Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Yesterday
  2. So you're in the market for a new phone and naturally you're trying to decide which flavour of iPhone X you want to go for, right? Hang on a minute, though, because Samsung is getting dangerously close to launching its new flagship Galaxy S10 phone, and this could be the perfect opportunity to take a break from Apple, and maybe check out some of the best Android apps at the same time. In the style of Apple, Samsung is keeping pretty tight-lipped about its next smart phone's exact specs, but as the the Samsung Galaxy S10 launch date approaches, there are leaks coming thick and fast, suggesting that this might be a great phone for creatives. We're likely to discover more when CES comes around on 8 January, and the likely date for for Samsung's Galaxy S10 launch event is 20 February 2019, just before MWC Barcelona. For now, though, here are some of the rumoured features you need to know about. Samsung Galaxy S10: Design and display The S10 is rumoured to be coming in three sizes. Credit: GSMArena / MobileFun Like the iPhone X, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is likely to come in three different screen sizes – a standard S10, as well as a smaller S10 Lite and the inevitable S10 Plus with the biggest screen of all. We're expecting a super-crisp display with a resolution of 1440 x 3040 and a 19:9 aspect ratio, and the screen's going to take up pretty much all of the front panel with hardly anything by way of bezel; the S10's front-facing cameras appear to be embedded within the screen, with a tiny cut-out in the top right corner of the screen for the pinhole lenses. More on them in a bit. If you're still furious at Apple for doing away with the 3.5mm headphone port – and who wouldn't be – then the good news about the Galaxy S10 is that's it's almost certain to have one, so you can listen on headphones without having to use a special dongle, which you'll almost certainly lose sooner or later. Build-wise, the frame is likely to be metal with a glass back, and the S10 could come in assorted colours; Samsung has suggested, but not confirmed, that you may be able to choose between silver, green, black, blue and pink. Samsung Galaxy S10: Camera Three lenses would make the S10 a photography must-have For many people, especially designers, the quality of the camera is a vital factor in deciding which camera phone to go for, and the Samsung Galaxy S10 looks like it won't disappoint, especially when it comes to the larger models. While the Lite model might just have a single-lens rear camera, it's been suggested that the standard model could have a dual-lens camera while the Plus version may be packing a triple lens, with a 12MP wide-angle f/1.5-f/2.4 lens, a 16MP super wide-angle f/1.9 lens and a 13MP telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture, which all adds up to some serious photographic chops. As for the front facing camera, expect the Lite model to be a single-lens model, while the standard and Plus versions could have a pair of cameras. There's also been talk of a 3D sensor for augmented reality content. Samsung Galaxy S10: Power Non-US users should benefit from the lightning-fast Exynos 9820 processor Is the Samsung Galaxy S10 likely to have all the power you need? In short, yes. The actual processor is likely to be depend on where you are in the world; if you're in the US then it's almost certainly going to be a Snapdragon 855 chipset, which appears to be a hefty little processor that outperforms pretty much ever other mobile chipset right now. It supports 5G, with theoretical download speeds up to 2Gbps, and it also has a chip dedicated to processing videos and photos. Outside the US, your S10 is expected to feature Samsung's eight-core Exynos 9820 chipset, which can support video recording at up to 8K at 30fps as well as offering 40% better power efficiency and improved single and multi-core performance over the previous generation. It even features a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) that makes AI-related tasks happen up to seven times faster than on the Exynos 9810. Memory-wise, expect the S10 to feature 8GB of fast RAM, and perhaps even 12GB, and as for onboard storage, there could be a lot of it, and it could be really fast. Samsung is set to start using UFS 3.0 storage in 2019, which is twice as fast as current phone storage modules and more compact, too. Its minimun size is 128GB, which would make for amazing baseline storage, and reports suggest that the S10 could store a whole terabyte. Samsung Galaxy S10: More features? The S10 may move the fingerprint scanner off the back and have it on-screen That covers most of what we know about the Samsung Galaxy S10; all that's really left to wonder about is the price, and it's safe to say that we all know it isn't going to be cheap. We'd expect the basic S10 to set you back about $719 / £739 / AU$1,199, with the price ramping up as you move through the models and storage options. Want to know more? Our colleagues over at TechRadar are keeping an eye out for the hottest Galaxy S10 leaks and rumours; head over to their page for the very latest news. Related articles: The best budget camera phones in 2018 Is iPhone XS the best camera phone for designers? Galaxy X: Samsung's foldable phone is on its way View the full article
  3. To download the accompanying files for 3D World issue 238, simply click the link below each article and a zip file will automatically download the content to your Mac or PC. If you've missed this issue or other editions of 3D World, order a copy. If you have any problems downloading this content, please email: rob.redman@futurenet.com Tutorial: Keyshot Master your keyshot renders with our top tips This issue we bring you our top expert tips, to help you become a Keyshot master, rendering the best possible results, with the least effort, such as our stunning cover image from Pascal Blanche. Download the files here (238MB) Tutorial: Gravity Sketch Create cool sci-fi vehicles in VR In this tutorial CG veteran Mike Griggs, shows you how to create an Akira style sci-fi bike using Gravity Sketch, the hard surface VR tool. Download the files here (3.9GB) Tutorial: Hard surface VR modelling Sculpt a tank in VR Martin Nebelong, VR expert, shows you ow to use VR tools to create detailed hard surface models in a VR environment. Download the files here (132MB) Tutorial: Q and A Get the answers to your CG problems in our regular Q and A section Our regular panel is back to help you overcome any issues you are having with your animation and visual effects work. Download the files here (234MB) View the full article
  4. To download the accompanying files for 3D World issue 243, simply click the link below each article and a zip file will automatically download the content to your Mac or PC. If you've missed this issue or other editions of 3D World, order a copy. If you have any problems downloading this content, please email: rob.redman@futurenet.com Tutorial: Honey Create realistic honey materials This guide will take you through the process of creating realistic honey, from modelling the comb to creating believable shader networks for ultimate photorealistic renders. Download the files here (270MB) Tutorial: Houdini terrains Learn to use Houdini's new terrain toolset. This tutorial will take you, step by step, through the process of using Houdini's new terrain tools, to create detailed and realistic terrain geometry. Download the files here (204MB) Tutorial: Hard VR Texture a tank scene in VR Following on from last issue, where we showed you how to sculpt a tank, this issue we complete the scene building and show you how to use VR tools to texture your objects. Download the files here (608MB) View the full article
  5. HTML is more capable than ever before. In this post, we run through the best HTML APIs around right now. These are the elements you should be making the most of in your website layouts. Read on for an in-depth look at the <dialog>, <details>, <picture> and <input> HTML APIs, plus your guide to Web Components. Alternatively, jump to the second page for a roundup of sectioning elements you can use to accurately define page structure and each element’s role, and a selection of inline elements to use instead of <span>. 01. <dialog> Use it to: Display a popup or modal window without the overheads Read the <dialog> web docs A common design pattern on the web is to have an extra window display to provide more information or options for a complicated interaction. Adding a confirmation as an extra step is also a good way to make a user aware their action will have consequences. These windows have been around for years through the help of libraries such as Bootstrap or jQuery UI. While they can be easy to implement, they often require heavy scripting and extra styling to match the look and feel of the site they are implemented into. One of the few elements added in HTML5.2 is <dialog>. This new, semantic element is designed to denote a supplementary, interactive component that displays out of the main flow of the document. The <dialog> element itself is designed to be as simple to use as possible. Any content within the tags will become part of the window and do not appear on the page by default. When the element has the open attribute applied, it then appears centred based on where it appears in the DOM. While dialog boxes can request a response, a user can still navigate the page without having to interact with it. A modal window is similar to a dialog, but has the aim of requiring an action from the user before proceeding. This makes it useful for potentially destructive actions, such as deleting an account. Modal windows can only be triggered using JavaScript. Once opened, the window appears completely centred within the user’s screen and dims the rest of the page. The only way to close it will be by either pressing the escape key or by calling the close method on the element. Non-native modal implementations often forget about the content behind the modal. For keyboard users, their browser can start focusing and interacting with elements underneath the modal that cannot be seen. Native modals make the rest of the content inert, making sure the focus stays within the window before being dismissed. Browser support is currently limited to Chrome, Opera and Samsung Internet browsers. As unsupported browsers treat unknown elements like a <span>, it makes it possible to add in this behaviour when needed. The Chrome team have put together a dialog-polyfill to solve the problem. 02. <details> & <Summary> Use them to: Show/hide content under a collapsible heading without using JS Read the <details> and <summary> web docs The accordion is a common user interface pattern. It serves as a way to fit potentially lengthy content in a small space, providing only some of it needs to be immediately visible. These work best for a table of contents, a set of frequently asked questions or any other accompanying information such as directions to a location. While many libraries exist to help solve this problem, it can also be achieved without any JavaScript at all. Content can be hidden inside a <details> element and therefore be toggled visible when clicked. Each <details> element denotes a single collapsible area. Any content inside that block will be hidden by default until the 'Details' heading is clicked. Adding an open attribute will expand the block. This can also be triggered through JavaScript as a way to reveal certain information to the user, such as an answer to a specific question. Adding a <summary> to the top of the block will replace the default heading to the contents of that element. That heading then becomes interactive, which makes the contents inside keyboard accessible. While it can have almost any value, adding other interactive or clickable elements such as <label> or <button> will override the collapsing behaviour and break the element. Multiple <details> elements can also be nested without issue. This could make it useful for nesting sub-links or hiding supplementary information within a block. According to the specification, <details> should be limited to additional information or controls rather than anything considered important to read. In some instances, a more semantic element such as <dl> for key-value pairs may be more suitable. Both <details> and <summary> are available in all browsers apart from Edge and IE. For these, information will display expanded by default, or a JavaScript fallback can be used. 03. <picture> Use it to: Respond to different viewports and serve specialised content Read the <picture> web docs When images need to be responsive, sometimes it isn’t enough simply to resize an image at certain breakpoints. On larger screens, the image can show as distorted and blocky but on smaller screens it could result in downloading a much larger image than is required. Where images are used for informational purposes, it may make more sense to show an image adapted especially for a certain screen size or type. For example, larger screens may benefit from a fully annotated diagram, while smaller screens can get away with using coloured labels instead. The <picture> element allows developers to define different sources for the same image. Based on the attributes passed to those sources, the browser determines which image to download and use. Each source defines a potential image to display. These can then optionally have different attributes to define when to display that image. The media attribute works much like a media query in CSS, whereas type defines the MIME type of the file. If a browser doesn’t meet the media query, or does not understand the file type, it moves on to the next <source> in the list. The block ends on a regular <img> element. This will display if none of the other images can be displayed based on the conditions, or for browsers that do not understand the <picture> element at all. The element itself acts more as a container for the elements inside. By itself it has no visual appearance and will be distorted when the fallback image is used. Be sure to style this element for this use case. The <picture> element is best used in diagrams and informational images rather than simply supplying different resolution photos based on width. For that, use a regular IMG with a srcset attribute. Using these hints, the browser can then decide which image to display. 