Dec 28, 2010

35 Photo Editing Tutorials for Photoshop

I stumbled upon this very interesting site PSD Collector, and it has tons of tutorials.
Here's a very interesting one with some handy techniques, especially the "Bringing a Stone Statue to Life" one.

Check them out here

Dec 27, 2010

Small but Essential - VIGNETTE - Photoshop Tutorial

It can be very subtle, it can be very obvious. One thing is for sure: Vignettes make pictures better... most of the time.
Back in the days of film, vignettes were actually an unwanted and undesirable effect caused by lenses and the film. However it's removal sometimes proved to be... bad... so you may want to know how to apply one.



Dec 26, 2010

Small but Essential - Exporting Images - Photoshop Tip

Sometimes you don't always want to save as PSD, sometimes you have various reasons you want to save that file and what you want to do with it.
There's quite a number of formats you can export to in Photoshop. Here's a quick tip on which format to use and when:


  • JPEG - Good for exporting to the web. When it comes to adjusting the quality slider ensure that you're previewing at 100% if possible. Artifacts such as square blocks on anti-aliasing or discoloration is only visible at this zoom level. Also note that this will flatten your image. You'll lose your layers if you were to re-open it.
  • PNG - Preserve transparency. They also flatten the image. I used this format for the blog's logo, because if I maintained the transparency I could easily change the background and not worry about having to tweak the header as well.
  • TIFF - An interesting format, TIFFs actually preserve transparency as well. Though I've never used them, TIFFs preserve layers. Interesting...

Know any other good formats? Drop a comment below.

Another important thing to consider is the Resolution. I don't mean the width and height but rather the dots per inch.
When working in PS, you'll want to set:


  • 72 dpi - for stuff to be viewed on a screen, since that's the resolution a majority of screens use and it will also produce the accurate representation of pixels.
  • 300 dpi - for print. Printers use 300 dpi when printing for greater quality. You can print in 72 if the image is small, but it's advised for images that are bigger.


Also note that images of 300 dpi vs 72 dpi will always look much larger. For example, set 1280 x 800 px on an image and toggle these dpi. You'll find that 300 dpi is much much larger... in the view of the screen it is, but in view of the printer it's exactly the size you want: 1280 x 800. Inversely, 72 dpi would be smaller on print.
...at least that's the theory...

Another thing to consider is the color mode:

  • RGB - Mostly for viewing on screen. RGB starts black and ends white.
  • CMYK - Best for print especially for shirts and press. CMYK images start white and end black.


Black in RGB (0,0,0) is actually about C 75, M 68, Y 67 and K 90. Basically, CMYK colors range further... at least in theory...So, remember this when working. If ever you should print and the colors look weird/different, try changing the color mode to CMYK then printing again (you can preview an image in PS in CMYK by pressing Ctrl+Y)

Before you go freaking out, it's good to remember that most of the time things don't get very specific. Perhaps the only relevant point out of all I've said in this point is the resolution (72 vs 300 dpi).

Dec 25, 2010

Merry Xmas!

I had an awesome Christmas with friends and family. Definitely a memorable one.

Hope you guys had a great Christmas! Thanks for reading, thanks for following and thanks for being here.
I appreciate you all for taking your time to check out my blog, for the support and even for the random click from Google.

Have a blessed holiday!

davdalx

Dec 24, 2010

Radial - After Effects Preset

Hey guys!
So I was thinking about my previous preset "Scan" and suddenly thought: "What if someone wanted to create a Radar-style scan?"
Well, that wouldn't be easy (unless you used the linear one with lots of tweaks), so I thought I'd create a whole new preset.

Ladies and gentlemen. Radial Scan!

FEATURES:

  • Animates automatically clockwise with Revolutions per Second setting and Reverse Direction setting to make it turn anti-clockwise. Animation can also be turned off so you can animate it's rotation yourself.
  • Offset control to make duplicates work together or look different from the initial start point.
  • Set any color, control Feather and 4 different styles with many editable controls.
  • Control the Coverage out of a full circle of the scan.
  • Change the thickness and make it anything Radial. It doesn't have to be a scan.
  • Works with layers with alpha (transparency). Can preserve transparency or take full size of comp.
  • Functions in any version of AE.
It took about an hour to construct and works mostly off of concepts from Linear Scan (as I shall call the previous version now).

The best example of the application of Radial Scan is in Andrew Kramer's tutorial "Futuristic HUD" in creating the "Targets" that circle around the eye. Radial can be used to quickly construct these without the need of creating masks.


Do check out the tutorial, and if you'd like to check out Radial Scan, holla and I'll hook up a download link.

Enjoy yourselves!

Dec 21, 2010

3D Buttons - Photoshop Tutorial

The long overdue tutorial is here: 3D Buttons!
This tutorial is for beginners to intermediate users, but you can never be too good for any tutorial, you just might learn something new.

Click the title to see the full tut on how to make this using Layer Styles and some shape layers:



About 53



So you're wondering what 53 is all about. Well, this post should sort out any concerns.
(Also, click on and download the image above, set as wallpaper)

To put it as simply as possible, 2011 will have 53 weeks, and of those 53 weeks we'll be making 1 production in the field that we work in.
So for my case, that would be a photograph, a Photoshop creation, a video, an After Effects preset, an animation, a 3D experiment. For you, it's whatever you want it to be!

Wait, wait, wait! I already do at least 1 production a week! So is there really a point?
Well... yes!
See I also fall into that group. So what I'll be doing, rather than pulling the usual stuff, I'll delve deeper into experimentation and produce something out of my comfort zone, something I've never done before or a style I've been curious about.
Basically, most of the works I'll be submitting for 53 will be from heavy experimentation (so most of them won't be so "show-worthy"
Aside from that you could dedicate your work to a specific style that you appreciate or have never done before and would like to use 53 as a platform to build upon it. Say you were learning using Photoshop in 2011, you can use 53 as your platform to not only show what you're learning but also to show your growth and get advice from various artists on how to improve and so on.

What if I don't want to experiment?
Well then, do what you gotta do, do what you wanna do. 53 is not a restricted project, it's free for all and you can do whatever the hell you want.

Okay, so how do I submit for 53?
It's simpler than you think.
First off, create what you're creating.
Photography and design people can watermark their work at the bottom corner with a "53" stylized as they like.
Video/Music people can throw in a 53 somewhere in the title, as a quick mention in the intro/outro! Video guys can throw in their own stylized version into the intro logos or outro.
Literature/poetry people can add it as part of the end sign-off like:

...then she died a horrible death, perhaps one not deserving of either her character or her actions, but in a world as dark as that she had lived in it was only expected.


THE END
David Alex
53
 or something, I dunno.

Perhaps this would be the best part: the 53 is NOT mandatory. Do what you wanna do, but no one's saying it HAS to be there.

Oh darn! I missed a few productions / I started late! Can I still join/continue?
Hey, I'm sure I've clarified that this isn't a strict thing. You could join at week 20, we don't really care. As long as you have something to give, go ahead and give it.
If you've missed a week, no prob. You could upload 2 pieces on the next week to recover or you could just skip the whole week and carry on (though I'll expect either a decent apology or a really good piece on the next one).

