Deke's Techniques 447: Wrapping a Gradient around a Circle in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 447: Wrapping a Gradient around a Circle in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create a color wheel in Illustrator, which in real non-Deke life does not actually have the angle gradient like the one that you have in Photoshop.

The trick, you'll see, requires creating a mathematically precise (if tediously crafted---yes, I stole the screenshot below from Deke's file rather than create it myself) gradient, then applying it as a very thick stroke (rather than a fill that would give you the wrong results).

Create a meticulous color wheel gradient


When you apply that gradient as a stroke to a circle, you get the desired effect (note how small the circle actually is compared to its whopping stroke, as indicated by the red line in the image below) shown here:

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to add the "Saturation" aspect of the traditional color wheel using blend modes.

You can spy this final result in the wild, in Deke's latest Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Fundamentals as part of the chapter on color. Here it is---with some whimsical dekeEsque names for the interim colors.

If you're not a member of and would like to check this---and the entire Deke's Techniques collection---out, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at Read more » 

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Creating a Universal Woman Symbol in Adobe Illustrator without Drawing At All

Me, again. I know, I was just re-inaugurated as Empress of dekeOtopia on Monday and I'm already back again. I really wanted to call this post Cherchez La Femme, but alas, I have just enough tenuous SEO knowledge to understand that's too clever by half. Nonetheless, I promised to show you how to make the Woman version of the Universal This Is the Restroom You Need symbol. The Universal Man we created in Monday's post is lonely. And more importantly the ladies room in dekeOpolis remains unmarked. Could be awkward.

Illustrator to the rescue, as we apply a series of transformed stroke effects to our initial line segment, and create this badly needed universal woman symbol (without having to draw a thing, not even a skirt).

To create our Universal Chick, we'll begin with the attributes that we applied to create the Universal Dude in Monday's tutorial. For those of you (uh, slackers) who didn't follow Monday's tutorial, there's a sample file you can start from at the end of this post. Or you can apply the stroke attributes and transformation effects shown in the graphics below to a standard perpendicular 266-point line you draw yourself with the Line Segment tool. You'll just have to create new strokes to apply the effects shown. You're smart, if lazy; you can handle it. For the rest of us hardworking folk, here are the steps:  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 104: Crafting an Infinity Symbol to Match a Font in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 104: Drawing Infinity with Illustrator's Width Tool

As I write this, I have newly returned from a ski weekend in Keystone, CO. My youngest, Sam, got barf-all-over-the-place sick and had to go home. Which really sucked. But fortunately my eldest, Max, and I missed the bug and therefore went on to have a terrific adventure. Today in particular was outstanding. We woke up, watched cartoons for two hours (in discussing why Scooby-Doo still sucks, Max assured me they're trying to keep it consistent with the old days), and hit the slopes just a short walk from our rented condo. I let him lead while I captured our antics with my hand-held GoPro. I reckon most of the footage would be boring to anyone but us---altho I did wipe out in a hilarious 1080-degree freefall because I was paying too much attention to the camera---but wow it was fun.

On the way home, Max and I discussed whether an insanely large cargo plane could carry smaller airplanes, the latter of which might subsequently take off from the innards of the former. As the rational father, I naturally argued "no, that's insane, you silly child." But Max had me really believing "maybe" over the course of two grueling hours because, seriously, the kid is relentless and we had nothing better to do.

Which takes me to this week's technique: Infinity. Life-wise, infinity reminds me of how much I love my boys. (I know it's cornball. But I'm feeling it so shut up.) Video-wise, infinity is a symbol. One that's missing from just about every font on the market. So what do you do when you're thinking infinity (like me) but you can't make infinity (like right now here like me)? Answer: Draw it with the Width tool in Illustrator.

Here's the official description from Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 076: Adding a Border to an Image in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 76: Adding a Border to an Image in Illustrator

I sit in my home in Boulder, CO and it is hot as hell. 101° F. With my laptop on my lap, making it even warmer. The heat is all around me. Like a stench that I can't escape. Like an insect that won't leave. Like a quasi-friend that eludes my skills. Which is all good. Because, you see, this is the day that Deke's Techniques amps up from casual to serious. Today, this very day, I begin in earnest to kick some seriously vector-based ass.

Join me as I poke a toe into the waters of what will come. Specifically, today, I show you how to stroke a border around an imported image in Adobe Illustrator. Which, technically speaking, is impossible. And still, I show you how.

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Deke's Techniques 075: Adding Photographic Texture to Vector Type in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 75: Adding Photographic Texture to Vector Type

One of the great things about Deke's Techniques (for me anyway) is that it gives me the chance to explore, not just how vast and powerful programs like Photoshop and Illustrator work, but how they work together, and in real-world scenarios. For example, this week, I show you how to take a couple of cloud photographs (Photoshop) and cram them into some vector-based text objects (Illustrator), replete with strokes and drop shadows.

Here's the official description from Read more » 

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