Deke's Techniques 428: Auto-Blending Different Depths-of-Field in Photoshop

Blending Different Depths of Field in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Emperor Photoshopus Dekian shows you how to blend two different depths of field, taken from a museum display case at the Roman Baths in the aptly named Bath, England. The result is the in-focus revelation of both the text in the display, and the coins that are the real focus of the exhibit. Tangentially, it will also make clear Deke's love of all things Ancient Rome.

In the video, you'll see how Deke uses Photoshop's ability to stack and blend layers to mix the important information from this placard, that was placed at the back of the display case:

Text in focus


With this detail from Phillip and Otacilia's coins that were mounted on wires coming to the front of the glass:

Coins in focus


To create this composite, in which all the important details are in focus (and some atmospheric bits still retain their original depth of field:

A blend of two depths of field make all the salient information in focus

Check out the video to see how Emperor Deke fine-tunes the process (and thereby saves you some trial-and-error of your own). And if you'd like to check out other treasures from the museum of Deke's Techniques, you can get a free 10-day trial at Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 610: DekeKeys, Custom Shortcuts for Photoshop CC 2017

Deke's Techniques 610: DekeKeys, Custom Shortcuts for Photoshop CC 2017

Hey, dekeFaithful. Thanks for your patience. I'm here at last with this week's free Deke's Techniques episode in which Deke shares his dekeKeys customized shortcuts for Photoshop CC 2017 and shows you how to install them in the latest incarnation of Photoshop.

And to reward your dedication during our two-day delay, I'm not only sharing the video here, but the files as well: the shortcut file itself and the PDF that show you all the shortcuts in one streamlined, organized, yet nonetheless 17-page document:

All the shortcuts, dekeKeys and otherwise, are listed in this document

You can download it here (with .kys files and PDF reference lists for both Mac and PC included within).

I now there are some people for whom shortcuts are not currently interesting (i.e. "I'm trying to just learn the dern thing without needing a bunch of extra info, Deke!) But for those of you who love a good keystroke-based bit of efficiency these are tried-and-true dekeTested commands that frankly, in our mind, should have had shortcuts in the first place or needed better shortcuts than Adobe thought up.

And if you can't find a shortcut that you need, and you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to create your own shortcut and reestablish the default shortcuts Adobe wants you to have.

Deke's Techniques, streamlining your workflow 17 pages at a time! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 609: Bring Back Refine Mask in Photoshop CC

Deke's Techniques 609: Bring Back  Refine Mask in Photoshop CC

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke revisits an old edge-masking project and compares how it would now work in Photoshop CC with the newish Select-and-Mask feature compared to how worked in the old days with the Refine Edge feature. Then he celebrates that the latter is "better" (to his eyes, for this particular project) by taking advantage of the fact that you can still get to good old Refine Edge if you know the secret handshake (provided in our case by rising Photoshop star Jesus Ramirez).

To refresh your memory, the original project, featured in Deke's Techniques Episode 113 involved taking some plain ordinary text...

Some basic text about to grow into leafy letters

...and using it as a mask to let some foliage grow into the letter spaces, topiary style.

Some leaves about to become text thanks to a Photoshop mask

Of course the initial mask needs some refinement to sell the effect of the leaves actually coming out of the wood fence:

The first mask could use some subtlety

These days in Photoshop CC, you'd probably evoke that "replacement" for the old Refine Mask command, the Select-and-Mask Taskspace (are they still calling it that?) It takes over your entire screen and yields different results than before (although it steals Refine Edge's keyboard shortcut). 

Here are the results using Select and Mask with the same settings Deke once plugged into Refine Mask:

Select and Mask not quite yeilding the same results as before

And here is what the old Refine Mask feature once accomplished:

Refine edge results are more refined

And if you, like Deke, think you like the old way better for your particular project, well you're in luck. Because Adobe didn't really do away with Refine Edge/Mask so much as hide it behind an inscrutable shortcut-menu combination: If you hold down the Shift key while going through the menu steps to evoke Select and Mask (Select > Select and Mask), up pops this familiar friend:

The Refine Mask dialog box still secretely available in Photoshop CC

So if Select and Mask just isn't doing the trick, check out this old friend and see if that doesn't just work a little better:

Deke's Techniques, making sure the old and new schools live harmoniously and rust -free inside your Photoshop tool chest. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 607: Creating Crinkled Paper with Clouds in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 607: Creating Crinkled Paper with Clouds in Photoshop

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke uses Photoshop filters, namely Difference Clouds and Emboss, to create a faux paper olde-tyme effect that goes behind a brochure my grandfather drew some fifty years ago.

This is one of those lovely "something from nothing" techniques in which, if you need an old crinkly piece of paper, you can just call up Photoshop and whip up a sheet for yourself.

A crinkly background created in Photoshop

And if you're a a member of, you can check out this week's exclusive movie in which Deke shows you how to make...even crinklier paper!

Crinkly paper created in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques, helping you not only create paper, but crumple it up as well. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 605: Auto-Stitching Scanned Artwork in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 605: Auto-Stitching Scanned Artwork in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to meticulously stitch together two component scans in Photoshop to form one meticulous piece of artwork.

And meticulous is what my grandfather, Harvey Wheeler, who designed this brochure strove to be. You can see the careful blue lines and correction marks all over the original scan.

Original scan

Deke uses a combination of Photoshop's Auto-Align Layers and Auto-Blend Layers to start combine the two scans. Then he repairs the seams, applies the Channel Mixer to even out the tones, and uses a Levels adjustment to further fine-tune.

The result is a final artifact worthy of Harvey's attention to detail (although I have personal nostalgia for the marked up original, of course).

Scanned and trimmed document

Just looking at it brings back the sound of the jingling bell on the door and the amazing smell of exotic (to me) meats and cheeses.

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he non-destructively provided a perfectly uniform trim around the artwork without clipping a single pixel of the original. It's a cool trick that takes advantage of both the Magic Wand and Photoshop's Crop tool.

Deke's Techniques
, restoring yesteryear with delicious precision. Read more » 

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