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  1. Yesterday
  2. Backdoor was intentionally planted in 2018 and found during the DEF CON 2019 security conference when researchers stumbled upon malicious code. View the full article
  3. Last week
  4. Microsoft released the beta of its new Chromium-based Edge - and it is offering rewards of up to $30,000 for researchers to hunt out vulnerabilities in the browser. View the full article
  5. Apple accidentally re-introduced a vulnerability in its latest operating system, iOS 12.4, that had been previously fixed in iOS 12.3. View the full article
  6. You're reading Creating a Custom Bootstrap Landing Page with Startup 3, originally posted on Designmodo. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook! Designmodo’s Startup Framework is an affordable tool to help you create excellent web pages quickly. The framework is a drag and drop page builder, made with Bootstrap. This means you can easily and quickly generate production-ready, responsive pages in a … View the full article
  7. VideoLAN has released an updated version of its VLC Player to fix over a dozen bugs. View the full article
  8. Eight vulnerabilities would allow a range of attacker activities, including taking the Nest camera offline, sniffing out network information and device hijacking. View the full article
  9. From the biometrics of one million being exposed, to new Microsoft Bluekeep threats, Threatpost discusses the top news of the week. View the full article
  10. It's been a rough week for people who are overly attached to Android and iOS app icons. Not only were youngsters sent into a tailspin when Snapchat updated its icon, but now it's the turn of Skype users to go through the pain of watching their beloved app get a visual update. That's because Skype has got a new icon on iPhones and iPads. It's part of a larger aesthetic overhaul of Microsoft Office icons, which has been in the works since last year. And while the new icon is arguably more noticeable than the Snapchat update, is this redesign a case of users getting angry over nothing? Expect to see the new icon shortly In the redesign we can see that it's inverted the colours of the previous app icon, so now the S is white and the circular background is a blue gradient. The new Skype icon is in line with Microsoft's Fluent Design System and will roll out to all platforms in the next few weeks. As is often the case with redesigns of familiar products, the new icon has provoked a negative reaction from users. Plenty were quick to point out that the new colour scheme makes the telecommunications application look suspiciously similar to Facebook Messenger. Meanwhile, others noticed that the sizing of the new icon made it appear bloated and overweight, leading to them to consider removing it from their devices altogether – a response Skype probably wasn't going for. Let's just hope people aren't jumping ship too soon. The updated icon is part of a wider upgrade to the app that sees Microsoft fix some of the bugs that have plagued previous iterations. So while it might take a while to get used to the new icon, at least Skype will work better than before. In the cut-throat and fickle world of communications apps though, maybe this will be the nail in the coffin for Skype. After all, it's been flagging behind Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger for some time now. Or perhaps new features, such as Microsoft's plan to allow Skype users to make VoIP calls to each other in the start of 2020, will give the app a new lease of life. Related articles: How to design app icons 25 stunning iOS app icon designs How to nail your social media strategy View the full article
  11. You're reading Bootstrap Modal Guide, Examples and Tutorials, originally posted on Designmodo. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook! Bootstrap framework is rich in different components. Not only did the team take care of the design and its integral constituents, but they also put many efforts into functionality. That is why, along with static units like buttons or typography, … View the full article
  12. Drawing a realistic-looking human body is difficult. Our guide to how to draw covers the essentials, but hands are so tricky that it's always useful to pick up extra advice. Luckily for us, illustrator and comic artist Miyuli is here to offer some quick tips on how to draw hands and nails, and artists on social media are absolutely loving it. The advice, which was recently shared in a tweet (below), outlines the benefits of using straight and curved lines to communicate the shape and nature of a hand. It also contains some dos and don'ts for drawing fingernails to help give artists a better sense of their dimensions. So if you're a digital artists who's been blaming your equipment instead of your skills, Miyuli's advice is worth a look-in before you splash some cash on the best drawing tablets. Check out the tips below. Despite only being shared very recently, Miyuli's tweet has exploded. At the time of writing, thousands of social media users have given it a like, and hundreds have shared it. Twitter users have also been flooding the replies to voice their approval. One artist said: "Thank you! I’ve been focusing on hands a bit recently and this really helps." While another replied with: "Super helpful guide and reminder! Thank you very much". Perhaps the reason this post is so popular is because it deals with the specifics of fingernails. These can be especially tricky to draw as, once you've nailed the shape of the hand, it can be all too easy to hastily sketch in some approximate nail shapes and call it a day. So hats off to Miyuli for explaining how to draw hands and nails quickly and clearly. As if this wasn't enough, the illustrator has also compiled a load of their art tips into a volume you can buy for $20. And if you would like to support Miyuli even further, be sure to head on over to their Patreon page and give them a couple of bucks. Related articles: Isometric drawing: A designer's guide How to draw a face 10 expert tips for charcoal drawing View the full article
  13. 3D sculpting is a pivotal stage of the 3D model creation process – it’s where artists’ ideas quite literally take shape. There’s no right or wrong way to achieve results at this stage and the approach is likely to differ significantly from artist to artist. We’ve assembled four masters of the craft to discuss the fundamental skills that underpin digital sculpting, individual styles, and how you can create your own stunning 3D sculptures. See our post on stunning 3D art for further inspiration. The basics of 3D sculpting Rudolf Béres has a strong knowledge of the games industry and is skilled in retopology and UV mapping It stands to reason that digital sculpting would be a very similar discipline to its tangible, squishy counterpart. Rudolf Béres has four years’ experience as a 3D character modeller and a strong background in traditional sculpting. “I studied traditional art at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and I earned a diploma award for working as a traditional sculptor and restaurator over a couple of years,” he remembers. “After all this I decided to move into the game industry and become a part of the digital art world.” ZBrush was an absolute miracle in my life Rudolf Béres There are few artists more qualified to discuss the fundamental skills of sculpting and how they translate to the digital world. “The traditional experience was a very good basis to start sculpting in digital,” continues Béres. There was one software in particular that catered to Béres’ previous experience: “ZBrush was an absolute miracle in my life and I wanted to work in it at first sight. Although it’s a completely different experience, the learning process is like playing with traditional clay or carving wood.” Even with a software like ZBrush (see our ZBrush 2019 review), Béres assures us there are key differences between traditional and digital methods: “The biggest difference is that you don’t have a real feel for the material. There’s also the fact that you can’t undo it when you’re carving a stone, or building an iron frame for your clay sculpt. The sculpting process is essentially the same, blocking, detailing, and so on. But I think that will change with the introduction of 3D printing sculpture methods.” Béres describes his artistic process as chaotic, explaining that it all starts with an idea, which usually arises from a picture or a real life experience. “In the beginning, anything and everything can change,” he adds. “Slowly the form begins to take place and I could turn a portrait of a normal girl into a vampire girl. To put it simply, don’t insist on sticking to your