What else is happening?
Over the year, there's gonna be various periods dedicated to various influential artists. For example, February could be dedicated to Pablo Picasso and so we can call February the "Blue Period" and do blue artwork as he did. The possibilities are endless and it's gonna be really fun!

What's in it for me?
There's not much I can promise.
One thing for sure is that it's going to be hella fun!
Secondly, it's a great way to get to improve your style and learn new styles of work.
What's more, it's a great way to showcase your work and capabilities, plus also get constructive critique from not only viewers, but also others who work in the same field as you. Say you produce a song, and although fans say "THAT'S AWESOME", perhaps another music producer might say "This is great, however the bass is killing of the piano at certain points. You can fix this by..."

If you're still thinking about it, stop by soon to see what's going on...

If you're joining, welcome to 53!

Check us out on Facebook!!
Or, better yet, on Flickr


Drop by the DISCUSSIONS tab and tell us what you work with on the "What's your flavor?" topic.

Stay tuned to this blog for more info on 53.
The project is currently based on Facebook, but I'm working on getting it moved elsewhere. Stay tuned for more information.

Dec 20, 2010

Project Green Screen

Hey!
In my hunt for a green screen, i made some progress.
I found some extremely nice manila from text book center. They were a3 and one cost 75 bob... Which meant human size would be about 1000bob...

Then my friend took me to eastleigh and wow what a bargain. Got good green material 3x2 metres for only 480 bob! Awesome!

Expect some random videos soon!


Also, i'm working on a new after effects preset "radial". Stay tuned for more


<posted through my phone>

Dec 14, 2010

53



If you're on Flickr, you've probably seen 365 projects, where users upload one portrait every day for a year.

Well, this is basically the same thing, but BROADER!

Whatever field you work with, be it design, Photoshop, art, poetry, 3D, music, videography... the program is simple: Create something cool and awesome every week for the year of 2011. Tag it with a 53 somewhere and upload it to your respective service, or on the 53 page. Preferably create something experimental and out of your comfort zone.

This is not only a great way to grow as an artist but also to get noticed by others and showcase your abilities.

More info soon!

Dec 6, 2010

Photoshop Tutorial - 3D Text

Hey guys!
So my pal Shuria made this Photoshop tutorial on creating some interesting 3D Text. Check it out and drop a comment on the youtube vid for him! 

Cheers!

Photoshop Basics - Who Wants In?



Hey guys!
So I've started working on the Photoshop Basics that I've been talking about for what must feel like forever now.
Anyway, I've decided to get some of the Photoshop users I know from all over and, with their help, we're going to create some Photoshop tutorials on the very basics! From how to create a new document to applying layer styles, cutting people out of photos to using filters and adjustments.
The plan's been laid out and I'm now recruiting anyone and everyone who could contribute to the project.

I have compiled a list of the lessons that need to be done (over 20 things) over the course of the project. Not that there'll be 20 lessons coz we can mash two things together into one lesson (like selection tools and masks). I'll be taking international people as well (you don't have to be in Kenya, just screen recording software (which I can provide)).

So, if you're willing to help out (even the least bit) please drop a comment below or holla at me on Twitter.

Cheers!

Experimental Week - Mask and Blend



So it's December. Aren't we psyched about Christmas!? Well actually, not so much, it's been a weird start to the month so... we'll see how it goes.

To start off the month, I'm getting into Experimental Week again. No foolin', this time I'm really gonna do it.
So the theme this week is Masking and Blending.

Nov 30, 2010

Upcoming Tutorial - Buttons

I'm currently working on a video tutorial on how to create some cool 3D buttons for general use with Photoshop. Here's a preview of what the final will look like, and while you're looking at it please tell me... what process would you take to reproduce this? Or, what process could I have take to produce this? Any ideas you may have would be appreciated in the comments section.

Layer Styles - Quick Tip


Layers make Photoshop what it is, and learning and mastering them really helps artists get that edge and create flexible creations.
Layer Styles are perhaps the next step. Welcome to this Photoshop tut on how to use Layer Styles.

Nov 22, 2010

Project Green Screen

At some stage in video editing, you'll want a green screen. Then, a time will come when masking and rotoscoping isn't as fun anymore, so you'll NEED a green screen.

Nov 19, 2010

{test_reel} Holographic


Check out the first video launching test reel here:



Leave comments and feedback below or on the actual Youtube page.

Thanks!

Renew! Renew!

It's been a long time going on Photoshop! 3 years, I think it's been, and I've had lots of fun!

I've gone through many serial experiments: colorize.stylize.hypnotize then moved forward to the newer age: Seeing is Believing, 255RGB
, Forgery, Manipulation, SiB (Seeing is Believing 2), intensify, [color_me] and other small side-projects.


Intensify
SiB
Manipulation
Forgery
Seeing is Believing
255
[color_me]

Basically, my Photoshop Projects folder is getting pretty crowded... very crowded actually. And now the red gem in my palm is blinking, that time has come!

So, I'm thinking of renewing my Photoshop experience. I'll move all my old folders into my external HDD, or another location on my computer, and begin a whole new Photoshop Projects folder, which will include my new Type & Minimalism series, cmyk, Feel the Void and more series to come in the future.

Expect new stuff, new styles and lots more experimentation in this new venture into Photoshop.

See you soon.

(btw, the title is a pun on Logan's Run)

Nov 18, 2010

System Maintenance

Hey!
So I'm rocking a HP Pavilion laptop. Nothing too fancy (it was when I bought it) but it rocks 3GB of RAM, a pretty good graphics card and an AMD processor...and Windows 7...

But gosh-darn-it! This dang thing keeps on overheating and if you own one of these I'm sure you suffer the same problem. Heck, even just rocking Firefox or watching a movie this thing would burn! So I took the time to go online and try hunt down a solution for my problem.

So with some of my experience on comps, I figured it had something to do with lack of memory, so I ran my usual stuff: Disk Cleanup, deleting pointless files I don't need anymore (especially footage that I used to use for After Effects), then remove unwanted programs and applications, chkdsk on Command Prompt then finally Disk Defragmentation.

I found this interesting one on addictivetips.
Very interesting stuff (though read the ENTIRE post before actually trying any of the suggestions). Alternatively there's these software that help out with tweaking and optimization. I got myself Windows 7 Manager (found it online somewhere) and it helped. Cleanup Registry and defrag it, delete pointless files like empty folders and thumbs.db in folders you don't visit anymore. There's lots of stuff to do and these guys really help out.

If you know any other cool system maintenance applications and ways to help out your app, drop a comment below!

(test_reel)


I've been doing tons of experimentation on After Effects in the last few weeks. Photoshop hasn't seen as much as me now that it has to share time with AE, but hey they're also working together so it's a great way to work.

So, as per experimentation goes, I've really been messing around and to sort of help me build my techniques and such I'll be uploading my experimental videos for you to comment and give me your feedback. Be it possible improvements, ideas to make it look better and so on.

Hey, you might even get a chance to see future videos in the making :-D Also, I think I'll throw in some quick tips near the end for something I learned during the process that could help you out a bit. If you liked and follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed StopMotion test (the one I'm messing around in my bedroom with my laptop) or Gun test (me again :-D), then you get the basic idea of how (test_reel) works. But this time, we want to make it proper and add some zing to it.
There are no real rules to the work, but we'll be going all out on these to ensure that our final products are... well... as professional as possible!

