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Eat This, Not That: Photoshop Style

Perhaps, dekeOpotamians, you've decided that 2012 is the year you are going to make better choices. I'm not talking about the kind of choices where you give up butter so you can live a longer butter-free life. I'm talking about those kinds of choices touted by the "Eat This, Not That" diet philosophy. For instance, you could drink a 200-ish-calorie pint of Guinness, or you could have a svelte 90-calorie icy cold martini. Both delicious to be sure, but one option will get you where you want to be more efficiently.

Except, I'm thinking about a Photoshop version. You know, where you use the most efficient, satisfying tools for the job at hand instead of weighing yourself down with klunkier tools that don't give you satisfying results. So in that spirit, I've made a list of healthier Photoshop alternatives that I like to call:

Try This Not That, in Photoshop

So what follows is a list of tools that provide smarter choices than the ones you might be using:  Read more » 

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Photoshop Masking & Compositing: The Free PDF Companion

Last month marked the debut of Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals, my video-based introduction to the principals of masking for lynda.com. At more than 11 hours long, the course is not only comprehensive, but also demanding.

So I decided to try out an experiment, in the form of an 11-page PDF companion. Available for free to members of dekeOnline, this file provides a few helpful services: First, it provides an introduction to the course as a whole. Second, it outlines the contents of each of the nine chapters, including the names of all 128 movies. Third, it provides links to the free movies, of which there are 12 in all. (It is lynda.com's custom to make 10 percent of any course free to non-members.) And finally, I recommend what I consider to be the three most useful movies in each chapter. All links are live, but to see the linked movies, you'll need an Internet connection, you'll have to be a member of the lynda.com Online Training Library, and you'll need to be logged into the lynda.com Web site.

Photoshop Masking & Compositing: The PDF Companion

You'll need to be a member of dekeOnline to proceed. Read more » 

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A Car of Many Colors

If you've ever seen a Photoshop demo, you've probably watched someone change the color of a car (or other object) using the well-worn method of targeting and shifting colors with the Hue/Saturation command. Problem is, while this technique is straightforward and even sexy, it rarely works as advertised.

In this article, we'll change the color of a car. However, instead of applying Hue/Saturation in its relative mode, we'll employ it in its absolute mode to achieve not just successful but stellar results. Then we'll use a channel, a mask, and a couple of blending options to turn the car black. The original car (red) and its alternatives appear below.

The original red car from the Fotolia image library

The same car, rendered in gold in Photoshop

That same car again, this time made black in Photoshop

Today's article is based on Deke's Techniques 054 and 055, presented by lynda.com. The base image comes from the Fotolia image library. Read more » 

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Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing or a Pencil Sketch (in Photoshop)

In this article, we'll take a portrait photo and give it a hand-drawn touch by turning it into first an ink drawing (below left) and then a pencil sketch (right). As you can see, this guy is quite surprised at how well the technique works.

Creating an ink drawing or a pencil sketch in Photoshop

We'll start by making the ink effect using a Smart Object, Gaussian Blur, High Pass, the seldom-used Note Paper filter, another round of Gaussian Blur, a Levels adjustment layer, the Multiply blend mode, and a little bit of luminance blending. It's hardly a one-click solution, but the results are amazing. Plus, this flexible approach can produce several interesting alternative looks, including a credible pencil effect, also documented here.

Today's article is based on Deke's Techniques 026 and 027, presented by lynda.com. (The ink effect is also documented in video form on this site.) Read more » 

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Bigger makes Better: Adding a Magnifying Glass to your Graphic Designs with Photoshop

In this article, we'll add a stock photo of a magnifying glass to a type design, set it up so that the glass magnifies a portion of the text behind it, and add a hint of tint to the glass itself. We'll also create a custom drop shadow---one that looks realistic---because the default drop shadow doesn't quite do the job.

final image

Today's article comes from Deke's Techniques 062, presented by lynda.com. Read more » 

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