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  1. Threatpost talks to HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos on the EU's funding of open source bug bounty programs, how a company can start a program, and the next generation of bounty hunters. View the full article
  2. From password manager vulnerabilities to 19-year-old flaws, the Threatpost team broke down this week's biggest news stories. View the full article
  3. We’re delighted to announce that Generate New York, the unmissable event for web designers and developers, is back in 2019. Generate returns to the Big Apple between April 24-25 and promises to be bigger and better than even before. Held at the TKP New York Conference Center, the two day conference will feature a packed day of practical workshops followed by an inspirational single-track conference. Here's a preview of some of the world-class names that’ll be speaking at Generate New York 2019 – and we'll be updating you with even more conference speakers in the coming days. Stellar conference lineup Confirmed conference speakers include the founder of Big Medium, Josh Clark, who will deliver the day's keynote: AI is your new design material. Josh's lively and inspiring talk will explore the technologies and practical techniques that you can use right now. Learn to use machine-generated content, insight, and interaction as design material in your everyday work. The challenges and opportunities of AI and machine learning are plenty; Clark's insight will help you discover your own influential role, and learn to handle this powerful new design material with care and respect. Miriam Suzanne is an author, performer, musician, designer, and web developer working with OddBird, Teacup Gorilla, Grapefruit Lab, and CSS Tricks. Suzanne's inspirational conference talk, Dynamic CSS: Layouts & Beyond, will cover Basics for understanding Custom Properties & Calc(); practical examples and use-cases for data-infused design and integrating with CSS Grids to build layouts on the fly. Suzanne is also the author of Riding SideSaddle* and The Post-Obsolete Book, co-author of Jump Start Sass(Sitepoint), and creator of the Susy and True open source tools. Sam Richard, better known as Snugug throughout the Internet, is currently working at Google to help companies build and deliver their applications for Chrome and Chrome OS. Richard's talk Design System Magic with Houdini will focus on a handful of key browser specifications being developed under the CSS Houdini Task Force umbrella, with key interest given to features that can start to be leveraged today in design systems. Richard will cover what CSS Houdini is and describe these key technologies in relation to common design system problems and patterns, and how Houdini can greatly improve the flexibility, power, performance and maintainability of these patterns. Get 25% off tickets – offer ends 28 February 2019 We’ve put together an early bird offer that will give you 25% off your ticket. Be quick though – this special offer runs out on 28 February 2019 and tickets will go quickly. What are you waiting for? Head to the Generate website now to book your seat at 2019’s biggest and best web design and development event – just click through to book tickets and you'll see the early bird options. Related articles: The 7 web design lessons you need to know 21 ways to optimise your CSS and speed up your site 3 shiny new CSS properties for you to try today View the full article
  4. What's the best pen for an artist? It's a difficult to answer, because pens are used for so many different things. So in this post, we've gathered the opinions of artists, designers and other creatives to find out which pens should be in your desk drawer. Read on and you'll find out which are the best pens for drawing, of course, but also the best pen for writing, the best pen for sketching, the best pen for calligraphy and so on. In short, whatever you need a pen for, you'll find the right one for you in this list. If you're sorting out your full pencil case, take a look at our guide to the best pencils, too. Picking the best pen for drawing was a close-run competition, but ultimately we had to opt for the Copic 1.0 mm Multiliner, which is a truly premium quality pen in all respects. The ink is densely pigmented, holds well on paper, and creates crisp, clean lines. Copic sells its Multiliners in a range of thicknesses, so you can pick the option that suits your artistic style best. Artists report they're comfortable to use, and not scratchy – even in the finer sizes. Finally, the range is good value for money, and refillable. Ben O’Brien, aka Ben the Illustrator, started using Copic pens a couple of years ago for the Inktober challenge. While he used a range of different nib options, his preference was for the 1.0 pen (although he also noted Copic's Multiliner brush pen is "brilliant"). "I find thinner pens too scratchy, but the 1.0 has a luscious feel to it. I use it for 'good drawings', usually on textured watercolour paper.” “Copic fine liners are great for drawing,” agrees interactive designer Sush Kelly. “I mainly use them for inking sketches; I wouldn't waste these bad boys on notes and so on. I love the super-fine, refillable nibs; I tend to use a 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8.” With its