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Don't Fear the Lab Mode

To help you make sense of the most recent episode of dekePod, I've written up a discussion of how I modified the colors of my backyard in the Lab mode. Although it flies by in the video, the technique is not particularly difficult. I don't use Curves or masking or anything terribly complicated. Just Levels and -- brace yourself -- Brightness/Contrast. In Photoshop CS3, Brightness/Contrast has not only turned into a respectable command, but it has been elevated to pro status when combined with Lab. And it remains as easy as ever to use.

Lab + Brightness/Contrast

Some portions of this article have been excerpted from my upcoming article, "Don't Fear the Lab Mode," which will run in the September, 2008 issue of Photoshop User magazine. So as not to diminish the impact of that article (as well as the two that will follow it), I have purposely made the steps here brief, illustrated with thumbnail-resolution imagery. You should still be able to follow along, but you'll have lots more to look forward to in Photoshop User. Read more » 

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Still happyfying, hope you are too

Hey gang,

As usual, this newsletter goes out to you, the few, the proud, the registered users at dekeOnline. In case you're curious, there are now 1995 of us. I was hoping we'd hit 2000 before I fired this off. But alas, five people who should have registered didn't. You'll be glad to know, I have sent all five formal complaints, along with stern warnings if this sort of behavior continues.

Get registering!

But enough about them, let's talk about you. By which I mean, me. Read more » 

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Making Interlocking Rings with Live Paint

Colleen's posting about Mordy's license plate thing reminded me of a timely newsworthy conversation I'd had with Mordy a few months ago that went something like this:

Me: Mordy, hi.

Mordy: Hi, Deke.

Me: Hey, just curious. Why is it Adobe Illustrator lacks the ability to make interlocking objects?

Mordy: Crazy. Lay it on me.

Me: You know, like the Olympic rings. I want one Olympic ring to loop into, around, and back out of another. Like in the Olympics.

Olympic rings

Mordy: Yeah, Illustrator does that. Read more » 

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Welcome to dekeOnline

Hi, this is note from me, Deke. Forgive the potentially rough appearance of this newsletter (which is going out as an email to all registered users). But we didn't want to get all slick with our messaging.

I know you have lots of busy stuff going on today. (And from here, it looks like you're doing a great job juggling the, you know, the things that you juggle with the stuff in the air and the things. So kudos for that.) But I wanted to take just a moment of your time to thank you for joining dekeOnline. I am sincerely glad that you've opted into our madcap imaging + graphics + design tea party.

So, yoiks, quite to my surprise, the site has gone through the roof. Over the Bastille Day weekend (July 13th and 14th), claims we entered the ethereal realm of the Top 50,000 sites. (Where's Kasey Kaisim to read it?) Google Analytics shows us trouncing the typical site our size (me blue, them gray, below). And when I say "trounce," I mean it in a kind, Care Bear, loving way.

Read more » 

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Illustrator Transparency + Photoshop Resolve, Part 2

dekeStuff, dynamic, effects, flattener, Illustrator, Photoshop, preview, rasterize, render, Sammy, transparency

I believe it was three weeks ago that I began to tell you good folks about how to transform this:

into the glam phantom-of-an-illustration witnessed below using Illustrator's Transparency functions. The danger is that virtually every effect I'm applying falls outside the boundaries of the professional print standard PostScript, meaning that there's a high chance that this artwork might exhibit errors when you receive 10,000 copies back from your commercial print house. Which is a real heartbreaker, as anyone who's encountered such blunders knows. Doubly so, because each and every heartbreak can be anticipated and eliminated with the help of Photoshop.

By the end of Part 1, I had transformed my son Sammy (shown here during his early days of smooth and impeccable baldness) into the near masterwork seen below. In this final part, I will add several details with the help of Illustrator's blend modes. Then I'll mask the entire illustration and ship it off to Photoshop for final rasterization. As much as it may pain you -- at least philosophically -- to convert your razor-sharp vectors into resolution-dependent pixels, this Photoshop provides a practical, no surprises = no tears solution.

Read more » 

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