New idea: random previous articles

03
Jul

I’ve integrated a new element on my blog: the random article-box which is displayed below the first article on the front page. I thought it could be useful for visitors who didn’t read all articles but may have missed a specific article. So the ‘random’-box could contain an interesting article you may have found useful if you had visited my blog on that day. I think the ‘doubled randomness’ (the random article in my random-box and the ‘potential random article in the visitors’ mind’) could lead to a lucky visitor because he’s glad that he doesn’t need to browse through all my previous articles if he’s looking for something interesting. As the article count grows from day to day I found this a useful function. The displayed random articles are only extracted from tutorial/help sections as CSS, Photoshop, Flash and Tools because those articles are kind of ageless. So there will always be an article containing tricks and resources.

Article postedPosted in @ 07/03/08

Photoshop Quick Tip: Smart Objects and Layer Masks

03
Jul

Since Photoshop CS2 you are able to use ‘Smart Objects’ in your Photoshop projects.
Smart Objects are very useful if you want to perform nondestructive layer editing because Smart Objects preserve the source content and all original characteristics of an image. There’s only one disadvantage when working with Smart Objects: you can’t link Layer Masks to them so if you apply a Layer Mask to a Smart Object and move the entire layer around, the Layer Mask won’t be moved.
SmartObjects and Layer Masks

 

Article postedPosted in @ 07/03/08

Google Code Jam 2008

02
Jul

Google is hosting its famous coding challenge called Google Code Jam which asks professional and student programmers to solve complex algorithmic challenges in a limited amount of time. It’s up to you what coding language/IDE to use.
The challenge starts in July and continues in August — you’ll have to compete in online rounds against contestants from around the world in this period. The Top 500 participants will advance to onsite competitions at a local Google office to compete against those in their region (Asia Pacific / Europe, Middle East and Africa / Americas). The Top 100 will participate in the final round at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California on Friday, November 14.
So if you’re good at programming, go register between June 17 and July 17 and participate.

Article postedPosted in @ 07/02/08

Expanding Photoshop with 'Magnifier'

01
Jul

When designing website drafts in Photoshop, you may have noticed that you need to measure pixel accurate distances, make exact selections or transform shapes pixelwise. In all cases you’ll have to move the cursor (mostly a cross) very accurate to preserve the design guidelines or mathematically distances. For example, I’ve always drawn an accurate selection by zooming in (using CTRL-SPACE), selecting the most left edge of a shape, zooming out, adding an area to the selection (by holding down SHIFT), zooming in to the most right edge of a shape and finally refining the selection by removing a selection area (using ALT). This can be an annoying task if you have to determine some hundreds of distances a day.
So I’ve crawled the web for an improved magnifying tool (the standard ‘Windows magnifier’ has problems with refreshing in Photoshop) and there’s one impressive (free) tool called ‘Magnifier’.
Photoshop CS3 setup

 

Article postedPosted in @ 07/01/08

Google and Yahoo are going to index Flash content

01
Jul

As it can be read on Silicon Alley Insider, Adobe will team up with Google and Yahoo to make it easier for their search engines to index content in Flash applications. The search engines will be able to find information in Flash files that are currently undiscoverable.
So this are fantastic news for Flashers and programmers who built up rich internet applications and dynamic websites with Flash content. It’s an important step from Adobe because Flash websites are getting more important. I’m very anxious to upcoming topics like Flash SEO and advanced XML crawling. This may also boost Flash’s importance to the web developers because JavaScript frameworks have gained a high significance which could also result from the fact that Flash content can’t be crawled from search engines.

Article postedPosted in @ 07/01/08

Graphics / Vector software

30
Jun

Programmers, occasional graphic designers or beginners may want to use free (or open source) graphics software which can do some basic operations. So you could need an application to retouch a photo, to create a vector icon or to design a graphic. There are many free tools out there which have those features and much more. I’ve crawled the web for some nice applications and I found many fresh graphics tools which are quite awesome. The developers of today are very creative and so their software is getting better and more complex. Most of the tools I’ve tested have some innovative features that let you create stunning graphics.
The GIMP

 

Article postedPosted in @ 06/30/08

Photoshop Quick Tip: Move Tool

29
Jun
The ‘Move Tool’ in Photoshop has some nice advantages you may not know yet. With the Move Tool selected, you are able to do some handy operations that could speed up your current workflow a lot. This also applies to the other tools which enable some nice features when rightclicking with the tools activated. But the Move tool enables the most useful features so I'm showing in a small video how to use those features.

 

Article postedPosted in @ 06/29/08

Obsessing.org: 'Processing' online

27
Jun

Although it’s still a very alpha you should take a look at Obsessing.org — this is a fresh online development website that allows you to create Processing applications in your web browser. The website uses the Processing.js library (JavaScript port of Processing) by John Resig. So you can code and render your Processing projects online — after registering on the website, you can also save/import/export your Processing-code.
For those who don’t know what Processing is: it’s an open source programming language designed to let people program images, animation, and interactions. Processing is used by artists, designers, students, researchers and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. Just take a look at the basic examples on the official Processing website in order to get a better impression.
So Obsessing.org is being improved from time to time and I think it’s going to get a wonderful platform for creating stunning animations with ease.
Obsessing

Article postedPosted in @ 06/27/08

New RSS-Icon

27
Jun

I’ve designed a new RSS-icon for this blog which I wanted to be three dimensional. And this is the result. I’ve thrown up some vectors in Adobe Illustrator CS3 and used the “3D Extrude and Bevel”-effect for the three dimensional transformation.
Maybe you’re interested in playing around with my RSS-icon, so feel free to download and use it.
RSS Icon
Download Adobe Illustrator CS3-file [.zip]
Download PNG [.png]

Article postedPosted in @ 06/27/08

Tutorial: Space Background

26
Jun

In my newest tutorial, I’m showing how to create a space background with stars and a nebula. You just have to use some simple tricks to get lots of stars on your screen. There are some other possibilities but I’ll cover the basic one. You’ll see that it’s a great fun to create space backgrounds. Space Background 

Article postedPosted in @ 06/26/08

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