dekePod

Deke's Techniques 043: Preparing a Zombie in "The Lab"

Deke's Techniques 043: Preparing a Zombie in "The Lab"

Hey, gang. Today marks the second of my two-part work of hardscrabble investigative journalism into what makes Halloween so dag-gum scary, graphics-wise. Last week, I showed you how to make Scareflakes. (Wow, was that terrifying or what?) This week, I show you how to begin the process of turning the near-dead living into the living dead. It starts with a faux-HDR technique that relies on The Lab Mode. How's that for Halloween irony? Whatever, here's a before-and-after comparison, submitted for your approval:

 The Photoshop zombie makeover

I'd love to explore it with you in more detail, but the official description from lynda.com tells it all: Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 042: Drawing a Halloween Scareflake

Deke's Techniques 042: Drawing a Halloween Scareflake

Welcome to Halloween! And today's scary technique, in which I show you how to make that vector-based craft that's sweeping the nation: Scareflakes! Here's a detail:

Deke's Techniques: A Halloween scareflake in Adobe Illustrator

They're like snowflakes, in that every one is beautiful and unique. But they scare the poop out of you! (Just look at the image above. Admit it, you're pooping in fear!)

Here's the official poop-free description from lynda.com: Read more » 

Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 041: Creating an Ambigram in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 041: Creating an Ambigram in Illustrator

This week marks my favorite Deke's Techniques so far, in which I show you how to create an ambigram, which is a word that reads the same whether the page is right-side up or upside-down. Here's what we're about to make:

Adobe Illustrator ambigram demonstration

Don't you just love animated GIFs that play forever and ever? Me neither, but I figured it was important to employ one in this case. Because the first time you see it, it's like what? The second time, it makes sense. And then after that, it gets very annoying. Consider it a test of your ability to concentrate. From now on, IGNORE THE SPINNING THING!

Meanwhile, a word of warning: Even at nearly 12 minutes long, this video goes by fast. If I had it to do over again, I would have slowed a few steps. But that's the nature of blog videos. Once they're out there, they're out there. Still, it's cool. And you can always pause, back up, and replay.

(Ye gads, my favorite Deke's Techniques so far requires a lot of apologies. I'm so sorry. Ope, there I go again!)

Here's the official description from my video publisher lynda.com, which comes to you entirely without my (come to think of it) idiotic qualifiers: Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 040: Filtering Images with Camera Raw

Deke's Techniques 040: Filtering Images with Camera Raw

I use the commands under Photoshop's Filter menu as much as the next guy. But as a collection, I have five problems with them: 1) Let's face it, most are gimmicks; 2) many of them are old as the hills, so they lack previews; 3) most of the filters don't create the effects that they're named for (Fresco? come on!); 4) in what way are they even remotely related? 5) and they rarely receive any attention. There are the exceptions---for example, Smart Sharpen (CS2), Gaussian Blur (1.0), and High Pass (1.0), although generally ancient, are flat-out indispensable---but for the most part, the Filter menu is riddled with cobwebs of our communal disinterest.

So it got me thinking: Might there be a better place to filter images than Photoshop? My answer: Camera Raw. The great thing about Camera Raw is that it offers precise edge-detection capabilities---the one tenuous string that binds Photoshop's best filters---as well as equally precise color modification options. Plus, the values have huge ranges (compared with, say, the Filter Gallery) and the options make sense (compared with, say, the Filter Gallery).

The result is this free video, in which I show you how to create five independent Camera Raw filtering, from which I imagine you can extrapolate a few hundred more.

Here's the official description from lynda.com, with copious graphics: Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 039: Creating the Perfect Command Key

Deke's Techniques 039: Creating the Perfect Command Key

In this week's free installment of Deke's Techniques, I show you how to create the perfect Command key symbol in Adobe Illustrator. (For those who may not know, the Command key is the cloverleaf character in the bottom-left corner of a Macintosh keyboard.) Which may prompt you to ask, why? After all, the character is available from many Symbol fonts available for both the Mac and Windows. Two reasons: First, this is an altogether intriguing exercise---for experienced users and novices alike---and it may help you navigate your way around all sorts of symmetrical symbols in the future. Second, you can use this technique to make a symbol that matches other characters in a given font. In other words, drawing the symbol yourself provides you with a designer's degree of control.

Here's the official description from my video publisher lynda.com: Read more » 

. Tagged with: