cite at least 5 viable websites on a letter-size paper to be handed-in BEFORE you start on your poster design. LOOK AT POSTERS!
  • Make AT LEAST 50 concept thumbnail sketches from which you will develop three final ideas that you will develop into clean, detailed sketches. Pencil on letter-size paper is acceptable. 20% of your grade.
    ‘Drawing is not what one sees, but what one can make others see.’ - Edgar Degas.
  • CREATE FILE: If using Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign: FILE SIZE =5400x7200 pixels (18x24 inches) (this is Portrait, Landscape is 7200x5400).
  • USE LAYERS - make certain your layers are labeled.  DO NOT FLATTEN LAYERS! If you do, your work will NOT be accepted.
  • DO NOT use copyrighted elements in your poster. No photos of US politicians, POSITIVE ACTION MESSAGES are encouraged. For copyright-free images, check out the links on the Resource Page..
  • Your finished file must be in .jpg format with layers intact. REPEAT: DO NOT FLATTEN LAYERS! If you do, your work will NOT be accepted. .ZIP your file and Turn it in using the Bear Icon at the top left of your software page.
Week 11: November 12-15, 2019
By November 15, you should be done with Project (Unit 7) on Brain Buffet ACA certification
You MUST show me your completed Unit projects and quiz scores to earn credit for each Unit completed to get credit!
It is time to talk about the ACA Photoshop Certification Exam.
Before Winter Break, I will be testing you to determine who has the skills and has done the classwork to pass the ACA Certification Exam. I encourage everyone to go for ACA Certification.
Your Goal is to Pass the Adobe Certified Associate Exam
Confidence is critical in the creative industry, and certifications are the key to confidence.
This is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Jobs are Tight. Competition for good, creative jobs is tight. Having certification puts you ahead of all other entry-level design applicants. An ACA certification can make the difference between getting a great job or settling for something less.

Do it NOW and save Big $$$
. If you get your ACA certification in this class, it won't cost you a thing. If you wait for after high school, you will need to pay for the cost of a course (~$500.00) plus the cost of a practice exam (~$45.00) PLUS the cost of the ACA test (~$70.00). If you certify in this class, will also earn college credit for Photoshop and Illustrator - another way to help you save money.

If you like creating media on the computer, get certified. Here is a link to the basic information about certification. It's really, really worth it. CHECK THIS OUT. Here's another link that will help you realize what a big deal this is.
You can also earn an Adobe Certified Associate Specialist certificate
You CAN get certified - just concentrate on one application at a time. Commit to 3+ semesters of class and you can do this!
More and more, careers in top creative industries require mastery of more than one Adobe Creative Cloud tool. That's why there is now the ACA Specialist certificate. Earning a Specialist certificate allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise with the most common skills required for a specific industry. Demonstrate Adobe cross platform expertise - which will really help you get a job.

Adobe Certified Associate Visual Design Specialist
Complete your ACA certification in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign within three years to earn this specialist certificate.

Adobe Certified Associate Video Design Specialist
Complete your ACA certification in Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects within three years to earn this specialist certificate.Adobe Certified

