Deke's Techniques 588: Creating Twirl Art in Photoshop
Deke uses some old school Photoshop filters to make old school but on-trend twirly art.

Deke Flies a Photoshop Flag for Election Day

My brother and sister dekeItarians. You might have noticed that today is Election Day here in the USA. To celebrate the end of an excruciating season, Deke has created a flag for today's Deke's Techniques episode---an American flag that is meticulously crafted by Deke, legendarily designed by an American woman, and may or may not have survived a few shards of broken glass thrown its way in the past year.

An American flag projected on glass in Photoshop

I'll be back with the full run-down tomorrow. If you're an American who's already voted you can catch a the episode here before it's on If you're a dekeOpolitan outside the US, watch the video and wish us luck and a quick recovery. See you in what I hope is a new tomorrow, tomorrow. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 561: Projecting Simple Shapes into 3D Perspective in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 561: Projecting Simple Shapes into 3D Perspective in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes on a viewer challenge and recreates a curved shapes effect from a movie poster. (Thanks to Mohamed for the suggestion!)

The poster comes from an independent film aptly titled Circle, in which a bunch of people stand on these circles and decide one another's fate. From what I tangentially gathered, it's something akin to the game of warewolf (although Wikipedia claimed it was based on 12 Angry Men, except—double-spoiler alert—the jurors didn't die in that movie.)

I do think watching the movie let Deke know that there were 50 circles in the design, and therefore it armed him with what he needed to plug into his trusty Transform Effect dialog box in Illustrator.

Thus through the magic of Illustrator, this set of shapes (one if which is totally off the canvas, no less):

Some simple shapes about to be transformed in illustrator

Becomes this design, via various moving, copying, and rotating dynamic effects:


Circles and triangles duplicated from simple shapes


Which is then curved into this perspective via another dynamic effect, 3D Rotate.


3D Rotate applied to a collection of shapes in Illustrator


Although you may not need to recreate this exact movie poster per se, watching Deke work through the math and positioning with the Transform effect dialog box is bound to give you strategies for how to unravel your own illustrative challenges.

Deke's Techniques, teaching you how use arithmetic, geometry, and Illustrator to draw something awesome. (They told you there was a reason!)

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Deke's Techniques 559: Creating a Hovering Head in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 559: Creating a Hovering Head in Photoshop

In this weeeeek's creeepy Halloweeeen-flavored Deeeeke's Techneeeeks, Deke cleanly severs a masked model's head and leaves it floating above her not-very-bloody neck stump. The project was inspired by make-up tutorials like this one, but using Photoshop is far less messy.

He begins with this unsuspecting yet oddly masked model from the Dreamstime image library:

Model with greasepaint mask from Dreamstime

Some simple masking away of parts of the victim's head, then Deke uses some fairly ingenious tricks to create and fill in the stump of her neck. A series of carefully chosen layer effects finishes this Heads Up Halloween horror.

Floating head created in Photoshop

If you're a member of (or you take advantage of this week's free week of LinkedIn Learning) you can catch the follow up movie, which takes it one step further by adding back the spine (ew.), which frankly makes it more horrific than a simple floating head.

Severed head in Photoshop with spine placed back in

If this is to grisly for you... then I don't know what you're thinking because I wanted Deke to put some worms crawling out of her neck stump. But, there's a whole host of Halloween techniques you can get by going to the Deke's Techniques library and typing "Halloween" in the search box. One of my favorite ungrisly episodes was last year's Turning Day into Night.

Turn Day into Night in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques bringing you tricks and treats every Halloween. Boo! (Yay!) Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 557: Photoshop's Top Secret Banana Tool

Deke's Techniques 557: Photoshop's Top Secret Banana Tool

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke forgets what time of year it is. Here it's October, the month that contains Deke's favorite graphically inspirational holiday, Halloween, and he's spending time with April Fool's style jokes and Easter Eggs.

But, there are undoubtedly some of you out there as mature and serious as Deke, and desperate to know how to put a banana in your Photoshop toolbar. Or put only a banana in your colleagues's toolbar. (By the way, he learned this trick from another Jesús Ramirez of the Photoshop Training Channel, so I guess something about working in Photoshop all day makes you a little bit, well, bananas.)

Ahem. Along the way, you'll actually have a quick glimpse at something actually useful for getting work done efficiently, the Customize Toolbar dialog box, where you can do other things besides turn on and off the banana.

The Customize Toolbar dialog box in Photoshop where you can install the Banana tool.

If you're a member of, there's an exclusive movie this week in which you can discover yet more surprises lurking inside Photoshop, namely toast, coffee, and transient witticisms. I leave it to you to figure out if there's any lasting educational value there.

If you're not a member and can't resist a good time-wasting look at easter eggs, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at You'd then have access to the entire library, including many Deke's Techniques that may help you actually get work done.

Deke's Techniques, making sure you have enough distractions!

Oh, hey, one other thing. Deke's Techniques will now appear here on Wednesdays. (For those who can't wait, you can still catch the new free movie every Tuesday afternoon at Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 556: Creating Photorealistic Neon in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 556: Creating Photorealistic Neon in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to increase the photorealism of last week's Illustrator-created neon sign inside Photoshop.

The technique centers around using the Illustrator file as a smart object (or two) inside Photoshop, thus allowing for much more flexibility than your standard real-world sign made of gas and glass.

To start with, we'll open last week's file as a smart object inside Photoshop: Read more » 

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