Illustrator Advanced on Its Way; Same Goes for Deke's Techniques

Just returned home from a long day at the office. And, boy, am I psyched.

First, my Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced course goes live at my beloved video publisher tomorrow. It will include, among other things, the following neon type effect created entirely from scratch using Illustrator combined with just a small dash of Photoshop. Working together as never witnessed before in the history of mankind.

Realistic neon type created in Illustrator CS6

I'm so taken with it, I might feature it in a future episode of Deke's Techniques.

Speaking of which, second, I recorded a crazy number of Deke's Techniques movies just this very day. (Technically yesterday, but whatever. I'm still awake.) All of 8, which is amazing, given that I usually record on average about 2. They're really hard! Anyway, as a result, you have this collection of Andy Warhol-style silkscreen-like variations to look forward to:

Six variations on an idea inspired by Andy Warhol, that nutty guy

I plan to call it Andy Warhol taught everyone nothing.

I know, I've explored Warhol treatments in the past. But while that was funny, this is better. I'll get back to you later on everything. Read more » 

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My Latest Video Course, "Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Intermediate," Came Out 2 Weeks Ago

That's right, Part 2 of my cradle-to-grave video treatise on Adobe Illustrator CS6 is out on I would have mentioned it 2 weeks ago, on November 21, when the course went live. But I was on vacation in Ireland. In the northern city of Derry, to be exact. And while Colleen was blogging every day, and I was making her graphics, it seemed somehow antithetical to the whole vacationing thing for me to mention my for-profit course. You know what I mean?

But I'm home now. And I've even sneaked in a couple of days of legitimate work. So what the hell, time to blog the course. That image below, that's a Venn diagram bear. He's not a dog, he's a bear. Perhaps a bit over-eager. But still, he's a bear.

Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Intermediate Read more » 

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Irish Inspirations, Day 7: Castle Hunting around Clare

Ireland Inspirations, Day 7

Our next day in Ireland was dedicated to indulging Deke's insatiable desire for castle hunting. Neither rain, nor dusk, nor getting lost in narrow roads could deter him. We drove around the wilds of County Clare, seeking Deke's often elusive prey. The clouds cooperated for the most part, providing a suitably dramatic background for our subjects. While Deke stalked with his fancy new Canon 5D Mark III, I captured the capturer with these iPhone pics. 

I began to notice a little reverse Clarity in Camera Raw provided the other-worldly quality of the day. Here the hunter scouts his prey along the shores of Galway Bay:

Here Deke stalks a classic fairy tale-looking structure near our hotel in Doolin. (Yeah, "fairy tale" is an official architectural style of castle.)

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Irish Inspirations, Day 6: Happy Shadow Puppet Turkey Day

Irish Inspirations, Day 6

Outside, there wasn't much to share visually about this rainy Thanksgiving Day in Galway. Except that we almost forgot it was Thanksgiving. We wandered in the rain in the "Latin Quarter," ducking in for a pint or a coffee where appropriate, completely oblivious.

Then suddenly we were in this rather touristy pub, and the proprietress wandered in and started hanging American flags about. We notice they even advertised a pub quiz that night where the qualifying question was whether you knew the capital of New York. We were suddenly reminded that we were missing out on turkey, cranberries, and the usual comforting family tension back home.

To honor the missing holiday and alleviate our non-existent homesickness, we decided to make traditional hand turkeys with what we had, well, at hand. That happened to be a low-res camera and a silhouette of Deke's temporarily pint-free paw. We combined that with a few of our vacation snapshots to give it texture, and voila, instant Thanksgiving wherever you go. OMG, is that a turkey in the middle of the streets of Galway?

hand turkey shadow on cobblestone

Hope you all had a Happy Turkey Day! We know we did. Read more » 

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Irish Inspirations, Day 5: Derry from the Walls

Irish Inspirations, Day 5

We just realized that it's actually Thanksgiving at home, so we're going to mostly take the day off and pretend that drinking Guinness and eating Shepherd's Pie is tradition. Just a quick check in to talk about our delightful day in Derry, yesterday. 

Our hotel was actually just along the Wall of the Old City, which meant that we were able to walk around the entire Renaissance-era section of town. Looking down on the town from above got me thinking about Deke's Techniques 044: Miniaturizing the World in Photoshop.

I love this technique because it makes an ordinary street scene look like something magical. Seems appropriate to turn this electrical truck into a toy now that the Irish cities are hanging their holiday decorations. And with Photoshop CS6 and the Tilt-Shift Blur filter, creating the selective focus is even easier. 


I followed the instructions in the original Deke's Techniques (which was recorded in CS5 when the blur had to be created and masked by hand), then switched to the Tilt-Shift feature at the end. To see this technique done in Photoshop CS6 start-to-finish, check out Chapter 30 of Deke's Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced course.  Read more » 

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