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 564: Creating an MC Escher-esque Shape in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 564: Creating an MC Escher-esque Shape in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create an interlocking shape that will eventually become a hex patterned homage to MC Escher.

Using Adobe Illustrator and a handy hexagonal guide, Deke shows you how to create dynamic rotations for each side of the hexagon, not only ensuring that your image will eventually interlock with itself, but allow you to change your mind about the shape down the road.

A hex shape interlocking with itself

So, if Deke's troglodytes aren't your up of tea, you could do something closer to Escher's clowns (tessellating clowns are even scarier!)

Escher's interlocking clowns

Or adapt the techniques to a quad pattern to make something like these lovely calming fishes:

Interlocking MC Escher fish

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive follow-up movie this week in which he shows you how to make sure your subjects rotate with all their (crazy) detail intact. (Hey, are those dudes wearing monocles?) If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at

Detail on an interlocking pattern in Adobe Illustrator

And next week we'll see how it all comes together in a mesmerizing tessellating pattern.

Deke's Techniques, showing you how to spin your absurd world in complete interlocking precision. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 562: Creating an American Flag in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 562: Creating an American Flag in Photoshop

Well, our freedoms cannot be impinged upon here in dekeLand. And so, I bring you the official free Deke's Techniques episode this week, in which Deke celebrates the glorious if fatigued stars and stripes.

And if you're a member of, you can dekeDive into a bonus movie this week which covers making the most precise star placement for your flag. Because we deserve the best today. It's been a long summer.

If you're not a member of, you can exert your freedom by signing up at for a free 10-day trial in which you can catch not only this week's exclusive movie, but any movie in the entire land of Deke's Techniques.

Deke's Techniques, bringing you form and freedom all across the land. DekeLand! Read more » 

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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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