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:

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.

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:

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


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!