Sunday, June 27, 2010

AIGA PKN Recap: Lessons from Siberia



It's been a few wonderfully exciting and eventful weeks since AIGA + AIA's PKN event on Thurs, 6/17 at the Rex Theater. This post has been on my mind and to-do list for some time, but a great meetup with other internationally-minded folks helped to bump it up to high priority on my list. To give them a quick shout out: check out the Pgh Foreign Language Enthusiasts meetup group here (really great people): http://www.meetup.com/lauraslanguages/

To set the stage, PKN is short for Pecha Kucha Night -- a Japanese word, pronounced 'pay-cha-cha' and loosely translated as 'chit-chat'. It is a presentation format that keeps you from being long winded; you've only got 6 mins 45 secs and 20 slides to communicate your points and then you 'sit the hell down' according to the AIGA event description:)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

International T-Shirt Day: Pgh Style


What an amazingly fun themed happy hour last night (Mon, June 21st). If you missed it, you missed out!

Lindsay Patross (I Heart Pgh), Brett Wiewiora (Only in Pgh) and Dan Rugh (Commonwealth Press) joined forces to host the Pgh celebration of International T-Shirt Day at CWpress and at Over The Bar Bicycle Cafe (OTB) for a happy hour. Responding to a Fb call for collaborators on Friday morning (6/18), myself and Jon Brentzel from AIGA Pgh were added to this great team to help spread the word to our Pgh networks.

http://iheartpgh.com/
http://onlyinpgh.com/
http://www.cwpress.com/
http://www.pittsburgh.aiga.org/

Great conversations were had and new networking friends were made. Additionally, everyone walked away with at least one more awesome t-shirt than they came in wearing. I started the day by buying one $15 shirt from CWpress (my new favorite) and went home with two more... what a deal?! I won my last t-shirt which is of the Pgh neighborhoods that's by my design buddy, Phil Mollenkof: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Pittsburgh-Map/446144



This Pgh T-Shirt Day celebration is intended as a promo / build up for 'The Pittsburgh Shirt Show.' So, there's still hope for you to get in on all the fun that you missed out on last night. Visit iheartpgh's blog and sign up for their email list. You'll be kept up-to-date on the upcoming event (tentatively set for July).

While you're at it, stop by CWpress in the South Side (Carson and 20th, across from Utrect). I bought my Pgh tee over my lunch break in order to be ready for the festivities. All the guys at CWpress are super cool, they have a ton of great shirts available (http://www.compressmerch.com/) and the screen presses are visible from the entry way. Best of all, you'll be greeted by Art of Board's recent installation -- see all about it and interior pics of CWpress here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=186249&id=133099328675&ref=pb

Looking forward to future collaborations with this electic group of movers-and-shakers. Kudos again to all participating parties for a great evening!

See Jon Bretzel's photo recap: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2240934&id=60713112

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An Age Old Question

How much should the client be involved in the creative process? It's a tough question and really depends on the exact situation you are facing as a consultant.

I discovered this discussion on LinkedIn's IxDA group this morning and thought my subsequent response was worth a blog post as well. To follow the on-going discussion (I'm pretty sure, I'm going to be flipped out on by someone on these boards, so if anyone can get my back, I would be forever grateful:) the link is: LinkedIn IxDA

Q:     Collaborative Design
    Does anyone do collaborative design? Is it a good idea?

    Different people and groups, other than the design group, can have a lot invested in the final design of a product or service. Going beyond avtivies like JAD sessions, how do these individual collaborate on your design efforts? Should they have a equal say in the direct and final detailed design? Do you have any formal mechanism to include other groups in your organization or is it basically a free flow of ideas? 

A:     My response post:
    That's a tough question... I've been involved in something called an Innovation Session (IS) at my last consultancy (Industrial + Graphic + Exhibit Design) where we would go through a process of interviewing stakeholders, collecting and reviewing all research nuggets obtained, discover themes/problems and structure questions to be reviewed at the actual IS with a collection of stakeholders from the client's organization + the design team.