The videos will be uploaded either on Youtube (via my deathzaccent profile) or on Facebook (either as a link to the Youtube video or on videos tab. Really depends on my Internet connection).

Stay tuned for much much more!
Thanks for reading.

Nov 17, 2010

New Buttons

... or rather image links, since there's no roll-over animation...
I added some new links to the top just below the I2C logo. They'll link you to my Twitter, the Feel the Void page and the Inspiration tag on my Delicious to really psyche you guys up. Check it out and let me know what you think!!


I created the images in Photoshop (using rounded rectangle and some layer masks and text and images) and saved as PNG to save the transparency, then for the coding here's how it works, as per the overnight lessons I took on basic HTML on w3schools:

< a href="http://targetlink" target="_blank">< img src = "http://imagelink" title="string" alt="string />
 Basically, the href= is where you put the target of the link, target="_blank" makes it open in a new tab. Then img src is the link of the image to be used, title is what shows as a tooltip when the user holds the mous over the link, alt is what would replace the image if it doesn't load.  End with

Happy linking!

Nov 10, 2010

First Video Tutorial - Mist

Hosted on The Digital Bubble, here's my first Photoshop video tutorial. Check it out:








Any questions and/or queries... comment section!

Nov 8, 2010

Gradients, Blending Modes and Adjustments

So I was messing around on Photoshop while creating my portfolio, which is gonna be awesome btw, and I stumbled upon an interesting technique. Try figure out how I pulled it off:


Any idea?
If you thought the title of this post, you're right!

I have this technique where I use about 3 levels of Threshold to create a comic effect (as per my tutorial on Digital Bubble) and some sort of drawn style. During Experimental Week, I realized that the same can be achieved using Posterize set to 3 levels, a Curves adjustment to control the sizes of the levels, and a Hue/Sat to remove the color :-S
Just like in my Just Remember post... lol

Anyway, I wondered "What else can Posterize do?"
Well, quite a bit more. Coupled with the Gradient tool, some layers and Blending Mode play, and as always a Gradient Map to top it all off, it created the "circular" and "shapes & colors" designs. (I actually used the same Gradient for the map (laziness))

Drop by soon for more info on how I pulled this off, though I'm quite sure you already know how it was done...

Also, I gained a liking for Trebuchet! It's lovely!!

Cheers!!

Nov 3, 2010

davdalx presents Scan Beta for After Effects

Or rather, I present it for BETA testing.


SCAN is an After Effects preset that let's you create a scan effect, and it has quite a number of controls. Before downloading, check it:
1. It's registered on Creative Commons! Loser :-P CC BY NC SA
2. Try push it and find some errors!!

Here it is at work in a quick demo:




In this ZIP you'll find:
1. The After Effects preset
2. A demo video
3. The AEP of the demo video
4. A Readme (that you should read to understand how to use it)

I've done the best I can to get rid of bugs, and trust me it shouldn't crash AE, but to be safe work with only one instance per layer (it won't work otherwise anyway but just to be safe).

Get it here: Scan Beta for After Effects (works with any version)

To get it working, just copy the file to Documents > Adobe > Adobe After Effects > User Presets
When you run AE it'll be in the Effects & Presets panel.

Enjoy!! Let me know what you'll pull off with this and any error you get either here as a comment or on my twitter @davdalx (link above).

EDIT: If you're having issues with render speeds, go to the Back/Foward edge and set down the Feather and/or disable the Glow.

Cheers!

Oct 30, 2010

More Experimenting

I've been messing around with layer styles lately...
Yes, the 3D looking text is created using text (non-rasterized) and Layer Styles. Except the shadow, the shadow is a rastered layer with some blur and I'll explain how to do this soon, when I perfect a few things here and there. Here's the first one I did:


I'm sure you can get an idea of how this was pulled off... anyway, stay tuned for more tuts :-D

Oct 29, 2010

Del.ici.ous

So, I finally got back on my Delicious account and decided to make it my official repository for bookmarks (since I don't use Firefox's Sync and StumbleUpon isn't good enough).

In case you don't know, Delicious is an online site that lets you save sites (bookmarks) and pages and you can add tags and notes to help you find them later.
Perhaps it's biggest advantage is that it allows you to share your findings on the web (for those of us who stumble a lot) and also is great as a backup, and when you find a link and want to view it on another computer... there you go!
There's also a Firefox extension for it!

Anyway, I have created an "inspiration" tag which I update regularly, or rather whenever I stumble. It'd be a good RSS to add to your collection! Though the hugely inspiring stuff does come to Ideas to Creations, sometimes I don't get a chance to talk about it, but with the inspiration tag you can see the stuff anyway.

So check out MY DELICIOUS http://www.delicious.com/davdalx/
or check out the INSPIRATION http://www.delicious.com/davdalx/inspiration/ tag

Later!

Oct 26, 2010

Kenyan ISPs - How You Let Us Down

Hey!
So yes, it's been a week since my last post and I'm kinda feeling like I'm letting my good people down... well, a thousand apologies:


It's with good reason though... if you've been reading my Flickr photo descriptions, you'd know that a lot of the time I'm facing issues with internet connections. In fact, I'm typing this out in a cyber cafe :-S Which is something I promised myself I wouldn't do but here I am...

If you've been keeping track of technology you'd know that a few months ago they promised that with the arrival of fibre optics, internet would become much cheaper and faster. Just look what they said about West Africa.
It's depressing how as much as we've been promised some really reliable and fast internet, our ISPs have come around and said "Hang on a moment, faster internet... they should PAY MORE!"
Which is sad, because we had that the fibres would make things much faster than satellite and be much cheaper... but contrary to that we're facing faster internet at higher prices.
And to make things worse, some are now charging by content, or rather per MB, which in this day is the most crap I've ever heard. Why?

Well...

1. Paying by how much you use only works on platforms where not much bandwidth or downloading is going on. Like on mobile phones (at least) or back in the old days when the web was still young and transferring of data only occured when you clicked "Play" or "Go" or "Continue" or whatever button. Today, your current page is transferring data (very small but over time it starts to count), and let's not forget that every OS and software out there is no longer taking such connections into consideration, and now we have Windows Update which silently and secretly downloads the latest updates which can be over 100MB in size! Let's not forget that our browsers like Firefox check for updates frequently, including updates for extensions, and when an update is found it downloads (which tends to be at least 10 MB in size)... Of course, you can turn all this off, but to the user who's not very good with computers.... it's a wonder where all those MBs are going.

2. It's just unfair! When working with fast internet, you always end up remembering stuff you wanted to watch, or stuff you wanted to check out. When working per MB, watching videos is MURDER! You're on Youtube for 10min and the next thing you know, you're disconnected! That's messed up! Not only do we have to worry about what sites we're visiting and what we're downloading, we also have to avoid watching videos and - come to think of it - flash content. Newgrounds is a site you'd never visit if you're paying per MB, because a descent game/movie is about 5-7MB in size.

Also, these same people have started to offer various packages such as "Fast Internet" 5,000 per month, "Internet Plus" 10,000 per month, "Super-Fast Internet" 16,000 per month.

REALLY!!!!???



Okay, before my comment section gets something about being biased, I'd like to point out that indeed there are companies that offer unlimited internet, but also I'd like to point out that in spite of getting fiber optics, their prices are pretty much still the same since back then....

...unless I'm the one mistaking the saying of "cheaper internet" that is not directed to the individual but rather to the companies and corporations... then this post is pretty much rendered void (except for points 1 and 2 above, their totally valid regardless)


Anyway, that's a big rant on my side. Let out some steam!

On other news, check out my Flickr profile (http://www.flickr.com/ photos/davdalx/) some cool stuff to be seen there.

Later!

Oct 17, 2010

Random Find - Optical Illusion



Who doesn't love a good optical illusion every once in a while?
Here's one to tickle your brain... and eyes... and any other place it probably will!


Stare at the center of this animation for 30 seconds, then look away, like look at your hand or scroll down the page and look at some text...


sick-blah-blah.gif







It's crazy! Weird, huh? Yea, welcome to my world of 2-minute entertainment!


Enjoy!

Oct 14, 2010

Experimental Week - Update

No, Experimental Week didn't suddenly end, I lost my internet connection AGAIN!
But I did do some images, so I'll be uploading those soon. I must say I've learned a lot from the last week and I can't wait to start uploading.

On other news, this was posted via my phone :-D You gotta love it!

Oct 5, 2010

Blogger Sharing




To my fellow bloggers! You know I like to throw out a tip every now and then, and here's one for all you bloggers out there.


As you may have seen, there's buttons at the bottom of the post that let you retweet or like the post. It's pretty cool and is a nice way to bring in traffic as well as let people fav stuff and so on.

You can do this simply by going to http://www.addthis.com and getting yourself a button.

AddThis adds these buttons to posts or the sidebar that let users share what they're viewing via hundreds of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and even e-mail.


AddThis works with the major hosts: Blogger, Wordpress, actual www sites and more. They let you select what site you're using and then what buttons you want from a variety of about 10 different buttons. After choosing to get your button, there's detailed instructions on how to get it on your page! Awesome!

You can also customize and create your own (I was too lazy when I went on but I will eventually to include Google Buzz). If you select the Analytics button, you also get traffic statistics and who is clicking and what exactly they are clicking (Facebook/StumbleUpon/Mail to... etc), but you need to create a free account which takes a few seconds (you don't have to verify via email).

Check it out, it wouldn't hurt to have it, and it shouldn't affect your workflow or posting processes... :-D

Experimental Week - Adjustments Day 2

So it's Day 2 of Experimental Week. I had some fun with Gradient Map yesterday!

Today was going to be Levels and Curves but unfortunately I'm relatively busy today, so I won't get time to Photoshop except perhaps in the evening, so I decided to make today adjustments that aren't so complex (in case I'll be too tired later): Threshold and Posterize!

If you've seen my Flickr Photostream, I've worked a lot with threshold before. In fact I used it yesterday with my KICC image to give the colors their sectors. In fact, I'll post up a tutorial on that, it's a great technique. Here's another I used Threshold on a while back for the SiB collection:



I also have a few ideas to use with Threshold and since I've never used Posterize because I found it very limiting, but today I shall see once and for a while exactly what I can achieve with it.

Anyway, have a good day, people! Some work will be up here sooner than later

Oct 4, 2010

Experimental Week - Adjustments

So, I've decided to dedicate this week to experimentation in Photoshop. What I'm doing this week is Adjustments.

I always used Levels and Curves and Gradient Map, but I've never really delved deeper into it's controls. I recently did a tutorial on how to create a vintage effect and the guy only used the Curves adjustment! No fancy tricks, just messing around with the graph and achieving something awesome.
I also messed around with curves once and ended up with some cool images while playing with the Red channel, so the question came up: What else don't I know about adjustments?

So I've dedicated this week to messing around with various adjustments in various types of images: dark, light, varied, designs, brushes... and also tweaking some adjustments in any Action (in my set in the Actions pallet) that may use adjustments.
Basically, I'm going NUTS!!

Starting today, I'm gonna work with my most favorite adjustment: GRADIENT MAP!! :-D

If you saw that coming +10 points to you!

Off I go then, and here's (already) the first result:


From my Flickr.

And this as well:


If you've read my Gradient Map tutorial, you'd know that I usually map the brightness of the color stops to their location on the gradient, so I get a uniform brightness in those areas. This time around I decided to mess around with those brightness values. Here, I was a bit conservative as I increased the brightness of the first blue-ish stop to something that makes the image look weirdly over-exposed. It's pretty cool! :-D

More to come!

Oct 3, 2010

Turning Color to Black & White in Photoshop

HEY PEOPLE!

So, have you noticed that the process to turning a photograph into black and white is not always as simple as many may make it seem. I'm especially directing this to the users of "Hue/Saturation", because I made an interesting discovery that'll make you reconsider your Color to B&W processing in Photoshop!!

Photography Info - Link

What the heck is aperture?
How do I get me some Depth of Field?
How does a camera's sensor work and how is it constructed?

If you've recently started photography (especially all you self-taught people out there) and you've started delving into bridge cameras or dSLRs, you will (if you haven't already) find yourself asking such questions.

Photography has lots of terminology and strangely confusing stuff. I was recently messing around on a dSLR and I was trying on my own to figure out exactly what aperture is. So off I went, set the bugga to Aperture Priority ("Av" or "A" depending on your camera), and started messing around. All I understood was that the Aperture pretty much just set the shutter speed for me... which didn't really make sense... then I went on to think that why would I have such a feature if there was already Shutter Priority. So off I went to Google and Wikipedia and all the photography sources I knew. Eventually, after much reading, I finally learned exactly what it was, and that it actually affected Depth of Field!

Example from Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/miniozzy/

Depth of Field, btw, is that effect you get where the subject is in focus and everything in the background is out of focus.

Anyway, I found a great source for all that information! It's got a simple layout but tons of information, and it'll save you a few wasted days of experimentation (at least it would have for me.)

Check out Cambridge in Colour!



Oh yea, btw I've decided that when I'm giving out a link, I'm going to give the URL as above (unless it's REALLY LONG)!

Why?

Well, if I was to type something like "Click HERE", then you'd go to that site, see what you need to see and leave, and later (this is the part that matters) you'll wonder "what was that address again? Was it a .com or .org?"
Well, basically what's happening is that I'm making it easier to remember the address to that place, because for all you know if it was CLICK HERE you would've ended up at www.cambridge-in-color.net and 3 days later you'd forget... well there's Google but still...

Also, I've noticed the tendency of someone pulling something like this:

Check out the very awesome Ideas to Creations site HERE!


Yes, the link actually sends you to Google Japan! Anyway, it also facilitates to my laziness coz adding the whole link-to-text thing can (on bad days) feel like such a long process!


Anyway, check out Cambridge in Colour and comment below on how I just saved your life.... lol no really, have fun!!

Sep 28, 2010

So depressing!

Have you been keeping track of your browsers?
Well, if you haven't, lemme quickly update you.


