The Mac Lab

Tag: tutorial

Makin’ Music in the Mac Lab

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Blog

band_posed_smThis is the time of year when you should be finding your voice (Alex S) in the Mac Lab. You’ve had a solid grounding in the technical and artistic fundamentals. You have a world of resources to tap into. You have the archived blog posts, where nuggets of inspiration, links, tuts, tips, and tricks reside. Cue the orchestra. Raise the curtain. Time for digital artists to sing!

3D ARTISTS: The new issue if 3D Attack is in Resources on the server (as is this one). It’s in the drag to documents folder. If you skip it you’ll miss out on the Zombie Shader.

DIGITAL ARTISTS: I’ve been learning and burning the midnight oil at FontStruct. This isn’t just about creating fonts. I’ll be posting something about creating logos and/or logo type there later today or over the weekend. In a nutshell, how’d you like to have your graphic identity available at a keystroke? It may not work for everyone but this holds real promise for many of you – especially those whose logos have yet to shine.

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The Creative Community

by on Mar.07, 2009, under Blog

maclab_smThe first Saturday in weeks without a need to get up early and I find myself wide awake, ideas buzzing in my head, while the stars are still shining. For some, this might seem an annoyance. Sure, I’d have liked to have gotten more sleep, but to wake inspired and energized? Life is good!

I’ve written about the Digital Renaissance and today it was Abduzeedo again that led me to a string of new discoveries via their Best of the Week. As someone born on 050555, it seems a perfect sign, considering yesterday’s post, that today’s is their Best of #55. Amongst the nuggets on that page, one in particular caught my eye: Why Do We Love the Creative Community? In a world in which people and industries horde and hide trade secrets, the creative community has embraced a new paradigm – one in which new discoveries and techniques are shared with a will. Oh sure, there’s still a few who haven’t caught on and continue play the game the old way, but by in large, we creatives are amongst those leading the way to a new mindset for tomorrow.

No matter what field you eventually enter in life after high school, always remember the values of the creative community. And while you’re still a part of the Mac Lab Community (by Evee A), here’s a few links you might find of value: Evee’s Source | Typographic Art | 70 More Examples | 40 Free Pro Fonts | Typographic Heaven | How to Create a Font | Abduzeedo Font Method | Logos with Illustrator | Very Cool Pathfinder Tutorial | Complex Circular Designs | Transform Again | 7 Things | 10 Seamless Destroyed Vectors | 10 Illustrator Resolutions | 64 Arrows | Blend Tool Backgrounds | Background Experiments | Abstract Vectors | Type on Path and Shapes in Photoshop | Light and Shade | Vibrant Light | Retro Text | Trendy Type | Cool Type Tutorial | T-Shirt Design | If you really want to dig into the Creative Community yourself, you’re going to have to search outside of class because it goes on and on and on. Enjoy!

Note: I’ve been updating Grand Central Linkage. Watch this short video.

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Angel of the Morning

by on Mar.05, 2009, under Blog

techno_smVirtually every morning, 30 to 40 minutes before 1st period, Angel and Fernando H stop by the Mac Lab, fire up their iMacs, and set about working. (And as I’ve already told you, Fernando isn’t even enrolled in any of our classes.)

One of the things Angel does (that others have yet to try) is to create his own fonts (using Illustrator or Photoshop) and generating the OTF (the new OpenType standard for digital typography) using FontLab Studio. We have only one license and it’s installed on computer 50 (by the scanner). With all the doodlers in here, I expected a whole bunch of dingbat fonts to be created, but it seems that everyone except Angel has forgotten that I told you about the software earlier in the year. Oh well, maybe the kids next year will take advantage of it to create more Mac Lab Fonts™ that we can all admire and use.

Speaking of Angel, he’s also been playing with Flash and has a semi-almost-functional site. (Stick that in an HTML page and update it!) I thought you all might be interested in enhancing the simple sites I’ve had you build so far. So, for those of you who are still reading, this is required. And it’s due by the end of the period. Today! Drop everything and complete this assignment… right now. Step 1 | Step 2 | Quick Correction | Step 3 | Step 4 | Step 5 Can’t wait to see the results… today.

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The Secret of Identity Design

by on Mar.04, 2009, under Blog

dean_02_smI love watching kids work out their ideas. ARD allows me to monitor the entire classroom. I can see every monitor, offer suggestions, and sometimes help stragglers find their way back to the task of the day (with an invitation to spend a little extra time in the Mac Lab to pay for the transgression). A few days ago, this design by Dean S caught my eye. I suggested he use Illustrator’s Pathfinder (here’s a very simple introductory tutorial) to add the rounded elements to the D and N as well to see if that made the design more interesting. After a bit of arm-twisting, Dean finally came up with this. As much work as it was to get him to take that step (I had to threaten to do it myself and claim the design as my own – I know, I’m shameless), I’m wondering if he’ll consider playing with the shape of the D and N to see what they’d look like if altered slightly.

Back in the day, identity design was my favorite job. Logos, letterheads, business cards, signage – I loved it! I’d spend days tweaking a design, trying to find that magical place where it felt perfect. More times than not, the simpler it got, the better it felt. If I had Dean’s original concept, I’d run through a dozen or so variations to see how they’d change the overall look. If you’ve forgotten some of the basic logotype principles, refer to the tutorials on the CS3 page. For a much more developed (and different) feel for what I’m talking about, watch this video.

Yesterday, Justin from CartoonSmart posted about LogoInstant, a terrific new site that intends to post a new logo a day. (I’m interested to see if they can keep that up.) One caution, though: NEVER design your logo in Photoshop (unless you know how to keep everything in vectors). Use Illustrator! Look here for more logo links. The reason I’m reminding you, yet again, about your logos is that we finally have all the Hydroshield discs (CD and DVD), jewel cases, and ink for our CD/DVD duplicator/printer. Your final project in here, besides the online portfolio, will be to create your own demo disc. You do want it to look good, right? It all begins with the logo.

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Like Father Like Son

by on Mar.03, 2009, under Blog

rhodes_smMy dad and I couldn’t be more different. He was drafted by the 49ers. I was the only player in Watsonville High School history to play two years on Lightweight Reserves. Seriously, that’s what we were called. We played in old, moth-eaten uniforms at 8:00 Saturday mornings. A few kids would ride around the track on stingrays while we played and the seagulls screeched. I was a 100 lb, 5′-3″ specimen before sprouting in my junior year. I did learn a lot from the big guy but we never had the classic father-son relationship.

Anyway, the point of this post is to highlight someone who does have a winning relationship with his dad that plays right into the Mac Lab. Michael R is beginning to come into his own as a photographer due to his dad’s mentorship. As with Sarah, I’ll let Michael tell the story.

What the rest of you can learn from this post (besides how tiny I was in high school) is the art of preparing your work for print. You’ll find a number of tutorials on this subject on the CS3 page. Remember to set the resolution to 360 pixels per inch rather than 300 for the best prints.

Oh, and because you’ll ask… No, my dad didn’t take the offer from the ‘Niners. He took a job with the telephone company and played semi-pro in Salinas for a few years. That way he earned more than the $6,000 contract teams offered rookies back then. How times change, eh?

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