hardwearing synthetic bristles, sturdy, precise tip and waterproof, fade-resistant ink, the Pentel Brush Pen runs a close second for our favourite all-round pen for drawing. The artists we spoke to commented that these pens are great for creating a variety of different line types – although the delicate nib does take some getting used to. The deep black pigment scans very well; ideal if you want to finish your artwork digitally. You'll need to be careful transporting them though – the ink can leak or clump if the lid isn't on tight. Illustrator Ailish Sullivan has fond memories of receiving her first Pentel Brush Pen. “A guy on my illustration course gave me one and I was blown away," she recalls. "I think I drew everything for the rest of my course with it, because it added character and a personal touch to every stroke. I have now dated this guy for 10 years... a love story started by a brush pen! “I love the variety of lines you can get from the pen. If you want to get really expressive, the individual hairs create a great texture when you really sweep it across the page. When you want something really precise it can also perform well, with practice. When you want to add a feeling of weight, you can increase the pressure ever so slightly and get a bolder finish. “It does take a lot of practice because it's so delicate,” she cautions. “I've tried the Kuretake Sumi brush pen and Pentel Sign pen alternatives and they are much easier to use, but have less potential.” The Pilot V7 Rollerball is essentially a hybrid between a fountain pen and a ballpoint, and our favourite pen for writing. Comfortable to hold, it produces a clean, consistent line with no smudging, and there’s a transparent ink reservoir window so you can be sure of getting hold of extra refills in time. Sush Kelly uses the 0.7mm version for everything from scribbling to-do lists to creating quick wireframes. “It has such a great feel,” he enthuses. “It possibly wouldn't be so good for really accurate drawing, as the flow is quite quick for a rollerball. But otherwise, this is my go-to pen." If you’re looking for the best ballpoint pen, we’d recommend the Pilot BPS GP Fine. This smooth, stick ballpoint with triangular rubber grip is comfortable to hold, cheap to buy, and beautifully functional in use. However, like most ballpoint pens, ink clots can form on the tip, which will smear if they end up on your paper. This ballpoint pen includes 0.7mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm and 1.6mm options. Most people use them for writing of course, but it’s not unheard of to use them for drawing too. Illustrator Gaia Brodicchia sometimes uses the Pilot for black and white interior illustrations. “Shading with it produces darker drawings than working with graphite, but the process is identical; it only requires a lighter hand,” she explains. “The Pilot Fine tip works well even on smaller details, which are usually an issue with other brands of ballpoint pen. It gives a really good tonal range. I actually keep one that's a bit spent for the lighter areas, and a new one for the darker parts of the illustrations.” Maybe it’s because we’re Japanophiles, but Muju’s MoMa pen with its unusual 0.38mm tip is our clear favourite for the best gel pen. These produce a thin line and consistent flow, and the ink won't run when wet. You can also buy refills. And art director, designer and illustrator Savanna Rawson uses them for the linework in her illustrations. “Originally I was most interested in using this pen for my quite tiny handwriting, but in the last few years have I been using them for drawing as well,” she says. “I find it great for the line work in my illustrations, which I then complete with watercolour washes. The ink doesn't reactivate with the water, which is perfect." If calligraphy is your thing, the best pen for you is the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen. You might assume that the best calligraphy pens cost a lot of money. But actually, our recommendation is a brand that’s both made in Japan and delivers excellent results, yet is surprisingly affordable. Coming as a set, with one soft type and one hard type, these light pens are very easy to use, with a flexible nib that’s perfect for the nuanced lines and curves needed for crafting beautiful Japanese script. “I recently got a proper calligraphy set with nibs and inks and all that,” says brand and marketing guru Aleksandra Tambor. “But my Tombow brush pens are still the best for quick calligraphy and lettering.” Specifically looking for a pen for sketching? Then we recommend the Platinum carbon fountain pen, with its ultra-fine nib. Unlike most fountain pens, the nib isn't rounded off, so you can use it to create thick or thin lines. Your expressive linework won't run with water either, thanks to the carbon ink. It's also great value for money. Like some other pens on this list, there's a learning curve on this one, as it can feel scratchy to start with. Wil Freeborn, an illustrator and watercolour artist based in Glasgow, describes it as: “The closest I’ve found to using a dip pen on the go. Using it literally changed how I draw.” Freeborn uses this pen mainly for sketching. “It gives a really naturalistic expressive line, great for drawing in cafes," he enthuses. "I use it with a Pentel Brush Pen, which pretty covers