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By Lauren Nilsson | Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Create a Custom Smartphone Home Screen with Deke

smartphone home screen

Photos make fine wallpaper, but with the latest generation of smartphones, it’s almost as easy to add custom artwork to your home screen.

The key is to size the artwork correctly and position image elements so they don’t interfere with the phone’s interface.

In this episode of Deke’s TechniquesDeke shows how to use Photoshop to create a custom smartphone home screen, whether you have an Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone.

By Taz Tally | Friday, September 04, 2015

5 Reasons to Use Photoshop Curves Instead of Levels

using Photoshop Curves instead of Levels

You may have heard that in Photoshop, Curves are better than Levels for adjusting the brightness and contrast, and for performing color corrections on your images.

It’s true! You have much more editing control with Curves, as I show in my new lynda.com course Exploring Photoshop: Mastering Curves.

Here are five reasons, with specific examples, of why you want to use Curves instead of Levels:

By Seán Duggan | Friday, September 04, 2015

Taking Pictures for Photoshop Compositing


If your goal is to make composites in Photoshop, then the way you photograph scenes or objects to use in your composites matters.

It can make the actual Photoshop process easier and more efficient—and it may result in more realistic composites, as I demonstrate in my new course Photographing for Compositing in Photoshop.

Here are the key points to keep in mind when shooting images you plan to use in a compositing project.

By Lauren Nilsson | Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Transforming Photos with Photoshop LAB Color Mode

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.13.43 PM

Some people think Photoshop’s Lab color mode is destructive, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, Lab color mode allows you to make the smoothest possible levels adjustments—corrections that can’t even be seen in the image’s histogram.

How? The trick, as Deke reveals in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques, lies in converting to Lab, applying your adjustments, and converting back to RGB.

By Lauren Nilsson | Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Be a Whiz at Blending Motion Photographs

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.02.20 PM

An object in motion rarely stays in motion—unless you can capture it with a camera midstride.

Photographing a fast-moving object is a great way to pin it down, and shooting a series of images tells a story about its journey. You don’t need a tripod; telltale streaks of motion blur amp up the artistic effect. And by blending the photos together with Adobe Photoshop, you can create an even more dynamic image, like this image of the London Underground.

Find out exactly how it was created in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques.

By Lauren Nilsson | Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Achieving Real Pointillism with the Photoshop Pointillize Filter

Photoshop Pointillize Filter

The Photoshop Pointillize filter is not considered one of its more impressive effects, usually because the results are a disappointing mesh of dots on a flat white background.

But you can achieve a more credible pointillism effect with three passes of the filter using white, black, and grey color swatches and some well-chosen blending modes. While this technique won’t make you an Impressionist master á la George Seurat, it takes just a few minutes to pull off—as Deke shows in this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Extracting a Photo from a Smart Object in Photoshop

extracting a photo from a smart object in photoshop

Even the most important image files can be misplaced or deleted.

Sometimes, in our haste to keep our desktops neat and organized, we delete photos after we’re finished touching them up. Or we might delete images from our phones to free up storage space, only to regret it moments later.

The good news is that once an image is brought into Photoshop and converted into a Smart Object—a must if you’re following a nondestructive workflow—the original unmodified photo is still accessible.

And in this short, sweet episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you exactly how to get to it.

By John Roshell | Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The Making of a Comic Book Page: Start to Finish

comic book page start to finish

San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing this weekend. For nearly 150,000 people, it’s a chance to dress up as a Stormtrooper, or a zombie, or a zombie Stormtrooper, and get the skinny on the latest video games, comic books, and movies.

But for those of us who work in the comics industry, Comic-Con is our annual opportunity to meet face-to-face with the people we collaborate with the rest of the year. Back in the days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, comic books were created start to finish in one big office. But now writers, artists, letterers and colorists—like creative folk in many fields—can live and work wherever we like.

For example, the Eisner Award-winning comic Astro City is written by Kurt Busiek in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, drawn by Brent Anderson in the San Francisco Bay Area, colored by Alex Sinclair in San Diego, lettered by me and my Comicraft cohorts in Santa Barbara, and coordinated by editors Kristy Quinn and Molly Mahan at the DC Comics office in Burbank. The comic and its creative team celebrate Astro City’s 20th anniversary next month, so our system must be working!

Here’s a peek behind the scenes at how Astro City is produced, from the moment the script is finished until files are delivered to the publisher for printing.

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