Long day editing? Slave to your keyboard?

Glued to your monitor for hours? Editing tiny paths and control points with endless mouse clicks and scrolls? The chances are your body will be feeling the strain. Here are a few great practical exercises from VET to combat RSI, eye strain and muscular pain.

Congratulations to our Adobe & Autodesk Certified Users

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CCI Creative Skills hosted the final Adobe ACA and Autodesk User exams of the year yesterday – congratulations to the following students who all achieved certification:

Nadezhda Andreeva      (Revit Architecture, Photoshop)

Lucy Clark      (Revit Architecture)

Isabel Clay      (Revit Architecture)

Kenzie Gray      (Photoshop)

Jane Lehtmets      (AutoCAD)

Guillermo Uria      (Premiere Pro)

Natasha Williams      (Photoshop)

Stephanie Wyant      (Revit Architecture)


Calling all Level 6 CCI students

Will you be in your final year or undertaking a Masters next term?  If so you too will be eligible to gain Adobe or Autodesk User certification.  Email us or drop in to Eldon 2.32 to find out how.

Congratulations to our newly-certified Autodesk and Adobe Users

It’s been a great day for CCi students taking the Adobe ACA and Autodesk ACU exams.  We’ve had 11 passes today.  Congratulations to all of the students below.

Marcus Pockney   (Illustrator)

Gilles Kurt   (Photoshop)

Michael Taylor   (Illustrator)

Israel Abam   (Revit Architecture)

Audu Akange   (Revit Architecture)

Samuel Akakpo   (Revit Architecture)

Efstathia Palyvou   (Revit Architecture, AutoCAD)

Jane Lehtmets   (Revit Architecture)

Osemudiamen Adeh   (Revit Architecture)

Patrick Muyembe   (Revit Architecture)

There are just two more weeks to take your exams before the Summer.  If you have achieved 80% in the GMetrix online practice tests, why not book your exam place here:

Adobe & Autodesk Exams – There’s still time…

Are you a Level 6 or above CCi student?  Have you signed up to the GMetrix online training for Adobe certification?

We will be running exams all year so make sure you book your place via our Eventbrite page or from the Workshop List at the bottom of this page.  Remember that you need to achieve 80% in the practice tests before you can take the final exam.

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Still don’t know what this is about?  Email us here or drop in to Eldon 0.92 for more details.


Adobe & Autodesk Exams over Easter


In the last three weeks  CCi students across a range of courses have been successful in gaining their Adobe and Autodesk accreditation.

Open to all CCi students Level 6 and above, you can take exams in six Adobe programs – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Flash and Dreamweaver as well as Revit, AutoCAD, 3DS Max and Maya in the Autodesk suite.

Already signed up to the online training?  Achieved 80% in the practice tests – we’re running an extra exam over Easter which you can sign up to here.

Interested in getting the accreditation – drop in to 2.32 to sign up or email us for more details.


Where can I get free online software tutorials?

Even the folks here at Creative Skills needs to sleep sometime so what do you do when it’s 3am and you need to learn how to create a masks in After Effects or how to add a wall in SketchUp. Before you spend hours trawling through YouTube here are a few free online resources that could save you some time.


Moodle: CCi Skills – Creative

We have our very own Moodle page which appears by default on your Moodle homepage. Look down the list to find and select CCi Skills – Creative.  Our page contains sections for the major software that we support and includes reference guides, PDF worksheets, workshop tutorials, examples and useful links.


Pluralsight (formerly Digital Tutors)

Pluralsight is an online training library with hundreds of training videos in huge range of software including:  3ds Max, After Effects, Dreamweaver,  Fusion, Houdini, Illustrator, InDesign, Maya, Nuke, Photoshop,  RenderMan,  V-Ray, and Z-brush plus many more!

This is available through the library catalogue and you can access it here – follow the instructions there to login.


Stephen Hall

stephenhall.org.uk has a host of resources to help with CAD software, building modelling, SketchUp, InDesign and Photoshop among others.


Video CoPilot

A fantastic site for tutorials and resources on motion graphics and VFX using After Effects.  You can visit it here where you can even download plugins and scripts to improve your After Effects comps.


Adobe TV

Adobe TV has video tutorials for all of its major creative software and is a great resource for learning the programs from scratch.  Highly recommended.


Adobe Knowhow

Knowhow is Adobe’s new platform for extensive online courses .  It has a ‘free’ section where you can access hours of video tutorials covering many of its major programs – you can access it here.  The main Knowhow website has much more but these will cost you so try out the free section first to see if it has what you want.


Autodesk Knowledge Network 

A great resource for Autodesk products – in particular you may want to take advantage of the Getting Started in Revit section.







Flash has a new name – say hello to Animate CC


Using Adobe Flash for your projects?  You’ll be interested to learn that the latest Adobe Creative Cloud Update sees Flash renamed as Animate CC.  Not only that but it has a raft of new tools and innovations.  My  personal favourite is the ‘scaling proportional to stage’ but don’t take my word for it – you can find out more about the changes here.




Manage your Media – Where did I put that file?

You’re in the middle of a project when you realise you really need that file.  You know, the original one.  I think it was a JPEG. No, a PNG.  Maybe it was called Untitled1.  Or Untitled_1.

It happens so easily. You have thousands of photographs from various different memory cards all called something like IMG_0000098.

Maybe you have a ton of exported video clips all called something like Final_Final_Export_Honest.mov or perhaps you forget to create a new folder as you exported a 5 minute image sequence all over your desktop.  Sound familiar?

Here at Creative Skills we see lots of students contending not only with the assignment but also with the task of finding the right files when the pressure is on.  Organising your media assets is essential to help you complete your projects without the stress of trying to find that one file you need that may or not be a jpeg or png and called untitled1

Thankfully there are various applications and tools out there to help you do this.  Here are just a few things you can do to help yourself get organised:


  • Use some of the basic organisational tools such as Finder and Windows Explorer that are part of your Mac or PC operating system. These allow you to sort your files in a number of different ways as well as use advanced features such as tagging, smart folders, and indexing.  For Macs see a range of advice here  or if you are a PC user take a look here.


  • Use a free Media Management apps such as iTunes or Adobe Bridge.  These are more tailored to the types of files you will be using for your projects such as video, images and sound files and have more advanced functions i.e. Bridge allows you to batch rename your files and see metadata recorded with your images.


  • Often the creative software you use to create your projects has built-in tools to help you manage your media.  For example, Lightroom works in the same way as iTunes to create a catalogue of your images regardless of their physical location on your drives.  You can also add keywords and geotagging and use collections to allow the same images to be accessed easily across different projects.  Working with video?  In Avid Media Composer, try using the Media Tool, Consolidate and Transcode functions as well as its vast metadata capability.  Premiere Pro has its own Metadata workspace while its accompanying program Prelude allows batch-renaming, backups and comments similar to Avid.