I've just purchased CS6 Extended, and I see that the only help I can get is online help, rather than a good, searchable help file, as in earlier versions. It seems they feel they can eliminate the pay checks of technical writers by having their developers put on videos, in which they natter along with zero teaching skills, seemingly more interested in showing off their latest enhancements, than actually having to explain HOW they work. There was just ONE guy (I can't remember his name) of all the videos I've gone through, who actually presented his subject in a logical, thoughtful way, and the manner in which he spoke seemed to indicate that he had actually had some teaching experience.
I think Photoshop is a wonderful program, and CS6 64 bit is fantastic, but good luck trying to learn anything quickly with the current lame help system that is so obviously more interested in trying to push cloud to get people’s money on tap for a nice, steady flow of revenue. But we users are not cash cows, and I resent the feeling that that is what we're being perceived as by Adobe. You pay a high cash price for this software, and then you get help that's really mostly Adobe bragging and self-promotion via developer geeks with poor communication skills.
Now that I've done my indignant customer scolding thing, does anybody know of a particular 3rd party book that addresses the 3d features that started a release or 2 ago and are supposedly so much better now for CS6?
I think most would agree the current help system is just bad.
There are lots of free tutorials out there, including tv.adobe.
If you want to pay a little lynda.com is exteremely comprehensive in teaching tutorials.
Adobe Classroom in a book is good, but depends if you are starting from scratch or just need 3d help.
The concept of the on-line Help is a good one - it can be updated instantly, and with the Community Help tie-in, can be expanded. This makes it even more "evergreen," than a PDF file.
However, just like you, I find it to be rather a pain. I come from the age of manuals, and appreciate having a good book, with an index, handy.
I have all of my manuals for PS, starting with version 2.5, and up through CS 2. Each has proved very useful, and each has been read from page 1, until the end.
Then, my life changed. First it was the PDF, and I would just take that to a printer (having to jump though some © hoops), but with the full, on-line, I find it tougher to locate what I need, and I have been using the program for decades, so know most naming conventions - until those change.
Once, one would have a ring-bound manual, and about every quarter, and little package would arrive with revisions, and addenda, to be added to the manual. Those days are long gone. I have even paid extra $ to Adobe, for manuals in one of my last upgrades. For me, that was worth the expense.
Still, because I am a dinosaur, I had better get used to the state of affairs. CS 6 will likely be my last upgrade, and I will just rely on Photoshop User magazine to fill me in.
Some use the classrooms in a book series.
I find martin Evening's book very instructive in that he explains the "why" and "how" rather than show some "wow".
Look also at the free education PDFs: http://prodesigntools.com/download-free-adobe-cs6-ebooks.html
A pdf version of the Reference is still available:
I agree that, in concept, online help has its advantages as you have noted. They just need to leave educating to educators, and stop scrooging (I've just invented that term) dollars by making their engineers give tutorials that are almost useless for most queries. For instance: I'm trying out 3d for the first time ever in Photoshop (I'm fairly adept at it in SolidWorks, though) so I want to learn the basics, and I can probably figure out most everything else as I go along, since I play around in the virtual 3D world all day long at work. SO I hit F1, I type 3D in the query box, and I see I'm offered a video on that very thing. Wonderful. I go there, run the video and all this guy is talking about is extruding 3d text, which, to me, is already lame, and I want to see what else I can do - but you can't even really learn text extruding, either, because this guy is just bouncing around his screen, doing cool looking things, but babbling only about WHAT you can do - which is useless, unless you know HOW to use it.
Thanks, by the way, for your references.
I've found this book very useful both for understanding concepts and 3D in Photoshop: "3D in Photoshop: The Ultimate Guide for Creative Professionals" by Zorana Gee (a Photoshop product manager) and Pete Falco (lead Photoshop 3D engineer) 2010. It's for CS5 but I'd guess it would cover a large part of cs6 3D.