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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Assign Brush Strokes to Paths in Illustrator

Assign brush strokes to paths

Uniform strokes can be uniformly dull. But you can transform your vector artwork and give it more of a hand-drawn appearance with Illustrator’s brushes. This week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques takes the Chinese chop you created in the last video and roughs it up a little by assigning brush strokes to paths in Illustrator. Deke shows how to simulate calligraphic lettering and turn your chop into a more authentic-looking stamp, by first transforming the chop into a Smart Object to preserve the original artwork. Click the free video below to get started.

Members of the lynda.com library can watch the two follow-up videos to learn how to to add a paper texture and create a black-on-red variation of their chops. Come back next week to learn how to hide panels that appear by default in Photoshop.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Create Your Own Chinese Seal in Illustrator

Create your own Chinese seal in Illustrator

You can sign your name to your artwork—or better yet, you can stamp it. In this special episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows how to transform your name into a Chinese seal, also known as a chop.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Working with Photoshop 1.0

Working with Photoshop 1.0 One of the goals of Deke’s Techniques is to keep you, our members, up to date with the latest technology. That’s why Deke is here today to introduce Adobe Photoshop, a new way to digitally manipulate scanned photographs. Right now it’s only available on Apple Macintoshes—still a niche product—but it’s worth exploring this clever little program if you can get your hands on a Mac IIci or even an IIfx model. Take a look at features like 2-megapixel image support, large and small brushes, one level of Undo per file, and partial support of color. Plus, there’s the brilliant Save As dialog box, which allows you to save your image as a PXR, or PICT Resource file. But only if you have enough memory.

By Lauren Harmon | Thursday, March 27, 2014

Adding Effects to Reverse Type

InDesign Secrets

Do you want to make your headlines pop? Reverse type—light text against a dark background—is a good design choice. Readers are predisposed to seeing dark text on a light background, so the opposite effect is quite eye-catching. Although reverse type is a pretty standard design element at this point, you can make the effect fresh again with additional ornamentation. This week in InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows how to use paragraph rules (both the Rule Above and Rule Below options) to add rounded caps, cutouts, and patterns to the backgrounds behind your type. He also shows how to build the rules into a paragraph style that you can reuse again and again throughout your documents.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Clean up a smartphone photo: Deke's Techniques

Clean up a smartphone image

Do you ever notice how a photo that looks great on your phone looks terrible on a larger screen? Images shot on iPhone and Android devices (even the newest models) tend to be low resolution and grainy. This can be disappointing when you have an image you want to share somewhere other than, well, your phone. Enter Adobe Camera Raw and the one and only Deke McClelland. In today’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows how to clean up a noisy iPhone image using Camera Raw’s powerful toolset, including options like Clarity, Luminance, and Color and the Spot Removal tool. With a little extra help from Photoshop’s Smart Sharpen filter, Deke shows how to create a serviceable image that doesn’t scream “camera phone.”

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Preserve an object's shadows on a new background: Deke's Techniques

Preserving an object's shadow on a new background

Background replacement is one of the cool tricks Photoshop is known for. It lets you quickly swap out one environment for another. But without the cast shadows, the effect is not quite as realistic. Today in Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows how to change an object’s background and keep its shadows intact. This technique is perfect for product photography, where you have an object photographed or digitally rendered against a white background.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nondestructive dodging and burning: Deke's Techniques

Welcome back to Deke’s Techniques! Today, Deke returns to the panoramic photography he pieced together of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and shows you how to add a sense of drama with the Dodge and Burn tools and a saturation adjustment in Photoshop. When we say drama, we’re talking incredible color, shadows, and highlights. And he does all of it nondestructively, by isolating the dodging and burning on a separate layer.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Build a panorama in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

Correcting a distorted panorama

It’s hard to capture architecture in standard photographs—especially contemporary architecture such as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, which can call itself, without boasting, “the most important structure of its time.” Buildings like the Guggenheim Bilbao and its surrounding landscape are what panoramas are made for.

In this episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows how to stitch 19 different photographs of the museum into a gorgeous panorama in Photoshop, and then use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter to correct any distortion that results. The technique quickly revisits the Photomerge feature covered in previous episodes and then shows you how to straighten and correct details in the image using the filter’s Correction options. Deke also crops the photo and rebuilds missing areas of the sky with Content-Aware Fill—and corrects any of the telltale, repeating details this tool can sometimes introduce.

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