original ideas in the end, everything changes." Find your style ‘Border Patrol’ by Rodion Vlasov, based on a concept by freelance illustrator Viktor Titov Rodion Vlasov is a 3D character artist based in Russia, with six years of industry experience under his belt. “I began learning ZBrush towards the end of 2007,” he explains. It’s a time that Vlasov looks back on with great fondness: “Back then I was a child with big ambitions and aspirations. I had a ton of motivation to become the best in 3D.” Vlasov found this inspiration in forums such as ZBrushCentral and the artists that populated them, posting their work, WIPs and sketches. “It was a great inspiration for me. Imagine a little 13-year-old boy, who lives in a village, using the internet to communicate with artists from all over the world.” Vlasov’s work demonstrates a unique style and a penchant for striking and memorable characters. “I just let my hands sculpt while I keep the idea in mind,” he answers when asked how he achieves his unique visual style. I know that if I can’t do it today I will do it tomorrow Rodion Vlasov Despite his laid-back approach to sculpting, Vlasov makes sure to surround himself with inspiration: “I use reference images to help me find the right mood, I search for images based on my idea.” Vlasov also listens to music as he works, preferably dark ambient soundscapes. “Music is a deep sea of ideas,” he explains. “It helps create imagery in my mind.” Even for a creative soul like Vlasov, there will come a time when inspiration alludes him and motivation is hard to find. When this creative block strikes he accepts it with calmness and waits for it to pass, “I know that if I can’t do it today I will do it tomorrow,” he adds. “Instead I go and play video games, watch something, go outside and try to relax.” Vlasov asserts that it’s important to change up your activity for a while, just to take a break from CG. Get the right tools Despite having his own unique style, Vlasov insists that he doesn’t employ any unusual or notable techniques in his sculpts; he uses slightly tuned standard brushes for all his imagery, with no tricks. Vlasov outlines five things that are essential for any digital sculptor: “A PC, ZBrush, a standard brush, steady hands and a clear mind.” Finally, Vlasov imparts some wisdom for those that are new to the world of digital sculpting: “Be patient, do not rush, it will take time to get a result in any case.” He also has some advice for honing the fundamental skills of sculpting: “Learn anatomy and, perhaps even more importantly, strive to feel the forms of what you’re sculpting.” Improve your 3D sculpting efficiency ‘The Song of Tiger and Dragon’ by Keita Okada was created as a resin bust “I’ve loved creatures for a long time,” says digital sculptor and CEO of Villard, Keita Okada. Okada has a wealth of experience in creature creation, he has won numerous awards for his work and lent his talents to the video game industry. “Instead of using DCC tools, I decided to look for a more efficient way to create realistic creatures,” he adds, discussing how he got started in digital sculpting. A look through Okada’s impressive portfolio reveals a unique style and talent for intricately detailed, compelling creatures. When asked how he developed such an individualistic and recognisable style, Okada assures us that he simply kept practising, creating countless models until he developed a style that he could easily work with. Much like Béres and Vlasov, Okada favours using ZBrush in his sculpts: “I mainly use ZBrush, but I don’t usually use the more complicated features.” Okada favours Autodesk’s sculpting software because it allows him to produce and project more realistic details, such as carving or engraving on his clay models. Okada’s company, Villard, sculpts various kinds of concept models and art at an efficient rate, with creature production being their main focus and greatest strength. “The models we create are used not just for movies, but also for concept modelling, art, video games and much more,” he adds. Keita Okada’s sculpts have won him numerous awards from the likes of 3dtotal and ZBrushCentral When it comes to forming a career in digital sculpting, Okada praises the power of social media: “Nowadays, you can get your artwork easily noticed through social media. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Japan or any other country in the world, word will spread. So I would greatly advise every artist to upload their work and show it to others.” Much of the inspiration for Okada’s own creature work comes from browsing ArtStation and looking at the work of other artists. For those finding their feet in the world of digital sculpting, Okada has some sage advice drawn from his own experience: “Practise non-stop and find your own wild and beautiful style in your own work.” He also urges budding digital sculptors to experience the feeling of sculpting clay with your hands, adding that it’s a very important exercise. “You should clearly emphasise parts of your artwork that you put a lot of effort into and want to show off. Basically, knowing the good and bad points of your work is key,” adds Okada. Finally, he emphasises the importance of showing your work to others and getting feedback from a variety of different people. Craft characters Tristan Liu is a character artist and 3D generalist. This model is named Tara Tristan Liu is a digital sculptor specialising in characters. He is currently lead 3D artist for start-up AI company DeepMotion, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously he’s worked on projects such as World Of Warcraft, Diablo III and Overwatch. “I started in digital sculpting when I was in college,” remembers Liu. “I saw ZBrush 3.1 on one of the lab computers. After some experiments, I found it was a very intuitive way to express my inspirations and ideas in 3D. I fell in love with it immediately. “ZBrush is one of the tools that I use for sculpting,” he continues. “It depends on personal habits but to me, ZBrush is a powerful tool that meets all my needs for sculpting.” Liu believes a solid foundational knowledge of sculpting is key for building a portfolio and getting hired. “A professional artist can quickly determine your level by looking at your work. The industry is changing fast, so it is very important to keep trying new technologies and improving your skills.” A sculpt of Liu's character, Tara Liu’s work is notable for its high level of detail and realism. Explaining how he achieved this on his latest image, Tara (above), he says: “I used many references, including realistic photos and digital works. Scanned alpha textures were also very helpful for getting quick overall detail on the sculpt, such as fabric folds, wrinkles and metal scratches. I projected them to the surface before digging into the details too much.” He continues: “If you are going to texture your character after the sculpt, you need to be clear which details need to be sculpted, and which areas can use normal maps or displacements to achieve a similar result in texturing tools. Always zoom out to check that you are satisfied with the details when looking in the distance.” Katsumoto was created using Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter and Marvelous Designer, before being rendered in Marmoset Toolbag Staying ahead of the curve with your sculpts requires constant experimentation and practice. During the gap between his long-term projects, Liu usually works on short-term anatomy or concept sculpting exercises to keep himself sharp and change the pace. “Be passionate when starting a project and be patient when it comes to completing it,” Liu continues. He states that the overall feeling of a sculpt is much more important than the details, also adding that it’s important to “always be humble and learn from your fellow artists.” So what are you waiting for? There’s no mystic art to creating great sculptures. According to our digital sculpting experts, all you need to do to get started is grab a ZBrush licence, brush up on the fundamentals of sculpture and continue to practise until you make perfect. This article originally appeared in issue 248 of 3D World, the best-selling magazine for 3D artists. Buy issue 248 or subscribe to 3D World. View the full article