04. Web Components Use it to: Create custom HTML tags Read the Mozilla Web Components notes The introduction of HTML5 in 2014 brought with it lots of useful elements to browsers. Special components like progress bars used to mean misusing <div> elements in order to achieve the right visuals. These features are now native to the browser and elements like <progress> can be added where needed without having to worry too much about the inner workings. Thankfully, new web standards have been in development for some time to allow developers to make their own elements as part of the platform. Web Components are a set of specifications that let developers create their own custom HTML tags and use them anywhere on a webpage. As long as they are registered using JavaScript, they are just as capable as any other element. Building a Web Component uses three different specifications in the browser to construct, configure and generate their inner workings. Let’s take a look at them. Custom elements The most important feature of web components are the use of custom elements. These allow developers to use their own tag to render something specific to the browser wherever it appears on a page. Each one is an ES2015 class that defines its behaviour, extending from an existing HTML element. These can contain any methods required for the operation of the component, but must use a constructor in order to set up any visuals or interactive elements such as event handlers. In order to behave like a native element, it is important that elements react to external changes. Every custom element can tap into callbacks, such as connectedCallback or attributeChangedCallback, to detect when an element needs to update. The customElements window property will allow an element to be registered with the browser. Until it is registered, a custom element will be treated like any other unknown tag so it is important to design its behaviour with progressive enhancement in mind. The shadow DOM The Document Object Model – or DOM – represents each page as a set of connected elements. The shadow DOM is a hidden subset of further connections within a specific element of that DOM. Nothing inside the shadow DOM can affect anything outside. For example, a page may have a <video> element in its DOM, but the shadow DOM inside <video> houses the internal controls such as the play button and volume slider. While this behaviour has been in browsers for a while, the shadow DOM API allows developers to create their own. When used together with custom elements, they allow a full range of visuals to be displayed without worrying about affecting other parts of the page. HTML templates Page structure elements are often repeated to make sure each one works the same as the last. To save time and reduce errors, developers can opt to make a function to generate HTML for an element, adjusting the contents as they go. HTML templates bring that ability natively to browsers through use of the <template> element. The contents of a template stay inert and invisible, but JavaScript can access it like regular content without issue. Extracting the contents of a template is as simple as selecting the template and getting its content property. It can then be used wherever needed and acts just like any other HTML content. All three specifications are designed to work together. A template can be used with the shadow DOM to produce the visuals for a custom element. Cross-browser support The best part about Web Components is that the support is almost there in every major browser. At the time of writing the latest versions of Chrome, Safari and Opera all support all Web Component specifications. As it stands, Firefox and Edge are both lacking full support for custom elements and shadow DOM, but polyfills are available to work in these browsers while these features are being developed. Mobile browsers have a wider level of support, with all features being available in the latest versions of Chrome for Android, Samsung Internet and iOS Safari. You'll find updates on support and any new features here. 05. <input> Use it to: Give instant feedback on form inputs Read the <input> web docs Even the simplest of forms need some kind of validation. A contact form, for example, needs to check if a name and email have been filled out. Users now expect instant feedback on what has been entered. This used to be the role of JavaScript. If a website needed a date entry JavaScript would need to check a text value looked like a date. This required the developer knowing all the different formats that could be valid and implementing that check correctly. All of that changed with HTML5. The new specification introduced a host of new input types that could be added as needed without the need for scripted validation. When given a certain type, a browser renders an appropriate interface geared towards that input. On touchscreen devices, this also meant a contextual keyboard that merited itself to the input in question. If used within a form, the validation occurs on submission. Browsers will show an inline error message for each field that is wrong, so users know what is happening. An invalid form will not submit. Colour inputs In forms where colour input is required, the color type provides either a colour picker or a hexadecimal text input to provide a value. The display of the colour picker can vary depending on the browser, which may only supply a limited subset of colours by default. A site using this input should provide an alternative method of input in this case. A default colour can be applied by supplying a value to the field, but this must be a valid hex colour and not a CSS colour name or function like linear-gradient. If an invalid colour is added, it will default to black. Number inputs When a form requires a number, it makes sense to use an input specialised for that purpose. A number field get automatic validation to be sure the value is numerical. Most modern browsers will also render stepper buttons, which allow the user to increment or decrement the value inline. On a touchscreen device, the keyboard will update to show numbers by default and may even allow users to swipe to increase and decrease the value. Extra attributes on the input can limit the value being entered. For example, an age field may have a min attribute to stop a negative value being added. When a specific value is not necessary, a range input may be more useful. In this case, browsers can render a more appropriate slider to allow the user to select a value more easily. These are useful for simple components such as volume sliders. Modes on any input While these type inputs are great for their typical use case, it can become a hindrance for others. For example, a credit card number is numeric but does not need the increment and decrement behaviour that the number type provides. Most forms would fall back to regular text input in this case and use a pattern attribute to define what is required. This requires the developer to know the right pattern for their input, which can cause a similar issue to before. An inputmode attribute is coming to browsers that aims to tackle this issue. It hints to the browser what kind of interface would help the user add data to this field. Having a value of none will ensure no virtual keyboard is displayed, allowing for a custom keyboard within the page itself. Server validation As great as these input types are, they are not without flaws. Browsers may not support a specific type or can have unexpected valid inputs, such as ‘e’ for number inputs. At the very least, a user can still edit the HTML on a page and remove validation altogether. It is important that any data submitted to a server is also validated on that side to avoid any issues. Include client-side validation to help. Next page: 13 more top HTML APIs 06. <main> This marks up the core content of the document. In contrast to any header, footer or navigation elements, its content will vary from page to page. There can only be one <main> element visible at any time. 07. <nav> This represents any area of a document that is responsible for navigation. This can be a site’s main navigation or a grouping of internal links such as a table of contents. Not all links need to be inside a <nav>. 08. <header> Use a <header> to separate any kind of introductory content from the rest of the document. It is commonly used to define page headers, but alternatively it can also be used to add headers to sub-sections. 09. <footer> In contrast to <header>, the <footer> element marks the final content of a page or section. This would typically hold extra information like author or copyright information, along with any related navigation. 10. <aside> Designate an area of a document that contains supplementary information about the main content. While this is often styled to look like a sidebar, it can also be used to define accompanying content such as a related fact. 11. <article> Use <article> when the content it will display is self-containing, for example, a blog post or even a news story. There can be multiple <article> elements on a page and there are no limits on where they can appear. 12. <section> This represents a grouping of content within a document where no other element is suitable. This provides more meaning than <div> as it is specifically defining an area as content over simply added markup for styling. 13. <H1> to <H6> Heading elements have been around for a long time, but make sure they are being used correctly inside sectioning elements. Each section can have its own heading hierarchy, meaning multiple <h1> tags can now appear on a page. 14. <time> Dates and times are formatted differently across the world and so cannot be reliably parsed by a search engine or email client. Specify what parts of a sentence are a time and allow programs to extract and use that information. 15. <mark> When wanting to highlight a few words of a sentence, it may seem best to use <strong>. While <strong> denotes importance, <mark> denotes relevance in the current situation. An example of this would be matched terms in a search result. 16. <abbr> Language is full of abbreviations that readers potentially may not be familiar with – there’s plenty in this article! The <abbr> element provides a way to define potentially unfamiliar abbreviations with an accompanying title attribute. 17. <q> When quoting a small section of text, surround it with <q>. The optional cite attribute can provide a name, reference or link to the original source. Browsers will add quote marks by default. 18. <kbd> When providing instructions that should be input by a user, <kbd> should surround that command. While typically used for keyboard inputs it can be used for any kind of text entry, including voice. This article originally appeared in Web Designer magazine. Buy issue 280, or subscribe now. Read more: A coder's guide to APIs Get started with the Web Audio API 10 new web design tools for December 2018 View the full article
  6. MikroTik, Hadoop clusters, legislation and more will mark the botnet space in 2019. View the full article
