Drawing an Orthogonal Box Tower in Illustrator
Deke draws an intricate, interlockable illustration in Illustrator, building boxes that can repeat seamlessly.

Deke's Techniques 436: Drawing an Orthogonal Box Tower in Illustrator

Drawing an Orthogonal Box Tower in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke draws this orthogonal "box tower" in Illustrator, starting with nothing but the Line tool.

A single box tower drawn in Illustrator

I highly recommend this exercise for familiarizing yourself with Illustrator in a way that doesn't actually require the ability to draw organic lines with your actual hand. (I love drawing with math; it makes me feel safe and competent.)

And by carefully duplicating, rotating, and reflecting his original square form, Deke ends up making a shape that can be meticulously duplicated into this intriguing, interlocking pattern.

A pattern of interlocking shapes

If you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got two exclusive movies this week. In the first one, he shows you how to create the repeating tile pattern using Illustrator's Brick By Row command. In the second, he reveals how to change the entire color scheme within the pattern using Illustrator's handy Recolor Artwork feature.

Changing the color of a repeating pattern using Recolor Artwork in Adobe Illustrator

If you're not a member of lynda.com and you'd like to check out these exclusive movies (as well as the entire library of Deke's Techniques), you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to lynda.com/deke.

Onward and upward (in a seamlessly straight pattern!) Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 434: Extracting an Unmodified Photo from a Smart Object in Photoshop

Extracting a Photo from a Smart Object

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke shows you how to extract your original unmodified JPEG photograph from a smart object that resides inside your significantly edited PSD image.

Why, pray tell, would you want to do this? Well, let's say you were drinking champagne on the London Eye, took a selfie with your phone, went back to your hotel, did some Photoshop work on it, posted it to Facebook, and then promptly forgot to do something intelligent with the original. (Blame it on the champagne and the gloriously dizzying views).

If you've trained yourself to apply your photo edits to a protective smart object, then you can even go so far as to Liquify your nose into pleasing proportions and still extract the original photograph. Here are the "after" (in this case, Deke's starting point) and "before" (the original) images sitting side-by-side in Bridge after Deke's procedure.

Colleen and Deke atop the London Eye

 

If you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive video this week in which he shows you how to extract an original DNG from a PSD file, despite having made modifications in Camera Raw and applied smart filters and adjustment layers in Photoshop. (Hmm, if I'm going to show you the "before" on Deke's nose, I suppose it's only fair that I show you the magic Deke did on my teeth.)

Extracting the original DNG from a Smart Object.

 

Great tips for absent-minded travelers today. And don't forget, if you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to lynda.com/deke and signing up. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 432: Removing Unwanted Perspective from a Photo

Removing Unwanted Perspective from a Photo in Photoshop CC

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke employs a two-phased attack on a photograph with skewed perspective, using both the Lens Corrections controls in Camera Raw and the Perspective Warp features in Photoshop CC.

Here's where the image starts, with bows and skews that disrupt both the horizontal and vertical lines.

Skewed perspective as viewed in Camera Raw

After adjusting for lens distortion in Camera Raw (and reviewing all the features you may need to correct your own images), Deke then moves to Photoshop CC to apply the new Perspective Warp command to further tune-up the perpendicularity of the photograph's hieroglyphics. Perspective Warp itself is a two-phase process and Deke takes you through the process, explaining his particular decisions along the way.

After a quick trip back to Camera Raw to add some colorization, the result is a definite improvement to the images upright (and side-to-side) conformity.

Hieroglyphics corrected for vertical and horizontal distortion

If you're a member of lynda.com (if you're not, stop by lynda.com/deke for a free 10-day trial), Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he uses Perspective Warp on the anamorphic skull in Hans Holbien's painting from 1533, The Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein (1533)

Here's a close-up of the skull in the foreground as it appears in the painting when viewed head-on. (It only takes its true skull form when you look at the painting from an  angle.)

Close-up of the anamorphic skull in Holbein's The Ambassadors

In Deke's Perspective Warp exercise, the genius of Holbien's skill is revealed by Photoshop CC. It's the second-best way to see it after going to London to view it from the side in the National Gallery!

The skull "corrected" in Photoshop CC

Deke's Techniques, giving you fresh perspective every week!
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Deke's Techniques 429: Applying Multiple Stroke Effects in Photoshop CC 2015

Applying Multiple Stroke Effects in Photoshop CC 2015

This week's free Deke's Techniques movie bring exciting news, well exciting nerd news. (You understand all these things are relative, right?) In Photoshop CC 2015, you can finally assign multiple strokes to a single layer inside of Photoshop.

It means that this:



Can become this:



If you're a member of lynda.com (or if you sign up for the free 10-day membership) you can see the exclusive movies this week in which Deke shows you some of the other multiple layer effects that are now available. Namely, multiple drop shadows (which seriously threatens to make drop shadows cool again.) Like this:



And multiple color and gradient overlay effects, which allow you to set different blend modes, angles, colors, opacities, etc. to your gradients.
 
All of this happens with very little file-size overhead, because it's all made from layer effects. You can even change the stacking order (and temporarily turn off the visibility of effects you're not using) in the new Layer Effects dialog box.

Check it out for yourself, then ponder the possibilities of this new level of fx-fabulousness in Photoshop CC 2015. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 425: Developing a Dark and Stormy Photo in Photoshop

Developing a Dark and Stormy Photo

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke works on an exterior shot of the York Minster cathedral he used for last week's mysterious interior panorama, and uses Camera Raw to develop an exterior shot that's equally hyper-realistically dramatic. Here's the before and after view:

Before and after developing in Camera Raw

Let's face it, you can't always---as in ever---control the weather, your access to advantages angles, the existing lighting conditions, or the presence of annoying (other) tourists in your travel photography. And given that, it's nice to have some options for developing a detail, increasing the visual impact, or interpreting the scene in some other creative way.

And that's really where these "developing drama" photo techniques are most useful. Deke's Techniques has a long tradition of getting around those types of challenging vacation shots. Here are a few movies that are still available here at Deke.com to check out after you've seen this week's episode:

Deke's Techniques 022: Removing People with Image Stacks
Deke removes an annoying tourist from the Teatro Olympico in Vicenza, Italy.

Deke's Techniques 203: Developing a Dramatic Castle in ACR
Deke decidedly dramas-up a castle in Co Cork, Ireland.

Deke's Techniques 297: Correcting a Distorted Panorama
Deke manages to get most of the Guggenhiem Bilbao into one spectacular photo.

And if you're a member of lynda.com, there are two exclusive movies this week in which Deke shows you how to develop this photograph in Lightroom and how to sharpen your dark-and-stormy photo for print. If you're not a member and you'd like to check it ou, you can get a free 10-day trial by going to lynda.com/deke. Read more » 

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