  14. Unbelievably it is over thirteen years since the CSS preprocessor Sass was released. Since then it has grown to be one of the best-known and best-loved CSS tools in a developers toolkit – see our post on What is Sass to learn more. Here, Natalie Weizenbaum, lead designer at Sass, tech lead of CSS at Google and closing keynote speaker at Generate CSS reveals her top five tips for getting the most from Sass. 01. Use Sass for sharing styles Sass has a lot of nice features for writing individual stylesheets, but where it really shines is that it creates a consistent visual identity by encapsulating design logic in functions and mixins, and re-uses them over and over. That's why design systems like Google's Material Design and IBM's Carbon use Sass! 02. Use PostCSS for transforming styles Six years ago, it was common to see Sass users using mixins for cross-browser compatibility or right-to-left language support. Today, PostCSS is the best tool for that job. Let humans write standards-compliant Sass stylesheets and leave the compatibility work up to the machines. 03. Use mixins for all styles in partials Even if those mixins are only used once! Only the root Sass file should actually produce CSS. This ensures you know exactly what order your CSS is generated in, and it makes it way easier to share styles later if they're written to be shared from the start. 04. Keep your styles neat and clean with a linter The stylelint linter provides a ton of excellent lints that will help ensure you aren't using any invalid CSS properties or other easy mistakes. The stylelint-scss plugin adds a bunch of checks just for Sass users, some written by the Sass team itself. 05. Give Dart Sass a try First released in 2018, Dart Sass is the new reference implementation for Sass. It's fast, it's easy to install as a pure JavaScript package, and it's rapidly developed—which means it's always the first implementation to support new Sass features and new CSS syntax. Check out Weizenbaum's talk on Sass in a Post-CSS world at Generate CSS this September. Buy a ticket to Generate CSS today. 5 things you never knew about CSS Add SVG filters with CSS Discover variable fonts and unconventional CSS solutions View the full article
  15. If you work in graphic design, you're no stranger to the fact that having access to a wide range of high-quality vector designs is a crucial timesaver. The only problem is that the most affordable vectors available tend to be low-quality - and most high-quality ones are impractically expensive. And if you can't find what you need with our free vector art guide, you'll need another solution. This StockUnlimited Vector Plan, on the other hand, grants you unlimited access to a respectable collection of HD vectors, and a lifetime subscription is available for over 90% off at $34.99. One of the biggest benefits of this subscription is that it makes it easy to quickly find vector designs that span multiple genres - so you can spend less time searching, and more time designing. Ideal for non-commercial websites, blogs, slideshows, and video presentations, this deal comes with unlimited downloads and exclusive one-of-a-kind content that can be used for an endless number of design projects both online and in print. Plus, you can always pay an additional fee if you plan to use the designs for commercial use. In addition to the 500,000 vector designs, StockUnlimited adds fresh content regularly - so a lifetime subscription actually means something. For just $34.99, it's certainly worth adding this subscription to your design asset toolkit. Related articles: Amazing vector art tutorials The best infographics on the internet The best Illustrator brushes: premium and free View the full article
  16. Online campaigns and advertising can be hugely effective in tackling social and political issues. But finding a way to get your message across in a way that people actually want to pay attention to, without making your audience feel like they're being preached to, is incredibly difficult. Two creatives that have absolutely nailed it are designer Zeynep Orbay and writer Macie Soler-Sala. Both passionate about politics, the duo have created a range of standout side projects, as well as bringing social purpose to big-brand campaigns at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, where they've been based for the past two years. In late September, they'll be taking to the stage at nocturnal design conference Us By Night in Antwerp (find out more about the festival here) to reveal their advice for making a statement that people want to stop and listen to. In the meantime, let's take a behind-the-scenes look at some of their most effective projects with a purpose. 01. Spread the love US Vice President Mike Pence’s birthday falls at the start of June, which also happens to be Pride Month. In this personal project, Orbay and Soler-Sala decided to celebrate the two together. "We thought this would be a great opportunity to turn a day reserved for a man who has spread nothing but hate and intolerance towards the community into a day of love and support for it," says Orbay. The resulting video is an homage to Marylin Monroe's sultry rendition of ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ to JFK, but with a difference. "We recreated it with a 2019 twist," adds Orbay, "A group of drag queens dressed like the sex symbol herself, singing Pence their sexiest rendition of the song in a way that still feels genuine and full of love." To give the project extra clout, the pair partnered with six LGBTQIA+ organisations, and encouraged watchers to donate to them on Pence's behalf. 02. Find a new angle During his 2016 US presidential election campaign, Donald Trump developed a reputation for contradicting himself. "At the time, there were plenty of digital experiences about Trump, which ran the spectrum from fun and playful to mean-spirited," recalls Soler-Sala. "We wanted to create something entirely fact-based, which essentially used his own words against him in a way that was informative, undeniably true and serious in tone." In Stereotypical Trump, users are invited to don a pair of headphones and hear the President himself addressing a range of key topics, from the Iraq War to party affiliation, with one statement feeding their right ear and the opposite in their left. The response to the project was massive. Over just a few days, the site amassed over 750,000 audio plays, 36,000 page visits, with an average dwell time of 2 minutes 45 seconds. "While the big result we were hoping for obviously didn’t happen, here’s to hoping we don’t have to listen to Trump any more after 2020," adds Soler-Sala. 03. Tackle stereotypes This next project, for W+K, shows how big brands are increasingly using their reach to create positive social impact. This Is Us is a campaign for Nike Women in Turkey, where – as in many places around the world – women are constrained by traditional gender roles and expectations. "Female athletes in Turkey have always been committed to pursuing their love of sport and fitness while staying true to themselves, despite these barriers and society’s expectations of them as women," comments Orbay. "Our Nike campaign, celebrates the stories of elite and everyday athletes from across Turkey, encouraging women to push beyond their personal barriers and limitations others may place on them." The design takes stereotypically female scenarios and cleverly segues them into sporting scenes – flour on a woman's hands as she mixes ingredients for baking becomes chalk for weight-lifting, for example. It's a clear and effective way of breaking the barriers between expectation and possibility. 04. Be unignorable This final project is one that packs a real punch. The Fading News took on the issue of news censorship in Turkey. During the Gezi Park protests, a lack of information on TV meant people turned to the internet to stay informed. The Turkish government was about to pass a law that enabled authorities to erase any online content within four hours, without the need for even a court order. The duo decided to show the public exactly what the internet would look like under this new law. They partnered with Radikal, on of the biggest newspapers in Turkey. Over the course of three days, all political news stories on the paper's website faded out until visitors were left with a page of censorship. "It sparked an even larger movement where people started erasing their own content on social media," remembers Soler-Sala. "We reached over 32 million people with no media budget, but most importantly, the president revised the law to make the court order necessary to erase any content on the internet." What's on the cards at Us By Night? Us By Night runs from 26-28 September. This is not your typical design event: it's completely nocturnal, with talks starting at 5pm and ending at 11pm. "I’ve never spoken about my work at such a high-profile event before – to have this opportunity at a place like Us By Night is a huge, night sweat-inducing honour," says Soler-Sala. "I’ve been a very big fan of this festival for a long time and admire so many speakers that will be presenting this year." "It makes me very happy and excited to be a part of a festival which I’ve always admired, alongside with many great creatives," adds Orbay. The event will take place at Waagnatie in Antwerp, a city that – despite its relatively humble size – is known for its metropolitan mindset and appetite for innovation. This is the city that brought us Rubens, the Antwerp Six and Luc Tuymans, and it continues to attract creative talent today, with one in six Antwerp enterprises being in the creative sector. What better place for a design festival with a difference? Pick up a ticket here. Read more: 5 ad campaigns that changed the world Adverts that were so entertaining the message got lost 5 massive brands that are no longer with us View the full article
