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 Robin Williams and John Tollett

Designing the DesignThink logo

By Robin Williams and John TollettSep 30, 2010

The project: Design a logo for our DesignThink blog. Two sizes needed: 250 x 250 pixels and 75 x 75 pixels.

Justin Putney

Flash Animation Five Tips in Five Days: Tip 5 - Targeting Nested Symbols with ActionScript

By Justin PutneySep 24, 2010

Suppose you want to use ActionScript to manipulate a symbol that is nested inside another symbol. For example, imagine you have an instance of a symbol named menuHolder on Stage, and inside menuHolder, there is an instance of a symbol named menuItem.

Justin Putney

Flash Animation Five Tips in Five Days: Tip 4 - SWF History

By Justin PutneySep 23, 2010

One of the great strengths of the SWF file format (the Flash output format) is its compact size. The SWF file format is one of the best ways to deliver a multimedia experience over a reasonably small bandwidth. Keeping your file size as small as possible ensures that your viewers will have a minimal wait time before seeing your work.

Justin Putney

Flash Animation Five Tips in Five Days: Tip 3 - Bitmap Masking

By Justin PutneySep 22, 2010

Did you know that bitmaps (jpgs, pngs, gifs, tiffs) can be used to fill shapes in Flash? When a bitmap is used for a fill, the shape containing the fill acts as a mask.

Justin Putney

Flash Animation Five Tips in Five Days: Tip 2 - Distribute to Layers

By Justin PutneySep 21, 2010

To faciliate easy editing of your Flash file, it's a good rule of thumb to place each asset on its own layer. This is especially true if you plan to animate or tween any of the assets (since only one item can be tweened per layer). However, there are many occasions when it is sensible to create your artwork on a single layer.

Justin Putney

Flash Animation Five Tips in Five Days: Tip 1 - Easing

By Justin PutneySep 20, 2010

All animation is rooted in motion. When an object moves, it generally goes through 2 types of motion: ballistic and honing.

 Robin Williams and John Tollett

Ever heard of a font called Helvetica?

By Robin Williams and John TollettSep 15, 2010

When we started our careers in graphic design, only people involved in the design and publishing professions knew the names of fonts. Fast forward approximately four decades: almost everyone has a better type collection than our local typographers had, and now we're buried up to here (hand on forehead) with Helvetica.

Maria Langer

A Serious Amateur's Guide to Making Movies - Step 6: Publish

By Maria LangerAug 14, 2010

Releasing your creation to the world.

There are several ways you can publish a movie for sharing with others. The method you choose depends on who you want to see it and what their viewing capabilities are.

Maria Langer

A Serious Amateur's Guide to Making Movies - Step 5: Fine-Tune and Complete

By Maria LangerAug 13, 2010

Getting your movie ready for prime time.

At this point, you should have your movie roughly assembled and ready for finishing. This is where you fine-tune edit points and work on elements such as transitions, narration, and music.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you might need to consider.

Maria Langer

A Serious Amateur's Guide to Making Movies - Step 4: Create the Rough Cut

By Maria LangerAug 12, 2010

Assembling the pieces of the story.

If you stuck to the shot list you created in step 2 and acquired all the video you need in step 3, you should be ready to tackle the next step, which is to assemble video clips into a rough cut of your story. This is where you get to try out your non-linear editing skills and test your knowledge of your video editing software.

The purpose of this article is not to explain how to edit video with your software of choice—or mine, for that matter. Instead, I’ll explain the kinds of things you should be thinking about and doing as you assemble the clips.

Maria Langer

A Serious Amateur's Guide to Making Movies - Step 3: Shoot the Video

By Maria LangerAug 11, 2010

Shooting is the process of gathering the building blocks for your movie.

With shot list in hand, and all your other preliminary planning in mind, you’re ready to shoot or acquire the video footage. As you might imagine, this is a critical part of the movie-making process. Your movie can only be as good as the video you build it with.

I can’t instruct you how to use your camera to shoot video. I can, however, provide you with some terms and concepts that you need to consider when shooting. I can also offer some tips for getting the job done effectively. That’s what this part of the series is all about.

Maria Langer

A Serious Amateur's Guide to Making Movies - Step 2: Plan the Shoot(s)

By Maria LangerAug 10, 2010

So you know what you’re doing before you do it.

In Step 1, you came up with a good topic idea and learned more about it. This research should have helped you understand what your story was going to be about.

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