most of what I need. It needs quite a smooth paper to work, so wouldn’t really be suited with a rough watercolour paper." It was a very close-run thing, but we’ve plumped for the Sakura Pigma Graphic 1 as our runner-up for best sketching pen. This pen, which combines water-based and pigment-based inks, is a seriously fine model, delivering a bold, consistent line and superb colour transferal. Illustrator Anna Rose uses it for quick sketchbook studies, and finds it works particularly well for buildings, objects, food and lettering (although less so for people and animals). “The consistency of the ink and the way the pen tip glides mean I can get expressive lines and marks down immediately,” she says. "I also love the width of the line. With fineliners I get too precious about lines. But the Graphic lays down a bold line, so it sort of forces me to be bold and really commit to the lines." The Sakura Pigma Micron is our pick for the best pen for lettering and line art. They create a pleasingly dark line that bleeds very little, is archival safe, and won't smudge when washed or erased over. The tips are fine but not too delicate, and they're also odour-free. With a little practice, you can also use them to create a variety of line types – although if you're wanting a lot of line variation, you're better off with a brush pen. You'll also want to add a marker to your pen set if you need to fill in large areas of shadow. Any downsides? Well, the nibs can sometimes spit a little ink, and the line can crack if used with some types of paper. Cartoonist Aaron Uglum uses a Sakura Micron 08 for the majority of his line art and lettering, with a 01 for details such as eyes and mouths. He started out using a traditional dip pen with India Ink, but didn't like the setup and clean-up time it required. “Eventually I moved to the 08 as my pen of choice," he explains. "I liked being able to just pick up a pen and start inking. No worries about spilling the India Ink. And I could stop inking whenever and just walk away. No cleaning pen nibs. Very convenient. And it was still good ink." Concept artist Courtland Winslow is also an admirer of the Pigma Micron line, and regularly makes use of the 0.2mm version (the 005) in combination with a Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow (see number 13). Of the Micron, he says: “I needed a liner that wouldn't run when washed or erased over. A good feeling tip that was both as thin as possible and sturdy, because I don't have a very light hand.” PaperMate's Flair Original felt tips are ideal for adding a splash of colour to your pen work. If you're sick of look back on your notes, only to be faced with an inchoate mass of scribbles, these are the felt-tip pens for you. The colours are vibrant and bold, and won't smudge or bleed. They flow smoothly across paper and the nibs won't fray. If you're thinking of using these for illustration, be aware they're better suited to outlines – you'll want something chunkier for colouring in large areas. Ross Middleham, content lead at the Met Office, uses them for scribbling, storyboarding and general note-taking. “I love making notes in multiple colours as it simply livens up the day. My fave is the hot pink, which really zings on a white page," he says. “You can be confident that the stroke you want will be the stroke it makes." Looking to draw living things? Check out the Kuretake Sumi brush pen. It offers a wide variation in line width to give your sketches an organic, dynamic feel that's well suited to portraits, animals and plants. “It's refillable and fits a Platinum converter, which is very helpful because the ink that comes with it isn't anything special or waterproof,” comments Anna Rose. “It would be nice if Kuretake supplied a waterproof ink themselves, though; I do worry that the Platinum may clog it up eventually." Short on cash, but still want a decent pen? Our budget choice is Berol’s Colour Fine range, which has a fine tip that’s suitable for detailed colouring and drawing. The perennial classroom favourite, these felt-tipped pens are available in a variety of colours (if you don't want the full set, you can buy these individually), and are strong, sturdy and reliable. “I have used Berol colour fineliners all my life, in all different colours. The bolder colours – especially the orange and light blue – have got a really good tone to them,” says Ben O'Brien. "I have black ones littered around my desk, bag and house for writing lists and notes, and the colour ones I usually use for more experimental sketchbook work, or bringing a little colour to observational line drawings when I travel." For colour fills and shading, you can't beat Copic Sketch markers. The lines blend together seamlessly for block shading, and if you leave them to dry, they won't bleed into each other much. The feature one brush tip and one wedge tip, meaning you can also use them for fine details. The full range includes a whopping 358 colours (buy the full set here, if you're feeling flush), so you're bound to find the shade you want. Concept artist Courtland Winslow is a loyal user of the Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow, which he uses in conjunction with the Micron 005 (see number 9, above). The Pentel XGFKP/FP10-A Brush Pen is specifically designed for oriental artwork, cartoons and calligraphy. This light pen has a soft, flexible nib that's great for both fine detail and graceful, sweeping lines. As such, fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle illustrator Niki Groom, aka Miss Magpie, typically uses it at to add finishing touches to the end of any artwork. “I call this my desert island pen,” she says. “I use it to add names for live illustration work, and to make areas even more black if I’m not happy with the depth of colour.” View the full article
