Stying Type with a Pattern of Vertical Lines
Deke shows you how to add that stylized, vertically striped text to the MDNA-cover-styled image we've been working on for a few weeks.



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Martini Hour 058, In Which Colleen Levels Out

Did you ever use a Photoshop feature on a regular basis---perhaps with the guidance of Deke in a book exercise or video? And although you get the results you want, you have no earthy idea why they're working the way their working? Or maybe a slightly earthly idea, but much remains a mystery. Possibly this has happened to me with regard to the Levels command. So this week, comfy in the lounge, I dared to reveal my almost complete ignorance and asked Deke to introduce me personally to Photoshop Top 40, Feature #9, aka: the Levels command.

What are "levels" exactly? You find it under the Image > Adjustments menu in Photoshop, so you know it's one of those global tonal adjustments. But what is it controlling? Well, luminance, yes. But luminance on a channel-by-channel basis. And what does that mean? And how can we harness that control to fix an image? Even those of you who already know what you want to do with levels will have a better idea of why you want do it after this conversation.

Here's what you'll learn from this week's show: Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #4: Navigation

Feature #4: Navigation

You never forget your first voyage into the great seas of graphics navigation. Mine was in 1985. I was using MacPaint, my supposed (but entirely fictional) mastery of which helped me land my first design job. I was panning an image using the scroll bars and a coworker, horrified by my behavior, showed me a trick: Hold down the Option key to get what he called "Muffy." While I found it troubling that he'd invented a pet name for something that looked and worked like a hand---did he have a nickname for his actual hand?---I had to admit, I was amazed. It had never occurred to me that such a tool (otherwise unavailable in the software) so much as existed, let alone might save me so much effort.

In creating Photoshop, Adobe "borrowed" the hand tool. But it assigned a different shortcut: the spacebar. Which just so happens to be the biggest key on the keyboard. It's as if Adobe was saying, this tool needs a shortcut more than all the others. And I couldn't agree more. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 057, In Which Deke Gives You Part of His Brain

This week's visit to the dekeLounge comes with party favors. Yes, dekeOphiliacs, in addition to spending an hour with the man---shoes off and drinks in hand---you get to go home with a little token of Deke's affection, his handy dekeKeys shortcut file.

dekeKeys graphic

Haven't you ever thought it would be great if someone would automagically make your Photoshop shortcuts make more sense and serve the commands that you use most often? For instance, who needs Cmd-Shift-L (Ctrl+Shift+L) to control something as seldom-used as Auto-Levels? Wouldn't it be so much better applied to, say, creating a Levels adjustment layer? The dekeKeys file is chock full of sensible remapping of the Photoshop keyboard shortcuts that is guaranteed to save you time, effort, and brain cell storage.

Here's how it works: Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #5: The Sharpen Filters

Feature #5: The Sharpen Filters

About a dozen years ago, I engaged in the only cosmetic surgery of my life (so far!), LASIK. It corrected my far vision. But now that my aging crystalline lens is as impliable as a piece of beef jerky, I require reading glasses. And there's not a thing Photoshop can do about it.

Photoshop is similarly incapable of correcting a photograph that was captured or digitized out of focus. Consider the following examples. In the first, the image is simulated to be out of focus using Photoshop's powerful (but not Top 40) Lens Blur filter. In the second, I slather on a heaping helping of the Smart Sharpen filter with little evidence of positive transformation, not to mention lots of clipped highlights and shadows.

sharpened blurriness

Compare that to the same image as it was actually captured by Jason Stitt of the Fotolia image library. With accurate focus at its disposal, the Smart Sharpen filter is capable of rendering tactile detail, even with a tiny Radius value (the number after the slash below).

sharpened focus Read more » 

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