The Mac Lab

Archive for November, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers (Week 12)

by on Nov.24, 2009, under Blog

artist_01_smIn all cases of perception, from the most basic to the most sophisticated, the meaning of the experience is recognized by the observer according to a horizon of expectation within which the experience will be expected to fall.
James Burke / The Day the Universe Changed

Look the question in the eye, extract what’s make believed
Prism bends the lighted path, like notions preconceived
Skocko / Dream Yet Complete

What preconceived notions do you bring to the blog each day? Do you expect to be inspired or bored? Challenged or tortured? Did you even read the quotes (above)? Do you realize that the preconceived notions you’ve decided to embrace will either enhance or diminish your experience each day? Think about that for a minute. In a very real sense, your preconceived notions can be a help or a hindrance.

When writing the blog, I expect to be surprised and inspired. I almost never know what I’m going to say when I sit down to pound on the keys each morning and I’m almost never disappointed with the outcome. I certainly didn’t expect to suddenly start a new series of videos and I’d be willing to bet that no one else expected what was on the other end of the thumbnail that accompanies this post. (Part II is right here.) Because I expect to be surprised and inspired, I usually am.

Hey, I know this isn’t Pulitzer Prize material but it’s dang good for two hours of effort each morning. Think about that for a second. On average, I spend a couple of hours each day writing, recording, and researching and you spend five to ten minutes reading, watching, and listening. It hardly seems a fair trade unless one multiplies your five to ten minutes by 250. That’s 20 to 40 student-hours of engagement each day. When I think about how the Web is going to play a part in each of your lives (and livelihoods) it seems a sound investment for each of us.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Have any of you seen the movie, Grand Canyon? (It’s rated R so ask your parents first if you’re planning on checking it out.) We’re heading to the Grand Canyon tomorrow morning. Though the canyon is primarily the central metaphor in the movie, it plays a small but significant role as well. I’ll be thinking about that gulf as we enjoy our good fortune over the next few days. In that vein, I have a favor to ask of you. Will you do something for me? We may not have Internet access and clicking those links each day is important. Thanks and I hope you have (or had) a wonderful Thanksgiving.

1125: We have a teenager in the house. Soundly sleeping at present, but the next phase of our family adventure officially begins today. Apt that it’ll be marked by a road trip none of us will soon forget. Sue, my wife, set up a great party/sleepover for Noël on Saturday (after the Wii was unveiled). The highlight (or should I say Twilight) was VIP treatment at the aptly named Edwards Cinema. (Hilarious review here.)

I went in with definite preconceived notions. I hadn’t read any reviews beforehand but I figured the budget had to be bigger so the special effects wouldn’t be as embarrassing this time around. As for the movie itself, my expectations were rock bottom so it was going to be hard to be disappointed. I kept this to myself as the girls couldn’t have been more excited. I fully expected the screeches of delight from the audience when the characters first appeared but I never expected to hear cougars howling along with the kids (several sat directly behind us). Quite amusing!

My preconceived notions made for an enjoyable experience. Oh, and because someone will ask… Team Alice. (Sue was amused by this.)

For the Grand Canyon, I have preconceived notions as well. I’m hoping for crystal clear skies but I’m prepared for hazy. I want to take majestic landscape photos but I’m ready to use the macro if necessary. In short, it’s going to be a wonderful adventure. Particulate matter won’t spoil the day. I know that my frame of mind will impact the experience and I’ve prepared it to make the most of the journey.

You see, I have free will and I’m not afraid to use it (when I remember to use it) to enhance life’s little experiences. You have free will too. Why not use yours to improve your own daily adventures?

P.S. Remember that great photos don’t require exotic locations.

I’ll report from the road, if WiFi presents itself. Happy Thanksgiving!

1126: I woke a bit early, as usual, and began to count my blessings. Kay, Sue’s mom, is Noël’s only surviving grandparent. She wanted to do something special for Noël’s 13th and this is about as special as it gets. I’m sitting at an antique desk overlooking this lobby. In a few hours we’ll board this train and ride to the Grand Canyon. (After driving the crew 508 miles yesterday, I’ll be glad to relax and enjoy the vistas.) We’re spending the night in the Grand Canyon Village so we’ll have a day and a half to explore. I’m especially looking forward to seeing first light over the canyon rim tomorrow morn.