  5. What's the best pen for an artist? It's a difficult to answer, because pens are used for so many different things. So in this post, we've gathered the opinions of artists, designers and other creatives to find out which pens should be in your desk drawer. Read on and you'll find out which are the best pens for drawing, of course, but also the best pen for writing, the best pen for sketching, the best pen for calligraphy and so on. In short, whatever you need a pen for, you'll find the right one for you in this list. If you're sorting out your full pencil case, take a look at our guide to the best pencils, too. Picking the best pen for drawing was a close-run competition, but ultimately we had to opt for the Copic 1.0 mm Multiliner, which is a truly premium quality pen in all respects. The ink is densely pigmented, holds well on paper, and creates crisp, clean lines. Copic sells its Multiliners in a range of thicknesses, so you can pick the option that suits your artistic style best. Artists report they're comfortable to use, and not scratchy – even in the finer sizes. Finally, the range is good value for money, and refillable. Ben O’Brien, aka Ben the Illustrator, started using Copic pens a couple of years ago for the Inktober challenge. While he used a range of different nib options, his preference was for the 1.0 pen (although he also noted Copic's Multiliner brush pen is "brilliant"). "I find thinner pens too scratchy, but the 1.0 has a luscious feel to it. I use it for 'good drawings', usually on textured watercolour paper.” “Copic fine liners are great for drawing,” agrees interactive designer Sush Kelly. “I mainly use them for inking sketches; I wouldn't waste these bad boys on notes and so on. I love the super-fine, refillable nibs; I tend to use a 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8.” With its hardwearing synthetic bristles, sturdy, precise tip and waterproof, fade-resistant ink, the Pentel Brush Pen runs a close second for our favourite all-round pen for drawing. The artists we spoke to commented that these pens are great for creating a variety of different line types – although the delicate nib does take some getting used to. The deep black pigment scans very well; ideal if you want to finish your artwork digitally. You'll need to be careful transporting them though – the ink can leak or clump if the lid isn't on tight. Illustrator Ailish Sullivan has fond memories of receiving her first Pentel Brush Pen. “A guy on my illustration course gave me one and I was blown away," she recalls. "I think I drew everything for the rest of my course with it, because it added character and a personal touch to every stroke. I have now dated this guy for 10 years... a love story started by a brush pen! “I love the variety of lines you can get from the pen. If you want to get really expressive, the individual hairs create a great texture when you really sweep it across the page. When you want something really precise it can also perform well, with practice. When you want to add a feeling of weight, you can increase the pressure ever so slightly and get a bolder finish. “It does take a lot of practice because it's so delicate,” she cautions. “I've tried the Kuretake Sumi brush pen and Pentel Sign pen alternatives and they are much easier to use, but have less potential.” The Pilot V7 Rollerball is essentially a hybrid between a fountain pen and a ballpoint, and our favourite pen for writing. Comfortable to hold, it produces a clean, consistent line with no smudging, and there’s a transparent ink reservoir window so you can be sure of getting hold of extra refills in time. Sush Kelly uses the 0.7mm version for everything from scribbling to-do lists to creating quick wireframes. “It has such a great feel,” he enthuses. “It possibly wouldn't be so good for really accurate drawing, as the flow is quite quick for a rollerball. But otherwise, this is my go-to pen." If you’re looking for the best ballpoint pen, we’d recommend the Pilot BPS GP Fine. This smooth, stick ballpoint with triangular rubber grip is comfortable to hold, cheap to buy, and beautifully functional in use. However, like most ballpoint pens, ink clots can form on the tip, which will smear if they end up on your paper. This ballpoint pen includes 0.7mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm and 1.6mm options. Most people use them for writing of course, but it’s not unheard of to use them for drawing too. Illustrator Gaia Brodicchia sometimes uses the Pilot for black and white interior illustrations. “Shading with it produces darker drawings than working with graphite, but the process is identical; it only requires a lighter hand,” she explains. “The Pilot Fine tip works well even on smaller details, which are usually an issue with other brands of ballpoint pen. It gives a really good