Every blogger feels stale ocassionally and reading how other bloggers stay fresh and interested in their blog is always interesting. Annalyn Jusay has written her ideas on how to keep the creativity juices flowing. Much of what she says has been said before, but its worth reading this brief article as a reminder of good advice on how to stall the blogging blues.
September 30, 2007
September 29, 2007
The idea of a 3D web creeps closer everyday. Robert Scoble recently interviewed Mark Zohar, founder of SceneCaster. In a 35 minute interview Mark explains what SceneCaster is, and its advantages over current 3D worlds such as Secondlife.
SceneCaster is aimed at the average user and allows them to build a room or scene in 3D and accomplish this in a browser. They can then furnish it from SceneCaster’s rich database of objects or 3D objects that already online by simply importing and placing them in a scene. Because 3D objects can be sourced from existing 3D object libraries this means that learning curve for average users is not so steep.
For those who are already using 3D software you can create and import objects to your scene but it was obvious to me that the main strength of this service is the fact that people do not have to be 3D software experts to create a scene. So users personalise a scene rather than building a scene
SceneCaster connects objects to large eCommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon. Mark Zohar also explained how there would be product catalogs from leading manufacturers and retailers added as the site matured.
I have not been able to try it as at the moment it is only available for those who use a PC. Mark Zohar said that a Mac version was being worked on so I my impressions of this service are based on the interview.
I can see uses for it as a visualisation tool. For instance if you were decorating your home or if you are an interior designer you could layout and work out what it would look like and get a feel for what works before committing big dollars to a new look. I can see virtual shopping being a big thing too because you can see a model of the product before you buy. As I watched the interview my mind was running through possible self contained art projects that could be created. So there are plenty of applications that this service can be used for.
SceneCaster is also connected to social network sites such as FaceBook and Flickr but you can not have in-scene avatars. In other words you can not meet your friends for a chat and to socialise. I think this is the big downfall as it is fine being able to create a scene but most people will want to share and socialise in that scene.
A 3D scene is fine to look at but it will not hold people if the world simply contains objects. Even if they a very interesting objects an empty room is just that empty. For me without people ie avatars the immersive experience that is so addictive in virtual worlds is simply not there. Life online for me is about that ie life (other people) not things online particularly things online to buy. Although I do shop online it would only be a 2 or 3% of my time spent online. For me the net has always been a communication tool first. It is like this very important aspect of virtual worlds has been forgotten by SceneCaster.
For me without people a 3D scene is empty and for the majority of average users fairly pointless. What do you think? Check out the interview and let me know.
Thanks goes to an email received from Gilbert of Virtual Territory
September 28, 2007
The latest edition of the Adobe Magazine is available for download. If design students have not encountered this free mag it is a 30-40 page PDF loaded with good articles on design trends and how top designers use Adobe software.
September 28, 2007
I have been poking around some of the art history resources to be found online and thought some of my students might find these handy
The Web Gallery of Art describes itself as a
Virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 12th to mid-19th centuries. It was started in 1996 as a topical site of the Renaissance art, originated in the Italian city-states of the 14th century and spread to other countries in the 15th and 16th centuries. Intending to present Renaissance art as comprehensively as possible, the scope of the collection was later extended to show its Medieval roots as well as its evolution to Baroque and Rococo via Mannerism. More recently the periods of Neoclassicism and Romanticism were also included.
The Art cyclopedia is a comprehensive fine arts index to artists represented at museum sites, image archives, and other online resources. They state that they have We have now indexed over 2,300 art sites, to an estimated 180,000 artworks by 8,200 artists.
Art history resources on the web Compiled and published by Chris Witcombe an art historian, professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. This is a portal/directory type of site which offers links to art history websites. It is a huge site that will keep you busy browsing for hours.
September 27, 2007
Stephanie Shimerdla of Obsidian Dawn has recently released some more great Photoshop Grundgy and Dirty brushes and some patterns which you can download for free.They come in either brushes or seamless patterns.
The site also houses some good Photoshop tutorials. For students in textiles if you have not encountered Obsidian Dawn before check out her Lace Photoshop brushes and her seamless Lace patterns. Another brush set designed by Stephanie Shimerdla is her paisley brushes. Poke around there is alot of free stuff on her site just remember to give credit where credit is due if you use them.
September 26, 2007
I recently discovered Authority Blogger forum which hosts discussions on everything related to blogging from newbie how to blog tips, to installing blog software and designing your blog. I am sure many bloggers will find it of interest.
September 25, 2007
The Artist a day site highlights the work of an artist daily. From painters to street artists and video artists to sculptors no matter what your taste a dose of art work is served daily. All sorts of work is highlighted and if you like a piece you can follow through to the artists site.
