FAQs for Pixeladies’ Online Classes

I don’t have a PayPal account. Can I still sign up for class?

Yes. Just click on the “Check Out with PayPal” button. You will have the option to pay using your PayPal account OR debit/credit card.

I registered for class. Now what do I do?

After you have completed your registration, you should receive an automated message from Kris with your login information. The class website is www.pixeladiesclasses.com. Please note: the classroom does NOT open until a week before class starts. You will NOT be able to enter the class until then, even if you have your login information. Check your social and spam folders if you don’t see it in your inbox. If you do not receive this login information, please contact us via our contact form and “login information missing” in the subject line.

Can you explain the structure of the classes?

Each lesson comes with videos and handouts. Some lessons include specific files for you to work on. We release one week’s worth of lessons each Monday for three consecutive Mondays (four consecutive Mondays for the Digital Designing class). Students watch the videos, read the handouts, and post their homework (if they want feedback) to our class website. This “classroom” is password protected and is for the use of our students only. This is where you can introduce yourself, ask questions, post homework, and interact with other students. We do not release any new material in the final week of class. Students have this week to complete homework, post their work, engage more with the other students, and continue to get feedback from the teachers. Click here to watch a short video on how our Moodle classroom interface works.

What time does class start? Does it meet every day?

Class does not “start” at any particular time. We release the materials for the week on Monday mornings, California time. (Click here to access a time zone converter.) You should be able to get through all the materials for that week before we release materials for the next week. You do not have to finish all the assignments within the week. You can post any homework at any time throughout the duration of the class.

I’m going on vacation for a week during the time of the class. Can I still sign up for the class?

Of course! The class is self-paced, so you can work at your own pace and according to your own schedule. All the course materials, including students’ posts, are available for six months after the class ends. In addition, you can log into the class whenever you have access to a computer with Internet.

I’ve finished all the work for this week. Can I work ahead?

No. We release one week’s worth of work on Mondays. We suggest you practice what you’ve learned during the week.

Can I download the handbook all at once?

Not at first. We release the individual handbook pages with each lesson. We suggest you store your individual pages in a folder on your computer. At the end of the course we will provide you with a complete handbook that has incorporated the latest updates and a table of contents.

How long are the materials available?

All the materials are available online for 6 months after the end of the class.

What’s the difference between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (PSE)?

  • Photoshop Elements is the consumer version of Photoshop and is available for purchase online or in stores. Photoshop is the professional photo editing software and is now available only through a subscription and is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, hence the name Photoshop CC.
  • We demonstrate with Photoshop Elements.
  • Adobe tends to release a new version of Photoshop Elements EVERY fall. We will work with you if your version of PSE differs than the one we are currently using for class. However, we do NOT recommend using any version earlier than PSE 13 (and PSE 14 for Organizer).
  • Important: Organizer is only available with Photoshop Elements.
  • Important: Photoshop (CS or CC) can vary quite significantly from PSE. We do not recommend using Photoshop for the Essentials classes.

If you already own some version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements . . .

  • If you are taking the Essentials courses, anything prior to PSE 13 is dramatically different than newer versions of PSE. If you had difficulty using that version, you will have difficulty trying to learn on that earlier version. Buy the most recent version of PSE (currently PSE 15).
  • If you are taking the Organizer course, use PSE 14 or newer as the differences are dramatic between PSE 14 Organizer and earlier versions of PSE 14 Organizer.
  • Photoshop (any version). If you already use Photoshop, you probably don’t need to take the Essentials classes. However, we welcome all students and will try to give you tips on “translating” what we teach in PSE to your version of PS. The concepts are the same; the look and location of things differ.
  • Organizer is included in Adobe Photoshop Elements ONLY. It does not come with Photoshop.

If you do NOT own any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements . . .

