Which Are the Best of Deke’s Techniques? Colleen’s Exalted Opinion (Plus Your Votes)

My beloved dekeOmaniacs: Of late, I have been asked to weigh in on my favorite of the almost-200 episodes of Deke’s Techniques. Now, I pride myself on a) being an excellent judge of useful information, b) having mad curation skills, and c) being notoriously defensive of my own damn opinion. (Yes, I’m aware that these all might be the same thing.)

But Deke has been asked to speak at a couple of very cool conferences this Spring (the Print and ePub Conference and Adobe MAX), and he’s been specifically requested to share the awesome that is Deke’s Techniques. So it has come to light that we might want to identify those techniques that would best benefit from a live performance thereof. Thus I bring you:

What follows are links to my favorite episodes based on the criteria of ingenuity, usefulness, and visual appeal (plus the reality-TV-esque challenge of Deke attempting to explain them in person within his given time limit).

But let’s face it, most of you are way further entrenched in day-to-day application of your Photoshop and Illustrator skills. (I, meanwhile, get paid mostly to apply my scathing wit, wordsmithery, curation skillz, and barely suppressed ego.)

And please, for the love of awesomeness, share your favorites in the comments. Note: You can see the entire collection of Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com, and if your’e not a member you can get a free trial at lynda.com/deke.

To get you started, here are my nominees and reasons for nominating them:

I picked five, plus some runners up, along with my scintillating commentary on why I think they’re worthiest. (Note, I’ve referred to these episodes by their lynda.com based numbering system (with Deke’s in parentheses).

Episode 035 (was 022): Removing people with Image Stacks in Photoshop extended

Full disclosure, I am the woman Deke is attempting to remove from this photo of the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy. Thing is, as skilled as he is with using this Photoshop Extended feature to remove unwanted tourists, he can’t take away the fact I was actually there. So aside from being a handy technique (who hasn’t needed to remove the memory of an obnoxious tourist?) it also indulges my unassuageable pining for the Veneto.

Episode 054 (was 033): Changing the Color of a Car in Photoshop

I’m not sure why, but I happen to know that this is something people really, really want to know how to do. And, for best results, they may as well do it the “right” way as defined by Deke in this video. Plus I’m sure you could apply this technique to things other than cars, so it gets points for applicability.

Episode 99 (was 56): Creating great movie poster credits in Illustrator

The project is cool and I’m mentioned in it (again). But more importantly, it uses an obscure Asian-language based Illustrator feature revealed to Deke by the wise Vector Rabbi Mordy Golding. The whole story has a mysterious adventure vibe to it. It’s unconfirmed, but it may actually reveal a secret energy source, the key to immortality, or whatever else the heroes of those ubiquitous world-wide conspiracy novels go in search of. Or it may just help you make an elegant poster.

Episode 158 (was 087): Cloning Yourself in Photoshop

Cloning, the other awesome mystery. In this technique, Deke helps our friend Jacob play pool, get in a bar fight with himself, and break up said fight, and more. Not only is this great Photoshoppery but the world would be a better place with more Jacobs in it.

Episode 183 (was 102): Creating a Hobbit-like text effect

Way shorter, pithier, and less camera jittery than the movies that inspired it, this technique allows you to make that wonderful Middle Earth-style text effect that looks like it’s been there (and back again.) That is a reference to the original subtitle of the Hobbit, which I once pretended to read in grad school. Sorry, Dr. P, but Tolkien ain’t my thing. This text is, however, most excellent.

Here are some runner up candidates for your consideration that you can watch from the Deke’s Techniques course at lynda.com, each of which have a certain amount of ingenuity and usefulness:

Episode 062 (was 37) Adding a magnifying glass into a design

Episode 069 (was 41) Creating an Ambigram in Illustrator

Episode 076 (was 044) Miniaturizing the World in Photoshop

Episode 082 (was 047) Turning Path Oultines into a Vector Mask

Episode 091 (was 052) Removing people from a photo

Episode 094 (was 053) Masking a real life shadow

Episode 098 (was 054) Creating auto-inverting line art

Episode 132 (was 075) Adding a photographic texture to vector type

Episode 164 (was 091) Turning a pencil sketch into digital ink

Episode 186 (was 102) Adding dates to a calendar using tables (ingenious)

Of course, the whole collection (using those first numbers listed) is available at lynda.com, including a bunch of member-exclusive episodes. If you’re not a member of lynda.com, you can get a free week trial (which should be enough time to do some DT-watching) at lynda.com/deke.

Definitely nominate your favorites, my dekeAuralians!

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 194: Creating an Andy Warhol-Style Silkscreen Effect in Photoshop

Previous entry:Another Path to Deke’s Heart: Illustrator Fills and Strokes

  • My favorite is still 108/109

    My favorite is still 108/109 where Deke puts a dog face onto a duck. It cracks me up every time I see it.

  • Suggested by a Content Genius, Fritz.

    You are Deke’s Muse of Memes!

  • Draw Inside

    Draw Inside a mode I never really used until I saw episode 132. Here are a few more I liked:
    Episode 148 Creating interlocking octagons in Illustrator where Deke shows us the great and powerful Live Paint tool and sticks it to the IOC at the same time.
    Episode 154 Designing a Hex pattern in Illustrator.
    Episode 161 Creating a Spirograph-like pattern
    Episode 174 Assembling a seamless pattern brush in Illustrator

    (me = pattern kook)

  • Good, feedback, Vectorgeek

    And I did LOL at the “sticking it to the IOC.” That’s our Deke, still fighting the man.

  • Thanks

    Within most of these tutorials there is a hidden gem somewhere.
    What I like most about Deke/his training/tips and techniques,  is that he applies a great deal of lateral thinking to what he does.
    Most enjoyable, I am not a graphically trained person but my degree is in Electronic Engineering.
    ! derive a great deal of satisfaction and relaxation from watching and learning.
    Thanks Deke!! and keep up the good work, do you ever sleep??
    Well worth going over to Lyndadotcom and joining up.