I discovered it through a little app I added to my iGoogle homepage.
Also artists can submit work for consideration so its a good way to promote and expose your work.
Artistaday.com’s goal is simple. We feel artists are under-valued, under-exposed, and generally under-appreciated. We want to bring attention to artists that otherwise don’t get the attention they deserve. If we can bring their art to one person that would have otherwise missed the opportunity to see it, we feel like we have made a contribution to the art community.
September 24, 2007
DeviantArt is an artist community many students already know of or use. If you have not already investigated it do so, as they have a free and premium account options. Both allows you to view and submit artwork.
Renderosity is a community for digital artists. There are loads of resources on the site but you can also display and sell digital art.
Artmajeur.com – Sell your art directly through their online gallery for free. A free account gives you access to an artists gallery, your own mailing list, upload up to 1000 images, visitor stats, guest book, search engine indexing and a lot more.
ArtistPortfolio.net is an online portfolio and directory for artists. The service includes free art directory listings, free webspace, free email accounts and online portfolio creation
The Untapped Source Online gallery interested in emerging artists. They sell high quality prints of artists work and split the proceeds.
The Vision Grove combines social software tools to aid networking and promotion of your work. However you are only allowed 5 images
AbsoluteArts.com Is a database for artists worldwide. They offer free and premium plans for building an online portfolio. The Free plan allows 4 images but since the site is also a rich resource site I have listed it here.
Having your site Listed in Directories
ArtPromote is a directory of artist galleries. If you have an online gallery you can add it to their index for inclusion.
YourArtLinks.com is a large directory of artist websites, art supplies and resources. Fill in your details to be included in their directory.
Blog finder is described as “Technorati’s directory of blogs, organized by subject” Technorati auto classifies blogs based on the tags used by the author.
Google has a blog search engine which obviously is a search engine just for blogs. Results are returned not just from Googles Blogger sites but all blogs including blogs written in languages other than English.
blo.gs is a directory of recently updated weblogs and tools
Globe of blogs you can search by key word or browse by topic, region etc
September 23, 2007
I picked up my copy of the Adobe CS3 suite yesterday. I have been playing about and having fun. One of the first things I tested in Illustrator was the ability to extract swatches from artwork. It was fresh in my mind because I had just read Illustrator CS3: Extract Swatches from Selected Artwork from Bittbox.
It works and its great! Simply put if you select either a part or all of the artwork and then click “New Color Group” from the Swatches Palette Options, Illustrator will extract all of the colours in your selection, and they are added to your swatches.
I often see a range of colours in a photograph that would be fantastic to use in a textile design. So I first used live trace on a placed photograph and traced at “Color 16”. I then used the Bittbox tip to create a swatch palette from the artwork. Bingo I have my colour scheme for my next project!
September 22, 2007
One of the things I have been missing since moving my blogs from a self hosted WordPress.org blog to a free hosted WordPress.com blog is tags. Also I found it disconcerting that often in the forums the terms tags and categories were used interchangeably as if they were the same thing which they are not. This led to confusion in the minds of some of my students, which was most frustrating!
This morning when I opened my dashboard I discovered this at the bottom of my write post panel and immediately did a little happy dance.
I don’t see using tags or categories as a “which system should I use?” question but a case of using both as both have advantages. For me categories are broad classifications of a particular subject area whereas tags are more detailed keywords. For instance if I write a post on a mixed media artist that has work in Second life, a gallery of work online and keeps a blog. OK within this blog I could select three categories to the post, Art, Blog, and Second Life but I might want to note that this particular artist is a mixed media artist yet not have a whole category titled mixed media and have it added to the categories in my side bar. This is where tags come in as I can tag them mixed media yet have a side bar that is kept in control. Tags can further subdivide categories and it is often useful to do so.
These micro categories are picked up by the big sites like technorati . On the WordPress.com blogs when a reader clicks a tag they see posts from all WordPress.com blogs but when they select a category they see you’re your posts in that category. So with tags readers can leave your blog with categories they stay in your blog. Categories are found in the side bar and tags are now just under the title of the post where it says “Posted by sharonb under”. For anyone who is new to reading blogs and there are still many people out there who are this can be confusing. Basically although I enjoy tag surfing I don’t like anything that disorientates new readers or bloggers. I would really like to tags simply listed at the base of a post.
As a side note as we discussed in class last week you can surf tags of WordPress.com blogs via the tag surfer and by the way if you are using a Mac the tag surfer still crashes when using in Firefox but Safari works fine.
As usual Lorelle on WordPress has covered the news well in Tags Arrive on WordPress.com Blogs so toddle over there for an in depth piece on the changes