  7. Storyboarding is a creative, exciting and fulfilling career. In addition to knowing how to draw to a high standard, a storyboard artist needs an understanding of storytelling, as well as a knowledge of animation layout mechanics. The television storyboard artist creates the visual blueprint for the animated production. Put simply, if it isn't in the storyboard, it won't be on the screen. It's not unusual for the character poses from the storyboard to be traced and used as extreme poses by the animation artists. In addition to knowing how to draw the characters acting out the performance, a production board artist (The Animation Guild title for a television storyboard artist) must also have a firm grasp of filmmaking principles and how to translate those principles when designing the layout for animation camera moves. The best online animation classes The tips below examine the most important principles an animation story artist needs to understand. Storyboards aren't finished art, but rather a key component of planning the production from which the finished art is designed. The storyboard enables the movement of the characters and camera, with each scene sequentially designed in context of what came before and what will come after as the story unfolds… 01. It's all about telling the story Start by reading the script Boiled down to its essence, my job is to tell the story. I begin by reading the provided script or outline for the show. It's important to remember that the story is about the characters, so I always ask myself these questions: What is happening in the story right now? How does it affect the character? What is their state of mind? How do they feel? How should the audience feel? What is the emotional moment that I'm trying to communicate? These are the key points that, as a whole, tell the story. Every decision should be driven by the story! 02. Build on the line of action The line of action is the design foundation for your characters The line of action is a design decision related to the energy/force the character exudes and is the first line I draw. A character who has the weight of the world on their shoulders will slouch, with his/her head pulled to the ground. One exuberant with success will arc in the opposite direction, throwing his/her weight into the air and away from the pull of Earth's gravity. This line is the design foundation upon which the drawing of the character is built; communicating direction of movement, emotion, energy and so on. 03. One drawing equals one idea Each frame should represent a single step in the story Film moves quickly. The audience can only look at one thing at a time, so including multiple ideas in a drawing will just result in the audience missing some of those ideas. The storyboard artist must commit to creating a new drawing for each new idea. If an event takes more than one step to be described, then you're going to have to draw each step. For example, if a character sees something and reacts, draw the character looking, draw what they see, and then draw their reaction. 04. Draw cleanly for animation Make sure your drawings retain the energy of your initial sketches Disney animator Ollie Johnston said it was important to draw clearly, not cleanly. I begin drawing loose thumbnails to work out the flow of the storyboard and explore various solutions. When tying down the final drawings, keep the energy from those early sketches. Construct your drawings with simple shapes and volumes. Use guidelines and 'draw through' to ensure your drawings have sculptural dimension. Turn your character in space, tilt and twist the shoulders, hips and the head. 05. Find clarity in silhouettes If your character's action isn't clear in silhouette form, it'll need more work Clarity is key! The audience has a very short time to absorb information before the next idea appears. There should never be any doubt as to the action described, nor to the intent and state of mind of the character. Test the clarity of your pose by filling the drawing with solid colour. Can you still read the action of the character? Using clear silhouettes when designing poses ensures this clarity of communication. 06. Communicate the story through character poses Each character needs to have its own unique poses The poses I draw need to be clear and simple, but also unique to the character. Too many poses and the character won't stop moving, thereby losing emphasis on what matters. Too few poses and the character will be lost on the screen. Working with the dialogue track, I listen for the subtext, or the feeling beneath the words. The poses I draw capture this emotional subtext, so I change poses when the attitude changes. Pauses between lines are often more important than the dialogue itself; providing opportunity to show the character thinking and changing attitude. 07. Think like an actor Use a mirror to help you get the right expressions for your characters Storyboards plan the performance of the characters. For television productions, this character layout is detailed and very specific. Voice actors are vital in defining the character. Listen to the dialogue and then listen to it again! Don't be afraid to try acting out the words yourself – I have a mirror at my desk to help me draw convincing expressions and movements. Subtle expressions are the most challenging. Each character is unique and the performance must reflect this individuality. Character design model sheets are a handy resource story artists use to maintain a consistent character performance. 08. Use the frame as the 'eye' 16:9 is the standard aspect ratio in most countries Tied with the concept of point of view (see tip 10), the frame is the lens or window we use to tell the story. The frame can move and elements can move into and out of the frame. In the example here, the frame is defined by a 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning the width of the frame is about 1.78 times that of the height of the frame. This 1,080p aspect ratio is the standard for American television. Be aware that theatrical distribution uses different standards, as do broadcasters in other countries. 09. Sketch thumbnails for a simple panel Use quick thumbnails to explore storytelling solutions Thumbnails are meant to be drawn quickly and should be small in size. I use them to begin exploring solutions for telling the story. I then select the thumbnail that best communicates the story point. In this example, I explored four possible solutions. 10. Establish the point of view with the horizon line/eye line A low horizon line is often the best choice Within your rough thumbnails, consider the horizon line. This is determined by camera placement, dictates the point of view and is the first line I draw when beginning a panel. With a high horizon line, the audience will look down, while an extreme low horizon forces the audience to look up at the scene. A variety of camera angles ought to be considered, but the decision should always be dictated by the needs of the story. Low horizon lines are often preferred because they're consistent with how we experience the world, enable clearer staging (clean silhouettes), show depth (you can see for miles) and require fewer perspective challenges, for example. 11. Use grids to help with object placement Drawing a grid will make it easier to place elements within every scene I draw a grid to show the ground, sky plane or even a wall. This helps me draw the scene in a solid, convincing way. When an element within the scene bisects the horizon line, everything in the scene will bisect the horizon line at the same relative height. Knowing this makes placement of elements within the scene easy. Be certain that your characters all fit within the world you've created. Too often, characters in the foreground would have to dig a hole to fit in the scene! Use overlap and line weight variation to communicate objects are further away. Read more about grid theory here. 12. Create rough storyboard panel Once you've found a suitable thumbnail, work it up into a rough Once you've thought about all these elements, next comes the rough panel – I blow the selected thumbnail up to the size of the finished panel. At this stage I resolve perspective, structure and refine the posing of the character. The rough panel is reviewed by the director, storyboard supervisor or executive producer. 13. Clean up the storyboard Clean up the rough and add any requested changes Any change requests from the review are sorted in the cleanup. The final line should delineate forms and idea, but also maintain the life of the character. Tone may be added. Some productions require tight 'on model' drawings; others like looser, more energetic drawings. 14. Ensure continuity Don't allow the camera to cross the line through the characters Continuity is a word used often to refer to screen direction, although its meaning extends beyond that. Maintaining continuity is ensuring the geography of the space and characters is kept clear from shot to shot. Screen direction, or the 180 Degree Rule, is an important filmmaking principle and a fundamental aspect of continuity. We're translating a 3D world into a 2D experience on the screen. Once a character is established as moving left to right or right to left, keep that direction of movement while the character is onscreen. 15. Consider film time and editing Learn the language of film and use it to tell the story Scenes/shots are designed to work in sequence. We extend, compress and reorder time to best suit our story. Shot size and design should be varied as we transition from one shot to another. Film has a language. We learn to 'hear' this language, but often don't know how to use it to tell a story. Study great films. Thumbnail out the scene cuts and then assess what the filmmaker was doing when making choices, such as camera placement, character movement within the scene, sequencing of shots, time allocated to scenes and so on. 16. Compose for movement Keep the Rule of Thirds in mind when composing your frames A scene/shot, comprising a series of panels, describes only seconds of time. Every idea must be clearly and simply presented. The focus of interest should be the only object of that size, shape and value within the scene. The Rule of Thirds can be useful in composing – avoid corners and edges of the frame. But remember that the world extends beyond the frame and the frame itself can move. And be sure to leave room for the characters to move around. They shouldn't feel 'squeezed' into a panel. 17. Think about animation layout You can plan camera moves more easily with Toon Boom Storyboard Pro's Camera tool Animation layout refers to the mechanics of how an animation camera works. The illusion of a dimensional, moving camera is created by designing artwork that will slide past the camera. Layers of art are designed and synchronised to create an illusion of depth. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro has an excellent Camera tool that makes it easy to plan out camera moves. This article was originally published in issue 165 of ImagineFX, the world's best-selling magazine for digital artists. Subscribe to ImagineFX here. Related articles: Master the art of storyboarding Understand Disney's 12 principles of animation Perfect your animation portfolio with these tips View the full article
  8. As the year draws to a close, we've been looking back at the trends that shaped digital design in 2018 and considering how they might develop in 2019. Put aside your Christmas designs for a moment, and read on to discover the stylistic movements that have prevailed this year within the main pillars of digital design. Here you'll find six key trends we're excited to see developing in 2018... and three more we'd be more than happy to see the back of. We're talking about digital design here, but if you're after a look front end development and shifts in the web industry as a whole, take a look at our post on the big web trends for 2019. 6 trends we loved in 2018... 01. Bolder use of colour Gradients are showing no signs of going anywhere The vast digital spectrum enables designers to explore a wealth of intense, complex and bright colour combinations. Without the limitations of print there is more freedom to experiment, so we’re seeing a richer and greater variety of colour across digital platforms. This is now being recognised and integrated into companies' identities, with brands often using bold, vibrant colour as a core part of their visual identity. Gradients are still one of the key current trends, appearing in logo design, illustrations and backgrounds. Inspired by nature and as a progression from flat colour, gradients bring depth and dimension within a modern realistic aesthetic. They can add layers of mood and emotion to a design, bringing visuals to life whilst also feeling new and fresh. 02. Abstract figures Quirky figures are being used to help demonstrate brand values Abstract human shapes with big hair has been a popular illustrative style trend seen throughout 2018 and is showing no sign of going anywhere. These quirky characters help bring a human element into a digital space, often supporting the brand purpose and demonstrating functionality with bespoke personality. 3D settings bring depth to digital scenes Icon-driven isometric illustrations are becoming more detailed, brought to life with gradients and monotone opacity layers, and being placed in a 3D space. This brings depth and realism to digital imagery, helping online spaces become more recognisable and relatable. Read more: The biggest illustration trends for 2019 03. Experimental typography With design and technology working together, we’re set so see some exciting and fresh typographic approaches in 2019. Interaction, animation and transitions provide a new playground in which designers can push the boundaries of experimental type across digital platforms. This new creative layer can be used to further communicate brand purpose and personality. Creative typography is increasingly becoming a core part of an online brand presence, with aesthetic as well as functional benefits. The capabilities of digital typography have progressed significantly. The advent of online font libraries and improved browser support for features enabling brand fonts to be used as real text means typography can now be scaled much more easily. Whereas previously, a simple update would have required several steps and input from different specialists, there are now tools that make it much easier to realise the initial visual concept. This gives designers the freedom to be more imaginative with their solutions, in the knowledge that type can be easily refreshed and updated. It would be great to see more brands embracing the possibilities of digital design next year, exploring creative typographic approaches and moving away from static designs. Read more: Typography trends for 2019 04. Intelligent animation Animation is nothing new, but we're using it in increasingly intelligent ways. Animation now uses accurate movement with consideration of physics and a focus on detail. This increasingly realistic movement resonates much more with the audience as it helps make content more relatable and relevant, bridging the gap between digital and real world. Animation appears in many forms, from vector iconography through to cinemagraphs and bespoke website transitions. Integrated animation is now used to enhance engagement, encourage interaction and convey substantial information succinctly. Whilst an all-singing, all-dancing animation will undeniably demand customer attention, it’s often the more subtle and smart use of movement that creates a lasting impact. As digital designers we’re in a privileged position to be able to really make the most of animation – and it can be extremely helpful. When screen size is limited, animation allows us to cleverly hide and guide customers through a ton of content, drawing attention to important points. 