Illustrating In Illustrator 101 part 4 of 5 – taterboy
July 25th, 2011 | Filed under: Design, Digital Art, Illustrator, Tutorials

Artists through the ages have pushed the limits and innovated new mediums to communicate to the world. Color has always played a huge roll of how art was received. In this chapter in the Illustrating with Illustrator series, we will discuss color and the different ways to apply color to our work.

Color Schemes:
Color schemes are two or more colors that are used to identify a message or reinforce a brand. A color scheme normally consists of at least a primary and secondary color. Not to be confused with a painter’s primary colors red, yellow and blue, a primary color is the dominant color in the color scheme and can be any color.

There are many methods to developing strong color schemes, from collecting paint chips at the local hardware store to using applications such as Adobe Kuler. Most of the time we are given a brand identity that contains a complete color scheme or becomes a starting point for developing a new one. Illustrator’s Color Panel is a great tool to create limitless combinations of hue and saturation providing the perfect mood and tone of our message.


Colors From Our Past:

more color ideas @ http://dynamicgraphics.com/.

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Pyramix: New and Noteworthy According to iTunes – taterboy
June 7th, 2011 | Filed under: Design, Games, iPhone, Reviews

We are pleased that our latest application, Pyramix, was listed in the New and Noteworthy section of the iTunes Store for iPad word games.



In the last couple months we have released 7 of our own iPhone, iPad and Android applications. Here’s the rundown.
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Swatch 2010 Young Illustrative Award – taterboy
October 6th, 2010 | Filed under: Animation, Design, General Info



Sorry to waiting so long to post this, if you haven’t heard and would like to participate in the Illustrative international festival for contemporary illustration and graphic arts, you will need to get your submissions in by October 22, 2010 to be considered for the award.

The festival will be in Berlin on May 6, 2011.
Find out more at www.Illustrative.de

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Hidden Marvels in Flash: Jpegs with Transparency – taterboy
September 11th, 2010 | Filed under: Design, Flash, Flex, Games, Tutorials

Ever need a compressed bitmap file with 24 bit transparency, but with the application being delivered over the web, you also need that file to be small? Gif files only have 8bit – aliased transparency and a 256 color limit. 24bit png files have transparency, but are lossless and are often produce large file sizes. Jpegs are perfect compression-wise but do not include transparency, or do they….



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How to Build an Engaging Preloader in Flash – taterboy
June 30th, 2010 | Filed under: ActionScript 3, Design, Flash, Flex, Tutorials


Get Adobe Flash player


The Importance of a Good Preloader:
Everyone hates to wait, especially for websites to load. The only thing keeping a potential user sitting in their chair and staring at the screen, while your application loads, is the hope that eventually something great will happen. If that user is impatient, like most of us, the preloader may be the only opportunity you have to interact with a potential user/customer. The fact that something is moving on screen reassures users that your website has not locked up their computer. We may not think that a few seconds is a long time, but to the waiting user, it may seem like minutes. We should take advantage of this brief moment to make a good impression, give them a taste of what’s to come and develop trust.

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Jump Back in TIme with HTML5 – taterboy
June 19th, 2010 | Filed under: Design, Flash

UPDATE 6/23/10

Google released a great new HTML5 resource HTML5 Rocks for those looking to learn more about HTML5, complete with samples and tutorials. Some of the coolest stuff (animation, transitions) is webkit based, it will be interesting to see how IE 9 handles this. Chrome Frame is an interesting concept for dealing with IE until IE 9 is released, kind of like an HTML5 plugin for IE 6, 7 and 8. I wonder if it will work with IE 9 to enable webkit supported HTML5 features?

