The Mac Lab

Tag: resources


by on Aug.09, 2011, under Resources

Am updating the site in preparation for the 2011/12 school year. Need this page for Resources to show up in the categories along the top nav bar.

More info to follow before the start of school. These were previously scattered throughout the site. A more coherent system will follow.

Inspiration | Grand Central Linkage |

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Put a Little Spring In Your Break!

by on Mar.27, 2009, under Blog

adobe_yum_smSpring Break is right around the corner and I know many of you will be suffering from horrible withdrawal symptoms. To ease the pain and anxiety associated with going off the Mac Lab cold turkey for two weeks, might I suggest Adobe’s wonderful software trials? Rather than simply downloading the Master Collection, why not just try a program or two at first? Since the software times out after 30 days, it makes more sense to download only what you’ll be able to use over the next month, yes? Think about how delicious (Steven M) that would be! 3D students may also download the Cinema 4D trial.

If you plan on purchasing the software, use an academic reseller and consider buying one of Adobe’s collections rather than individual programs to save money. Here’s one example of collection pricing. Even better pricing can be had through Cuyamaca or Grossmont Colleges. C4D is also available.

While we’re talking about purchases, Wacom just release their newest graphics tablet at Photoshop World. For a real treat watch this promo for the product. It moves the creative spirit in me and both Scott Kelby and John Nack are raving about it, and for good reason. The folks at Wacom hit one outta the park. What an artist’s tool! I’ve already begun searching for grant money to put one of these at each computer next year. As for Photoshop World/Vegas in September… I took 5 kids to the one in San Diego in 2002 but it’s only been in San Francisco and Las Vegas (the permanent West Coast location now) since then. I’ve gone alone every year except the last one (because we hadn’t landed CS4 yet). It’s an unbelievable experience, learning from the best of the best, and I wish I could take a few choice students in September. But chaperoning kids in Vegas?! That’s too scary to contemplate. Well, almost too scary. We’ll see.

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Feeding the Artist Within

by on Mar.10, 2009, under Blog

lions_smUpon reading this post, my students will part like the Red Sea before Moses. On one side will be those who embrace the opportunity like the placid lions in Cat S’s wonderful illustration. Take a second look at the details in the tree. Beautiful, eh? And on the other side we’ll find those who will rail against (Jeff M) the usurpation of their creative freedom. What horrible cruelty! Okay, are you ready for it? Today’s assignment is a more focused continuation of yesterday’s look into the Creative Community. This is an all-student, all-period, all-day activity. No exceptions. Your focus is to gather resources that will support your work for the rest of the school year.

3D ARTISTS: Focus on 3D resources. Begin with the relevant links on GCL. Explore and bookmark tutorials that will help you to grow (i.e., learn more about lighting and texturing). Reexamine the contents of the blog’s 3D tags. Take notes. Remember, typography and 3D do mix! Use this day to shore up your weaknesses and to build on your strengths. Do not launch Cinema 4D.

DIGITAL ARTISTS: Explore the Design/Art/Web blogs and Artists/Designers/Other links on GCL. Gather images for your morgue file. Sharpen your artistic vision. Take notes. Bookmark resources and tutorials that will help you to grow. Use this day to shore up your weaknesses and to build on your strengths. Do not launch any graphics apps.

ALL STUDENTS: This is not a day for chatting. Focus on the task at hand or pay the price. Mac Lab Saturday School™ is so much more fun when you’re here by choice. And later, if you know of something you think should be on GCL, put the link in my drop box or send an email but don’t go looking for new links today. I’ll be updating GCL regularly so revisit the page.

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To Infinity and Beyond!

by on Feb.19, 2009, under Blog

infinity_smI’ll be the first to admit that we have a virtual universe of resources available for you to tap into and, for some, it can be a bit overwhelming. There’s the new Blog Tutorials, the good ol’ Mac Lab Tutorials, the CartoonSmart tutorials in the Resources folder, and all those Web Tutorials (more links to follow soon) but what gets overlooked while you’re sitting at your computers are all the books and magazines on the shelves by the projector screen. See ’em over there? And every month we get new issues of Photoshop User and Layers (that I pay for) and Computer Arts and Computer Arts Projects (that The Foundation pays for). A few of you check these out (they sit by the time sheets) but I bet there’s some of you that don’t even know we have these great publications (even though I’ve told you about ’em several times).

This image was created by Bryan B via a Computer Arts tutorial. Now, the last thing I want you to do is to follow a step-by-step tutorial, produce the exact same image that the tutorial’s author created, then call it your own. The tutorial is just the starting point. Learn the new skills and techniques then use the strategies on an image of your own. You can’t create something original without experimenting. As for learning from someone else’s hard-won knowledge, that’s how virtually every one of us gets off the ground.

Moral: It seems, then, to be one of the paradoxes of creativity that in order to think originally, we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.
– George Kneller, The Art and Science of Creativity (this link is only for the daring)

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The Big Creative Party

by on Jan.17, 2009, under Blog

Mac Lab Buds by Corey AFour or five years ago, one of those unexpected emails made my day: Look this site is absolutely amazing. I’m still not sure who runs it or why but I have been on it all day. The resource here is sweet. Never thought I would get the hang of flash in one hour. After that hour I just clicked around to see what else was there. So why are you doing this or is this for real students? I like the photo’s, where are all these people and who are they. Makes me feel like there is something big I’m missing out on. Looks like a big creative party…

In a way, he’s right. For some of us it really is a big creative party. Here’s a pic from the last Mac Lab Saturday School of the 06/07 school year. (I’ll have to follow up with a current pic.) Admittedly, some of those kids weren’t partying (in the creative sense) but others do show up on Saturdays and/or before school because they love the creative process (by Corey A), as do I. Some days I shake my head in wonder at my good fortune. I actually get paid to learn how to do cool stuff on the computer.

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