  17. Eight vulnerabilities in the HTTP/2 server implementations were found in vendors Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Apache. View the full article
  18. Up to 24 Apache Struts Security Advisories listed the wrong versions that were impacted by vulnerabilities, researchers warn. View the full article
  19. Companies are falling over themselves to offer back to school discounts for students, and Adobe is getting fully involved with this fantastic offer. Students in North and South America, plus EMEA regions – that's people who live in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – are now able to get at least 60% off Adobe Creative Cloud. The price drop means users living in these countries can get an Adobe CC All apps subscription for $19.99 a month for the first year, as opposed to the full price of $52.99 per month. On top of that, when you pay upfront, you can get an additional two free months – that means a whole year will cost you just $199.88. And those in the UK are even luckier, as there's an additional 17% off the price, dropping the cost of a monthly subscription down from an already discounted £16.24 a month to £13.56. The yearly plan paid in advance costs £196.56. The price reduction applies to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite, which includes Adobe's 20+ applications, including photo editing favourite Photoshop and digital artists' go-to Illustrator. You'll also find video editing software Premiere Pro, web prototyping tool Adobe XD and motion effects creator After Effects among the impressive toolset. To be eligible for the deal, you need to be over 13 and enrolled in an accredited university or college, in full-time study at a primary or secondary school, or be homeschooled. If you're not a student, then don't despair. Those in EMEA regions are able to get 40% off Adobe's All Apps plan. This drops the price from £49.94/€59.99 to £30.34/€35.99 per month (note that prices in European countries vary slightly). There's also a discount on Adobe CC All Apps plus Adobe Stock, knocking the price from £78.52/€82.98 to £58.92/€59.98 (prices in Euros are approximate). If that's not enough to tempt you, also note that when you buy Adobe's full package you're also getting 100GB of cloud storage (with the option to upgrade to 10TB) and premium features like Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark. The programmes are fully integrated, so you can switch between them (and jump from one device to another) easily – whether you’re at home studying, in the library or out and about. Built-in templates help you jump-start your designs, and there are plenty of step-by-step tutorials available to help you get your head around the programmes. These deals are available for a limited time only, so if you want to save big on Adobe's entire suite of creative software, sign up now before it's too late. If you're not eligible, take a look at our guide to the best Adobe deals to see if there are any discount in your area. Make sure to bookmark the page too as we update it with Adobe deals once they go live. Read more: 61 top-class Photoshop tutorials to try The best digital art software in 2019 The 9 best alternatives to Photoshop View the full article
  20. If the number of videos and amusing pictures on the internet are anything to go by, it looks like people love cats. But until the launch of a recent campaign for cat food brand Smalls, this fondness for felines hadn't been immortalised in font form. All that's changed though thanks to the launch of a new font created by Smalls' lead designer, Miles Barretto, in partnership with Good Type Foundry. By studying the movement and behaviour of cats, Baretto modified the upper case font Adieu to capture their distinctive essence. Unless you're more of a dog person, this set could easily rival some of the entries in our list of the best free fonts for designers in your affections. But how does the nature of a cat get translated into a typeset? Barretto explains: "I looked into the body language that cats make, and particularly got drawn to the tail." "There was a nice natural connection to translating the cat tail into letterforms - it was also a great learning experience as to how cats can communicate through body language." The result is a quirky, slinking font that will appear on the packaging of Smalls' freeze-dried cat food bags. Just take a look at how the apertures in the letters meander, and the way the terminals have a smooth kink in them. Looks pretty cat-y to us. This is making us purr For Barretto, one of the most interesting parts of the project was putting himself in the mindset of cats and their owners. "I think it’s fascinating to know that within cat owners there is a commonality of experiences in having a cat and trying to translate those unspoken facts through the design was a learning process that I have not really thought of until working with Smalls." The font was part of a broader effort to inject some "surprise and delight" into the brand. To top-off the project, Barretto also created Small Talk Magazine, a print accompaniment to the Small Talk blog. Related articles: 45 free retro fonts 33 perfect font pairings 4 steps to using variable fonts View the full article
  21. Social media logos are tricky. When hundreds of millions use your app on a daily basis, you risk upsetting an awful lot of people if they don't like it, as we've seen this week with the rebrand of Snapchat. Throw in all the other issues that social media platforms are failing to deal with, from fake news to online abuse, and the notion you have the time to mess around with changing your logo can seem like a slap in the face to the public. Yet despite the fact that most social platforms haven't been around for long, many of them have already been through several iterations of their logos (see our guide to logo design if you'd like to know more about what makes a successful logo). So what's driving these changes, how successful have they been, and what do they tell us about the art of logo design, and the latest logo trends? 01. Facebook The original Facebook logo, launched in 2005 We'll start with Facebook, as an example of how to do it right. Facebook began as a Harvard University networking site originally called 'Facemash' and then 'Thefacebook'. Once it had been renamed 'Facebook', founder Mark Zuckerberg hired Mike Buzzard of Cuban Council to design a professional looking identity. His logo design, shown above, was a modification of the typeface Klavika, which was designed by Eric Olson. Buzzard oversaw the project, and type and graphic designer Joe Kral completed the type modifications and final wordmark. The distinctive hue was chosen due to the fact that Zuckerberg has a form of colour-blindness called deuteranopia, which means that blue is the only colour he can distinguish easily. The updated version of the logo, launched in 2015 The wordmark was clean, clear, distinct and scalable. By getting it right first time, Facebook was able to keep the same logo intact for the next decade. And this proved invaluable, as the platform expanded its scope across the world at exponential pace. Since then, Facebook has only had to make major changes to its logo once, in 2015 (shown above). And even then, most users probably didn't spot the alterations. A collaboration behind Facebook's in-house team and Eric Olsen, the 2015 version involved subtle but important tweaks, to give the logo a more friendly and up-to-date look, including the change to a single-deck 'a' and a stem on the letter 'b'. Facebook updated its app logo in 2019, with a new circular icon (right) replacing the dark blue block of old Of course, as the public has moved from computers to smartphones, the app icon has become more important than its workmark. Earlier this year, then, it was no surprise to see this logo redesigned too. This new design, shown above, saw the older square background being replaced with a more approachable circular one, and a switch from Facebook's traditional blue to the more vibrant