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  1. Backdoor was intentionally planted in 2018 and found during the DEF CON 2019 security conference when researchers stumbled upon malicious code. View the full article
  2. Microsoft released the beta of its new Chromium-based Edge - and it is offering rewards of up to $30,000 for researchers to hunt out vulnerabilities in the browser. View the full article
  3. Apple accidentally re-introduced a vulnerability in its latest operating system, iOS 12.4, that had been previously fixed in iOS 12.3. View the full article
  4. You're reading Creating a Custom Bootstrap Landing Page with Startup 3, originally posted on Designmodo. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook! Designmodo’s Startup Framework is an affordable tool to help you create excellent web pages quickly. The framework is a drag and drop page builder, made with Bootstrap. This means you can easily and quickly generate production-ready, responsive pages in a … View the full article
  5. VideoLAN has released an updated version of its VLC Player to fix over a dozen bugs. View the full article
  6. Eight vulnerabilities would allow a range of attacker activities, including taking the Nest camera offline, sniffing out network information and device hijacking. View the full article
  7. From the biometrics of one million being exposed, to new Microsoft Bluekeep threats, Threatpost discusses the top news of the week. View the full article
  8. It's been a rough week for people who are overly attached to Android and iOS app icons. Not only were youngsters sent into a tailspin when Snapchat updated its icon, but now it's the turn of Skype users to go through the pain of watching their beloved app get a visual update. That's because Skype has got a new icon on iPhones and iPads. It's part of a larger aesthetic overhaul of Microsoft Office icons, which has been in the works since last year. And while the new icon is arguably more noticeable than the Snapchat update, is this redesign a case of users getting angry over nothing? Expect to see the new icon shortly In the redesign we can see that it's inverted the colours of the previous app icon, so now the S is white and the circular background is a blue gradient. The new Skype icon is in line with Microsoft's Fluent Design System and will roll out to all platforms in the next few weeks. As is often the case with redesigns of familiar products, the new icon has provoked a negative reaction from users. Plenty were quick to point out that the new colour scheme makes the telecommunications application look suspiciously similar to Facebook Messenger. Meanwhile, others noticed that the sizing of the new icon made it appear bloated and overweight, leading to them to consider removing it from their devices altogether – a response Skype probably wasn't going for. Let's just hope people aren't jumping ship too soon. The updated icon is part of a wider upgrade to the app that sees Microsoft fix some of the bugs that have plagued previous iterations. So while it might take a while to get used to the new icon, at least Skype will work better than before. In the cut-throat and fickle world of communications apps though, maybe this will be the nail in the coffin for Skype. After all, it's been flagging behind Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger for some time now. Or perhaps new features, such as Microsoft's plan to allow Skype users to make VoIP calls to each other in the start of 2020, will give the app a new lease of life. Related articles: How to design app icons 25 stunning iOS app icon designs How to nail your social media strategy View the full article
  9. You're reading Bootstrap Modal Guide, Examples and Tutorials, originally posted on Designmodo. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook! Bootstrap framework is rich in different components. Not only did the team take care of the design and its integral constituents, but they also put many efforts into functionality. That is why, along with static units like buttons or typography, … View the full article
  10. Drawing a realistic-looking human body is difficult. Our guide to how to draw covers the essentials, but hands are so tricky that it's always useful to pick up extra advice. Luckily for us, illustrator and comic artist Miyuli is here to offer some quick tips on how to draw hands and nails, and artists on social media are absolutely loving it. The advice, which was recently shared in a tweet (below), outlines the benefits of using straight and curved lines to communicate the shape and nature of a hand. It also contains some dos and don'ts for drawing fingernails to help give artists a better sense of their dimensions. So if you're a digital artists who's been blaming your equipment instead of your skills, Miyuli's advice is worth a look-in before you splash some cash on the best drawing tablets. Check out the tips below. Despite only being shared very recently, Miyuli's tweet has exploded. At the time of writing, thousands of social media users have given it a like, and hundreds have shared it. Twitter users have also been flooding the replies to voice their approval. One artist said: "Thank you! I’ve been focusing on hands a bit recently and this really helps." While another replied with: "Super helpful guide and reminder! Thank you very much". Perhaps the reason this post is so popular is because it deals with the specifics of fingernails. These can be especially tricky to draw as, once you've nailed the shape of the hand, it can be all too easy to hastily sketch in some approximate nail shapes and call it a day. So hats off to Miyuli for explaining how to draw hands and nails quickly and clearly. As if this wasn't enough, the illustrator has also compiled a load of their art tips into a volume you can buy for $20. And if you would like to support Miyuli even further, be sure to head on over to their Patreon page and give them a couple of bucks. Related articles: Isometric drawing: A designer's guide How to draw a face 10 expert tips for charcoal drawing View the full article
