It's a Brand New Day

Whether that phrase conjures up a recent Target commercial, Dr. Horrible's decision to commit Hammer-cide, or (as it does for me) a song someone on the Web aptly referred to as part of "Catholic Folk Mass" in the 70s, it is in fact a brand new day. Here on Earth we've turned our calendars to 2009, here in the States we have inagurated a new president, and here in the United Territories of Deke we are celebrating the arrival of a newest One-on-One book, Photoshop CS4 Channels & Masks One-on-One. The following is my artist's rendition of the book being sworn in:

Damn, that's a sweet graphic.

Although it did its best to kill us, the book ended up making us stronger. And we're hoping it'll do the same for you: What better way to achieve real, long-lasting strength, after all, than to possess the finest treatise on Photoshop selection and masking techniques that ever appeared in print? To quote the Man himself (in a private email to the publisher that I now take it upon myself to make public):

The result of this team's herculean efforts is a bold, cohesive, instructional, intelligible, impeccably organized and executed treatise on the most arcane but alluring aspects of Photoshop. This book contains page after page of information that has never appeared in print (or, in some cases, any online resource), such as:

  • How antialiasing really works
  • The secret workings of the Fill Opacity Eight
  • Actual practical multichannel techniques
  • The simple but elegant "found mask"
  • How ellipses become eyes (truly amazing)
  • The logic behind Calculations
  • The inner workings of the Add and Subtract modes
  • "Blind brushing," which lets you paint an invisible mask

Then there are the many things we mask, including dark hair, light hair, faces, eyes, hands, logos, landscapes, structures, food, clouds, tendrils of lightning, animals, entire people, blades of grass, feathers, clothing, flame, glass, and a goldfish. And as if that's not enough, I explain the many ways to blend and composite these elements into a layered composition so that everything but everything looks 100-percent credible. We were charged with the task of creating the best Photoshop book of 2009, and knock on wood (the very grains of which you can select), I honestly think we did it.

You can get a taste of this goodness throughout January and February on dekeOnline, as we run the video lessons from the book to whet your appetite (and frankly give you some darn fine free-standing education in the process). Half of the videos are already posted and ready for your complimentary viewing right this very moment. Here are the links:

Plus, members of dekeOnline can look forward to a limited-time opportunity to download high-resolution versions of all six of these movies. Keep an eye out this week!

In other news, as you many of you know, dekePod is on hiatus. (We're working on four new gangbuster episodes as I type!) Fortunately, we have a special treat to keep you entertained in the meantime. Deke won't allow me to share the details yet, but let's just say it's hard to go wrong with a fifth of gin, Adobe Creative Suite, and a couple of microphones.

So clap your hands and sing along, dekeItarians and non-believers alike. It's a brand new day!

Official Sidekick

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