Deke's Techniques: The Challenge

Hey Gang! Welcome to Deke's Techniques: The Challenge.

I've been doing Deke's Techniques with for over a year and a half now. By now, I’m convinced, my techniques have turned you into Photoshop and Illustrator Ninjas. I’m so confident in both my teaching skills and your innate talent and learning ability, that I’ve decided to find out (and reward you) for what you can do. Time for the Master (me) to be the student (formerly you). In short, I want you to teach me (along with everyone else who'll benefit from your talent).

Deke's Techniques: The Challenge Map

Here's how The Challenge works:

You create a training video that demonstrates a wicked great technique in less than ten minutes. No nudity, no violence, no bad language. Just good wholesome fun.

Your technique needs to reference three of your favorite, or most illuminating, or most easily incorporated into what you already want to teach episodes of Deke’s Techniques.

Did you like the metal type effect (007), the advice for masking champagne glasses (020), and the instructions for creating trendy swirls in Illustrator (057)? Well then, maybe it’s time for you to create a technique that shows two trendy swirls toasting with champagne while sitting on a rusty park bench. I don’t even know what that means because it’s coming from your imagination.

The Challenge starts on July 17th and runs until August 28th. Every two weeks will be dedicated to a different category. The first challenge is for Photoshop freaks. The next is for Illustrator geeks. And, finally, the third is for people who can’t decide which software application inspires their madness. Wanna do an InDe-Flash Photo-Strator video? Lets see you blow us away! In under ten minutes! (Sorry, that’s a hard-and-fast rule. Anything longer than 10 minutes will be disqualified.) And while you can create your video in any language you like, or with no language at all, bear in mind that the one language shared by the judges is English.

Also important: We can only accept the first 101 entries in each category. We just don’t have time to be bowled over with this kind of awesomeness for too long. (After 101 entries have been approved, that particular Challenge will be closed.) So, don't put it off until the last minute thinking you can send us your masterpiece at the eleventh hour. The early bird gathers no moss. (That's how that goes right?) Download the Challenge Checklist for a step-by-step outline of what you need to do.

If you already have your own screen capture software, that's great. If not, no problem. Our sponsor TechSmith has you covered. Head on over to for a free 30-day trial of their solution, Camtasia. To watch a movie that explains how to record a basic screencast, go to

After you record your awesome technique, post it to YouTube and get a URL. Then return here to dekeOnline and fill out the submission form to join The Challenge. Assuming you meet all the criteria, your movie should be posted in a few days.

A total of 7 finalists and 3 Grand Prize winners will be chosen and rewarded with a treasure trove of gear, software, and coveted memberships valued at over $25,000. To top it off, all finalists in each category will have their work reviewed by our panel of industry luminaries including Bert Monroy, Katrin Eismann, Russell Brown, Michael Ninness, Colleen Wheeler, John Nack, Mordy Golding, and, of course, yours truly.

All prizes will be mailed to addresses inside the 50 United States. If you live elsewhere, that's fine by us. But you'll need to supply a U.S. address, and then figure out how to get them from there to you.

We'll be showcasing your movies on dekeOnline, Facebook, the Twitterverse, and other social networks so make sure to pick a dazzling thumbnail (measuring a scant 190 by 135 pixels) with your submission. For more details, checkout the Submission Rules & Guidelines section. Each category has its own unique deadline so stay tuned, be timely, and good luck!