Since I’m in a photographer’s frame of mind, I want to remind those of you who also want to explore photography of an exciting opportunity that I’ll be talking about more in class. Paint the World with Light is officially open for business. You’ll find lots of how-to info there and the best imagery will be collected and published. How would you like to see your photos in a book? (That looks good on a resume!) Let’s work together to make this vision a reality.

I hope you have (or had) a wonderful day with your family this Thanksgiving. While you’re busy being a teenager, remember that one day you’ll probably be a parent too. Cut the old folks some slack, okay? It ain’t easy being a mom or dad. In fact, it’s probably the toughest job there is. Parenting and teaching consume most of my waking hours. Yes, even on a family vacation, you’re the other half of my workload.

On this Thanksgiving morn, I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for being a part of what makes my life so worth living each day.

1127: Last night we attended a Park Ranger’s lecture on how the Grand Canyon was formed. The most interesting part for me was when he distinguished between the geologic Grand Canyon and perceptual one. That’s saying a lot as his props were things like Sponge Bob, Elvis sunglasses (with built-in sideburns), a baseball glove and ball, a rose, a balloon, and a dozen other seemingly unrelated objects.

Eye of the beholder, people. It’s only Grand to those who choose to see it that way.

1128: I couldn’t leave this amazing place without at least looking at one photo. I was going to pick one at random but I thought some of you might be suspicious about just how random the choice actually was so I just chose the first picture on the first card. Okay, bad exposure but it may have potential…

After about five minutes in Camera Raw and Photoshop I had something a little better.

No matter how many times I play with my own photos, I’m always surprised by the stark contrast between the two. What seemed pretty good at first glace is dull and boring when compared to the enhanced version. Here’s a page for comparison purposes (move your cursor on and off the image to see the before and after).

So, did I cheat to get the enhanced version? Well, if I did, then so did Ansel Adams. He enhanced his photography in the darkroom. I just used the 21st century equivalent. And all I showed you was a quick enhancement. I’m going to take my time with some of the better shots.

I wonder how many of you are interested in learning these techniques?

1129: Question answered. Diana is. Not required to watch: Enhancing Imagery 01 and 02.

1130: Welcome back, Digital and 3D Artists! Like many skill sets, 3D will also play a role in both classes. Everyone will launch Cinema 4D today. Hint: It’s in the Maxon folder in Applications. (Ignore any update requests the program may make.) Today I’m going to walk you through the process of bringing your logo into Cinema 4D. When you’re finished extruding, animating, and texturing your logo, I think you’ll see how this will work for your posters as well. I’m taking Digital Artists through the process for the first time this year because many artists have begun using the program to create artwork. Head over to the Projects Page and look for the Three Dimensional Logo + Animation link. Have fun!

1201: Interesting, isn’t it, how some of you spent time trying to grasp the lessons in this week’s blog post while others merely pretended to read? Your dedication, or lack thereof, will reveal itself as we begin to shift into high gear this year. (As if it weren’t already obvious.) You know, it’s almost as if some of you had preconceived notions about the blog — notions that prevent you from reaping any benefits from the experience. Think about that. (A pity that the ones who need it most, won’t.)

Regardless, the day is yours to work on projects and update your Websites.

1202: The self assessment is required (as it is every grading cycle). Watch this video to understand what I’m looking for this time around. You can find the specific rubric videos here.

What I Forgot to Mention: It’s been said elsewhere but I don’t want any confusion. Yes, post works in progress (unfinished projects). Yes, post your Webquest results (and list the members on your team — First Name + Last Initial). Yes, replace your original self-assessment with the new one. And be honest about following the rubric! No, you don’t deserve an A simply because you worked really hard. FOLLOW THE RUBRIC! The reasons you’ll use to justify your grade are spelled out in the videos.

