July 27, 2007, 1:56 AM
Monthly Archives: July 2007
Someone had to think of it, a Sim City like where the city gets bigger depending on the number of clicks. A kind of mix you wouldn’t expect, mixing visitor IP collection and online game to end up with this bizarre result. It’s called mini-ville, and it’s having a lot of success on blogs right now. I’m not sure how it could be fun, but for sure it’s very original. And completely unnecessary. That’s why it’s successful.
And the website from which you can destroy…
July 24, 2007, 7:06 PM
Not long ago, yet another version of Adobe Creative Suite was released. Photoshop CS3, Flash CS3, Dreamweaver CS3, Imageready… Oh, wait, no, where is Imageready? It makes me wonder, if each software has sometimes had hard to find innovation, understandable considering their complexity, each version brings its share of important changes, for example in Photoshop CS2 the way to interact with layers was a step ahead ergonomically speaking, enabling you to chose many of them in one gesture, with shift or Ctrl ( Command for Mac users ) instead of checking a box left of each layer. Flash 8 offers extraordinary possibilities directly coming from After Effects ( blur, layer blending ). But besides from a finally efficient Photoshop layers importation in Flash (It’s developed by Adobe after all) and a new script language ( the apparition of Actionscript 3, Actionscript 2 won’t have lived long, compared to the very first one. And it’s step ahead for developers who want something completely logical. Not for graphic designers for whom it’s even more complicated than before, making them have to work in team with developers when they could do everything themselves before ) it looks exactly the same as before. And in Photoshop, I don’t really see what’s new.
July 22, 2007, 5:55 PM
Disclaimer : sorry these are French websites, as I don’t know about English speaking online books.
Not exhaustive is the amount of graphic designers who know coding, it seems very abstract for somebody who is specialized in image creation. People tend to think this is for software developers, and put in that category graphic designers who have taken the time of acquiring knowledge in that field.
Even when you are able to create a full website with a CMS, you need to pay for a host if you want specific kinds of functions, avoid horrible advertisement, and avoid your content being deleted from time to time based on your host’s mood, because some stuff would be too heavy for free hosting, even though nothing states that… Or because you want to avoid very slow loading pages…
That’s not a problem as there are some excellent free online tools to promote your creations, without the need of being tech savvy, and without having to handle the hosting aspect :
Creabook, certainly the most famous, owned by Etapes magazine
Ultrabook, not as famous but much more powerful in terms of functions you find in it
ID Flux, technically impressive for a Flash website, it has as a disadvantage of hiding out capital information for head hunters who don’t pay to get them, such as last name, mail, work experience…
, 4:56 PM
Here you go, it only needed mixing two new technologies to revolutionize webpages and their usage. Dailymotion (or any other video sharing website) and blogs. Thanks to that mix, you can find TV series and TV animations full screen over the internet. Compared to TV it has the advantage of letting you chose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it. Compared to VOD… of being free of charge. And compared to Peer to Peer (Kazaa, Emule, Limewire) to be instantaneous, accessible to everybody, but especially (and that’s a huge advantage) legal on the watcher’s side (Not the uploader’s, but you don’t care if you’re just watching) as it’s not staying on your hard drive. The video quality is average, so it’s good for discovering something, especially something you cannot find in your country because it’s not licensed such as Japanese animation. But it’s not DVD or digital TV quality. If you really like a series, you need to buy it in order to have better quality.
There has been a big cleaning up of websites which had streaming TV series, I therefore deleted the two links I had posted here. I don’t understand that policy of fighting against streaming TV series diffusion, considering the quality is not very good, and that they don’t stay on the hard drive, therefore a good way of getting customers for a better quality DVD… Maybe I’m wrong but I think that is just favoring peer to peer, downloading of the videos which can be of even better quality than DVDs, and completely illegal. I especially don’t understand as these websites just gather information, links from elsewhere, on websites considered legal.
For example :
On Dailymotion, if you search with the search engine a TV series you like, you will probably find it in full.
July 20, 2007, 5:15 AM
A small article on private sales, not because I’ve been a graphic designer during three months for the second biggest website in this sector in France but because it’s an important internet phenomenon over the internet specifically in my country, they are the most beautiful e-commerce websites, and everybody doesn’t know about them. Private, or flash sales, is a French phenomenon which was launched by the leader vente-privee.com. It’s an online store accessible only to the people who have subscribed to the website, with famous brands for a determined period. Sales are announced through newsletters linking to beautiful motion design animations advertising on the brand which is going to be sold at that point, the kind of products you will find, and the dates. When that time lapse is finished everything (or nearly everything) which was being sold is sold, buyers feeling somewhat privileged. That’s because the stocks are small but for a specific time-lapse, thus enabling very attractive prices on products which generally can be very expensive. They generally sell clothes, but the leader recently surprised everybody by selling… cars. And they sold all of their stock! Leader who considers it has enough clients to stop accepting subscriptions to its website, unless you are “introduced” by another user. Yet another way of giving the impression of being privileged. With that objective in mind, all of the graphic design is top of range, whether it’s the motion design of the announcements or the websites themselves. Just look at vente-privee.com’s homepage to get an idea, especially keeping in mind they change it every month… A lot of this companies are opening branches abroad at this time. Some of these websites: vente-privee.com, the leader. AchatVIP.com, the second biggest. Fruitrouge.com: not one of the leaders yet but they have put a special attention to aesthetics.