  11. 3D sculpting is a pivotal stage of the 3D model creation process – it’s where artists’ ideas quite literally take shape. There’s no right or wrong way to achieve results at this stage and the approach is likely to differ significantly from artist to artist. We’ve assembled four masters of the craft to discuss the fundamental skills that underpin digital sculpting, individual styles, and how you can create your own stunning 3D sculptures. See our post on stunning 3D art for further inspiration. The basics of 3D sculpting Rudolf Béres has a strong knowledge of the games industry and is skilled in retopology and UV mapping It stands to reason that digital sculpting would be a very similar discipline to its tangible, squishy counterpart. Rudolf Béres has four years’ experience as a 3D character modeller and a strong background in traditional sculpting. “I studied traditional art at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and I earned a diploma award for working as a traditional sculptor and restaurator over a couple of years,” he remembers. “After all this I decided to move into the game industry and become a part of the digital art world.” ZBrush was an absolute miracle in my life Rudolf Béres There are few artists more qualified to discuss the fundamental skills of sculpting and how they translate to the digital world. “The traditional experience was a very good basis to start sculpting in digital,” continues Béres. There was one software in particular that catered to Béres’ previous experience: “ZBrush was an absolute miracle in my life and I wanted to work in it at first sight. Although it’s a completely different experience, the learning process is like playing with traditional clay or carving wood.” Even with a software like ZBrush (see our ZBrush 2019 review), Béres assures us there are key differences between traditional and digital methods: “The biggest difference is that you don’t have a real feel for the material. There’s also the fact that you can’t undo it when you’re carving a stone, or building an iron frame for your clay sculpt. The sculpting process is essentially the same, blocking, detailing, and so on. But I think that will change with the introduction of 3D printing sculpture methods.” Béres describes his artistic process as chaotic, explaining that it all starts with an idea, which usually arises from a picture or a real life experience. “In the beginning, anything and everything can change,” he adds. “Slowly the form begins to take place and I could turn a portrait of a normal girl into a vampire girl. To put it simply, don’t insist on sticking to your original ideas in the end, everything changes." Find your style ‘Border Patrol’ by Rodion Vlasov, based on a concept by freelance illustrator Viktor Titov Rodion Vlasov is a 3D character artist based in Russia, with six years of industry experience under his belt. “I began learning ZBrush towards the end of 2007,” he explains. It’s a time that Vlasov looks back on with great fondness: “Back then I was a child with big ambitions and aspirations. I had a ton of motivation to become the best in 3D.” Vlasov found this inspiration in forums such as ZBrushCentral and the artists that populated them, posting their work, WIPs and sketches. “It was a great inspiration for me. Imagine a little 13-year-old boy, who lives in a village, using the internet to communicate with artists from all over the world.” Vlasov’s work demonstrates a unique style and a penchant for striking and memorable characters. “I just let my hands sculpt while I keep the idea in mind,” he answers when asked how he achieves his unique visual style. I know that if I can’t do it today I will do it tomorrow Rodion Vlasov Despite his laid-back approach to sculpting, Vlasov makes sure to surround himself with inspiration: “I use reference images to help me find the right mood, I search for images based on my idea.” Vlasov also listens to music as he works, preferably dark ambient soundscapes. “Music is a deep sea of ideas,” he explains. “It helps create imagery in my mind.” Even for a creative soul like Vlasov, there will come a time when inspiration alludes him and motivation is hard to find. When this creative block strikes he accepts it with calmness and waits for it to pass, “I know that if I can’t do it today I will do it tomorrow,” he adds. “Instead I go and play video games, watch something, go outside and try to relax.” Vlasov asserts that it’s important to change up your activity for a while, just to take a break from CG. Get the right tools Despite having his own unique style, Vlasov insists that he doesn’t employ any unusual or notable techniques in his sculpts; he uses slightly tuned standard brushes for all his imagery, with no tricks. Vlasov