May 2015


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Muse, Uploading,
and Dropbox

Hmmmmm, this is interesting. I'm creating this entry from my MacBook Pro. All of my work is now stored on Dropbox (1 TB) so it's constantly synced between all my machines.

For the most part this has worked flawlessly. Except that I just discovered Muse files will erase their FTP settings when opened between multiple machines! I'm not sure if this is a bug or a security precaution. I'm leaning towards the latter 'cause it kind of makes sense, though it is a bit annoying. As long as I continue working from this laptop I'm fine, but once I go to my desktop machine I'll have to re-enter the FTP info. Again, just annoying (not a deal breaker). I guess all I can really say is, in the immortal words of Bill the Cat, "THHBBBBTTTTTT!"

Getting Closer

I've found a way to incorporate the blog into the mobile versions of this site! It will require a few additional seconds of extra effort each time I make a blog entry, but it's really not that big of a deal.

However, I'm probably going to wait until this weekend as I'm continuing to change/refine/overhaul various aspects throughout the entire site (and the way Muse works, I don't want to have to make those edits constantly to three different versions).

Now, if there's no construction going on in our building today, I'll be happy to get back to making some videos.

Colorizing a Photo

This was a fun/quick project! I needed to take the guy out of the original image, put him into the other image you can see superimposed on top, and then colorize 'im.

I love doing projects like these as I don't get to use Photoshop nearly as much as I used to 10+ years ago. Lately I've been fine turning my hair selection skills which I'd always been wanting to master, that is also one of the how-to videos I have lined up in the queue.

Construction Again

No way! We thought they were done! Alas, jack hammers and power saws are in full swing again.

This must be the last day they'll be doing this. Ami and I walked around the building last night and it looked like they were done.

Blogging and Muse

I've been trying to figure out the best method of establishing a blog while working within Adobe Muse. Unfortunately the best solution at the moment seems to be to continue building each entry 'statically' in Muse.

I've found quite a few solutions for implementing 'real' blogs into a Muse site, all of which involve shoehorning a blog from a blogging service (like tumblr for example) via an iFrame. Unfortunately, every solution has drawbacks. ...from double scroll bars to SEO being thrown out the window. The biggest letdown this morning was discovering that tumblr won't serve up the mobile version through an iFrame. So no matter what device you view the page on, you'll always see the desktop version.

I think I'll need to stick with Muse for now until Adobe implements some sort of solution directly into Muse itself.

New AR Section is Online

They stopped with the jack hammers and power saws late this afternoon, I think they're actually done! least with having to use the loud tools.

That gave me the green light to get back on track with a few videos I'd had lined up in my queue. But rather than work on the how-to videos, I wanted to get the new AR section online. If you haven't seen augmented reality before, go check it out now!

Minor Changes Coming Up (update)

The construction on our building has stopped today due to the rain! This will give me a chance to make some changes to the site that I've really been looking forward to.

One item in particular that I've been waiting to put together is the new AR section (which I hope to have up by the end of the day today)! I haven't been able to do anything on this with the construction going on since it will require multiple video shoots (and I'll need to record the audio as well).

So wish me luck!

UPDATE: well on second thought I guess I'll have to wait. For the 1st time since they started this 30 day project (back in the early Fall of 2014), they've always stopped construction during the rain. Not today it seems. Power saws and jack hammers are in full effect.

Three Almost
Really Real Boxes

Today I'll be expanding my portfolio section to include photography and since I wanted to keep the UI of the launch page the same (text rising out of the boxes), I needed a third box.

Trying to find existing photography of three boxes in the exact position I had in mind turned out to be too tall of an order so I had two options. A) find the exact type of box I'm looking for (or something close to it) and photograph it as I need, or B) create 3D models of the boxes and position them exactly the way I need. Option B seemed like the more ideal choice since I'd get to show off rarely seen photo-realistic models via Adobe Dimensions!

As of 11am this morning (May 18th), I have not completed the photography page. But you can go over to the Portfolio section and see the 3D boxes for yourself if you'd like!

Sort of Like
Riding a Bike
(not really)

Well that was scary! I'd been using aperture priority on my DSLR for a few months but needed to go fully manual this morning and completely forgot how it worked!

It ended up taking only a couple minutes (and a few test shots) to refresh my memory but yeah, that was actually kind of scary. I think I'm going to take it out for a spin 'round the city today to make sure I continue to be on point.


Time for a little shake up 'round these parts! I've decided to re-brand the stale named How-to Videos section on both this site and on YouTube to 'Howdjadoit?!'. I mean, how many times have you asked someone who is doing something really cool in Photoshop or some other graphic design app 'how'd ya do it?!'

I admit that I was inspired by my 5th grade teacher who taught us division by way of 'gozinta' (aka: goes into).

Cut the Cord Folks!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if everything was bundled like cable television? This video will show you and it is absolutely creepy, actually it's beyond creepy!

Please vote with your wallets and show the cable industry that it's time for their archaic business practices to be put out to pasture. I cut the cord back in 2005 and felt a gigantic sense of freedom afterward! I was no longer adhering to a predetermined schedule and found myself with an incredible amount of time to devote to my work and, well, lots of other much more enjoyable endeavors.

Squarepusher VR

Whoa! I have not watched this via my Google Cardboard headset yet, but I've watched a few minutes on my desktop machine and boy is this trippy!