gradient of its Messenger icon. In summary, when it comes to its logos, Facebook has done everything right. It brought in professionals at the outset, and trusted them to do a good job. It then held back from any changes at all for a decade, and made only minor tweaks, again in concert with the pros. As a result, Facebook has been able to grow to the global behemoth that strides the planet today, while maintaining near-total design consistency over time. Lesson learned: Invest in getting your logo right first time, and you'll be set for decades. While it's tempting to dash off something quick and dirty when you're in 'startup mode', getting the professionals to do a proper job will pay off in the long term. 02. Twitter The original Twitter wordmark from 2006 Compared with Facebook, Twitter has taken a much more varied approach to its logo design. This perhaps reflects a lack of clear business vision for the platform. (Although it's been around since 2006, Twitter was only able to turn a profit in 2018, and since then has started to see a worrying decline in users.) Twitter's original logo, shown above, was the creation of Swedish graphic designer Linda Gavin, who was given just one day to develop the design. It spelled out the company name in fun, child-like letters, which evoked an image of friendliness and inclusivity. Twitter's second logo featured the first iteration of its bird icon A second logo in 2006, shown above, saw the debut of the well-known bird icon. Over the next few years saw further variants of said bird, released in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012, including one drawn by the company's co-founder, Biz Stone. Each featured a similar shade of blue, but each was quite different. And things started to get a little bit cluttered and confused as a result, because whenever you saw a link to Twitter on someone's website, you didn't know which of them it would be, or if the site owner had just drawn their own version entirely. Twitter got it right with its 2012 bird icon Things got a bit more orderly in 2012, with the introduction of the now-familiar simplified and streamlined silhouette, shown above, which has become the consistent icon for Twitter ever since. Based on a mountain bluebird, the wings are made up of three overlapping circles, and it's this innate sense of geometric balance that has made this Twitter icon, created by in-house designer Doug Bowman, so beloved and successful. In 2019, Biz Stone released this screengrab of a prototype with blue square in place of the logo So what on earth was Twitter thinking when, earlier this year, they announced a new prototype version featuring a simple blue square as its new 'logo'? "The bird flew away from the app icon representing: Simplicity," tweeted Biz Stone. "Blue sky thinking. We’re re-working. Not there yet; hence, no logo. Bold and a little weird." Before anyone panicked too much, we were reassured that this was NOT the new Twitter logo, but some kind of experiment. But suffice to say, no one was impressed, and it just seemed to heighten the sense that Twitter has no clear way forward. Lesson learned: The first and most important step in designing a successful logo is to understand the fundamental goals of the business and the strategies aimed at achieving them. Conversely, a visual identity that's all over the place suggests that maybe the underlying business is, too. 03. Instagram The original Instagram logo didn't really relate to the service it was offering In terms of user enthusiasm, global reach and profitability, Instagram has been the social media success story of the decade. And its sense of clarity and purpose has been clearly reflected in the thoughtful evolution of its logo design. Launched in 2010, Instagram's first logo was a wordmark, which itself has been through a number of iterations over the years. But for a platform that's always been centred around the smartphone, it's the icon that's been most important to its branding identity. CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom designed the original icon, shown above. It looks like an old-style Polaroid camera, which he later admitted had nothing to do with what Instagram was actually offering as a service. The next logo was simpler but still skeuomorphic Shortly afterwards, then, he enlisted help from Cole Rise, a professional designer and photographer, and one of the app's beta testers, to craft a new design. After a number of iterations over a six-month period, they finally settled on Rise's camera icon (shown above). The 2016 design stripped everything down to the bare essentials This stayed in place until 2016, when Instagram released a new, dramatically minimalist design (above), which had been created in-house over a nine-month period. As mentioned previously, social media users don't like change, particularly when it's this dramatic. And unsurprisingly, a lot of people went berserk, leading the New York Times to dub the event The Great Instagram Logo Freakout of 2016. But looking back now, it seems like a necessary move. Skeuomorphism is now firmly out of favour in the logo world, and with almost every other web service simplifying their logo design, Instagram would have looked pretty old-hat if it had kept its detailed, 3D camera icon. Especially considering that the camera itself, as a separate device, is rapidly becoming irrelevant in the eyes of high-end smartphone users (see our best smartphones if you're looking to upgrade yours). Lesson learned: The broad current trend is to simplify and minimise your logo design over time. It's safest to do this gradually, but if you have a strong product and passionate following, you might get away with ripping off the Band-Aid in one go. 04. Pinterest Pinterest's original logo, with its friendly script lettering Pinterest is another social media platform that's only made one, relatively subtle change to its logo over the years. Launched in 2010, Pinterest soon found a lucrative niche in acting as a virtual pinboard for people's favourite images. And its 'P' icon – which transforms the first letter of its name into a pin – was perfectly designed to convey the essence of its offering. Combined with the phrase 'Pin it', this clever design (shown above) makes it instantly clear what the platform is about, and how to use it. The 2017 redesign made the lettering more business-like but left the 'pin' icon intact So when Pinterest eventually redesigned their logo in 2017, it was a smart move to leave the icon entirely untouched. Instead, the focus was solely on the wordmark, which was redesigned using a modified version of Neue Haas Grotesk, to look cleaner and more business-like. Lesson learned: A logo doesn't always have to explain or illustrate your service... but if you can find a way to do so visually, then you're on to a winner. 05. YouTube The original logo conveyed the purpose of the service beautifully YouTube's logo evolution over the years is another example of how a beloved logo can be imperceptibly improved, by streamlining and simplifying it over time. It's difficult to remember a time when no one knew what YouTube was, but when the service, created by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karimon, launched on Valentine's Day 2005, that was exactly the situation. And so the original logo, shown above, helped people get there quicker by placing the word "Tube" inside a red rounded rectangle, representing a television. By 2011, a flatter rectangle made sense both functionally and symbolically This logo, designed using Alternate Gothic number two, remained unchanged until 2011, when a new design with a flatter rectangle (shown above) was introduced, in a darker shade of red. In a world where the bulky CRT televisions of older were rapidly being replaced by sleek flatscreens, the removal of the 3D gradient was a sensible move, keeping the logo looking fresh and modern without requiring radical change. The 2017 logo could more easily be broken up into separate icon and wordmark The logo was refreshed once more, but with only minor changes, in 2013 and 2015. In 2017, though, the original 2005 logo received its first major overhaul. This design, created in house, finally dropped the TV shape surrounding 'Tube' and moving it to one side, providing space for a cleaner and clearer wordmark. The new logo (shown above) was created specifically to be a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, including tiny screens. As YouTube explained in a blog post: "When room is limited (say on a smartphone) you can use the brightened up Icon as an abbreviated Logo, which will be seen more easily and read more clearly." It also featured a new bespoke typeface, and the new rectangle was coloured in #FF0000, “a really