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Virtual Training Company 2010 Review

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The Virtual Training Company (VTC) Photoshop Tutorials feature an impressive collection of high quality training courses covering a wide range of versions, earning them our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award.

There are 32 Photoshop Tutorials available from VTC, and that number keeps climbing. These courses cover everything from “QuickStart!” fundamentals, to “MasterClass!” advanced methods and techniques.

All DVD courses offered by VTC are priced at $99.95, regardless of which topic or version they cover. An online subscription is available starting at $30 per month. You may choose to be billed monthly, every three months, every six months, or annually. A discount is only available for annual subscriptions, which cost $250.

Standout Features

  • Unlimited online access
  • 32 Photoshop courses
  • Video available as Flash or QuickTime
  • $30 for one month access
  • Multi-user discounts available


Photoshop Tutorials offered by VTC are organized in a way that allows you to learn a lesson and apply the concepts. Much like a teacher in school teaches you how to do something and has you apply the lesson in an assignment. So instead of having project files to follow along with, VTC provides what they call “work files.” These are the files needed to complete a project/assignment after each course. It is kind of like homework, only much more entertaining.

Work files for VTC Photoshop Tutorials are free and are easily downloaded from the website. This is a great benefit considering most competitors charge an extra fee for exercise files.
Courses are available on CD or through the VTC Online University and have one or more sample lessons available on the website. Also, closed captioning is available for many courses, but only for Online University members.

The VTC website is easy to navigate, but the easiest way to find Photoshop learning courses at VTC is to use the search bar on the home page. Searching “Photoshop” finds 32 courses, so finding what you want shouldn’t be a problem.


The overall quality of VTC Photoshop Tutorials is very good. The video screen size makes everything easy to read and the interface is user friendly. The viewing window doesn’t fill the entire screen making it easy to move back and forth between the video and the Photoshop program you are learning about.

All courses include a detailed outline, lessons are well organized, and the outcome and length of each video is clearly defined. The course catalogue is very detailed and includes the name of the course, the name of the instructor, how many lessons are in the course, and how many hours of video are included in the course.

In most cases, the instructor assumes you are not familiar with Photoshop. They take time to teach the vocabulary and incorporate an appropriate level of jargon into the lessons to insure you become comfortable speaking and understanding “Photoshopese.” The instructor’s speak naturally without unnecessary enunciation which is more personal and offers a comfortable learning experience.

VTC Photoshop instructors are personable and address you as if having a one-on-one conversation. They involve you in the lesson by having you follow along and actually perform tasks making the learning experience more memorable and entertaining.

One thing that is most appealing about VTC Photoshop Tutorials is the accreditation of the instructors. For example, Dwayne Johnson teaches many courses including Photoshop CS4. He is the CEO of Diehard Studio, a firm specializing in 3D animation, illustration and writing. Another example is Phil Hawkins, who teaches Photoshop Elements 6 and Photoshop Lightroom 2. Mr. Hawkins is an award-winning free-lance professional photographer in Fresno, CA. His work has been published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine and other sports publications.

Each VTC Photoshop instructor has noteworthy professional experience in the graphic design field which makes them well qualified to teach Photoshop. If you would like to learn more about the instructors, they each have a bio available on the VTC website.


Experience Level

Whether you are brand new to Photoshop, or an expert in photo manipulation, you will find something appealing in VTC Photoshop Tutorials. Virtual Training Company has specialized “QuickStart!” courses for beginners and “MasterClass!” courses for more advanced users.


Virtual Training Company offers more courses covering specific versions of Photoshop than any other tutorial program we reviewed. Also, VTC offers courses such as Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers that provide in-depth lessons on a specific topic tailored for a target audience. These are great for professionals who are looking to add something to their game.


If you have questions about the tutorials feel free to contact the instructor personally. This is actually the preferred method for getting questions answered about VTC course content. What better way to find the right answer than going directly to the source?

If your question is more general, you can use the convenient support forum. Ask questions and receive answers from your peers or for specific product or technical support issues, you can contact VTC directly by calling 1-888-TRAIN CD (1-888-872-4623).

The helps available online are also impressive and worth taking a look at. They cover topics ranging from video player problems to network connection issues, and even include information about Mac’s. You can also download the VTC Support FAQ from the website.


Virtual Training Company may have fewer Photoshop Tutorials than Lynda.com, but they offer a great value without overdoing it. Still, you will be greatly impressed by the amount of knowledge you will amass from these Photoshop Tutorials in a relatively short amount of time. Whether you are a professional graphic designer or an amateur photographer looking to spice up your photos, you will find something useful in Virtual Training Company.