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Deke's Techniques 483: Making a Boy Fly through the Air in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 483: Making a Boy Fly through the Air in Photoshop

Greetings my dekeQuarians from North Sulawesi, Indonesia, where there is a decided lack of constant Holiday music and the weather is always about 85°.

But no worries, we're headed back to the snow and seasonal sentiment onslaught tomorrow. And in the meantime, this week's free Deke's Techniques features a wonderful tale of a Photoshop holiday miracle. And to make it extra special, Deke tells the story in Clement C Moore-inspired verse.

In this week's project, you'll see how Deke takes my nephew Tomas---as captured pretending to fly on his grandmother's living room carpet...

Tommy on the carpet

and sets him against this dramatic sky...

Dramatic clouds from fotolia.com

to make this composition, worthy of its six-year-old superhero subject:

Boy flies through the clouds courtesy of Photoshop

Along the way, you'll see how Deke creates the mask that moves Tommy from the floor to the clouds. And if you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got two follow up movies in which he creates the blast trails with motion blur and masks the legs into the clouds with the Quick selection tool. If you're not yet a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at lynda.com/deke.

Merry Photoshop, all! Hope you're flying free in this holiday season. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 480: Create Candy Cane Type in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 480: Create Candy Cane Type in Photoshop

Greetings my delicious dekeSweets. In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke celebrates the season by creating some very tasty candy cane text. And, although this technique doesn't give you an editable message in the end, you must admit, it's quite the edible one (insert holiday groan here):

Candy cane striped letters in Photoshop

Like any good holiday present, this technique  has two hidden sub-techniques included within: You'll see how to create the background gradient and the Illustrator-crafted snow bank along the way, before applying the striped pattern to the letters and giving them that delicious rounding effect with layer styles.


If you're a member of lynda.com, or you sign up for a free 10-day trial subscription from lynda.com/deke, Deke's got two exclusive follow up movies this week. In the first one, he shows you how he actually made that candy cane pattern file. And in the second one, you'll see how to make the sugary snow from scratch, including that which accumulates on the letters.

Peppermint letters with sugary snow frosting in Photoshop

Deke and I are "working" from Lembeh, Indonesia this week, where the weather is about 90° and humid, but the scuba diving is amazing. (Check out Deke's Facebook feed to see some of the mesmerizing critters of Lembeh.) So, this light snow flurry is a sweet reminder of home.

Deke's Techniques bringing you treats every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 478: Removing Power Lines with Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 478: Removing Power Lines with Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke steals an idea from Photoshop Man Extraordinaire Bryan O'Neil Hughes for removing unwanted power lines from a photo.

Thing is, Bryan didn't think that showing this trick to a roomful of fairly sophisticated design types was going to make quite the impact it does. But sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Like sleeping for a few days every summer in this rustic cabin, or using the Spot Healing Brush set to Content-Aware in Photoshop.

The result is our temporary summer-home-slash-pirate-lair becoming slightly more rustic by having its power lines removed (and my guess is half the camp would go dark, as well) by simply shift-clicking across the lines with the Spot Healing Brush. Then, when that doesn't work, the full-fledged Healing Brush itself. (Don't worry, all our devices are plugged in in the laundry room.)

A rustic cabin and pirate lair before and after power lines are removed in Photoshop.

In an attempt to discover just how easily this works, I used the technique to remove some power lines from our winter home (i.e. our home-home) with what I like to call "our mountains" obscured by clouds in the background. I might have also taken out the remnant of a neighbors chimney or two, just to ensure that---insofar as this photo is concerned---those are exclusively my mountains.

Mountain view before and after power lines are removed in Photoshop

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to turn that utility pole into a more appropriate tree trunk (might as well make everyone in camp rough it for a few days). If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke to check it out. Should be plenty of time to get hooked on Deke's Techniques, as long as no one erases your power lines in real life.  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 475: Make Coloring Book-Style Placecards in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 475: Make Coloring Book-Style Placecards in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke continues his quest for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner place card. This quest continues because he didn't quite get it right last week.

Sure, the photo and digitally painted cards were cool, but in my original plan (request, demand) Deke would make some some generic faces that could be colored in by my more creatively inclined guests. This way I can reign over the kitchen, whilst my guests have a fun way of helping that doesn't get in my way. Preferably in another room.

Primarily made of ellipses, lines, and a bit of curve for the hairdos, these generic folk can be altered to meet your dinner invitees general features. Maybe you still want to invite Constantine and Chloe:

Colored in Illustrator

If you're a member of lynda.com (or you sign up for a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke), there are a couple of exclusive movies to help you make the entire array of potential people. Like maybe Xerxes and Xaviera are stopping by:

Xerxes and Xaviera place cards

And here's Deke demonstrating the fully constructed version:

Deke shows off his placecards

Regardless, you can quickly print up enough cards so that everyone can stylize their own, with pens, rubber stamps, colored pencils, crayons... in some room other than your kitchen, ideally.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope that some special time with people you are thankful to be with is in your near holiday future. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 472: Create Place Cards for Your Holiday Dinner Guests in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 472: Create Place Cards for Your Holiday Dinner Guests in Illustrator

Long-term denizens of dekeWorld know how Deke loves a holiday-themed project. In this week's free Thanksgiving-themed episode---after years of variations on hand-turkeys---we've finally come up with a project that might actually be useful for your actual seasonal celebrating: place cards for your holiday dinner table. 

Here is an Illustrator view of the the foldable card project featuring photos of two of Deke's made-up friends:

Photo themed place cards created in Adobe Illustrator

If you're a member of lynda.com (or you take advantage of a 10-day free trial at lynda.com/deke), Deke's got two exclusive movies this week in which he gives you a couple of options for this project.

In the first, he uses the improved Pencil tool in Illustrator to trace coloring-book style versions of Constantine and Chloe. If their two rambunctious children keep getting underfoot while you peel your potatoes, you can hand them some crayons to color in their parent's cards. Take that Constantine and Chloe!

Cartoon customized place cards for your holiday dinner guests.

In the second exclusive movie, you can fill in the colors yourself (or teach those charming kids to do it) in Illustrator, resulting in this very festive variation:

Colorful customized place cards for your holiday dinner guests.

Deke's Techniques, giving you fun-filled family festivities every week! Read more » 

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