Deke's Techniques 64: Creating a Star Wars Hologram Effect in Photoshop CS6

As if to prove to one and all how relevant I am, this week I do two things: I show you how to create a Star Wars hologram effect, circa 1976. And I do so in Photoshop CS6, circa last Wednesday. Never let it be said that I'm not the absolute embodiment of au courant, regardless of how stupidly old I am! Granted, I start this week's video with the words far-flung when everyone knows the line is far, far away. But that's for a very good reason. Which is that I . . . er . . . I'm sorry, was I talking or were you?

Here's the official description from

In this week's free technique, Deke uses a variety of Photoshop effects to turn a couple of unsuspecting rental car agents from this world into rental car agents from a galaxy far, far away. The eerie hologram effect made famous by Princess Leia can work nicely on everyday substantive earthlings with the right combination of a custom pattern, a displacement map, and some choice layer effects. Imagine if your next rental car included the two regular people (on left) waiting virtually (on right) to acclimate you to the cool but unfamiliar controls of your strange vehicle.

A couple of rental car agents posing as Star Wars holograms

The effect starts with an ordinary pair of humans who are imbued with some horizontal old-school TV static via the application of a simple custom pattern, that Deke kindly shows you how to create. Then the shadows are given faux-holographic substance via the application of a displacement map. To finish the effect, Deke applies a few layer effects and shows you how to customize your holograph based on whether it'll appear digitally or in print. (But wait a sec. Do holograms ever appear in print?)

And speaking of cool but unfamiliar controls, you may notice that in this week's Deke's Techniques, Deke is using a beautiful new UI brought to you by Photoshop CS6. While this technique works glowingly in CS5, you can try this particular application from the future by downloading the free public beta of the next Photoshop from Adobe Labs. And if you'd like to hear more about how it works, has made Deke's Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview course similarly freely available to everyone who'd like to test drive Photoshop CS6 for themselves.

Which is to say, this movie, Photoshop CS6, and my Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview course are all available right this minute for free. To learn more, check out my summary of the Top 10 Features in Photoshop CS6.

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For Halloween!

I just love this idea because my kid is planning to dress up in Star Wars costumes this year..I will edit some of her photos to make it look more "realistically out-of-this-world"

An idea for Deke's Techniques

I was watching your "Cave Painting Face" video at and I thought of an idea for one of your upcoming techniques (see, I am just trying to help you out, and consider that I have been suggesting for some short practical lessons at lynda long before they came out with your techniques series).
Ok, now back on track: what about a nice tutorial on how to paint a nice wonderful fossil on a stone. Like a modern object, a computer, a tin, an electric guitar, an iPhone, whatever, and give it the look as if it were a fossil ‚ÄĚcarved" in a stone.