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 495: Turn off Live Rectangle Widgets in Illustrator CC

Deke's Techniques 495: Turn off Live Rectangle Widgets in Illustrator CC

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke examines the new Live Rectangle feature in Adobe Illustrator CC 2015. And after doing so, he sets about figuring out how to turn most of it off.

Thing is, while many "live" dynamic features in Illustrator are quite useful, this one can easily lure you into altering your current rectangle when you're really just trying to draw a new one.

Hiding the bounding box doesn't help. Here is my artist's rendering of all the widgetry that's involved in a "live" rectangle.A very busy rectangle, with all of the shape widgets in your face.

So, check out the movie to see a) how it works, and b) how to make it stop.

For those of you who are too frustrated to wait, here's the icon you want to search for in the Control Panel. (You'll find it somewhere near the word Shape.)Hide the shape widgets in Adobe Illustrator CC 2015If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he (more favorably) reviews some other Live Shapes, namely ellipses and polygons. Not a member? You can get 10 free days to check it out by signing up at During that time you can watch anything in the entire library, including the entire oeuvre of Monsieur Deke lui-même (as well as all the oeuvres of les autres industry experts).

Deke's Techniques, dedicated to keeping you sane every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 493: War of the Worlds, The Sun Attacks (Using Blend Modes in Photoshop)

Deke's Techniques 493: War of the Worlds, The Sun Attacks (Using Blend Modes in Photoshop)

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to use blend modes, cloud filters, and luminance exclusion sliders to basically portray the sun attacking the earth. It's Photoshop Extreme Global Warming, people.

(Hmmm. Last week, San Francisco was attacked a sinister, but awesome looking, dinosaur, now this? I think the 2016 US Presidential election might be interfering with Deke's optimism about the world. Oh, well, at least when Deke goes dark, it's always bright and colorful.)

So, the orb that attacks the word here is basically our own sun:

The sun, preparing to attack the earth with killer lightning in Photoshop

And the killer rays it emits are actually this spectacular but-not-yet-deadly-solar-powered lightening:

Ordinary lightning, about to be made lethal by the Sun and Photshop blend modes


By applying several (and by that, I mean at least nine) rounds of the Difference Clouds filter, then using the Linear Light blend mode (in concert with the luminance exclusion sliders in the Layer Effects dialog box), this happens:

Sun using deadly lightening (and Photoshop Blend modes) to attack earth

It always zaps my mind when Deke uses those sliders under the "Blend If" option. Especially when he uses the Alt/Option key to break the arrows apart. But if ever I was to begin to understand how to use this advanced luminosity control, this video might be it.

If you're a member of, or you take advantage of the free 10-day trial by going to, there's an exclusive movie this week in which Deke shows you how to make killer attacking clouds using nothing but blend modes (and that If Then command.)

When clouds attack, courtesy of Photoshop blend modes

If you want to understand Blend Modes on a deeper level, you should check out Chapter 23, "Blend Modes," in the recently updated Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Advanced course. (If you checked it out before the holiday break, there are new chapters to be enjoyed, including this Blend Modes deep dive.)

Deke's Techniques, bringing you beautiful deadly catastrophes every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 492: Helping Your 3D Dinosaur Escape to the Big City

Deke's Techniques 492: Helping Your 3D Dinosaur Escape to the Big City

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes our PixelSquid 3D dinosaur out of the "natural" environment we created for him last week, and gives him a night on the town in San Francisco.

During which, for compositional reasons, Deke changes the direction of the Golden Gate bridge, which, in real life might cause some major traffic headaches as well as making it very hard to find Sausalito.

So sure, those San Franciscans familiar with the Bay Area in real life might take exception with Deke's casual repositioning of the Pacific Ocean---but in  dekeLife, there's a dinosaur on the loose, so dekeAnciscans have bigger problems than geographic chaos.

3D Dinosaur from Pixel Squid placed to run wild in San Francisco

Ultimately, giving our dino dude a night out in The City is primarily a matter of changing the color details for the new environment--by adjusting the existing layers from last week's project. So, gone are the greens and yellows of his previously primordial landscape, replaced by the appropriately orange and purples of a nighttime metro skyline.

Additionally, the depth-of-field effect that Deke created last week (once again facilitated by the the built-in masking layers provided by PixelSquid) can be repurposed as well, with a few minor adjustments to the blur filter and layer mask.

Deke's Techniques, making sure even dinosaurs get a glamorous night out once in a while. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 489: Customize Your PixelSquid Art in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 489: Customize Your PixelSquid Art in Photoshop

My daring dekeOsaruses, in this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke takes the 3D dinosaur model from PixelSquid that he showed you last week, and sets it down in a more appropriate atmosphere.

To adroitly acclimate him to his new environment, (is it really a "him," it's hard to tell with dinosaur models), Deke uses built-in lighting layers and layer masks---provided with the file when you download it from PixelSquid---to accurately adjust the creature by using Photoshop layer effects.

The result is that this:

PixelSquid 3D dinosaur before Photoshop tweaking

Becomes this:

PixelSquid 3D dinosaur after Photoshop tweaking

All accomplished by simply adjusting color and lighting that's already built into the file by our friends at PixelSquid, who have provided no less than four different adjustable layers of light.

In other words, you get to do the fun part, because the tedious part has already been done. And playing with dinosaurs in Photoshop should be fun. (And at the moment, free as well.)

If you're a member of, Deke's got two exclusive movies this week. (If you're not a member, you can get 10 free days at In the first, Deke uses built-in masks to brighten the eyes and teeth of the creature.

Whitening the eyes and teeth of a 3D dino from PixelSquid

And in the second, he applies a blur to create depth-of-field, also facilitated by features PixelSquid has built into the file.

Creating depth of field around a 3D dinosaur

Deke's Techniques, where you can play with Photoshop and dinosaurs at the same time! Read more » 

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