  • You can find Adobe Photoshop Elements for sale at good prices at many of the big box stores like Costco. Photoshop Elements INCLUDES Photoshop Elements Organizer. Buy the most recent version of PSE (currently PSE 15).
  • You may see Adobe Photoshop Premiere Elements for sale. Do NOT purchase a stand-alone version of Premiere. We are not using Premiere. Premiere is the video editing software.
  • You can download a trial version of Photoshop Elements, but if you are enrolled in both PSE Essentials 1 and 2, the trial will run out before the class ends. Students have reported numerous (and frustrating) difficulties downloading the trial version.
  • Organizer is included in Adobe Photoshop Elements ONLY. It does not come with Photoshop.

Will Photoshop Elements work on a Mac?

Yes, Photoshop Elements works almost exactly the same on a PC as on a Mac. We will point out the very few differences along the way.

Can I take the class on my iPad?

No. These classes are not designed for use on the iPad or other tablet computers. Tablets use apps, and the Photoshop Touch app does not have the same functionality as the Photoshop Elements versions for desktop or laptop computers. However, you can watch the videos on the iPad or other tablet while practicing PSE on your desktop or laptop computer.

What’s the difference between Adobe Photoshop Elements Organizer and Adobe Photoshop Elements?

Adobe Photoshop Elements is a photo-editing software and comes with Organizer built in. You use Organizer to organize your photos. You will also see Photoshop Premiere Elements. It is the video-editing software. We do not use Premiere in our classes. Sometimes you will find Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements bundled together for sale. It will include Organizer because Organizer comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Unless you plan on learning how to edit video, Premiere is unnecessary.

Do I need any special equipment to use Photoshop Elements?

No, but you do need to check the system requirements against your own computer. We also like to tell people about drawing tablets that have a stylus. The best way to unleash the power of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements is to have real control over your cursor. It increases accuracy and helps reduce symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome. Our favorite drawing tablet company is Wacom. They have very good entry-level models all the way up to the super-duper professional ones. We think the Intuos model is great for price and flexibility. Click here to order one from Amazon. Note: Do not confuse these drawing tablets with iPads or other tablet computers. Drawing tablets replace your mouse to use with your desktop or laptop computer. Please note: a drawing tablet with stylus is required for Photoshop Elements 3: Digital Designing.

Can you tell me more about the Organizer class?

Do you have hundreds (or even thousands) of photos, but you can’t find the one you’re looking for? Have you tried to name all of your digital images but realized you can only name so many photos “Uncle Bob” and have that name have any meaning? Do you think it would just be easier if you could tell the computer you want to see all the photos of, let’s say, “Uncle Bob” in Germany? Would you like to rate your photos, so you know which ones are the “good” ones? Organizer does all this and more. In this class you will learn how to:

  • move your photos from your camera/phone to the computer.
  • find photos on your computer.
  • set up a file management system that is independent of file naming.
  • set up an organizational structure to organize your photos.
  • create tags and use them to identify your photos.
  • rate your photos.
  • change the organizational structure of your Organizer as your needs change.
  • back up your Organizer.

Can you tell me more about the PSE Essentials 1 class?

This class is suitable for beginners. It is project based, so you can learn how to do the 10 most essential tasks for fiber artists, sewists, and regular folk alike. Click here to view the top 10 essential Photoshop Elements tasks.

Can you tell me more about the PSE Essentials 2 class?

This class is the continuation of Essentials 1, but it is process based. You’ll review tools and tasks from Essentials 1 and delve more deeply into concepts such as texts and shapes, adjustment layers, and layer styles. You’ll even start to master layers, the secret to Photoshop. This class is suitable for quick learners and people who want to brush up on their Photoshop skills.

Can you tell me more about the PSE 3: Digital Designing class?

This class is for those who are interested in designing. Since we’re fiber artists, we think in terms of how something will look on fabric and what uses the fabric might have. However, you can apply what you learn here to other types of projects as well. Students in this class must know how to use the basic tools of PSE and possess basic knowledge of layers. A drawing tablet with stylus is required for this course.