I’ve been trying to work on new Flash and Flex tutorials, but keep getting sucked back into the HTML5 vs Flash debate. There are so many new quotes that reinforce that fact that a world without Flash is just not what the future holds in store. HTML5 and Flash a Reality Check

As an enthusiastic Mac fan for over 2 decades, I agreed 100% with Apple when they announced the end of the floppy drive. Steve Jobs has some good arguments for saying that the end of Flash is near, but all the logic put forth to support this claim does not seem to be supported by reality. Flash does have it’s faults, but so do all technologies we work with everyday. Plus, Apple’s track record on picking all the right technologies has not been without error, it did take them over twenty years to add a second button to their mouse.
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Illustrating In Illustrator 101 part 3 of 5 – taterboy
December 24th, 2009 | Filed under: Design, General Info, Illustrator, Tutorials

Defining Shapes

Lines:
Some may think that illustration is all about the lines, comics and other art styles may give this impression. I use line-work in most of my illustration styles, though not always black lines. If you do not use lines in your work, you use color or some other means of creating contrast between forms and objects. It is this contrast between colors or light and dark values that produce the lines we think we see everyday in the world around us. We will discuss the use of line-work and contrast to properly define shapes using light and shadow.

Comic artists may use line-work, but on closer inspection we find that those lines do a lot more then just define the shapes of the drawing. The line weight varies as it contours each element. This line variation builds the foundation of the form which gives the illusion of dimension. As you can see with the simple line drawing below. The drawing on the right has more depth while the left circle looks more like a cave drawing.

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Create Adobe AIR Badges At Any Size – taterboy
December 16th, 2009 | Filed under: ActionScript 3, Design, Flash, Flex, Free Components/Classes

UPDATE: 2/17/10

We added a redirect option to the HDBadge that allows AIR application install badges that are too small (smaller than 214×137) to redirect to another page or call a javascript function. The size 214×137 was as small as I could shrink the badge before the AIR install dialog would not show up (tested on a Mac w/Safari). See updates below.

Are you sick of trying to design around the existing Adobe AIR badge templates. In most cases they are way too large or have a look and feel that does not really match your design. A few companies have their own custom solutions with AIR badges that are nicely integrated into their sites. I wanted that for the updated ChessJam site, but instead of building one badge for each size, I wanted a completely flexible (one size fits all) solution from one swf.

The HDBadge Features:
1. One Size Fits All – The size of the badge is determined by the size you use in the object/embed code of the swf. The swf does not stretch, so you could have a badge that is 40×20 and 800×600 from the same swf, depending on your needs.

2. Smaller Footprint – One of the reasons the current badges are so large is they display AIR/App install error messages. This version hides the button after clicking revealing a console type area behind it. The error text conforms to the size of the swf.
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Building Tiled Backgrounds Using Photoshop and Illustrator – taterboy
November 3rd, 2009 | Filed under: Design, Illustrator, Photoshop, Tutorials

I can’t wait to get back to publishing Flash tips and code, but we’ve been so wrapped up in ChessJam lately leaving so little time to clean up code and make things more component-ized. I am enjoying the break from programming though, doing illustration again has been very rewarding.

Fixing Blotchy Textures:
In producing tiled textures for some of the background paintings and 3D renderings, I found that even though the tiles did not really show any seams, they were creating some weird patterns over the whole tiled area. They needed tweaking without a long and laborious process of exporting and rendering. The key for me was to have a realtime preview of what I was working on, seeing how the tile would look tiled over a larger surface while I was painting in Photoshop. There may be better ways, we always appreciate feedback, but this worked really well and now my textures are much less blotchy.
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HDflix an AS2 FLV Player For Custom Skins – taterboy
May 10th, 2009 | Filed under: ActionScript 2, Design, Flash, Free Components/Classes, Tips, Video

There are many video players and player skins available online, but it can take hours to build something completely custom. Here is an AS2 FLV player that can make creating completely custom Flash video players a lot easier. HDflix is a fully functional player, but allows you to assign your own artwork to the player controls. This is not skinning an existing component, it is creating artwork, then assigning the artwork pieces to each control. Once a control is assigned, rollovers, button state events and control functions are automatically applied to your artwork.

See the Readme file and demo below.
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