I Want to Know Your Thoughts!

Hey gang!

Each and every week, until the sun bashes into the moon—crazy as it may sound, those are the terms of my contract—I’ll be recording a free weekly episode of Deke’s Techniques. With a few additional episodes exclusively available to members of the lynda.com Online Training Library. Which irritated dekeOnline member SpaceKat, who called me a capitalist ho’. No no no, I’m not offended. In a tough economy and everyone has to make a living. Even me.

But here’s the thing: I’ve now recorded 26 episodes of this free weekly series—by way of example, the image below shows a detail from the results of the upcoming April 19th episode, “Deke’s Techniques 016: Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing”—with only modest input from YOU, the consumer of this weekly product. Please, help me out and get engaged. Comment here and tell me what you want. And I, in return, will give you what you need.

Deke's Techniques 016: Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing

Wow, maybe SpaceKat was right. Perhaps I am a ho’. (And by ho’, I mean Hell-O-va Seriously Invested Provider of Computer-Graphics Video Training. Which technically is hosipocgvt. But, c’mon, who can pronounce that? SpaceKat’s abbreviated ho’ is better.)

In the meantime, tell me what you want. Ho’ or no ho’, my job (like Santa’s) is to make you happy.

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 006: Smoothing Skin Texture with an Anti-Edge Mask

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 005: Creating a Molten Letter Effect


  • Wood Grain

    One thing I can never quite get right is wood. If you could show us a technique for generating wood grain then that would be awesome.

  • Plastic effect

    Hi Deke… I’ve been looking to produce real plastic style in Photoshop to apply it on glass! Thanks a lot for all your videos and tips…

  • Plastic Effect

    Hey Deke, I’ve made my own “Plastic Effect”. I’ve included my google document link so you could download the PSD file and see it..

    What do you think ??


  • technique request

    I’d like to know more about effects like watercolor and oil paint.  Starting with a well edited photo, I’d like to see you turn it into something that looks as if it were done with [wet] brushes on paper.



  • 3D tools!

    I would really like if you could make a serie of Photoshop Extended’s 3D tools. I feel this is the only part of the program not yet covered by you, THE most awesome trainer ever. I think I saw a post a couple of months ago, saying it would come up eventually, but please! Make it soon!

    Btw, if you are plannig to make a 3D course, please include a chapter on how your workflow should be across multiple programs, like 3ds Max and Maya.

  • Workflow

    As a photographer I want to develop a clear and consistent workflow that makes the most of all my software, that’s PS-CS5, Ai-CS5, Bridge and Lightroom-3. They all have their uses but I feel, I am letting them (and some old habits) get in each other’s way. Please show me what techniques are most relevant ‘now’ and tell me what’s really become legacy stuff that’s best forgotten.

  • on the subject of wood grain…

    Perhaps this gets a little too involved for a short video, but rather than just seeing a recipe in order to get a desired effect, it would be really interesting to break down some common wood textures and show off a workflow that can be adapted to several different types. So instead of saying “set this effect to 20,” we talk about the differences between, say, oak and pine, and how doing different things at different points in the workflow can achieve those particular looks.

    As always, great work on the deke techniques up to this point. My girlfriend talks about you so much I’m starting to get jealous.

  • Similar to your ink drawing

    Similar to your ink drawing I would like to know how to turn a photo into a comic book effect.

  • The Logic of Contour Dialogue inside FX Dialog Box

    We need to pulverize the logic of this powerfull feature for achieving realistic FX

  • colorization

    Hello Deke,

    I often need to take a picture of a product and then colorize it to show what it would look like in many different colors. The problem with this is naturally getting the color right and producing the widest range of color possible from a single photo. As color is dependent upon saturation and luminosity, simply shifting the hue is not enough. I often apply a curves layer combined with a hue/ saturation layer and use the curves the get the luminance levels right. I’ve also noticed that saturation applies its own value to a color as well, meaning that a very saturated color, when converted to grayscale is darker than the same hue and value with no saturation…this gets kind of long winded and I’m trying to explain something without really explaining it in full to not make it too long… there’s also Martin Evenening’s techniques of a multiply or soft light layer combined with an overlay and color layer… meaning there’s a lot of techniques, but could you please do something about colorization, how to achieve the widest possible gamut of colors from a single photograph, what would be the best color to start with, a light color, mid tone or dark… also what color spaces and modes are the best for colorization… I’ve tried comparing LAB and ProPhoto RGB and I seem to come up with pretty much the same results, employing both hue saturation and curves or only a curves layer and just adjusting the channels… so umm, yeah, please consider doing something on the above…Thank you for all of your training, I’ve seen almost everything you’ve ever released and I own pretty much all your books from Photoshop Bible CS2 till now. Thank you, Deke. You’ve really helped me out. Thank you for being a capitalist ho, too, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get your stuff at all!