    I am an organized person, so this process is somewhat terrifying and stressful in that you cannot predict or account for the outcomes. You have to just go through it and trust that it all works out. I have to say that having been through several of these sessions, the results/outcomes/creative ideas produced by clients as well as creatives are always quite awe inspiring. As an added bonus, after such sessions, you are forever seen as a magician in the client's eyes and you almost never have to prove your value to them again throughout the rest of your collaborations.

    The tricky part of your question is assuming that the client doesn't know anything about anything (sometimes, depending on the personality, it's an easy thing to do). As a consultant, we are experts within our specialized skill set (for me that's marketing strategy and design). We forget, though, that the client is the expert in their field/business. Sure, they may need guidance in refining that message and making sure their broadcast channels are effective and efficient, but they deal with their business/industry day-in and day-out every day; we don't and only know enough (what's needed) to work well with them.

    As a consultant, if you do your job right of fostering a positive client relationship -- one where the client understands your role and value in the partnership AND you understand their role as knowing the ins-and-outs of their business/industry and having a story/message to share with their audiences -- collaborations can be a beautiful thing. If this relationship is skewed in either direction, it can be a huge headache at best and a living nightmare at worst.

    It's too bad you rarely can predict which way it will turn out (beautiful/nightmare) until it happens -- thus the risk of such collaborations. I think it's well worth it for the huge benefits and creative ideas that come out of the successful ones. 

Your reaction/response is welcome and appreciated in either the comments below or in the LinkedIn discussion.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Time/Dimension


Descend multiple flights of stairs deep into the underbelly of CMU and you might miss a treasure trove of wonder, if the door is closed -- mistaking it as another classroom or storage closet. Stand in the threshold and discover that this dungeon is no dungeon at all; it is a cool temp, well-lit, organized and meticulously clean safe haven. Finally, enter and be transported back to another time/dimension; one where craft and creativity meet. Welcome to the AIGA Letterpress Workshop, hosted by Matt Griffin of Bearded Studio at CMU's Letterpress and Bookbinding Lab.

The master of this domain is pressman Joe Dicey, who (according to Matt Griffin) has forgotten more about Letterpress printing than most of us will ever know. Joe, Matt Griffin and Matt Braun (designer and letterpress enthusiast; Bearded Studio) became our guides for the 11 person workshop as we first learned the bare bone basics to the craft and then began exploring and experimenting.

http://www.pittsburgh.aiga.org
http://beardeds.com/about
http://www.design.cmu.edu/show_program.php?s=4&t=7
http://www.design.cmu.edu/show_person.php?t=f&id=JoeDicey-1

My favorite thing about this studio experience was witnessing how much care was given to the craft and particularly the equipment. A consideration that's completely foreign in our modern-day, consumer-driven society; each pressman treated all the pieces to this process with respect (press, gears, rollers, wooden/metal type, etc.) in an effort to consciously preserve each piece because once something breaks down or gets worn out, it's probably gone for good.

Another great full-circle phenomena of this workshop was seeing contemporary, new school designers learning about this old school craft. The best was when Griffin would use current terminology that we could relate to as designers -- gradients or tint/transparency sliders in Photoshop -- to help us understand this craft. We discovered the origins of most of the terminology that we use today; even seeing/using leading used to space metal type and hold it in place during printing.

It's no wonder that our graphic design forefathers were such great typographers. When you work this closely with each piece of type for an extended period of time, it's hard not to become sensitive to the type's form and interactions with each other. It's reminiscent of working with a giant gigsaw puzzle. My team (Team Awesome, of course) came to this epiphany early on when we were searching through one set of type drawers (a row of about 20) for our letterpress project 'ingredients.' There were so many to choose from that we started picking the unique forms of certain letter/numbers out of each typefamily (1-2 per drawer).

Below are the pictures I was able to capture during our spurts of down time, when I had the presence of mind to do so -- there were so many awe inspiring collaborations of prints that kept us engaged throughout the day + great conversations among fellow designers. I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.




After 6+ hours of play, we each walked away with 20+ prints of our choosing. Now... what to do with all those prints? A book, perhaps?

More than the great prints, my takeaway: I've caught the enthusiasm/passion of this craft and now want a letterpress workshop of my own. It will take years of searching and collecting, plus the need for a huge garage or basement. In the meantime, I can begin learning more about this craft, take more of such workshops and seek out others in the field as mentors/guides.

