Deke's Techniques 406: Recreate Real-World Paper Texture in Photoshop

Recreate Real-World Paper Texture in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke reveals how he recreated the background paper for the forged Inverted Jenny stamp he's been working on in previous episodes. The process begins with an unassuming field of gray, to which Deke then applies a cocktail of smart filters. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 404: Forge a Million-Dollar Stamp in Photoshop

Forge a million-dollar stamp in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke uses Photoshop to turn a scan of the first Airmail stamp (valued at roughly $160) into an almost-million-dollar "inverted jenny." Along the way, there's a great deal to learn about intricate masking of fine detail (which is good, because knowing more about forging stamps is a questionable bit of skills development).

Before and after

Before I get into detail about this technique, however, I have to show you the joy that arises when a Photoshop genius lets his inner philatelist-nerd out to play. Just look at the unapologetic grin on Deke's face and the sparkle of delight in his eye:

Happy Photoshop-Philatelist Nerd Deke

Anyway, this actually useful technique involves masking the blue-inked airplane away from the red frame, and then, of course, turning it upside-down. But the real subtlety and ingenuity comes when Deke stacks layers made from a series of increasingly fine alpha channels, shown here in the Channels panel:

Series of increasingly detailed alpha channels

Deke then uses those alpha channels to imitate ink passes, thus allowing for the build-up of detail with each virtual "ink pass."

Simulated ink passes in Photoshop

If you're a member of, then you can watch the follow-up movie in which Deke shows you how to isolate the red-ink frame around the airplane and the perforations of the stamp. If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at And the sky's the limit on other Deke's Techniques (and other training videos in the library) that you can watch with your trial subscription. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 401: Styling Type with a Pattern of Vertical Lines

Stying Type with a Pattern of Vertical Lines

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke finally wraps up the MDNA-inspired photo that we've been working on for the past two weeks, by showing you how to create the vertically striped text at the bottom.

There are also two exclusive movies at this week. The first shows you how to reshape the letterforms to match the intervals of the pattern you apply. The second shows you how to swap one photographic image in this project for another. If you're not a member of, you can get 10 free days to check it out by going to lynda,com/deke.

Why so short and sweet this week, Colleen? Well, Deke and I have hauled all our progeny to Cayman Brac for a scuba-diving spring break this week. And both my surface time and bandwidth are limited. But in celebration of Deke's new course and to prove to you dekeOphiles that he never stops working, even underwater, here are some photos of Deke with his nose (and GoPro) to the grindstone.

In the second photo, there is virtually no info in the red channel, so when I get off the island, maybe I'll revisit these images with a little bit of Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop with Deke McClelland. Blub, blub! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 398: Infusing an Image with Vivid Nightclub Colors

Infuse your image with vivid nightclub color

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke adds some vivid nightclub-esque colors to last week's homage to the MDNA album cover. With a few hue and saturation adjustments in Camera Raw (applied in Photoshop CC via an editable filter) and a gradient fill, he takes the ribbed glass image we left off with...

...and adds some vibrant Madonna-inspired color.

Vibrant colors added to a scene in Photoshop

If you've been waiting to use your free 10-day trial (obtainable at to watch some cool exclusive movies, today might be the day to jump in, because Deke's got two member-exclusive movies to share this week. In the first, he adds the MDNA album cover-inspired bands of color. In the second exclusive movie, he patches some badly displaced edges on his way to this ultimate result:

Colored bands and edge fixes in Photoshop

And to demonstrate the flexibility of this week's advice, as well as acknowledge that---here in the US---St. Patrick's Day is considered an excuse to turn green in a nightclub, here is my own experiment with today's techniques. (Love how her lips stay vibrant red here, because I definitely draw the line at green lipstick):

Change the color of the effect for St. Patrick's Day

Happy Day, my wily little dekeRechauns. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 396: Put Your Photo Behind Ribbed Glass

Put Your Photo Behind Ribbed Glass in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke places a glamorous portrait behind a ribbed glass effect in Photoshop. It's step one in an homage to Madonna's MDNA album cover, which uses a repeating gradient that you create yourself, which is then applied as a displacement map. In other words, this:

Original photo

Plus this:

80 pixel gradient stripes to use in the ribbed glass effect

Equals this:

The Photoshop-created ribbed glass effect.

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he riffs off this idea, but with a displacement map created with the Glass filter.

Angled distortion lines with the Glass filter as a displacement map

If you're not a member of and would like to check out this exclusive movie, the entire Deke's Techniques collection, and every other bit of awesome in the library, you can sign up for a free 10-day trial at Read more » 

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