Deke's Techniques 495: Turn off Live Rectangle Widgets in Illustrator CC
Deke examines the new features of the "Live" Rectangle tool, then figures out how to turn the annoying parts off.

Martini Hour 074, In Which Deke Gets Rid of the Shnivels

Yes, there comes a day where you have to stop obsessing about electrons and start obsessing about ink. If you're like us, printing is just one of those things that can make you very crazy very quickly. During the course of revamping the "Print and Output" chapter from Deke's new book (that would be Adobe Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, due in stores next week!) we noticed that a lot of information out there about printing is just plain wacky, overly complicated, or downright wrong. So this week, we not only dispel the myth that you shouldn't print from Photoshop, but we take the fairly controversial position that trial-and-error and good ol' common sense are going to get you a lot further than complicated instructions that lead you in confusing, pseudo-scientific circles.

And I know it may sound like we've over-imbibed, but in this week's show we discuss how you actually can print straight from Photoshop: Read more » 

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Uses for the (New??) Subtract and Divide Blend Modes

There's been a fair amount of interest around the Subtract and Divide blend modes that Adobe recently added to the Photoshop CS5 Layers panel. Subtract is not actually new; it's been around forever in the Calculations and Apply Image dialog boxes. And even in the Layers panel, where Subtract is a freshman, you could achieve the same effect by inverting a Linear Burn layer. The Divide mode, meanwhile, is slightly-more authentically new. (Inverting a Color Dodge layer produces an identical effect, but previously there was no mode named Divide.) Even so, they have their uses. Which is why Blend Mode Man so enthusiastically contemplates their formulas below:

Photoshop CS5's Subtract and Divide modes

It's okay if you're afraid. You'd have to be as wicked-cool as Blend Mode Man to smile in the face of such bewildering information. Thankfully, it only gets easier from here. (But you'll have to be member to read more.) Read more » 

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Martini Hour 073, In Which Colleen Experiences the Many Layer Effects of Deke

It's a languid look at the mysteries of Layer Effects this week, dekeGuys and 'Dolls. This week's Martini Hour features simply me and my good buddy Deke taking an intreguing Dashell Hammit-flavored look at this unsung feature of Photoshop. Sure, at first, the Filters get all the flashy attention; they seem like the prime suspect for creative expression. But the first time you realize your "Fresco" version of your image a) will never pass for a Leonardo, and b) not particularly distinguished from anyone else's faux-Leonardo, you realize you want more control. Open the frosted-glass door to Detective Deke's Photoshop Investigations Agency, and take a look at the mysterious, sexy, flexible, useful, transferable layer effects that you'll find inside.

Here's where our cocktail-infused sleuthing takes us this week: Read more » 

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I Just Finished Recording All My Video Series "Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced"

Tonight I finished recording the 228th screen-capture for my comprehensive course, "Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced," the second installment in my cradle-to-grave Photoshop CS5 video series for the vast and unparalleled lynda.com Online Training Library. I'm told I submitted more than 34 hours, unedited. For the record, that brings the total number of my Photoshop CS5 movies to 436. And I still have the Mastery course to go (plus perhaps a little something more).

If that seems gratuitous, bear in mind a couple of things: First, Photoshop is a gargantuan program, one that requires a certain amount of attention to fully understand. Second, as much as it might sometimes seem to the contrary, I take no pleasure in exploring topics that you won't find useful. I have constrained myself to 436 videos because I decided to kill a few hundred others that, on balance, seemed a tad bit overindulgent. Besides, the surviving videos are an entertaining and educational lot, so really, who the hell's counting?

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Oh, and one more: When I pimped my Fundamentals course a month or two back, I mentioned that it includes more than 90% new content. Which remains true. But this time around, it's 100% new. Which, by my reckoning, means the Advanced course is all new. (The first time I did the math, I divided 100 by 100 and got 1. Obviously, I have a bad calculator.) Every stinkin' lickin' bit of it. Above you see an image from the course. One that almost killed me. And yet, I live and there's more to tell. Read more » 

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Gosh, This Is an Awesome Country

Let me begin with an obligatory quote stolen from Wikipedia:

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament (BP) propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America

---Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

So anyway, yesterday, I was at the gym. And I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but I was running along on the treadmill, blasting tunes into my head, while the news is rolling by on one of the televisions that these stupid gyms always have running, even if the screens block a really wonderful view out one of the windows. And some dreadful news about BP continuing to blast oil into the Gulf was rolling past. It made me so angry. So I indulged in a fantasy in which I and some buddies hijack that enormous BP oil skimmer, sail it to BP's corporate headquarters at 1 St. James's Square, London (which is about a half mile in from The Thames), and spray the place down with thick, gooey crude. (Shopping list: very long hoses.) Silly, hateful, vengeful fantasy, but it got my heart rate up quite nicely.

Which reminds me of what a great country this is. Read more » 

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