, 2:50 AM
This is a French website, but still I like the concept so it’s worth a post in English. It’s not an extraordinary websites directory, and it just looks like any other one. What I like about it is their selection type, especially for a graphic designer who has chosen a graphical identity with a predominant colour: sites are categorized by colours. Who am I speaking about? Hum I don’t know… But the worst is that my website is not even in there :
, 1:52 AM
When you have a Tablet PC, you quicly notice the stylus you get with it is not as good as what Wacom makes, even though it uses their technology. At least that’s the case on Toshiba’s M200: Much too thin, the stylus doesn’t have a comfortable grip, it doesn’t have a rubber, doesn’t seem very precise, and where the heck are the pressure levels gone ? Penabled technology is supposed to have 512, but with this stylus it seems there are only… three. Fortunately, Wacom technology means you can get a spare stylus from wacom themselves, whichever brand is your laptop. But on their website, European prices are incredibly high, twice higher than the amount in dollars. And it’s not the kind of product you can easily find in a shop. Fortunately on this English website I found the Rolls of Tablet PC styluses with an affordable price. After buying extra memory it was a must-buy, and it’s still too expensive when you just bought yourself a new computer. But considering it enables you to have the equivalent of a Cintiq tablet without having to buy one…
July 19, 2007, 11:44 PM
Some people could wonder why I have chosen such an image to illustrate my website.
First with aesthetics in mind, a picture for my graphic identity seemed better than a drawing, and what represents more a graphic designer than drawing directly on a screen… It is a photoshopped picture, but the second reason to that is that I actually possess this Tablet PC. I used to be really attracted by Wacom’s top of the range Cintiq tablets, drawing directly on a screen seemed like a great idea to me, much more natural than drawing on an impersonal plastic board while watching the computer screen, much closer to the origins of graphic design: drawing on a paper with a pencil. But I was attracted like a car lover would be attracted by Ferraris, it was a dream I was never going to afford considering how pricy it was. The problem with graphic tablets is that, for graphic designers, as soon as you want a bigger than A5 tablet with pressure levels or with a screen there is only one worthy brand, Wacom. I only know of another brand which makes A4 tablets, incredibly cheap for that size, but when you try it out you realize it cannot be used professionally (faulty drivers, stylus with batteries). That was before discovering some Tablet PCs which because of competition need to have affordable prices, and are using Wacom technology. The same technology as in the tablets, Penabled.
, 10:47 PM
I’m sometimes by the quality of some mods people create and distribute for free. Every gamer knows Far Cry, a shoot ’em up which received a lot of success at a time when everybody was waiting for Halflife 2, a very linear game in comparison. But everybody doesn’t know you can find free but nevertheless excellent quality extensions for it, excellent for their lasting appeal and quality, and not just for multiplayer mode. I’ve Matto 3 and Matto 4, the firs one is already beautiful but the second one is purely exceptional : even though the hero is still the same, they made up a totally new story compared to the original game, with a lot of humor (a bit like No One Lives Forever 2) and with a lot of references to movies and other video games. Yes I have said story, Not only there is a story but there also are a lot of kinematics and very good dialogue (with good actor playing too, it really seems professional). Graphically it’s beautiful, many very different levels from each other, no island as in the original game (but you do get outside parts, and very beautiful ones too, with sun rays going through leaves…) Technically it’s impressive, for example you can see some bullet shots through which light passes in man sized air vents (a Call of Duty 2 reference), gas bottles become uncontrollable missiles when you shoot their valve, low motion effects… I hardly understand how they could make such a jewel for free…
Another Farcry mod which deserves being discovered is Tuesday and Ark. Even this one uses CryEngine, it’s completely different to the original game, in terms of game-play (its’s an adventure game) and graphically. I didn’t stick to it too much, maybe because too many things don’t work just quite as they should, it’s an end of studies project, which wasn’t initially planned to be published, and you feel that, even though it’s finalized, it could have “pushed boundaries” more. Nevertheless graphically, and through the ambiance it creates, it’s a superb mod. Especially when you know only one person worked on it. That’s a good thing because ambiance was the project’s aim, a very innovative kind of game with a story but without dialogues. I hope the creator has had a well deserved success.
Tuesday & Ark
, 1:16 AM
You have a DV camera and you want to watch the videos on your computer as simply as with a TV set ? Or simply use this camera which has an analogical video in cable as if it were a top of range video capture card, connecting it to the PC through a Firewire cable? In order to plug your gaming console through it for example ? Or do you want to directly capture on your computer what you can see through your camera without actually recording on a tape. That’s possible, and free, video quality is exceptional for an analogical signal, and no driver issues as Firewire format is universal, it works even for stupid people like me who use 64 bit operating system. All of this thanks to CaptureFlux software made by kind hearted person. You can capture the video stream either in DV format or re-compressed, and manages on the fly de-interlacing, an advantage compared to another software I’ve tested. Thanks to it, plugging a DVD camera to your PC enables you to do much more than just capturing video tapes. Here is this wonderful software’s official website :