Archive for August, 2009

My first article (tutorial) at Adobe Devnet

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

While me and Ani take some short rest on the sea — just a couple of days around the Spirit of Burgas music festival, Faith No More, and our travel to Bourgas and Byala — my first ever tutorial went live at Adobe Developer Connection.

The ones who know, know, what is Adobe Devnet, and for those who don’t I’ll quickly mention that it’s a big honour for me that my modest work about Adobe Fireworks CS4 and its CSS Export options are now in the section Adobe > Devnet > Fireworks! :-)

Of course, the whole extended tutorial is far from being perfect — a lot of things I could have said in a better and shorter way; a lot of other things I forget to mention at all, and probably, I have some mistakes here and there, but I would be glad if the fruits of my 100+ h work could be useful to more than one Web/graphic designer…

That’s it, for now — my style is a bit telegraphic, but I have a whole day of swimming and lying on the beach tomorrow, so I better get some sleep now! :-)

PS And that’s the direct link to my Fireworks tutorial:)

Michael Jackson – The King Of Stars

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

(I am a bit late with this post, but the draft was lying around for quite some time… I just did’t find the words. I think that even now, I didn’t find them — but I prefer to say them, as they are, than to remain silent…)

A legend was gone on June 25th 2009. Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson - the King of Pop

Some have found a good word or two, for him.

Others, have drawn wallpapers, or some drawings, to remember him…

Leading medias, like CNN, dedicated special page to Michael

The day he was gone, YouTube, Amazon and a lot of other “Top 100” websites, mentioned this on their front pages…

And my words… I can’t find them. I am sad. But not because Michael won’t have concerts in London this summer, but because some geniuses have so hard life, and can’t flee from Fate.

Michael Jackson was rejected by many, but he will be remembered, by many.

Michael JacksonNot a long ago, we watched again Moonwalker. I forgot this movie. It’s good.

It is naïve, at some moments, but funny, and Michael dances incredibly, the music is good — what more a man can wish? ;-)

Some scenes in it are unforgettable. “Smooth Criminal” in the Club 30’s, for example. Or the dance with the Hare:)

I wrote earlier this year, that Michael will have concerts in London (Summer 2009). But Michael is no more, and CNN just released a video from one of his last rehearsals:

…In my teenage years, I was big fan of his music, but even more, of his dance. There are a lot of imitators of his style. Are there better dancers than him? Yes. But Michael, he was unique, he had magnetism no other dancer maybe ever had…

Moon walk? O, yes, it’s not his invention…

Here are a few names, some of them I never heard before:

Fred Astaire, Bill Bailey, Buck and Bubbles, Cab Calloway, Clarck Brothers, Sammy Davis Jr., Daniel L. Haynes, Rubberneck Holmes, Patterson & Jackson, Eleanor Powell, Bill Robinson, “Three Chefs”, “Tip, Tap and Toe”, Earl Snakehips Tucker… They are his predecessors. And here’s a historical video:

But, the Moon Walk, Michael could do it like anynone else! :-)

Once, I remember I saw a video, he was doing the moon walk sideways in it! It was amazing to watch…

Michael Jackson was a legend, a star, while he was alive, but now I believe he is a Star in the Sky…

I can’t find the right words to express what I feel.

Rest in Peace, Michael! I bow in front of you and your talent! That’s all I can say…

And I hope, your soul have found Peace…

A Creative Sunday: 3 imitations (Fireworks/Flash)

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Last Sunday, it was a ‘Creative Sunday’. It turned so that I’ve spent almost the whole day, drawing in Fireworks and Flash.

It has all started like this…

The Rabbit and the Sewing Machine

First, my wonderful wife Ani found a blog with a nice header and mentioned that it is probably very difficult to make such a drawing or vector composition.

That was a reason strong enough for me to fire up Fireworks and start re-drawing this header image right away. It was a challenge! :-)

3 or 4 hours later, my imitation #1 was ready:

The rabbit and the sewing machine (imitation in Adobe Fireworks)
(click for larger size)

Compare it with the original that I was trying to reproduce:

original image from juliaroberts6.blogspot.com
(click for larger size)

You can see that the two images are almost identical, with the exception of a few details — for example, I’ve drawn a rabbit with long ears instead of a doll with no face expression (I like the rabbit more, actually). Also, you can notice that some other small details are not re-created in exactly the same manner, but this is intentional — I wanted to make a very similar image in Fireworks, not a 100% exact copy.

Everything you see is just vectors and a few effects added here and there.

I do not know how was the original created (I tried to contact the author of the blog, but did not receive a reply to my e-mail) — maybe it’s Illustrator or Photoshop — but I think I have demonstrated that Fireworks is powerful enough to make quite complicated vector imitations. That’s the reason why I love Fireworks so much — it is powerful enough to do 90% of my graphic design work, and yet, very easy and intuitive to use! :-)

The City of Darkness

Next, I switched to Flash, and tried to recreate a nice drawing, made by Ani on paper, a few days ago.

Here’s my first try with a tablet (this is imitation #2):

The city of darkness (Wacom tablet + Adobe Flash)
(click for larger size)

I used a Wacom tablet and Adobe Flash; when the drawing was ready, I exported the image and then used Fireworks again, for the final version you see.

It took me maybe 2 hours to make the drawing — I think the results are OK for a first try with a tablet and Flash:)

Here’s the original image that I was trying to re-draw:

A drawing by Ani (scanned)
(click for larger size)

Again, there are some differences between the two images, but they are minor…

The solar eclipse & the statue of Mahatma Ghandi

The same day, I also had the idea to re-create a real photograph, taken during the last solar eclipse (on it, you could see the sun against the statue of Mahatma Ghandi, on a very dark sky).

Unfortunately, the day was too short for this purpose, but after two days, I went back to this idea of mine, and so my third imitation was born.

Here’s imitation #3 — what you see is Adobe Fireworks again, only vectors and a couple of live effects:

Imitation of a real photograph, made in Adobe Fireworks
(click for larger size)

And here’s the original, so that you can make the comparison:

A photo by REUTERS
(click for larger size)

This was quite a quick job, maybe less than an hour. I was not trying to make a 100% perfect copy, but rather check if I can quickly make a vector re-drawing of this photo. The results look quite OK to me;-)

Adobe Fireworks

I love using Fireworks.

“Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal.”
Good artists copy, great artists use Fireworks.
—Pablo Picasso
—Michel

Am I a great artist? Sure no! :-)

But it’s fun for me to try to imitate some other people’s work, especially using Fireworks, my favourite graphic design editor of all time! :-)

And what still continues to amaze me is how good Fireworks can be, both with vectors and bitmap editing… and how underrated it continues to be, for Adobe and for many design professionals… (I hope this will change some day!)

…Meanwhile, I’ll continue to copy imitate in Fireworks, just like I did last Sunday, when the mood comes. It’s just too much fun! :)))


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