Photoshop Action as Social Commentary?

Welcome to the Friday forum, my dekeOmmunity. Today's post is brought to you by the Toronto wing of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty via Photoshop Diva Katrin Eismann. In a nutshell (which is an admittedly hard and tiny place to put such a complex issue), Ogilvy Toronto posted this video---"Thought before Action"---about a magical and socially conscious Photoshop action that reverted the model to her true unretouched self. Thus, retouchers are reminded in flagrante delicto that they are not honoring True Beauty. 

(That is, if professional retouchers do all their work in one fell swoop without saving their file before applying an action downloaded from the internet.) 

As the story goes, this action, presumably made available at sites like Reddit where art directors, graphic designers, and photo retouchers lurked---was called "Beautify" and falsely claimed to create a skin glow effect. The mindless unassuming users of the action would instead find their work reverted to the photo's original state. 

(Wait, Reddit? The place where my teenage son goes to look at animated GIFs of sloths playing banjos? The place where President Obama says anyone can ask him anything as long as they can do it in the next half hour? That's where pros go for their retouching actions? Welcome to dekeOnline you poor hapless souls.)

Ok, there's something poetic about using something called an action to attempt to incite---maybe not actual action, but at least social consciousness---about the way women are force-fed unreal idealization in advertisement. And yet, I must ask the following:  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke Queue for You: Courses (and Freebies) Collected

This week,, home of what I now know to be over 500 hours of Deke-on-Video-Training, announced they have added the ability to share "playlists." This means, if you are a member of, you can round up a bunch of courses into one handy list, and then share that list (via a link, email, or social media) with whomever you wish. 

For instance, in honor of the impending arrival of the final installment in the Photoshop CS6 series, also known as Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Mastery, I have added the first three installments of Deke's series into a Photoshop CS6 One-on-One playlist so that members of can make sure they're up to date on the series before the finale arrives. Perfect for your weekend Photoshop enrichment. (And, hey, if you scheduled things cleverly, you could probably get through this list in a free week trial membership from You know, if you didn't sleep, pay attention to your children, or work too hard at your regular job for a week.) members can click on this image and be taken to a page where they can add my list to your collection.

Read on to see how to add courses to your own playlists, get a free trial at, and get my secret for on how to watch a completely free "playlist" of dekeVideos from the library. Read more » 

. Tagged with:

How to Create Deke's New Improved Andy Warhol Effect in Photoshop

Today's tutorial is a step-by-step recounting of a recent Deke's Techniques in which Deke exploits the great exploiter: Andy Warhol. In other words, I'm exploiting Deke exploiting Andy exploiting art. And Photoshop is enabling us all. 

With this technique, you can take any portrait photo, choose any color scheme, and rip off, I mean pay homage to Warhol yourself. Or get your assistants to do it, because that's what cheaply produced Pop Art is all about. Maybe you too can sell your creation for $100 million. Or maybe you'll just enjoy the priceless gift of learning to effectively use blend modes in the pursuit of digitally manufacturing mass produced art. 

Read on see how to start your own Photoshop Pop Art Factory:  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Creating a Photoshop Composite from Six Separate Sixties-Style Psychedelic Scenes

Happy Friday, my beloved dekeQuarians. Today, I thought I'd spend an inordinate amount of time making groovy graphics to demonstrate a relatively simple technique for making a Photoshop composition. With all the 60s-era art around here lately, I thought I'd whip up some Peter-Max-meets-the-Fifth-Dimension-in-my-head (or, "What passes for a Sixties feel from someone who only lived through half of that decade") -inspired images in order to show off the technique Deke shared in this week's free Deke's Techniques video

As I noted earlier this week, the technique leverages 1) the Load Files into Photoshop Layers command in Bridge, 2) the ability to increase the Canvas Size by a percentage value in Photoshop, and 3) the groovy alignment power of Photoshop's Move tool. As Deke promised, you can use his technique with any same-sized images, so I started with these six heavily layered (not to mention obsessively constructed) graphics in Bridge:

Six contributing images in Bridge

Read on to see how you turn these far-out fantasies into a meticulously aligned composite message of PEACE (embellished with an Arnold Boecklin Std-inspired peace symbol I coerced Deke into drawing for me, in order to fulfill my vision):  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 198: Aligning Variations to Make a Perfect Composite in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 198: Aligning Variations to Make a Perfect Composite in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke will show you how to take all those Warhol variations you've learned about last week and combine them into a perfect composite.

What? You say you didn't create a set of Warhol variations? No problem. You could work with one photo apiece of your six children. Or you could start with six different photos of your favorite kid, leaving your other five to wonder where they lost your love. No matter, this technique works with any set of identically sized photos or illustrations.

But for the record, here is the awesome collection of aforementioned Warhol variations to whet your appetite. (Of course, when I asked him to make this graphic, Deke being Deke decided to try yet another variation for the following.)

As you'll see in the video, Deke's technique for making this grid takes place meticulously, yet effectively, and involves three basic tools:  Read more » 

. Tagged with: