Deke's Techniques 486: Create High-Resolution Ice Type in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 486: Create High-Resolution Ice Type in Photoshop

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques movie, Deke celebrates the fifth anniversary of his weekly program by revisiting the very first episode—Creating Ice Type in Photoshop—but with a totally modern twist...making it high resolution (and CC friendly).

The technique itself still relies on the cool, clever use of smart objects, layer effects, and the application of the totally retro Wind filter in Photoshop. Thing is, although it’s 2016, the Wind filter is still so very much a stone age digital effect so we have to trick it into blowing downward to make icicles and apply it four times to reach a modern resolution. But the result is as fabulous as ever:

Chilly icy type treatment in Photoshop

Remember, all you need to create this fabulous frozen treat is some standard type, a blue background (Deke uses this frosty photo from, and Photoshop. And if you have a membership to, you can see how to edit this text to customize your own icy imagination in this week's exclusive movie.

Of course, if you’re not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at by heading to That way you can update your ice type skills, as well as start in on all your other Photoshop and Illustrator resolutions for 2016.

Deke’s Techniques, bringing you ice and magic for five years, almost 500 episodes...and counting! Happy New Year, my darling dekeCicles! Read more » 

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A Visit from Saint Deke-O-Las

My beloved dekeFolk: Tonight seemed appropriate to share a poem I wrote for an Ignite presentation I performed at the Photoshop Conference last month. Wishing you peace and poetry in 2016.

Here goes:

Deke in the booth

My story tonight, is about my friend Deke.
Who posts a new helpful technique every week.
There are almost five hundred, but due to short time
I will give you one preview; and do it in rhyme.

Geisel and Moore

OK, everyone’s heard of iambic pentameter.
But my favorite verse? Anapestic tetrameter.
And though it sounds stuffy, it’s never a bore,
As when wielded by genius like Geisel and Moore.


Now, for Deke, Halloween is the best time of year,
But this season has miracles honored and dear:
Christmas or Haunnukah, really don’t care,
Deke’s magic is make a boy fly through the air.
Tomas on the RugSo, it turns out my charming young nephew Tomas
Likes to think that he’s gravity’s three-foot-six boss.
So he lies on the floor as if it were a wall,
And pretends he’s omnipotent, ruler of all.
Clouds from fotoliaWe needed some clouds in which Tommy could soar,
And this fantasy photo has drama galore.
If you’re looking for stock, here’s a good place to seek,
About which you can learn at fotolia/deke.

Quick SelectionSo we’ll place the young hero, and size him quite nicely.
The next step involves Quick Selection precisely.
It’s the best way to start this meticulous task
Of extracting the boy from the rug with a mask.
Refine EdgeQuick Selection is fine for initial selection.
But in order to reach Deke’s true masking perfection,
We will need Refine Edge to provide some enhancement.
Before we move on to some hands-on advancement.
Four photoshop toolsNow, this mask is not simple, not something to rush.
Deke applies some precision with lasso and brush.
A polygonal lasso to capture Tom’s hair,
Which is given a Smudge so it blends with the air.
MaskThe mask by itself is a beautiful sight.
The concealed parts are black; the revealed bits are white.
Press Option and click to see only the mask.
In Windows press Alt to complete the same task.
Navel to noseFrom the mask we return to the RGB view,
To see how the boy appears set on the blue.
And now that he’s carefully captured those toes,
Deke will measure the angle from navel to nose.
Blurry boy After stashing him safely inside a smart object,
Deke’s got himself set for the rest of the... probject.
Some motion blur stretched to five hundred or so,
And the angle we measured a minute ago.
Gradient maskOf course we still want to see Tommy’s cute smile,
And a gradient mask will reveal it in style.
Here’s a clue to the question I often did ask:
There’s finally a use for that Smart Filter mask.
Gradient overlayA gradient overlay, foreground of white,
Covers Tommy’s cute toes with a quick blast of light.
You can drag it around, before clicking OK
To ensure the light lands where you want it to stay.
Outer glowAfter duping that blast to the layer below,
Deke also applies a bright orange outer glow.
A Linear Dodge blend is really quite nifty.
And a size value set to two-hundred-and-fifty.
Clouds masked with Refine EdgeIn order to tuck Tommy’s toes ‘neath the clouds,
Deke quick-selects puffs to become the feet’s shrouds.
And so here are the clouds as the edge is refined.
This will give us a lay'r to put Tom’s toes behind.
Tommy in the cloudsDeke creates a new Tom with Control-Alt-Click layer,
Or Command-Option-click if it’s Mac that you flavor.
First group all the stuff, then just finish the task
By Alt/Option clicking a New Layer Mask.
BlastA quick blob of white at the foot of his feet.
After dabbing some blue, the effect is complete.
He bursts from the clouds, with his Superboy movement.
In a six-year-old’s mind, this is quite an improvement.
The final boy through the cloudsSo, with smart objects, motion blur, layers, and masking,
Comes this holiday miracle yours for the asking.
Away goes the carpet, replaced with the sky;
In Photoshop little boys learn they can fly.
Merry PhotoshopThis technique first appeared the fifteenth of December.
(We took a week off, and we hope you remember.)
Now let me exclaim, as we fade out of sight,
Merry Photoshop all, and to all a goodnight. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 483: Making a Boy Fly through the Air in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 483: Making a Boy Fly through the Air in Photoshop