  • Comic Book effect and 3D

    I second the request for the comic book effect and more 3D stuff (Extended).  Your tutorials are excellent and you have a great approach.  Waiting until April will be a tough haul as the image looks excellent.  Thanx

  • What an amazing coincidence

    I show how to make wood grain in 023: “Creating Synthetic Wood Grain,” which comes out June 7. Here’s a detail:

    Synthetic wood grainPlus there’s an LDC-exclusive movie called “Making Slats of Uniquely Textured Wood,” in which I elaborate on the technique in the name of striping horizontal panels across even the largest image.

  • Okay, now this is getting spooky

    I’ve already recorded several Deke’s Techniques on Photoshop CS5 Extended 3D, including a few on using Repoussé. Here’s a detail:

    Synthetic wood grain

    Look for this specific technique in 010: “Making 3D type with Repoussé,” which comes out March 8. It includes two follow up movies in the lynda.com Online Training Library.

    Nothing yet on 3D Max and Maya. That will have to wait until the full Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D courses.

    Thx for the kind words, btw.

  • I had no idea there was this much interest in wood grain

    I’ve already recorded two free movies and two more lynda.com OTL movies, all due out in June. But I must admit, I failed to anticipate oak vs. pine. My texture simulates that faux mahogany that we all have on our Ikea desktops.

    Apparently, more research is in order.

  • First of all, thank you so much!

    I will post any requests I may have, later.

  • displace

    Deke, first of all, thank you for all of the tutorials here and on lynda.com as I’ve learned quite a bit from them.

    I ‘d like to know if you’d do tutorial on the elusive displacement map. I’ve seen a few but they don’‘t go into to much detail on the options and effect.

    If there was a place to upload a picture, I’d show you what I came up with.

    Again, Thank you for the tutorials.

  • Achieve better results when going from RGB to COMERCIAL CMYK

    I don’t own a color printer, so when I need to print anything from Photoshop, my only option is commercial.
    I followed your advice by creating RGB documents, and only converting them to CMYK in the “Output” section of the “Save Adobe PDF” dialog box.
    Although the results were better than converting in Photoshop, I was still very disappointed by the results.
    Is there any way to reach better results? Maybe by creating the document with this in mind from step one?
    Thank you very much!

  • I was going to request wood grain too!

    Cool to hear this is coming soon. Love wood textures.

  • Wood grain techniques for different types of wood

    Really like this idea. It would be interesting to see how the initial steps can be adapted to produce textures for varied wood grains.

  • Frequency Separation as a retouching technique

    Splitting an image into frequency ranges (usually just 2 - low and high), retouching one but not the other, then recombining into a single image.

    For example - removing the high frequency wrinkles from a patterned suit without affecting the lower frequency pattern.

  • Creative Color Grading for Photography

    How do I get the polaroid look? A vintage look? a bleach bypass look? What is it about this person’s or that person’s photos that makes them look so great, and how can I get there?

  • duotones, tritones, quadtones…oh my

    How to
    Create, save and output duotones, tritones and quadtones for print the right way. Everybody’s got a different method. What’s best?

    While your at it, create a comic book effect from a photo. (Big dot kind of POP art thing.)

  • Illustrator > Photoshop Workflow

    Hey Deke! Love your videos! One thing I have not found on Lynda.com (or anywhere else) is a good overview of workflow between Photoshop and Illustrator. I think it would be great to have a series of videos where you create a graphics-heavy web page (for example) and show how you decide which tool you use for each aspect of the design (and why). Walk us through how you start with a blank canvas and create elements in Illustrator, import them into Photoshop, or vice versa, and why one tool is the better choice for each particular task. That would rock my world!