Bonus: Are you becoming a typophile? When you get home, check this out.

1203: Don’t sweat getting the 3D renders and/or animations on your site for the Progress Report… Unless you can figure out how on your own. So easy and obvious! No penalty for missing 3D content. Bonus points for adding it though.
:P

1204: What the Flagnog! I can’t believe you still need reminding. Watch this video!

A Look Ahead: Got DropBox? This is going to be required next week. If your Website is up to date, you might as well get a jump on it now. After signing up, launch DropBox (it’s in Applications), follow the steps, and let it create a DropBox folder on your computer at school and at home (you’ll need to download DropBox at home). Free back up and file syncing. Woot!

Last Reminder: 5 Hours of Fun™ tomorrow. Mac Lab Saturday School™ is 7:00 to 12:00 (we’re actually open from 6:15 to 11:40 but who’s counting?) And YES! Time and work on Saturday can and most likely will raise your grade.

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Stand and Deliver (Week 11)

by on Nov.15, 2009, under Blog

fadi_g_01_smYou don’t really know how much you can do until you stand-up and decide to try.
Dave (written by Gary Ross)

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
Mother Teresa

Those two quotations stand at the top of a short chapter of an interactive newsletter that I wrote around the same time that some of you were busy being born. Last Friday, at high noon, I stood in front of an overflowing crowd in a church and addressed those who came to honor the memory of a man at the other end of life’s spectrum.

Yes, I stand up in front of you guys every day, but I’ve never done anything like that before. It was a small thing to do for the man who raised me. But trying to decide what to say and how to say it… Well, that was the real challenge.

Obvious as it was, it hadn’t occurred to me that I’d be expected to speak. We’ve talked about deadlines recently. Between all that was happening I only had a two hour window to craft the speech. Now that’s a deadline. My wife took our daughter out to give me space and just as I’ve advised you, when faced with the task of creating something original, I began with pencil and paper. The first hour was full of false starts, crumpled pages, and a few tentative ideas. Then, mercifully, miraculously, the Ah-Ha! moment.

Some of you have read Ender’s Game. You’ll understand when I say that I decided to take on the mantle of a Speaker for the Dead. For the rest of you, that means that I decided to speak the truth. And the truth isn’t always pretty.

My dad didn’t often take the easy way out and I decided the best way to honor him was to do the same. It was a hard thing to do. It was the right thing to do.

Today, I challenge you to do the right thing. Focus on your projects and dig deep to find your own truth. Create something personally meaningful, insightful, and beautiful. Yes, that’s truly a hard thing to do. But one day, when you’re called on to do something far harder, you’ll remember that you’ve risen to the challenge before. And, if you accept either challenge with an open mind and an open heart, your muse will step in to help you too.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Thanks to Fadi G for providing the artwork for this week’s post. I couldn’t have hoped for a better depiction of an introspective moment.

…But make the grid lines consistent widths. ;)

Visitor Update: The Bailiwick of Guernsey (I’d never heard of it either) became the 130th country to visit the blog. I found a new tab in Google Analytics and discovered that we’ve had visits from 2,679 cities around the world since April. Even more surprising, in the past 30 days we’ve had 10,559 visits from 777 cities in 89 countries and 47 states (+Washington DC). Surprising Numbers from those 30 Days: 80 visits from Montana (Butte, Kalispell, and Shelby) and 136 visits from Vietnam (Da Nang, Hanoi, and Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh). Our quarter-millionth page view is still on track for next month. Simply amazing!

1117: And now for something completely different…

Today all classes are competing in an art history WebQuest based on a very clever animation. Watch this video to get started then follow this link.

Visitor Update: The Republic of Rwanda is country number 131 to visit the blog since April. We’ll also hit our 220,000th page view before noon today.

1118: While I’m at Final Cut Pro training today I’d like you to do two things…

1. Complete your WebQuest and re-post your results. Y’know, if you collaborate with one another I bet every person in every class could complete the first 22 questions. Just a thought.

