The graphic designer’s blog. Blog about new technologies orbiting around graphic design
The graphic designer’s blog
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    Free software linked to graphic design

    August 29, 2007, 4:26 PM

    Download TurnFlashAnother article in the “website verification” series right after another one on the subject. Especially as I hadn’t updated my blog for some time ( I was spending a lot of energy and time creating a new look and feel for my website – Don’t hesitate to go and see it to tell me what you think about it ).
    Web browsers change the behavior of web pages, but the way they show up also depends on what is activated or not (or even installed). Some people deactivate javascript to prevent spywares, making some websites such as this blog unusable, but it’s easy to do some tests, especially with Mozilla where javascript deactivation is easy to find (Tools > Options > Content). But that’s something you cannot do with Flash, once installed the only way I know of would be to uninstall it every time to test how your website looks without it, and how Flash detection scripts behave. That’s something nobody would do. Fortunately there is a free utility (for PCs) which enables you to deactivate Flash temporarily, to see how the page shows up on a browser without Flash installed. It’s called TurnFlash. Unfortunately it only works with Internet Explorer, but that’s good enough.
    Download TurnFlash

    , 3:55 PM

    Safari 3 downloadThis post is mainly for people like me who create webpages. Creating a website is much harder than it seems when you don’t know any of the technical stuff, aesthetics are one thing but you need to make sure everybody sees the same thing, if the pages are made in html and not flash. Therefore you need many web browsers on your computer, and if you have more than one computer it can be useful to keep outdated versions of the browsers just for test purposes. But unless you own a Mac, even when you do that you don’t take into account a part of the visitors, the ten percent who use Safari. I hate Safari. When I was working on a Mac I was using Mozilla. Therefore I’m not advertising for this software, but it can be very useful for test reasons. The thing is, nowadays, even though you cannot download an older version of that browser, you should know that Safari 3 just came out for PCs. Funny to see that they even the Mac interface for their Safari Windows port, it looks exactly the same as on a Mac system (but luckily without the biggest shortcoming of Mac browsers: there is a button to maximize your window, as with any other Windows application). Safari 3 download

    August 19, 2007, 4:48 AM

    MalikiAfter a busy week, between freelance work and search for employment, I haven’t been able to post anything here. I make use of the week-end to do that.
    Internet revolutionizes habits. Not only is it a full-fledged communications tool, but it also tends to become the new way of doing things traditionally intended for other medias. You could think about low-cost video advertisement especially prepared for the internet, using Youtube and its likes. You could think as internet based animation, thanks to Flash, such as Happy Tree Friends, which I have already written about. But another type of creation is interested by internet: comics. Sure you cannot earn any money that way (or maybe you can through advertisement if you have enough visitors for that?) but it enables you to become known, without having to go through a publisher, which can prove itself to be extremely selective. If the quality of the content is good, the writer gets encouragement from the readers who come and see his work, and then with a lot work already done and an already existing audience, publishing companies are not out of reach anymore. Therefore a lot of people are launching their webcomic, and amongst them you can discover some jewels. One of these is Maliki’s webcomic. Well drawn (if you like maga style that is), short and funny stories.
    The website itself deserves being seen: much more than a blog, you will notice the animated character whose colours you can change, the different sections, one of which enables you to use Maliki as a doll, a bit like the Simpsons movie avatar creation section I’ve already written about.
    Maliki’s webcomic

    August 9, 2007, 3:48 AM

    Happy Tree FriendsIt’s already a classic but everybody doesn’t know about them. A success story: this animation started as internet animations only, making use of Flash technology, to finish displayed on the TV / sold on DVDs. Such a success they modified the way they were making the episodes to add some post-production to the Flash animations, and the latest episode as shown as streaming videos instead of Flash. How dis they manage to do that with a free and on demand broadcast? Simply with a concept original enough to create a buzz over the internet, and by putting some advertisements before each episode, so that they could make some money out of them. The concept? Very cute characters and music, and Tex Avery style stories… but including some blood. To discover them I recommend the episodes from the Top Ten: Not only they are supposed to be the best, but they include some of the old full vector episodes, therefore cleaner, in the new ones compression makes them not as enjoyable watching.
    Happy Tree Friends official website

    August 4, 2007, 2:46 AM

    Avatar SouthparkIt’s trendy : creating avatars based on famous animated series, such as the Simpsons or Southpark. You chose your colour, hairstyle, eyes shape… If you don’t know what an avatar is, it’s an image which represents you, shown every time you add a message on a forum, or when you discuss with someone on instant messaging software ( Skype, MSN… ). Yet another extremely unuseful invention, which therefore proves itself to be extremely necessary.
    Create a Simpson avatar ( click on Create your Simpson avatar )
    Create a Southpark avatar

    July 27, 2007, 1:56 AM

    Mini-villeSomeone 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.
    My town
    And the website from which you can destroy…

    July 22, 2007, 5:55 PM

    Creabook Disclaimer : sorry these are French websites, as I don’t know about English speaking online books.
    You are a graphic designer and you know that becoming known goes through a we presence. But being a graphic designer doesn’t mean you know how to do everything. Creating a blog requires having some technical knowledge, and a website serving the purpose of an online book even more. You need to do dome coding, html, css, php, mysql, javascript, actionscript and more, knowing how to use the WYSIWYG side of Dreamweaver to create web pages is not enough. Bugger… At first it seemed easy to create web pages…
    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

    KibaHere 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 19, 2007, 10:47 PM

    Matto 4I’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…
    Matto 4
    other mods

    Tuesday & ArkAnother 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

    CaptureFluxYou 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 :
    CaptureFlux website