See more pics (via Matt Griffin) on Flicker:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/45888901@N07/sets/72157624272691174/

Also check out Matt's post on Bearded's Blog (Thanks for the plug, Matt! That's my skinny little chicken arm/hand in the pic:):
http://beardeds.com/blog/matt/2010/6/14/aiga-pittsburgh-letterpress-workshop

Addition Letterpress links/resources for further exploration (via Matt Griffin)

Letterpress Resources:

Type Foundries:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When Good Decor Goes Bad

I just came back from a fabulous referral networking breakfast held at a newly removed King's restaurant. To give a quick plug, check out the the Sewickley Professional Referral Exchange here:
http://www.prorefx.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=members.members&ID=152

On with setting the scene for the rant... Kudos to Kings for the update to their identity and dining experience. Where I grew up near Somerset, PA, Kings was the place to go (2nd to Eat'nPark, of course) and I remember enjoying many-a Roast Beef/Meatloaf Sandwiches smothered in gravy growing up. The dining experience back in those days was country-style family (aka: one huge senior citizen stopping ground), but I enjoyed it for what it was nevertheless.

If you haven't been to a remodeled one recently, it's worth a visit. For better or for worse, they've aligned themselves to be more like Eat'nPark, but it's a lovely bright lit, colorful environment with trendy/tasteful decor and furnishings.

Now for the rant portion... I faced this wall (below) for the entire referral meeting and kept being drawn in (not in a good way) by the use of typography for decoration sake. It looks like the type solution addressed the initial problem of 'Flour' being too long for the allotted box -- see far left block. That kind works and I've liked that approach on other designerly/decorative promotion pieces like posters, postcards and/or book covers.

The problem is the execution throughout the rest of the decor panel. I'm all for consistency, but the 'Milk' block is the one that kept catching my eye as a distraction; its short enough to FIT in the box?! Decor is supposed to be decor -- creating an atmosphere, an experience --  not attention grabbing and memorable (in a negative way) like it was for me. Maybe it's because I'm a designer, but I think my background/sensibility just gives me the ability to understand and translate what other people notice on a subconscious level.

I'm not going to even address the tension created by the type placed up against the borders or that the 'x' height alternates outside of the box (either the bottom 1/4 or top 1/4 is cropped-off). In short, for this huge panel... Boo, Kings... boo:P


Monday, June 7, 2010

Recap/Notes: AIGA Pgh Adobe CS5 Workshop


Recapping the CS5 Workshop been on my list for a while. Originally, I had big dreams of making this a multi-post series and finding video tutorials to tie to each of the suite feature. Since it's been almost a month now, I figured it would be better just to get the notes out there.

The workshop was a jaw-dropping frenzy (not unlike past workshops) and Chris Converse did a fantastic job presenting again for the 4th consecutive year of this AIGA/Adobe speaking partnership. He has a way of making the clear connection between feature and application in everyday life -- making you wonder how you ever survived before this newest version and/or kicking yourself for the hours wasted in the past making a work-around for yourself to achieve the same result that now often one click provides.

A few of the AIGA folks took Chris out to dinner the evening before the workshop. It was my first time to Round Corner Cantina (amazing tacos) and it was the perfect atmosphere to chat it up about past/current events (work, life, interests and industry news) and hypothesizing what the future holds. Chris is very cool, talented and intelligent yet down-to-earth and approachable personally as well as professionally. To further give Chris Converse props:
So, as I mentioned, the workshop was one 'what the what?' moment of awe after another. I've broken my notes down by program and truncated them to their essence with the intent that if you're interested in learning more, you at least have the correct tool/technique name to google for your research.

Below is the first post outlining Illustrator and Photoshop miracles. Subsequent posts will cover the other suite programs. Without further ado... enjoy, my fellow design nerds:)




Illustrator CS5
  • Perspective Grid: used to align multiple objects in space and make them relationally correct.
    (working the registration/check, I missed most of this part of the presentation. It looks amazing and it's a reminder for myself to go back out there and investigate further)

  • Width tool: a completely new way to build shapes w/simple and easy modifications; an alternative to using pathfinder to combine multiple shapes together; change the width of a stroke along node points; apply to anything you work on; hold Option and you can change the width on only one side of any object.