You can use the W, A, S, and D keys to look around while motion seems to be fixed (on rails). If you have a Google Cardboard headset and want to check this out, just click this link to the PlayStore!

Screenshot of desktop and phone versions of my Web site.Mobile Ready!

And there we go! I'd been learning quite a bit about optimizing for mobile over the last few days. Initially I was trying to get much of the mobile experience to mimic what you'd see on the desktop version. But that just wasn't working out for many, many reasons (too many to list).

So now the site is optimized for both tablets and phones, although I still have a different vision for tablets that I want to go back and implement at some point soon.

Needing to Update the Headers

It looks like I may need to go back and re-think the header graphics a bit. I just discovered that on extremely large/high res displays, my eyes get cut off completely.

Still, I don't think this site has turned out too bad given that I just started building it less than a week ago. ...and only started teaching myself how to use Muse a week or so before that.

Example of multiple objects on a single stage via Adobe Dimensions.Adobe Dimensions

Ahhhhhh, Adobe Dimensions. Have you heard of it? No? Then you're probably a young whippersnapper! So sit back and let me tell you about one of Adobe's coolest applications that hasn't been updated since way back in 1997.

Dimensions was/is a 3D modeling application that has one unique feature which, as far as I know, has no modern day equivalent anywhere on the market (Mac or PC). Dimensions allows you to create multiple 3D objects on a stage, manipulate them together (to create more complex objects), and then copy/paste back into Illustrator and keep working! The image above/right is a great example.

So you may be wondering, why not just use the 3D capabilities that are in Illustrator? The problem is that those 3D tools are extremely sluggish but far more importantly, you cannot have multiple objects on a stage so you're stuck with only being able to do simple things like extrude text or something lame like that.

There are some 3D modeling applications out there that will export as vector, but they export wire-frame models. I'm not looking for wire-frame models, I need to build my artwork as I would expect it to look like in Illustrator - but in 3D. ...which is exactly what Dimensions does. Thank goodness I can still run OS9 on my Mac Mini (and should be able to continue to do so for at least the next decade).

Optimizing for Mobile

This morning I began re-optimizing my site for mobile devices. My testing devices consist of a 1st gen iPod Touch, an iPhone 3, and a Note 3. Honestly, if it doesn't look good on the iPod or iPhone I don't really care. I mean, come onnnnnnn...  I don't have to look at the statistics to know that the vast majority of iPhone users have moved on from the iPhone 3 at this point. And my 1st gen iPod touch, well, I'm surprised it still boots up.

The tablet version will prove to be a bit trickier. The trick for 100% height on objects doesn't seem to be working, at least on my Nexus 10. I'd like for it to obviously be a different version of the site specifically for tablets and not simply an up-scaled version of the phone optimized site. Thank goodness it's not even 9am yet, got a lot of work to do.

All-New Portfolio

I've begun work on completely overhauling the portfolio section this morning. It's a work in progress, the launch page is extremely temporary and the print samples need to be cleaned up.

Working with Muse is like a dream! I can concentrate on the design and not the tech, what a breath of fresh air.

Afternoon Update

Feeling a bit better at the moment so I went ahead and made one of quite a few how-to videos I've got lined up in the queue. This one is about Adjustment Layers in Photoshop.

So be sure to head on over to the How-to Videos section and take a look, if you haven't used Adjustment Layers before then prepare to have your mind blown!

Taking it Easy

Well phooey, I was going to be meeting with some folks today and catching up on many planned how-to videos, but I appear to be slightly under the weather.

I could push myself and do what I had planned, but every time I do that I end up taking 10 times longer to recover. So I'm going to need to take it easy today. Hopefully tomorrow or Sunday I can get back on track with the how-to videos.

Certificate of Ordination.Officially Ordained!

Today is the day! I'd like to thank all those who've supported me through all the countless days and nights of studying and especially Zach von Pfahl for his eternal inspiration and for continuing to keep me on the true path.

Today I have become an officially ordained priest. Legally I can now preside over weddings and other ceremonies (at least in the United States). I'll try not to abuse this new power too much.

Augmented Business Cards Demo!

My business cards arrived yesterday! Here you can see a quick 25 second demonstration. Notice how there are elements which float outside of the scanned area! That's a nifty trick I figured out a couple years ago which I have yet to see done anywhere else to this day.

The area that you can exceed varies depending on the design. Some designs are harder for Layar to 'latch onto' than others, so unfortunately there is no mathematical equation for this. However, with something like a photograph (with nothing else to scan) you can typically exceed to about 40% of the original scanned area size.

I've been hoping to utilize this technique for museums or something similar where you could have information hovering outside of the scanned image so that it doesn't interfere with the scanned image. Pretty cool, eh?

Next Up...

Amanda and I will be using the Zipcar today so I won't be able to put together the new How-to Videos I have planned just yet.

But even before I get the videos online, I think I need to get this site mobile optimized first. Thanks to Muse, that should only take an hour (so I should be able to get that done sometime tonight).

All-New, or Rather New and Improved

I'd been pretty busy last week and learned some really amazing things which I plan to share in my How-to Videos section. But one thing I wanted to do before anything else was revamp my Web site.

The first version was just me learning Adobe Muse, now that I've got a much better handle on it - I wanted to scrap everything I'd done before and start from scratch (which I figured would end up happening). As of right now I'm missing all the SEO that I'd implemented into the previous version, as well as the mobile versions. So hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow I'll have those up and running.