Deke's Techniques 001: Creating Ice Type

Happy New Year, dekeOtopians. To kick things off with style, we're launching Deke's Techniques, a new offering of bite-sized training from your beloved computer graphics guru (who, as you know, beloves you right back). Deke's Techniques is a cross between a weekly blog post, podcast, and project-based tutorial, presented in Deke's signature (and lovably notorious) step-by-step style. Each week, you can enjoy a free video here, in which Deke shares another of his visually compelling creative effects in a quick, accessible, recipe format. And while here at dekeOnline we'll feature a new video for everyone to enjoy each week, over at, members will have access to the entire, ever-growing collection of Deke's Techniques directly from the library (including lots of exclusive library-only videos).

Sure, Deke is well-known for his in-depth comprehensive video One-on-One series on Photoshop and Illustrator. But it's a new year and maybe you're looking for a light healthy snack rather than a full 27-course meal. Deke's Techniques will satisfy that craving. Check out the preview episode here, in which Deke (in under 10 minutes) shares his recipe for this cool, icy type effect---perfectly suited for your January creative endeavors! Filters, layer effects, and, of course, the judicious use of smart objects combine to create this chilly effect. But throughout, your type remains decidedly unfrozen and editable underneath.

As an added bonus, Deke offers this free Photoshop Ice Type action, which lets you turn any live text layer into an embedded smart object of ice type. Start with a chilly background, add some big display type, load this action, and let 'er rip. If the action pauses on the final step (in the Layer Style dialog box), switch to Bevel and Emboss, change the Contour option to Ring, and click OK.

But don't merely rely on the action. Watch the video. The action applies the initial effect only (about 6:45 in). And the video includes insights that you can use as a jumping-off pointing for your own creative endeavors.

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Ice Effect

I just tried this effect for the first time and when I do it, the wind effect only shows the icicles inside of the letters. Any idea why they're not showing hanging off the letters like on the video? Thanks :)

The letters have to be white

The Wind filter only blows lighter colors.

It's a loopy old filter, bless it.


Ohhhh...thank you! It works perfectly now!

Great Vid

I need all the help I can get and this is gold!

Thanks a lot from the UK


Great Video. Please, keep them coming.

Wonderfull Skill

Wow Deke.... I can't say anything just Excellent and more and more...Hope you always humble to share with us Deke...

I can't believe how simple

I can't believe how simple that was.

That, my friend,

Is the idea. Hopefully they'll all feel that way. :-)

über nifty!

Love it!!!!

Would love to see some water effects like drops of water dripping off of text. The reflections always seem like that would be a challenge.

Great stuff.

Deke's on fire!!

Or ice, rather. But you know what I mean. So excited about the new series.

HNY, thanks for sharing

sweetly chillin' brain freeze.


Similar to Andrew Kramer at you get to see the finished outcome before watching the tutorial. This is a key difference from the tutorials you provide. Further, this 'fly on the wall' technique of letting us watch you work is a winner.


Type Effects

Being a type geek, I love that you are doing these effects with smart objects to keep everything editable. Ice Effect was great, looking forward to the rest in the series.


It is so great to have text effects that let you change the text and also aren't locked to a background! Can't wait for the next few weeks. Thanks so much!


loved it!


I'm trying to find the image at potophia and can't find it any where, a lil help please?

It's image #5214005

Just search for that number at

I'm a noob. I was lookin for

I'm a noob. I was lookin for the whole image WITH the type. hehe I suck.

Thanks bro.

Thanks bro.

Can this work with filters like Ocean Ripple?

Deke! Thanks, this is the first explanation of Smart Objects that has really made sense to me.

I wonder, how would one go about creating an effect that uses say Ocean Ripple and yet still has editable text.

I would use Ocean Ripple (on small and low settings) to 'rough up' the edge of text, but for it to work the image has to be black on white, rather than black on transparent. After running the filter on the type I would then convert that back into a selection (usually by pasting the filtered b&w layer in to a 4th channel and then loading it as a selection.

I can't work out how to do this entirely within smart objects however. Any ideas?

Thanks again. Glenn.

Slow Learner's Channel

1.) Deke, thanks for being Deke.
2.) Does a printed recipe exist for us slow learners? If I have to watch the video 30 times, my eyeballs will fall out.

slow Learners..

I completely agree. The steps are lightening fast! Maybe a PDF??

A written version of the Ice Type technique

There will be about 50 free videos this year, and another 20 to 30 for members of So writing up all the techniques isn't something I can reasonably do. That said, this particular technique will appear in my "Deke Space" column in the March 2011 edition of Photoshop User magazine. (You can also see the steps laid out by taking a look at the action.)

Read the transcripts of Deke's Techniques on

One other possibility, once these videos become part of the Online Training Library at, members will be able to review the closed captioning that is eventually added to every online course.


Angie j
You rock... you are the man. It works.
So happy you're back.

ICE Type... NICE!

I am in the process going through the complete One-on-One CS5 training... I am loving your approach to teaching and I'm learning a lot. I've been an avid, self taught, Photoshop user for about 6 years... I am quite excited to see what is to come in the training and with upcoming video blog tutorials... :) Keep up the great work!!

- Kenny
Trinity, Fl


Just been recommended your site its Brilliant Thanks Una

Wahooooooo....He is Back again!!

Black Seals ... White Reveals...!

Crystal/Ice Effects WOW!

Love the effect, but how would you change the settings to create a dripping effect say for blood or chocolate?

Just finished CS4: One on One, great work and loved working through the book! You are the man!!

Will Deke's Teckneks's be available at iTunes?

Love it!

I always learn something new from you. Can't wait for the next week Deke tekneke.