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 Technques 574: Create Cheerful Holiday Trees in Photoshop CC

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In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke creates some festive happy holiday trees using nothing but made up stuff in Photoshop CC. Yes, for those of you who hate cleaning up pine needles and don't mind forgoing the scent of fresh trees, this is your digital holiday solution.

Three festive trees created in Photoshop CC

He begins with a backdrop borrowed from last year's holiday technique, Deke's Techniques 482: Adding Snow to Your Holiday Design, in which the fake stars he created in Deke's Techniques 015: Building a Synthetic Star Field. (Note, watching these older episodes is a study in the graying of Deke's hair.) The snow is returned to it's starry origins for this composition.

Synthetic stars become snow in Photoshop

Then, using Photoshop CC's Filter > Render > Trees feature, he creates the trio of fake fine-looking firs, suitable for your holiday decorating needs.

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's exclusive movie this week shows you how light up your trees using a combination of noise, masking, and layer effects. (Not a member, you can get 10 free days by signing up at lynda.com/deke.)

Three fake glowing trees

This is one of those techniques I decided to try for myself (I love making something from nothing). And I eventually filled the "lights" themselves with a pale yellow (instead of red, green, and blue) while leaving their Outer Glow effects set to their respective colors. Deke walked by and said, "Uh, I think you might have actually made it better.)

A slight change in the core of the light wins Deke's approval.

Merry Christmas indeed when the master compliments the apprentice!

Deke's Techniques, bringing holiday glow to your hearts. We'll see you again in 2017. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 572: Creating Embroidered Type in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 572: Creating Embroidered Type in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke uses Photoshop to create some embroidered type, which he claims is a "holiday craft." Actually, the final effect transports me back to my embroidery-festooned denim workshirt from the 70's. No matter, it's still craftily cool.

You start with a standard rounded font atop a nice piece of denim from the Dreamstime image library. Then by adding a series of layer effects, a diagonal pattern, and some stitch witchery with a custom brush, you turn this:

Unstitched letters before embroidery technique

into this:

Embroidery effect in Photoshop

In order to confirm, as Deke mentions, that this is indeed a useful holiday craft, I have employed it upon a stocking (also obtained at Dreamstime) so that Santa can reward our favorite Photoshopper with some year-end treats. As you can see, the technique works just as well on some faux velvet than on your favorite pair of jeans.

A stocking for a deserving boy

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he created that stitched script type underneath. If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to lynda.com/deke to watch this movie and any other that your heart desires.

Deke's Techniques, providing a digital thimble for your embroidery needs. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 570: Make Wildly Purple Supervillain Eyes in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 570: Make Wildly Purple Supervillain Eyes in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke once again turns to the Doctor Strange movie and digitally recreates the painful-looking purple eye condition from the movie's main villain, Kaecilius.

You too can turn your unsuspecting friends into menacing mystics, thanks to the transformative power of the Photoshop Arts.

Deke's future villain comes to us from the Dreamstime image library. Sure, the dude is sketchy looking, but not quite destroyer-of-the-world sketchy.

A hooded man from Dreamstime.com/deke.php

First, Deke cleans the eyebrows away with the healing brush. Then he brings in the purple with a solid color layer, some added noise, and a bit of Gaussian blur. He then limits the "makeup" to the eye region by employing the Quick Selection tool and a bit of hand brushing inside a layer mask. Definitely climbing the scale of evil here.

Purple eyes Photoshop style

If you're a subscribed acolyte of the Lynda.com library, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he adds the painful skin crystallization around the eyes, to truly reveal your subject's descent into the darkness.

The final Doctor Strange inspired eye makeup

If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to lynda.com/deke and signing up. This unlocks all the wizardry of Deke's Techniques, plus all the other secrets of the Lynda library. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 568: Creating a Doctor Strange-Like Mirror World in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 568: Creating a Doctor Strange-Like Mirror World in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, our own strange magician, known as Deke, recreates an effect from the visually stunning Doctor Strange movie.

You can imagine what it's like going to the movies with Deke and having him mentally note all the things he wants to try when he gets back to Photoshop. In this case, it's the twisted mirror world effect of the cityscapes in the film.

Imagery from Doctor Strange

Using smart objects and vector masks, Deke is able to turn this photo of the Hong Kong skyline (courtesy of Dreamstime):

Hong Kong skyline via Dreamstime.com/deke.php

Into this bent and refracted world:

Mirror world

If you're a member of Lynda.com and you follow Deke's in exploiting Photoshop's smart objects, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he demonstrates how to swap out your Hong Kong for, say Shanghai...

Impossible higways

or Chicago...

Chicago mirror world

or whichever mirror world you want to create. With your mind (and Photoshop).

If you're not a member, you can get a 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke with which you can watch this exclusive movie, the entire collection of Deke's Techniques, or anything your visually creative mind can find in the Lynda.com library. 

Deke's Techniques, twisting your world around each week!

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Deke's Techniques 566: An MC Escher-esque Hex Pattern in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 566: An MC Escher-esque Hex Pattern in Illustrator

Greetings from La Paz, Mexico, my dekeOmpañeros. In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, you'll see how Deke finally puts his MC Escher-inspirted shape from last week into a seamlessly repeating pattern in Illustrator.

The main trick Deke shows you here is how to figure out the size of your hexagon based on your desired base shape. Then you plug those values into Illustrator and voila---in Deke's case---interlocking dancing troglodytes.

An Escher-inspired hex pattern in Adobe Illustrator

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to create some matching pattern variations. If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by going to lynda.com/deke.

Isolate one part of the tesslation with a different color

Meanwhile, this is what's going on around here. Deke finally unlocked one of his life's sought-after achievements. Whale sharks!


Whale sharks in La Paz

Yes, we are thankful for big fish! Flying home tomorrow to be thankful for our families (and yours), as well.

Hope your days are full of peace, thanks, and wonders of the universe. Read more » 

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