  • Deke’s Techniques

    any chance you’ll be putting them on a disk in the future, as I can’t remember everything. Wish I could!

  • refine edges for hair

    I am still struggling trying to get the refine edges in CS5 to work properly. I definitely need some tips there.

  • Big fan…

    Thanks Deke, for taking my curmudgeonly rant for what it was, a simple plee for more free stuff, and not a critique of the bait and switch hard sell for lynda.com memberships.
    I have bought your books and have viewed 100’s of hours of your tutorials on lynda.com. and have been a member here at deke.com for quite a while. The wee bit of personal attention you gave my comment is the very least you could do.
    But seriously, Deke, you have been nothing but a pleasure for me to have discovered and I continue to be a big fan.
    Hang loose,

  • What to do in your spare time…


    I just wanted to take the time to remind you that the poll you have going includes “FInish the Lynda.com Illustrator CS5 Mastery course”. Take out the big Sharpie and cross that one off the list!

    Having said that, what *I* would like to see you do is ANYTHING that YOU want as long as it is about Illustrator. There is so much more information about Photoshop available on the Interweb that I would like you to become the Illustrator Guru Extraordinare. This can easily be accomplished by concentrating on Illustrator articles/tutorials.

    The Lynda.com series is FABULOUS! Thanks for all your efforts.

  • Please include PSE users in your techniques

    Hi Deke

    I love your techniques - but I can only afford PSE.  I know there are ways to do most things in Elements that can be on in the full version.  So give us some help here please…....


  • Include PSE users too

    Hi Deke

    Can you show PSE users how to achieve the same effects that you get in the full version?  I believe there are ways of doing in PSE most things that Photoshop will do.


  • Remove lighting reflection

    Hi Deke!  Thanks for the series - I’m looking forward to it with drooley anticipation!

    One thing I’d like to see is how to remove reflections that aren’t intense enough they destroy an image but that are obvious flash or spot reflections.  An example of what I mean is the picture from Fotolia artist Maksim Samasiuk at http://us.fotolia.com/id/18877584—how could I remove the light variations so it is evenly illuminated?

    Thanks for asking!

    Jim Sewell / @Deverill

  • Photoshop Elements

    Spangze I am just learning what can be done with PSE.  I enjoy your tutorials and I would to see more about PSE.  I belong to a computer club and many members use your tutorials and have only good things to say about them.  Where can I find more tutorials on PSE.  Thank you.

  • Yes indeed

    It would be such a treat to see Deke’s approach to the comic book effect in Photoshop.

  • Deke help help… man you are too fast!!!

    You are such a whizz!!
    Just commented over at Lynda dot com about your tutorial skills.
    Let me give you an analogy.
    Watched your piece on “Andy Warhol”
    There is me pottering along on the inside lane in a VW Polo.
    You come past me in a Turbo Porsche and I did not even see your tail lights!!
    Hey Deke if I could get the composition the way you do in the time you do or even get anything like I could “trade in my VW Polo”
    Wow man as we say in London “you are the business!!!”

  • Illustrator

    Hi Deke,

    please do some illustrator effects too! Some stylized graphics like swirls and swooshes, how to make paint splatter brushes in PS or Illustrator… basically how to recreate popular effects… not so much because of their style, but just to show how they were created.

  • Technique Request

    Hello Deke,

    It’d be great to see how to change a color portrait and add face paint. Either that mime or KISS makeup type effect. I find achieving the white face paint very difficult. Anything I have seen just looks desaturated/grayscale. White & Black look very different in grayscale and color. Up for the challenge? I triple dog dare you. Game on?!

  • No suggestion yet, but….

    Hi Deke,

    I’m too new to Illustrator to ask for more techniques, so I’m sure I’m on the wrong thread right now. However, I love your free videos and am just starting your book Adobe Illustrator CS5 One-on-One. One setting is not working the way it is described in the book. Is there an appropriate place on deke.com to ask you questions about stuff like that? Thanks!

  • Awesome!

    Cool! Thanks Deke,

    Waiting with anticipation…

    Still waiting…

  • Mask technique request?  are you serious?

