Deke's Techniques 577: Quick and Chalky Chalkboard Type
Deke turns regular text into a chalkboard effect thanks to some filters, blend modes, and an adjustment layer.

The Self-Made Mask

Today's tip comes from from Chapter 26, "Masking Essentials," of Deke's video course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery from And because this course is all about mastery, Deke takes on tougher masking challenges in this chapter, delving into such deep techniques as exploiting the native components of an RGB image to create highly exacting alpha channels and masks.

Photoshop CS5 self-made mask

Some of you may recognize this image (care of Stas Perov of the Fotolia image library) from Deke's Photoshop Top 40 videos, starting with Feature #33: Calculations. But this is a more detailed analysis, which includes compositing the masked image against a blue sky background.

We'll focus on the segment entitled "Making an alpha channel," where Deke demonstrates how the art of masking lies in using the image to select itself. Read more » 

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dekeSpeak December 8, 2010

Greetings, fellow Deke-o-philes!

This issue of dekeSpeak comes from a cool place. As the thermometer dips and layered apparel becomes increasingly conspicuous, I'm enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling I get from sharing the treasure trove of insights available on Deke hooked up with Bert Monroy, and got a close look at Bert's most recent masterwork. Read on to get a glimpse of it yourself. Our tip for this installment comes from Deke's Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course for And, I bring you good news: we've been able to extend the special (and very popular) Fotolia offer from the previous newsletter.

dekeSpeak Newsletter December 8, 2010

That's the news for now. As I'm sure you know, Deke sends all his virtual love.

Best regards, and I hope you're having a creative day,
Lou B, Speaker of the Deke, dekeOnline Read more » 

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Martini Hour 093, In Which We Release You From Your Bad Photoshop Habits

Stop it people. (Don't stop listening to Martini Hour, there are so precious few left. But do stop doing these things that you don't need to do in Photoshop.) Whether it be laziness, or convention, or excitement over tools or techniques to the point of employing them past all earthly reason, this week's show comprises a list of bad habits that Deke and I have collected in our travels (and Deke admits to having occasionally collected based on personal experience). Inspired by this blog post of things photographers can stop shooting already (sunsets, homeless dudes, . . .) we delightfully discuss our candidates for the things you are free stop doing in Photoshop. With our blessings. Not to mention, our insistence. 

Martini Hour 093: The Photoshop Bad Habits Show

Here is our list of "don't do"s: Read more » 

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Comprehensive Video Course "Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced" Goes Live

I open my window and I hear the birds roar. And do you know why? Because just this morning, my 153-movie, 14-hour and 53-minute "Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced" video course went live at If that sounds like a lot of hours, perish the thought. It's down slightly more than a full work day (8 hours and 19 minutes) from my introductory course, "Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals." And it goes down easy as this very Tuesday morning. (Click here for a full chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the contents.)

Here's a previously unreleased screen capture from the course that demonstrates how to integrate Photoshop images into your Illustrator workflow. What it lacks in beauty it makes up for in prehistoric bird action and sweet training goodness. Not to mention, a page curl. (Now we're talkin'!)

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Breaking Dinosaur News

Members of the Online Training Library can get started instantly by clicking on this link. Not a member? Get yourself a free week by clicking here. Not interested? Just sit there. Those are your options. Read more » 

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Bert Monroy's Soon-to-Be-Released Times Square

Today I was hanging out at the studios (working on my Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course, if you must know). When I ran into that one artist who isn't afraid to make his own reality, even if it requires hand-drawing individual drops of bird poop and sacrificing three years of his life. By which I mean, Bert Monroy. Colleen was there, too---these days, she works for And, before anyone knew it, Bert was showing us the most recent version of his gigatron-by-teratron piece of bazillion-pixel imagery, "Times Square."

It's radically dazzling. Not to mention, huge. In a way that few things beyond a stretch-Ford F750 hauling 100+ freight cars might be deemed huge. (Seriously, it contains more pixels than there are galaxies in your head.) And it made me realize how very ashamed I am for not having shared the following info until now: By some random quirk of fate---perhaps because Bert is out of his mind!---this excellent man decided to include Colleen and I in his masterwork. Here's a miniature (not to mention, old) version of Bert's composition. With Colleen and I rendered in bright green. We're on the left. You can't miss us, because there's a giant Zapf Dingbats finger pointing in our direction.

Colleen and I in Bert Monroy's "Times Square"

I know many of you live in awe-and-wonder over the likes of Bert. (As well you should, I say.) Which is why I thought I'd post these charming sketches: Read more » 

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