Design - Post archive

Clean up a smartphone photo: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

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.”

Create asphalt and concrete textures: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, March 21st, 2014

Creating asphalt and concrete textures

Continuing with the series of tips from his digital painting Oyster Bar, this week Bert teaches us how to create its rough, weathered asphalt and concrete textures.

Add navigation points to embedded video: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Add navigation points to embedded videos

When you’re embedding a video in an interactive document, like an SWF or a PDF, you often want to call attention to certain events in the video. With navigation points, you can jump readers to certain time codes with the click of a button. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, Anne-Marie Concepción shows how to add navigation points with InDesign’s Media panel and link them to ready-made buttons (complete with rollover states) from the Button library. You can then assign video-specific actions and export your document to an interactive format—and you’re ready to go.

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

Published by | Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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.

Creating water ripples in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, March 14th, 2014

Creating water ripples in Photoshop

For the next few weeks, Bert is going to take time to share some of the techniques used to great effect in his digital painting Oyster Bar. This week he offers some tips on creating water ripples in Photoshop.

Using conditional text in InDesign: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Using conditional text

The best designers try to get the most use out of every InDesign document. They avoid recreating documents to accommodate small variations. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner reveals the savvy designer’s trick for creating several different versions of a design, each with different text and images, all stored in a single InDesign file. This technique uses what’s called conditional text, also covered at length in David’s course InDesign Insider Training: Beyond the Essentials. Using conditional text in InDesign is a great way to address different audiences, different languages, different pricing structures, and more, all within the same document. You simply turn on the right condition and export the version of the document you need. Watch now to get started.

Nondestructive dodging and burning: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


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.

Create realistic rust: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, March 7th, 2014


This week Bert finishes up his trilogy of tutorials on how he created his digital painting of a railway scene, “Damen.” Today’s tutorial explores how to create realistic rust from scratch in Adobe Photoshop, an effect he put to good use weathering the metal surfaces of his painting.