Deke's Techniques 536: Turning the World Upside-Down in Photoshop
Deke proves that Photoshop has the power to turn the world upside-down and still defy reverse gravity.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One Advanced: Preview Coming @ U

Lately, my site has gone as feral as the animal pictured below. Which is somewhat intriguing. I mean, a site gone wild is a sight to behold. But my plan is to change that.

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, Chapter 14: Gradients

Today, I'm writing to announce two things: First, I finally finished my all-new Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced course for lynda.com. And second, while that course won't go live until late November (about the time the U.S. members of this site celebrate how the Pilgrims ostensibly broke bread with the Indians before their progeny thought, no wait, let's kill them), I have a special 6-day preview planned for you in just a couple of days. Read more » 

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Photoshop 3D (and Toy Story 3)

As those of you who have watched my training videos for lynda.com know, I spend a lot of time doing "deep dives." My three Photoshop CS5 One-on-One courses add up to nearly 64 hours (which is why the editors have recently taken to calling them Dekelopedias). I spend a lot of time outlining the projects and bringing myself up-to-speed on the features. But the vast majority of my time is spent creating and researching the project files, which I try to make as real-world and compelling as I can.

I mention this because my next foray---after I complete Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery---will be a thus-far unnamed series on Photoshop CS5 Extended's 3D capabilities. And as I plunk around formulating project files, I can't help but look to Pixar for inspiration. I mean, even the detail below (the chin and chest from the lovable, malignant, strawberry-smellin' Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3, which hits grocer's shelves in a couple of weeks) is enough to make a digital artist gasp with amazement, not to mention cry with envy.

Detail from Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear

Truth be told, Photoshop isn't nearly capable enough to handle these sorts of texture and lighting effects. (Pixar has software the rest of us only dream about.) But Photoshop's brand of 3D is a rich and deep group of features, one that has experienced tremendous growth in the last few versions and will continue to grow in the future. My questions to you are: What do you want to see? What do you expect from Photoshop 3D? What kind of 3D images do you desperately need to create? What sorts of effects do you want me to focus on? Read more » 

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Book Is Done. I Am Back.

Hey, gang. Just a brief note to let you all know that I and my team have finished work on the project that has recently consumed our every waking moments, the forthcoming book Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One. Believe it or not, all 512 pages of it went to the printer today, with all 6 hours of companion video edited and ready to go. While I slept like a baby, my designer David Futato and lead editor Carol Person were up until the wee hours generating the final PDF documents. (Thanks to them both!) And while no one is going to accuse me of being overly timely---Illustrator CS5 started shipping about the same time as Columbus---I'm convinced that we've managed to create the best book that we could, as well as the best title in the One-on-One series.

Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One

The book should be available for purchase in about three weeks. For real. I'm no longer the boy who cried "Illustrator book!" I'll actually have one. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 087, In Which You Wonder Where the Heck We've Been

And the answer is, we were captured by pirates. Fleshless, Illustrator-loving pirates who locked us up in the hold of their ship, with only our laptops and daily rations of grog, refusing to let us out until we revealed the whereabouts of that long-elusive treasure-map-posing-as-a-book, Adobe Illustrator CS3, no 4, no 5 One-on-One. (Valued treasure maps go through a lot of iterations before you find them.) Anyway, the pirates have let us go. Well all of us except, David Futato, our design mastermind, who they insist on keeping captive until the book goes to the printer early this week. Of course, they've moved him to swankier quarters and they've upgraded his daily ration to sprouted lentil faux-meat products, multi-colored jello, and white russians. 

So pour yourself a bloody mary on this fine Sunday morning as we regale you with the tale of how, in honor of our captors, or maybe just because his new home came with one of those flag holder thingies already attached to the house, Deke set out to create a pirate flag in Illustrator. And this week we honor our erstwhile captors and discuss how he went about doing it.

Here's the adventurous tale of how Illustrator helps Deke fly his true colors: Read more » 

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Martini Hour 086, In Which We Vectorize Our Rasters

First, new feature, dekeLounge Quote of the Week:

"And by donuts, I mean onion rings." ---Deke

We continue our DekeLounge QuasiOfficial Illustrator Month this week (in honor of Deke's new book which I swear is very soon to be a reality, we have the sleep deprivation and stress symptoms to prove it. It's why we do an audio-only podcast) with a discussion of Live Trace. Pixels become paths, as we discuss how this nifty feature allows you to trace your Photoshop file and turn it into vectors. I've always been sort of intimidated by this feature; I think it's the name. And the fact I start out being intimidated by Illustrator in general. Why is it "live?" (Can features hunt you down and swallow you whole?) Well, clearly I overcame my waryness enough in the course of this week's Martini Hour to make this graphic:

Here are the key things you need to know about Live Trace to try it yourself: Read more » 

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