tonal range. I actually keep one that's a bit spent for the lighter areas, and a new one for the darker parts of the illustrations.” Maybe it’s because we’re Japanophiles, but Muju’s MoMa pen with its unusual 0.38mm tip is our clear favourite for the best gel pen. These produce a thin line and consistent flow, and the ink won't run when wet. You can also buy refills. And art director, designer and illustrator Savanna Rawson uses them for the linework in her illustrations. “Originally I was most interested in using this pen for my quite tiny handwriting, but in the last few years have I been using them for drawing as well,” she says. “I find it great for the line work in my illustrations, which I then complete with watercolour washes. The ink doesn't reactivate with the water, which is perfect." If calligraphy is your thing, the best pen for you is the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen. You might assume that the best calligraphy pens cost a lot of money. But actually, our recommendation is a brand that’s both made in Japan and delivers excellent results, yet is surprisingly affordable. Coming as a set, with one soft type and one hard type, these light pens are very easy to use, with a flexible nib that’s perfect for the nuanced lines and curves needed for crafting beautiful Japanese script. “I recently got a proper calligraphy set with nibs and inks and all that,” says brand and marketing guru Aleksandra Tambor. “But my Tombow brush pens are still the best for quick calligraphy and lettering.” Specifically looking for a pen for sketching? Then we recommend the Platinum carbon fountain pen, with its ultra-fine nib. Unlike most fountain pens, the nib isn't rounded off, so you can use it to create thick or thin lines. Your expressive linework won't run with water either, thanks to the carbon ink. It's also great value for money. Like some other pens on this list, there's a learning curve on this one, as it can feel scratchy to start with. Wil Freeborn, an illustrator and watercolour artist based in Glasgow, describes it as: “The closest I’ve found to using a dip pen on the go. Using it literally changed how I draw.” Freeborn uses this pen mainly for sketching. “It gives a really naturalistic expressive line, great for drawing in cafes," he enthuses. "I use it with a Pentel Brush Pen, which pretty covers most of what I need. It needs quite a smooth paper to work, so wouldn’t really be suited with a rough watercolour paper." It was a very close-run thing, but we’ve plumped for the Sakura Pigma Graphic 1 as our runner-up for best sketching pen. This pen, which combines water-based and pigment-based inks, is a seriously fine model, delivering a bold, consistent line and superb colour transferal. Illustrator Anna Rose uses it for quick sketchbook studies, and finds it works particularly well for buildings, objects, food and lettering (although less so for people and animals). “The consistency of the ink and the way the pen tip glides mean I can get expressive lines and marks down immediately,” she says. "I also love the width of the line. With fineliners I get too precious about lines. But the Graphic lays down a bold line, so it sort of forces me to be bold and really commit to the lines." The Sakura Pigma Micron is our pick for the best pen for lettering and line art. They create a pleasingly dark line that bleeds very little, is archival safe, and won't smudge when washed or erased over. The tips are fine but not too delicate, and they're also odour-free. With a little practice, you can also use them to create a variety of line types – although if you're wanting a lot of line variation, you're better off with a brush pen. You'll also want to add a marker to your pen set if you need to fill in large areas of shadow. Any downsides? Well, the nibs can sometimes spit a little ink, and the line can crack if used with some types of paper. Cartoonist Aaron Uglum uses a Sakura Micron 08 for the majority of his line art and lettering, with a 01 for details such as eyes and mouths. He started out using a traditional dip pen with India Ink, but didn't like the setup and clean-up time it required. “Eventually I moved to the 08 as my pen of choice," he explains. "I liked being able to just pick up a pen and start inking. No worries about spilling the India Ink. And I could stop inking whenever and just walk away. No cleaning pen nibs. Very convenient. And it was still good ink." Concept artist Courtland Winslow is also an admirer of the Pigma Micron line, and regularly makes use of the 0.2mm version (the 005) in combination with a Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow (see number 13). Of the Micron, he says: “I needed a liner that wouldn't run when washed or erased over. A good feeling tip that was both as thin as possible and sturdy, because I don't have a very light hand.” PaperMate's Flair Original felt tips are ideal for adding a splash of colour to your pen work. If you're sick of look back on your notes, only to be faced with an inchoate mass of scribbles, these are the felt-tip pens for you. The colours are vibrant and bold, and won't smudge or bleed. They flow smoothly across paper and the nibs won't fray. If you're thinking of using these for illustration, be aware they're better suited to outlines – you'll want something chunkier for