dekeBlog

Some Other Free Deke: Select and Mask Workspace in Photoshop

Hey, my fellow dekeItarians. We're having some glitches with Deke's Techniques this week, and the free episode may not make it up until tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to suggest another bit of freeDeke that's available over at lynda.com. There are a couple of unlocked movies on the new Select and Mask "taskspace" in Photoshop CC 2015.5.

(Which is sillier, taskspace as a phrase or calling something 2015.5 in the middle of 2016? But I digress.)

Anyway, this new "space that takes over Photoshop proper) has some cool features for refining your selections and masks. You needn't be a lynda.com member to watch the first two movies. Click on the image, or one of the many other redundant links in this post).

The new Select and Mask workspace in Photoshop CC 2015.5

If you'd like to watch more of the updates course, and you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke.

I'll be back as soon as I can with this week's free Deke's Techniques episode! Thanks for your patience, dekeDiehards. Read more » 

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Update Complete! Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Advanced Course

The wait is over dekeOtopians, the latest installment of Deke's flagship Photoshop course, Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Advanced has been updated with seven new chapters, complete with all new sample files and projects. If you've finished the first half of this second course (that's not confusing in any way), you can now catch the second half. If you were waiting to start until the thing was complete, now is your chance.

And don't forget, if you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get 10 free days to check it out by signing up at lynda.com/deke.

Here's an overview of what the course covers, and a sneak peek at some of the projects covered:

Chapter 16: Color Range and Focus Area

Chapter 16: Color RangeAs long time dekeOlytes know, Deke likes to think of the Color Range command as "the Magic Wand on steroids." See how to use it's power to select complicated elements, and then apply equally complex effects like "color reflections," selective focus, and, of course, rocket plumes.

Chapter 17: Layer Masks and Refine Edge

Chapter 17: Layer Masks and Refine EdgePhotoshop's Refine Edge command does just that: takes your carefully made layer mask or selection outline and refines it for impeccable composition creation. Plus killer Thunder Kitty.

Chapter 18: Scale, Rotate, Skew, and Warp

Chapter 18: TransformResize and rescale your layers for customized composition. Deke shows you how to bend, twist, stretch, and spin your elements around to bend them to your will with the Transform command.

Chapter 19: Smart Objects

Chapter 19: Smart ObjectsSmart Objects behave as virtual protective envelopes around objects in your Photoshop compositions. Behave with impunity, knowing smart object will protect the contents within from just about anything.

Chapter 20: Image Reconstruction

Chapter 20: Image ReconstructionWhat to do when you inadvertently cut of a key bit of your child's foot? Reconstruct with Photoshop. Deke even shows you how to "uncrop" and image to restore pleasing proportions.

Chapter 21: Liquifying an Image

Chapter 21: Liquify Liquify lets you take those unflattering angles, and helps you virtually suck in your gut. It may seem like cheating, but knowing how to accomplish this is a realistically important skill.

 

Chapter 22: Vector Shapes

Chapter 22: Vector ShapesVectors allow you to draw shapes and lines that end up being resolution-independent and ultimately scalable. Plus you can make custom shapes and even turn text into editable shape outlines.

Chapter 23: Blend Modes

Chapter 23: Blend ModesBe the master of math and bend the Blend modes to your will. Telling one layer how to interact with another will give you untold visual effect power. And you can use them in place of masking for quick compositions.

Chapter 24: Layer Effects

Chapter 24: Layer EffectsThese dynamic effects can give your compositions depth and texture in just a few clicks. And they're completely editable, so you can adjust to your own desires.

Chapter 25: Levels and Curves

Chapter 25: Levels and CurvesIt's all about mastering the histogram, using the Levels and Curves commands to change the tones of your photograph on a luminance level by luminance level basis. Ultimate tonal control, my dekeOpotamuses.

Chapter 26: Lens Correction and Perspective Warp

Chapter 26: Lens CorrectionOr, What to Do When Everything Is Crooked. See how to use Photoshop's Lens Correction feature (in Camera Raw) and Perspective Warp to bend reality back to your liking.

Chapter 27: Advanced Camera Raw

Chapter 27: Advanced Camera RawTake Photoshop's most powerful plug-in to it's photo-developing pinnacle. Get beyond that first tab in Camera Raw, and see how to use the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, and Post-Crop Vignetting, just to name three.

Chapter 28: Black-and-White Photography

Chapter 28: Black and White PhotographyExploit the flexibility that Photoshop provides: shoot in color and convert to crisp black-and-white image in post-production. Or give your image a classically crafted sepia tone. All with ultimate flexibility.

