Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Design Tip: Distinctive Text

     One of the most annoying things to see, is text in a graphic that blends in, is hard to see, and is overall not very distinctive between the rest of the graphic. Here i'll show you a few tips that will help fix that problem.
     First is a simple drop shadow. In GIMP, this is under filters, and in Photoshop, it's found in the Layer Effects panel. Here is a screenshot of TheZ3ro's site header before a drop shadow:
Text that reads "the blog of Diego Segura" does have a drop shadow.
The original drop shadow was sloppily erased for this demonstration.
And here is after a drop shadow:
Color: black
Shadow radius: 15
     This next tip should be common sense, but is still a problem with people. For more distinct text, switch colors! In a lot of my work for TheZ3ro with this orange color scheme, I keep it the same, but I use other ways to make it stand out. Here is TheZ3ro header with the text colors completely inverted:
The blue looks out of place with this color scheme, but is a good way to get distinct text.
      The next tip is already demonstrated in the past screenshots, and you've probably already noticed it: background blur. I used a gaussian blur, so that the text is the only thing in focus. Just make sure that you are only blurring a single layer, and notmultiple layers due to merging, mis-selection (Yep, mis-selection), or anything like that.
     Hopefully this helped you find new techniques in Photoshop/GIMP, and makes your designs look better. Pass this on to any of your fellow designers that might find this post useful!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hunger Games Meme! (by: Diego Segura)

Yep. :D
Visit my YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/itsdiegodoes
Follow me on Instagram: diegodoes
Follow me on Twitter: @diegodoes
(Special thanks to Lorenzo, who made this up)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lytro Light Field Camera

     Lytro, a camera company recently released their Lytro, "light-field camera" to the general public. This camera has a hint of "revolutionary to it, but with many downsides. The main great feature is its ability to focus, after the picture has been taken. This is "light-field" technology. That feature is awesome, and works well with social networks, but not as smooth. There is one downside. Next is the image quality. 1 megapixel for the camera, which is mediocre, even for modern day cell phone cameras. The images are cropped also. The focusing (for me) isn't enough to keep me to buying this camera.
     The design is quite rugged, with it's rectangular prism, but at the same time, doesn't seem to adapt to what the user needs, for example, like the display. The display is a tiny, 1.46 inch, and is controlled by touch. If you have large fingers, this could become a dreaded issue. Those are just my thoughts on the camera, you can be heard in the comments down below!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Apple Announcement!

     Just days ago, Apple sent out an invitation to the press, regarding an announcement on March 7th. To the left, you can take a look for yourself! The calendar app says March 7th, telling the date in which this will happen. The invitation was subtle, but hints something very important in technology; the next generation iPad. Of course, the media blew up when this was released, as there wasn't a home button making an appearance. This could be in landscape mode, or hinting a capacitive touch button, but we should really just wait until Apple gives us some rock solid information.

How Much Longer can Kobe Bryant Succeed in the NBA?

     On February 21, I started a small unofficial poll, asking the question, "How Much Longer can Kobe Bryant Succeed in the NBA?". The answer choices were, 1-3 years, 4-6 years, and 7-9 years. Over 100 people responded, and I'll share the results and comments with you. The number 1 most voted was, 1-3 years, with 46%. Just behind was 4-6 years (not surprisingly), with 42%. Last was 7-9 years, with a mere 11%. In the comments, Kobe fanboy, (username: parkside) said "Until the wheels off!" Personally I believe the wheels are coming off already. Later on, someone went against Parkside, and stated that, "He will have to adjust his game more like MJ (Michael Jordan) did when he got older." This is very true, as Kobe's skill-set will become weaker, especially with age and strength differences. (Personally I voted 4-6 years, as Kobe is a great player currently, and even If his play-level might fall, I think he can still succeed for years to come. No more than about 5 or so though. ) So, I'll leave it up to you guys, in the comments tell me what your vote would be!
a)1-3 years
b)4-6 years
c)7-9 years

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Moom for Mac

     Moom is a Mac utility for easily resizing windows. The application is available in the Mac App Store for $4.99. The gist of the app is for resizing windows based on configured presets. You can open a settings window of Moom from your taskbar at the top of your screen to access the presets, so that you can change them to your liking. You can choose for the windows to resize, move to a certain place, and many more combinations of changes. To resize windows with Moom, hover over the "+" button near the top left of your window. The default time to hover is 0.1 seconds, but you can change this setting. Once that menu appears, you can hover over your presets, and click to activate them. The one that is highlighted is the one you are currently using. There is also a "Back" button to go back to the previous size of your window.
      The process, as you've seen is extremely simple. The aesthetics are also mazing, as the resizing options go with the flow of the Mac OS. For $4.99, this was a great buy, and I would recommend this to pretty much all Mac users.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Requiem Cracks iBooks DRM's

     Requiem, a well known DRM cracking app is at it again, and now has cracked the iBooks Store. DRM's were made when Apple made FairPlay, a content protection service. With it came DRM's, a way for Apple to monitor which devices a certain pece of content can go on. A few years ago, Requiem decided to crack those DRM's, and create a way for music from the iTunes Store, to play on virtually any device. This application works on OS 10.7 Lion, and is compatible with iTunes 10.5.3.
     Apple and the developer of Requiem, Brahms, have a cat and mouse game going, and Apple will more than likely release an update to patch this problem. If I were you, I wouldn't do this, as the authors, illustrators, and publishers work hard to get these books out to you to enjoy, and stealing their property just isn't right.