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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 lynda.com/deke. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 620: Making Multicolored Vignettes in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 620: Making Multicolored Vignettes in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create a flexible multi-color vignette in Photoshop. Now, while there are a few different ways to create vignettes, this particular project calls for a specialized approach---adding a multi-colored gradient in the form of a well-feathered vector-based shape layer.

This technique allows for the addition of custom colors (something Camera Raw would not provide) and the application of the vignette to only the visible part of the image (without having to crop or flatten anything).

He starts with this composite of the boys that he created in last week's episode.

McClelland lads on Segway split screen

Then, he adds a gradient fill layer with custom colors that match the elements of the photo: green in the upper right to match the foliage, red across the bottom to match the driveway, and blue in the upper left to make that blown-out sky actually blue:

Custom gradient fill layer in Photoshop

Next, he carves out a vignette by converting that layer to a shape layer: an ellipse subtracted from the center of the colors.

A vignette created with an elliptical shape layer

Finally, he feathers the ellipse-shaped hole (which is essentially an incorporated vector mask) and changes the blend mode and opacity.

A vignette created by feathering an ellipse

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie in which he adds a pixel-based layer mask to that vector-based shape layer in order to remove the vignette colors from his children's extremities.

Arms and feet masked from a vignette

Deke's Techniques, custom coloring the corners of your world! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 619: Creating a Vector-Based Gradient Mask in Photoshop

Creating a Vector-Based Gradient Mask in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke tackles the old split-screen dilemma with a completely flexible approach. Rather than create a static gradient layer mask between two images of his equally beloved sons, he creates an imminently flexible and editable mask (with a convenient feather setting) using vectors.

So, when both of your sons display the same amount of dogged determination, you don't have to choose. You can draw a vector between images of each, and using vectors (that can be reconsidered at will depending on the flailing gestures of each son) create a split-screen effect that can be readjusted. Like so:

A vector mask gives you more split-screen flexibility.

 

I have to say this was so effective, my mom thought they were the same photo (oh, like I'd let these guys obtain two gyro-segways, Mom.)

Deke's Techniques, finding ways to split your loyalties gracefully! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 618: Healing with a Pattern in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 618: Healing with a Pattern in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to put that repeating pattern background from last week into actual use---in the service of muting a busy backdrop that detracts from the image's model. And this technique allows you to do the whole thing without a smidgeon of masking.

He starts with this image from our friends at Dreamstime.com, with a lovely model who's got enough cool detail happening that she doesn't need a totally distracting yet not nearly as interesting forest scene behind her:

A lovely model with a distracting background from Dreamstime.com

He then adds a green version of the Clouds pattern that he's been showing you how to make in the previous few episodes:

Green repeating clouds pattern created in Photohsop

And eventually, with some relatively painless (compared to masking) painting, a shift of the Opacity slider, and a tweak to the Blend Mode, he arrives at this far less distracting backdrop:

A muted background created with the Clouds filter in Photoshop

With nary a masking task in sight.

Deke's Techniques, making sure you shine without some forest interfering with your awesomeness.
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Deke's Techniques 616: Seamless Patterns with the Clouds Filter in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create a seamlessly repeating pattern of clouds, using the....Clouds filter that's been around Photoshop since the invention of the sky.

As many of you know, the Clouds filter creates random fractal noise that looks like, well, clouds. It can be useful for a variety of effects as we've seen over the years of Deke's Techniques. (Just a few weeks ago, we used it to make a crinkly paper effect.) But what if you want your seemingly random clouds to repeat in a decidedly un-random pattern?

Well, using some math, the background and foreground colors of your choice, and Photoshop's Define Pattern command, you can go from this:

Clouds with a gradient map to make the tile for a repeating pattern

to this:

A seamlessly repeating pattern created from the Clouds filter in Photoshop

Along the way, you'll see how to use the Gradient Map feature to apply color to your clouds based on Luminance values. (This allows you to change the gradient color to change the pattern. This, in turn, allows you to change the mind-stinging Deke colors to something you'd rather look at for more than a split-second.)

And if you want to see some variations, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week for members of Lynda.com in which he shows you how to do this moonscape pattern:

Moonscape from Photoshop Clouds

and this hot lava pattern:

Lava pattern from Photoshop's Clouds filter

All with your newly discovered cloud pattern skills.

Deke's Techniques, teaching you to control the skies, earth, and even the moon with Photoshop. Read more » 

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