outlines five things that are essential for any digital sculptor: “A PC, ZBrush, a standard brush, steady hands and a clear mind.” Finally, Vlasov imparts some wisdom for those that are new to the world of digital sculpting: “Be patient, do not rush, it will take time to get a result in any case.” He also has some advice for honing the fundamental skills of sculpting: “Learn anatomy and, perhaps even more importantly, strive to feel the forms of what you’re sculpting.” Improve your 3D sculpting efficiency ‘The Song of Tiger and Dragon’ by Keita Okada was created as a resin bust “I’ve loved creatures for a long time,” says digital sculptor and CEO of Villard, Keita Okada. Okada has a wealth of experience in creature creation, he has won numerous awards for his work and lent his talents to the video game industry. “Instead of using DCC tools, I decided to look for a more efficient way to create realistic creatures,” he adds, discussing how he got started in digital sculpting. A look through Okada’s impressive portfolio reveals a unique style and talent for intricately detailed, compelling creatures. When asked how he developed such an individualistic and recognisable style, Okada assures us that he simply kept practising, creating countless models until he developed a style that he could easily work with. Much like Béres and Vlasov, Okada favours using ZBrush in his sculpts: “I mainly use ZBrush, but I don’t usually use the more complicated features.” Okada favours Autodesk’s sculpting software because it allows him to produce and project more realistic details, such as carving or engraving on his clay models. Okada’s company, Villard, sculpts various kinds of concept models and art at an efficient rate, with creature production being their main focus and greatest strength. “The models we create are used not just for movies, but also for concept modelling, art, video games and much more,” he adds. Keita Okada’s sculpts have won him numerous awards from the likes of 3dtotal and ZBrushCentral When it comes to forming a career in digital sculpting, Okada praises the power of social media: “Nowadays, you can get your artwork easily noticed through social media. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Japan or any other country in the world, word will spread. So I would greatly advise every artist to upload their work and show it to others.” Much of the inspiration for Okada’s own creature work comes from browsing ArtStation and looking at the work of other artists. For those finding their feet in the world of digital sculpting, Okada has some sage advice drawn from his own experience: “Practise non-stop and find your own wild and beautiful style in your own work.” He also urges budding digital sculptors to experience the feeling of sculpting clay with your hands, adding that it’s a very important exercise. “You should clearly emphasise parts of your artwork that you put a lot of effort into and want to show off. Basically, knowing the good and bad points of your work is key,” adds Okada. Finally, he emphasises the importance of showing your work to others and getting feedback from a variety of different people. Craft characters Tristan Liu is a character artist and 3D generalist. This model is named Tara Tristan Liu is a digital sculptor specialising in characters. He is currently lead 3D artist for start-up AI company DeepMotion, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously he’s worked on projects such as World Of Warcraft, Diablo III and Overwatch. “I started in digital sculpting when I was in college,” remembers Liu. “I saw ZBrush 3.1 on one of the lab computers. After some experiments, I found it was a very intuitive way to express my inspirations and ideas in 3D. I fell in love with it immediately. “ZBrush is one of the tools that I use for sculpting,” he continues. “It depends on personal habits but to me, ZBrush is a powerful tool that meets all my needs for sculpting.” Liu believes a solid foundational knowledge of sculpting is key for building a portfolio and getting hired. “A professional artist can quickly determine your level by looking at your work. The industry is changing fast, so it is very important to keep trying new technologies and improving your skills.” A sculpt of Liu's character, Tara Liu’s work is notable for its high level of detail and realism. Explaining how he achieved this on his latest image, Tara (above), he says: “I used many references, including realistic photos and digital works. Scanned alpha textures were also very helpful for getting quick overall detail on the sculpt, such as fabric folds, wrinkles and metal scratches. I projected them to the surface before digging into the details too much.” He continues: “If you are going to texture your character after the sculpt, you need to be clear which details need to be sculpted, and which areas can use normal maps or displacements to achieve a similar result in texturing tools. Always zoom out to check that you are satisfied with the details when looking in the distance.” Katsumoto was created using Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter and Marvelous Designer, before being rendered in Marmoset Toolbag Staying ahead of the curve with your sculpts requires constant experimentation and practice. During the gap between his long-term projects, Liu usually works on short-term anatomy or concept sculpting exercises to keep himself sharp and change the pace. “Be passionate when starting a project and be patient when it comes to completing it,” Liu continues. He states that the overall feeling of a sculpt is much more important than the details, also adding that it’s important to “always be humble and learn from your fellow artists.” So what are you waiting for? There’s no mystic art to creating great sculptures. According to our digital sculpting experts, all you need to do to get started is grab a ZBrush licence, brush up on the fundamentals of sculpture and continue to practise until you make perfect. This article originally appeared in issue 248 of 3D World, the best-selling magazine for 3D artists. Buy issue 248 or subscribe to 3D World. View the full article