2. Spend some time looking at work by Jasper Johns, Max Ernst, Xul Solar, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, Yaacov Agam, Marcel Duchamp, and Piet Mondrian. (Those are the artists who weren’t connected to the Kunstbar animation) <<< Was that a clue?!

Back in the day (before I went back and earned my BFA), I’d often hear gallery owners comment that my work reminded them of Victor Vasarely or Yaacov Agam. I’d smile, say thank you, and eventually wound up at a library (pre-www days) to find out who the heck those guys were. I was especially bummed by Agam because I had all these cool ideas about combining painting and sculpture so that the imagery would change depending on the viewer’s position in relation to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Agam’s work. I just thought my idea was unique.

Digital Artists: You’re going to be asked to create a composition based upon another artist’s style. (No, you can’t bring in a urinal.) After you complete the first 22 items on the Quest, AND LIST THE INFO IN TEXT EDIT, feel free to explore these artists as well.

3D Artists: You also must complete the first 22 items on the Quest, LIST THE INFO IN TEXT EDIT, and post your updated results. Spend some time looking at Agam’s work. Think about what you might create to engage the viewer. Plus, you’ll be directing the camera in your animations so you’ll have complete control over the user’s experience. We begin working in Cinema 4D after Thanksgiving break. (Just a thought: What would happen if you combined Agam’s style with Mondrian’s? Ooh! I wish I could spend hours exploring the possibilities too!)

Visitor Update: People from 25 additional cities have visited the blog since Sunday. That brings our total to 2,704 cities around the world. I have trouble wrapping my head around the reach of our little Web 2.0 classroom.

1119: Props to Christian L for this comment. Made my day! Today we’ve got a presenter from Full Sail University. I hope to sneak away from the all-day meeting here at Valhalla to catch some of it as Full Sail is an excellent school and this is the first time they’ve come to the Mac Lab. Those in multiple periods may work after watching the presentation the first time around. Everyone will be polite and attentive during the presentation, right? Tomorrow I’ll be at the convention center for NAPP‘s CS4 Unleashed seminar. Perfect timing as the lessons I learn will be passed on to you as we shift into the Creative Freedom Zone after the Thanksgiving break.

1120: Last day before break. Please use today to complete your WebQuest, post the results on your Website, and while you’re at it, update your entire site. Continue to submit work for the galleries and I’ll review and reply over the break. Work hard, stay on task, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

P.S. Let’s recover that missing projector.

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The Elements and Principles of Creative Freedom (Week 10)

by on Nov.07, 2009, under Blog

john_c_01_smOut of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein / The Three Rules of Work

Interesting, isn’t it, how those words ring true when coming from a legend rather than Skocko? A quick search reveals that I’ve asked you to simplify your ideas 17 times in the past two weeks (here and here). I’m sure you’d agree that I’ve repeated it in class too many times to count. My search for an appropriate quotation to frame the importance of learning and following rules was cut short when I encountered the above. It’s a new quote to me as well. You’ll be applying it to your projects. I’ll be applying it to my students. Working together, we’ll add to this collection of excellence and make this the best year yet in the Mac Lab!

On Friday I announced that Earned Creative Freedom™ would begin on Monday. To qualify, one must have a minimum of 300 positive minutes, art in all three galleries: Self Portrait | Logo | Poster | and abide by the rules in the Mac Lab. I added posters (John C) to the mix because it’s the final (initial) required project for Digital Arts students. Three additional projects will be required of students in 3D. (I’ll explain in class. Don’t worry. You’ll want to do these.) All students are required to employ and explain the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Color Theory in the poster project. Your explanations will be incorporated into your portfolio for all projects from this point forward.

I’m going to repeat this because there’s simply no escaping this responsibility: You will employ the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Color Theory in all projects from this point forward. I will give you more specifics as the week progresses. For now, you need to read and begin to become conversant in the Elements and Principles of Design as well as Color Theory. Are you catching my drift? I’d bookmark those pages if I were you… NOW!

