Deke's Techniques 620: Making Multicolored Vignettes in Photoshop
Deke uses a custom gradient and a shape layer to create a multi-colored vignette.

The Making of dekePod Pilot #2: 101 Tips

First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Colleen Wheeler. I'm an editor at O'Reilly Media, publisher of Deke's popular (if currently underpopulated) One-on-One books. And for reasons that no one quite remembers, I was put in charge of Deke. It's a big job, but someone has to do it.

Perhaps you've witnessed the resurgence of dekePod. In which case, as with any time you experience a great work of art, you want to know more, be a part of the magic in some way. How did this masterpiece come about? How many thousands of CGI extras suffered heatstroke or severe chapped lips during the arduous making of this video? How did the production team make Deke look like more of a cartoon character than he already is? Well, my friends, not to worry: here is your behind-the-scenes look at the making of dekePod Pilot #2, "101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes." Yes, you're welcome.

It all started with a dream. Then it all started again with the cast of talented professionals meeting in the gorgeous city of San Francisco. Here is the view from the top of the Hyatt, where Big Time Stars like Deke stay when they're in The City, and where they have their editors purchase Bombay Sapphire martinis while they discuss the two days of arduous shooting ahead. Enjoy the swanky view because tomorrow we're going gritty. Read more » 

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Good Copy Bad Copy

In creating dekePod, we've spent a large amount of our effort trying to balance the rights of artists and copyright holders against the idea of Free Use. As a copyright holder myself, I am of course concerned with the rights of artists to protect their works. At the same time, copyrights and the large corporations that possess them often do more to thwart the creative progress than to further it. Read more » 

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I asked one of my Web designers, Paul Legomski, if he could give me the ability to embed movies in blog posts. And he made a test post that included a bunch of garbage text and this movie, Don Hertzfeldt's infamously hilarious "Rejected." (Honestly, the first time I saw the banana walk on, I was fighting back the laughter so hard, I was in seriously unpleasant physical pain.) We initially had no intention of keeping this post, but in rewatching it (you can't help but watch this thing each and every time you encounter it), it reminded me vividly of my own crappy lip syncing in "101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes." Also like my thing, it's long -- nearly 10 minutes. Only much, much, much funnier. Much.

To those uninitiated (who are just here for graphics training info), WARNING: this movie contains much blood and satire. If you don't go in for such things, don't watch it. That way, you'll whine less later. If you're under 18 and you watch it, it'll make sorghum sprout from your irises. Read more » 

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Overexposure in the World of dekePod

Here is a picture I shot of Deke on the "set" of dekePod Pilot #2, "101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes," before I realized my exposure compensation was, um, not set to 0.   We filmed in various dumpy industrial areas in the otherwise picturesque township of San Francisco. I captured this image April 28; it will have been more than two months before the podcast sees the light of day. (Art takes time.) It was pretty warm that day, but not this hot. Then again, this might explain why Deke ended up getting a sunburn. (Either that or he doesn't get out enough.)

Yeah, this is my way of saying sometimes screwing up your camera's exposure compensation has cool effects, like turning your friend-author-colleague into a post apocalyptic cartoon character. Read more » 

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Kuler Now Cooler with Ability to Choose Colors from Photo

Deke didn't believe me the other day when I mentioned that Adobe's Flash-o-rific color-selecting gizmo, Kuler, could create a color palette based on a photograph. (Of course, now, he claims not to remember the conversation at all. It's his grueling schedule, not the Bombay Sapphire, I'm sure.)

But it's true, Deke. And relatively easy. Start at the Kuler page of Adobe Labs. Click Create at the top left, then choose Create from Photo. You can upload an image from your hard drive or from your Flickr account. Kuler has five "Moods" available for the creation of its trademark five-color theme: Colorful, Bright, Muted, Deep and Dark. Colorful seems to be the default, and you can create a Custom collection by moving any one or all of the five targets that Kuler picks to other spots on your image. Read more » 

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