Design Illustrated: Heavy Metal Type from Scratch in Photoshop

Featured in a recent Deke's Techniques episode (CS6+) and a very early Deke's Techniques episode, Deke's striking heavy metal type effect is made completely from scratch using a little Myriad Pro, some Photoshop pattern-making,  a few simple channel acrobatics, and a series of stacked layer styles. Even the hammered metal background is made out of nothing but Photoshop magic (also known as filters and styles).

Yep, believe it or not, despite its hauntingly industrial flavor, this image is (as least as far as Photoshop is concerned) is:

Try it for yourself with these illustrated instructions, designed for Photoshop CS6 and later, but with advice for how to accomplish it in earlier versions: 

(If you're not a member of dekeOnline, you can become one here to read the entire article.)  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 269: Cleaning Up a Crummy Product Shot

Cleaning up a Crummy Product Shot

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke cleans up the flaws in a product shot so that it's fit for say, selling his toys on eBay. Not that he would ever part with this particular set of products (his GoPro, the fancy rig he uses to attach it to his bicycle wheel, and the sporty sunglasses he reserves for looking cool whilst cycling into work.) 

But the techniques he demonstrates in the video might come in handy for your own projects, like taking documenting photographs for insurance purposes, or say, selling your partner's toys on eBay. Check out the results: 

A product shot of the GoPro before and after cleaning up.

The process starts with making some tonal adjustments and applying Noise Reduction in ACR. Then, to make the pristine grey background, this is one of those rare times when a Photoshop Wizard of Deke's stature will actually condone the use of the magic wand. Magic Wand, yes, I said Magic Wand. Set to the default. It's like the justifiably often-maligned tool was made for this purpose.  

Finally, Deke sharpens the image so your audience can appreciate the detail of Grandma's treasured cat statue collection. 

If you need further refinement, like fixing the composition of the collection in your product shot, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week for members of If you're not a member, you can get a free week's trial at more » 

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Deke's Techniques 268: Creating Heavy Metal Type (in Photoshop CS6 and Later)

By popular demand, this week's free Deke's Techniques is an unprecedented second edition in which Deke takes a popular technique from the early days back in 2011---Creating Heavy Metal Type---and updates it for changes made to Photoshop CS6. 

The project begins with a hammered metal background that Deke created from scratch in the appropriately named Deke's Techniques 006: Creating a Hammered Metal Background. You can still check it out here---if you ignore the fact it was then numbered 004*.  

*Note: If you follow that original Create a Hammered Metal Background tutorial, you'll no longer find the Glass filter in the Distort drop-down menu. In Photoshop CS6 or CC, choose Filter > Filter Gallery, and you'll find Glass in that dialog box, under the Distort grouping. 

To this background, he adds some everyday Myriad Pro text, which he the proceeds to make awesome by applying a pattern and a whole bunch of layer effects. (It's the pattern that differs from the original CS5-based project, because shape layers have changed their behavior since then.) The effect speaks for itself: 

Heavy metal type created from scratch in Photoshop

Ultimately, and awesomely, you don't need anything special to create this effect. The text, the background, the pattern, and the ultimate effect are all items you can create from scratch inside Photoshop CS6 or CC. 

If you'd like to see the CS5 version, it's an exclusive movie for members that you can find here. If you're not a member, you can get a free week's trial at to check it out.  Read more » 

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Frightday Fundamentals: Mastering Elliptical Alchemy for Savvy Shapes and Selections

Wait, Halloween is over, you say? Friday is over, too? Well, I don't care. Despite having originally crafted this review of how the ellipse tools work in Photoshop before Halloween (and thus before Friday), while I was hauling across Wyoming in the middle of the night and diving in a crater in Utah to get my scuba certification, I was also simultaneously coming up with a reason that the post-Halloween era is even more frightening. Because that's just the kind of renaissance woman that I am. 

So, I bring you my slightly spooky review of how the ellipse tools (the Ellipse tool proper that makes a shape or the Elliptical Marquee that makes a selection) work when you hold down various keys while you're dragging with it. I bring you: 

What follows are some, uh, Thanksgiving-themed illustrations that demonstrate how to use the Elliptical Marquee to select much more than a circle, without ever using anything but an ellipse. 

For example, with the elliptical marquee in hand, you can drag out an ellipse of any proportion. Hold down the Shift key to create a perfect circle. Hold down the Alt key to make the point where you start dragging the center of your shape. Note that for this simple selection, the cursor is just a standard crosshair. 

Once you have one selection, you can add another to it by holding down the Shift key when you draw your next shape. You'll know you're adding to your original selection because the cursor has a plus sign on board.  Read more » 

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Deeeeeke's Techniques 266: Creating Dripping Gooey Letters for Halloween (or Any Other Suitably Ghastly Occasion)

Create Gooey Dripping Letters in Photoshop

This week, Deke continues his Halloween tradition by bringing you yet another creepy October-appropriate (and free) Deke's Technique: ghastly, dripping, oozing letters, suitable for your Halloween headlines.  

We begin with this unsuspecting text in Photoshop, minding its own business (except for the foreshadowed message of its actual content) and eventually turn it into festering, glowing, slimy, possibly radioactive...(how many more words for ooze can I think of before I mention snot?)

Here's the starting point. Your standard un-scary word written in Photoshop with your ordinary Impact font:  Read more » 

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