  12. Unbelievably it is over thirteen years since the CSS preprocessor Sass was released. Since then it has grown to be one of the best-known and best-loved CSS tools in a developers toolkit – see our post on What is Sass to learn more. Here, Natalie Weizenbaum, lead designer at Sass, tech lead of CSS at Google and closing keynote speaker at Generate CSS reveals her top five tips for getting the most from Sass. 01. Use Sass for sharing styles Sass has a lot of nice features for writing individual stylesheets, but where it really shines is that it creates a consistent visual identity by encapsulating design logic in functions and mixins, and re-uses them over and over. That's why design systems like Google's Material Design and IBM's Carbon use Sass! 02. Use PostCSS for transforming styles Six years ago, it was common to see Sass users using mixins for cross-browser compatibility or right-to-left language support. Today, PostCSS is the best tool for that job. Let humans write standards-compliant Sass stylesheets and leave the compatibility work up to the machines. 03. Use mixins for all styles in partials Even if those mixins are only used once! Only the root Sass file should actually produce CSS. This ensures you know exactly what order your CSS is generated in, and it makes it way easier to share styles later if they're written to be shared from the start. 04. Keep your styles neat and clean with a linter The stylelint linter provides a ton of excellent lints that will help ensure you aren't using any invalid CSS properties or other easy mistakes. The stylelint-scss plugin adds a bunch of checks just for Sass users, some written by the Sass team itself. 05. Give Dart Sass a try First released in 2018, Dart Sass is the new reference implementation for Sass. It's fast, it's easy to install as a pure JavaScript package, and it's rapidly developed—which means it's always the first implementation to support new Sass features and new CSS syntax. Check out Weizenbaum's talk on Sass in a Post-CSS world at Generate CSS this September. Buy a ticket to Generate CSS today. 5 things you never knew about CSS Add SVG filters with CSS Discover variable fonts and unconventional CSS solutions View the full article
  13. If you work in graphic design, you're no stranger to the fact that having access to a wide range of high-quality vector designs is a crucial timesaver. The only problem is that the most affordable vectors available tend to be low-quality - and most high-quality ones are impractically expensive. And if you can't find what you need with our free vector art guide, you'll need another solution. This StockUnlimited Vector Plan, on the other hand, grants you unlimited access to a respectable collection of HD vectors, and a lifetime subscription is available for over 90% off at $34.99. One of the biggest benefits of this subscription is that it makes it easy to quickly find vector designs that span multiple genres - so you can spend less time searching, and more time designing. Ideal for non-commercial websites, blogs, slideshows, and video presentations, this deal comes with unlimited downloads and exclusive one-of-a-kind content that can be used for an endless number of design projects both online and in print. Plus, you can always pay an additional fee if you plan to use the designs for commercial use. In addition to the 500,000 vector designs, StockUnlimited adds fresh content regularly - so a lifetime subscription actually means something. For just $34.99, it's certainly worth adding this subscription to your design asset toolkit. Related articles: Amazing vector art tutorials The best infographics on the internet The best Illustrator brushes: premium and free View the full article
  14. Online campaigns and advertising can be hugely effective in tackling social and political issues. But finding a way to get your message across in a way that people actually want to pay attention to, without making your audience feel like they're being preached to, is incredibly difficult. Two creatives that have absolutely nailed it are designer Zeynep Orbay and writer Macie Soler-Sala. Both passionate about politics, the duo have created a range of standout side projects, as well as bringing social purpose to big-brand campaigns at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, where they've been based for the past two years. In late September, they'll be taking to the stage at nocturnal design conference Us By Night in Antwerp (find out more about the festival here) to reveal their advice for making a statement that people want to stop and listen to. In the meantime, let's take a behind-the-scenes look at some of their most effective projects with a purpose. 