One More Time: Read the Elements and Principles of Design and Color Theory right now. This is NOT optional. Read those pages and embrace the fact that you’re going to learn and apply this information… for the rest of the year. And yes, acquiring this knowledge will require you to do some independent research as well. Wikipedia is the starting point of your research, not the end.

Must Watch Video Info: Christina P is a first year student who joined the class late. She’s worked hard, listened to my suggestions, and has earned my eternal gratitude for providing this golden teaching moment: Watch this video. Please watch this correction and clarification. 3D students, you’ll also benefit from watching this Digital Arts video. Digital Arts students, you’ll definitely want to watch this 3D video. Clarification for 3D students (and anyone thinking about employing 3D into his or her workflow). And just in case it wasn’t self-evident, ALL students should watch ALL of those videos.

As for posters… 01 | 02 | 03 are example galleries. When in doubt, keep it simple and elegant. Students in 3D will want to check these galleries 04 | 05 (under construction). No illustrations in 3D. Use pure typography. Digital Artists might also try typographic solutions as well. Oh, and did I mention the Elements and Principles of Design and Color Theory?

Participation and Your Responsibilities: Watch this video.

Free Software: For Mac Users (last 3 days). For anyone: Sync your files from the Mac Lab to your computer at home (PC or Mac). I’ve already installed DropBox on our computers so you can just sign up for your free 2.25GB account here if you’d like to use it. You’ll have to download and install DropBox at home to complete the circuit and get the extra 250MB of storage.

1110: Since I know for a fact that some of you blew off yesterday’s assignment, I’m giving you a second chance to read, watch, and follow the instructions (above). Your projects will reveal whether or not you’re holding up your end of the deal.

1112: Since we’ve spoken about getting inspiration from others and compared Microsoft’s packaging strategies to Apple’s (Remember: Microsoft, not Apple, produced that video), I thought I’d share an atypically candid comment from an MS manager: One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very graphical and easy to use. What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 — whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format — is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics. We’ve significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it’s built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance. (Via)

Please, no Mac/PC flame wars. As I’ve said in class, I hope Windows 7 is stable and slick. When companies are forced to compete, it’s good for the rest of us. We all get better products!

Speaking of competition, how’s your own coming along? Remember, you’re competing with that person in the mirror, pushing him or her toward artistic excellence. Yes, the Mac Lab’s not your typical classroom and it’s about to become even more unique because I’m not going to be around for a while. I’m depending on all of you to hold up your end of the deal this week and next. It’s going to take teamwork and perseverance. Help one another, work hard, and stay on task!

The classroom will be open each morning around 6:15. I’ll be in this morning and next Wednesday to Friday to open the lab. Today, I’m flying north to say goodbye to my dad. Services are tonight and tomorrow but since the burial won’t happen until Tuesday, there’s no Mac Lab Saturday School™ this weekend. Sorry. Next week I have Final Cut Pro training on Wednesday, an all-day Arts, Media, and Entertainment Pathway meeting on Thursday, and a CS4 Seminar that Friday so you’re on your own for the next seven school days. Can you all hold it together for me? I’m depending on you!

As for updates, I’m at the mercy of WiFi. See the 0804 entry here for details. I expect to provide daily updates but as The Little Prince says, “One never knows.”

Motto for this Week and Next: You’re Never Finished in the Mac Lab!

Work on your posters, logos, self portraits, and Websites. Strive for excellence, watch the videos, and help one another. When all around you agree that your work should be in the gallery, email a correctly composed JPG that’s at least 1,000 pixels wide or tall to mskocko@guhsd.net and I’ll either put it in the gallery or make suggestions on how it might be improved. Do NOT send anything that AT LEAST three others haven’t confirmed to be worthy of inclusion in the gallery. Remember: 3 then Me. In your email, INCLUDE THE NAMES of the three who agree with you. Unsure? Watch this, this, this, this, and this video for posters and this video for logos. Simplify!

Still confused? Scroll down and check out prior posts. Here, I’ll make it easy: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Galleries: Self Portrait | Logo | Poster | And don’t forget the Elements and Principles of Design or Color Theory (details above). See? It’s all right here for you.