    Deke, I know you have recorded 27.34 billion minutes of masking tutorials over the years, however here’s a little technique that i’d like to see your method for.
    Blurring a mask edge gradually to allow for Depth of Field.

    Something exciting like masking a cardboard box, so the mask is sharp at the front, but blurry at the back. 

    I know there are many ways to perform this, but I seem to find myself getting muddled with a mixture of all of them, quick masks, gradients,smart filters and channel palettes everywhere.

    I’m sure you could incorporate it into a technique vid for some fancy effect.

    If you have already covered this somewhere Deke, id be over the moon with a link in the right direction smile



  • Animal manipulations

    I was thinking that you could show how to create those funny manipulations of animals, like bird with elephants head or zebra with rhinos head etc.

  • color grading

    why don’t you try one of the magic bullet plug ins?

  • Wacom Tablet Techniques

    Hi Deke ... thanks for all you do!

    I would welcome an entire series devoted to techniques for the Wacom tablet. I have recently purchased a Wacom 4 medium tablet (as per your request in the PS 1x1 series) and I am quite certain that there is much more I can do with this thing, yet uncertain how to go about learning it.

    Are you willing to share how you use this tool?


  • Repoussé with more than one word

    Hi, I want to take three words and a bar and make them do everything as if they are one word like the “DIMENSION” you use in the Lynda.com video. But I can’t select more than one word at a time, and then use repoussé. If I apply exactly the same dialog box settings to each word-they all have different extrusions and look awful, to put it mildly.

    How do I handle several objects that need to have the same amount of bevel, extrusion depth etc. etc.?

    I’m having serious video playing your videos on Lynda today, it may be the campus network, although I can play YouTube without a hitch. I’ll attempt again tomorrow to continue watching, maybe there’s something in a later video I’ve been unable to view.

  • Repoussé works on one layer at a time

    Then you can combine them using the Merge command. But as you say, you have the extrusion depth problem b/c Repoussé measures extrusion and other attributes relative to the size of the object.

    In your case, you should first combine the 2D type and bar into a single shape layer and then apply Repoussé.

  • Diamond shaped image

    I saw this on a wall in a hotel, so there was no one to ask. Then I thought, Deke will know.

    The picture was a red maple leaf on a grassy background The leaf almost filled the picture. No big deal, lots of photos would work so this is just to give a mental image. However it was set up in diamond shape (4 feet on a side) and to make it even more complicated, the diamond was cut into 4 squares and printed on canvas, then mounted almost flush.

    Made a great presentation. So, I tried all sorts of rotation ideas, including a larger canvas, but haven’t found the magic formula.

    Any ideas, Deke? 

    Steve Kalman

  • Synthetic Wood

    Here is some fake wood I made by rendering fibers and sharpening them.


  • Type effect

    I have been trying to make type appear as if were made of glass, but just can’t get the look of real glass. I have tried all sorts of effects, blending options, fill, and opacity but just can’t seem to get a believable result, at least not for me anyway. I am by the way my own worst critic. The type always appears to resemble a somewhat muddy plastic not the clear , distorting and highly reflective true glass. Some help in the form of a “Deke’s techniques” would be awsome.

    Thanks, tonyb2760

  • making the wood grain look weathered

    I watched both your videos on making synthetic wood grain on Lynda.com. What I wanted to know is, how would you make the wood slats look old and weathered. Like it was from the old west?

  • Illustrator to Photoshop

    I would really like to see some more quick tutorials on how to move things between applications.  I am trying to move a path from Illustrator to Photoshop and I can’t paste into Photoshop.  The paste option is always grayed out.  Someone suggested its the preference files but I’ve checked them and they seem good.  Having tutorials to revert back to in situations like this would be bonus, particularly by one of the best instructors on the net. (How’s that for a plug).

  • my suggestion

    Hi Steve

    Deke would know best, but here’s my 2 bits.

    create a new document 4ft x 4ft.

    paste your image (sized appropriately of course) into this document
    If you have many image layers, group them.
    Rotate your image layer or group (not the canvas) by 45 degrees.
    Slice the document into 2x2 squares
    Save your slices.
    Print each slice on canvas
    Arrange them so your image is upright

    Voila. you’re done.