05. Authentic photography Photography is moving from cheesy to more natural Gone are the days of over-polished, cheesy stock photography. We’re now seeing brands adopting authentic and genuine-feeling imagery that resonates more with their customers. Lifestyle images capture relatable scenarios that integrate a brand or product seamlessly into everyday life. The overly polished look is out A rise in popularity of free stock libraries, such as Unsplash, are mutually beneficial, giving talented amateur photographers a platform for their work and a more diverse selection for creatives to find suitable images. 06. Digital reality A trend that’s become evident through all areas of design, and looks set to continue into 2019, is the shift towards developing an online presence that’s reflective of real life. As more and more aspects of our everyday lives exist in a digital space (calendar, shopping lists, social life), it increasingly needs to feel like an extension of reality. Design elements are representative of how things work in the real work, meaning they feel more relatable and relevant. People respond to what they recognise, so these subtle design techniques are helping shape customer behaviour. ...and 3 digital trends we're happy to leave in 2018 01. Following the herd In short, we're talking about unconsidered content. Everything should feel relevant and have a purpose. It’s about implementing the trends, techniques or approaches that are right for your brand, not just using them because they’re popular. For example, animation should only be used when the purpose has been carefully considered. Is the aim to enhance a brand message, convey a sense of movement or draw attention to something specific? And importantly, does it align with the brand tone of voice? 02. Natural textures A trend seen in recent years has been the use of natural textures. Present in imagery and used for surfaces and backgrounds, this can bring tangibility and a real-life familiarity to a digital space. However, if it doesn’t doesn’t relate to the product or offering, it can look completely out of place and have the opposite effect in terms of believability. 03. Bland brands Logos have been losing their individuality this year 2018 was a big year for brands simplifying their identity. Sans-serif wordmarks have replaced busier logos, with the intention of having a clean sophistication that translates across multiple platforms. And whilst we're fans of uncluttered design, it would be a shame if this trend continued to the point where we start to lose the quirky individuality of a brand. Liked this? Read these: 6 huge logo trends for 2019 Pantone announces its Color of the Year The biggest graphic design trends for 2019 View the full article
  9. Launching a creative career in 2019? If a career as a graphic designer is one you've been dreaming about, it's time to take the plunge. Graphic Design Certification School is yours for only $39, and it will get you up to speed in some of the most important tools of the trade. You'll master three widely used software: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign (get Creative Cloud here). With mastery in these three tools under your belt, you'll be well on your way to becoming a full-fledged graphic designer. Get Graphic Design Certification School for only $39 – 96 per cent off the regular price. Related articles: Photoshop CC 2018 review The best computer for graphic design in 2018 The best laptops for graphic design in 2018 View the full article
  10. You're reading Best Free Tools for Adding Dynamic Animations to UI, originally posted on Designmodo. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+! In case you haven’t heard, everyone does animation these days. It can be a small, barely perceptible hover effect attached to a button with the help of Bttn.css or Hover Buttons or an eye-catching dynamic gradient-style background that can be … View the full article
  11. Last week
  12. Widespread, unpatched vulnerabilities are just one set of problems uncovered by a Department of Defense audit. View the full article
  13. The two flaws shed light on heightened concern around user data privacy when it comes to data. View the full article
  14. True auto safety can only be achieved by knowing what every piece of code and hardware is that goes into the car. View the full article
  15. There used to be a time when developers would need to learn Swift/Objective C to build an iOS app, or Java if they wanted to build an Android app. We have now reached an exciting time where web developers can use their existing skills to build both websites and apps without having to learn a completely new language. React Native is a JavaScript library developed by Facebook. It was released back in 2013 and has helped shape apps like Skype, Bloomberg, Wix and many more. Not only can you use your existing knowledge of JavaScript but you can also use the same codebase to build for both iOS and Android. Building an app in React Native with this tutorial is a great starting point for your own app, and it could easily be improved upon by adding more screens, displaying errors on the front end and much more. You can get the project files you need at Github. Not quite what you're looking for? See our post full of different tutorials on how to build an app. 01. Get started To get started building your React Native project, you will need to make sure that you have Node.js installed. You can then install the create-react-native-app command line utility by opening a new a terminal window and running the following command: You can then create your new project by running the following command: You will then need to navigate to your folder via the command line and start the development server. You can then begin working on your app by opening the App.js file using a code editor. 02. Run your app Since you used create-react-native-app via the command line, you can use the Expo client app to test your application Since you used create-react-native-app via the command line to build your project, you can use the Expo client app to test your application. All you need to do is download the app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and then scan the QR code from inside the terminal. You will need to make sure your device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer. You can also use the iPhone or Android simulator, if you have Xcode or Android Studio installed. 03. Create a basic login We’re now going to create a fully functional login screen so users can login, register and sign out Let’s start by adding something very basic. To add some text to your application, you will need to type: Working with styles is very similar to CSS. If you wanted to add a style to the line of text that you just created, you would simply edit that line of text to: You can then add the text style under Stylesheet.create. We are now going to create a fully functional login screen so that users can login, register for a new account, sign out and even reset their password. This is something you will see a lot in mobile apps, so it lays down a nice foundation for future projects. 04. Set up Firebase and NativeBase Firebase is what we will use for our user authentication. We will need to setup the Firebase config just underneath the import commands We are going to start by installing three more libraries. The first is called Firebase, which is what we will use for our user authentication, and the second is called NativeBase, which is a UI component library. The last one is called React Native Dialog Input, which enables us to display a dialogue box where users can enter text. Navigate to your project folder using the command line and enter the below: Make sure you import Firebase, NativeBase and React Native Dialog Input at the top of the App.js file. Next, we will need to setup the Firebase config just underneath the import commands. You will need to go and setup an account with Firebase to get your various settings. You can do this by registering at Firebase and creating a new project. Remember that you will need to enable email and password authentication from the dashboard. 05. Build the container We will also create three buttons: one to login, one to sign up and the final button is for when a user wants to reset their password The next step is to remove the <View> section underneath render(), which was automatically placed there by React upon creating the project, and replace it with the following container to setup the login form. The form will contain a label and an input field for both an email address and password. We will also create three buttons: one to login, one to sign up and the final button is for when a user wants to reset their password. We will set a margin at the top of each button to 10 pixels and set the font colour to white. 06. Set up the events Firstly, we need to set up a constructor to set up the default state. The email and password default values will be set to empty. We will also set the value of isDialogVisible to false: this is going to be used for our password reset dialog box later on. We will now add onChangeText events to both of our text inputs, so that every time the user types something into the email or password fields, it will update the state of both email and password to that value. We also need to add onPress functions to our login, sign-up and forgotten password buttons. Each one will call a different function. The login button will call a function called loginUser, the sign-up button will call signUpUser and the forgotten password button will call forgotPassword. 07. Make sign-up function It’s now time to begin building out our functions. We will begin with the sign-up function (signUpUser), which will attempt to create a new user inside Firebase; if it succeeds, then we will display an onscreen alert to inform the user that their account has been set up. However, if the user chooses a password that is less six characters in length, it will prompt them to enter something that is a minimum of six characters long. Finally, we need to add the catch error handler, so that if the sign-up attempt fails through Firebase, we will print the error message to the console. 07. Add login function If the user successfully signs in, it will display an alert to say the sign in was successfully, along with a sign out button Next, we will add the login (loginUser) function. This will try to log in the user with their email and password. If the user successfully signs in, it will display an alert to say that sign-in was successful, along with a sign out button. Once again, we will need to make sure we add a catch error handler in case there is an error with the login attempt. 08. Add sign out function It’s now on to the sign-out function, which ensures that the user is signed out once they click the sign out button on the alert. 09. Create forgot password function To finish off our project, we are going to build out a function that will enable the user to easily reset their password in case they’ve either forgotten it or want to change it for some other reason. First, we need to create the dialog box just outside of our <form> tags. We now need to make the dialog box appear, so we will create the forgotPassword function, which will change the state of isDialogVisible to true. The dialog box will prompt the user to enter their email address. If the user clicks the cancel button, then the box will close, as it changes the state of the isDialogVisible back to false. If the user clicks the submit button then it will call a function called sendReset along with the email address. Inside our sendReset, we will use the email address to create the Firebase sendPasswordResetEmail request. This article was originally published in issue 312 of net magazine. Buy issue 312 or subscribe here. Related articles: How to create an app icon in Illustrator How to build an AR app Jump start React Native with Expo View the full article
