Deke's Techniques 277: Painting an Eye in Photoshop

Create an eye with iris and pupil in Photohsop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke shows you how to create an eye---replete with iris, pupil, and jaunty highlight---from scratch in Photoshop. Using nothing but some custom brushes and some layer styles, you too, can create this striking effect:

Along the way, you'll learn some very useful Photoshop skills, including: 

Aligning two layers while keeping one stationary: the Align commands don't allow you to choose a key object for reference as they do in InDesign or Illustrator, but Deke's got a workaround for you. 

Adjusting brush Angle and Roundness: See how to take an existing brush and alter its attributes. 

Selecting, scaling, and rotating a custom brush: There are a bunch of brushes you already have access to inside Photoshop. See how to load them and adjust them for your project. 

Painting with layer effects: Layer effects like outer and inner glow can quickly help give dimension to a flat object. 

Locking transparency: Lock down your transparent pixels to keep your brush strokes confined to a particular location. 

All this and more. And by more, I mean: Read more » 

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Getting Inside Illustrator

Hello, dekeIstrators! I wanted to make a special appearance to share something with those of you who are veteran users of Adobe Illustrator, this special Illustrator history lesson from our good friend Mordy Golding. Mordy has a new series over at that is designed expressly for Illustrator "insiders" who may just feel like changes in the software have passed them by. In this video---a free excerpt from Mordy's first installment of said series, Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials---Mordy gives a terrific explanation of some of the reasons you may have missed significant improvements in the way Illustrator works. Bottom line: It's not you! It's not your throwing back too many martinis! It's not your stubborn adherence to old school practices! It's just that a paradigmatic shift happened in the software whilst you understandably may not have been listening. You are off the hook! And meanwhile, Mordy has (count 'em) three installments of this terrific series to help tried-and-true Illustrator experts get the most from recent developments without having to go back to square one. (Of course, if you need square one, there is Deke's new Up and Running with Illustrator course.)

So, if you already have a subscription, you get Mordy as part of the deal. And if not, might I suggest signing up for a free 7-day trial at Illustrator gurus, coming at you from all directions. You're welcome! (And nice to see you.)  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 029: Creating a Shooting Star in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 029: Creating a Shooting Star in Illustrator

This week, I shift back to Illustrator. In which I explore one of the oldest---not to mention, one of my favorite---features in that particular piece of software: blends. These things were introduced waaaaaaaay back in Illustrator 88 (which came out in 1988, when I was a mere child of 26 and Guns N' Roses played its best hand with "Sweet Child O' Mine," not that I was paying all that much attention to the song thing because I was a nerd using Illustrator). Between you and me, blends were originally Illustrator's bizarre response to FreeHand's automatic gradients (which Illustrator didn't add until a few years later). These days, you probably won't use blends to make an everyday-average gradient backdrop. I mean really, what the feck's the point? But blends're useful as a sack of srewdrivers for creating all varieties of intermediate objects. Which are precisely what we need to fabricate this week's topic, shooting stars.

Assuming you're still with me, here's the official description from Read more » 

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Martini Hour 085, In Which We Celebrate Adobe Illustrator with a Mordy-Palooza

This week's clip show features me repeatedly telling two of the most knowledgable Adobe Illustrator gurus on the planet that I don't know squat about Illustrator. (I've probably mentioned that more times than I've explained that Deke's new book, Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One, is taking over our lives and requiring us to compile clip shows.) But how can I still claim to know nothing when I get to hang out with Deke and Mordy Golding for several episodes of the show? Mordy, the one time Adobe Product Manager of Illustrator, is that guy that Deke likes to go to when tiny gaps in his copious Illustrator knowledge requires him to probe the brain of someone he trusts. Can an Illustrator Ignoramus do any better?

Here's how we kick off what I'm unofficially calling "Illustrator Celebration Month in the dekeLounge," also known as "Learn Something Already, Colleen." Read more » 

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Martini Hour 031, In Which Colleen (Ahem) Follows Deke and Mordy on a Geek Excursion

(Thanks to Mhelcor for the correction on the this week's title! ---cw) It's a true sign of my special penchant for total geeks that there is nothing more enjoyable for me than to sit with two notorious experts, and listen to them talk about something I know almost nothing about. Oh, sure, there are martini's involved, so that helps. And eventually I find out I'm learning along the way.

But really, for those of you who love Illustrator adventures, we've got a show for you with  our good friend Mordy Golding. These two could duke it out (or maybe just a friendly thumbwrestle) for World's Most Knowledgable Illustrator Expert, and yet they're both so sweet and helpful. And for those of you who don't care much about Illustrator, really just take the time to listen to the magic of two passionate experts sharing their knowledge, specifically about Illustrator's Transparency palette. By the way this is the episode has the added advantage of hearing Deke state his distinction between computer graphics and digital imaging, which I tell you, is something, after years of working, drinking, and generally hanging about with Deke, I only just found out.

Here's where Deke and Mordy go on their mutual Illustrator love adventure: Read more » 

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