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

Deke's Techniques 582: Creating custom arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 582: Creating custom arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke digs down into Illustrator to figure out how to make custom arrowheads. The trickiest part of this whole thing is to find the file that you need to edit.

The arrowheads.ai file  will (at least for today, until Adobe sees fit to change it) be at one of these locations:

  •  Under Windows, bring up a folder window, click in the path field, and type in:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC 2017\Support Files\Required\Resources\en_US
     
  • At the Macintosh Finder, choose Go to Folder, and type in:/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CC 2017/Support Files/Resources/en_US


The second trickiest part (OK, THIS IS CURRENTLY THE TRICKIEST PART BECAUSE WE'RE WAITING FOR AN UPDATE TO THE MOVIE) is to unlock the permissions so you can edit the file. On the PC, right-click on the file and choose Properties. On the Mac, right-click and choose Get Info, then give permission to yourself to Read & Write. Ten Deke has created this handy cheat sheet:
Where to unlock the arrowheads.ai file

Finally, you get to tweak (well, copy and tweak) an existing arrowhead, turn it into a symbol, and employ it on your next arrowless line. Eschewing Deke's rather mundane arrow customizations, I actually made a copy of "Arrow 20" and with a few drags of the corner widgets, turned it into this lovely heart shape, suitable for creating a magic wand that brings love and warmth to the dwellers of dekeTopia. (And everywhere, really, we all could use a magic heart wand these days.)

Changing a boring arrowhead into a heart

If you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week, in which he shows you how to turn these "arrowheads" into custom end caps.

Customized endcaps in Adobe Illustrator

If you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke to check it out.

Deke's Techniques, teaching you how to thwart the system and write your own endings.
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Deke's Techniques 580: Symbols and Spaces in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

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In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke takes one for the Lynda.com training team and makes sure you know about a new symbols and spaces feature in text inside Adobe Illustrator 2107. Not sexy. But useful. When it works right.

While some of these symbols have been around forever (and had Mac OS level—shortcuts associated with them), PC users can now enjoy analogous keyboard shortcuts for entering their bullets and squiggles without having to resort to entering cryptic numerical codes.

Symbols available by keyboard shortcut in AI CC 2017

Illustrator also now has non-standard spaces you can enter via shortcut or menu as well, including a hair space and a thin space. Check out the video to see not only how it works, but where the limitations are.

Space options in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

Meanwhile, if that is as boring to you as it is to me (it will undoubtedly be exciting to...someone), then Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you an infinitely more exciting feature update in Illustrator 2017, that of the wacky world of live polygons.

Live polygons in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

If you want to check out the polygon movie and you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at lynda.com/deke.

Deke's Techniques, bringing you the mundane and the exciting in the same week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 578: Spray-painted Stencil Type in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 578: Spray-painted Stencil Type in Photoshop

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, (a mildly over-caffienated?) Deke shows you how to duplicate the effect of spray painting through a stencil inside Photoshop. This technique will allow you to express your messages of peace, politics, or protest without actually defacing any property.

In the tutorial, you'll see how to:

  • Load your text as a selection outline.
  • Have a cool background (like ours from Dreamstime):


     
  • Tweak your brush settings accordingly, including pressure settings that help you get the most of your tablet (if you have one).
  • Filter for softness and the inherent imprecision that would come from  stenciling with spray paint in the non-Photoshop (aka "real") world.
  • Use the Underlying Layer controls in the Layer Style dialog box to fine tune the texture of the "paint."

If you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he added some additional features (paint drips and an offset to account for the uneven background material).

A spray-painted stencil effect in Photoshop

If you're not a member, you can get a 10-day free trial at lynda.com/deke.

Deke's Techniques, allowing you to express yourself non-destructively. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 577: Quick and Chalky Chalkboard Type

Deke's Techniques 577: Quick and Chalky Chalkboard Type

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke creates a quick and dirty (chalky) chalkboard text effect in Photoshop. Using some basic filters, a couple of blend modes, and an adjustment layer, he turns this boring text:

Boring text about to be chalked in Photoshop

 

Into this slightly more exciting text (set in Flood Std) for your chalk-emulating needs:

Text set in Flood Std on its way to being chalked

 

And then adds some key filters as well as some actual chalk (courtesy of this image from our friends at Dreamstime):

Chalk

 

To arrive at this quick and easy composite. (Chalkboard background also courtesy of  Dreamstime.)

A chalkboard text effect in Photoshop

 

Chalk one up for Deke's Techniques! And facile puns! And making things less boring! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 576: Constructing a Two-Way Portrait in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 576: Constructing a Two-Way Portrait in Photoshop

Hey, Gang of Deke. Welcome to the start of the 7th "season" of Deke's Techniques. Can you believe it? I can, because in order to make this week's banner image, I had to go back and watch episode 97 (how to automatically invert type), and I saw how much Deke's hair had automatically inverted in 2011.

Anyway, sorry for the delay this week. We'll be returning to our regularly scheduled Tuesdays next week (and forever, as long as Deke keeps getting new ideas). There were a few stray Christmas tree needles (those things are everywhere), some New Year confetti (metaphorically), and some gooey rotting bits of 2016 (be gone already, devil-year) still stuck in the works this week, but we're ready to roll now.

And this brings me to this week's free episode, in which Deke uses a profile of a guy to constrain a full-face image of the same guy. Both images came from our new partners at Dreamstime:


Two portraits from Dreamstime, profile and full face.

The result is a slightly mind bending "two-way" portrait that, to me, seems ready for your double-take-inspiring commercial work.

A full-face portrait masked inside a profile shot.

(In other words, this is not your mamma's fireplace mantle kind of portrait. Yes, my mom actually sometimes has to ask Deke to reign it back---she just wants a "normal" non-glowing eyes picture of the kids.) But if you like the New Year-appropriate metaphor of looking both forward and off into the distance at the same time, then this is for you and your 2017 projects!

The technique relies on Photoshop CC because it takes advantage of the new Face Aware Liquify feature in order to line the profile and full face up correctly. New year, new feature, same old lovable Deke...but with grayer hair and less of it! Check it out. Read more » 

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