  16. Confident, dynamic, ethnically and linguistically diverse, architecturally stunning, ever-changing... London is a city every designer should visit at least once in their lives. So what's the best London hotel? Whether you're here for business or pleasure, wander its streets and you'll be inspired by its history, enthused by its buzzing energy, enthralled by its constant contradictions. The 24-hour buses and Tube will take you wherever you need to go, and whatever you're passionate about seeing, whether that be experimental theatre, classical art or the latest rock bands, you'll find a dizzying abundance of choice. And that applies equally to hotels which come in all shapes, sizes and price brackets. Unfortunately, given the huge turnover, thin margins and intense competition in London's hotel industry, bad hotels are easier to find than good. So in this guide, we've brought together 10 top-class hotels that consistently deliver, particularly in regards to cleanliness and customer service, at all price points. How to choose a London hotel Depending on the length of your stay, there are a number of key considerations to bear in mind. Most important is location: London is not only a huge city, but hotels that describe themselves as 'in London' are actually in surrounding counties such as Kent and Essex, and so getting to the centre of town can mean multiple bus and train journeys. So before you book, make sure you put the hotel's address into Google Maps and calculate the amount of travel you'll need to get where you want to be. It's a bit of a hassle, but the results may surprise you greatly. As a general rule of thumb, though, if your location is within zones 1-4 on the Tube map you should find it pretty easy to get around the main areas and attractions of the capital. Price is also an obvious factor. And here there's good news; with such a huge range of hotels and hostels, you'll certainly be able to find somewhere that fits your budget. And given the fierce competition, and with hotels keen to fill all their rooms, you can often find bargains even in the pricier establishments if you shop around enough. One another thing that's probably going to be important to you is Wi-Fi. We'd see this as must-have in this day and age, but unfortunately it's not something that's always guaranteed in the average London hotel. So do check first; happily, all the hotels featured on this list provide free, reliable Wi-Fi. Mondrian London at Sea Containers offers stunning views of the River Thames Perched on the Thames, next to Blackfriars Bridge, Mondrian London at Sea Containers is in comfortable walking distance from some of London’s biggest cultural highlights: including the Tate Modern, the Globe, the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre, as well as Borough Market and the London Eye. Blackfriars Station, a minute’s walk away, has direct trains to Gatwick Airport and the Tube connecting you to all of London. The riverside entrance makes you feel like you’re living the high life, and if you can stretch to a balcony suite you really will be: these huge spaces offer an incredible luxury experience. But even if you’re staying in one of the more affordable standard rooms, you’re in for a pretty special time. See deals and reviews for Mondrian London Sea Containers at Booking.com Styled on a ship's hull, the receptional area is quite magnificent Tastefully converted from the original shipping offices, the hotel is designed on a nautical Atlantic theme. It’s a concept that in the wrong hands could have been cheesy, but award-winning British designer Tom Dixon has pulled it all off beautifully, from the bronze cladded walls of the foyer, echoing the design of a ship’s hull, to the giant blue anchor sculptures and ship models dotted throughout, all enhanced by subtle and sultry lighting. Even the quirky elevators are a fun and entrancing treat for the eyes. In short, it’s more like wandering around a gallery or art museum than your average hotel. The Rumpus Room, a bright and verdant riverside rooftop bar The rooms themselves are beautifully designed too, with bespoke furniture, a drip wall painting by Dixon, and a wonderfully quirky colour palette. But great design isn’t just about form, it’s about function too; and what we love most is that the light switches next to the bed are purposely big and easy to use; the sort of small detail that even the most expensive hotels often fall down on. Even if you can’t stretch to a room with a river view, wander up to the rooftop bar, take in the city skyline, from the Shard to St Pauls, and you’ll feel like a million dollars. The bathhouse and spa, British/American restaurant and award-winning cocktail bar also come highly recommended. To top it all, there’s even a 56-seat Curzon cinema. Hazlitt's is right in the heart of bustling Soho If you want to be in the centre of London’s beating heart, you won’t find a better location than Hazlitt’s. It’s situated in Frith Street, just off Soho Square in the West End, within easy walking distance of London’s biggest theatres, tourist centres such as Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, and the creative agency hubs of Soho. Plus you’re just 300m from Tottenham Court Road tube station, for easy access to the whole of greater London and its airports. See deals and read traveller reviews for Hazlitt's, London at Booking.com Each of the Deluxe Double rooms features either a 17th Century carved oak bed or a Georgian four poster You may not want to stray all that far, though, because this period hotel, dating back to 1718, is stunningly beautiful. The history of the building has been thoughtfully and elegantly incorporated into its contemporary design, combining the best of the Georgian era (antique furniture, silk curtains, wood pannelling, original painting) with modern conveniences like flat-screen TVs (subtly hidden behind cupboard doors), work desk, freestanding bathtubs and rainfall showerheads. The hotel is full of delightful historic touches There’s also an honesty bar and a library, both adding to the old-world charm of this delightfully elegant home-from-home. Please note, though, that as a converted period home, this hotel is not disabled friendly. QBic's budget rooms are basic, but bright, clean and fun Most of the time, you’ll struggle to find a hotel room in Britain’s capital for less than £100 a night, and if you do, it will probably be pretty awful. But here’s a notable exception. Qbic Hotel is located in Whitechapel, a short walk from the creative, hipster areas of Shoreditch and Hoxton, and within five minutes’ of both Aldgate East and Aldgate Tube stations, which will get you anywhere else you want to go. See deals and read traveller reviews for QBic London City at Booking.com Every room comes with a super-comfortable handmade bed For a cheap hotel, the quality of accommodation is very comfortable, with all rooms including a large hand-made hypoallergenic NaturalMat mattress, flat-screen TV, UK/ EU and USB sockets, rainshower bathroom, steam-free mirror and complimentary organic toiletries. Free water, tea and coffee is offered in the hallways, and the arty, quirky interior design and lively, youthful atmosphere all add up to a laid-back and enjoyable hotel experience. The hotel offers great value in what's generally an expensive city You can also feel good about yourself, as you’ll be staying in what’s billed as London’s greenest budget hotel. For example, they generate part of their own electricity via solar panels, use water-saving technology in the bathrooms, clean with products that are 100% chemical free and make their mattresses using only organic, natural materials. There’s an electric vehicle charging station and they’ll even loan you bikes for exploring the area, for free. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer unparalleled views of the capital If money is no object, there are an array of high-end luxury hotels in London vying for your business. But none of them can offer views quite like Shangri-La at The Shard, occupying floors 34-52 of the vertiginous London landmark. And with huge floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, offering spectacular views of the city below, you’ll feel like you’re in one of those movies about rich and successful people. See deals and read traveller reviews for Shangri-La at The Shard, London at Booking.com The London suite offers the ultimate in luxury The climate-controlled suites themselves are stunning too, with elegant understated Asian decor, a specially designed ‘body-contouring’ bed, and en suite, marble-clad bathrooms that all come with underfloor heating and mirrors with integrated TV screens. Plus there are lots of luxurious little touches such as pillow menu, cotton kimonos, Nespresso machines, Acqua di Parma toiletries and binoculars to enjoy those fabulous vistas all the more. The hotel houses the highest plunge pool in Western Europe The hotel also features an artisan deli and café, a high-end restaurant, and London's highest champagne and cocktail bar, on the 52nd floor (these fill up quickly and pre-booking is highly recommended). But perhaps the jewel in the crown is Western Europe’s highest infinity pool, also on the 52nd floor, offering unparalleled views of the River Thames. 12- and 14-bed dorm rooms are served by shared male and female bathroom facilities, and there is an allocated storage locker for each guest Youth hostelling in central London can be a rough and ready experience, both in the quality and hygiene of the accomodation and the class of clientele; don’t be surprised to be woken in the early hours by large groups of drunken revellers. Venture a bit further out, though, and it’s a differerent story, particularly at our favourite London youth hostel. Green Rooms is in Haringey; not a particularly exciting part of north London apart from the iconic Alexandra Palace, which is nearby. But there is a Tube station right across the street, so it’s easy to get anywhere you need to. There are two basic dormitories, with 12 and 14 bunk beds respectively, as well as very basic standard rooms. It’s housed in an art-deco former showroom that’s been thoughtfully converted by the architectural design practice SODA in a coolly minimalist style. See deals and read traveller reviews for Green Rooms, London at Booking.com The bar and lobby area is bright, colourful and relaxing This is a youth hostel, and so both the design and the facilities are pretty basic, as you’d expect. But what really sets this hostel apart is the philosophy and atmosphere surrounding it. Run by a not-for-profit organisation, Green Rooms specifically aims to attract artists and people working in the creative industries. In fact, it’s even putting its money where it’s mouth is, offering preferential rates to these groups (you need to give some info about yourself, plus relevant URLs, when you apply for a discount on the website). Standard rooms feature a three-quarter bed, original wood flooring and simple but stylish furniture There are also rooms and studio apartments in the building that are recommended for longer-term artist residencies, plus regular events such as gigs, art exhibitions and comedy nights. And even if you’re not a creative yourself, this means (depending on the will of the Gods) you’ll find usually find a nicer, gentler vibe at the Green Rooms than the average hostel. This boutique hotel is perfect for spending quality time with the love of your life If you want to treat your better half to a romantic stay in London, you can’t go far wrong with Blakes. A London institution, often frequented by celebrities and society figures, rooms in this boutique hotel have been designed to get you in the mood by actress-turned-designed and society figure Anouska Hempel, and she’s done an impressive job. View deals and read traveller reviews for Blakes, London at Booking.com The Cardinal Suite Each room is decorated in a different style, with influences from Italy, India, Turkey and China, and many feature four-poster beds and original beds. Throughout the hotel, the overall vibe hits the sweet spot between bohemian chic and olde world charm, with sweeping drapes, quirky antiques, elegantly carved beds, rich fabrics and exotic scents coming together to evoke a quite uniquely English atmosphere. It also features an Asian-style restaurant and a cocktail bar. The unique interior blends contemporary design with ecletic antiques and a bohemian feel Located in the affluent West London district of South Kensington, with its high class bars and restaurants, Blakes is 10 minutes' walk from both the museum district and South Kensington and Gloucester Road London Tube Station. Please note, though, that as a conversion of a period building, this hotel is not disabled friendly. The hotel is within walking distance of many top attractions If you’re taking your kids on your trip the capital, then Park Plaza is our best recommendation for a family-friendly hotel. That’s partly down to its central location. Situated on the South Bank, opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the hotel is a few minutes walk from many of the city’s child-friendly attractions, including the London Eye, The Sea Life Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure and the National Theatre. And if you want to head further afield, Westminster and Waterloo Tube stations are just a five-minute walk away. See deals and read traveller reviews for Park Plaza, London at Booking.com The junior suite offers impressive views