    Let me know if this approach worked for you. smile

  • Amazing…

    Deke,  I noticed that the Photoshop CS5 One-on-One Advanced / Mastery are available on DVD but not through Amazon (UK), any chance this will happen?

    I have bought the Photoshop CS4 Channels and Masks, Adobe Photoshop CS5 One-On-One and really found them an amazing source of techniques and tips which helped me understand how to apply Photoshop tools to best effect.

    I am spending almost all my spare time using Photoshop (any filters which increase the number of hours in the day).

    I think your books and video tutorials are a great source of information and have made a difference to myself.  So I’m just happy to have access to such a great source of knowledge.

    Keep up the great work!!


  • 1on 1 Fundamentals - Shape Combination Tip for Rotated Shapes

    Deke - Do I get the tip of the day award?  One on One Fundamentals for Illustrator, video 609: Combine the “Cross” shapes with the Blob tool in one easy step at the point of intersection instead of using the Shape Builder tool in several steps!

    I am a rookie but just a small circle from the Blob tool at the point of intersection for several complex overlapping shapes that share a common rotational point are easily combined in one step.  You’re previous instruction on the Blob tool was my inspiration.  Thanks

  • Setting up Keyboard shortcuts

    I have your book, Adobe Photoshop CS5 one-on-one.
    In the section where you adjust keyboard shortcut preferences on a mac - I can not seem to change them… what am I doing wrong?

    Does it change and not show it?

  • Suggestion for new topic

    First let me say that I joined this site just after is started and am simply amazed every week.

    I would like to know how to make a specific type of picture/art. I know how to make it as a brush, png, jpg or whatever else I can think of. I just don’t know where to start to make the picture. Here is a link to a couple samples - http://www.designerdigitals.com/digital-scrapbooking/supplies/images/DS431989.jpg and http://www.designerdigitals.com/digital-scrapbooking/supplies/images/EL764272.jpg

    If this isn’t something you would teach, would you please tell me what to search for and I’ll go off happlily googling.

    Carol (aka Fudge)

  • Switching black arrow to white arrow on Window’s XP

    When using the pen tool it is handy to switch from the black arrow to the white arrow on the fly. The keyboard shortcut out of the box is Alt + Ctrl + Tab. 

    To use this shortcut while using the pen tool hold down Alt + Ctrl then click the Tab key to toggle between the black and white arrow.

    You must continue holding down the Alt + Ctrl to use the selected arrow. Releasing returns to the pen tool.

  • Restoring old Photographs

    Hi Deke, I love your edutainment style!

    My question is what’s the best way to take out stains and sticky tape marks from old sepia photographs that need restoring?

    Keep making videos and books


  • InDesign CS 5 / 5.5 One on One book


    Are you going to update your INdy cs4 book to 5/5.5 soon? If so, when??



  • Thanks for your marvelous

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it. You are a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage that you continue your great job. Have a nice weekend!

  • How do you do it!?

    Hello Deke and Empress of the DekeIverse,

    I’ve been in awe at your tutorials for quite a while now as my husband is usually playing one a few times a week.

    Today I find myself in the difficult position of having to write-up some training documentation for a very boring database software. 
    First thing I thought of was that if I were you I’d certainly be able to make it interesting and fun.
    I was wondering if it was worth trying to emulate you even just a touch by recording it instead of using drowsy interactive WebPages or worse… PowerPoint presentations!!!  Eeek!

    What have you used for tutorial recording and do you think a newbie would be able to handle it ?

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  • Small Icons/Thumbnails

    Hi Deke,
    What is the correct way to create tiny web icons/logos/thumbnails that will be full of sharp detail?
    I never seem to get good results.

  • Thanks!

    Your article has helped me to understand this subject on a different level!

  • Creating a Signature

    Can you please show us how you created the signature that you used in Deke’s Techniques # 059.


  • Hi very nice post. I came to

    Hi very nice post. I came to know about your blog through google and I have done something absolutely right by clicking onto your blog.

  • Where is Gloss Option

    In CS5, in the Repousse Dialog Box is the Gloss Option. I have pretty much located all the options from Repousse in the Properties Panel for CS6….EXCEPT for Gloss. Where did they hide it???????

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