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Deke's Techniques 588: Creating Twirl Art in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 588: Creating Twirl Art in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create retro-yet-trendy twirl art using some retro and not-at-all trendy but still useful filters in Photoshop.

Specifically, he takes this colorful candy photo from our friends at Dreamstime:

Colorful candy from Dreamstime.com

 

And twirls it into this, using Photoshop filters Radial Blur (sure), Twirl (naturally), and Mezzotint (never heard of it before).

Candy photo twirled in Photoshop

 

If you're a member of Lynda.com and a fan of twirling your day away, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he created this symmetrical version of the piece.

Twirl art made symmetrical

I think I see a colorful wizard. Hmmm, twirl art as self-portrait, Deke?

Deke's Techniques, showing you how to twirl new worlds into being. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 587: Customizing a New Document in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 587: Customizing a New Document in Illustrator

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke abandons his traditional heart-shaped approach to Valentine's Day and illustrates his love for you dekeIntines by showing you how to customize Illustrator's New Document presets.

This practical approach is one of the things that I love best about Deke. I mean Valentine's Day usually just means that all our favorite restaurants are full of stressed out couples who hate going out to dinner when we really haven't noticed what day it is and just want to feed the kids without cooking.

But here at deke.com, you get a gift that will last all year, every time you start a new project in Illustrator. The key to unlocking this ability is to know where your preset files live, and then either cutting and pasting this into a new folder window in on the PC:

%AppData%\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 21 Settings\en_US\x64\New Document Profiles

...or choosing Go > Go to Folder on the Mac and entering this:

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator 21/en_US/New Document Profiles

You'll have to unlock permissions as well, but Deke shows you how. And once you're in there, you can change the artboard name and dimensions, the swatches that will open by default, the document size, the Layers panel thumbnail size (yes!), and more.

And crucially, Deke shows you how to employ this fabulous not-exactly-a-template when you need to use it.

So if you're looking for frivolous (but impeccable and heartfelt) heart shapes, you'll have to go back to Deke's Techniques 042 and 43:

How to draw a heart (in Illustrator) and gloss it up (in Photoshop)

But if you're looking for true Illustrator love, accept this sincere gift from Deke, good any day of the year. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 584: Tinted Custom Arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 584: Tinted Custom Arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke riffs further on the ability to customize arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator. This time, he shows you how to set up those arrowhead symbols so that you can create tinted versions. So what once looked like this:

A boring arrowhead

Gets tweaked in the arrowhead.ai file (see last week for instructions) to become these:

Creating tinted custom arrowheads in Illustrator

Which are then employed in a colorized way in your Illustrator document to become this:

Custom tinted arrowheads

In the course of the movie, you'll learn a great deal about how to use the path-wrangling commands in Illustrator to get them to bend your arrowhead shape to your will (or to your vision). It's a customized frenzy of joining, subtracting, pasting, dividing, and ungrouping...with pointy things.

For members of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie, where he manipulates the components of those arrowhead symbols even further, by adding the ability to add multiple colors. The trick is to create both solid and tinted forms of the same shape that can be employed together:

Making pairs of custom arrowheads for color customization.

Which eventually yield this when combined together in your document:

Custom multi-colored arrowheads created in Adobe IllustratorAnd of course, it's not Deke if things don't get mildly ridiculous, so a second exclusive movie this week shows you how to make a multi-colored, shaded smiley face "arrowhead." (At what point does it stop being an arrowhead?)

A circle of smileys created by customizing arrowheads.

Note, there's no real reason to do this via arrowhead customization, but hey, it's Deke and there's always some seemingly useless bit of information that will undoubtedly, one day, pay off...if you're really lucky.

If you're not a member of Lynda.com and you want to go down this rabbit hole to the very bottom, you can get a free 10-day trial from lynda.com/deke with which you can watch all the episodes of Deke's Techniques and while the day away learning new things about Photoshop and Illustrator.

Deke's Techniques, making sure you think outside (and inside) the black triangular arrowheads! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 582: Creating custom arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 582: Creating custom arrowheads in Adobe Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke digs down into Illustrator to figure out how to make custom arrowheads. The trickiest part of this whole thing is to find the file that you need to edit.

The arrowheads.ai file  will (at least for today, until Adobe sees fit to change it) be at one of these locations:

  •  Under Windows, bring up a folder window, click in the path field, and type in:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC 2017\Support Files\Required\Resources\en_US
     
  • At the Macintosh Finder, choose Go to Folder, and type in:/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CC 2017/Support Files/Resources/en_US


The second trickiest part (OK, THIS IS CURRENTLY THE TRICKIEST PART BECAUSE WE'RE WAITING FOR AN UPDATE TO THE MOVIE) is to unlock the permissions so you can edit the file. On the PC, right-click on the file and choose Properties. On the Mac, right-click and choose Get Info, then give permission to yourself to Read & Write. Ten Deke has created this handy cheat sheet:
Where to unlock the arrowheads.ai file

Finally, you get to tweak (well, copy and tweak) an existing arrowhead, turn it into a symbol, and employ it on your next arrowless line. Eschewing Deke's rather mundane arrow customizations, I actually made a copy of "Arrow 20" and with a few drags of the corner widgets, turned it into this lovely heart shape, suitable for creating a magic wand that brings love and warmth to the dwellers of dekeTopia. (And everywhere, really, we all could use a magic heart wand these days.)

Changing a boring arrowhead into a heart

If you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week, in which he shows you how to turn these "arrowheads" into custom end caps.

Customized endcaps in Adobe Illustrator

If you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke to check it out.

Deke's Techniques, teaching you how to thwart the system and write your own endings.
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Deke's Techniques 580: Symbols and Spaces in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

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In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke takes one for the Lynda.com training team and makes sure you know about a new symbols and spaces feature in text inside Adobe Illustrator 2107. Not sexy. But useful. When it works right.

While some of these symbols have been around forever (and had Mac OS level—shortcuts associated with them), PC users can now enjoy analogous keyboard shortcuts for entering their bullets and squiggles without having to resort to entering cryptic numerical codes.

Symbols available by keyboard shortcut in AI CC 2017

Illustrator also now has non-standard spaces you can enter via shortcut or menu as well, including a hair space and a thin space. Check out the video to see not only how it works, but where the limitations are.

Space options in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

Meanwhile, if that is as boring to you as it is to me (it will undoubtedly be exciting to...someone), then Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you an infinitely more exciting feature update in Illustrator 2017, that of the wacky world of live polygons.

Live polygons in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

If you want to check out the polygon movie and you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at lynda.com/deke.

Deke's Techniques, bringing you the mundane and the exciting in the same week. Read more » 

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