Are you a fan of a particularly popular game featuring a group of agitated birds and noisy green pigs? Well, in this week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows you how to create your very own “grumpy bird” with Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get started.
Follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
Welcome back to Deke’s Techniques. This week learn how to transform the Dunguaire Castle image from last week’s technique into a weathered black-and-white print with Adobe Photoshop and Camera Raw. We’ll balance the luminance levels to create the sepia tone, and we’ll add some film grain and vignetting. Let’s see how it works.
This week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques reveals how to develop a dramatic photograph inside of Camera Raw—in particular, an already enchanting photo of the Dunguaire Castle in County Clare, Ireland, that Deke shot on his Canon 5D Mark III. Deke applies a series of discrete selective nondestructive modifications in Adobe Camera Raw to achieve even more of a dramatic effect. Let’s see exactly how it works!
To get started, follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
This week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques returns to optical art territory. Deke McClelland starts off with some very basic path outlines in Adobe Illustrator, and then converts them into a seamlessly repeating tile pattern. Let’s see exactly how it works!
To get started, follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
If you’re a lynda.com premium member, you can use the exercise files Deke provides with the course, or simply use the instructions he gives in the first part of the video to create your own version.
In this week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to create a pattern of morphing, color-changing inset circles inside Adobe Illustrator. We’ll do this by blending multiple groups of circles. Then we’ll blend and re-blend those groups to get a couple of different iterations of the effect. To get started, follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
If you’re a lynda.com premium member, you can use the exercise files Deke provides with the course, or simply use the instructions he gives in the first part of the video to create your own exercise file.
Welcome back to Deke’s Techniques! This week, Deke shows you how to assemble a single Adobe Photoshop composition, or comp, from the six Warhol–like image treatments we created with the last two techniques. Learn how to precisely align each image so that not a single pixel is clipped or singed. To get started, follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step. Use the portraits you’ve assembled over the last two tutorials (here and here), use your own images, or work with the exercise files included with the course.
1. Start in Adobe Bridge by Shift-click-selecting all of your images. Choose Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers.
This method flattens each of the files and assigns it to an independent layer in Photoshop.
2. To give yourself more room to work, choose Image > Canvas Size. Deselect the Relative check box. Since there are six images and the plan is to place three of them in each row, you need to enlarge the image by 300 percent horizontally and 200 percent vertically. If you’re using a different number of images, you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
Also make sure to click in the upper-left corner of the Anchor Matrix to expand the canvas in the correct direction.
3. Select the second image layer and choose the Move tool (V). This enables the Align menu in the panel options bar.
4. Click Align Bottom and then Align Horizontal.
5. Select the next image layer. Alternatively, press the Alt+ (Windows) or Option+ (Mac) shortcut to move down the layer stack. Use the Align horizontal centers for this layer.
6. Select both of the last two images and choose Align Right Edges from the options bar.
7. Press Ctrl+D (Windows) or Cmd+D (Mac) to deselect all layers and save your work.
This technique is good for combining any number of images, as long as they are the exact same size. Just remember to scale your canvas size by the number of photos you want to place vertically and horizontally.
Tune in at the same time next week when Deke reveals an Illustrator technique for creating a repeating pattern of circles of various sizes and colors, the perfect decorative element for page backgrounds, print assets, or even, as Deke says, “your next shower curtain.” And as always, members of lynda.com can view the entire Deke’s Techniques collection in our library.
In this week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows you how to create a pictogram of the universal male symbol, originally created as part of Otto and Marie Neurath’s ISOTYPE, or International System of TYpographic Picture Education, collection. Learn how to create this pictogram with stroke effects applied to a single vertical path outline in Adobe Illustrator. Follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
1. Create a new file for your artwork and use the Line tool to draw a vertical line segment.
2. Choose Window > Appearance to bring up the Appearance panel, which allows you to stack multiple fill and stroke effects on a single path.