Another consideration is space. With the best will in the world, cramped rooms made for tension and frustration, especially when everyone’s spent all day walking around London. So Park Plaza’s generously-sized guest rooms are designed with families in mind, including pull-out sofa beds, and additional TV in the living area and kitchenettes to give everyone a little breathing space. The hotel has won awards for its family friendliness Plus more broadly, the whole ethos of the hotel is geared towards making life easier for families and putting children front and centre. So kids get a special goody bag on check in, including an activity book, fun quizzes, pencils, a yo-yo and more, as well a wristband with the name and telephone number of the hotel to give parents peace of mind. The kids can also enjoy the hotel swimming pool, and there are even events for them held in the hotel itself, such as weekly movie nights, to give parents a bit of time off. The decor is eclectic and quirky If aesthetic appeal is at the top of your list when it comes to booking a hotel, then we’d like to point you towards Artist Residence. Part of a chain that originated in Brighton, this charming art hotel set in a lovingly converted Victorian townhouse is full of ecletic decor, quirky artwork, exposed brick and lovely retro touches. Each room showcases work by a local artist, vintage furniture mingles with cool contemporary creations, and basically, everywhere you wander in this bijou building screams effortless style. See deals and read traveller reviews for Artist Residence, London at Booking.com Each room showcases work by a local artist But this 10-room hotel is not just about good looks. Located in quiet Pimlico, Buckingham Palace, Tate Britain and Victoria Tube, railway and coach station are all in walking distance. Its downstairs restaurant, the Cambridge Cafe, is an attraction in its own right, and there’s also a ping pong room and a buzzing cellar bar. Bathrooms are stylish and luxurious Staff are informal and friendly, and the diverse crowd this boutique hotel attracts makes for a truly unique experience. Rooms start at £135. The Boundary lies at the nexus of buzzy Shoreditch Shoreditch is the trendiest, most creative part of London, packed with cutting-edge design agencies, award-winning bars and restaurants, quirky pop-up stores and elaborately moustachioed hipsters. Our favourite place to stay here has to be the Boundary Project on Redchurch Street, which is nothing less a monument to design. See deals and read traveller reviews for The Boundary Project, London at Booking.com The Eileen Gray Room, inspired by the architect and furniture designer, a pioneer of the Modern Movement A conversion of a former Victorian printworks by Terence Conran, each of the rooms and suites is inspired by a legendary designer or design movement, from the Bauhaus to Young British designers; Heath Robinson to André Putman. Over 50 artists and designers contributed bespoke commissions for the interior, with everything overseen by Sir Terence Conran. With huge windows and incredible attention to detail throughout, the overall effect is quite stunning and unlike anything you’ll see in any other hotel. The rooftop bar and grill offers stunning views of East London Guests can also beat the lines to the hugely popular bar and grill, set in a rooftop orangery with panoramic views of the city, plus there’s a bar, coffee house and even a bakery. The Good Hotel offers spectacular river views at a budget price A river view is one thing, but actually staying on the river is another. That’s what’s on offer from this not-for-profit floating hotel, which offers a unique experience at very affordable rates. It’s located in Newham in East London, which is not a particularly interesting area, although it is walking distance from both the ExCeL Convention Centre and the Emirates Air Line cable-car ride. Plus the Royal Victoria railway station is just five minutes’ walk away, and you’re a 15 minute walk to Canning Town tube station on the Jubilee line. See deals and read traveller reviews for The Good Hotel, London at Booking.com Rooms are small but attractive and well-organised The interior of this Dutch-designed hotel blends minimalism with industrial in a stylish manner that’s punctuated with quirky, humorous elements. As you’d expect, there are spectacular views of the River Thames from every room, while watching dock workers by day and the O2 arena across the river lit up at night add extra interest. Locally sourced comfort food, healthy salads and tasty sweets are served in the 'Living Room' dining area Best of all, the Good Hotel reinvests its profits to support its charity partners, providing education for some of the world’s poorest communities to break the cycle of unemployment and provides new opportunities for locals in need. Read more: 10 inspirational design cities 6 of the biggest graphic design trends for 2019 The expert guide to working from home View the full article
  17. 2019 is fast approaching and we've already seen some interesting trend predictions when it comes the creative industry next year. But that's been about what the designers expect to see. What about what they'd actually like to see? In this article, we speak to artists and designers at leading studios to find out their hopes, dreams and fervent wishes for the industry in the year ahead... 01. Serious action on sustainability Over the last few years, everyone’s been talking about making branding more environmentally sustainable. But in 2019, Sam Evans, senior planner at Turner Duckworth, would like to see more concrete action. “Brands have the power to shape our cultural landscapes,” he says. “Yet on the issue of sustainability, it often feels that those with sprawling ecological footprints talk the talk in reality; but don’t look further than their bottom line.” He raises, for example, the issue of plastic. “It would be great to see some serious momentum behind big brands putting their money where their plastic is and using their power to make real changes across their design, packaging and supply chains, to catch up with consumer thinking and communicate clearly the wider importance of these actions.” 15 online packaging design resources Adidas teamed up with Parley in 2018 to produce the first high performance products made from ocean plastic Holly Kielty, creative director of Brand Language at Design Bridge has a similar wish. “In 2019. I’d like to see more conscientious design, where the murky greys of recycled plastic become a thing of beauty, substrates once thought ugly are celebrated, and more sustainable results are credited over and above the traditionally lauded illustration or typography,” she says. “The world demands that our industry takes action, and that means rethinking our established aesthetic codes and assumptions about commercial success, and shifting people’s perspectives on what ‘good’ design really is.” Liz Herring, graphic designer at Greenwich Design, suggests one practical step towards this. “I’d like to see a trend towards a more retro form of minimalism, particularly in our packaging,” she says. “I hope we’ll see less plastic packaging and a move towards buying our products loose. As a designer, this opens up opportunities for eco-friendly branding, whether that’s on simple paper bags or hessian shoppers. Just because we lose the packaging, it doesn’t mean we have to lose the design or branding.” Also read: 6 of the biggest graphic design trends for 2019 02. Responses to social issues “2019 is likely to be another turbulent year for the UK,” says Alastair Holmes, associate creative director at This Place. “So I'd like to see design play a part in promoting harmony, inclusion and responsibility. This could be in the form of promoting thoughtful consumerism, such as more sustainable food choices or better packaging. “I'd also like to see a design response to the growing issues around mental health and the use of social media, perhaps promoting honesty and realism over idealism and obsession with celebrity status,” he adds. David Annetts, creative director at Design Bridge, agrees that these are areas in which designers can make a difference. “The design industry serves the diverse commercial interests of its clients, and by its very nature there are a lot of young people at the coalface doing the work,” he points out. Mental health is an issue that people are talking more about in the design industry “This year I’ve noticed that the younger members of our team have been taking more interest in, having a stronger point of view on, and asking more questions about the ethics and purpose of the work they are producing. So I’d like to see this reflected in more of the briefs we receive from clients, enabling us to actively contribute to making positive change happen.” When it comes to social issues, Clem Halpin, UK creative director at Bullet Proof, would particularly like the business to look closer to home in 2019. “I hope this year that agencies will finally address poor working practices, their social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability to balance profit and purpose,” he says. 10 steps to protecting your mental health at work “As mental health and happiness at work become ever more important in terms of recruitment, young designers will be less and less willing to work all-nighters, tolerate toxic bosses or to work for unethical or unhealthy clients. For the same reason – happiness – I also expect to see the drift away from London continue, with more and more agile creative agencies springing up to accommodate those designers who can’t or won’t work in London." 03. Co-authored brands “I’d like to see more brands invest in co-creation,” says Lee Fasciani, co-founder and creative director of Territory Projects. “A number of successful new and existing brands invite the intended audience to co-create, ideate and validate. There is a transparency to this process that people appreciate; they invest time and energy knowing that they’re going to get a better experience because of it. The Lego version of the Flintstones is one of many designs that have originated from the co-creation platform, Lego Ideas “B2B, retail and automotive brands like DHL, Monzo, Lego, BMW have all realised the value of customer-driven innovation and have a clear strategy in place to empower their customers,” he continues. “It would be great to see more businesses take influence from the digital product world and start to develop their brands with their target customers, getting them involved earlier in the process to create co-authored brands that would naturally have even more engagement with their audience because they’ve helped shape it.” 04. Greater understanding of AI In 2018 AI was the biggest design industry buzzword. But it’s a phrase that’s misused as often as it’s used correctly. So Brett Lovelady, founder of ASTRO Studios, the award-winning studio behind the design of the XBox360, would like to see that change in 2019. The topic of AI was left, right and centre at this year's Adobe MAX “I’m hoping that people will realise that not everything is AI, so they won’t call it that,” he explains. “Some things are just technology enhancements. Some are smarter or more intuitive than others, but most tech solutions are not predictive and learning; they’re just incremental advances and new features.” He also hope that people will no longer be afraid of AI. "If everyone jumps on the robots are on the rise, anti-AI wagon, it will stop in the street and that would be a huge loss of innovation and creativity momentum," he argues. "We’re human and still in control, so act like it, and experiment with tech just like any other medium.” 05. Less visual noise Dan Bramham, senior designer at Greenwich Design, is among many who'd like to see less visual noise, and more well-considered design in 2019. “I’d like to see design that is a little less showy and has more integrity; true brand value-based stuff, rather than excess fluff,” he explains. “I’d also like to see more use of simple yet well considered, more overtly functional design. There’s so much visual noise going on out there that as a consumer, I appreciate the gentle open spaces within a design; it’s like an oasis of calm and I'm more receptive to that.” Julie Potter, graphic designer at Greenwich Design, expresses a similar desire. “I’d like to see designers and marketers cutting back the noise,” she urges. “I get a headache every time I go shopping, as a result of all the loud brash messages being catapulted at me. I’d like to see much simpler, calmer messaging; messaging that’s gentler and more human." Keeley Laures, senior visual designer at This Place, would also like to see a calmer approach to design in 2019. “From a visual perspective, it would be nice to see the brutalism trend somewhat disappear – with an exception of niche groups because there's no denying that it has its place – and more emphasis on editorial design," she says. Has the Brutalism trend had its day? “At the moment, we're seeing an increase in text-based sites ranging from large typography with marquee-style animations to large imagery and type treatment overlays with odes to Swiss poster design,” she continues. “While these styles have always been around, I think it's starting a segue into a site style that helps make content more consumable. "This aesthetic will also play a part in content structure as well; really closing in on what is important from a narrative perspective, as opposed to trying to tell the world anything and everything.” It’s a shift that Nico Vargas, head of graphic design at DMS, would like to see in animation too. “As a designer and creative animator, I love working with classic animation, going frame by frame to create beautiful, yet simple animation,” he says. "This classic style and process is time-consuming but produces fantastic results – I’d love to see more of this in 2019." Of course, that’s only part of the story. “On the flip-side, photorealistic styles and animated typefaces are becoming more popular and something we look to carry on working with next year,” he notes. “However, over-stylised graphics look fantastic but can detract from the content we’re working with and lose clarity in the message.” 