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Deke’s Techniques

Your weekly quick-fix of Deke, with ideas you may inspire or inform your own projects.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #29: Liquify

The Liquify filter lets you paint in distortions so you can perform digital nips and tucks. You can slim people down, edit their posture, and make them look exactly how they wanted to look in the first place.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #30: Actions

The Actions palette lets you record your work so you never have to do it again. Plus, you can build up complex visual effects and share them with others, as Deke demonstrates in this jaw-dropping video.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #31: The Brush Tool

The modest brush tool is one of the deepest, most versatile tools in Photoshop. It's not only a terrific painting tool, but it is also invaluable for masking, as this video demonstrates.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #32: The Pen Tool

Newbies select images with the quick select and magic wand tools. Highly automated, but they rarely work. Experts use the pen tool. It's an art form unto itself, but it always works.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #33: Calculations

One of the oldest, most abstruse commands in Photoshop, Calculations lets you merge two channels to create a new alpha channel. It's a tough nut to crack, but crack it you must if you want to master masking.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #36: Black & White

In the digital age, we shoot linear images that are converted to full-color photographs. Which is a good thing, because it means we can distill the perfect black-and-white shot in Photoshop, one range of colors at a time.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #37: The Fill Functions

Many of Photoshops best features can only be accessed from the keyboard. Like how would you know that Alt+Backspace (or Option-Delete) fills a selection with black? Watch this video. It just gets better.

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #39: Layer Comps

Feature #39 is layer comps, which let you assemble multiple image variations or even independent pieces of artwork inside a single Photoshop file. One palette gives you the freedom to explore.

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