Deke's Techniques 659: Drawing a Perfect Snowflake in Illustrator
Deke constructs a snowflake in Illustrator with mathematical precision, then augments it in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 659: Drawing a Perfect Snowflake in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 659: Drawing a Perfect Snowflake in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke embarks on a journey close to my heart. In short, he uses his innate sense of hexagons combined with Illustrator's ability to wrangle shapes with math in order to create that elusive, precious object...the snowflake. Why is this close to my heart? I don't know. Snow? Math? Hexagons?

Full disclosure, this entire project is four movies long. But seriously, if all you're interested in is the free movie, you'll get an excellent tutorial on how to measure, duplicate, draw, transform, and duplicate again the one-sixth of a snowflake that you need to get started. Those gold-selected lines, those are the true backbone of this shape, the rest is all duplication.

beginning of a snowflake in Illustrator

If you're a member of Lynda.com/LinkedIn, there is a series of exclusive movies that take you the rest of the way. First, you'll follow these mathematical machinations to flush out your snowflake (and because it's dynamically replicated, you'll only have to add the "arms" to one sixth of the design. See the gold-selected lines, that's the secret infrastructure of this shape.

In the next exclusive movie, Deke takes our delicately drawn design into Photoshop in order to add some pixel-based effects, including bevel and emboss (which wouldn't otherwise be available in Illustrator).

Photoshop snowflake with rasterized effects

And finally, Deke will show you how to adjust the smart-object-based snowflake in Illustrator from inside Photoshop in order to finish the project.

Final snowflake

Deke's Techniques, proving how robust snowflakes really are. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 658: Automatically Converting Circles to Diamonds

Deke's Techniques 658: Automatically Converting Circles to Diamonds

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke turns discs into diamonds in Adobe Illustrator. That is, he uses the power of Illustrator's Transform effect and some savvy selecting (and combining and ungrouping and...) in order to turn all the circles in this Windows-inspired diagram:

Diagram with circles created in Illustrator

Into diamonds, as the shapes appear on the Mac interface:

Discs changed to diamonds in an Adobe Illustrator diagram

As Deke says, "I know that sounds like a rarefied task, not something you'd want to do on a regular basis but in fact, it is something you might want to do on a regular basis."

Arguable (and not entirely logical). But I think in this case, we'll let Deke get away with it, because even though I doubt most of us find ourselves in the service of drawing a blue cartoon paramecium, or rather, in the service of drawing a chart explaining the drawing of a blue cartoon paramecium, I can concede that there may be a time where you may need to change a bunch of shapes in some Illustrator-defined condition (a compound path, a stroked object, a group of objects) into a different shape, and this video will run you through how those various scenarios work.

In other news, the course Deke mentions, Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery is out and available for viewing on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning.

Oh, and this happened over Thanksgiving break (thanks to our new friend and Thanksgiving dinner guest, Willa Kveta, and our new officiant and treasured friend and traditional turkey day hostess, Toby:

#justmarried

And here we are with our groomsmen, who you may recognize from before they transformed into young men:

Wheeler, Colleen, Deke, Sam, and Max

Deke's Techniques, giving thanks for life's lovely transformations. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 656: Create a Concentric Ring Logo in Adobe Illustrator

Greetings from the lovely north California coast. We're traveling with all three large boy-men and a small tree this week toward our Thanksgiving destination in Mendocino county, one of the loveliest, unspoiledest places in all of the loveliness that is my home state. Here's the view from our current dining table at which I am working in peace while Deke and our three boys went out foraging for groceries:

Sea Ranch view

Here's the small tree we're traveling with for reasons that may or may not become clear:

Traveling tree likes Sea Ranch

And here's this week's free Deke's Techniques subject, a fun Illustrator interwoven logo suggested by Facebook friend of Deke, Tamzid Hasan.

Concentric circle logo in Illustrator

If you're a member of Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning, you can check out the exclusive movie this week in which Deke turns that initial pattern into a continuous octagonal creation:

Concentric circle octagon logo in Adobe Illustrator

Deke's Techniques, hoping that you have as many things for which to be grateful. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 654: Op Art Experiment 3a: Volumetric waves

Deke's Techniques 654: Op Art Experiment 3a: Volumetric waves

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke does his third set of experiments in digitally created Op Art. Inspired by a work in the Dreamstime image library, he set out in Adobe Illustrator to create this undulating pattern.

An undulating waves pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Of course, any good eye-stimulating, brain-stirring, possibly headache-inducing piece of Op Art begins with planning, especially if you're the math loving Deke. So in order to insure this experiment results in a seamlessly repeating pattern, he plots out his intentions first.

Planning a seamless patterin in Illustrator

The actual piece begins with these two simple lines...

Two simple lines destined to become a seamless wave pattern

...which are then subject to the power of Illustrator's Transform commands, and ultimately exploded into that thing that's still waving at the corner of your eye two paragraphs above.

For those of you who are members of Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he manipulates the initial pattern into an "optimistic" (Deke's word, no idea what he's talking about) monochrome version, aka Op Art experiment 3b: Rolling Windows.

Variations on the rolling wave pattern in Illustrator

If your eyes can stand it, and you want to see the previous experiments, check out Deke's Techniques Episode 189: Op Art Experiment 1a: Inflated Checkers...

Op Art experiment 1a

... and Episode 201: Op Art Experiment 2a: Undulating Pattern

Op Art Experiment 2A

Deke's Techniques, experimenting in eye bending art. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 652: Drawing HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey in Illustrator (in 2017)

Deke's Techniques 652: Drawing HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey in Illustrator (in 2017)

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke recreates the AI antagonist HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey inside...AI!

HAL 9000 recreated in Adobe Illustrator

In case you were wondering, the best way to build a computer in Illustrator is with nothing but circles. In fact, this project does just that, starting with this innocuous black circle.
Start with an innocuous black circle

To which is added this slightly more sinister red circle<

A slightly more sinister red circle

And an increasingly menacing bright red circle

Red menacing circle

All of the above are then combined with a Blend operation in Illustrator to make this gradient effect:

Circles are blended in Illustrator to make a custom gradient

And then another circle with another gradient becomes HAL's ever-observant pupil

The pupil of HAL 9000 in Adobe Illustrator

Then Deke creates custom gradients for the outer edge of the eye.

The outer edge created with a custom gradient

And then the inner edge:
The inner edge created by a custom gradient

And if you're a member of Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning, you can see how Deke added a few more carefully colored circles to create the volumetric lighting effect in the final creation of HAL 9000's eye.

Deke's Techniques, taking you along on Adobe Illustrator artificial intelligence Odysseys. Read more » 

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