I’ve been a Mac user since about 1990 and, despite a zillion improvements on the Mac and in all computing, I find myself nostalgic for Mac’s Good ‘Ol Days. The days when it didn’t take itself too seriously. The days when cute little extras and Easter Eggs could be found in software, and in the Finder.
One man has managed to bring back a little bit of the quaint times on the Mac by recreating the original Classic Mac sounds for the New OS’s and for the iOS as well.
Free – and Open Source Clip Art. Not only are they free in the public domain and usable for any purpose whatsoever, but there’s also a cool collaborative environment in which you can make your own alterations and share them. A great graphics resource, and an excellent way to get involved in the practical design of these images.
The people at CreativePro.com have posted a page with a link to an excellent free Ebook (in PDF format), named 25 Champions of Design. I’m sure my design students of all types will derive some excellent information from this book. And, best of all – it’s FREE!
Demo image made in 4 minutes with Fumy and Photoshop
Here’s a little program I love! I bought a program named Smoke some time ago, at a discounted price. I thought it looked like a cool, fun toy of a program, but it’s so much more! Smoke underwent a name change. It’s new name is Fumy, and the newly released version is Fumy 2.0.
Painting in Fumy is like painting with smoke, or waves, or patterns or light. Version 1, with all it’s point updates was very cool – choose a style and some colors and then paint. You could place the end results into Photoshop documents (or simply create a stand-alone graphic). The only “real” limitation was that the end-result image was opaque. You could use any color background, but you created an opaque image for which you might have to use Blending Modes in Photoshop to influence the result.
Now, with version 2.0, we have layers! This means that not only can we create images with transparent backgrounds, but we also have some limited blending modes inside the program, and we also have the ability to export individual layers of our image.
The names of the controls present a bit of a learning curve: names like “Flow”, “Range”, “Intensity”, “Density”, “Fluency”, “Gravity”, and “Quality” may not make immediate sense, but that’s part of the idea of working in this Fumy. It’s all about experimentation (you all know that’s a BIG teaching point of mine anyway, right?)
Version 2.0 just came out a few days ago, so there’re still a few “issues” to resolve. For example, the tooltip names don’t align and so you have to trust the icon more than the name of the tool. Also, there seems to be a bit of a problem with the function of exporting individual layers, but you should also be aware that the developer is extremely responsive. I’ve had a few questions over the past couple of versions, and I received response emails the same day!
On top of all this coolness and fun, here’s the real kicker – I’d originally bought this program for $6 via Maczot.com. It was also included in a software bundle I’d purchased at MacLegion.com. But I never needed the new version. Every update has been free – and the recent UPGRADE was ALSO FREE! Any developer with such a cool product, who is so responsive, and has such generous upgrade policies should be commended! I encounter so many programs with ridiculous and draconian upgrade costs, I’m especially impressed by this (see Adobe’s new upgrade policies, for example!)
Despite the few bugs in this new version, I highly recommend it – and the developer. If the regular $19.99 seems a bit much, wait… you’ll see it in a bundle, I’m sure. Also, Neatberry (the developer) seems to have a slew of other cool programs. I’m looking forward to checking them out.
Oh, and the image you see in this post was done using a stock image from stock.xchng, and a quick image from Fumy 2.0, created and composited in about 4 minutes using Photoshop.
Graphics.com has posted a link to a very cool FREE Dingbat font. I know you guys like FREE, and my designer friends are ALL about the fonts, right?!
FontShop has made available for free download the Erler Dingbats font, which ncludes a wide range of popular symbols and pictograms such as arrows, pens, phones, stars, crosses and checkmarks, plus 3 sets of cameo figures on round backgrounds.
I’m not always a fan of heavily processed images, but as a matter of artistic expression, I often like to “play” around with images for some cool effects. Since I got the iPhone, I’ve really liked a lot of the image looks that can be accomplished using Instagram. But, since most of my images are shot using my Nikon, and not my iPhone, I wanted to create a set of actions that would emulate Instagram while within Photoshop.
Turns out, I don’t have to! Daniel Box has already done a bunch of these, and he’s made the actions available for FREE (Thank you, Mr. Box!) He says they’re not “100% exact match, but they’re pretty darn great – and remember, you can still tweak your images in Photoshop to improve at will.
One of the big complaints about InDesign CS5.5 – with all it’s hoo-ha about being so great for developing materials for the broadening range of devices – was that Adobe’d stopped shipping it with all the Templates they used to include!
Pre-created Templates are great for deconstructing and developing personal, creative designs without starting from scratch.
Today, InDesignSecrets.com has posted links to bunches of the original templates (they’ve used CS4’s versions) for free download. SO nice not to have to hand-make the CD label template again!