06. Blurring of digital and physical channels Ed Mitchell, brand experience and technology director at Design Bridge, is keen to see a move away from a strict division of digital and physical channels in 2019, and towards providing a good overall experience for the user. Amazon Go's cashierless store has taken the blending of digital and physical to a new level “I want to see more creatives explore how brands deliver experiences that pull, utilising data and user insights to create experiences that deliver value, purpose and meaning to consumers, rather than pushing content and messaging,” he explains. “Future creative thinking should be about generating more meaningful brand connections, demonstrating a real understanding and appreciation of consumers and what matters to them.” 07. The rise of 3D While flat aesthetics have dominated digital design in recent years, gradients and drop shadows are slowly making their return, notes Andreas Chang, visual designer at This Place. “The difference now is how they are used,” he says. “Rather than being an execution of skeuomorphism, they’re used to provide depth and visual tension to our otherwise flat, and sometimes boring, designs. Gradients have been on the rise throughout 2018, as seen in this logo for the Brit Awards “What I'd like to see as the next stage in this trend," he says, "is for designers to turn to actual 3D and its advanced capabilities for depth and shading, opening up a new space for digital design that has previously been dominated by games and industrial design. "With the power of modern computers and today’s sophisticated web browsers, 3D experiences are ready to explored and shared on a wider scale than ever." 08. New approaches to UI design Ben Buckley, UI designer at This Place, also wants to see a move away from UI design trends that are now so ubiquitous, they’ve become cliches. “I believe it was Headspace's illustrator Chris Markland who was one of the first to kick off the trend for the use of grain and noise texture to create shadow,” he says. Ben Buckley wants to see a move away from flat vector illustrations in UI, such as this example on Intercom's site “After that, I saw this in Intercom’s illustrations, and while I love both, I just kept seeing this dominance of big, bright, right-sided, hero 2D vector illustrations with a header to the left, and this format has been repeated over and over. "Yes, it's awesome and the formula works," he says. "But in 2019, I would love to see more abstract illustration. Enough of the 2D vector art.” Also read: 7 hot web trends for 2019 09. Vibrant and dynamic colours “I’ve really enjoyed the trend for bright colours and I’d like to see it taken a step further in 2019,” says Kate Chandler, graphic designer at Greenwich Design. “I hope we’ll see more bold and playful colours and strong typographical designs. This lively, vibrant approach provides a refreshing antidote to some of the more depressing things happening in the world right now.” United Way used a specially design colour to make their 2018 campaign 'unignorable', as we reported here When it comes to colours, Lovelady is looking forward to palettes that blend and morph dynamically. “It’s great to see colour blocking combos, fades, gradients, current and retro, but that’s not the future,” he believes. “I tend to think colours will transfigure more – transform and enhance movement – which is a great thing. Perhaps this is due to digital screen overload, but I think blending and morphing colour palettes will begin to define our future states.” He also predicts a concurrent rise in the popularity of tonal photos. “Juxtaposed to the vibration of digital visuals, photography will offset this with tonal, rich, monosaturated effects, often blended with tactile effected graphic elements,” he believes. “Grandma’s old postcard with modern content and features, perhaps. Nostalgic. Human. Or just a desire to feel differently about a subject? All of the above.” Will these trends happen? So will these trends we’d like to see actually happen in 2019? That’s largely up to the industry itself, including most of the people reading this article. But right now, it's getting increasingly difficult to know what's likely to happen, even a few months from now. As Tyler Hendy, graphic designer at Wunderman points out: "Trends are getting old, faster, spreading further, wider and quicker, and it's all getting copied easier. Large commercial companies all the way down to small independent boutiques will have to embrace niche design trends if they want to stay relevant. Bigger brands will have to be agile and look to the unconventional aesthetics, spotting the trends in advance in an attempt to stand out. "Sharing things across the internet instantaneously will push us into two different directions. Two tribes. The pixel pushers and those who claim pixel perfection is a dead end. Total chaos and flawless order. Perfect consistency and intentionally imperfect. You decide." But if the future is somewhat murky, one thing’s we can reckon we can predict with some certainty. In the words of Lovelady: “In 2019, 2020 itself will become a trend. Because it’s fun to say, has zeros, means perfect sight, looks really cool in type. Not to mention reaching 2020 seems like a milestone of human achievement… at least it is in my book.” And who could argue with that? Read more: 4 huge visual trends for 2019 11 places to provide logo design inspiration The logo trends set to dominate next year View the full article
  18. You're reading Free Tools for Web Designers, originally posted on Designmodo. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+! Designers are always struggling to express themselves. Putting heart and soul into a project is their motto. Every job, every concept, every sketch and even every icon is an outcome of creativity and hard work. For majority people who are … View the full article
  19. The hackers behind the attack said they have targeted 100,000 more printers in the latest attack dubbed #PrinterHack2. View the full article
  20. We all have colours that we like best, whether we use them for clothes, design projects, Instagram colour palettes or home decoration. But with colour trends constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up with the hot new hues hitting the scene. To help keep the colour-conscious up to date, the The Prestige Flooring Co has created a fun little quiz that will match a palette to your personality. If you've ever killed five minutes by taking a Buzzfeed quiz you'll be familiar with the format. A series of 10 multiple choice questions asks you to pick your preferences, and at the end you'll be presented with a palette based on your decisions. These questions include internet quiz favourites such as 'where would you call home?'. 'pick a sky' and 'which is your go-to coffee order?' Whizz your way through all 10 questions by taking the colour quiz here, and you'll find a matching palette based on the Spring Summer 2019 trending colours spotted on runways. Results include colour palettes such as 'meandering', 'musings' and 'paradoxical', each of which include a group of suggested hues for you to experiment with. This could be particularly useful if you're struggling with a mood board – see more mood board tips here. You're only 10 questions away from finding your SS19 palette Fans of colour theory will get a kick out of this quiz, and it couldn't come at a better time. Thanks to the unveiling of Pantone's Color of the Year 2019 earlier this month, we're already getting a good idea of how the next twelve months are shaping up colour-wise. So if you're looking for a burst of colour inspiration to liven up your wardrobe, creative projects or your home, this quiz could be the perfect place to find some surprising insights, plus a bit of personal reflection for the end of the year. Related articles: Discover your colour IQ with this Pantone test Pantone creates the world's most unignorable colour Pantone's updated Colour Finder is a designer's dream View the full article
  21. Want access to a collection of vectors so huge it'll last you a lifetime? Try Icon54: Unlimited Membership for only $19. These line and glyph vector icons are all drawn by hand, and your subscription gets you access to all 5,000 of them, across 101 different categories. Best of all, you can customise the vectors to your specific needs, whether that means changing the colour, size, orientation, or shadow. Each icon also comes in two different versions – line and solid versions – so you can pick what best suits your needs. You can also adjust the stroke width and thickness using Smart Strokes with Illustrator (not included). Get lifetime access to all existing icons and all future ones that will be added later on, for just $19. Related articles: Adobe XD plugin makes vector art easier 30 top vector art tutorials The 24 best places to find free vector art online View the full article
  22. Surface Laptop 2 is an update of the original Surface Laptop released in the middle of 2017. It answers the needs of those who rather like Microsoft’s approach to its Surface lineup but who want a traditional clamshell laptop. Unlike the 2-in-1 Surface Pro it’s not a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid. And unlike the Surface Book it doesn’t have a detachable screen that can be used as a tablet. It’s what used to be called an ‘ultrabook’ by Intel; an ultraportable laptop that’s directly opposed to Apple’s excellent all-new MacBook Air and – depending on configuration – the MacBook Pro. Surface Laptop 2 is certainly a professional-looking device and differs significantly from the Mac lineup in terms of its excellent touchscreen and inking capability with Surface Pen. Surface Laptop 2 price Although the official pricing says it’s available for less, consider that you’ll be paying at least £1,000 for Surface Laptop 2 once you factor in discounts or offers. If you choose the Core i5 version, you have to have 8GB of RAM, while you really need a minimum 256GB SSD. That comes in at £1,249 on Microsoft’s site. Looking up to the 16GB, Core i7 version with 512GB of storage, you’re talking around £2,000 for that. A not insignificant amount that makes the adding Core i7 to the MacBook Pro look a more compelling proposition in terms of value, especially as you also get Intel’s Iris Pro graphics. Indeed, if you want a Core i7, you’re better off looking elsewhere because of the price premiums involved. If you’re after Core i5, things are different; the Surface Laptop 2 is a compelling option versus rivals, notably against our two other favourites the Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Air. Be aware also that you’ll need to pay £99 extra for the Surface Pen accessory if you want that (and we think you will). Surface Laptop 2 display Naturally the Surface Laptop 2 remains a Surface though-and-through so there’s a touchscreen for use with Windows 10, which is a fully-touch responsive operating system unlike macOS. It’s fully compatible with Surface Pen although it’s worth noting that it doesn’t fold anywhere near flat like a tablet or into a sketchpad like Surface Book 2. The angle isn’t that great for a lot of stylus use and if you do want to do that you’re probably better off looking at one of the other Surface models. The touchscreen is a 13.5-inch display with the same 2,256 x 1,504 resolution as last time out. An improved 1,500:1 contrast ratio and superb colour gamut improves on an impressive display. Improved specs make for an impressive display. Surface Laptop 2 performance and battery life It’s under the surface where the Surface Laptop 2 has really been enhanced; quad-core processors are now supplied across the board and you can choose from the Core i5-8250U or i7-8650U, both designed for ultraportable laptops. As such performance is comparable to similar chips inside competitors like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre but it doesn’t have the performance of the MacBook Pro line. Storage and memory specs are identical to the original Surface Laptop, so you can get up to 1TB of space to store your files and up to 16GB of RAM. Naturally you also get fast SSD storage. The keyboard is very pleasant to type on – like the Surface Book 2- and there’s plenty of travel in the keys. It’s a lot less noisy to type on than the MacBook Air. As we mentioned before, while the MacBook Pro has Intel’s Iris Pro graphics, the Surface Laptop sticks with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 – pretty standard fare. If