Chapter 29: Duotones and Colorization

Chapter 29: ColorizationOr, alternatively take a black-and-white photo and suffuse it with custom color. See how to create colorific effects from the sublime to the, uh, wildly Deke.

Chapter 30: Sharpening Details

Chapter 30: SharpeningEnhance your edges to really make your images crystal clear. Learn different approaches to sharpening, so you can find just the right skill for your image's needs. Read more » 

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A Visit from Saint Deke-O-Las

My beloved dekeFolk: Tonight seemed appropriate to share a poem I wrote for an Ignite presentation I performed at the Photoshop Conference last month. Wishing you peace and poetry in 2016.

Here goes:

Deke in the booth

My story tonight, is about my friend Deke.
Who posts a new helpful technique every week.
There are almost five hundred, but due to short time
I will give you one preview; and do it in rhyme.

Geisel and Moore

OK, everyone’s heard of iambic pentameter.
But my favorite verse? Anapestic tetrameter.
And though it sounds stuffy, it’s never a bore,
As when wielded by genius like Geisel and Moore.

Halloween

Now, for Deke, Halloween is the best time of year,
But this season has miracles honored and dear:
Christmas or Haunnukah, really don’t care,
Deke’s magic is make a boy fly through the air.
Tomas on the RugSo, it turns out my charming young nephew Tomas
Likes to think that he’s gravity’s three-foot-six boss.
So he lies on the floor as if it were a wall,
And pretends he’s omnipotent, ruler of all.
Clouds from fotoliaWe needed some clouds in which Tommy could soar,
And this fantasy photo has drama galore.
If you’re looking for stock, here’s a good place to seek,
About which you can learn at fotolia/deke.

Quick SelectionSo we’ll place the young hero, and size him quite nicely.
The next step involves Quick Selection precisely.
It’s the best way to start this meticulous task
Of extracting the boy from the rug with a mask.
Refine EdgeQuick Selection is fine for initial selection.
But in order to reach Deke’s true masking perfection,
We will need Refine Edge to provide some enhancement.
Before we move on to some hands-on advancement.
Four photoshop toolsNow, this mask is not simple, not something to rush.
Deke applies some precision with lasso and brush.
A polygonal lasso to capture Tom’s hair,
Which is given a Smudge so it blends with the air.
MaskThe mask by itself is a beautiful sight.
The concealed parts are black; the revealed bits are white.
Press Option and click to see only the mask.
In Windows press Alt to complete the same task.
Navel to noseFrom the mask we return to the RGB view,
To see how the boy appears set on the blue.
And now that he’s carefully captured those toes,
Deke will measure the angle from navel to nose.
Blurry boy After stashing him safely inside a smart object,
Deke’s got himself set for the rest of the... probject.
Some motion blur stretched to five hundred or so,
And the angle we measured a minute ago.
Gradient maskOf course we still want to see Tommy’s cute smile,
And a gradient mask will reveal it in style.
Here’s a clue to the question I often did ask:
There’s finally a use for that Smart Filter mask.
Gradient overlayA gradient overlay, foreground of white,
Covers Tommy’s cute toes with a quick blast of light.
You can drag it around, before clicking OK
To ensure the light lands where you want it to stay.
Outer glowAfter duping that blast to the layer below,
Deke also applies a bright orange outer glow.
A Linear Dodge blend is really quite nifty.
And a size value set to two-hundred-and-fifty.
Clouds masked with Refine EdgeIn order to tuck Tommy’s toes ‘neath the clouds,
Deke quick-selects puffs to become the feet’s shrouds.
And so here are the clouds as the edge is refined.
This will give us a lay'r to put Tom’s toes behind.
Tommy in the cloudsDeke creates a new Tom with Control-Alt-Click layer,
Or Command-Option-click if it’s Mac that you flavor.
First group all the stuff, then just finish the task
By Alt/Option clicking a New Layer Mask.
BlastA quick blob of white at the foot of his feet.
After dabbing some blue, the effect is complete.
He bursts from the clouds, with his Superboy movement.
In a six-year-old’s mind, this is quite an improvement.
The final boy through the cloudsSo, with smart objects, motion blur, layers, and masking,
Comes this holiday miracle yours for the asking.
Away goes the carpet, replaced with the sky;
In Photoshop little boys learn they can fly.
Merry PhotoshopThis technique first appeared the fifteenth of December.
(We took a week off, and we hope you remember.)
Now let me exclaim, as we fade out of sight,
Merry Photoshop all, and to all a goodnight. Read more » 

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An August Avalanche of New Courses at dekeAcademy (aka Deke's lynda.com collection)

My dekeAdemics, welcome back to school---the School of Deke, that is. Our favorite graphics guru has been working his digital fingers to the bone this summer and has not one, but three, new courses out at this month. (And there's another one just gone to the elite editing team. Whew. You've earned a quick nap, Professor Deke.)

