Illustrator CC One-on-One Mastery: Now with Touch Type Tool Tutorials

This week released the latest update to Deke's signature Illustrator course, Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery---and with it you get a dekeSplanation of an amusingly handy new tool in Illustrator Creative Cloud: the Touch Type tool. 

If you're a member of and you're a "let's get right to the new stuff" kinda person, then check out the last few videos of Chapter 38, "Free Transform and Touch Type" in the latest course. If you're not a member of, why then scurry over to and get yourself a free week's trial. 

'Course, if you'd like to see how it works without scurrying anywhere, read on for a words-and-pictures example of how I made a classic deke-with-backward-droopy-e (hey, it's classic around here) in a matter of seconds using Illustrator's handy new feature:  Read more » 

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(De)Shaking It Up with Photoshop CC One-on-One: Mastery

Yesterday, released the latest update to that pinnacle of Photoshop One-on-One tutelage, the Mastery course for Creative Cloud. In this fourth-and-final offering, Deke covers some of the most complex features in Photoshop with his signature step-by-step tutorials and expert-level insights.

(Need a free week's trial at to check it out? Go to and it's all yours.)

One of those sophisticated features covered in this update is Photoshop's new Shake Reduction filter, which aims to reduce the effects of camera shake (i.e. movement of the camera/photographer during exposure). While the feature lives under the Sharpen sub-menu, and does in fact often render a sharper photo, it doesn't work to sharpen existing details as, say, Smart Sharpen does. Instead, it "magically" attempts to reconcile the multiple micro-perspectives that a slightly wiggly (i.e. human) hand might introduce. 

Just so happens that some of the free sample movies from this new course address this new feature in true dekeStyle. I mean, you can find several examples on the web that demonstrate the official way that Shake Reduction works or should work. But Deke's take is slightly more interesting, and to my mind, more practical. Although it doesn't render this GoPro shot of these three amigos (Producer Max PixleySmith, Deke, and James Williamson) tack sharp, it does make for an improved photograph. Here's the before and after to make my point:  Read more » 

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How to Transform a Photograph into a Piece of Comic Book-Style Roy Lichtenstein Art

Came up with this today: "How to transform a photograph into a piece of comic book-style Roy Lichtenstein art." In the spirit of "Oh Jeff...I Love You, Too...But..."

Roy Lichtenstein photo to artworkRegarding a common misunderstanding: The dots you see here are not halftone dots. They are Ben-Day dots, used back when I was a kid (used by this very me, in fact!) to convey solid colors using CMYK combos.

By which I mean, notice that the dot size never varies.

In my version of the story, Hailey has discovered that her on-again off-again boyfriend Biff is once-again carrying on with Madelyn. Hailey and Madelyn, oh dear. Both so perfect. Poor Biff, he just can't choose. But forget Biff...this is Hailey's story. And this...this was Biff's last chance.

Please, make up your own narrative.

The thing requires both Photoshop and Illustrator. Look for it soon after Thanksgiving.
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The Creative Cloud Update to Illustrator One-on-One: Advanced Is Now Live

My darling dekeIstrators, ready for some up-to-date, cutting-edge (as much as a 25-year-old application can cut edges) training for vector drawing? Welcome to Illustrator CC One-on-One: Advanced (released this week at

(And if you're not a member and would like to check it out anyway, you can get a free week's trial at And if you're not a member of Creative Cloud, you can still watch the CS6 version with the same subscription.)

In this third installation of Deke's signature Illustrator video training series, Deke delves into some rather sophisticated topics that will help you create equally sophisticated artwork. Here's an overview of the Table of Contents and some of the hands-on projects Deke uses to demonstrate those high-powered Illustrator tools: 

Chapter 22: Shortcuts and Settings
In this chapter, Deke reviews the custom shortcuts (dekeKeys) and color settings that he recommends for efficiently working in Illustrator. 


Chapter 23: Blends and Masks
Blends and Masks are some of the oldest features in Illustrator. Blending allows you to create custom gradients and transitions. Masking allows you to place those blends inside the confines of a path outline. Both operate dynamically to allow you edit their outcomes at any time.  Read more » 

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Returning Home to Flood-Ravaged but Hero-Rich Boulder

As I mentioned last week, we were traveling abroad when record rainfall ravaged Deke's hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Boulder, which normally gets around 1.7 inches of rain in September, got over 17 inches in one day. Boulder Creek had a 100x increase in its water flow. And whilst Deke and I studied the 100-year and 500-year flood maps of Boulder from across the Atlantic, we came home to the aftermath of what some are now calling a 1000-year rainfall event. Do they sell insurance for that?

The pictures and stories were harrowing, and we weren't sure exactly what to expect, knowing that there had been basement flooding in both of Deke's homes.

The floodwaters that turned the streets into veritable rivers had receded, but piles of ripped up carpets and temporary large-scale trash containers all around the city served as a reminder of what we missed. Thanks to some quick, tireless work by neighbors, family, and friends who responded to our frantic texts and calls from Spain, the water had already been pumped out of the basement at Deke's condo and a preliminary rescue mission had started on the contents. Left behind were some interesting smells and and some notable casualties: 

Although there is some poignancy to this waterlogged collection of Deke's life's work, and the structural damage to his property is not insignificant, there were others in the area who lost their homes, their cars, and even their lives. Our friends and family members in Boulder definitely fell into the "it coulda been worse" category. 

The creek in back of Deke's family home didn't breach. The charming server in our favorite restaurant was rescued by a policeman from what she called "class 5 rapids" down a main thouroughfare. Deke's producer, Max and family were unscathed (albeit unsettled) by the waters rising in their backyard, and we got to find out, in that way you do when faced with disaster, just how hard-working, generous, and tireless a community can be and what's truly important in the end.  Read more » 

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