On Cocktails, Contests, and Community

Hello, my funny dekeIntines. Welcome to the February edition of the dekeOnline newsletter, a personal missive to you, treasured 1/6819th of our special community. Yes, I'm talking to You. Can't you feel me behind the sunglasses staring beams of love and appreciation straight into your soul?

Speaking of cocktails (see the title), this month brought the launch of our new audio-only podcast, Martini Hour, in which Deke and I sip beverages and discuss important issues in digital imaging and anything else that strikes our fancy. Joining us in the dekeLounge is our bandleader Buddy "budz" Saleman and the Pimm's Quartet, who provide the cool-groove accompaniment to our lively conversation. We've even got a hotline you can call with your questions: 1-888-dekepod. If you sound groovy, you ask an intriguing question, and Deke knows the answer, we'll play you on the air in an upcoming episode.

Which brings me to the contest. We know that despite providing an audio-only podcast, our listeners are wildly creative visual types who can't help but fill in the video portion inside their very own heads. We'd like you to let those visions out. So our challenge to you is to create an image that represents your vision of Martini Hour. We'll run our favorites in the weekly blog posts that give the episode rundown (where we are currently just providing differently colored versions of Deke's Martini Hour graphic). The winner will receive a dekePod t-shirt, a book of choice from the One-on-One series, and whatever else I can come up with. Oh, and the love and adoration of the hosts! Send your entries to quiz@deke.com or post them to our new Flickr group (see below).

Which brings me to community. By way of fodder for your creative pursuits, we've posted some source imagery (i.e., pictures of me and Deke that we like) to our new Flickr group. (Thanks for the suggestion, Petra; sorry it took so long!) You're also welcome to post your stuff there for both the contest and the general enjoyment of the community.

And now to inspire your creativity, another one of my wonderful and carefully crafted drawings: a photo-realistic sketch of Martini Hour as it appears when we record it.

And no worries, dekePod will return very soon with new episodes. (In fact, that first image is a still frame from the upcoming music video, "The Droplet Song," which will go live in mid-March.) Kick back and enjoy.

To rose-lipt maidens and light-foot lads,
Trusty Sidekick, deke.com

. Tagged with:



I looked everywhere: Flickr, Google, Lynda.com, I even searched for my old Total Training series, but I can't figure out where I put the darn thing. What I need is a few high-res photos of you for the contest. The stuff on Flickr doesn't have a good front shot of you that's not all blurry or with flash in yer face. Damn, I wish I still had that shot of you from the Total Training series... __________________________________________________ Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard drive?

Which TT vids, flyboy?

I have the CS2 Illustrator, Photoshop, and Advanced Adobe Photoshop DVDs - all by Deke. Got a rough idea where the pic might be? If I have the vid with the pic you're thinking of (and if Deke says I can) then I'll grab it and upload it or send it to Colleen for upload or something? I may not have viewed them for a couple of years, but I know where they are - they're right in front of me. :-)

Seriously Petra?

You have my entire TT CS2 canon. For some reason I had you pegged as a post-"101 Tips" fancier. Bless your sweet Kiwi keister. I believe flyVan (my spelling :-) is thinking of a shot Brian Maffitt took of me looking very smiley and pale and blotchy with some greenery in the background. It's in the dodge and burn lesson, wherever that is. In the Photoshop CS2 series, I think. I'm away from the office so don't have access. It was also included in the CS2 and CS3 One-on-One books, tho I mercifully replaced it in CS4.

Yeah, man

I still have your first pilot podcast. Took you long enough to make a second one! I waited with bated breath, I tells ya. You were the first Photoshop tutor I ever spent any money on. I've wanted to bring you an apple a day ever since, you rock so good Mr. Teach. :-) I still have Illustrator CS2 (the program), but really don't have the time to play - and photography became my primary passion, anyway - so I haven't even reinstalled Illustrator yet. I keep it, though, because I may do sometime in the future and then I'll need that dvd again. So thank YOU for doing what you do so well! Edit: Nearly forgot - I'll look for the pic and upload it tomorrow. (I'm taking it that I have your permission, right??)

Of course you have my permission

My job is to make junk that people use.

Very good!