Danny O, Christian L, Samantha P, and Christopher F are still on for the CETPA Digital Learning Symposium next Tuesday. You’ll be representing the Mac Lab, Valhalla, and the Grossmont Union High School District at this state-wide conference. No pressure. ;) Be sure to say hi to Jack O’Connell and the other Edu-bigwigs who stop by to see what you’re up to. Alternate transportation is being arranged and I’ll have an interesting lesson for you and all Mac Lab students next Tuesday. Sorry I won’t be there but this is a perfect opportunity to prove that our online model works with or without my presence.

The lesson? It’s a secret. It will, however, pit the four of you against all the other classes. :P

Psst: Got DropBox?

1113: Wow! It takes a lot of time to reply to all the student submissions. Reminder: There’s no loophole in the 3 name requirement. If a student doesn’t want his or her name included, he or she probably doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. Everyone: More attention to detail! Spot the obvious mistakes and fix them. Make the most of today.

Helpful Tip: Don’t rely on your friends for gallery submission approval. Go to the kids you think do the best work in class and ask for their opinion. Save us both some time. Then, and only then, keep those submissions coming!

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Gallery 022 — 0910 Poster Designs

by on Nov.07, 2009, under Galleries

christina_p_01_smWho will create the featured art for this initial 0910 Poster Gallery? John C would have except his first poster is gracing this week’s blog post. Our answer is right here. Christina P stepped up and delivered! Who’s next?

When creating your poster, remember Einstein’s Three Rules. Hey! I bet that quote would look good on a poster. (Hint, hint.)

0910 Poster Designs

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Multiple Artistic Personalities (Week 9)

by on Nov.01, 2009, under Blog

aaron_l_smA girl should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across her mind from within, more than the lustre and the firmament of bards and sages. Yet she dismisses without notice her thought, because it is hers. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility than most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson / Self-Reliance (gender edit)

All of you should be familiar with that quotation. You’ve been instructed, twice now, to read this post. Yes, please read it again. Whether it’s for the first, second, or third time, you need to understand the 5 Stages of the Creative Process as we’re going to be using them the rest of the year. As the father of a daughter, I wish more of the quotations I post were gender agnostic rather than aimed at the guys. So, if you’re an XX chromosomer (girl) rather than an XY (boy), the sex-change operation (above) is for you. If you’re a boy, and the altered gender in the quotation bothers you, you’re a regular RWAC (Aaron L).

Speaking of Rebel, last week Theatre approached us to design the poster for their upcoming play. Our instructions (on Monday) were: Red jacket, no face, this information, and we need designs by Thursday. I tossed out the project to a few students and here’s what they came up with after only three days of work: Austin W | Christian L | Danny O | Philip B (and you’ve already seen Aaron‘s). They liked all of the designs but chose Austin’s because the play is about a teenager who’s about to explode and they liked the metaphoric look of his design. Austin’s frantically working on the redesign so we can print on Tuesday. Deadlines happen.

Now, getting back to Ralph’s advice to pay attention to our own ideas… Sherman, set the WABAC Machine to 1989…

I was browsing the used CD bin in a bookstore in Santa Cruz prior to the LPQ when I happened upon a recording by Heart. But when I picked it up, I thought, for a second, that it said Earth. What the?! Looking at the typography, it suddenly clicked and I had the coolest idea for a t-shirt design. I went home and sketched it out. Today, that idea is safe, somewhere, tucked away in a box in a corner of our garage.

Over the years I’ve returned to this idea several times but never acted on it until printing a few posters last year. They, of course, sit in a box on a shelf in the Mac Lab and haven’t seen the light of day since they were created. Because I recently talked about my belief in Richard Bach‘s declaration: You teach best what you most need to learn, I’m going to publish this idea right now. This is a painfully plodding rough cut of a much more ambitious concept that I’ll have to learn After Effects to produce. I’ve also ordered the first t-shirt with this artwork and will put it on the Mac Lab T-Shirt Shop for resale ASAP. (Redesigned store layout coming soon.) Since I know you’ll ask, yes, of course you’ll be able to design, print, purchase (about $20 with shipping), and wear your own custom t-shirts. Profits go to the Mac Lab Foundation.