pure red that goes to the RGB of video”. In short, YouTube's logo has seen a natural, restrained and well thought-through evolution over time. And it's perhaps significant that none of its updates have led to the usual kind of online gnashing and wailing that others on this list have provoked. Lesson learned: It's good to update and refine your logo over time – and if you do it slowly, subtly and for good reasons, users are more likely to stay on side. 06. Medium The original Medium logo beatifully conveyed the theme of writing If you want to see a contrast with the natural and often imperceptible evolution of YouTube's logo, just check out the uncomfortable steps back and forth made by Medium. Medium was launched in 2012 by Evan Williams, previously co-founder of Blogger and Twitter. He initially saw it as a way for people to publish writings and documents longer than Twitter's 140-character (now 280-character) maximum. On launch, it sported a logo based around a monochrome, slab-serif M, using the Stag typeface (shown above). As a platform aimed at writers, this simple, uncluttered serif, reminiscent of typewriters and print, made a clear and bold statement. The 2015 do-over now looks like the product of overthinking In 2015, however, Medium's then art director Erich Nagler, said in a blog post that this design had not proved particularly extensible. "It served us well through our first few years, but as Medium has grown and evolved, the logo has begun to feel flat, impenetrable, blunt, and not to be toyed with," he explained. "It is also not particularly distinctive, either. In short, our M no longer captured or conveyed what Medium has become." Medium worked with type designer Rod Cavazos of PSY/OPS to develop a new concept: "that our logo could be made of a series of interconnected ideas or shapes that, when joined together, form a new thought. A logo that flows, unfurls, and builds like a great and memorable conversation... The result is a custom set of letters that beautifully picks up on the angles and spirit of the logo, without becoming too harsh or overly geometric." There may have been some logic to this lengthy explanation (you can read the full post here). But the resulting logo, shown above, was not enthusiastically received, to say the least. The mint colour – more associated with financial apps than anything else – was baffling. The folded paper imagery looked clunky and awkward. The clear visual link with writing was gone. Even the kerning was questionable. Today's Medium logo is an obvious callback to the original So it's perhaps not surprising that a mere two years later, Medium took a sharp right turn and released another new logo (shown above), which looked strikingly similar to the original. A collaboration between Manual and Medium's in-house team, this elegant and mature design looks very much like a direct evolution from the original, almost if the 2015 identity had never happened. Less a redesign, perhaps, than an 'undesign'. Lesson learned: If you're going to abandon all your brand equity and introduce a completely new logo, you'd better make darn sure you get it right. And if the explanation of your new designs sounds complicated and overwrought, it's a good sign that you probably haven't. 07. Snapchat Company founder Evan Spiegel designed the original Snapchat logo in his bedroom We'll end this article as we started: with a social media logo that was pretty much nailed at the outset, and has thus only needed two evolutionary tweaks since. The genius of Snapchat, launched in 2011, was to allow users to send photos or videos that disappear after a certain amount of time. And so the idea of a logo based around a ghost (shown above) was a slam dunk. Company founder Evan Spiegel drew it on his computer in his dorm bedroom, before the company even had a name. A rap fan, he was inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah, and the logo is now known internally at the company by the nickname Ghostface Chillah. Spiegel picked yellow because it was a colour no other popular app seemed to be using. His simple design was easy to identify, even on tiny screens, and overall the design has proved a great example of the maxim 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. The latest logo (right) compared to the 2013 update (left) In fact, until very recently, there had been only major update. In 2013, the year Snapcat debuted Stories, it launched the redesigned logo shown above (left). Removing the cartoon face helped to streamline the logo and make it work better at small sizes. Snapchat also changed the colour to Pantone 100% Yellow, which can't fail to be spotted at great distance and fits the young demographic of its core audience perfectly. In 2019, Snapchat upset many by updating its ghost icon, outlining it more than previously with a thicker black line. This makes total sense from an accessibility point of view, the icon is now easier to see. But that didn't stop people getting angry. Lesson learned: Start with a strong concept that ties in with the core appeal of your app, and you stand a good chance of creating a logo design that will last the course. Although of course, if you do change it, expect outrage (on social media, naturally). Read more: How to become a YouTube sensation Social media for artists: a lifeline or a curse? Famous fonts: the typefaces behind the biggest logos View the full article
  22. A campaign from the Home Office that aims to tackle knife crime with messages on fried chicken boxes has sparked a furore online. The government initiative, which sees more than 321,000 #knifefree boxes distributed to over 210 outlets in England and Wales, has been branded "offensive" and "racist" on social media. The boxes in question have replaced the standard packaging of retailers such as Chicken Cottage, Dixy Chicken, and Morley's. Real-life stories from young people who have chosen to follow positive activities instead of carrying a knife are printed inside each box. The boxes, which are one of the most controversial pieces of packaging design we've seen, were unveiled in a tweet from the Home Office, yesterday. As well as the #knifefree boxes, many of the fried chicken outlets will also use digital screens to raise awareness of the campaign. In a press release for the campaign, policing minister Kit Malthouse said: "These chicken boxes will bring home to thousands of young people the tragic consequences of carrying a knife and challenge the idea that it makes you safer." Despite its intentions, the campaign has been met with a negative reaction. Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott slammed the plan in a tweet where she said: "Instead of investing in a public health approach to violent crime, the Home Office have opted for yet another crude, offensive and probably expensive campaign." Abbott's comment is indicative of the overwhelming backlash the campaign has received. In the replies to the original tweet from the Home Office, users were quick to point out that supporting charities and issuing government policies would be a better way to address the issues surrounding knife crime. Usually when we report on divisive campaigns we try to find a middle ground between the designer's intentions and the angry reactions. But on this occasion we just don't know where to start. The biggest issue with this campaign is its problematic undertones. Given that fried chicken has been associated with racist stereotypes, it's unsurprising that people have called out the Home Office. Outraged Labour MP David Lammy took to Twitter to question the thought process behind the government's campaign. Twitter user Ken Wynn summed up the issues behind the campaign elegantly when he posted: "Kinda sounds like you're saying you think there's a demographic overlap between knife crime and fried chicken". This isn't the first time chicken boxes have been used to tackle crime, either. Earlier this year, 35 branches of Morley's in South London used #knifefree boxes to address violence. This was in response to the fatal stabbing of 15 year-old Jay Hughes outside a Morley's branch in Bellingham. The #knifefree chicken boxes are the latest in a series of government initiatives to tackle serious violence. Recently the government announced it will recruit 20,000 new police officers, and confirmed that all 43 police forces across England and Wales can use enhanced stop and search powers. Related articles: 3 times big brands tried to be woke and failed miserably 7 fantastic design fails – and what we can learn from them The North Face tries to "hack" Wikipedia, fails spectacularly View the full article