01. Spread the love US Vice President Mike Pence’s birthday falls at the start of June, which also happens to be Pride Month. In this personal project, Orbay and Soler-Sala decided to celebrate the two together. "We thought this would be a great opportunity to turn a day reserved for a man who has spread nothing but hate and intolerance towards the community into a day of love and support for it," says Orbay. The resulting video is an homage to Marylin Monroe's sultry rendition of ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ to JFK, but with a difference. "We recreated it with a 2019 twist," adds Orbay, "A group of drag queens dressed like the sex symbol herself, singing Pence their sexiest rendition of the song in a way that still feels genuine and full of love." To give the project extra clout, the pair partnered with six LGBTQIA+ organisations, and encouraged watchers to donate to them on Pence's behalf. 02. Find a new angle During his 2016 US presidential election campaign, Donald Trump developed a reputation for contradicting himself. "At the time, there were plenty of digital experiences about Trump, which ran the spectrum from fun and playful to mean-spirited," recalls Soler-Sala. "We wanted to create something entirely fact-based, which essentially used his own words against him in a way that was informative, undeniably true and serious in tone." In Stereotypical Trump, users are invited to don a pair of headphones and hear the President himself addressing a range of key topics, from the Iraq War to party affiliation, with one statement feeding their right ear and the opposite in their left. The response to the project was massive. Over just a few days, the site amassed over 750,000 audio plays, 36,000 page visits, with an average dwell time of 2 minutes 45 seconds. "While the big result we were hoping for obviously didn’t happen, here’s to hoping we don’t have to listen to Trump any more after 2020," adds Soler-Sala. 03. Tackle stereotypes This next project, for W+K, shows how big brands are increasingly using their reach to create positive social impact. This Is Us is a campaign for Nike Women in Turkey, where – as in many places around the world – women are constrained by traditional gender roles and expectations. "Female athletes in Turkey have always been committed to pursuing their love of sport and fitness while staying true to themselves, despite these barriers and society’s expectations of them as women," comments Orbay. "Our Nike campaign, celebrates the stories of elite and everyday athletes from across Turkey, encouraging women to push beyond their personal barriers and limitations others may place on them." The design takes stereotypically female scenarios and cleverly segues them into sporting scenes – flour on a woman's hands as she mixes ingredients for baking becomes chalk for weight-lifting, for example. It's a clear and effective way of breaking the barriers between expectation and possibility. 04. Be unignorable This final project is one that packs a real punch. The Fading News took on the issue of news censorship in Turkey. During the Gezi Park protests, a lack of information on TV meant people turned to the internet to stay informed. The Turkish government was about to pass a law that enabled authorities to erase any online content within four hours, without the need for even a court order. The duo decided to show the public exactly what the internet would look like under this new law. They partnered with Radikal, on of the biggest newspapers in Turkey. Over the course of three days, all political news stories on the paper's website faded out until visitors were left with a page of censorship. "It sparked an even larger movement where people started erasing their own content on social media," remembers Soler-Sala. "We reached over 32 million people with no media budget, but most importantly, the president revised the law to make the court order necessary to erase any content on the internet." What's on the cards at Us By Night? Us By Night runs from 26-28 September. This is not your typical design event: it's completely nocturnal, with talks starting at 5pm and ending at 11pm. "I’ve never spoken about my work at such a high-profile event before – to have this opportunity at a place like Us By Night is a huge, night sweat-inducing honour," says Soler-Sala. "I’ve been a very big fan of this festival for a long time and admire so many speakers that will be presenting this year." "It makes me very happy and excited to be a part of a festival which I’ve always admired, alongside with many great creatives," adds Orbay. The event will take place at Waagnatie in Antwerp, a city that – despite its relatively humble size – is known for its metropolitan mindset and appetite for innovation. This is the city that brought us Rubens, the Antwerp Six and Luc Tuymans, and it continues to attract creative talent today, with one in six Antwerp enterprises being in the creative sector. What better place for a design festival with a difference? Pick up a ticket here. Read more: 5 ad campaigns that changed the world Adverts that were so entertaining the message got lost 5 massive brands that are no longer with us View the full article
  15. Eight vulnerabilities in the HTTP/2 server implementations were found in vendors Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Apache. View the full article
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