Since the release of Google Chrome, everyone's been trying to compete! It was fast, it took such little space, and Opera and Firefox have somehow ended up along the same lines.
See the screenshot above? The only difference I really see between Opera 10.6 and Firefox 4 Beta 6 is the colors of the 'shortcut-menu' at the top left corner. It's painful to see, it really is. Worst off is that Opera did it first! Anyway, when maximized at least Opera's one goes to become like the first tab and so takes up less space (compared to Chrome it's exactly the same size), but Firefox's stays up there which makes it take too much space!

Sep 26, 2010

isitgood? Shutter Island


If you're a fan of being led in one way and then suddenly being shown that what you believe was wrong, and confusion is all that kicks in and you even start to doubt your own life by the end of the movie... like what happened in Fight Club, Memento and such... the classic red herring-themed movies...

well, why haven't you seen this movie yet?

Shutter Island is a great movie in terms of twists and turns, and by the end of the movie you'll wonder why you hadn't figured it out yourself. In fact on the second watch you'll REALLY see that they hinted the truth to you.

Starring the very brilliant Leonardo di Caprio, this movie is definitely tops and I totally suggest that you watch it ASAP! Definitely among my top movies of the year.

Sep 23, 2010

First Video Tutorial

Hey everyone!
I just finished recording the first video tutorial, which I shall upload today / tonight depending on how my connection feels (it's mood determines most of what I do on the net).

It's currently rendering on After Effects and my laptop's fan is on full speed! I just hope it doesn't overheat and shut down like last time.
Anyway, I created an intro and outro in After Effects and created my own very simple soundtrack in FL Studio in a few minutes. Though I'm thinking at some point I'll make a more interesting one. I'll upload it to Youtube and embed it here.

Watch this space for more updates!

Sep 22, 2010

Photo Inspiration - Streaking Lights

Hey y'all!
I've only posted 2 "inspiration" posts, and yes I am quite ashamed. It's been a while since I saw anything awesome but wow here's something I found on StumbleUpon a while ago:

This guy is really creative, and I really applaud the creativity and how he managed to pull off such symmetry. Check out the whole gallery here: http://thehomebased.com/?p=258

If you're wondering how he did this, and how you can also do it, you'd be amazed to learn that most cameras (yes, even that Kodak or Sony you have) can do this, and DSLRs definitely can.


Yes, I used to have this camera, and it could pull it off!

So how?

First off, you'll need a tripod. Nothing fancy. In fact, if you can find a raised flat surface and some support for the camera, it's good enough. What you need to ensure is that your camera won't shake while the photo is being taken.

Next, go into the menu of your camera and look for something like "Long Time Exposure". If you're using a DSLR, go into "Tv" mode (Canon) or "S" mode (Nikon and others) or "M" or "MAN" for Manual. Use the wheel to set the exposure time. Preferably set ISO low to reduce noise, but also a higher means your lights will come out brighter and you can use a shorter shutter speed.

From that step on, depending on the lighting, you'll have to choose your exposure time between 5-30 seconds. I once used LTE at night with 30sec exposure and it looked like day, so I'd say use like 15 seconds if available. On DSLRs, increase until it reads 15".

Next, find yourself a light to use. A burning torch, a light, a mulika muizi (phone with torch), glowstick... basically anything that produces light. Note that the brighter the object is, the less time you'll need in seconds, otherwise it'll completely white out the whole image.

Now, you're ready!

 Place your camera at the spot you'll need, and press the shutter button. Now as you head away from the camera make sure the light is not visible, otherwise you'll leave a trail. Get in position and go NUTS! Wave that thing around like it's the end of the world for those 15 seconds. When you're time's up, the camera should click to respond. Now head back and see your creation:


Man, I'm good!
No I didn't actually do this, but this is a great example of how LTE can be used. Perhaps the most amazing thing for me is that ordinary Point & Shoot cameras can do this.



This technique is great for taking those streaking lights of traffic, fireworks, night shots of skyscrapers and towns... I don't wanna kill all the ideas, just get out there and experiment and mess around...

So what you waiting for?? Get to work! Send me a link to your images and we can show them off on a Photo Inspiration post :-D

I'm totally doing the same now!

Sep 20, 2010

Video Tuts

Hey y'all!
So I was going to make the Photoshop Basics tutorials! It's rather hard work since I'm trying to squeeze the info into 10 video clips that are each 10-20 minutes long. So, while I'm working on that I've decided to create some video tuts as well as upload them to Digital Bubble, now that it supports video tuts as well. AWESOME!

Anyway, stay tuned for more.

Sep 17, 2010

Back on Top

So I'm back to Ideas to Creations. My ISP was going through an upgrade, something went wrong, and I've been without internet for 2 weeks, which felt like an eternity!
They've finally fixed the issues! So I'm back on top. With that, I think I'll post up my first video tutorial.

Oh yea, and it's my birthday today! It should be an interesting day.
YAY!!

Sep 5, 2010

Blogger Stats

If you've read my previous post on getting stats for your site via Google Analytics, well it's not bad because the blogs editing pages contains a new "Stats" tab (right next to "Monetize") that works the same way, only better because it doesn't count how many times you've visited your own blog, which can be very misleading.

To your respective blogs, check it out. It actually logs stuff from quite a while ago, mine starts at May 2010, which is probably when it was implemented and I was late to find it, or they've been doing it all along. Either way, it's a great improvement for Blogger!

Sep 4, 2010

Experimetation is Everything

Hey, y'all!
I've been messing around in After Effects for a while now, in fact I had dedicated the last 24 hours to that cause, and I must say it's been very fruitful.
For starters, I've gotten some grasp of expressions, specifically "loopOut". I've also been messing around with the Wiggler and some plugins.

I've said this multiple times, and in my Photoshop Basics tutorial you'll definitely hear it a lot:
EXPERIMENTATION IS EVERYTHING!

That's perhaps the one thing that makes self-teaching more flexible and if you're not to experiment you'll never learn anything (other than the stuff that people teach you in tutorials).

What I like to do is take stuff that people mention in tutorials and stop halfway and mess around with the values given. For example, I learned about the "wiggle" expression from a tutorial I read somewhere, and as I completed the tut I created a new project, drew an ellipse and got to work with messing around with Positions and Scale and Rotation with wiggle. What happens if I typed "wiggle(10,10)" or "wiggle(.24,100)".

That's just the start. You can go wider by going against that stubborn instinct and actually go into the After Effects Help (F1)! I went in and typed in "wiggle" and read what I could about it. In the process, I found the "Expression Reference" pages and learned about loopOut and adding Math figures and also linking two controls together.

It's funny how everyone rejects the Help system that Adobe so painstakingly worked on. Sure, it can be VERY vague at times, but I will say that it helped me learn a lot in Photoshop: Vanishing Points was a good example, though it never explained exactly how to use it, it did give me an idea of what it did so I could decide if it was something I'd want to use or not, and it turned out to be a very handy tool.

So, ladies and gentlemen, as we continue to learn about these programs, I'd like to point out just one more time:
Experimentation is Everything!!

Sep 3, 2010

Point & Shoot or DSLR?

Okay, so the debate has been going on in my head for over 2 weeks now, I don't know whether I should get my self a Point & Shoot camera, which is cheap and easy to use, or an DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex), which is way more flexible but also way more costly. DSLR's are completely ideal and feature huge sensors that capture way more than Point&Shoots... but... anyway, looking back...

