Deke's Techniques 596: Fixing Jagged Illustrator Artwork in Photoshop

Greetings dekeOpolitans. We're coming to you from the city that never sleeps, except when you are exhausted from two days on the train to get here, afternoons spent trying to contemplate amazing works of art while still keeping teenagers engaged (and fed), walking briskly through a drizzly Central Park, and hoping once again you are not going the wrong way on the subway. (Boulder is easy; the mountains are on the west, the straight-shot horizon to Kansas is on the east.) Yes, Team Wheeler/McClelland is in New York for Spring Break.

Which means I'm a day late with this week's Deke's Techniques and I got no real excuse except ...Trains! New York! Teenagers!

Deke's right on time though, with this week's free episode in which he explains diagonal anti-aliasing, which is Illustrator's method for getting rid of jagged lines caused by square pixels trying to do a triangle's job. In other words (and pictures), this:Antilaliasing off in Illustrator causing jagged lines

Can become this:
Antialiasing smoothing out the edges

And it can even stay that way when you place your Illustrator drawing into a Photoshop composition:

Antialiased artwork in Photoshop

And if your'e a member of, Deke's got an exclusive follow up movie this week in which he shows you how to overcome those pesky problems you can get when placing an Illustrator smart objectto Photoshop. If you've done it, you know what I mean.

Deke's Techniques, smoothing out harsh transitions everywhere. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 595: Mastering Adobe Illustrator 88

Deke's Techniques 595: Mastering Adobe Illustrator 88

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke takes a look at the history of Adobe Illustrator (which turns 30 this month) by playing around with Adobe Illustrator 88.

Illustrator 88 splash screen

This was a team effort, with the Deke's beleaguered support staff (finding and) installing all the necessary software, then Deke digging out his Mac Paint files, then finally my going over to the storage space to dig out a copy of Mastering Illustrator 88 that Deke wrote 29 years ago so he could remind himself how to use it.

Deke with his Mastering Adobe Illustrator 88 book

Funny thing was, it didn't turn out to be the laugh riot the way Deke's Photoshop retrospective was in Episode 303. There was a lot that early Illustrator could do, even text if you were willing to put up with a dialog box like this.

The Type dialog box in Illustrator 88

Check it out, take a look back at the time where you made new anchor points with the scissor tool (?), and join us in wishing Illustrator a happy birthday. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 594: Creating an LCD Screen Effect in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes last week's emulation of a back-of-the-camera "screenshot" and adds a pattern that really makes it look like the pixely image you see on the back of the camera.

Yes, this means Deke took his smooth reproduction of a thing that looked too ratty for him in its original format, and figured out how to add some high-res rattiness that adds authenticity his reproduction.

OK, not many of us are going to want to do this but there is some actually useful stuff here, mostly concerning how to create and add a pattern overlay.

We'll start with last week's mockup of a screenshot, which frankly I thought looked pretty darn great.

The back-of-camera screenshot recreation


Then add a pattern that Deke will show you how to draw (it's sort of a grey-on-grey plaid).

A pattern drawn in Photoshop to emulate the LCD screen

And then lay it over the original to make this authentic looking lcd screenshot:

An LCD recreation complete with pattern

Frankly, this project is crazy, but mesmerizing, and my guess is that there are a variety of situations where this knowhow could be quite useful. Check this out to see how the pattern gets implement it, then put it to use in your artifical world.

Deke's Techniques
, recreating reality with meticulous realism. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 592: Capturing a Screen that Can't Be Captured

Deke's Techniques 592: Capturing a Screen that Can't Be Captured

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke shows you how to create a screen that can't be captured using conventional screenshot methods.

Like you, I too, would be asking, "Why?" right about now if I hadn't spent years working on Deke's print books. During that arduous but rewarding process, we were required, by Captain Deke himself, to painstakingly construct meticulous screenshots that featured full-res imagery and cleaned-up interface elements.

For more about that painstaking process and a related technique for making selection outlines, see Deke's Techniques Episode 543.

This time, the recreation is in service of soon-to-be-released third installation of Deke and Hergen Spalink's Learning Underwater Photography Series. And the screen in question is the LCD from Herg's Nikon D810.

Recreating the LCD on the back of a DSLR

By the time Deke is done, he's got a full-res preview image, a true black background, and four accurate histograms, all of which can be used to demonstrate underwater photo skills without distracting students with ugly imagery.

And while you may not need to meticulously recreate your camera LCD screens, along the way you'll learn useful bits like how to make perfectly squared off strokes and how to remember to turn of Auto-Select with the Move tool (which will drive you crazy if you don't realize Adobe has changed the default setting in CC 2017),

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie in which he shows you how he colored the histograms and added the quarter lines to the image. Because this may just be exactly what you want to do.

Deke's Techniques, recreating reality you didn't know you needed. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 590: Twirling a Portrait in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 590: Twirling a Portrait in Photoshop

In this weeks free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke shows you how to quickly apply his twirling system to an actual human face.

Oh, sure, twirling is cool. But the real secret to this techniques (once you learn the sequence and interplay of Photoshop filters that Deke shared last week), is that smart objects are named after the smart people who remember to use them.

In other words, if you start with last week's project, all you have to do is open up any of the smart (four) smart objects and replace the candy image with a face. Like perhaps this lovely colorful creature from

A colorful portrait from

Who with a quick replacement, an 180 degree spin, and a few layer style tweaks becomes this:

A portrait twirled in Photoshop

It's so easy I couldn't resist giving myself a twirl. Here I am in the British Museum. Don't I look suitably scholarly and artistically mysterious?

Another twirled portrait of Colleen Wheeler

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to increase the resolution of these twirly images without losing your mind waiting for high-res originals to work through processor intensive Photoshop filters.

Deke's Techniques, putting a new spin on portraits. Read more » 

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