I shall proceed after I've had a restorative snore. G'night :-)

Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie

Thank you Petra soooo much! __________________________________________________ Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard drive?

Don't thank me too quick

'Cos I can't find the image. The Dodge and Burn Lesson (Chpt 8, Disk 1), uses a mountain/clouds/lake image that Deke adds the Loch Ness Monster into. Other than that, there's a pic of Deke with Sam in a pumpkin field, and St. Deke - which needs work to bring the image together, as the layers don't line up (in CS4, anyway - haven't tried it in CS2 yet). Gotta go out right now, but I'll take another look when I get back.

Thank you anyway

for taking the time to look. But no worries, I found it. It was in my TT Photoshop 7 series (the "Silence of the Lambs" image) I just looked at some of the images submitted. Gale set the bar high. Tough to beat. __________________________________________________ Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard drive?

Thanks for the offer...

... but I can't quite recall as I forgot and can't remember (oh boy). It could have been as far back as my favourite Deke Improvement series (Photoshop 7, was it?). All I recall is Deke saying "And now here's something that I dare do only to a picture of myself", and then proceeds to mutilate a professionally done publicity shot of himself. I spent quite a bit of time working on my own entry (I want that CS4 book), but I lack a shot of him with good definition and decent lighting to tie it all together. I was banking on finding that shot as I recall it was done professionally and that would have been perfect. Shiver me timbers, if I could only figure out what I did with my old TT* vids! >:-( *That's Total Training folks, don't read those T's as a word (can I say that here?) -iVan

Oooh....I feel an idea coming on....

Deke could maybe do brief snippets of a 'rewind' slot or something. Just a moment here and there, y'know - little historic reflections to both laugh at and look back on lovingly. :-)

Textures for Martini Hour contest

For those entering the contest and looking for background textures to blend into your compositions, I have many available for free in my gallery at http://www.sxc.hu/gallery/crisderaud. The site is a free photo site and has thousands of high resolution photos available for download to members. Membership is free and easy too. I have nothing to gain from promoting this site or myself since I do stock photos strictly as a hobby. For those who are not familiar with http://www.sxc.hu/, you will find it to be excellent source of useable stock where you can apply Deke's techniques.


You've got some lovely textures over there. I've added a few to my lightbox. Thanks. :-) Don't suppose you have stock pics of a laid back, loungey, 'rebirth of cool' quartet, do ya? / puppydog eyes

Pimms impersonators

Glad you found some textures you can use Petra. I don't get out much because I lost a large part of my eyesight nine years ago and can't drive anymore. But!!!...I have a couple friends through the internet in South Africa who are professional photographers and just got through with a photo shoot of a jazz festival in East London, ZA and may have something you could use if I made a special request. The photos would be a challenge to manipulate as the back stage is very dark and the lights on the musicians are brightly colored with magentas and purples. Copyright on the use of their images may prevent them from allowing me access but I can try if those puppy dog eyes are still directed my way. :)

That's so nice of you, crisderaud

It's a lovely offer, and I'd love to see your friend's work; but there's no need to go to any great effort, as I may not use the image. I do appreciate your kindness in offering though, and so will give you puppy dog eyes just for the hell of it - 'cos I'm so good at them. :-)


Oooh, that's ick on my ears. Whoever says 'jif' is a gackass, imnsho.


har har! Jood goke!

A question

I've been following your One On One Photoshop CS4 series on lynda.com I've been watching your training videos since Photoshop 7 (Total Training), and think you are one of the best presenters, and most knowledgable. I work as a digital illustrator, creating art using Photoshop for childrens' books and cards. Here is my most recent art, created in newly installed CS4 www.galefraney.wordpress.com The OpenGL features, especially that every zoom is now crisp resolution, and panning around huge images is now smooth and effortless, I could never go back to CS3. I'm a new subscriber to this website (just discovered it during a Google search), so I'm not sure the best place to ask questions. I am trying to figure out how to open a layered .gif in Photoshop using a Mac. I found out how to do it on a PC, typing in the file name field *.gif and then the files become selectable, but on the Mac there is no file name field and the gif files are grayed out and not selectable. Is there a work around?