colouring in large areas. Ross Middleham, content lead at the Met Office, uses them for scribbling, storyboarding and general note-taking. “I love making notes in multiple colours as it simply livens up the day. My fave is the hot pink, which really zings on a white page," he says. “You can be confident that the stroke you want will be the stroke it makes." Looking to draw living things? Check out the Kuretake Sumi brush pen. It offers a wide variation in line width to give your sketches an organic, dynamic feel that's well suited to portraits, animals and plants. “It's refillable and fits a Platinum converter, which is very helpful because the ink that comes with it isn't anything special or waterproof,” comments Anna Rose. “It would be nice if Kuretake supplied a waterproof ink themselves, though; I do worry that the Platinum may clog it up eventually." Short on cash, but still want a decent pen? Our budget choice is Berol’s Colour Fine range, which has a fine tip that’s suitable for detailed colouring and drawing. The perennial classroom favourite, these felt-tipped pens are available in a variety of colours (if you don't want the full set, you can buy these individually), and are strong, sturdy and reliable. “I have used Berol colour fineliners all my life, in all different colours. The bolder colours – especially the orange and light blue – have got a really good tone to them,” says Ben O'Brien. "I have black ones littered around my desk, bag and house for writing lists and notes, and the colour ones I usually use for more experimental sketchbook work, or bringing a little colour to observational line drawings when I travel." For colour fills and shading, you can't beat Copic Sketch markers. The lines blend together seamlessly for block shading, and if you leave them to dry, they won't bleed into each other much. The feature one brush tip and one wedge tip, meaning you can also use them for fine details. The full range includes a whopping 358 colours (buy the full set here, if you're feeling flush), so you're bound to find the shade you want. Concept artist Courtland Winslow is a loyal user of the Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow, which he uses in conjunction with the Micron 005 (see number 9, above). The Pentel XGFKP/FP10-A Brush Pen is specifically designed for oriental artwork, cartoons and calligraphy. This light pen has a soft, flexible nib that's great for both fine detail and graceful, sweeping lines. As such, fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle illustrator Niki Groom, aka Miss Magpie, typically uses it at to add finishing touches to the end of any artwork. “I call this my desert island pen,” she says. “I use it to add names for live illustration work, and to make areas even more black if I’m not happy with the depth of colour.” View the full article
  6. Buy KeyShot 8 now for £765/ $995 (HD version)/ £1,534/ $1,995 (Pro version) We’ve watched with interest how KeyShot has evolved since first looking at version 3 back in 2012. Version 8 represents one of the biggest updates in the software's history, bringing a range of new tools, materials and shaders to make your renders more varied and more realistic than ever. KeyShot 8: New nodes The key feature for 3D generalists will be the new geometry node types, which add Displacement, Flakes and Bubbles. Displacement works similarly to most renderers, using a greyscale texture to generate surface detail that would be difficult to model or sculpt. 27 free 3D models KeyShot’s implementation is excellent, producing really fine levels of displacement. It’s not instant – there’s a bit of calculation time while KeyShot generates the necessary geometry, but once done, there’s seemingly no real hit on navigation or render times. To use the Flakes node, ideally you should duplicate your mesh then apply the geometry node to one, and a transparent material to the other. This lets you create glass or plastics with sparkling metal flakes or spherical beads inside. The Bubbles node works with a single material to add realistic bubbles, which is ideal for making fizzy drinks, clear gels, that kind of thing. You can, of course, use these nodes on their own for strange and dramatic results, such as a mesh made entirely of flakes or tiny spheres. The geometry nodes can be used to create things like metallic flakes or bubbles within an existing mesh Another important addition is the Scattering Medium, which can be used for rendering smoke and fog, and works nicely with the new Spotlight to create visible light rays. You can render OpenVDB files or simply apply it to a mesh for more abstract imagery. The end results are terrific, but the Scattering Medium can be one of the slowest elements to render, so use it with caution (or a lot of CPU cores). It’s also one of the things that make us think KeyShot would benefit from a de-noising solution, especially with some of its new materials being such render hogs. The app always gets you to 90-95% of the final image very quickly, but there’s usually a wait for certain effects to resolve. A de-noising function or adaptive sampling would reduce that final waiting time. KeyShot 8: Cutaway feature KeyShot’s handy new Cutaway feature uses a Boolean function to remove sections of a mesh, revealing the details within. You simply apply the Cutaway