Deke's Techniques 552: The Rule of Thirds for Smooth Bézier Curves
Deke studies the Rule of Thirds with regard to creating smooth Bézier curves in Adobe CC applications.

Martini Hour 089, in Which Deke Gets to Legitimately Use the Word Palette Again

I guarantee this is a 100 percent pirate-free episode of Martini Hour. Of course, I can't attest to what this Mayan dude (below) did in his spare time when he isn't hanging on on the beaches of the Yucatan peninsula. In our final installment of quasi-official Illustrator month, we return to Live Trace but this time, using the color trace settings, which produce some pretty cool and amazing results, whether you use scanned colored art (as in this week's logo) or a full color photograph. 

Here's what we cover in this week's episode: Read more » 

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Scaling and Editing Traced Artwork

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced PREVIEW, Part 6

Welcome to the final installment in my six-day, cradle-to-grave, Halloween-induced extravaganza, in which I finish off the large-format pirate flag that I've been making all week. I begin by enlarging the skull and sabers in Illustrator. The result is a work of infinitely scalable razor-sharp line art that I could not have possibly matched had I upsampled the original pixel-based image in Photoshop. Then I adjust the color scheme and modify the placement of a few paths---if for no other reason than to demonstrate that what began as a sketch is now a pliable collection of vector-based outlines that I can modify as much as I want.

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Expanding and Separating Artwork

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced PREVIEW, Part 5

Where pirate flags (and perhaps, pirates themselves) are concerned, we are now deep into Vector Territory. Which is that portion of the map where even the hardiest of computer-graphics buccaneers disappear, and eventually return as ghosts. Which is where you come in. In this video, I unghost you. Which is to say, I expand the Live Trace object from the previous movie into a collection of static path outlines, and then divide the various colors (black, white, and red) across three layers. If that's not plain-and-simple skin and bones, I don't know what is.

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All Pirate Flag Files and Art

Today I share with you the essential pirate flag asset files. As described in this week's 6-day video blog (which began with "Sketching the Pirate Flag" and continues until Friday, October 29), the flag art measures five feet wide by three feet tall. It's an Illustrator file, so every line is razor smooth, as if drawn with pen and ink. And because Illustrator saves PDF-compatible files, you can open it in the free Adobe Reader utility. Even better, you have my permission to modify the file and print it as you see fit.

Here's a picture of me with said flag that was shot this morning.

Deke and the pirate flag

It's my gift to you. The only catch is that you have to be a member of dekeOnline. Read more » 

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Live Trace and Resolution

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced PREVIEW, Part 4

As those of you following my special Halloween-inspired pirate flag video blog know, each and every one of this week's videos hails from my upcoming Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced series for lynda.com. And yet, halfway into things, we have yet to even see, so much as use, Adobe Illustrator. That curious situation changes today. In this video, I save the pixel-based artwork at two resolutions: 72 ppi (which Illustrator insanely recommends) and 300 ppi (which works out much better). And then I launch Illustrator and apply the program's Live Trace feature to both, with truly astounding results.

Here's the official description: Read more » 

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