How to Open Animated .GIF files in Photoshop CS3 and Newer

Hi I did a search for "open animated GIF in Photoshop CS4" in the Support section of the Adobe web site and found: How to open animated .GIF files in Photoshop CS3 and newer Mathias Vejerslev - 02:53pm Feb 4, 2009 Pacific Q: Since ImageReady is long gone from Photoshop, how can I open animated GIF files in Photoshop CS3 and newer? A: File -> import-> video to layers. In the dialogue box type "*.*" to show all file types. Select your GIF file and which frames to import. They will now be available in your animation palette. Personally, I only use FireWorks to edit my animated GIFs.... way simpler and much more powerful for this task than Photoshop (sort of like using a screwdriver as a screwdriver instead of monkeying around with a wrench). But I understand if you don't have FireWorks, the need to bang at it with Photoshop. And you said you were on a Mac... if you don't have it already, quickly download the venerable shareware program GraphicConverter, which can open just about any graphic format in this universe and allow you to convert between a zillion (ok I don't remember the actual number) formats. hope this helps, Thomas Thomas Benner The Art Institute of Austin p.s. How come we never see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"? ....George Carlin

Sadly, secret handshake method doesn't work on a Mac

The method you describe works on a PC, but not on a Mac ... or at least as far as I can figure out. Fireworks might be able to do it, I have the software as part of my CS4 Master Suite ... but I've not yet learned how to use it ... it's on the back burner until I master Flash AS3, After Effects, InDesign, and Illustrator ...

OK This will Get an Animated GIF Open in Photoshop CS4 on a Mac

Whew! I've been fiddling with this problem and have found a crazy work-around. You said you have the Master Collection. You will need to have After Effects installed to follow these steps: (1.) Launch After Effects (2.) Open your animated GIF by choosing File... Import... File... and designate the GIF file (3.) Choose File... New Comp from Selection... (4.) then export your file by choosing File...Export... Image Sequence... (be sure to choose "Photoshop" from the format menu!) (5.) Be sure all those exported files are in their own folder This will give you a folder of Photoshop files, each one representing a frame of the animation (6.) Launch Photoshop and Choose File... Open... (7.) In the dialog window: select the first file in the sequence and check the "image sequence" option (8.) Click OK and set your frame rate in the new dialog window (9.) The animation should now be open in Photoshop and ready to be edited! Huzzah!! Yeesh. I feel like I'm using an atom bomb to mow my lawn by using After Effects for this job... but it does work. I tested this today and it worked fine. I can also get the animated GIF open easily enuf in FireWorks but haven't yet discovered a way to hand it off to Photoshop from FireWorks.... I'm still looking into this. your animated friend, Thomas Thomas Benner The Art Institute of Austin

That's a good one, MACinTUTOR

although I have a new, simple solution that involves Photoshop only posted here. BTW, I couldn't find a way to put an anchor in front of the title of the post, so when you click on this link it'll open the post with title just above the top edge of the screen. Thank you for posting this, MACinTUTOR; it shows what a great community we have here. Although, I'll pass on them man-hugs for the time being, Deke

Opening gifs on a Mac

Although I have CS4 Master Suite on my desktop PC, I have CS3 on my laptop Mac (which brings up another question -- Adobe allows you to install CS4 on 2 computers, but only gives you one platform to choose from. If I want to install on a different platform for my second computer, is this allowed by Adobe ... if so, how do I obtain CS4 Mac version ?) But back to the gif subject, I tried the After Effects method you've outlined, but "New Comp from Selection" is grayed out and unselectable, even if I choose "All Files" instead of "All Acceptable Files". There is no .gif format available from the drop down formats. But at least you got me thinking laterally ... and I tried opening it in Flash and it worked ! Yipee ! Each image on its own keyframe with even the timing retained (and the images also appear in the Library as bitmaps). But now I don't know how to get these into Photoshop without the tedious task of saving each individual frame separately ... any ideas?