Here's a review of what's new at the ol' dekeAcademy (aka the Deke McClelland Collection at lynda.com): what the new courses cover, who might want to watch them, and why you might find them useful. Remember, if you're not a member of lynda.com, you can still watch a few (often useful) free movies (I've embedded some below for your sampling convenience). And you can always get a 10-day free trial subscription by signing up at lynda.com/deke.

And these will be just a few of our Fall 2015 offerings:

New Course: Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Fundamentals

What: Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One Fundamentals is a total refresh of Deke's flagship step-by-step project-based Photoshop tutorial for beginners, with all new sample files for those of you who are revisiting what's happened with Photoshop in the CC 2015 version.

Who: Anyone who wants to learn Photoshop from the ground up, folks who haven't used Photoshop in a recent incarnation, or anyone who ever feels like they're half-guessing at why they do what they do in Photoshop.

Why: Because knowing is better than guessing when you're looking for predictable results and efficient creativity.

What else: Complete updates to the Advanced and Mastery levels soon to follow. So. if you find Deke's method works for you, you're set for the rest of your Photoshop education.

 

New Course: Adobe Pen Tool Fundamentals

What: Adobe Pen Tool Fundamentals is a course on the basic skills and knowledge needed for using the powerful, yet mysterious, Pen tool in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

Who: Anyone who wants to learn to draw free-form shapes with precision in any of these three applications.

Why: The Pen tool has some, shall we say, un-intuitive behaviors, but once you know the basics, its powers start to unleash in your mouse-hand.
 
What else: The second part of this course is coming later this year, and will solidify your mastery of precision curve-drawing.

 

Eight Things to Know about Photoshop

What: Eight Things Everyone Should Know About Photoshop is Deke's list of the top  general features in Photoshop that will help you wrap your mind around this pixel-wranging behemoth of an application. It's a sort of "How do I even know what I need to know?" solution.

Who: Anyone who'd like to get more of the big Photoshop picture in a quick and entertaining course.

Why: Actually, these movies Deke created for Photoshop's 25th anniversary were so good we didn't want to let them languish in the history files.

What else: You can read more about this course (and watch the movies) here.

And coming soon, Illustrator 2015 One-on-One: Fundamentals which features this delightful creature, one of my favorite dekeAssets ever:


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Deke's Awesome New Course on Start-to-Finish Logo Design (No Foolin')

Today marks the debut of one of Deke's most impeccably crafted courses to date, Creating and Adapting a Logo, in which he follows the process of developing, creating, and adapting a logo for a fictional space transport service.

For the "brainstorming" part of the process, Deke partnered with the imaginative, talented, and (in this case) prolific Danielle Fritz, who created these 45 sketches of possible ideas for Frontiers Unlimited:

45 potential logo conceptsThere's a free movie in which Deke discusses his review of this amazing collection, considering each idea and how it conveys the company's brand objectives of Magic, Excitement, Prestige, and Safety. Check out this unlocked movie to hear about Deke's initial reflections. (Bonus tip here: How to use Photoshop's "counting" feature to enumerate these images for easier collaborative discussion.)

The follow up movie (exclusive to lynda.com members) takes you visually through Deke's development process. Here are all the stops (including a few internal bits of advice) along the way:

The logo development process

(If you're not a member of lynda.com, and would like to check this movie out, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke to check it out.)

Once you've got membership in hand, you can also check out this video about choosing the perfect, consistent, reliable Pantone spot colors to convey your company's message:

Pantone spot color swatches with recipes

If you're not yet ready to subscribe (or take advantage of your free 10 days), there's another great unlocked movie in which Deke shows you how to load the spot colors into the Swatches panel, and then apply them to different shape areas in the logo:

In the end, you'll see how this process goes from the sketching brainstorm, through thoughtful color and type selection, and on to the creation of useful variations, including a horizontal variation and one that incorporates photographic elements. Along the way, you'll learn valuable Illustrator and Photoshop skills that you can put to use in your own projects, logo or otherwise. Read more » 

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