Exactly five years ago today, January 8 2007, I uploaded my first ever video tutorial to YouTube. I remember sitting down at midday and recording a tutorial looking at how to create a bolt of lightning in Photoshop CS2, and then uploading it to an old YouTube account I already had going. It took me two takes to record the entire thing, a far cry from the hours of preparation, recording, editing and presenting that my videos take nowadays.
Inspired by the great Photoshop instructor Deke McClelland, it’s clear to see from the YouTube video today that choosing the appropriate audio and video capturing device to record the tutorial wasn’t something I had much experience with. The original
was as clear as day (even though it was recorded with a motion-picture codec) but somewhere between it and the uploaded version I lost a little bit of detail, and the audio sounded like I was chewing on the microphone.
More importantly than all that though, it was the beginning of what was to be the 3photoshop web site, and although the technical side of the tutorial left a lot to be desired I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and the buzz you get when you release something new, something that will help others. It would be several months after making this video that the 3photoshop website would come to be, and back then I didn’t even have a name or direction. If you view any of my really early tutorials you’ll see that the logo in the corner reads ‘Matty Boy Productions’ – an early name I thought up that would align the tutorials to me.
The lightning tutorial proved extremely popular and is still my most watched video on YouTube
with well over 200,000 views, and over 500 likes. I quickly learned that there was a market for free video tutorials and I found myself in the position to be one of the people that could fill it. For old time’s sake I’ve embedded the video from YouTube below, but remember it was my first attempt, and the video and audio leave a lot to be desired.
I’m really proud of that video and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved since. I’ve now recorded 202 videos adding up to a whooping 30 hours, 8 minutes and 55 seconds of mostly free content, the last four of that total I’ve recorded specially for today.
I realised before Christmas that the anniversary was coming up, and at five years it would be one with much significance. Scratching my head, I finally decided to re-record the first ever Lightning Tutorial I uploaded to YouTube all those years ago. Then I figured that I could go one step beyond that. When I recorded the original and seeing it rise in popularity, I always intended to sit down and record some additional videos based on lightning effects that would complement the original. So long story short, that’s what I decided to do this time. Instead of re-recording just one, I would extend it to four and cover the preparation work I did to get the photo looking stormy, as well as a continuation of the lightning theme by designing some burnt, grungy text and unleashing electricity on that.
I’ve been releasing the videos throughout the day, and they’re all now live and listed below. More importantly, they’re all free!
In closing I’d like to thank you all for reading this and watching my videos. It’s always good doing something you love, and I’ve enjoyed making these tutorials for the last five years. I hope I can continue to enjoy making them in the next five as well.