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Bigger Works Better with Photoshop CC's Improved Image Size Command

My fellow dekeItarians, when it comes to enlarging images in Photoshop, bigger is better (than it was before). The redesigned Image Size command in Photoshop CC (released yesterday) now has a handy new preview feature and a better algorithm for increasing the size of your image. In this free excerpt from Deke's Photoshop Creative Cloud Updates course at lynda.com, Deke shows off the new preview window which lets you see what you're doing as you do it and demonstrates how the new Preserve Details interpolation method vastly improves the way Photoshop enlarges images. 

When you first evoke the Image Size command in Photoshop CC, you'll immediately notice a difference from previous versions of the interface. The dialog box now sports an actual preview window that lets you see what you're doing as you do it. So, if I open Deke's sample file (a rasterized circle and cross graphic) then choose Image > Image Size, here's what I see:

New Image Size dialog box in Photoshop CC

The image preview comes in very handy for demonstrating the second significant improvement to the Image Size command, a new interpolation method for upsampling called Preserve Details. Read on to see how much better this new method works for enlargements: Read more » 

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Cool Colors: Kuler for iOS, free dekeDiagraming, and Other Stuff

Color. Such a compelling visual attribute that Sir Isaac Newton, smart guy with a lot of important things to think about, stuck a bodkin in his eye to study the colors it would produce. Oh, by the way, a bodkin, according to Wikipedia is a long, blunt, sewing needle kind of thing. Well, plague was raging, so I guess sticking a metal stick in your eye in the name of science wasn't such a big deal. 

You my friends, don't have to go to such extremes to consider the wonder of color in your surroundings. In fact, this week, Adobe released a (free) version of its Kuler (Kool-er) application for iOS (and updated the web version). Kuler allows you to create five-color themes that you can save, share, or (with the impending release of Illustrator CC) sync. And the new app allows you to extract those themes directly from the world around you. 

For instance, you can take a photograph---like this one I shot at Frama Coffee in Marfa, Texas, specifically for its interesting combination of color---and then create themes based on the colors within. You can use one of Kuler's five preset theme-templates, like these:

Or because, I'm a notoriously cold woman who likes her colors cool, I can drag the little circles around to create my own Custom set of colors. Like this: Read more » 

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The Long-Awaited Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Mastery (Now with Free Samples)

This week, I bring you one of the best things on earth: free samples. And I don't mean samples of some disgustingly healthy, fat-free, high-fiber cardboard-esque reconstituted potato-chip substitute; no, today, I've got full-flavor, indulgently informative free videos to whet your appetite for Deke's new course at lynda.com---Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Mastery. Both good for you and truly delicious. And calorie-free, if it comes to that.

Mastery is the fourth level in Master Deke's One-on-One series, so this course covers some powerful vector-wrangling features. But don't be daunted, these helpful features are explained with Deke's usual care and clarity. Don't just take my word for it, savor the delicacies I've spread before you here. The folks at lynda.com always make a percentage of each course free for the sampling, and I've included many of those treats here. (And if you'd like the full meal deal and you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free week's subscription by going to lynda.com/deke.) Here's what you can expect:

Chapter 33: Using Smart Guides
You probably sense that Smart Guides are convenient for aligning aspects of your work on the fly, but in this chapter, Deke reveals some of the hidden ways you can exploit Smart Guides to create finely crafted artwork. For your consideration, check out this movie that not only helps you draw custom letters, but also is part of a heart-warming story of a man trying to create a logo for his son: 

Free Sample: Hand-drawing letters as stroked paths

Read more » 

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Photoshop Creative Cloud Made Slightly Clearer

The key topic of discussion at tonight's LA Web Professionals Group meeting, where Deke was presenting some live Deke's Techniques, was Adobe's announcement about the Creative Cloud. The upshot: Rather than release Creative Suite 7, all updates to Photoshop and its creative cousins will now come via a Creative Cloud subscription. In other words, if you want the new features in the latest version of Photoshop, you're going to get them delivered via the cloud. 

This is necessarily causing some confusion and questions for Creative Suite users. I've got two useful sources for information on "Photoshop CC." If your questions are primarily about obtaining, installing, and using Creative Cloud, check out this FAQ from Photoshop's Chief Customer Advocate (and friend of dekeOnline) Jeff Tranberry. If you want to know why you might care to obtain, install, and use Photoshop CC, then check out Deke's new Preview of Photoshop Creative Cloud's new features at lynda.com. If you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free week's trial to check it out at lynda.com/dekeRead more » 

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Steal from the Best: Get Your Gradient Swatches for InDesign by Lifting Them from Illustrator

And while you're at it, get your InDesign know-how by lifting it from Anne-Marie Concepcion and David Blatner.

As I've probably mentioned ten thousand times already, I have a project I'm working on that requires InDesign, and I'm heading to PEPCON (the Print and eProduction Conference) this weekend and don't want to seem dull-minded as I mix with the InDesignerati. (In my experience, the crowd, speakers, and attendees alike, are wicked sharp at PEPCON.)

So, one of the ways I'm feeding my craving for more InDesign know-how is to watch a lot of David and Anne-Marie's lynda.com course, InDesign Secrets. In fact, that's where I stole this movie on how to get gradient swatches out of Illustrator and into InDesign.

If you're an InDesign user with a design-centric version of the Creative Suite or a subscription to the Creative Cloud, then you already have access to Illustrator, so go grab those swatches. They're already yours. I'm just using the thievery motif for dramatic effect. Much like one might use these gradients:

Like Deke's Techniques, the InDesign Secrets collection at lynda.com is a continually updated series of short episodes. And if this level of InDesignery is over your head, there's an Up & Running with InDesign course taught by some guy named Deke there, too. And if you're not a member, you can get a free week's trial at lynda.com/deke.  

For those of you who like to read, here are my insightful observations on Anne-Marie's trick:   Read more » 

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