I used to have a Point & Shoot Kodak EasyShare 7MP (can't remember the model), which was very basic. Did the shooting I wanted at the time but it's night shots (without flash) were hard to work with.

It's not bad but it's not very proffesional. I don't think a Feel the Void photoshoot would go well if I should up with this thing.
So in the mean time I've been using my partner's DSLR, a Canon EOS 400D, which is also pretty good!



My pal was going to get me a Nikon D60, but it cost 54k for the kit which comes with a 18-55mm lens, which is the standard size with not-so-good zoom. But it meant I can buy various lenses (at about the same price as the camera).

What a HOT camera! The only prob is that although I can get that cash, it's usability is limited unless I can find a better lens than the 18-55mm lens. Also it doesn't have live-view (viewing from the screen while taking photos) or video recording (which is optional, but I only said this because of the next camera).

As my surfing and hunting continued, I stumbled upon this bad-boy:

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX1. Wow, this thing is just awesome!
It's not so new, released in 2009 or 2008, and it's a point and shoot, but with DSLR functions. In other words, it's an SLR with a fixed lens. But a bad-ass lens at that.
It features 20x optical zoom, comparable to a 51-640mm lens, which is WAY higher than the 18-55mm. And that's OPTICAL! Keep in mind most cameras say 20x but in small print it'll say (10x Optical, 20x Digital), and all digital does is use software to enlarge what the sensor is capturing which increases noise and reduces clarity.
On top of that it features 1080p HD recording (with sound) at 30fps (like an ordinary vid-cam), has all those fancy aperture-priority and shutter-priority and manual modes, it also includes the fancy Sweep Panorama they've been advertising lately in town. The bugga also features some very cool anti-shake stuff and takes some very nice night photos with the very special twilight mode, rechargable battery and it's also quite small compared to the average DSLR...
Check out this guy's review and the awesome shots he got:


And with all this, I figured the price would be hectic, but it only costs 35k!!! WOW! Right now I'm really psyched and can't think of another camera that tops this one (dpreview says the Canon Powershot SX1 and Panasonic Lumix ZM... something... but they don't seem to rack up high with them)

So what's the prob?

Well, we just recently got an Xbox 360 (last month) and, well, it cost about the same plus extra pads and what not, and now only a month later I find it difficult to see how I'm convincing the folks to pull this one out for me...
But the hustle continues. Though if anyone out there is willing to buy it for me, seeing as my birthday is 2 weeks from now.......

Sep 2, 2010

Got Her Back

If I hadn't mentioned before (though I did on my Flickr), my laptop's been having a static problem. Every surface of it was covered in static and it was very uncomfortable using it, and it made my hands go numb over extended use and my touchpad would heat up wherever I touched it.
Basically, it was unusable.

I took it to the repair guy near my house 2 days ago, he's a great and quick working guy and pretty much repairs anything. He's fixed my messed up earphones, speakers, my external powered harddrive that had a problem with the power supply, electric guitar.. now my laptop is added to that list.

So anyway, I finally got my laptop back. The static problem is gone and, since I've been a loyal customer, he did it for free :-D

Awesome!

My laptop is a HP Pavilion dv6000

Processor: AMD Turion64 2.2GHz
Graphix:    Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS (256MB)
Memory:    3GB
HDD:        160GB 5400RPM
Screen:      15' 1280x800

+Microsoft Wireless 3D Optical Mouse
+WD My Passport 1TB External

Perhaps out of all it's good specs, it's got a HDMI port which lets me use our flat-screen as a 1920x1080 display which is awesome for heavy video editing!

So, what computer do YOU use??

It's good to have her back!

Aug 29, 2010

Guns, Guns and More Guns!!

Yaay!

Another video! I know it's been quite a number of weeks since the last video, but this time it's gotta be good, right? Well, I hope you think this one is.

We're planning a guns video and we had to do a test thing. Before I start blabbing on and on (I'll do that after the video), here it is (finally). Please drop a comment below on what you think, no sappy stuff, be real!


Yes, I know, no guns. Well we couldn't find any easily (or cheaply), though I did come up with an interesting idea: Invisible guns!
Not finger guns, because invisible guns give us more freedom! If you think about it, finger guns restrict you to pistols. You couldn't use a heavy-machine gun, a turret, a shotgun... well, you could but how you'd get your fingers like that...
On the other hand, invisible guns are cool because all you do is hold a gun and the viewers imagination takes over from there and puts a gun, which means I can use whatever gun I want, heck I can even decide to throw grenades and get myself a heavy chain-gun. :-D


This is one idea I'm really going to explore!

Aug 27, 2010

Album Artwork - Concepts

Album artwork isn't very easy, in fact it's quite difficult because you have to put text and a picture into a relatively small space... or rather that's how I feel when I'm creating artwork.
I've been experimenting quite a bit with it lately, here are 3 designs I did a few minutes ago. Check them out and lemme know what you think

(In case you haven't realized, these aren't real artists! I just made them up as I went along.)
I especially like the "Jack in the Box" text and placement. Anyway, the experimentation continues

Aug 16, 2010

Photoshop Basix

Yea yea, I know, I'm trying out the whole "Title Images" thing. It's not too bad though it'll mean I should get rid of the title... but then that'd mean you wouldn't be able to see it in the archives or read a separated "Read More" post... oh well!

Anyway, moving on!

I remember when I was starting out in Photoshop, it was hella difficult finding the basics, somewhere they'd explain how to add layers, how to use the pen tool and just how to do the basic stuff. Everything was something complex (to a beginner) like how to add a vintage effect, how to color an object, how to mash up pictures for a manipulation, using gradient maps...
I got the same problem from people who just got a version of Photoshop and wanted to start using it and they'd fall to me to explain to them how it works, how to do stuff and so on. It's hard to teach someone the basics when they are always asking "Ok ok the brush tool is cool, but how did you do the pic with the many faces in one?" And that'd mean explaining "Place", Maps, filters, adjustments, just to pull off one thing and that's a horrible way to start.

So I've been pondering, what if I wrote a "Photoshop Basics" book... something short quickly explaining how Photoshop works and how to effectively use it... explaining what to do and what not to do and good practices like non-destructive editing... Well, it'll be based on roughly the same process I used when learning and also feature lots of vague areas where I'll need the reader to experiment and figure out what would work best...

hmm...

Well, here's the chapters I was thinking of implementing:
  1. Introduction to the layout and pallets
  2. Opening, Creating and Saving Documents
  3. Layers
  4. Brush Tool, Eraser Tool, Text Tool and Shape Tool
  5. Placing and editing images
  6. Gradient Tool and Blending Modes
  7. Filters, Adjustments and Layer Styles
  8. Grouping Layers, Adjustment Layers and Solid Fills/Gradient Fills
  9. Selection Tools (lassos, marquee)
  10. Quick Masks and Layer Masks
  11. Pen Tool
  12. Clone Stamp
I don't intend on covering EVERY SINGLE THING. I'd like to leave stuff like magic wand and burn/dodge tools to the reader. This list is up for amendment, I'm thinking of adding/removing some of the items from this list, it's not final. Anyway, if you have an idea or if you'd like to contribute to the book, please drop a comment or send me a message (I think people would trust a book more if it was a collaboration of various artists doing it).

