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Deke's Techniques 457: Islamic Design 3, Connecting the Pieces

Deke's Techniques 457: Islamic Design 3, Connecting the Pieces

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie we continue our travels into the mesmerizing Islamic pattern inspired by a lovely Tunisian stained glass window.

This week, once again employing mathematically precise alignment, shape builder operations, and dynamic duplicative transformations, Deke builds what he refers to as "the mind-blowing center" of the pattern.The mind-blowing center of the geometric design in Illustrator

If you're a member of lynda.com (or if you go to lynda.com/deke to sign up for 10-free days), Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to duplicate that square to fill out the pattern.

Mathematically precise pattern created in Adobe Illustrator

Next week, we'll finally make it to this glowing, glorious finale:

Islamic geometric design inspired by a Tunisian window and recreated in Illustrator and Photoshop Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 455: Islamic Design Part I, Flirting with Geometric Genius

Deke's Techniques 455: Islamic Design I, Flirting with Geometric Genius

Today Deke's Techniques begins a multi-week journey from Tunisia to Amsterdam to London to Colorado to wherever you are, courtesy of Deke's quest to replicate this 19th-century Arabic patterned stained glass window he came across in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A Tunisian stained glass window from the V&A

 

Of course, when Deke sees the painstaking geometry of this carved stucco piece, he immediately thinks, "I wonder how I'd make that in Illustrator." And so, this week uses some precise math and multiple applications of the Transform effect in order to create the first element, the recurring sixteen-pointed star.

Here in Part 1, you'll see how Deke uses the Transform command to place guides,  how he makes guides out of shapes, and how he deconstructs some carefully arranged rectangles in order to form this unassuming bit of the star element (which you can see over a tracing template of the original photo):



 

Then you'll discover how rotate elements around an invisible "ghost" point for precision placing of copies to make the 16-point star element. And then makes copies of those copies to replicate the pattern in the window. You can where our humble unsuspecting starter element is still selected below. The rest is all dynamic effect, which might be slightly easier than what the unknown 19th century Tunisian artist used.



 

If you're a member of Lynda.com (or you sign up for a free 10-day trial here), Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you Part 2: how he created the eight red stars that surround each of the four larger ones. (You know you're on a mathematical journey when you're naming files eight-times-four-times-sixteen.jpg, and you're only a third of the way done.)



 

And by way of preview, here is where we'll finally arrive:

Stained glass window with Arabic design created in Illustrator and Photoshop

 

Join us, won't you, on this journey of math and beauty and more math?

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Deke's Techniques 453: Creating the Perfect Smartphone Home/Lock Screen in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 453: Creating the Perfect Smartphone Home/Lock Screen in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you (or your kids, more likely) how to make a custom home screen for your smartphone. Yes, this does mean a pixel-perfect Photoshop rendered image designed expressly for the screen size of your phone. And although Deke predictably uses an iPhone, you can use this method for your own particular model/screen size as well.

The trick is to use a template that has the interface gizmos (captured from your phone against a black background) set to Screen blend mode over your intended image, so you can see how the two components will interact. Along the way, you'll learn how to quickly select text layers and save the image as a phone-optimized PNG.

I tried this one out myself and it worked great. Can you tell which screen is mine and which is Deke's?

Two custom home screens created in Photoshop for the iPhone 6.

Although I didn't have all kinds of text elements in my image, like the ones Deke needed to work around his interface, having the template in Photoshop helped me create a perfectly complimentary gradient to my lay over the sky in my photo in order to to better set off the time display.

My only bonus tip is that, at least for my phone's camera placement, I didn't have to create the black background and send it to the phone. I simply put the phone camera-down on my table and took a photo to use directly from the device.

If you're a member of lynda.com (now known as Lynda.com, it will be awhile before my typing muscle memory catches up with that one), Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he created the background art in his home screen image.

If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to lynda.com/deke and signing up. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 451: Wrapping Text around a Graphic in Adobe Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 451: Wrapping Text around a Graphic in Adobe Illustrator

Hello, my wonderful denizens of dekeLand. Sorry for the delay in yesterday's Deke's Techniques episode. We had some issues with the sample file, and since the sample file is so darned charming, I wanted to wait to be able to share it. (In fact, it's so darn charming, I'm making it available for download right here.)

See what I mean?

The wonderful world of text wrap in Adobe Illustrator

Charming! Anyway, in this week's free episode, Deke shows you how to wrap text around an image inside Adobe Illustrator. Yes, Illustrator. It's not hard, but the command is obscurely stashed in the application.

For members of lynda.com (or those of you who wish to take advantage of a 10-day free trial from lynda.com/deke), Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to change typographically unpleasant features (like the straight quotes and missing ligatures you might find when you downloaded public domain content from Project Gutenberg like Deke did) into what Illustrator calls Smart Punctuation.

It's the wonderful wizard of Deke this week! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 449: The New Join Tool in Illustrator CC 2015

Deke's Techniques 449: The New Join Tool in Illustrator CC 2015

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke shares an amazingly useful---possibly magic, I'm not sure, but definitely mind-reading---tool that's new in Illustrator CC 2015. The Join tool allows you to brush over the endpoints of two previously unattached lines, and not only join them, but also trim away the excess bits of each line.

lines before and after joining in Adobe Illustrator

I guess, the term "join and trim away the extraneous bits" would have been too clunky for a new tool name. But that's what it does. This is definitely a feature that shines in a video demonstration, so check it out.

And if you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to make the most of another, magical, just brush this stuff together and watch it meld, feature---the Shape Builder tool. With it, and it's variety of settings, you can change the shape collections on the top into the arguably whimsical artwork on the bottom.

Building complex artwork with Shape Builder in Illustrator

If you're not a member of lynda.com, you an get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke to check it out. Illustrator, and Deke, reading your mind (and your gestures)! Read more » 

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