dekeBlog

Do the Impossible: Create and Animate an Optical Illusion

My dear dekeItarians. Check out the welcome movie to Deke's new course. It will bend your brain.

In this latest Designs dekeConstructed course from lynda.com---Designs dekeConstructed: Animating a Mind-Bending Illusion---Deke shows you how to not only create a Penrose triangle (think of the works of M.C. Esher or a 3D mobius-like strip with three corners) but then animate a golden ball rolling around its impossible never-ending sides. What, my words are too mundane and limited for this impossible mind-bending effect created using everyday tools like Photoshop and Illustrator? Here's what I'm talking about: 

Ball travels around impossible triangle created in Photoshop and Illustrator.

I know! And people use animated GIFs to make bananas dance. (OK, that one's kind of awesome.)

You can learn, in patented step-by-step Deke-style, how to construct this dekeDesign in the new course. If you're not a member of lynda.com, but can't pass up this eyeball enchanting opportunity, you can get a free week's trial membership by signing up at lynda.com/deke

Once there you can also use the rest of your free week to explore the rest of Deke's House of Illusions---i.e. his awesome catalog of courses----or check out works from the rest of the lyndaLibrary. Amazing! Read more » 

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A Hero In No Time: Time Lapse of Deke's Latest Retro Superhero Project

Deke's latest project turns an ordinary mild-mannered gym rat into a classic, if totally made up, Silver Age comic book superhero. Watch the extraordinary video above---created by the editing heroes at lynda.com and featuring the song "Massive" by Poppy Brothers---to see this Photoshop and Illustrator-empowered metamorphosis happen in just over three exciting minutes. Yes, it's an epic saga of heroic transformation.

Turn an ordinary photo into a classic comic superhero.

If you're ready for a challenge like this, be sure to check out Deke's new course, Designs dekeConstructed: Retro Superhero, to see how each step in this Jack Kirby-inspired creation came about. You'll see how to use Illustrator blends to create the Blue Barbeque's signature human grill marks. You'll see how Deke incorporated photographic elements (the flames and smoke) in Photoshop to emulate the comic books of his youth. And you'll even see how Deke went about creating a custom font (used for the words "Fire Up," below) specially for this project. 

If you're not a member of lynda.com and would like to check out this course, you can get a free week's trial at lynda.com/deke. Then you can fire up your design superpowers and set off on your own creative adventure.

But remember: Once you're a superhero, there's no going back. Read more » 

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New Course, New Photoshop: Deke Reviews the Creative Cloud Updates (with New Free Videos)

If you're a member of Creative Cloud, you know (or you're about to know) that Adobe has released a whole new Photoshop (called CC 2014) which actually replaces earlier versions of your Adobe apps rather than just pushes out interesting updated features.

(I wouldn't attempt to explain how or why it's working this way, but I can leave you in the care of Adobe Goddess and Friend-of-dekeLand Julieanne Kost for that part of the mystery.) 

But I can explain, with the capable help of Deke and his new lynda.com course, what is new and interesting about Photoshop CC (2104): 

New Course: Photoshop 2014

If you're not a member of lynda.com and you'd like to check it out, you can sign up a free week's trial at lynda.com/deke. If you'd rather just get some quick, interesting insights from Deke, check out these links to free movies about a couple of interesting new features below. 

Free Movie: "Selecting In-Focus Areas of a Photo"
A new feature under the Select menu, the Focus Area command, allows you to select areas of your image that are in focus and leave the blurry stuff behind. For instance, you can liberate the gentleman below from his out-of-focus partner using this new feature (plus some refinement with the trusty Refine Edge command as Deke demonstrates in the movie.)

 

Free Video: The Color Adaptation Option to Content-Aware Fill
Now when you use Content-Aware Fill to fill in a blank area (or a patch, or anything else that uses the Content-Aware magic calculation to replace pixels), you have the option of choosing a Color Adaptation modification. This feature can help ensure that the fill better blends with its surroundings. Note below how the old-school Content-Aware Fill leaves a grey opaque splotchiness when I attempt to fill in extra canvas. If I turn on the Color Adaption checkbox in the Fill dialog box, the background on the bottom image looks much smoother. 

Check out Photoshop: 2014 Creative Cloud Updates to see more interesting stuff in this latest offering. Or head over to the rest of Deke's collection of courses and remember any movie that's listed in blue in a lynda.com Table of Contents is unlocked and ready to be watched by all.  Read more » 

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New Course: Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC

Deke's latest course at lynda.com is a quick (for Deke) celebration of the new improved ways of drawing in Illustrator CC. In just four short chapters and under 2 hours, Deke runs through the new features that will make you better, (stronger), and faster at drawing with Illustrator. Here's what's covered (along with some links to free unlocked videos so you can check them out yourself).

New Cours: Draw Better and Faster in Illustrator

 

Chapter 1: The Now-Useful Pencil Tool
Until CC, the Pencil tool in Illustrator never quite worked as a free-form drawing tool in the way you (or I, or anyone) might wish. But with new improvements, being able to drawing of smooth, fluid lines is no longer exclusive to Pen tool. In this chapter, Deke demonstrates what happens when you add a Wacom tablet and the ability to trace a good drawing to the mix. Look at those smooth curves from that single line in the center image below. 

Draw a seahorse with Illustrator's improved Pencil tool

Click here to watch a free unlocked movie from the chapter in which Deke draws a classic heart-shape to demonstrate the difference between the CS6 Pencil and the vastly improved tool in Illustrator CC. Read more » 

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New Course: Introducing Photoshop, the Photographer's Edition

The massive power of Photoshop can be intimidating if you're just starting out. Sometimes relationships (like yours with Photoshop) can be helped by an introduction from a trusted friend. For those of you who'd like to see what a little Photoshop knowhow can do for your Photography, Deke's got a new course---Introducing Photoshop: Photography---over at lynda.com (and the Introduction and first four movies of it are unlocked so you can try it out free).

Introducing Photoshop: Photography

This particular course is designed to take you from square one---as in, never having used Photoshop before---to practical knowledge of Photoshop's everyday tools for organizing, developing, and refining photographs. Don't take my word for it, hear Deke's introduction by clicking on the image below. 

Watch the first five movies of Introducing Photoshop free

Then, you can click on "next" at the top of the player window to move through the next four movies of the course at lynda.com. If you're tempted by Deke's focused instruction, you can get a free week's trial at lynda.com/deke in order to finish the course.

And since this course is short and to the point, you'll probably have time leftover to move on to some of the more advanced material. My suggestion for the photographically focused is Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced, but there's a world of great photography courses in the lynda.com libraryRead more » 

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