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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Draw an orthogonal cube in Illustrator: Deke's Techniques

Learn how to draw a cube inspired by a New Yorker cover in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques. This technique uses orthogonal projection to give the illusion of a 3D object in 2D space. To create it, you need nothing more than the Line tool in Adobe Illustrator.

Isometric illustration techniques like this one are something every designer should know, but they come particularly in handy for technical drawings like product designs, assembly instructions, and more. Or in this case, just some fun pop art.

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By James Fritz | Friday, July 19, 2013

Creating a Lake

This week’s technique shows how to create a lake and add a realistic reflection in Adobe Photoshop.

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Bert has been creating something out of nothing for decades—and this week is no different. Starting out with a simple lakeless landscape photo, he adds a layer with a blue fill to create a lake. Next, by duplicating a portion of the landscape and transforming it, he’s able to create a realistic reflection with a few passes of a low-opacity brush. Finally, to complete the effect, he runs through a series of filters to create ripples and waves on the newly created lake.

Interested in more?

Become a lynda.com member • See the entire Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy Series

Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, July 18, 2013

Creating metallic text: InDesign FX

This week’s free InDesign FX video demonstrates the kind of complex and subtle effects you can achieve by blending several instances of an object with different fills, opacity levels, and blending modes.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Anyone Can Draw!

Drawing Vector Graphics

Many believe that drawing is a skill you’re born with: If you weren’t lucky enough to get that gene, you’re destined to draw stick figures. Not true! Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn. It’s like skiing or writing or cooking; the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Walt Stanchfield, an American animator, once said, “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out, the better.” The fastest way to do this is to embed drawing into your daily routine. In Drawing Vector Graphics, author and illustrative designer Von Glitschka shares his thoughts on how to make this happen.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Add a pointillist effect to your photos: Deke's Techniques

Pointillism was a late-19th century painting technique comprised of dot-like strokes of color. It got its name from critics who wanted to ridicule its style of brushwork—but the name stuck. If you think about it, pointillism—which tricks the eye to perceive a broader range of tone, without any blending—is a kind of precursor to pixilation. The digital world owes a lot to these enterprising artists.

You, too, can become a pointillist. Learn to mimic the style of Seurat and Signac with today’s Deke’s Techniques. Deke shows you how to shortcut this exacting process with Smart Filters in Adobe Photoshop.

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By Kristin Ellison | Friday, July 12, 2013

The importance of saying no

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One of the greatest challenges faced by freelance designers and design firm owners is knowing when to decline work. Not all jobs are created equal, and just because you like the client, or the pay is good, or it seems like an interesting project, doesn’t mean the job is going to benefit you or your business.

Let’s say it’s a company whose mission you admire and want to support, but they have a small budget and the schedule is too tight for the scope of work. The best-case scenario is that you’ll end up working too hard for too little compensation. The worst-case scenario is that you won’t be able to produce work you feel good about because of the time constraints. Additionally, you may even have to pass on another job that would have been more beneficial to your business.

By James Fritz | Friday, July 12, 2013

Create a displacement map in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

This week’s technique covers the basics of working with displacement maps.

Creating a ripple effect with displacement maps in Photoshop.

Displacement maps are an old but incredibly powerful feature inside Adobe Photoshop. This week Bert covers the basics of creating a realistic shadow using the Displace filter. He begins by creating a cast shadow with a simple distortion and a few masks. Next he applies the Displace filter to a darkened copy of the background layer to increase the depth of the shadow. Finally he paints in some subtle touches to finish off the effect.

Interested in more?

• Start a 7-day free trial to lynda.com today • See the entire Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy Series

Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, July 11, 2013

Surprising ways to do a word count in InDesign: InDesign Secrets

Adobe InDesign can provide a word count for any story, which is a great feature if you’re trying to stay under a certain editorial limit, fit text within a proscribed layout, or measure readability. But this week in InDesign Secrets, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to take it to the next level with scripts.

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