Awesome!

Enjoy

Aug 14, 2010

Photoshop Tutorials - Just Remember

If this is your first time running a tut on Ideas to Creations, please read this post!



First off, my tuts are on a Creative Commons Licence: BY NC. Mention who hooked you up, and non-commercial use, however you are free to share it and make derivations of it ("derived from davdalx's Ideas to Creations" including a link here would be appreciated).
Second, I'm using Photoshop CS4. If I should stumble upon anything that isn't supported in previous versions (to my knowledge) I will write something

Aug 13, 2010

African Digital Art Inspiration

Yaaay! Some of my work was featured in African Digital Art's Weekly Inspiration. Wow, I'm like super-flattered, seriously. It feels awesome seeing that someone appreciates my work. :-D Wooosh!

It's inspiration 34

African Digital Art is a really cool stuff to get some inspiration and get in on the vibe on what's going on in the digital universe of Africa, and if I'm not wrong it was started by a Kenyan, which is awesome! You know, sites like Abduzeedo and Smashing Magazine can really psyche you up, but when you're seeing something from someone who probably lives next door to you... it's really something else!

Oh ya, the NEXT post is gonna be a tutorial... sorry about that...

Aug 7, 2010

Battle of the Bands (Episode 2)

Yes, we had mad fun at the last Battle of the Bands "Rebirth" on 4th July, and today is the next installment when the winners of the bands battle it out for the next stage, it's Battle of the Bands "Black Parade".
It's the anniversary of the bomb blast attack in 1998, and the rockers are going to be leaving their mark on the wall of the bomb blast site (damn, I can't remember the building's name), then a long parade all the way to Choices, Baricho Road, where the battle continues.

I'm really psyched for this one. Especially since UETA is playing and they have quite a reputation. And especially Murfy's Flaw after their deadly performance at "Rock vs Benga" at Zen Garden last weekend!
Wow, this is really gonna be great! I can't believe how psyched I am, or how awesome these events usually are. Woooow!!!!

Jul 27, 2010

Planning a Fight Scene

I was going through my blog traffic and noticed someone came by via a Google Search "planning a fight scene", and I figured it'd be something interesting to write about.
I'm not going to call myself a pro or experienced, so far I've only done like 4 fight scenes, but I do have a rough idea of how it should could be done. The following is not a full guide, it's just something to build upon. Now that that's out of the way, here's how I plan my fight scenes! Shockingly, there's a lot to consider!

Oh and if you're not patient enough to read all this, or want clarification, standby for the next fight scene. We'll have a behind the scenes look at that video where I will explain all this again.
Read more to see the way we go!

Jul 26, 2010

Pro-Google?

Yea, my friend the other day was telling me that, apparently, I've been displaying crazy loyalty to Google!

Maybe, maybe not. I tried to tell him that I only said that Gmail is the fastest, cleanest and easiest to use mail client there is, Google Reader is one of the top RSS Readers out there, and it's recommendations are awesome; Google's Android OS is open source and really challenges iOS and Windows Mobile; Google Maps has saved me tons of times when I didn't know where a certain rendezvous point was; Google Chrome is the cleanest and fastest browser out and it changed how browsing should be, and now everyone else is trying to keep up and is making similar designs (though I'm still a Firefox guy); that Google Wave is a great resource for editors and also for communication; then there's the Chromium operating system coming soon for netbooks....

Wow, it really does sound like I'm all pro-Google! How sad :-S Oh my, Ideas to Creations is in fact hosted by Google's Blogger.

:-S

I'm scared :-(

Lol... no, no I'm not.
If you're a gadgets and technology fan you'd know that Google is probably out to take over the world! Really! They are!
They have managed to make our friend Steve Jobs and everyone else at Apple their enemy / rival since they decided to release the Nexus One in collaboration with HTC, Apple didn't take it too kindly. Mainly because Google had agreed to work together with Apple to create their new iPhone. Apple started their angry "We don't like you anymore" thing by removing Google's apps like Maps that were previously already installed by default and added their own alternatives, and removed Google as the default search engine in the iPhone's browser.

Sad, isn't it.

Best of all, perhaps funniest, is that Apple and Microsoft made a small <b>agreement</b> to work together against the growing power that is Google. As Google continues employing the smartest and most creative (usually the latter is the majority), they continue pushing out awesome software and services that even Microsoft and now, shockingly, Apple are finding difficult to keep up with, and they both know that if nothing is done to bring some reasonable competition, we'll be looking at Google Computers, Google Cars or, who knows, Planet Google! I sooo see that last one coming!

<i>What about their former rival Yahoo!?</i>
Well, our friends at Yahoo! seemed to have given up on trying to keep up and are just keeping with their online services. They got us <b>Yahoo! Answers</b> which is very entertaining when people ask the dumbest questions. Well, so far that's their only service that I use.

Oh my... did I just post something about Google... :-S

Cheers o's!

[posted with Firefox's ScribeFire, it's awesome!]

Jul 22, 2010

Firefox 4 Beta 1

Firefox 4 Beta





Mozilla released the first beta release for Firefox 4.0

If you didn't know, a Beta version is a release by developers that lets users use future releases before they're out so that they can spot the problems it may have. Beta testing is an awesome way to test something out because with more users there's a higher chance of finding errors and problems and even possible security issues (when hackers and programmers get their hands on it), and it's free.

So, I'm giving Firefox 4 a try! Not bad. If you've used Opera 10.6, then there's nothing new when it comes to the appearance! They've got the "Firefox" button in the top-left that acts like a quick-menu with all the usual stuff you'd easily want from the menus.
The tabs come right below it, but unlike Opera, the Firefox button remains on top where the titlebar should be. Oh, and the add-ons manager is now a tab and looks quite cool

They say it's faster than 3.6.6, but for some of us that use modems who's speed varies as the network coverage fluctuates (which it always does), I can't say for sure, so I can only comment on it's awesome looks.

According to Mozilla, it's integrated awesomely for the new HTML 5, which means we can have videos integrated into pages with HTML rather than using Flash players, which is supposedly gonna be faster. Secondly, the code can change how that specific tab looks, like Google Maps adding toolbars when you're on the page. (can't confirm that).

I hope the final version will have "Paste & Go" and that Firefox button should align with the tabs when maximized or hidable, coz that extra space can mean a lot.

Jul 19, 2010

Showcase

The world is an awesome place, it really is... especially Kenya. There's tons of creative people out there, TONS!! Seriously, I've seen people pull some really crazy work that I couldn't even start wondering how it was pulled off. There's pros at illustration, there's animators, there are really cool filmmakers and writers, there are really awesome poets and story-tellers, great singers and really admirable rappers.
Perhaps the one problem everyone seems to miss is exposure. I got some exposure but it really took some time to get to where I am, though this place I'm at isn't really ALL that, though I must say I'm progressing nicely. But there's others I've seen do some really great work on Photoshop but either aren't posting it up in the right places or are just keeping it to themselves as a small hobby-type thing. Those who are looking for exposure suffer from the not-so-nice fact that everything will stay within your circle of friends and only slightly reach out beyond that (which is what I'm going through)

To get your dream in the multimedia / entertainment sectors, anyone can tell you that it's all about the audience and exposure. It'll take an audience to bring you up if you're planning on going big, or just planning to get the every now and then gig.