Greetings my dekeQuarians from North Sulawesi, Indonesia, where there is a decided lack of constant Holiday music and the weather is always about 85°.

But no worries, we're headed back to the snow and seasonal sentiment onslaught tomorrow. And in the meantime, this week's free Deke's Techniques features a wonderful tale of a Photoshop holiday miracle. And to make it extra special, Deke tells the story in Clement C Moore-inspired verse.

In this week's project, you'll see how Deke takes my nephew Tomas---as captured pretending to fly on his grandmother's living room carpet...

Tommy on the carpet

and sets him against this dramatic sky...

Dramatic clouds from

to make this composition, worthy of its six-year-old superhero subject:

Boy flies through the clouds courtesy of Photoshop

Along the way, you'll see how Deke creates the mask that moves Tommy from the floor to the clouds. And if you're a member of, Deke's got two follow up movies in which he creates the blast trails with motion blur and masks the legs into the clouds with the Quick selection tool. If you're not yet a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at

Merry Photoshop, all! Hope you're flying free in this holiday season. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 480: Create Candy Cane Type in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 480: Create Candy Cane Type in Photoshop

Greetings my delicious dekeSweets. In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke celebrates the season by creating some very tasty candy cane text. And, although this technique doesn't give you an editable message in the end, you must admit, it's quite the edible one (insert holiday groan here):

Candy cane striped letters in Photoshop

Like any good holiday present, this technique  has two hidden sub-techniques included within: You'll see how to create the background gradient and the Illustrator-crafted snow bank along the way, before applying the striped pattern to the letters and giving them that delicious rounding effect with layer styles.

If you're a member of, or you sign up for a free 10-day trial subscription from, Deke's got two exclusive follow up movies this week. In the first one, he shows you how he actually made that candy cane pattern file. And in the second one, you'll see how to make the sugary snow from scratch, including that which accumulates on the letters.

Peppermint letters with sugary snow frosting in Photoshop

Deke and I are "working" from Lembeh, Indonesia this week, where the weather is about 90° and humid, but the scuba diving is amazing. (Check out Deke's Facebook feed to see some of the mesmerizing critters of Lembeh.) So, this light snow flurry is a sweet reminder of home.

Deke's Techniques bringing you treats every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 478: Removing Power Lines with Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 478: Removing Power Lines with Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke steals an idea from Photoshop Man Extraordinaire Bryan O'Neil Hughes for removing unwanted power lines from a photo.

Thing is, Bryan didn't think that showing this trick to a roomful of fairly sophisticated design types was going to make quite the impact it does. But sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Like sleeping for a few days every summer in this rustic cabin, or using the Spot Healing Brush set to Content-Aware in Photoshop.

The result is our temporary summer-home-slash-pirate-lair becoming slightly more rustic by having its power lines removed (and my guess is half the camp would go dark, as well) by simply shift-clicking across the lines with the Spot Healing Brush. Then, when that doesn't work, the full-fledged Healing Brush itself. (Don't worry, all our devices are plugged in in the laundry room.)

A rustic cabin and pirate lair before and after power lines are removed in Photoshop.

In an attempt to discover just how easily this works, I used the technique to remove some power lines from our winter home (i.e. our home-home) with what I like to call "our mountains" obscured by clouds in the background. I might have also taken out the remnant of a neighbors chimney or two, just to ensure that---insofar as this photo is concerned---those are exclusively my mountains.

Mountain view before and after power lines are removed in Photoshop

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to turn that utility pole into a more appropriate tree trunk (might as well make everyone in camp rough it for a few days). If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at to check it out. Should be plenty of time to get hooked on Deke's Techniques, as long as no one erases your power lines in real life.  Read more » 

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