Deke's Techniques 386: Selectively Adjusting Colors for Print

Selectively Adjusting Color for Print

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke makes some selective color adjustments to last week's beautiful origami flower illustration in order to get the best print results from his high-end inkjet printer.

As locked-down as Deke's color management scenario is, the colors in this super-saturated gradient-rich production are destined to band. That is, until Deke rasterizes the image in Photoshop and creates some selective color adjustments using the paths from the original Illustrator file to narrow down the effects to the problem areas.

Of course, it's hard to discuss monitor-to-print distinctions in a medium in which you're back to viewing on a monitor. So here is a picture of Deke holding up prints on your monitor to confuse things even further. (In other words, you're going to have to watch the video!)

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week, in which he further refines the gradient colors of the petals by adding a gradient layer in Photoshop. If you're not a member of, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to, after which you can check out this and all the other 387 Deke's Techniques movies (not to mention the entire library!)

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Deke's Techniques 384: Creating an Origami Flower in Illustrator

Create an Origami Flower in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke shows you how to take last week's dynamically created petals and fold it into a virtual origami chrysanthemum. (He actually never uses the word "chrysanthemum," but I always enjoy creating a little virtual spelling test for myself.

So here is the starting point (which---if you didn't create it last week and still want play along this week---you can download here):

Final petal effect in Illustrator from last week

Much like last week, this week's tutorial takes you on a visual adventure (a particularly hypnotic one if you ask me---every time I looked away to the Appearance panel, the actual artwork started pulsating in the corner of my eye. Good thing Deke uses his powers for good and not evil.)

What follows are the highlight interim steps along the way, but watch the video for even more interesting effects that you may find of use in your own eye-bending projects. Here's what happens with the default Zigzag effect applied:
 The Zigzag effect in Illustrator

Here is the Zigzag settings adjusted for this particular project:

The adjusted Zigzag effect

Then, and adjustment to the existing Pucker & Bloat settings nicely folds up the petals:

After adjusting the Pucker and Bloat effect

Finally, the center gets its own Zigzagification:

Final origami flower effect in Illustrator

And if you're a member of, check out the exclusive movie this week in which Deke shows you how to apply a gradient color to the individual petals. Not a member? Get a free week, wait, make that a free 10-day trial, by signing up at More time to explore more hypnotic effects to explore in the Deke's Techniques library!

After applying this week's exclusive technique on creating gradient petals

Waaaaatch Deeeeeek's Techniiiiiiiiques, every weeeeeeeeeeek. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 382: Drawing a Vector Flower in Illustrator

Drawing a Vector Flower in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to start with a simple circle (you don't even have to draw it yourself, just command Illustrator to do so) and transform it into a dynamically effective multi-colored, multi-petaled flower.

Along the way, you'll see some useful Illustrator tricks: letting Illustrator calculate things for you by entering a mathematical equation into a dialog box field, setting the rasterization of your effects higher than Illustrator deems initially necessary, and resetting the Layers panel so that you can actually see the contents in the layer thumbnail. All good stuff.

But what struck me most about this project was that the interim steps to creating the flower seemed like useful things to know in and of themselves. Of course, you can watch the movie to get the particulars, but check out my snapshots from along the way:

Create concentric circles with Illustrator's Transform Effect


Illustrators Bloat command used on concentric circles

Nautilus shape created with Illustrator Transform effects

More anchor points equals more bloat

Create flower petals dynamically in Illustrator

Changing part of the gradient creates an odd glow

Center button created with concentric offset gradients

Final effect of a vector flower created with Illustrator dynamic effects

For those of you who are members of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to add a stroke to this creation for an entirely different feel.

The same flower with stroked petals for a different effect

If you're not a member of and would like to check this and the other 300+ Deke's Techniques out, you can get a free week's trial by signing up at Flower power to the Illustrator people! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 380: Clearing the Recently Used Fonts List from InDesign

Clearing the Recently Used Fonts List in InDesign

Yeah, I know. InDesign. This week's free Deke's Techniques movie features Deke showing you how (and why) to turn off that decidedly annoying Recently Used fonts list that lurks, Microsoft Word-like, in the Fonts pop-up menu in Adobe InDesign.

Someone (someone, I suspect, who doesn't use styles and learned their page layout skills in Microsoft Word) must have thought it convenient to have those randomish fonts sitting there right at the top of the list, rather than properly ordered alphabetically, like they were meant to be.

Get rid of that constantly shifting list in InDesign

But what's the big deal with a changing menu? Well, if you're using a tool often enough, you actually want things to be where you want them to be. And if you want to run through a list of fonts from the up/down arrow keys, then you want them to be in a predictable order. I mean, who memorizes fonts in the order that they last used them? (And what's wrong with you?)

So yeah, Deke and InDesign. In fact, Deke's got a whole new course on InDesign for those of you who only require the need-to-know stuff. It's aptly named Introducing InDesign, and you can watch it at Not a member? Then go introduce yourself to a free week's trial at, then meet all kinds of helpful new friends.

Of course you can always use your free week to catch up on the whole collection of Deke's Techniques. And if you like it short and sassy, but crave more InDesign tips, then you can also use your subscription to check out David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion's biweekly InDesign quick tip called InDesign Secrets. Deke's Techniques, InDesign, David. Anne-Marie, Secrets. That's a good group of new friends to start this new year. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 377: Two Ways to Create Center Guides in Photoshop

Two ways to create center guides in Photoshop

Hi, Deke here, writing an actual post on my own web site for once. So, you know, merry new year and junk like that!

In the most recent edition of Deke's Techniques, #376: Developing the Perfect Holiday Portrait, I disappointed more than a few of you with my lack of aesthetic sensitivity. By way of a reminder, here is a detail from the final version of said "perfect" portrait, complete with impossibly bright eyes.

A wonderful portrait except the eyes are too bright

And here, in hindsight, is how the eyes should have looked.

In other words, I make one bad call and everyone's on my case like brown on rice. Which is why the series is called Deke's Techniques as opposed to, say, Deke's Tasteful Techniques.

Which is way, today, I figured I'd concentrate on something that has nothing to do with good taste and everything to do with pure practicality: Creating guides--one horizontal and one vertical--through the exact center of any image, regardless of how large or small, in Photoshop.

If only for the sake of contrast, I begin with the conventional 9-step solution, which I've seen demonstrated more times than I can count. And then I demonstrate the much improved 4-step solution, which involves the use of a little known command under the View menu that goes by the name New Guide.

Best of all, you can record the 4-step technique as an action, after which point you can play it back in a single step. Just click on it!

And if you're a member of, then you can check out two follow-up movies: #378, in which I show you a new way to create a network of center guides (and much more) in Photoshop CC; and #379, in which I show you a couple of ways to create center guides in Illustrator. (If you're not a member of, click here for a free week.)

In any event, enjoy. And, as always, let me know your thoughts, nice or not! Read more » 

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