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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Deke's Techniques 425: Developing a Dark and Stormy Photo in Photoshop

Developing a Dark and Stormy Photo

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke works on an exterior shot of the York Minster cathedral he used for last week's mysterious interior panorama, and uses Camera Raw to develop an exterior shot that's equally hyper-realistically dramatic. Here's the before and after view:

Before and after developing in Camera Raw

Let's face it, you can't always---as in ever---control the weather, your access to advantages angles, the existing lighting conditions, or the presence of annoying (other) tourists in your travel photography. And given that, it's nice to have some options for developing a detail, increasing the visual impact, or interpreting the scene in some other creative way.

And that's really where these "developing drama" photo techniques are most useful. Deke's Techniques has a long tradition of getting around those types of challenging vacation shots. Here are a few movies that are still available here at to check out after you've seen this week's episode:

Deke's Techniques 022: Removing People with Image Stacks
Deke removes an annoying tourist from the Teatro Olympico in Vicenza, Italy.

Deke's Techniques 203: Developing a Dramatic Castle in ACR
Deke decidedly dramas-up a castle in Co Cork, Ireland.

Deke's Techniques 297: Correcting a Distorted Panorama
Deke manages to get most of the Guggenhiem Bilbao into one spectacular photo.

And if you're a member of, there are two exclusive movies this week in which Deke shows you how to develop this photograph in Lightroom and how to sharpen your dark-and-stormy photo for print. If you're not a member and you'd like to check it ou, you can get a free 10-day trial by going to Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 424: Assembling an Interior Vertical Panorama

Creating a Vertical Interior Panorama in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke takes some typical interior shots of the venerable York Minster cathedral and turns them into a decidedly untraditional and unexpected vertical panorama.

In other words, these eight staid church photos:

Eight traditional church interior photographs


Become this enigmatic single image of a mystical dreamspace (assuming your dreams are populated by the medieval kings of England):

Vertical panorama of the Kings Screen in York Minster


As you travel down this surprising approach to sightseeing photography, you'll experience the following:

  • The intricacies of using ACR to fix distortion (in the service of paradoxically creating an "impeccable distortion" in the end) and chromatic aberration.
  • The mysteries of compiling a panorama (if it can be called that) in Photomerge.
  • The secrets of using the Canvas Size command to crop a smart object non-destructively, but with more numerical control than you would with the crop tool.
  • And of course, the revelation of the delightful enigmas that populated the creative mind of Deke.

Next week, the dark mysteries of the exterior of York Minster (and of course, more insights into the wild and wonderful dekeBrain.)  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 419: Adding Depth of Field to Vector-Based Illustration

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes last week's Vector Island scene and applies a depth-of-field effect to the illustration inside Photoshop (with some help from Illustrator along the way).

The "depth-of-field" in this case, consists of doses of plain ol' Gaussian Blur applied as a smart filter. The trick is to create an independent smart object for each level of depth (blur) and then isolate desired objects for each depth of field by editing the smart objects in Illustrator.

In this case, for example, one layer/smart object has just the backdrop. Each of the other layers is stripped down to just a specific head. The result is that a blurry background, a sort of blurry guy on the left, and a completely sharp guy on the right creates the illusion you see here:

Applying different levels of blur to different layers creates a depth-of-field effect

If you're a member of, Deke's got two follow up movies this week. (If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at In the first movie, he shows you how to add gradient and color overlays to this scene for this effect:

Adding color and gradient overlays in Illustrator

In the second, you'll see how he incorporated textures from the original Easter Island photograph that was the inspiration for the illustration.

Using the original inspirational photograph to add texture to an illustration

Deke's Techniques, bringing your head(s) new tweaks every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 416: Extending Your Facebook Profile Picture into Your Cover Photo

Extending your Facebook profile pciture into your cover photo

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke concludes his quest for the ultimate integrated Facebook profile and cover image by showing you how to "extend" your profile picture seamlessly out into the cover photo area.

In other words, he'll show you how he released his Groot-esque alter-ego from the square confines of the designated Facebook profile area, aligned his shoulders (and hand) to flow over into the cover photo, and thus allowed his avatar to wave at you from inside the lovely Skunk Canyon Sunset.

Integrate your Facebook profile and cover images seamlessly

Oh, in case you missed it, in the last two episodes, Deke has revealed the exact specifications of the current Facebook images and how to make your Facebook cover image show through the background of your profile picture. He also shared this template, so you can efficiently make your own Facebook profile picture and cover photo work together.

And speaking of Facebook imagery in general, for members of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you the best practices for preparing images that you upload to your Facebook timeline. If you're not a member and want to check it out, you can get a free 10-day trial at Read more » 

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