you’re doing a lot of photo or video processing you probably want to be looking at either the MacBook Pro or Surface Book 2 with its dedicated Nvidia graphics power. Surface Laptop 2 design and ports The Surface Laptop 2 continues the trend set by the original and is almost exactly the same in appearance. The keyboard surround is made of Alcantara fabric. Whether or not you like this will depend on personal taste, but it is smart and is certainly distinctive. Oh, and it’s stain resistant; there’s almost a sheen to it. As with the new Surface Pro 6 there’s a matt black design option that’s rather distinctive (at least it is now laptops tend to be predominantly grey and not ‘ThinkPad black’). It’s also available in three other options – platinum (grey), burgundy and cobalt blue. Last year’s graphite gold finish has disappeared. Ports are a contentious issue. Despite including USB-C on the Surface Go – essentially a cheaper Surface tablet than the Surface Pro – Microsoft has opted not to include it here on the Surface laptop, instead opting for a single older-style USB-A port and a DisplayPort connector. It’s OK, and you may well have a DisplayPort-capable display, but it is backwards-looking by Microsoft. Microsoft says the Surface lineup are designed to showcase the best of Windows, but actions speak louder than words. Charging is still provide the Surface proprietary connector on the right-hand side, while there’s a headphone jack, too. The webcam can be used to sign into Windows with face recognition – the biometric login in Windows is called Windows Hello. Ports are a contentious issue on the Surface Laptop 2. Final verdict While the Surface Laptop 2 is an interesting ultraportable, it isn’t a no-brainer purchase and with almost every positive there are other, even more compelling options. For a sketchpad/tablet, Surface Book 2 is way better (although costlier) or you could plump for a the Surface Pro 6 as a different option. For a performance machine at the Core i7 level, you’re much better off spending the same or a little more on a MacBook Pro or looking at something like the Dell XPS 13 which offers bags of performance. (It also doesn’t have USB-C, which remains a mystery to us.) Indeed, the only area we consider it truly compelling is if you’re looking for an ultraportable that can do most things but that you use alongside another even more powerful machine for design work. And even then, there are numerous competitors around the £1,000 mark. View the full article
  23. Flaws could allow an attacker to stop or start a home charging station, or even change the current in order to start a fire. View the full article
  24. One bug accidentally allowed Google to index user passwords. View the full article
  25. Looking for the best children's books of all time? That's exactly what you'll find right here. Whether you need a last minute Christmas gift, or you want some inspiration for your own illustration projects, we've got you covered. After all, there are few better displays of imagination, craft and creativity than a well-written and illustrated children’s book. Not only do they need to excite the mind of a child but they also need to engage the adult reading them to the point that they're happy going through the same book over and over again. This list comprises some of the best children's books of all time, broken down into age groups – with some further recommendations that those with a designers eye will get a kick out of as well. We hope it'll be useful for Christmas inspiration, baby-showers and kids-at-heart alike. Right now, you'll find ages 0-5 – but head back here tomorrow and we'll have more age groups covered... The best creative Christmas gifts for kids Buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Amazon US: $6.59 | Amazon UK: £5.13 Summary: A classic that has been passed down over generations, this children's book follows the journey of a caterpillar eating his way to adulthood. Now over 40 years old, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been delighting children for generations. Eric Carle's unique and beautiful illustration style combine with a story that is fun and educational, even for young ears. It's a 'first buy' book for anyone with a child on the way. The original is in paperback, but the book is available in so many different formats, from pop-up to puppet and there's even a film. We've linked the board book, which is perfect for toddlers to hold and read and discover the world. Buy Where the Wild Things Are – Amazon US: $13.23 | Amazon UK: £4.54 Summary: One night Max makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother sends him to bed. When a forest grows, the Wild Things are unleashed and make Max their king. Another classic, Where the Wild Things Are has been on children's bookshelves since 1964. The story uses the jungle and Wild Things as a metaphor for Max's rage at being told to go to his room. There's a beautiful message hidden under what seems like a story of an overactive imagination that sometimes a child just needs a bit of time to calm themselves down. Something both parents and children can learn from. Buy The Jolly Christmas Postman – Amazon US: $16.45 | Amazon UK: £6.99 Summary: It's Christmas Eve, and the Jolly Postman has letters to delivery to a cast of beloved fairy-tale characters, all included in envelopes throughout the book. Really any one of the Ahlberg books could go into this list. Each Peach Pear Plum, Funny Bones and Peepo are timeless classics. The Jolly Christmas Postman wins out because there is just so much fun to be had with your kids as you turn the page and see what's been delivered to the next classic character. A game for Little Red Riding Hood, a jigsaw for Humpty Dumpty, a tiny book-in-a-book for the Gingerbread Man. Sit in bed on Christmas Eve and pop open the envelopes to reveal little toys and games to play with your little ones. Buy The Snowman – Amazon US: $12.95 | Amazon UK: £5.59 Summary: One winter's night a boy finds his Snowman has come to life as they head on a magical adventure across the skies. One of the rare occasions when a book and a film are on par with each other, having watched and read both you can almost see Raymond Briggs' illustrations dancing across the page. There is a slight difference in that they don't visit the North Pole and meet Father Christmas, which feels notable absent if you do it in Film - Book order. The end is still touching and sad though. The entire story is wordless, which is always fascinating to see how emotion and context are achieved using just body and facial expressions. Buy Lost & Found – Amazon US: $17.09 | Amazon UK: £5.24 Summary: Once there was a boy, and one day he finds a penguin on his doorstep. The boy tries to return the penguin to his home but finds a friendship was all he was looking for instead. Lost & Found is just about the pinnacle of what a picture book should be. It's the perfect length and tone, and the illustrations are approachable for both adult and child. The story of a developing friendship is quickly picked up by young children, and the humour is well placed and subtle at points. While How to Catch a Star is Oliver Jeffers excellent debut book, Lost and Found is really where he began to gain notoriety. The book was developed into a film by Studio AKA of which Jeffers produced a lot of graphics assets, and it's the first time you really start to see his iconic handwriting make an outing. Recently Oliver Jeffers released an anthology of all of his 'boy' books featuring pencil sketches and brainstorms completed while plotting the series. The Boy, His Stories and How They Came To Be is also available on Amazon Buy I Want My Hat Back – Amazon US: $12.77 | Amazon UK: £3.98 Summary: A book about a bear whose hat has gone and he wants it back. Asking creatures one by one the bear searches for his lost hat. Klassen's colour and illustration style juxtapose the traditionally vibrant world we usually see in picture books, with neutral hues and darker tones it makes a refreshing read in between magical kingdoms and fairy tales. The humour is more dry, subtle and darker as well, meaning its much more of a treat for adults than usual. Kids still massively enjoy it though, picking up on its cues that you'd think might go over their heads. The pacing of this story is some of the best you'll see in a 40-page picture book, meaning the plot twist at the end is delivered with excellent comic timing. Buy The Storm Whale – Amazon US: $11 | Amazon UK: £5.49 Summary: Noi and his father (a fisherman) live by the sea. One day a baby whale washes up on the beach, and Noi decides to take it home and care for it. Benji Davies' illustration style reminds of Axel Scheffler (Gruffalo, Room on a Broom) in that it's incredibly detailed but completely unique. Like landscape painting with a modern, more simplified colour scheme. Add that to a story that is heartwarming and enjoys positive father-son dynamic you end up with a book that will go down as a modern classic. The Storm Whale in Winter is an excellent follow up that shifts the colour palette and adds even more vibrancy to the world. Buy Here We Are – Amazon US: $17.80 | Amazon UK: £10.36 Summary: A guide to life for people who've just arrived on Earth (babies). In what is probably Oliver Jeffers most refined book from a visual point of view, this book was written to teach his children the nuances of contemporary life. Fortunately, it does a great job of educating everyone else too. The illustrations are stunning, and the message is refreshing. In a world that feels like its becoming increasingly disconnected this book aims to teach the next generation of life's purpose and what they can do in their time on this planet. Summary: Husband and wife team of Ann and design legend Paul Rand combine to produce a simple and effective Paul Rand illustrated four of his wife's books, each of them utilising a shape-led style with flat colour. There is undoubtedly more engaging books for children our there, but from a designer/illustrator point of view given that this book was first published in 1956, there's still a lot to be learnt from the simplicity of layout and shape here. Read more: The best new children's books of 2018 33 books every graphic designer should read The best Christmas gifts for kids View the full article
  26. Live Face is Reallusion's latest markerless facial mocap solution for iClone 7. It's an app specifically for the iPhone X that uses the phone's depth sensor and tracking software to track the user's face and stream the data into iClone through Reallusion's Motion LIVE plugin to create realistically animated 3D art. Facial animation can be previewed and recorded in real time on single or multiple characters. It can also be performed whilst capturing animation (for the body and hands as well as the face) from other mocap systems. I've used many different facial mocap systems over the years, marker based and markerless, and while none are perfect, the iPhone X/Live Face approach is remarkably stable and easy to use straight away. The depth sensor approach means it's tolerant of uneven and low lighting conditions, and the fact that the capture itself is performed on the phone rather than the PC means it's efficient and doesn't hog resources. Live Face: Effective tracking Head, eye and general tracking in Reallusion's app is effective and while expression distortions can occur when the user's head is rotated away from the camera, these are less noticeable than when using other markerless single camera systems. There are some expression limitations due to tracking accuracy – notably with asymmetric mouth shapes such as snarls and also eyebrow differentiation, which means that raising an individual eyebrow is currently not possible with Live Face. Limitations aside, tracking is quite robust and even covers cheek expansion – something I haven't seen with other markerless systems. Lipsync with Live Face works well by default, though users can also change lipsync qualities by calibrating with their mouth slightly open (to emphasise mouth closure), as well as by adjusting strength sliders on the Motion LIVE UI. Live Face for iClone 7: Worth the price? There's no denying that the iPhone X is expensive, and assuming you already have iClone 7 and the Motion LIVE integrated mocap plugin, it will cost about £230 for the software to use the phone for facial mocap in iClone. Even with the cost of the iPhone itself, this is good value for a robust facial mocap solution. In fact, the combined cost of the phone and software is about the same as for iClone's existing Faceware system. iPhone X/Live Face is a stable, efficient and easy-to-use facial mocap approach, and is a practical addition to the animator's toolbox. While it's not perfect (Apple, please fix the separate eyebrow tracking!), it can produce decent results quickly and with minimal post cleanup. Get Live Face app for free here Get all the software to use Live Face for iPhone on the iPhone X for $249 here Get a free trial of iClone, or buy it for $149.99 Read more: What is motion capture? This article was originally published in issue 240 of 3D World, the world's best-selling magazine for CG artists. Buy issue 240 here or subscribe to 3D World here. View the full article
  27. The flaw allows a remote attacker to gain full access over a machine. View the full article
  1. Load more activity
×