  • Multiple Artboards (from CS4, some updates): align artboards (side by side); particularly important for Flash Catalyst workflow; artwork in AI will be translated into Catalyst.

  • Bristle Brush: a new way to paint on sceen... brushes behave like media files, but in vector (still editable); ‘painting’ in illustrator, then apply effects; uses the same idea as the width tool and if using stylis will pick up on thicknesses associated with pressure applied; similar feature/tool inside Photoshop (using pixels).
     
  • Brush pallet: preset brushes with modifiable settings (opacity, sizes, textures, application of stroke).

  • Stroke Enhancements: (amazing and finally?!) ability to align/distrubute dashed lines to correspond with corner points... star for example; provides a consistent/predictable pattern all around object.

  • Arrowhead Improvements: align w/end point and direction of node (effects on top of vector shapes). Flexibility to do the old way as well when needed to stay at very specific lengths. (Options, hip-hip hooray!)
     
  • Varying Strokes: apply new line styles to one line from beginning to end points; increase decrease stroke = increase in proportion; can create your own caligraphy type; can save your own new settings/alternations as a preset = proportionally apply transformation to any new object/line (fun new happy accidents will abound).

Photoshop CS5
  • Scrubby Zoom (guesture keypad)

  • Selection Improvements: intent is to make transformations as fast as possible; quickly mask/select; before Option-selecting a mask caused rough edges which caused you to attempt to fake it; now, Refined Edge Window will allow you to add precision, set parameters and allow photoshop to do the work for you.



    • Edge Detection - smart radius adjustments
    • Show the Radius - shows you what photoshop changed for you
    • Decontaminate Colors - sample colors around area to ‘heal’ the area (adjust transparency based on background colors). Ex. fills in natural color highlight on people based on new background color you place it on?!

  • Quick Selection Tool (from CS3): click and drag to expland; Option + drag = subtract from selection. Refine edge: work with selection as live or as channel or path (very cool and very fast; captures hair strands?!)

  • Content Aware Fill (Chris calls it “Pure Voodoo”): make a selection; photoshop goes in and samples, retouchs and smartly applies new content to fill in selection; works better when you select beyond/outside what you want to edit-out.
    • Edit > Fill (Content Aware Fill, pull-down); click OK
    • Photoshop will remove the ‘man’ from the pic.
    • My response (after picking up jaw): “I hope Photoshop never becomes self-aware!”

  • Mixer Brush Tool (Bristle-Brush concept from AI): manipulate pixels as if you were working on canvas w/paint; adjust presets (wet, load, mix, flow); creates the effect that you are ‘pushing’ paint around/smear around... looks like smudge/posterization combo.
    • Pixel push to create watercolor painting... started from a photo.
    • Create a custom look on each piece -- apply to multiple photos; pressure sensative as well w/stylus.

  • Puppet Tool (came out of After Effects CS3): manipulate transparencies/layers
    • Edit > Puppet Warp
    • Gradient mess applied to object on layer or layer mask only; cursor icon becomes push pin; click to add pushpins to add a rotation point, movement or any manipulation. Ex: elephant trunk can easily be moved from being straight to rolled up to its mouth (flawlessly); photoshop uses healing capability to adjust for the new artwork edges. 
    • My reaction: Ridiculously quick photo manipulation... like the way that non-designers naively think that photoshop magically works; now it does possess the magic.

  • Repouss√© (3D Menu)
    • History: CS3 - 3D Capabilities; google sketch up file manip; CS4 - Manipulate camera and record info in animation panel = 3D Animation
    • CS5 - Create your own 3D object from anything in PS
      • Dialogue Box (Presets in center; Tools on left; Materials on right; Extrusion Info; Inflate; Scene Settings; Internal Constraints)
      • Click and drag object on canvas in 3D space in real time w/dialog box open. Then go into dialog box to refine/modify the effect.
      • Me: “3D softwear capabilities that we would use as GD are now at our disposal and simple to use (as opposed to full 3D software challenges).
    • Can save anything you do as a new preset for multiple applications; didn’t actually change the object, just the effect; PS canvas is not 3D aware, so you can make multiple objects w/diff 3D axis/effects; move/control the camera or object (xyz axis)
    • Live 3D Object - modify any of the textures/features at any time after you click okay; manipulate object or camera on the canvas with Tool pallet (move object, move camera)
    • Animation Timeline: manipulate repousse across time; manipulate video (frame-by-frame) in PS (since CS3); now you can puppet warp and repouss√© in real time across time; edit (position, opacity, style, 3D obj pos; 3D cam pos; 3D render set; 3D cross section).