  23. A strong brand can feel like an immortal entity; something that will be with us forever. When you think of brands such as McDonald's, Apple or Coca-Cola, it feels inconceivable that they should ever fail. They're simply too big, too all-encompassing to ever go the way of lesser competitors. The reality of the matter, though, is that even the biggest brands, the most recognisable household names, can fall. Sometimes an apparently unassailable name is concealing an overstretched and mismanaged business that's teetering on the brink of collapse, sometimes market forces or the march of progress simply drive a powerful brand into the ground, and there's nothing that the greatest logo design or most brilliant brand strategy can do about it. Some brands basically come to the end of their relevance. And as a salutary memento mori, here are five that were once thought immortal, but which are now no more. How the world's biggest brands got their names 01. Pan Am Pan Am's 'meatball' logo is a design classic When Stanley Kubrick was making his film of 2001: A Space Odyssey and needed a recognisable name to attach to commercial space flights, there was only one choice: Pan Am. Pan American World Airways dominated air travel for much of the 20th century, its iconic blue 'meatball' logo recognisable wherever it flew – which was pretty much everywhere. Its innovative advertising campaigns helped sell air travel to the masses, and in the 1960s it even started accepting deposits for flights to the moon, expecting its first departures to be around 2000. No wonder then that the spaceplanes in 2001 sport Pan Am livery; Pan Am adverts also show up in its sequel, 2010, and also in Blade Runner. However, Pan Am never even made it to the year 2001; after a terrible few years that saw it beset by troubles including the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the first Gulf War, Pan Am filed for bankruptcy in 1991. Its only surviving division is the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Florida. 02. Thames Television As a leading part of the ITV network from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, Thames Television had one of the most recognisable idents in British TV, designed by Minale Tattersfield, consisting of a vignette of London landmarks rising out of the middle of the screen, its reflection below, and accompanied by an eight-note fanfare entitled Salute to Thames. There was no getting away from that Thames ident; it preceded many of the top TV programmes of that era. You'd see it before shows such as The Sweeney, The Avengers and Minder, and it even showed up once on the BBC, at the start of an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Despite its strong brand identity, Thames lost its broadcasting franchise in 1991, and while it still exists as an entertainment label of Fremantle media, the name no longer has the weight that it carried in its golden age. 03. Woolworths Woolies' no-nonsense logo matched the contents of its stores Woolworths used to be one of the biggest names in UK retail. Anywhere you went you could count on there being a branch of Woolworths, complete with its functional white-on-red logo, selling all manner of items at reasonable prices. Its blockbuster Christmas ads were a staple of festive television throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It was the place to go for 80's kids in search of seven-inch singles and 'pick-n-mix' sweets, and it was also known for its own Winfield brand of household goods as well as its Ladybird range of children's clothes. While it was never remotely cool or on-trend, it was one of those dependable high street fixtures that you expected to always be around. However as one of the country's top music retailers, it was hit hard by the rise of digital formats, and the decline of the high street in favour of online shopping and out-of-town locations did Woolworths no favours. It took the 2008 financial crisis to finish Woolworths off; its last stores closed at the beginning of 2009. 04. Commodore This was the tech logo that mattered in the 1980s We're all accustomed to having multiple computing devices in the home, not to mention our pockets, these days, but back in the 1970s and 1980s the idea of having your own computer was only just starting to take off, thanks to a handful of pioneering companies, most of which are now long gone. Everyone knows Apple, which was there at the start of the home computer age, but arguably the biggest name in the early days of home computer was Commodore. It introduced the PET, the first mass-market home computer, in January 1977 – six months before the Apple II went on sale – and went on to dominate the market in 1980s, firstly with the VIC-20, followed by the hugely successfully Commodore 64, a heavyweight beast of a machine with a whole 64 kilobytes of memory, which sold somewhere between 10 and 17 million units over its lifetime. While Commodore's next machine, the Amiga, proved almost as popular as the C64, Commodore was unable to survive the rise of games consoles and ever-cheaper IBM PC-compatible machines, and it went out of business in 1994. 05. Blockbuster It used to be a blockbuster, now it's just bust Another victim of the relentless march of technology, Blockbuster is one of those brands that you couldn't imagine ever going under back in the 1990s. Video rental was a massive market back then, and Blockbuster was its undisputed champion, with over 9,000 stores worldwide at its peak. The idea of going into a store and renting a film on videocassette for a couple of nights might seem weird and alien now (although given the retro revival of vinyl and tapes we wouldn't be the tiniest bit surprised to see VHS make a nostalgic comeback), but back then that was how you watched the latest films at home, at least if you didn't want to fill all your shelves with chunky shop-bought videotapes. Blockbuster managed to weather the shift to DVD and Blu-Ray, but failed to anticipate just how quickly streaming would take over, and while it took a late run at its own streaming service, it was a half-hearted effort that didn't last long. Today Blockbuster is all but dead, with just one remaining store in Bend, Oregon. Related articles: 3 huge branding trends that might have had their day 18 controversial moments in logo design and branding 5 brands that hit nostalgia hard View the full article
  24. p5.js is the most recent JavaScript implementation of the famous desktop creative coding environment Processing. It takes much of the power and ease of use of Processing and puts it into your browser. It helps you draw in canvas but also integrates with your web page, allowing your 'sketch' to respond to and manipulate the DOM. p5.js takes away a lot of the headaches of animation and data visualisation on the web and makes it super-simple to get up and running with animation using two simple functions: setup() and draw(). But don't assume this simplicity is limiting, as you can take Processing a long way by creating your own functions and extend it with many of the community-created libraries. 6 ways to get into creative coding Why use data to drive animation? Creating design and animation 'systems' means defining a set of rules, parameters and variable ranges into which you can feed different data. The ability to play with the parameters of a system and input different data means you can create limitless output variations with the consistency of a systematic approach. Different data can create totally diverse visual outputs and a great source of fast moving, richly textured data is audio. That is exactly what we are going to use in our animation. Data-driven vs data visualisation As an example of what p5.js can do; here the Reasons.to logo has been distorted by audio data into a wonderfully dotty arrangement Is a data-driven animation a data visualisation? Yes and no. Your animation will be a visual representation of the data just like a visualisation but the purpose is different to that of a traditional visualisation. Data visualisation is used to give the viewer an insight into the data, so the graphic is at the service of the communication of the data. However, we will be using data as a creative seed to enable us to generate interesting and textural graphical variations, therefore the data is at the service of the graphic. Of course, one discipline is interconnected and cross-pollinates with the other but it is good to recognise your own intent when using data. What are we going to make? Concentric arcs, emerging from the centre of the screen, scaled by audio amplitude p5.js gives us quick and easy access to the data that comes from analysing a sound file (like an MP3). We'll be using p5.fft to analyse different frequencies (bass and treble) within the audio as it plays back and visualise the 'energy' or amplitude of that frequency. In