Martini Hour 098, In Which Colleen Eats Great Photoshop Brain

Braaaaaaaaains. Yummy tasty smart brains are what the dekeLounge zombies like best (after martinis). So this week, I treat myself to two of the best Photoshop-teaching brains around: the aforementioned Deke and the Photoshop Diva Brain of Katrin Eismann. Sitting down with two of the most notoriously effective Photoshop teachers in the world, I decide to quiz them about where those moments of Photoshop learning really click for students. Having just started this process fairly recently (learning Photoshop, that is), I wonder about those moments where you suddenly feel like you “get it,” and can actually whip yourself up a satisfying piece of digital imaging artistry without picking up the hotline to Deke. (Of course, when all else fails, that’s what I do, but once I understood how blend modes, selections, and layers were actually worked—a few of my “aha” moments—I could save my dekeQueries for really complex stuff.

Martini Hour 098: Zombies with Katrin Eismann

So we sat down with Katrin this week to discuss those very moments of Photoshop clarity. And, eat good Photoshop Brain, of course.

Let’s face it folks, Photoshop is not naturally intuitive. It’s sort of relaxing to hear these two explain that even they had to take a moment to wrap their (now partially eaten) brains around new features as they arrived.

To a certain extent, it’s fun to play. But even more important, you must have a sketch in your mind about what you want to accomplish. Or you could spend hours in the Filter Gallery trying to find something that made you happy by accident.

For something new like Puppet Warp, spending a little “sandbox time” (TM Katrin) will help you figure out the limits of what you can achieve. Then you break your image and are thankful you know Ctrl-Z (Cmd-Z).

Photoshop is going to have features you don’t need. Figure out how to do what you want with tools that you like, and leave the old business alone. Some of those tools are just in there so that old school Photoshoppers don’t show up in San Jose with pitchforks.

And if you’re wondering why my brain went to Zombies, it’s not entirely because Deke’s absurd sense of humor has finally infected me, it’s because my teenager has discovered Jonathan Coulton, and particularly the song Re: Your Brain.

We were so happy to have one of our favorite guests on before they pick up the drinks from last call. And where else can you hear the formidable Katrin Eismann deftly use the expression, “makes you want to throw up in your mouth.”

I’m wondering what the citizens of dekeOpolis found as their “aha” moment in Photoshoppery. Come on. I mean: All we want to do is eat your brains.We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes.

Join us before we turn off the lights. Three more to go! Here’s the regular-quality audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. Here’s the high-res version; you’ll want to download rather than stream. And don’t forget our usual plea to subscribe via iTunes.

Thanks, Katrin. And see you all next week! Braaaaaaains.

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 003: Rendering Type in Gold

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 002: Branding Type on a Texture


  • aha! moment

    my aha! moment came when I discovered the edit> free transform function

  • Gratitude

    Deke, you’re the best! I’m so happy to have found your web site via

  • Can’t help admiring your

    Can’t help admiring your knowledge, sense of humor and incredibly awesome works! Thank U!

  • Very cool!

    I have no words to thank the knowledge that I’ve got so far with your teachings Deke. Know that I’m already a huge fan and a proud member of your gang! You’re the man!

    The podcast was excellent! Instructive and fun. It’s always good to hear skilled professionals with such a sense of humor. I think that my biggest AHA moment was when I discovered the Ctrl+Alt+Z. I felt like I finally could actually “walk” instead of just “jumping around”.

    I just want to say one thing about the audio: It was the first time I heard your podcast and I found that the background music was well chosen, but it was a little bit high/distracting too. Maybe it’s just with me, but I thought I should feedback you anyway.

    Keep up the awesome job (you, Colleen and Katrin) because you guys rock! Hope someday be able to meet you to take a picture and get an autograph. =]

    Thank you!

  • My Photoshop \“aha!\” moment

    my aha! moment came when I learned about Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E and high pass sharpening.

  • BG sound

    Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate learning from the more experienced. I’m a “newbie” to all things Adobe and I’m still struggling with the fundamentals. ALWAYS good to be reintroduced to the familiar along with new ways of using these extraordinary tools.

    I concur with Kalihor concerning the bg soundtrack. Please turn down, about 50%, at least!

    Be good and Thank You, again…


  • My aha moment

    when i realized you can ctrl click on a layer to select it

    then even better i realized you can control alt click with any other tool and also select a layer

    then even even better i realized you can ctrl shift click to select the entire group the layer is in.

    whoo hoo!  bet you guys didnt know that! (except the first one maybe, ive seen that mentioned lately)

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