3. Create the right leg first.
a. Click the Stroke option in the Appearance panel and change the Weight to 28 pt and the Cap to the middle Round Cap option. Be sure to click on Stroke inside the Appearance panel or Options bar to get to the Cap option.
b. Choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. This command allows you to create and alter the stroke independently of the path outline.
c. In the Transform Effect dialog box that opens, turn on the Preview check box to reveal your changes and change the Vertical Scale value to 70%. Select the bottom point in the reference point matrix. Make sure Scale Strokes & Effects are deselected. Be sure to change the Horizontal Move to 19 pt. This ensures you scale the virtual path that Illustrator is stroking here, but you do not scale the line weight itself. Click OK.
4. Duplicate the right leg to build the left.
a. Select the stroke in the Appearance panel and click the page icon at the bottom of the panel to duplicate the stroke.
b. Twist open the properties of the new stroke and click the Transform property to open the Transform Effect dialog box. Change the Horizontal Move value from +19 pt to –19 pt, turn on Preview, and click OK.
5. Now it’s time to create the body.
a. Select the first stroke in the Appearance panel, click the page icon to duplicate it, and change its stroke to 66 pt.
b. Click the word Stroke to bring up the Stroke panel and change the Cap to Butt Cap to remove the rounded edges from the path.
c. Click Transform to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box and change the Vertical Scale to 40%, the Horizontal Move to 0, and the Vertical Move to 54. Select the top middle point in the reference point matrix and click OK.
6. Create a rounded negative space between the legs with a white stroke.
a. Select one of the leg strokes in the Appearance panel. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) it to the top of the stack to duplicate the stroke.
b. Click on the swatch of your new stroke to bring up the Swatches panel and select white.
c. Reduce the stroke to 10 pt.
d. Click Transform to open the Transform Effects dialog box. Click the center point in the reference point matrix to scale the stroke from its center. Change Vertical Scale to 20%, Horizontal Move to 0, and Vertical Move to 54. Click OK.
7. Now to add the arms.
a. Select one of the 28 pt strokes. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) it to the top of the stack to duplicate the stroke.
b. Change the weight of the new stroke to 24 pt.
c. Open the Transform Effects dialog box and reset the reference point to the center. Change Vertical Scale to 26%, Horizontal Move to 55 pt, and Vertical Move to –18. Click OK.
d. Duplicate the new arm by clicking its stroke in the Appearance panel and clicking the page icon.
e. Click the Transform property of the newest stroke and change the Horizontal Move value in the Transform Effect dialog box from +55 to –55. Click OK.
8. Create the shoulders.
a. Duplicate one of the arm strokes by selecting it and clicking the page icon in the Appearance panel again.
b. Click the new stroke’s Transform property. This time, change the Rotate Angle to 90 degrees. That rotates the stroke so it’s perpendicular to the path outline.
c. In the Transform Effect dialog box box still, set the Vertical Scale to 28%, the Horizontal Move to 0, and Vertical Move to –56. Click OK to commit your changes.
9. Create negative white space underneath the arms to simulate rounded joints.
a. Select the 24 pt stroke that represents the right arm. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) it to the top of the stack to duplicate the stroke.
b. Click on the stroke’s color swatch and change it to white.
c. Change the line weight of the stroke to 10 pt.
d. Click the stroke’s Transform property and change the Vertical Scale to 24%, the Horizontal Move to 38 pt, and the Vertical Move to –16 pt. Click OK.
e. Copy the right underarm stroke to the left by clicking the stroke in the Appearance panel and clicking the page icon to duplicate it.
f. Click the left underarm’s Transform property to open the Transform Effect dialog box. Change the Horizontal Move value from 38 pt to –38 pt and click OK.
