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Deke's Techniques 580: Symbols and Spaces in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

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In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke takes one for the Lynda.com training team and makes sure you know about a new symbols and spaces feature in text inside Adobe Illustrator 2107. Not sexy. But useful. When it works right.

While some of these symbols have been around forever (and had Mac OS level—shortcuts associated with them), PC users can now enjoy analogous keyboard shortcuts for entering their bullets and squiggles without having to resort to entering cryptic numerical codes.

Symbols available by keyboard shortcut in AI CC 2017

Illustrator also now has non-standard spaces you can enter via shortcut or menu as well, including a hair space and a thin space. Check out the video to see not only how it works, but where the limitations are.

Space options in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

Meanwhile, if that is as boring to you as it is to me (it will undoubtedly be exciting to...someone), then Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you an infinitely more exciting feature update in Illustrator 2017, that of the wacky world of live polygons.

Live polygons in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017

If you want to check out the polygon movie and you're not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at lynda.com/deke.

Deke's Techniques, bringing you the mundane and the exciting in the same week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 578: Spray-painted Stencil Type in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 578: Spray-painted Stencil Type in Photoshop

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, (a mildly over-caffienated?) Deke shows you how to duplicate the effect of spray painting through a stencil inside Photoshop. This technique will allow you to express your messages of peace, politics, or protest without actually defacing any property.

In the tutorial, you'll see how to:

  • Load your text as a selection outline.
  • Have a cool background (like ours from Dreamstime):


     
  • Tweak your brush settings accordingly, including pressure settings that help you get the most of your tablet (if you have one).
  • Filter for softness and the inherent imprecision that would come from  stenciling with spray paint in the non-Photoshop (aka "real") world.
  • Use the Underlying Layer controls in the Layer Style dialog box to fine tune the texture of the "paint."

If you're a member of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he added some additional features (paint drips and an offset to account for the uneven background material).

A spray-painted stencil effect in Photoshop

If you're not a member, you can get a 10-day free trial at lynda.com/deke.

Deke's Techniques, allowing you to express yourself non-destructively. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 577: Quick and Chalky Chalkboard Type

Deke's Techniques 577: Quick and Chalky Chalkboard Type

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke creates a quick and dirty (chalky) chalkboard text effect in Photoshop. Using some basic filters, a couple of blend modes, and an adjustment layer, he turns this boring text:

Boring text about to be chalked in Photoshop

 

Into this slightly more exciting text (set in Flood Std) for your chalk-emulating needs:

Text set in Flood Std on its way to being chalked

 

And then adds some key filters as well as some actual chalk (courtesy of this image from our friends at Dreamstime):

Chalk

 

To arrive at this quick and easy composite. (Chalkboard background also courtesy of  Dreamstime.)

A chalkboard text effect in Photoshop

 

Chalk one up for Deke's Techniques! And facile puns! And making things less boring! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 576: Constructing a Two-Way Portrait in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 576: Constructing a Two-Way Portrait in Photoshop

Hey, Gang of Deke. Welcome to the start of the 7th "season" of Deke's Techniques. Can you believe it? I can, because in order to make this week's banner image, I had to go back and watch episode 97 (how to automatically invert type), and I saw how much Deke's hair had automatically inverted in 2011.

Anyway, sorry for the delay this week. We'll be returning to our regularly scheduled Tuesdays next week (and forever, as long as Deke keeps getting new ideas). There were a few stray Christmas tree needles (those things are everywhere), some New Year confetti (metaphorically), and some gooey rotting bits of 2016 (be gone already, devil-year) still stuck in the works this week, but we're ready to roll now.

And this brings me to this week's free episode, in which Deke uses a profile of a guy to constrain a full-face image of the same guy. Both images came from our new partners at Dreamstime:


Two portraits from Dreamstime, profile and full face.

The result is a slightly mind bending "two-way" portrait that, to me, seems ready for your double-take-inspiring commercial work.

A full-face portrait masked inside a profile shot.

(In other words, this is not your mamma's fireplace mantle kind of portrait. Yes, my mom actually sometimes has to ask Deke to reign it back---she just wants a "normal" non-glowing eyes picture of the kids.) But if you like the New Year-appropriate metaphor of looking both forward and off into the distance at the same time, then this is for you and your 2017 projects!

The technique relies on Photoshop CC because it takes advantage of the new Face Aware Liquify feature in order to line the profile and full face up correctly. New year, new feature, same old lovable Deke...but with grayer hair and less of it! Check it out. Read more » 

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Deke's Technques 574: Create Cheerful Holiday Trees in Photoshop CC

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In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke creates some festive happy holiday trees using nothing but made up stuff in Photoshop CC. Yes, for those of you who hate cleaning up pine needles and don't mind forgoing the scent of fresh trees, this is your digital holiday solution.

Three festive trees created in Photoshop CC

He begins with a backdrop borrowed from last year's holiday technique, Deke's Techniques 482: Adding Snow to Your Holiday Design, in which the fake stars he created in Deke's Techniques 015: Building a Synthetic Star Field. (Note, watching these older episodes is a study in the graying of Deke's hair.) The snow is returned to it's starry origins for this composition.

Synthetic stars become snow in Photoshop

Then, using Photoshop CC's Filter > Render > Trees feature, he creates the trio of fake fine-looking firs, suitable for your holiday decorating needs.

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's exclusive movie this week shows you how light up your trees using a combination of noise, masking, and layer effects. (Not a member, you can get 10 free days by signing up at lynda.com/deke.)

Three fake glowing trees

This is one of those techniques I decided to try for myself (I love making something from nothing). And I eventually filled the "lights" themselves with a pale yellow (instead of red, green, and blue) while leaving their Outer Glow effects set to their respective colors. Deke walked by and said, "Uh, I think you might have actually made it better.)

A slight change in the core of the light wins Deke's approval.

Merry Christmas indeed when the master compliments the apprentice!

Deke's Techniques, bringing holiday glow to your hearts. We'll see you again in 2017. Read more » 

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