Part 2: CS5 Recap/Notes

InDesign CS5
  • Fonts installed per document; no need for font management system or for the user to have the fonts installed (just fonts folder next to indd file).

  • Mini-Bridge: built into all the applications; quick access to all bridge capabilites (file management).

  • Pages Panel (multi-size page capability... finally): stick pages to others instead of adding shift spread; Page Dialog at top (transformation properties for page); can edit page dimensions per page; great for flaps or folds on covers.

  • Rotation on the grab handles (like Illustrator) and Auto Select (no need to switch to direct/indirect selection tool).

  • Track Changes (w/in indd or InCopy story editor... similar to the way Word does it with DOC): Type > Track Changes (accept, reject, delete); great for editors, bosses, client approval; non-destructive way to play with content in doc.

  • Drag/Drop files from OS to Indd: 
    • history - CS3 (loaded cursor); arrow keys to cycle thru; esc to delete one from the loaded gun; CS4 (Com+OPT+shift) to add to a grid.
    • CS5 (click and drag box for the loaded images to be placed on a grid in dynamic frame; click up Arrow to add row; click right and add column); new fitting options: fill frame (w/o distorting) and then move with the auto select; smart guides still in place (equidistant objects).
  • Gap Tool (NEW): live layout idea; ID finds discrepancies in gaps between objects on the page and highlights for you to manipulate; selects and manipulates several objects on the grid together (relationally); select objects or negative space around objects.
    • Auto Fitting - any manipulations you make will automatically be updated to fit as you intended with original. (Object > Frame Fitting Options - Auto-fit check box)
    • Form fitting (non-destructive element): quickly on the fly change the portions of the layout elements with gap + auto fit; gap + OPT = move all objects or set of frames

  • Span Columns Tool (finally); type feature; allows you to span a headline across multiple
    columns; works on style sheets too across an entire doc; found in drop down on Paragraph dialog box, 'Span Columns.'

  • Live manipulation tools (yellow box on the edge of text frame); initates edit mode; corners have yellow diamonds that allow you to manipulate all corners at once (rounded) or one at a time (SHIFT+click).

  • Live Caption: Objects > Captions (follow XMP Metadata); can add text before/after description field you select; Objects > Generate Live Caption (adds text frame and groups w/pic); can edit XMP data in PS or Bridge (file property); Bridge can add metadata to multiple files at once; updates in ID automatically based; Bridge becomes data editor/manager for all files.
     
  • 3D/Interactive Tools in ID: 
    • Interactive manipulation w/in ID (nav, animation, photo advancing; video playing; layer show/hide; pop-up windows); ID builds html, swf file, and resources file (flv, swfs and other needed files to play)
      • Interactive Panel: switches workspace to interactive (animation, timing, preview, media, object states, buttons)
      • Building it: select object, select animation; motion preset (w/preview as butterfly); dotted line w/begin and ending point like flash (manipulate path live on page; select event to happen when... (page load, page click, on self click, or roll over); duration: play loop #, speed, properties; see in Preview Panel - look at individual object or page or whole doc as swf; acts like mini-flash player.
      • Timing Panel: event; can control the order of things that happen in hierarchy. 
      • Object States: multi-state objects (grab a series of photos and convert to multi-state); now all four pics are in four diff states; add button: open button tool panel, add action: on release; action (univeral - destination, first pg, last pg, go to URL, show/hide, sound or video) or one of two catagories (SWF or PDF; timeline based vs. page based); select object and state
      • Save as indd; export as SWF or PDF; ID wrote html file, swf and files.
      • Selecting/manipulating states (double click multi-state to select state - yellow box will indicate you are there); add an animation (event - on state load)

    • Drag/Drop into ID: flv files into ID; media panel (scrub flv video) and control settings (options - play on load; loop; poster frames; controler; navigation points); insert que points to the video; in ID add script to target the points and do an action based on it; add button; Button Tool Panel - target video; options - play from a navigation point; select name of nav pt)
      • You can load external assets to be able to publish once and dynamically update on the server outside of indd.

