Deke’s Techniques 002: Branding Type on a Texture

iques?trk=embed_lil" title="Watch a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects from computer graphics guru Deke McClelland.">Deke's Techniques by Deke McClelland

Hey gang,

Today, I am on a plane flying halfway across the world on a week-long vacation. But thanks to the miracle of me writing this post four days in advance, I appear to be “here” today. Wherever “here” is.

Anyway, “here’s” the thing: Today marks the second in my “never-ending” series of Deke’s Techniques. (That’s right: I will die, you will die, the human race will die, the robot overlords who destroyed us will die. And yet—I don’t understand how—Deke’s Techniques will continue. When the Vulcans discover Earth, this is all they will find. I know, when I first heard, I was like: how messed up is that?)

Today’s episode is about using type in Photoshop to brand an image. Imagine that your image is a cow or a pig. And the type is a big hot branding iron. Only much gentler on both the giver and receiver. (Come on, no one wants to hurt livestock! Unless, you know, if a cheerful young fattened pig accidentally died, in which case I’d totally throw down for a plate-full of its bacon.) Here’s Colleen’s official description:

It’s a blog post. It’s a podcast. It’s another quick step-by-step tutorial from  author Deke McClelland! However you think of it, we were thrilled with the positive feedback you provided for last week’s preview episode of Deke’s Techniques, “Creating Ice Type.” This week, Deke’s Techniques becomes a full-fledged course in the Online Training Library where members can go to review all the episodes to date and find a new members-only entry to the course. Meanwhile, we’re happy to share another free episode with everyone.

This week’s technique features Deke showing you how to virtually brand your chosen type onto any surface imaginable in Photoshop. The specific background (leather, cowhide, parchment, corrugated paper) doesn’t matter. (In fact, for Thanksgiving, Deke employed this technique on my very hand. Totally painless, except for holding my hand in the right position to make the turkey’s eyes goggle correctly.) The key to this technique is turning your background (or my turkey hand) into a displacement map, then applying some Burn tool action and a little bit of Bevel and Emboss. Check it out, and we’ll see you next week for another quick technique!

And thanks for letting us know how these quick-burst tutorials fit into your training needs. Keep the feedback coming!

The Online Training Library will include two follow-up Deke’s Techniques: “Creating an Image-Branding Machine” and “Capturing Effects with Layer Comps.” Of course, to see those, you’ll have to invest in your learning. But don’t do it! Seriously, the robot overlords tell me it’ll be much easier to obliterate humanity if we’re all dull and docile. All hail the robots!

Next entry:Martini Hour 098, In Which Colleen Eats Great Photoshop Brain

Previous entry:Martini Hour 097, In Which We Hype That Thing That Just Happened Two Days Ago

  • Ciao Deke…how was Venezia??

    Be sure that I will keep watching…!!

    You cannot imagine how great and fun learning technics from you are…!!

    A million thanks

    All the best from France


  • Finding the textures

    I’m having difficulty finding the textures on Fotolia that you’re using. Searching for ‘strikker’ doesn’t help… I’ve tried “gold” “gold texture” etc…

    If you could provide a link or something to the exact texture you’re using, that would be awesome. I’ve been a subscriber since 2003. Would be nice to have these textures as exercise files, but I guess they’re stock. I’m having difficulty trying to find free textures similar to the ones you’re using, as I don’t really want to buy a texture just to do an exercise. Guess I’ll just suck it up and use something that doesn’t look as good just to get the technique down.

    Thanks for the quality videos - both here and on

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