material to an object, such as a cube or sphere, and have it intersect with your mesh. The sliced edges are shaded to highlight the effect, and you can exclude specific objects, enabling you to cut through a casing, for example, and leave the gearing inside intact. Overall, it’s dead easy to apply and the results are very clean. There are a few caveats, in that it doesn’t work well with glass, and objects need to be solid, but it’s a really useful function and one that product designers and engineers will love. (And it can also be used as a last-minute modelling tool, if you need to remove part of a model or maybe add some details.) By applying the Cutaway material to a mesh, you can remove parts of your object and, in true engineering style, have the sliced edges painted red for clarity KeyShot 8: Workflow improvements Among the numerous workflow improvements, you now get built-in image-editing tools, with curves, tone mapping and colour adjustments. This is a simple but hugely convenient feature, which enables you to refine the look of your image – as it renders – without endless round-trips to an image editor. There’s also new multi-layered optics, if realistic glass is your thing, support for hex colour codes, gITF/GLB export, and improvements to KeyShot’s Studios and Configurator. All in all, KeyShot 8 is a really impressive update. Some things – such as displacement mapping – are a bit overdue, but they’re here now and very nicely implemented, with tweaks and enhancements already queued up for version 8.1. It’s a shame that KeyShot’s high cost and reputation as a niche renderer prevents broader adoption, because once you try it, there’s no going back. KeyShot’s not just for product shots any more. The addition of mesh displacement opens up a world of opportunities Its ability to deal with multi-million-polygon scenes, and the sheer ease with which you can experiment with materials and lighting, make it a joy to use – and actually rather addictive. It also helps that the end results are usually pretty gorgeous, too. If you’re lucky enough to use KeyShot for a living, then your job’s about to get a whole lot easier. KeyShot 8 is a huge update, bringing something for everyone. It’s still primarily a product visualisation tool, but these new features see it creep ever further into the realms of illustration, architecture and even VFX. It’s still expensive – especially if you want the ‘Pro’ features – but for current owners this update is definitely worth it. Buy KeyShot 8 now for £765/ $995 (HD version)/ £1,534/ $1,995 (Pro version) Read more: The best 3D modelling software View the full article
  7. Weigh in on password managers with our Threatpost poll. View the full article
  8. If you're an avid gamer, chances are you've dreamed of creating your very own game. The Unity Game Development Bundle will have you on your way to becoming an expert developer of both 2D and 3D games. For a limited time, this bundle is available for a pay what you want price. Just pay what you're willing — if it's less than the average price you'll still take something home, but if you beat the average price you'll take home the entire bundle. The Unity Game Development Bundle includes fives courses with over 37 hours of instruction. Brand new to this exciting world? No problem! Start with Master Unity Game Development: Ultimate Beginner's Bootcamp, the perfect introduction for game developing newbies. Learn C# and Unity while gaining the knowledge necessary to build a 3D multi-level platformer game. Once you've got Unity and C# under your belt, Learn Unity AI By Making A Tank Game will have you incorporating artificial intelligence into your games to help make more lifelike characters. Courses like The Complete HTML5 Mobile Game Development Course, Augmented Reality Game Development and Learn To Code By Building 6 Games In The Unreal Engine will amp up your game development abilities. These courses include such practical, employable skills that you could be on your way to a new career with this bundle. Just pay what you want for The Unity Game Development Bundle here and start building! Related articles: How to create a video game character in ZBrush Convert Flash games to HTML5 Create an atmospheric game environment View the full article
  9. Learn how to become a better manga artist with the latest issue of ImagineFX magazine, which goes on sale today. Inside issue 172, you'll learn how give your character art energy and a distinctive personality all of its own. So if you've always wanted to give your manga a recognisable flair, be sure to pick up this issue and put its lessons into practice! Buy issue 172 of ImagineFX here Elsewhere in issue 172, artist Patrick J Jones continues his comprehensive figure drawing series by showing you how to realise realistic hands and arms. Covering everything from the bones through to the proportions and muscles, this workshop will help you nail one of the most difficult body parts. On top of that, we take a look into the sketchbooks of Martin Abel and Guille Rancel shares how to design creatures with a strong personality. There's also all the news, reviews and reader art you've come to expect from ImagineFX magazine, so don't miss it, grab yours today! Never miss an issue: Subscribe to ImagineFX here Explore what's on offer by taking a peek at the