Associate Web Design Specialist

Complete your ACA certification in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Animate within three years to earn this specialist certificate.
Weeks 10 & 11: November 4-15, 2019
You are going to do a self-portrait in the style of Andrea Constantini.
We will shoot the photos here in the studio. Look at the site linked above and you can also do a Google search on Andrea Constantini to get more ideas.
The theme is: Where is your mind?
You are going to do a work in the style of Andrea Constantini. First, check-out some of his work HERE.
This assignment is worth 200 points. The Reflection part of the assignment is worth 100 points.
Access the Assignment Sheet HERE
Access the Assignment Rubric HERE
WORTH 100 POINTS: Access the Assignment Reflection HERE
Week 9: October 28-31, 2019 END OF QUARTER
No late work will be accepted after Thursday (Halloween)
Week 8: October 21-25, 2019
Rob Schwartz of Brain Buffet selected us to try out his new website for the Adobe training videos. You should have received an email inviting you & that has a link to the new site. Go there, use the regular login and get started. Let me know your thoughts, as I will be communicating on a regular basis with Rob.
You should have completed Units 1-4 by now and should work on Unit 5 this week.
Week 7: Tues-Fri, October 15-18
You should have finished Unit 4, Hogwartz Pet Store by now!
-Your ASSIGNMENT is to create a creature using an non-human and ONE of these BEAR HEADS.
-Right-click on the image you are going to use and Save As to your file folder.
-FILE SIZE: 1500pixels x 1500pixels, PPI= 96
-Save the file as a .jpg with YourFullName.jpg as the name of the file and turn-in using the bear head on this page.
This assignment will be closely scrutinized to the RUBRIC.
The image above is NOT a photo. It is a Photoshop painting created by Photoshop legend, Bert Monroy. Check out some of his other work HERE.
Week 7: Monday, October 14
Week 6: October 7-11, 2019
You need to get through Units 3 and 4 by the end of the week. Be certain to show me your quiz scores and the projects that you created while watching the videos.You are doing a great job! Keep it up. The more you learn, the more fun the program becomes!
There are 124 ACA Photoshop videos to watch. There are approximately 30 class sessions left in the semester. If you are behind in your learning you need to watch at least 4 videos per day to stay on track!
Week 5: September 30 - October 4, 2019
  • ASSIGNMENT: Due Friday, October 4 - Worth 50 points
  • Use your imagination and do something with the stag in the photo (pictured below).
  • DOWNLOAD the source file HERE. Do NOT download the image by right-clicking on the image below.
  • Do NOT change the size of the canvas. Keep it at 1000x1000 pixels, 96 ppi. You may, of course, change the stag in any way you wish.
  • USE LAYERS and make certain they are labeled. Do NOT flatten the layers.
  • READ the RUBRIC!
  • SAVE your file as a .jpg with YOUR FULL LEGAL name as the name of the file.l
  • TURN-IN your file using the Bear Button at the top-left of this papge.
Week 4: September 23-27, 2019
  • ASSIGNMENT: Due Friday, Sept. 27th - Worth 50 points.
  • Use your imagination and do something with this object (pictured below) in a creation.
  • CREATE FILE: 2200 pixels wide x 1500 pixels high. 96 pixels per inch. Save your file as: YourFullName.jpg
  • Download the Photoshop File HERE. Open it in Photoshop. Select All (Ctrrl-A). Copy (Ctrl-C). Open the file you made and paste this new file (Ctrl-V). In Photoshop, change the mode to Grayscale, then change it again to RGB.
  • USE LAYERS - Make certain your layers are labeled. Do NOT flatten layers.
  • TURN-IN YOUR FILE using the Bear Button at the top-left of this page. Save your file as a .jpeg. If you are having trouble submitting your file, ZIP your file and try again.
Week 3: September 16-20, 2019
EASY PEASY Grapefruit Assignment: 50 points DO IT TODAY!
Download the file HERE.
Rename it to: FirstName LastName.jpg and when you are finished turn it in using the Bear button at the upper left corner of this page.
Watch the video below and then create your own masterpiece! You can get EXTRA CREDIT if you "colorize" other parts of the photo>
Week 2: September 9-13, 2019
Continue watching the videos. If you need a break, take a look at the latest issue of Create Magazine. You will be amazed at what you can make with Adobe software!
Week 1: September 4-6, 2019
This semester you will be learning how to efficiently and effectively use the Adobe software, Photoshop. You can earn college credit by passing the Adobe Certified Associate exam (optional) at the end of the course.

You are responsible for your learning. You will be watching training videos made by the best in the business: ACA Test Prep by Brainbuffet Elite (or click on the red circular logo at the left side of the page). From the videos you will create Photoshop projects that will further cement your understanding of this complex software.

There will also be other projects on this website that y do. There will be a final exam or culminating project at the end of the semester.
Need a PDF of the Class Syllabus? CLICK HERE.
Words of wisdom from my Adobe Education Colleague, Mike Skocko
Digital Arts is supposed to be fun. Why are you so hung up on hard work?
Short Answer: So you’ll have fun in Digital Arts.
Longer Answer: It’s like learning to play a sport or a musical instrument. Those who work at it learn more quickly. The more you learn, the better you become. The better you become, the more you begin to enjoy the process. In time, the effort is no longer hard work but a kind of focused play. At that point, Digital Arts becomes a fun class that you’ll look forward to each day.
The Flip Side: Those who refuse to follow instructions day after day do not have fun in Digital Arts. The class is stupid, or boring, or a waste of time. It happens every year and the complainers are always the lazy ones.

I don’t want you to be miserable so I’m trying to make this as clear as possible.
You are all capable of this level of work!