10. Now draw the missing head.
a. Move the fill from the bottom of the Appearance panel to the top of the stack.
b. Change the fill color to black by clicking on the swatch and selecting black from the Swatches panel. Note you are not actually going to see anything change immediately because you’re trying to fill an open straight path outline.
c. Click on the fill to make it active and choose Effect > Convert to Shape.
d. Choose Ellipse as the shape in the Shape Options dialog box. Select Absolute from the Options and dial in Width and Height values of 52 pt each. Click OK.
e. The fill needs to be moved upward on the canvas. Choose the fill from the Appearance panel and choose Effect > Distort and Transform > Transform. When the Transform Effect dialog box opens, type in a Vertical Move value of –122 pt. Click OK.
Side note: Positive horizontal values move things to the right; negative values move them to the left. Positive vertical values move things down; negative vertical values move them up. It is a little counterintuitive, but that’s the way it works inside Illustrator.
11. Now you need to convert the strokes to path outlines.
a. Return to the Layers panel.
b. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) your man layer to the top of the stack to duplicate it.
c. Double-click the new layer to open the Layer Options dialog box. Change the Name to paths and select a new color for your outlines. Click OK.
d. Choose Object > Expand Appearance.
e. Choose Path > Outline Stroke to convert all the strokes to filled path outlines.
f. Then merge all these path outlines according to their colors. Choose Window > Pathfinder to open the Pathfinder panel and click the Merge icon.
g. Choose Object > Ungroup to ungroup the white paths that are nested inside the black ones.
h. Press V to switch to the Selection or black arrow tool, click off the path outlines to deselect them all, and then click one of the white outlines that represents a void space. Go to the Options bar and click the arrow next to the far right Select Similar Objects icon. Choose Fill Color from the popup menu to select all the paths with white fills. Press Backspace (Windows) or Delete (Mac) to remove them.
i. Now you can rotate, size, or manipulate the figure however you want, as he’s now a single merged path outline.
For members of lynda.com, Deke has another exclusive movie this week called Building a universal woman with strokes, in which he shows you how to create the female companion for your figure. Plus, stay tuned for next week’s tutorial, when Deke shares a special Valentine’s themed project in Illustrator.
In this week’s Deke’s Techniques video, Deke McClelland takes an Adobe Photoshop journey into the eye-bending world of op art, creating a ’60s-inspired twist and bulge of checkerboard contortion. You won’t need a sample file or unsuspecting model to follow along with this one—just Photoshop, some black and white pixels, and a love of (and visual tolerance for) optical illusion.
The project starts with a simple square document, created in the Grayscale color mode to keep the high-resolution file manageable. (You won’t need any colors, so no sense making room for them.)
Next, Deke creates a 2 x 2 checker pattern by using the Rectangular Marquee tool set to a fixed size that’s equal to one-quarter of the total image. Once the upper-left square is filled with black, you can drag a copy to the lower-right corner by pressing the Alt (Option) key while you drag.
With the basic unit of the pattern complete, you can turn it into a reusable Photoshop pattern by choosing Edit > Define Pattern. In this case, Deke aptly named it Checkers:
Deke then applies the Checkers pattern to a new blank 4800 x 3000 document. Click the black/white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to make a new Adjustment Layer and choose Pattern. Then choose your Checkers pattern from the available patterns and set it to 50 percent to fill the document with small squares.
Saving the pattern layer as a Smart Object allows you to warp it nondestructively with the Transform command. Choose the Warp icon from the options bar and set it to Inflate from the Warp pop-up menu. Then set the Bend to -100. The checkerboard is pinched inward:
The pinching motion of the Inflate transformation has pulled the pattern away from the edges. Deke adds more checkers to the outer edges by opening the Smart Object and doubling its size.
Deke then creates the round, prominent part of the illusion by applying the Spherize filter to a circle selection in the middle of the image.
To achieve the final effect, Deke applies two more doses of the Spherize filter, and the result is a swirling, bulging, some might say hypnotizing bit of Photoshop-created op art.
For lynda.com members, Deke’s got another exclusive video called Op art experiment 1b: Rounded Windows, in which he turns a flat collection of rectangles into a curving wall of optical mystery.
Deke will be back next week with another mind-bending technique.