Deke's Techniques 443: Blending Multiple Motion Photos in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 443: Blending multiple motion photos in Photoshop

Mind the gap, my dekeOtonians. In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to successfully blend four motion-filled photos of the London Underground into one image that captures the speed and movement (and happiness) of being in a tube station as trains pass by.

By aligning the four layers, then applying transformations and masks to take the best parts of each, Deke takes these four component photos:

Four motion-filled images of the London Underground


And turns them into this "like being there" experience:

Blended motion in Photoshop


This is one of those movies in which I find myself making a bulleted list of things I learned along the way:

  1. Where Photoshop hides the "Load Files into Stack" command. And that Photoshop has a "Load Files into Stack" command.
  2. That you can reverse the layer order with one click from the Layer menu. (Layers > Arrange > Reverse)
  3. That you can select the intersection of layers in order to effectively crop away transparent scraps brought on during an alignment process.
  4. Deke's masking tricks for choosing the parts he wants of each component.
  5. That Deke either doesn't believe in tripods or is to lazy to carry one. (In fairness to Deke, we were running up and down tube station stairs, cathedral stairs, and, of course, pub stairs all over London day.) Either way, a tripod is not necessary when you use this approach.

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he created this bold and brazen high pass color effect.

A high color High Pass effect

If you're not a member of, you can get a free 10-day trial at in order to check it (and the vast library of other Deke's Techniques) out. Carry on, dekeTravelers! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 441: Achieving Realistic Pointillism in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 441: Achieving Realistic Pointillism in Photoshop

This week's free Deke's Techniques episode should actually be called "Achieving a Pointillism Effect in Photoshop that Doesn't Totally Blow." By layering different instances of the Pointillism filter, and making a few other adjustments, Deke actually turns a photo taken from our amazing table on my birthday dinner cruise along the Thames in London...

Original photo of our dinner on the Thames


...into a work of simulated art worthy of the amazing experience it was.

Achieving a realistic effect with Photoshop's Pointillism filter


(Admittedly, it's not A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, but it's a worthy homage created with a few mouse clicks. Call it A Monday Evening on the Bateaux London's Symphony Thames Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Champagne.)

Funny story, when we first got on the boat, we were thrilled with the view from our table at the front (stern?) with windows on two sides. The staff started filling the champagne glasses of all the other tables, leaving Deke and me looking like disappointed puppy dogs wondering why they didn't come around to fill ours. Answer: they were busy preparing this bucket with the whole bottle for ourselves. Our amazing travel agent, Marci from Escapade Adventures, knew us well enough to book the "endless wine" package. That was only one of the times she read our minds---and hearts---on that trip.

Sigh, anyway...back to work. The trick to this technique is to layer three different smart filter instances of Pointillism, each designed to use a different color as the background. Compare the disappointing results when you use a standard, single application of the filter.

Bad dabs


Oh really, that doesn't look bad enough? Check out Big Ben in all its blobby detail:

Blobby Big Ben


Point made, huh? For members of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to give those tiny points of paint some simulated depth. If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at to check it out.

Apply an Emboss effect to your Pointillism filter for even better results

Go for the entire bucket of champagne, dekeAdventurers. It's a much more magical experience! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 434: Extracting an Unmodified Photo from a Smart Object in Photoshop

Extracting a Photo from a Smart Object

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke shows you how to extract your original unmodified JPEG photograph from a smart object that resides inside your significantly edited PSD image.

Why, pray tell, would you want to do this? Well, let's say you were drinking champagne on the London Eye, took a selfie with your phone, went back to your hotel, did some Photoshop work on it, posted it to Facebook, and then promptly forgot to do something intelligent with the original. (Blame it on the champagne and the gloriously dizzying views).

If you've trained yourself to apply your photo edits to a protective smart object, then you can even go so far as to Liquify your nose into pleasing proportions and still extract the original photograph. Here are the "after" (in this case, Deke's starting point) and "before" (the original) images sitting side-by-side in Bridge after Deke's procedure.

Colleen and Deke atop the London Eye


If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive video this week in which he shows you how to extract an original DNG from a PSD file, despite having made modifications in Camera Raw and applied smart filters and adjustment layers in Photoshop. (Hmm, if I'm going to show you the "before" on Deke's nose, I suppose it's only fair that I show you the magic Deke did on my teeth.)

Extracting the original DNG from a Smart Object.


Great tips for absent-minded travelers today. And don't forget, if you're not a member of, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to and signing up. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 432: Removing Unwanted Perspective from a Photo

Removing Unwanted Perspective from a Photo in Photoshop CC

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke employs a two-phased attack on a photograph with skewed perspective, using both the Lens Corrections controls in Camera Raw and the Perspective Warp features in Photoshop CC.

Here's where the image starts, with bows and skews that disrupt both the horizontal and vertical lines.

Skewed perspective as viewed in Camera Raw

After adjusting for lens distortion in Camera Raw (and reviewing all the features you may need to correct your own images), Deke then moves to Photoshop CC to apply the new Perspective Warp command to further tune-up the perpendicularity of the photograph's hieroglyphics. Perspective Warp itself is a two-phase process and Deke takes you through the process, explaining his particular decisions along the way.

After a quick trip back to Camera Raw to add some colorization, the result is a definite improvement to the images upright (and side-to-side) conformity.

Hieroglyphics corrected for vertical and horizontal distortion

If you're a member of (if you're not, stop by for a free 10-day trial), Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he uses Perspective Warp on the anamorphic skull in Hans Holbien's painting from 1533, The Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein (1533)

Here's a close-up of the skull in the foreground as it appears in the painting when viewed head-on. (It only takes its true skull form when you look at the painting from an  angle.)

Close-up of the anamorphic skull in Holbein's The Ambassadors

In Deke's Perspective Warp exercise, the genius of Holbien's skill is revealed by Photoshop CC. It's the second-best way to see it after going to London to view it from the side in the National Gallery!

The skull "corrected" in Photoshop CC

Deke's Techniques, giving you fresh perspective every week!
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Deke's Techniques 429: Applying Multiple Stroke Effects in Photoshop CC 2015

Applying Multiple Stroke Effects in Photoshop CC 2015

This week's free Deke's Techniques movie bring exciting news, well exciting nerd news. (You understand all these things are relative, right?) In Photoshop CC 2015, you can finally assign multiple strokes to a single layer inside of Photoshop.

It means that this:

Can become this:

If you're a member of (or if you sign up for the free 10-day membership) you can see the exclusive movies this week in which Deke shows you some of the other multiple layer effects that are now available. Namely, multiple drop shadows (which seriously threatens to make drop shadows cool again.) Like this:

And multiple color and gradient overlay effects, which allow you to set different blend modes, angles, colors, opacities, etc. to your gradients.
All of this happens with very little file-size overhead, because it's all made from layer effects. You can even change the stacking order (and temporarily turn off the visibility of effects you're not using) in the new Layer Effects dialog box.

Check it out for yourself, then ponder the possibilities of this new level of fx-fabulousness in Photoshop CC 2015. Read more » 

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