CS Live Services (free for now w/CS5 purchase); incorporated into all applications (accessible)
  • Browser Lab

  • SiteCatalyst

  • CS Review: anyone can view/review original docs w/out CS programs via the web; w/in program there's a CS Review panel; create a new review and view current ones; program puts file up on website; email and invite others to view and review (opens in Acrobat.com; all it needs is Flash - all browsers are capable so anyone can view and comment); share file in web browser window; enter email addresses; users must register with Acrobat.com (free)

  • Acrobat.com: connect now - share computer screen for meetings; connect, have meetings, have docs to share, create workspaces for workflow; buzzword - online collaboration tool like Word; authenticate other uses who can edit the doc.



Fireworks CS5

  • Goal: how quickly can we make something interactive for client sign off.

  • Native/source file format is png (portable native graphics); good/pluses: format to use; can add it to your website directly with all the layers and info; larger file format; bad/drawbacks: difficult to remember which png files have all of your layers and artwork vs. ones that are just images.

  • Pages - each w/layers; visibility states; composition that you can add interactivity; when importing from PS; you’ll get a layers pallet with the same structure in PS; there is a file conversion when you open PSD; can export back to PSD, though; web layer is a new folder that will open with your file; it’s everything that you’ll add to the doc in FW.

  • Web tools - hotspot tool; click drag over artwork; web layer has a hotspot inside folder; hotspot is invisible (like invisible button in FL); Property Panel - link drop down menu; name of each page with .htm after; select page you want to link to; select all hotspots - multi page layer (master item) or copy them and go to another page to paste (all pages and elements on them are independent, but you can make them master items).

  • Export (dual publishing options... no altering): HTML file and all pieces/pages (html and images; export HTML file; all files; all pages); PDF: activate with Acrobat 9 Pro - comment/approve; shared review (all comments get agrigated to your source PDF file); link tool - you can edit the properties appearance and actions.

  •  Preview in device central

Part 3: CS5 Recap/Notes

Flash CS5
  • InDesign: export file (CS5 FLA); TLF Flash type engine text (requires FL10 player); classic text for FL9 or earlier; ID goes in and saves 24-bit PNG files for FL use; very powerful image processing tool (ex. 200 headshots; add effect; export JPG)

  • Open file in Flash; file doesn’t have any timeline controls set in place; need to add actions; everything in ID has been made to work in native FLA files - everything as pgn files, sound/video or symbols (movie clips or buttons).
    • isolation mode (double click on movie to dig into file); ID also created layers in timeline inside movies
    • only disconnect is that invisible buttons are nested inside movie clips. You have to reference parent clips with AS or cut/paste button onto main timeline.

  • Action Script 3 updates - Code Snipets (Yippee!): click on movie/button; bring up code snippets panel; panel has folders of snippets: actions, timeline nav, animations, load/unload, audio/video,
    • Actions > ‘click to go to web page’
    • All code is imported with correct syntax and FL will made it applicable to your instance (plus it automatically adds notes w/ instructions for editing!)

  • Linked text frames (finally)
    • TFL (Flash 10)
    • Property panel (new panels) - everything is scrubby (position/size; advanced character; containers/flow; columns; color effect; display; filters); similar type properties as ID without converting to dynamic text box - all in one object now; will read in browsers that don’t support TFL Flash 10; but will not have some of the enhancements/features you’ve used.

  • New doc: Properties Panel (one work flow option); Publish - create AS3.0 Class file; main; okay; script written it for your file, independent from fla doc; you can edit AS3 outside of doc;  allows you to work simultaneously with designers on fla files and developers on AS. 
    • Flash Builder: XML, rich text environment; all code/no interface.