order for us to be able to see the 'shape' of the sound as it plays, we don't just want to show the current amplitude of the sound but capture a 'buffer' of data points. This will enable us to show a moving history of values. To show our data points, we'll create a series of concentric arcs from the centre to the outer edge of the screen. The length of the arc will represent the amplitude of the data. We'll also use other visual encodings for our data, such as line weight and colour. What will we learn? Working through the code, we'll cover: Setting up a new p5 sketch Loading and analysing sound Mapping data values to visual elements like size, shape and colour Using classes to draw, maintain the state of our animation and data and make our code reusable. Where are the files? The files for the animation are hosted on OpenProcessing, a great platform for sharing, discovering and forking other people's sketches. It's a great place for you to code, too. As we'll be using audio data, you'll need an MP3 file to drag into the sketch. We'll set up a new sketch on OpenProcessing; this is how your sketch will look once we've loaded audio, got the data and drawn a simple 'data shape': And this is how the completed sketch will look: Alternatively, you could also use the p5.js online editor or just include the library in your own project via download or CDN. 01. Start a new sketch Set up a free OpenProcessing account to get started Get a free OpenProcessing account and, from your profile page, click Create A Sketch. This will then create the most basic of sketches containing two of p5.js's built-in functions: setup() – This runs only once, and is used to set up a new canvas draw() – Here is where you put code that you want to run every frame You'll notice that background() is only called once in the set up. This clears the screen, so if you want to clear the screen every frame, include this at the start of the draw() function too. Have a play with some code here, using a few of the examples you can find on the p5.js site. Book your tickets to Generate CSS now to save £50 02. Create first sketch using audio data Create basic setup() and draw() functions in your first OpenProcessing sketch Go to my example starter sketch. Hit the play button and you'll see some text asking you to drop an MP3 file onto the canvas. Wait a few seconds for it to finish the upload and then click the canvas to begin the playback. You should see an ellipse, following your mouse, which is scaling and changing colour along with the bass amplitude in the music that you uploaded. Much of the code is commented but let's look at a few key elements: Right at the beginning of the sketch, ahead of setup(), we have created some global variables. Within setup() we have a couple of important lines: colorMode() enables you to set p5.js to work within different colour spaces like RGB and HSB, as well as configure the scale you use to navigate the channels. Here we've set HSB ranges to values you may be more familiar with from Photoshop rather than the default setting (0 to 255). This super helpful p5.js function enables us to listen for any file drop events on our canvas. When we get a file drop event, we call gotFile() to check if it's the correct type and start analysing the sound. Here we are turning our dropped file data into a SoundFile. When we have the sound file, we use the following code: initSound() to set up a new FFT instance (to analyse the sound) analyseSound() to analyse the current block of sound every frame getNewSoundDataValue() to use fft.getEnergy() every frame to give us the current amplitude of the sound. This is converted from its default range of 0 to 255 to 0 to 1. Tip: It's helpful to convert your data to a range of 0 to 1 because you can use it more easily when mapping the data to visual parameters such as scale, speed and colour. Let's look in the draw() function. This line requests the current amplitude (between 0 and 1) of the bass frequency and assigns it the variable myDataVal. In a few steps you can build an audio reactive ellipse, with scale and colour driven by audio data We call our custom getDataHSBColor() function that maps our data value separately to the Hue, Saturation and Brightness and returns us a colour. The higher the data, the further the colour moves across the hue spectrum and the brighter and more saturated the colour. Before we can draw our ellipse we need to give it a size, by multiplying 200 (px) by our data value. So the higher the value, the bigger the ellipse. 03. Use audio data as a paintbrush Change just one line of code – removing the background() call – and you can paint with audio data For a bit of fun, comment out the background() call in the draw() function and you can use your sound reactive ellipse to paint with! 05. Complete your sketch This is the completed sketch we will build Drawing one data ellipse for one frequency is great but now we'll create a series of data arcs for both bass and treble. We'll also draw a buffer of previous values to help us better see the shape of the sound. Visit this finished version of the sketch, run it and then drop an MP3 on it. You'll now see a series of arcs emerging out from the centre of the screen. The horizontal arcs are visualisations of the bass and the vertical ones pick out the treble of the MP3. Looking at the code, you'll see much of the set up, loading, analysing and getting the data is the same as the last sketch, so we can ignore that. There's quite a bit of code here so, as before, let's just pick out a few key points. Instead of drawing the arcs directly in draw(), we are actually creating some custom classes: class RadialArc{} holds the individual arc's data value and draws the arc class RadialArcs{} manages our collection of 'RadialArc' instances Each class definition has a constructor in which we are setting some key values and also passing in parameters that enable us change the class's behaviour. Let's have a closer look at them now. The RadialArc{} class: This is the class that holds a single data value and draws a pair of symmetrical arcs. setValue() and getValue() enable us to get the data in and out of an arc and push the data through our arc's array as the data updates. redrawFromData() is called to recalculate and redraw the arc. drawArc() is where we call the handy p5.js function arc(). Arc() is quicker than doing the trigonometry ourselves but we do need to pass it a few values like position, size and, crucially, a start and end angle for our arc. That angle is measured in 'radians' rather than degrees. Radians are like degrees but on a different scale: 360° is the same as 2 x pi radians. P5.js has useful built-in constants for PI, HALF_PI and QUARTER_PI etc. The RadialArcs{} class: This is a management class that creates an array of our RadialArc{} classes and keeps them up to date by moving the data in and out of each and calling the arc's redrawFromData() function. To initialise the RadialArcs() classes for treble and bass, have a look in setup(). You can see that we are creating two RadialArcs() instances and also passing in our custom parameters. Those parameters are: number of arcs, sizes of the inner and outermost arcs, the starting angle, the max line weight and the hue range of the colour. By creating these custom classes, it enables us to reuse our code but also make each instance individual by passing them these parameters. Once the arc objects are initialised, every frame will call updateRadialArcs() and drawRadialArcs() within the main p5 draw() function, which is how the animation updates and moves. 06. Take it further The completed sketch, visualising the bass and treble in your audio file We've covered a lot of code here but fundamentally I hope you can see how we are taking data and applying it to visual elements like size, position, length, weight and colour. To go further, play around with the number of arcs, groups and angles. Change the colour ranges and create new classes to draw different shapes. In this example we used data that is constantly flowing and, coupled with a fast frame rate, it creates the illusion of animation. However, not all data is like that and can update more slowly. For slower data, you can still create smooth animation by 'tweening' the animation of your shapes between their current and their target dimensions. Good luck with your next data-driven animation! This article was originally published in issue 320 of net, the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers. Buy issue 320 here or subscribe here. Related articles: How to add animation to SVG with CSS The data trend set to revolutionise app design 12 great CSS animation resources View the full article
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