Deke's Techniques 457: Islamic Design 3, Connecting the Pieces
Deke continues his quest to duplicate this mesmerizing geometric pattern of a Tunisian stained glass window.

Martini Hour 068, In Which Colleen's Past and Present Collide To Talk Web Graphics

I got this brilliant idea which we experimented with this week. I was thinking the people who hang out here at dekeOnlinia are so cool, so supportive, so insightful, we should invite some of them to go head-to-head and ask their questions directly of Deke, fortified by cocktails in the dekeLounge. When my "old" friend Dave Naves (dnaves to you here in the dekeOmmunity) had asked some questions around here about web graphics, I thought it would be fun to invite him join us for Martini Hour to see if Deke actually knew the answers. Dave's been a web developer almost as long as he's known me, which is a long time. And what develops, is sort of a two-phase conversation along the lines of "Why do designers do what they do?" and "What are the tools that either Dave or his clients might need in order to do those things? (Or convince designers to start doing for themselves). And then, of course, we can't help but ask Dave a question or two about SEO and other newfangled concepts that we like to consider over cocktails here at dekeOnline.

Here are just a few highlights from this first meeting of the community and guru minds: Read more » 

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Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals Goes Live

Hello, gang. I hope Memorial Day treated you well and you are now back in the saddle and riding high on this Tuesday, the 1st day of the 1st month of Summer.

Just a quick note to let you know: My insanely in-depth, comprehensive-as-all-get-out Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals course has gone live on the Online Training Library. It spans roughly 250 movies lasting 23 hours, meaning that it offers more than enough to satisfy both the lightest and the darkest of your vector-based cravings. Iit even includes the well-worn and infinitely flexible ghost robot, rendered here inside a surfboard. In all seriousness, who among us could resist riding the waves with one foot below his empty heart and another on his pitifully screaming mouth?

Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Not that I've ever actually surfed or anything. But I have rode the high seas of vector-based adventure for nigh on 23 years. And I've poured much of my experience into these videos. (After all, I have to save something back for the Advanced and Mastery courses.) Read more » 

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CS5 Users: Download Bridge CS5 Update 4.0.1! Here's How to Use the Export Panel

It's a full moon as I write this. And the moon's phattest phase brings glad tidings: Adobe has finally shipped a fully functioning version of Bridge CS5. So when the Adobe Application Manager prompts you to download the latest updates to Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, and the Bridge, skip the first two for all I care and then drop whatever you're doing and download the last.

Previous to today, one of the Bridge's best new features, the Export panel, has been non-functional. Not somewhat impaired or slightly rough-around-the-edges, but just sitting there like an irritating lump, entirely inoperable. If you tried hard enough, you could make the Export panel display the "Select Modules to enable" message (see below), only to claw your eyes in disbelief as you stared at the blank space where some downloadable modules ought to be. But, ha! It was all a fun joke meant to test your loyalty. Now the Export panel actually works, and I'm actually here to tell you how to actually use it.

Bridge CS5 4.0.1 Export panel

See, the spanking-new Export panel lets you batch-export images to Facebook, Flickr, and Which is swell and everything. But my favorite feature is called Save to Hard Drive. Despite its dopey name---presumably your images are already on a hard drive---it serves a much-needed purpose: Save to Hard Drive batch-converts your raw images to JPEGs so you can make them available to clients, friends, and other mere mortals. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 067, In Which Chris and Ben Point Out the Obvious and Obscure in iTunes

This week, we discuss Deke's second-most used application, iTunes. It's true, whenever he needs a break, our graphics guru spends copious amounts of time organizing his vast music collection. And with our favorite Macworld folk on hand, Chris Breen and Ben Long, we thought it the perfect time to dig into the peculiar behaviors of Apple's music-wrangling, phone-syncing, photo-storing, app-harvesting, video-playing hydra.

Here are the iTunes highlights (or, how Chris and Ben point out the obvious): Read more » 

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Conquering CS5’s Powerful New Bristle Brushes

Photoshop CS5’s boldest and most far-reaching innovations are its new painting tools. This upgrade adds the bristle brushes, which simulate real-world traditional art brushes, down to the quantity and stiffness of the hairs. It also adds the mixer brush, which lets you mix the foreground color with a base photograph as if the photo were rendered in wet oils.

In a recent Photoshop CS5 Top 5 video, I showed you how to combine these tools to transform a photo of Colleen (below) into a hand-brushed painting (below that), complete with textured brushstrokes.

Photoshop CS5 portrait

Photoshop CS5 portrait to painting

But in order to really grok things, I need to show you how the bristle brushes, which are demanding little devils, work. (You'll have to be a member of dekeOnline to view this article.) Read more » 

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