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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Upsampling a composition: Deke's Techniques

Upsampling a composition

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Upsampling is one of the most misunderstood topics in Adobe Photoshop. When you increase your image size without upsampling, you’re not increasing the number of pixels in that image; you’re simply spreading them over a larger area. As a result, you can end up with a pixelated, low-resolution image. But when you upsample your image, Photoshop interpolates or makes up extra pixels based on the information in the surrounding pixels. It’s not magic, not a special formula. But your mileage may vary. Photoshop treats different types of layers (backgrounds, text, Smart Objects, etc.) differently when you scale. Knowing how the layers in your image will react to upsampling can help you make adjustments beforehand that will result in a better final image. In this episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke explains exactly how different layers react to resizing, and then shows you how to use the Median and Gaussian Blur filters to smooth out problem areas in an image before you resize it.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Exporting an illustration as a universally supported PNG file: Deke's Techniques

Exporting a PNG avatar from Illustrator

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Welcome to the final stage in the Deke’s Techniques avatar challenge—where you transform your Adobe Illustrator file into a PNG graphic with a transparent background. Transparent PNGs are now supported by all major web browsers, so it’s a great file format choice for graphics you intend to display on the web. The trick to this technique is to take your file back to Photoshop. From there, you can compare it to your reference photograph for accuracy and make sure the avatar scales down correctly. Deke also shows you how to nicely center your avatar on the canvas, and choose the resampling option that’s best for reducing the size of your artwork—and (surprise) it’s not the option Adobe recommends. Learn all about it in today’s free video.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Embellishing an avatar in Illustrator: Deke's Techniques

Embellishing an avatar in Illustrator

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Welcome back to Deke’s Techniques and the second step to building your own avatar. Last week you learned how to use Adobe Photoshop’s Pen tool to trace your photograph. This week Deke shows you how to copy your path outlines, paste them into Illustrator, and enhance your drawing there. You’ll learn how to add hand-drawn embellishments (like flowing locks and wide eyes) and align your tracing with your hand-drawn paths. The result: A striking black-and-white avatar that will delight your friends on Facebook and your followers on Twitter.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Tracing a social avatar in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

Tracing a social avatar with the Photoshop Pen tool.

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Embark on the first part of a three-week journey that will lead to your own unique social avatar—a perfect profile pic to represent yourself in the online world. Simply provide your own photograph and follow along with Deke. This episode of Deke’s Techniques shows how to use the Pen tool in Adobe Photoshop to carefully trace your features and edit the anchor points along the way. In the end you’ll have a series of path outlines, which, handily, can later be imported into Illustrator for further refinement.

Watch the free video below to get started and come back next week to learn how to start fleshing out your social avatar in Illustrator.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Developing a 32-bit HDR image in Camera Raw: Deke's Techniques

Develop a 32-bit HDR Image in Camera Raw

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Today’s Deke’s Techniques video shows how to merge multiple exposures inside of Adobe Photoshop CC and Camera Raw, creating a high dynamic range (HDR) image. For those not in the know, HDR imaging reproduces a wider exposure range, capturing both the faintest and most direct light in a single image. The classic example is a dark ground plane against a bright sky. However, without a special HDR-equipped camera, you don’t have much of a choice when you’re shooting. You can capture the sky and let the foreground recede into shadow, or capture the foreground and blow out the sky. By combining these images in post, you get the best of both worlds: a bright sky with detailed shadows.

In this technique, Deke uses Photoshop to perform the Merge to HDR Pro, resulting in a 32-bit image with lots of visual information but not a lot of life. He then takes advantage of the seamless Creative Cloud workflow to send the 32-bit HDR image to Camera Raw for further refinement, using the Camera Raw filter. Get started with the free video below, which includes bonus tips on getting multiple exposures with your camera’s bracketed shooting mode.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Painting an eye with Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

Paint an eye using a custom brush

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Howdy, Deke geeks! Are you staying warm? Because it’s minus 2 degrees in Boulder, Colorado, home base of Deke’s Techniques. But neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps Deke from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. This week, he’ll show you how to use a custom Adobe Photoshop brush to paint an eye from scratch. This technique teaches you so much. Learn how to align two layers while keeping one layer stationary. Adjust roundness and angle of a brush. Paint with dynamic layer effects, lock the transparency of a layer, and select, scale, and rotate a custom brush—all in order to produce the final “eye-catching” effect: a beautiful flecked iris.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Converting a photo into a Lichtenstein drawing: Deke's Techniques

Convert a photo into a Lichtenstein drawing

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Roy Lichtenstein was a pop artist known for parodying pulp comic strips—transforming them into oversized original artwork featuring bold color and Ben-Day dots, a tonal treatment used in commercial printing. His images, like Oh, Jeff … I Love You, Too … But… and Whaam!, are instantly recognizable and frequently the object of parody themselves. This week Deke returns to show you how to transform any photograph into a Lichtenstein-style comic panel with Adobe Photoshop.

Instead of faking it with the Color Halftone filter, Deke shows you how to overlay uniform Ben-Day-like dots using a Basic Graphics Dots swatch. This technique also uses the Photocopy filter and some hand-painting techniques to create the final effect. Click on the free video below to get started.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Creating a "pig-ture" with shapes and letters: Deke's Techniques

Creating a holiday

As members in the US are aware, Thanksgiving is almost here. And what is Thanksgiving, aka Turkey Day, without the turkey—the bird so iconic that it launched a million children’s handprint drawings? In this episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland provides an alternative way to illustrate the holiday. Less gobble, more oink. He shows you how to use simple shapes and letters to draw a “pig-ture” of a Thanksgiving ham with Adobe Photoshop.

This technique is perfect to share with your littlest family members, because it uses the letter shapes M, E, W, and a cursive e, along with the Ellipse tool, to create the basic drawing. Deke then shows you how to use the Gradient Fill tool to create a pastoral background for your pig. Because while turkeys may be in trouble, the pig has been pardoned just for this one special day.

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