Deke's Techniques 428: Auto-Blending Different Depths-of-Field in Photoshop

Blending Different Depths of Field in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Emperor Photoshopus Dekian shows you how to blend two different depths of field, taken from a museum display case at the Roman Baths in the aptly named Bath, England. The result is the in-focus revelation of both the text in the display, and the coins that are the real focus of the exhibit. Tangentially, it will also make clear Deke's love of all things Ancient Rome.

In the video, you'll see how Deke uses Photoshop's ability to stack and blend layers to mix the important information from this placard, that was placed at the back of the display case:

Text in focus


With this detail from Phillip and Otacilia's coins that were mounted on wires coming to the front of the glass:

Coins in focus


To create this composite, in which all the important details are in focus (and some atmospheric bits still retain their original depth of field:

A blend of two depths of field make all the salient information in focus

Check out the video to see how Emperor Deke fine-tunes the process (and thereby saves you some trial-and-error of your own). And if you'd like to check out other treasures from the museum of Deke's Techniques, you can get a free 10-day trial at Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 628: Pasting Photoshop Paths into Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 628: Pasting Photoshop Paths into Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to take path outlines (or shape layers) from Photoshop, and get them to behave properly (i.e., according to your will) in Illustrator.

Step one is to collect the paths you want to duplicate in Photoshop, like, say, the tattoo outlines from the project a few weeks back:

Grabbing up the Photoshop paths from the tattoo'd face project

Step two is to paste them into Illustrator, using Deke's guidance to review the options you have and why you might want to choose them.

Photoshop paths transported to Illustrator

Oh, and step zero is to make sure that the Export Clipboard checkbox is turned on in the Photoshop Preferences General dialog box:

Check it out and sail through your next Photoshop to Illustrator path swap.

Deke's Techniques, making sure all the graphical applications appreciate each others' chosen paths. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 626: Selecting and Masking Eyes in Photoshop

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke reveals his clever approach to selecting the human eye. By employing an intersection of two elliptical marquees, he can deftly grab an eye or two and make them pop out of the image.

He begins with our Dreamstime model, she of the tattooed face from last week's episode:

Then, in a slightly counter-intuitive next step, he zaps her entire face into intense saturation, courtesy of an application of the Camera Raw filter:

Face intensified with Camera Raw Satuation and Vibrance adjustments

Then, he restores a bit of realistic skin tone with a sepia-ish fill layer:

And finally, he reveals those eyes (and eventually the lips) by selecting and masking to reveal the previously applied intensity:

Eyes and lips revealed with a Photoshop mask

If you're a member of you can check out this week's exclusive movie in which Deke shows how he selected the lips.

Deke's Techniques, revealing the intensity underneath the everyday. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 624: Tattooing Your Face in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 624: Tattooing Your Face in Photoshop

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke shows you how to tattoo your face. And do so using Photoshop so that you can rethink that decision at any time.

Here's our model from the Dreamstime image library, tweaked by Deke to prepare her for the awesome dekeIfication that's about to happen to her:

Then, after drawing the design in a series of pen tool paths, he applies these totally removable decorations to her face:

A face tattooed in Photoshop

Frankly, this might be one of my favorite techniques of all time. But even if you're not quite set to do such elaborate work in the name of intricate face painting, this video has a lot of great advice for developing some basic Photoshop skills, including:

  • Efficiently copying and pasting layer styles
  • Knowing when to use Fill opacity instead of the regular kind
  • Pasting, merging, and clipping paths and shape layers to create one integrated design.
  • Tweaking layer styles to create more realistic lighting and texture.

For members of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to use the Pen tool to create the design (as well as add a Feather the entire design to increase the realism.)

An even more intricate Photoshop face tattoo design.

By the way, if you're not familiar with the Pen tool and are inspired by Deke's deftness with it, you can check out his two-part course on using the Pen tool: Learning the Adobe Pen Tool and Adobe Pen Tool: Mastery.

Deke's Techniques, tattooing your face! (Seriously, what else is there to say.)

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Deke's Techniques 622: Masking with Photoshop's Pen Tool

Deke's Techniques 622: Masking with Photoshop's Pen Tool

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke demonstrates how meticulously mask a sweet shark using the precision of the Pen tool in Photoshop.

The story begins with a night dive in Maldives which was overrun with nurse sharks and stingrays (not to mention divers). We were assured by our guides on the Carpe Vita that this would be a night dive not to miss. Basically, we descended 60-70 feet, hooked in to avoid being swept off by the current, and just let the creatures swim around us.

Thus this photo that Deke took, while he was more or less tethered to the rocks and while he was forgetting much of what he learned from Hergen in the making of their Underwater Photography: Wide Angle course. The coral is over exposed and the focus is a bit off the main subject.

Shark the dark

No matter, Deke may still be learning how to balance currents, sharks, stingrays, scuba gear, photo gear, my total anxiety with night dives, and being underwater, but he's got unassailable command of Photoshop. Armed with the pen tool and some color fills, he gets very close to the effect he was looking for in the first place.

Shark with a Pen tool path to mask the background

If you're a member of, Deke's got a follow-up movie in which he shows you how he uses a second masked layer to make brightness and contrast changes to enhance the effect.

Deke's Techniques, useful around the world and under the sea. Read more » 

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