Deke's Techniques 424: Assembling an Interior Vertical Panorama

Creating a Vertical Interior Panorama in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke takes some typical interior shots of the venerable York Minster cathedral and turns them into a decidedly untraditional and unexpected vertical panorama.

In other words, these eight staid church photos:

Eight traditional church interior photographs


Become this enigmatic single image of a mystical dreamspace (assuming your dreams are populated by the medieval kings of England):

Vertical panorama of the Kings Screen in York Minster


As you travel down this surprising approach to sightseeing photography, you'll experience the following:

  • The intricacies of using ACR to fix distortion (in the service of paradoxically creating an "impeccable distortion" in the end) and chromatic aberration.
  • The mysteries of compiling a panorama (if it can be called that) in Photomerge.
  • The secrets of using the Canvas Size command to crop a smart object non-destructively, but with more numerical control than you would with the crop tool.
  • And of course, the revelation of the delightful enigmas that populated the creative mind of Deke.

Next week, the dark mysteries of the exterior of York Minster (and of course, more insights into the wild and wonderful dekeBrain.)  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 422: Creating a String of Pearls in Illustrator

Stroke a path with pearls in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke shows you how to festoon an ordinary path with a fabulous string of pearls made entirely from strokes applied in Illustrator. Thus the plain outlines on the left (below) become the bedazzled pathways on the right.

A path stroked with pearls in Illustrator

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Deke's Techniques 419: Adding Depth of Field to Vector-Based Illustration

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes last week's Vector Island scene and applies a depth-of-field effect to the illustration inside Photoshop (with some help from Illustrator along the way).

The "depth-of-field" in this case, consists of doses of plain ol' Gaussian Blur applied as a smart filter. The trick is to create an independent smart object for each level of depth (blur) and then isolate desired objects for each depth of field by editing the smart objects in Illustrator.

In this case, for example, one layer/smart object has just the backdrop. Each of the other layers is stripped down to just a specific head. The result is that a blurry background, a sort of blurry guy on the left, and a completely sharp guy on the right creates the illusion you see here:

Applying different levels of blur to different layers creates a depth-of-field effect

If you're a member of, Deke's got two follow up movies this week. (If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at In the first movie, he shows you how to add gradient and color overlays to this scene for this effect:

Adding color and gradient overlays in Illustrator

In the second, you'll see how he incorporated textures from the original Easter Island photograph that was the inspiration for the illustration.

Using the original inspirational photograph to add texture to an illustration

Deke's Techniques, bringing your head(s) new tweaks every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 418: Converting Corner Points to Smooth Points in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, you'll learn how to convert corner points into smooth points in Illustrator. Some of you are like, "Cool!" Some are all, "What?" And some of you are, "So what?"

Well, here's the deal. By using Illustrator's ability to convert all of your corner points to smooth points at once, you can convert a quickly (and easily) drawn zig-zag into a smooth curly-que.

Quickly change a zig-zag into a smooth curlyque in Illustrator by converting points

Are you reasonably savvy Illustrator users still as bored as a statue of a giant head? Do you know about the 2X speed option on videos?

Continuing on (at about 04:35, for those skipping ahead), you can sketch out one Easter Island Moai statue by simply clicking straight lines with the pen tool, then use the Convert Selected Anchor Points to Smooth button to convert all of your corners at once. Thus, the unimpressed angular head on the left (below), becomes the more thoughtful organically curved dude on the right.

Draw with the pen tool, then convert corner points to smooth for an organic effect

If you'd like to learn more about drawing quickly in Illustrator using this method of quick point conversion, check out  Deke's awesome (and this comes from an inept Illustrator user) course Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC. If you're not a member of and you want to check it out, you can sign up for a free 10-day trial at (For even less of a commitment, you can just skip to the blue unlocked movies in the table of contents and get some great Illustrator drawing tips.)

One last note, something I discovered while visiting Hoa Hakananai'a, an Easter Island statue that's currently housed at the British Museum in London. (His name appropriately means "Stolen or Hidden Friend.") The backside of those Rapa Nui statues can be really fascinating too. Hidden friend indeed.

Behind the Easter Island statue Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 416: Extending Your Facebook Profile Picture into Your Cover Photo

Extending your Facebook profile pciture into your cover photo

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke concludes his quest for the ultimate integrated Facebook profile and cover image by showing you how to "extend" your profile picture seamlessly out into the cover photo area.

In other words, he'll show you how he released his Groot-esque alter-ego from the square confines of the designated Facebook profile area, aligned his shoulders (and hand) to flow over into the cover photo, and thus allowed his avatar to wave at you from inside the lovely Skunk Canyon Sunset.

Integrate your Facebook profile and cover images seamlessly

Oh, in case you missed it, in the last two episodes, Deke has revealed the exact specifications of the current Facebook images and how to make your Facebook cover image show through the background of your profile picture. He also shared this template, so you can efficiently make your own Facebook profile picture and cover photo work together.

And speaking of Facebook imagery in general, for members of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you the best practices for preparing images that you upload to your Facebook timeline. If you're not a member and want to check it out, you can get a free 10-day trial at Read more » 

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