That felt good. Now it’s your turn.

Next up are poster designs, the last shared project between classes. Those of you in 3D, listen to this: Keep it simple, elegant, and purely typographic because you’ll be taking it into Cinema 4D (that goes for your logos too). Please heed my advice or you’ll pay the price. Here are two examples of what you’ll be doing with your logos: Austin W and Trevor C (your typography will be better than those). Back to the posters. I’m opening this up to ideas beyond public service. What I care about is good composition and an appropriate message. Please read up on the Elements and Principles of Design before beginning (yes, there’s a lot of reading today). I’ve begun to set up third party galleries to give you ideas: 01 | 02 | 03. I’ll set up a couple of 3D galleries and add the links either today or tomorrow.

Mac Lab multitasking begins now. You must have an online portfolio (your Website). By Friday that portfolio will contain your self portrait, logo, and poster (coming soon). Don’t worry about finishing. Everything is a work in progress at this point. See the Project Page for links to assignments. In honor of James Cameron, I’ll be awarding extra credit for Avatars. Details will follow but you’ll be posting your proof, if you catch my drift.

Last for today, I’ve updated the time sheets (as I do every week) but this time I spent a few hours reviewing the district’s records. It’s your responsibility to check your balance (each week) and alert me if you think there’s been a mistake. For those of you who’ve cut class (according to the district quite a few of you have), the penalty is stiff. It’s your responsibility to clear truancies with attendance. I have no control over truancy records. If the district thinks you have one, you have one until you clear it. Friday is the D and F report deadline. I’ve scheduled a Mac Lab Saturday School™ for this weekend to help some of you avoid the infamy of inclusion. Look at the time sheets. Is your ID number red? See you Saturday at 7 am!

1103: Just a reminder to update your Websites. I’ll be checking them this weekend. Oh, and you might want to watch this video if you want to avoid inclusion on the D and F Report. What about the self assessment? Reminder about simplification: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | Please review this designer’s logos: 01 | 02 | You have to learn the rules before you can break them. When we break rules (and break them we will) we will break them intelligently.

Student Logos: Gallery 021 Where is yours?

1104: Someone from Dhaka (the Rickshaw Capital of the World and the most densely populated city in the world) in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh spent a few minutes wandering about the blog to bring us to 129 countries. I wonder what he or she thought of our little classroom in the Web.

Speaking of thinking, how about you? Do you think you understand the logo project? If you do, you’re one of the few. Please allow me to explain. <<< You should probably click that link and do what it says. You must understand kerning, tracking, and leading!

1105: We’ll hit our 200,000th page view this morning. (Sitting at 199,968 right now.) That count doesn’t include videos or JPGs. Just the blog’s self-contained pages. Update: 200,002 as of 5:58 this morn. A quarter million should happen in early December. The last 50,000 views came from 47 states (+DC) and 84 countries.

Reminder: Minimum Day/Parent Visitation Day tomorrow.

Hint: Sure hope you guys (my students) have read the instructions (above). I’d hate to be disappointed when looking at your Websites this weekend. That’s all. I’ll let you work now.

1106: Visitors from 134 cities in the United Kingdom have pushed Canada (107 cities) into third place in the global visitor standings. Jolly good showing from across the pond! Likewise, the folks in 81 Florida cities have moved past New Jersey (74 cities) to take second place in the US standings.

Mac Lab students have a growing global following! :D

Welcome parents! Today the kids are updating their Websites using these tutorials (if necessary). Note: Use Working with InDesign — Take 2. I want to see works in progress and correctly formatted portfolios. See this video for details. (Correction: To change margins go to Layout > Margins.) Here’s the example site. Is your logo in the gallery? Get designing! (Use the graphic tips and tricks video.) And speaking of galleries, is your self portrait in this one? Let me know if you think it should be.

Free Software: Mac users, MacHeist is giving away 6 free apps. Offer expires next week. (Thanks, David!)

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