South African Alien Video

This is a great short film from, Neill Blomkamp, the director of the upcoming Halo (2008). This video does really capture what you would imagine to be the desolation of a situation like this.

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A “New Virgin of One Way Linking”

This is a link to a hilarious SEO related link exchange email that I found on the internet….hilarious!

Classic vs. Craptacular

This is a great video that demonstrates the difference between classic design and craptacular design – craptacular/adj./ krap-ta-kyul -ar: A word coined by a colleague of mine to describe the migration of modern promotion based design to a mish – mosh of marketing phrases and cheesy imagery — Buy Now…Limited Time Offer…Buy today Save Today…etc etc…watch the video and you’ll get it.

 Microsoft re-designs the Microsoft iPod 2005 Package™ :

Design inspiration

We all have, as creative people sometimes, somesort of block…you know that time in life when you find it hard to “think outside of the box” — which has really bocome thinking inside the box…but that’s for another post. Anyways, when I’m up against a design block… I like to visit this website for inspiration. www.thedreamer.com.br It’s a collection of great portfolios from all around the world.

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Create glossy/glassy buttons for your designs.

We all know those great looking glassy buttons and widgets that we see on websites – especially made popular by apple.com and apple software – and in software and used icons. Ever wonder how they create them? Well, here’s a short tutorial on how to create a little more eye candy on your websites by adding these. I did these in photoshop (because it rocks) but the techniques can be applied to most any design software that allows layers or overlaying of objects and alpha transparencies. This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of photoshop/your design software.

Photoshop level: Intermediate, Advanced.

1. Draw a box with curved edges. If you make it a vector object, then you can re-size it later as you wish without losing the quality of your image.

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2. Draw a second white box in a layer above. This will becone the reflection at the top. (tip: experiment with different colors…colored reflections can add another dimension to graphic.

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3. (Using the control button in photoshop) modify the white object to more of a trapezoidal shape. This help to add a 3-dimensional look to the buttons.

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4. Using the gradient tool, mask the white layer as shown below. (tip: Experiment with different layer blending modes – screen, overlay, hard light etc. – you might be pleasantly surprised with some of the results)

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5. Add a basic black/white gradient to the original red object. Set the opacity at around 24%. You can also experiment with blend modes here as well. (Using your blend modes effectively is essential to good photoshopping)

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6. For further dimensionality, add an inner shadow (blend mode:multiply) and a dark inner glow (blend mode:multiply)

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7. To finish things off… add a drop-shadow and your text and viola! :) I added a slight shadow to my text…it only adds to the finished look of the overall graphic.

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So those are the basics of doing glassy reflective buttons. Remember, like all light effects in photoshop, subtlety and balance are key ideas….now take these concepts and get creative!!

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If this post was useful to you or if it needs improvement, please let me know- leave a comment…your input is very valuable to me. — theforrester

I hate in-store shopping

So…today I went shopping with my wife and once more, as every time, I was painfully reminded of why I hate store shopping. So I thought that while I waited for her to complete her sojourn through the mini-mall…I’d whip out my laptop and see how quickly I could make tangible the ill feelings I have towards retail stores.

Reasons why I hate store shopping – based on my experience? (And besides just being a guy….)

– I am lazy at heart

– It’s inefficient: products are placed all over the store (on purpose) to maximize the amount of time you spend in the store!! – all we all know how that goes.

– Price comparisons are nearly impossible!

– You are forced to talk to people who’d really rather not be talking to you.

– Retail staff always seem knowledgeable about every feature of a product except the feature that you’re really really really interested in.

– The piece of clothing/shoes that you really want is never there in your size/desired color at that specific moment…come back 2 days later, after you bought the next best thing…and someone just happened to find a set lying around in some back room and put them out…but never at the moment you want it – always after.

– The model/color on the flier is not the same model in the store.

– Finding parking on a Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock …or for that matter, at anytime when it is convenient to go store shopping.

– They are always closing just as you have found what you want…especially after you’ve trekked halfway across town after work.

– Having to come up with a reason why you’re returning it.

– The customer Service/Returns line at Walmart – Yes we do shop at Waltmart…I don’t know why though!! Oy!

+ On the plus side, you do get try stuff out before you buy it. J

Reasons I love online buying.

+ I am lazy at heart

+ No sales pressure

+ Efficient and quick comparison shopping

+ No driving involved

+ No closing hours

– On the downside, you can’t really try it out and returning is a pain..and is usually costly.

What do you hate about shopping?

DISCLAIMER: I don’t have anything against retail store staff members, and I do respect the fact that do well with a potential very sucky job….but it’s just that sometimes some people do let the jobs get to them.

Disney Videos

Here’s something that you Disney World enthusiasts will hopefully find entertaining…a collection of Disney world videos from around the internet that a colleague of mine compiled..some of them really conjure up feelings of nostalgia and some are just plain weird….especially some of the ones from the fifties. Also you should check out the general Orlando Videos as well…theeeey’rre Grrrreeeattt!