  • Drag/drop native PSD onto scene - converts to PNG in libray
    • Fla file format > XFL (CS5 uncompressed doc)
    • Save as folder with XML and all assets; text based files now; versionable; now open in DW and edit;
    • Library Folder - acts like a mini-website; now you can swap out images or update them directly from folder independent of flash.


Dreamweaver CS5
  • In Photoshop: save map pic as jpg (save at least IE6); save file with a series of 3 dots; each diff color; shift file than div and achor tags = fully interactive experience; add New CSS Rule > class; ‘map container’; define dimensions; import jpg as background of div; Insert > Div Tag (reference ‘map container’); Code View: insert achor tag (add class, even if it isn’t defined yet); link to # symbol; achor tags become objects; New Rule > ‘a..’; display - block; background - dots.png; repeat - no repeat; set to zero, zero; position as absolute; container position as relative; all code is generated by CSS; no change in HTML (local rules vs global CSS rules for the objects)

  • jquery - Javascript framework; manipulate all HTML docs; link to it; then script with document ready function; once all page is loaded; you can updated/manipulate anything; built in functions - show/hide, change dimensions; dynamic manipulating on the fly   

  • Spry - Adobe released with CS3 (manipulate while working); select XML file; select layout format and click OK; blue = variables from XML; bindings panel - variables from data set; dynamic XML driven application

  • Webkit/iPhone Simulator

  • RSS feed can plug into XML file on web.

  • Dreamweaver Features
    • Live View or use Hover View (inside DW layout); Non-destructive CSS previewing; temporary de-activing of CSS to see modifications
    • CSS Theme (Wordpress) editing w/DW; ‘Discover’ in DW and it downloads all server files; filter by css and edit your Wordpress site.



Flash Catalyst CS5 (new workflow option for flash users)
  • In the background constantly building code; can be edited in Catalyst or Builder.

  • Open > AI file; convert all to FXG (XML based file); graphic interchange formats for all programs in CS to use
    • At Top: states (similar to FW and PS layer comps); main canvas; timeline (regular and designtime); interactions panel; library w/all layers from illustrator in it.

  • HUD (heads-up display) - choices of all the things you can do based on what you are clicking on; components can be made by grabbing/clicking on it and telling Catalyst to make it a button; States in HUD - double click = inside button and you see states at the top; Button - interactions panel: on click; play transition to state;

  • Timeline is visual - shows the transition states w/every item and ability to preview; visual timeline to see when it’s going to happen; smooth transition button; will create transition between anything different in one state to another (size; location, etc.)

  • Publish to swf or AIR; display-to-web folder; run-to-local folder (to preview on your machine).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Update: Keep/Cut: Facebook Spring Cleanup

Reference original article: http://onthevinecreative.blogspot.com/2010/05/keepcut-100-friend-or-less-facebook.html

So... it took me a while to get around to it, but I began the day with 387; now down to 287. It took me several rounds of cutting, but I met my 100 friends slimmer goal. For those who survived the fallout, God help us all. 

In classic master-of-my-own-limited-domain-style, there are a number of folks who made the cut that I was on the fence over keeping/cutting. I consider them to be on probation... waiting to see them make any of the fore mentioned activity to make the cut decision.

There was something liberating about making these cuts. At first, I was a little apprehensive about cutting some folks... almost like they were going to be mad (still having the long-seeded tendency to care about what people think; it's a tough habit to break). That quickly faded when: 1) I realized that I was reacting to my perception of what people would think and 2) I found it easier and easier to make cuts once I got the ball rolling.

It reminded me of an episode of Hoarders. Most of the hoarders interviewed are not happy about their current lifestyle but have that apprehension and overwhelming uncertainty of not knowing where to begin. 1/2 way through the show (usually with the help of an intercessor), the hoarder makes huge progress, very quickly, once the decision-making ball starts rolling.

Finally, I'm not sure if Facebook is purposely trying to stroke people's egos because I discovered that most of my 'friends' are indeed not people but businesses (as I had suspected in my previous post). However, when looking at the friends breakdown, there are friends and pages distinctions... meaning the pages that I 'like' still show up as 'friends.' Perhaps, Fb would be wiser to go the LinkedIn route of calling friends a more general 'connections' instead.