Turn Yourself into an Elf using Photoshop
Deke uses the newly flexible features of the Liquify command in Photoshop in order to turn an unsuscpecting teenager into a foreboding dark elf.

Photoshop Top 40, Feature #12: Camera Raw

Feature #12: Camera Raw

A couple of years ago, I petitioned a group of 50 or so photographers to seed me with raw images for some Camera Raw videos I recorded for lynda.com. The project went swimmingly, but I was troubled by the number of photographers (12? 15?) who told me they didn't shoot raw, even though they owned digital SLRs. Why not? Because the few raw images they had captured didn't look as good as the equivalent JPEGs.

Fair enough I guess. But it's rather like saying that your film negatives don't measure up to your Polaroids. The first are waiting to be developed and the second are processed by robots. Initially, you may marvel at the work of the robots--machines are a clever lot!--but in time you'll discover that you can do a better job yourself. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 049, in Which Deke Is Invited to Rub a Guest's Feet

We're joined this week by our good friend Mikkel Aaland, who, as Martini Hour Faithful know, was there at the inception of the original, offline Martini Hour. But in addition to his going olive-for-olive with me and Deke in Las Vegas, Mikkel has also authored two amazingly beautiful Lightroom books. And it's a great time to talk about Lightroom, because the beta of Lightroom 3 is currently available for download at Adobe Labs. So after you're done enjoying this show, you can go check it out for yourself. Because we imagine it's much more interesting for you to listen to us be loungy fools, then go try the products we talk about for yourself!

Here's more raw data from this week's show: Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #13: File Info

Feature #13: File Info

This week comes Lucky Feature #13. A feature so great, I forget to use it all the time. Seriously, don't be like me: Every night as you go to bed--right after you finish saying "Good-night, Mary Ellen" and "Good-night, John Boy"--I want you to promise yourself, "I will remember to use File Info." Because if you're sending files out to clients or posting them on the Web, you need to document them. Complete with author and contact and copyright and, best of all, URL. Otherwise, when that image makes its rounds (as it inevitably will), who the hell will know who (you!!) made it? Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40 Is Officially Complete

Ah, it feels so good. Tonight I finished recording the last of my Photoshop Top 40 podcasts, produced in association with my beloved video publisher, lynda.com. And while the most recent ones won't go live for months, I wanted you to have a sense for what's coming. The final two episodes, Features #1 and #2 (more than that I cannot tell you) feature the transformation of this image by Jason Stitt over at stock image vendor extraordinaire Fotolia . . .

into a full-blown Na'vi teen yearbook picture, a la the obscure art-house flick Avatar.

Click the image above for high-res. (I can't give you a high-res of the base photo; it's a commercial image for sale at a very reasonable price.) Read more » 

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My Romantic Epiphany

Tonight I was driving back from lynda.com to Room 101 at my beloved Blue Iguana after a long but uneventful evening of recording the final Photoshop Top 40 videos. And I had an epiphany. We needed a Thursday post. (Colleen and I got confused and posted Martini Hour on Wednesday--I can't believe none of you noticed!) So I thought I'd put pen to screen and see what you think:

Imagine you die and not only do you get to be reincarnated, but you also get to choose who and when. I would come back as a Plains Indian in the 16th century, before the Train Demons came with their superior technology.

I don't actually know much about the Plains People. According to my dim recollection of "Dances with Wolves," their ranks included a cross-dresser, so they must have been an open-minded race. Better, they had a ready and reliable food source: bison. Here's my off-the-wall (ha!) rendering of me as a bison hunter.

(Click the image for high-res with narrative. The original photo is #419301 from Jean-Michel Alibaud over at Fotolia.) Read more » 

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