Having said that, I would like to introduce an idea I came up with last night while suffering from insomnia:
SHOWCASE! ©

If you're a big fan, I'm sure you've seen TED where people give all these inspirational ideas they've had. Well, I'm not making something exactly like that, but I'd really like showcase to be a chance for people to see what others are capable of. The entertainment industry in Kenya really needs a big boost, and I'm really hoping that Showcase will help give people the exposure they deserve!!

Lemme know what you think. If I should go into a pilot program, I'd like to have some people to display their work and go through the in-the-making 'showcase' program, so if you have some work you'd like to display to people, holla or drop a comment below and I'll holla back when showcase is up and running.

SHOWCASE all rights reserved under davdalx (c) 2010

Hot Mayo - Mystery

Yes, I uploaded this track 10 months ago (as of Jul 2010)

   Mystery by davdalx

I had to tell a story and it's with this that I pulled my first real song. I could give the lyrics but then I'd prefer you listen to it first. Lemme know what you think. I'd prefer an honest review than a "oh ya it's good" one

Cheers!

Jul 17, 2010

How'd You Find "Ideas to Creations"?

Hey visitors.

I wonder, how did you find my blog? There's a poll thing at the very bottom of the blog (below my profile), or you could just post your response as a comment on this post. It's open for as long as... well until I get some sort of reliable figures

Thanx

Who's My Traffic - Blogspot Traffic Info

Hey guys!
So Blogspot is an awesome place to blog. They have an easy interface and posting style and customization is easy and (with some knowledge in HTML) quite free compared to other blog hosts. Though there is one thing that blogspot doesn't have and that's stats.
Perhaps the only real way of knowing if anyone's really reading what you blog about is through the "Followers" application, but when you're starting off and you have zero followers but can't really fathom why yet you've sent your URL/address to everyone... it starts raising the question: Is anyone really reading my stuff?

If you've paid a visit to Wordpress, you'll notice they have a very cool statistics page that shows how many times your blog has been visited in today or in the last month or even since you started out, or how it is that people are getting to you. Was it direct traffic? From Facebook? From another blog? From a Google search? If so, what did they search? Which is awesome.

But then again Wordpress layouts and designs are very limited. You're stuck to specific skins and for those of us who love to customize it's not very cool (unless you're willing to fork up some cash for the CSS customization add-on which is a whole other story).

Anyway, my point is, Blogspot should hook up a way to tell how much traffic is rolling in and out. There is, however, a cool way to get that service if you can't wait: Google Analytics!

Google Analytics works just like I mentioned about Wordpress. You get all sorts of stuff, and since it's a whole other dedicated app, you get lots of other features as well. Like custom views, crazy graphs of crazy stuff and even alerts when you reach certain goals, there's even a world map showing where your visits are coming from.
Although it's a bit of a process to hook it up, well you just need to copy some code into your HTML, you should be walked through how to do it.
I suggest you hook it up with your current Gmail account, go to "Add to HTML" or something like that when requested for the confirmation process, then come back to Blogspot in a separate tab. Choose "Layout" from the dashboard then go to the "Edit HTML" tab. From there, press Ctrl+F and search for </head>. You should find only 1 result within the box. From there, copy the stuff you're given by Analytics and paste it right before this tag.

There you go. Then choose "Verify".

Your traffic will be logged by Google Analytics from this point onward. Be wary though, Analytics will count how many times YOU visit the page, so at the bottom where it shows "pages visited" you'll see one that's just "/" and it'll have the most views (if you don't have as much traffic as yet). Those are going to be your results. You can set up a custom view to exclude this but I haven't delved into that yet.

Oh, and the URL for Google Analytics is "http://www.google.com/analytics/"

Enjoy blogging!

(posted with Firefox's ScribeFire, it's way awesome)

Jul 16, 2010

Hot Mayo Productions comeback!

It was underground until the release of the first album, then it was shut down... for a while.
If you haven't heard some of my jams are on SoundCloud, see them here.

It's been almost 2 years since I did it, and now I wanna come back.

See, not so recently we made a music video for Speedy G's song "Second Half", I was co-directing with my boy Kip from MgO. I had met that guy that very day and here's what we did:



I worked on the beginning sequence in the parking lot. I did some of the shooting and well we had lots of fun, though I must say it could've been a lot better quality-wise.

So I thought to myself, to improve my skills how about I just make a video for myself. Not for anyone, just as a test. At first I thought of taking a song and just rapping to it. Candidates were "Never Forget Pluto" by CYNE or "Electric Relaxation" by A Tribe Called Quest.
Then I remembered my history with FL Studio and Hot Mayo Productions...

Now, after releasing a short spoof video, a stop-motion and a concert recording, it's time to get working on a music video. But first, we'll need the song. Luckily, I had about 10 songs that I was meant to add vocals to but didn't get around to it. They're okay, some are awesome, but I'm getting to fine tuning them. Now to write the lyrics, record, and get working on the video. Of course, the song will be released BEFORE the video to get the hype up so we can get people to be in the video (the more, the better)

I hope this project won't get trashed like most of the ones we've had. Oh well, wish us luck!

Thanx for reading!

(posted with ScribeFire. It's way better than Blogger's editor)

Jul 15, 2010

Adventures of Explorer Jim

Yes, it is done! The sounds, the syncing, the awesomeness! Check out episode 1 of the Adventures of Explorer Jim! It just might change your outlook on life:



Explorer Jim was created using a bit more than 100 images, random free sound effects from the net and my own voice work and not so good singing.
I love the way I say "...jungle" at the end of the first line of the song"!

Hope you like. Drop a comment below!

Jul 14, 2010

Stop Motion 2

Hey y'all!
So we released our first stop motion (starring me :-S) on Facebook.
Yesterday (at about 4) I found a sort of Indiana Jones-type doll that had great potential, and I decided to make a stop-motion for it. Shuria was too tired to work so I got his brother to help me out. About an hour of shooting later, we had done the whole scene but even we knew that that was way too short, and it was, the frames are far apart and very jumpy. Anyway, I came home and working at 4 frames per second I threw in the photos using After Effects.
Thanks to the few photos we took and the framerate, it's super choppy, like one second he's here, the next he's jumped to the second step. Usually phone videos are about 15 frames while proper videos are between 25 and 30 and sometimes 60 frames per second.
I shortly added the sounds for everyone, now that I was back home and had lots of psyche I decided to take advantage. I knew that if I left it I wouldn't come back. I used my laptop's microphone which offered two major problems:
1. My room isn't very recording friendly. There's some noise in the background.
2. Thanks to a full hard-drive that's always working, my fan is always on, so you can hear it in the background (sometimes you can here it even speeding up and getting louder). The parts in the video where two audio clips overlap makes this noise even louder :-S

At least now I've learnt that adding sounds will be an issue in the future. But anyway, it's something like a test since it's MY first stop motion.
Anyway, the voices are done, it's just to add the sound effects now. Check out the promotional poster:
Wa, people are in for a let-down... wait what?