Martini Hour 035, In Which Colleen Urges Deke to Stick with Complicated

One of the things that listeners told me while we were in Vegas is that, as fun as our guests are, every once in a while it's fun to listen to a classic Deke-and-Colleen conversation. After listening to this week's show, I think I know one of the reasons: Deke and I can really go nerdy when we're not entertaining. This week is a case in point, as Deke and I delve into his recipe for making a great screenshot. Yes folks, Deke has sound, meticulous advice for creating great screenshots, especially for print. Advice he imparts often when one (that would be me) is working on a book in his series (that would be Photoshop Elements 8 One-on-One which Deke and I are co-authoring due out shortly). If you've ever wondered why those images in One-on-One books look so sharp and clean, and so wonderfully readable, Deke reveals his secrets in this episode.

Here's our thinking:

Anyone who has had to teach a digital technique or review a piece of software or document a Web site has done a screen shot. And while screen shots might seem like child's play--there's the screen, just shoot it, right?--it's more involved than that. Whether you know it or not, you're assembling a cinematic narrative. And what's the first rule of cinema? Start wide and then close in.

Okay, so you're working with still images, so what? You are nonetheless telling a visual story, so you subscribe to the same rules. Meanwhile, the still-image narrative asks its own questions: What portion of the screen should you capture? Why does low resolution work better than high? And how do you combine a piece of high-resolution artwork with a low-resolution screen element? All these questions (and many more) are answered in this week's Martini Hour, with classic Bombay Sapphire martini's no less.

This episode even comes with a dekeGift, the Photoshop action that Deke has devised to keep us One-on-Oners from going crazy as we create those hundreds of screenshots that go into a One-on-One book. Note: because you have to use your own display color profile for it to work properly, you're probably best to just use this one as a template to record your own action. So I'll post a screenshot of mine here, replace with your own profile! (Not familiar with how to create such a monstrosity? I'll post the actual instructions in a follow up post for members of deke.com.)

And the toast, of course, is to Photoshop 5 which gave us all these lovely tools, and especially to that brilliant mind at Adobe who thought of actions, which save my sanity night after lonely night. Cheers, lonely engineer, I feel your pain!

Where else can you hear Deke reveal the trade secrets that made him the training wonder he is today?  Nowhere, so pour yourself a drink and have a listen.  Here's the regular-quality (128kbps) audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save.

Don't forget the usual blather: Subscribe via iTunes. Call 1-888-dekepod with your questions. (That's 1-888-335-3763.)

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Comments

Lynda.com Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals question?

I was going through your tutorial on section 3. Setup and Navigation under the section Best workflow color settings. You failed to explain what the Advanced Settings check box was. In the section Best workflow color settings tutorial this check box was checked. Then in Synchronizing settings across CS4 tutorial you went into Bridge and synchronized the settings. At the of this tutorial you went back into Illustrator to show that the settings were synchronized in Illustrator also. BUT there was one difference. The Advanced Settings check box was now unchecked... Why and what does it mean?

Thanks in advance,
Marcus

Enter a post title

nice thanks

I've been using Camtasia

for last two years. I'm really happy with the updates.

You seem to have got

The niche from the root. Awesome work!

Regards
Rabes Williams

Camtasia

I always wondered whether or not you used Camtasia! I thought you must because I remember you saying that the screen capture software you used was not available on the Mac.

I've used Camtasia to create a course on Flash, so I've been looking at the keyboard short cut pop ups in your courses and wondering how you did that. Is it a picture in picture layer thing? Or is the editing done in some other program like AfterEffects?

Oh, and now that there is a Mac version of Camtasia, does that mean your going to start recording your courses on a Mac?

RE: Camtasia

Hi,

I am using Camtasia since last two years and really happy from the updates. I am eager to ger the Mac version of Camtasia. From where it is available?

- Rees

Camtasia for Mac

Here you go Rees

http://www.techsmith.com/camtasiamac/

Technical Meets Practical

Deke will explain something in his meticulously technical way for 5 minutes, then Colleen will be like, "OK, now show how that's practical," and Deke will go ridiculously in-depth again, ending only when Colleen can't listen any more -- because she's looking out for the laymen. But people who like Deke like him for his technicality. And Colleen, as the polar opposite of Deke in many respects (knowing only what I gather from MH), is the perfect compliment in a conversation-oriented audio.

You both have the gift of gab, and the resulting clash of personalities is hilariously enlightening. Yet again you've have managed to craft another brilliant 45-minutes-that-seemed-like-an-hour or whatever. I'm stoked to hear the Vegas MH (I wish there was footy too...).

enjoyed it immensely

Totally enjoyed the podcast. Smiled the whole way through. Both of you are so entertaining, funny, witty, and brilliant. In the end I'm still a bit confused about the process, somehow I think if you had a little video you could demonstrate the process in about 5 min flat ... but of course that wouldn't be nearly as entertaining as the delightful banter. I love the way Colleen keeps Deke on his toes, and his spontaneous responses, which gives the podcast so much personality and flavour. (I tried spelling flavuor the American way 'flavor' but it just didn't look right) :-)

Afterwards I looked at the InDesign One On One book (the one I won in the Martini Hour contest ... autographed by both of you :-) ... and indeed, the screen captures are absolutely perfect and legible. Something I never thought much about, but yes, this is extremely important when creating a screenshot destined for print. Great topic !

Keep these excellent podcasts coming our way.

screenshot action

where's the action that you mentioned can be downloaded. I don't see a link for it. Yes, I am a member and am logged in.

Screenshot action later today

I realized as I was posting this last night that you'll really need to make your own. Instructions coming today, stay tuned.

Guests

The thing that makes Martini Hour so great is that you Coleen is so curious. And you have a way of making Deke bend over backwards to satisfy your curiosity.

Sometimes this works with guests. Deke can be curious as well with some guests and some guests understand your curiosity. However not all guests fit into this. Then suddenly you have a fun show with people who talk about what they do. But it's not really the same. Then it's just good, not brilliant.

/ Mattias, Sweden

Thank you, Mattias

What a lovely, thoughtful, and kind observation, Mattias. That makes me really happy.

Painter

I know of a Mattias from Sweden. Awesome painter. :D

you old flirt you

Deke, I don't know anything about your personal life, but I'm sure you're flirting with the lovely sounding (and looking) Colleen. It's in your voice :)