it Should Work

Let me clarify: You need to finish step 2 in After Effects which was (2a.) choosing File... Import... File... and (2b.) selecting the GIF. (I have Enable "all acceptable files" and Import as "Footage" chosen) (2c.) clicking the OK button before doing step 3. Now you have a project open in After Effects. If you choose File... New Comp from Selection... "New Comp from Selection" should not be grayed out and it should all work as I described. crossin' my fingers, Thomas Thomas Benner The Art Institute of Austin

open gif on Mac

Are you doing this on the Mac? When I get to step 2c, there is no "OK", only "Open". When I press Open, it opens just one frame. The best method so far for the Mac seems to be to open it in Flash, then I must take the time to save out each keyframe as an image. It works great for short gif animations where there aren't more than 10 key frames. But it would be a time saver if anyone knows of an automated way to save out the keyframes as images in one step. Back to After Effects, I can open the gif as a video (not image sequence) but if I choose to save this as image sequence, it creates a ton of images, way more than the original number of frames in the gif animation. So Flash seems to be the best method for opening gifs on the Mac (other than Fireworks that someone already mentioned, but I'm not familiar with that software). Thanks sooooo much to everyone who helped me solve this :-) !!

I'm stumped

So does that mean that a Mac does have a little window where you can type in the star symbol after all? 'Cause I think that the lack of it was exactly the trouble our friend has here. I haven't used a Mac in years and I don't quite remember the interface anymore. Heck I don't even remember XP anymore. Windows - making IT experts out of regular users since 1985! Anyhoo, if it doesn't work, I think I came up with a decent cross-platform solution that even works on 64-bit Windows. Check out my post below titled JIF's, GIF's and other if's. Cheers! -iVan

Me thinks you meant to say…

…animated gif instead of layered. If that’s the case, I would be curious if this technique would work on a Mac or not. It does on PC. Go to Martini hour 003 and check out my “Secret handshake for animated GIFs” post. Not sure it that’s the same thing you tried (it might be), but do report back as I’m curious if it works on the other platform. -iVan

Opening Animated gifs in CS4

Yes, I meant animated gifs. When opened in Photoshop they appear as layers. The method you suggest works perfectly on the PC, but on the Mac, there is no field in which to type the file name and the file is grayed out, no way to select it or to type in the *.gif (the method that works on the PC). I was hoping that someone knew of a method that will open them on a Mac ... and regarding your Secret Handshake article, like you I say "gif" not "jif" because gif stands for "graphic interchange format", so it's always been a mystery to me how this can be pronounced 'jif' ... ? yet so many people say "jif". :-)

JIF's, GIF's and other if's...

... and even a simple solution to your troubles. But first - my apologies, I was alluding to "Deek's" statement in one of the Martini Hour podcasts. The Jiff was somewhat an inside joke (as far as a public forum can have one). It is said that Jiff is the official pronunciation according to the group that came up with the format. But it is also said that the more you drive over a dead possum the flatter it gets! True, but only to a point (what do they know anyway). They'll never get me to say Jiff; a GIF without a J is like a fish without a bicycle. As for the "if's" in the title, wouldn't the world be a better place if all the ImageReady features made it into the 'shop. I lament the demise of so many things that have come and gone. Like the ability to change content of a dynamic fill layer (hey, I was using that, Adobe!). So indeed, how are Mac users supposed to be able to open animated GIFs then? Well I thunk long and hard, and came up with a solution for you, my cyber friend. Haven't tested this as I don't have a Mac, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work on your end (can I say that here?). So gather some spit and stick out that palm cause here we go again: Open Photoshop Choose Window/Animation to bring up the animation palette Choose File/Open As (mash fist+O) Select the gif and choose the Quick Time Movie under the Open As option In the animation palette, set the range of video you want to convert to layers Go to the animation palette options panel and choose Flatten Frames into Layers Voila! You'll still have the original video layer at the bottom of the stack - you can delete that one if you'd like. Meet you at the water cooler (bring a fresh possum). -iVan

gifs and ifs

I'm not understanding the "Open As", is this a different from straight "Open" ? I do not see it as a choice in Photoshop's file menu. If I use straight Open and navigate to the gif file, the "Image Sequence" checkbox is fully visible and selectable UNTIL I click on the gif to open it, then suddenly "Image Sequence" becomes grayed out. Same thing if I choose "Quick Time Movie", also becomes grayed out .... but this is under the regular "Open", not "Open As" ... ?