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By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Deke's Techniques: Creating a shooting star in Illustrator

We’re reaching for the stars this week with Deke. Well, we’re actually making one beautiful glowing star that spreads its luminance across a dark sky. In this week’s free movie, you’ll see how simple paths and the deft application of blending in Illustrator can create an absolutely stellar effect. And you don’t need the latest and greatest Illustrator to play with this feature in your own projects. Although Deke is using Illustrator CS5 in the video, the tools involved have been a part of the application since 1988!

Deke starts with some simple paths, isolates them systematically, then applies blending and some careful pen tool machinations to make them dance to your will. You’ll even see how Illustrator blends from completely opaque to completely transparent, and along the way, you’ll find out how Deke creates this striking star trail:

Want to see more Illustrator illusion? Members of the lynda.com Online Training Library® can catch this week’s exclusive video here, in which Deke shows you how to automatically create the repeating effects of his gargoyle’s wings, the sarcophagus it protects, and the fence around the cryptic tomb.

Frankly, sometimes I find Illustrator a little mysterious, but Deke’s Techniques will give you stellar powers in under eight minutes. And if you want to explore Adobe’s vector-drawing powerhouse, you can check out the first course in Deke’s Illustrator One-on-One series. Meanwhile, seasoned Illustrator explorers shouldn’t miss our deep-dive series—Illustrator Insider Training—with Illustrator commander extraordinaire, Mordy Golding. (Start with Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials, for a look at what you might have missed if you started with Illustrator before warp speed was introduced.)

And next week, Deke continues the galactic travels in Illustrator with a custom starburst. Every week, a free technique from Captain Deke!

Related links:Deke’s Techniques courses on Illustrator in the Online Training Library® courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blending textures onto a face in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

This week’s free Photoshop technique from lynda.com instructor Deke McClelland takes an ordinary portrait shot and maps two different textures onto the subject create an exotic effect. The process doesn’t require any masks, but rather relies solely on advanced blending techniques. (You know it’s advanced when Deke mentions the Hard Mix blend mode and the Luminance Exclusion slider bar.) Using blend modes and layers means your effect can be adjusted to suit your taste with no fear of underlying pixel destruction. And no fear of missing dinner either, since Deke explains it all in just over ten minutes.

If you can’t get enough of blending with faces, lynda.com members should be sure to check out this week’s exclusive members-only video, Rendering a face as a cave painting, in Deke’s Techniques in the Online Training Library®. But if jumping into a Photoshop technique that involves the words ‘hard’ and ‘exclusion’ makes you think you’d better get your blend mode–bearings first, take a look at Chapter 28, Deke’s Blend Modes Revealed from Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course. And we’ll see you all again next week with another free technique from Deke.

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