lead features, below. Develop your individual art style Leading artists reveal how they honed their style Is style something that you can learn, or is it the result of work, work and more work? We catch up with industry leading artists to hear how they stayed true to their creative outlook and made work that reflects their vision – and what you need to keep in mind if you want to do the same. The roller-coaster career of Sachin Teng Sachin Teng reveals her work and life story so far Could you make it as an artist in just two years after graduation? That was the challenge set by Sachin Teng's mum after she dropped out of art school. With rent to pay and work to make, Sachin set to work on forging her career as a commercial artist. We catch up with her to discover how she's making it work. Learn how to paint a fantasy manga portrait Discover how to create this colourful manga character Put away your inks and maker pens, you won't be needing them for this digital art manga tutorial. Instead you'll discover how Photoshop can create brush-like effects and soft colours that emulate traditional manga methods. With advice on shading, textures and more, this workshop is full of skills that can be transferred to your next project. Anime composition insights How's that for a street view? If you've already got a good understanding of basic perspective concepts, this tutorial by Tan Hui Tian will show you how to give your street scenes an anime twist. With her advice, you'll be able to create backgrounds that are loaded with cohesive colours, characterful details and immaculate vanishing points. Create a Neon Genesis Evangelion character This workshop will show you how to create a beloved character Concept artist and illustrator Paul Kwon has worked for Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment, so he knows a thing or two about creating character art. In this workshop, the man himself shares how he gives Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion an anime twist in Procreate. Related articles: How to make it as a manga artist How to draw manga characters 15 tips for better manga characters View the full article
  10. Adobe has opened up its massive Creative Cloud deals to UK and US audiences, meaning that users in these territories can now save between 25% and 40% on its full Creative Suite of apps. The offers, which were previously limited to a select group of countries, see the price of Adobe’s entire collection drop to £30.34/ $39.99/ €36.29 from £49.94/ $52.99/ €60.49. Creators in the UK join the long list of European and African countries that have already been able to claim the huge 40% saving. Meanwhile, American users can grab 25% off the usual price of a Creative Cloud Individual plan. Save up to 40% on Adobe Creative Cloud now The full list of countries that can save now are: US, UK, South Africa, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, CIS, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, MENA, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. These offers are valid in all territories until 1 March. So if you’ve been on the fence about signing up to Creative Cloud, there’s really never been a better time to join. The biggest Creative Cloud deals right now What's included? Adobe's Creative Cloud All Apps plan includes: The entire collection of 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps, including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and Adobe XD CC 100GB of cloud storage Adobe Portfolio Adobe Fonts Adobe Spark with premium features The option of up to 10TB of cloud storage The programmes are fully integrated, so you can work between them (and different devices) seamlessly – whether you’re out and about or in the studio. Built-in templates help you jump-start your designs, while step-by-step tutorials will help you sharpen your skills and get up to speed quickly. These deals expire on Friday 1 March 2019. Related articles: The best Adobe deals in 2019 60 top-class Photoshop tutorials The best 4K monitors for designers View the full article
  11. Adobe has issued yet another patch for a critical vulnerability in its Acrobat Reader - a week after the original fix. View the full article
  12. Observational drawing from the human figure is a classic skill, and one that can take a lifetime to perfect. With this in mind, we've rounded up the best figure drawing books available right now to help you on your way to figure drawing finesse. Like trying out different teachers before you find the one that suits, you may need to experiment with different styles of books before you find the one for you. To speed up this process, we've reviewed each book and teaching style below, so you can find the figure drawing book for you. Take a look at our guide to the best drawing books for more classic titles. And if you'd like to do at least some of your figure drawing learning online, then don't miss our list of how to draw tutorials, which includes sections on people, animals and landscapes. 01. Figures From Life: Drawing with Style Overlapping forms and shifting perspective are covered by Patrick in his section on foreshortening Artist and teacher Patrick J Jones began honing his creative skills at just 17, and now, over 30 years later, he shares his experience and knowledge in this tutorial-style book: Figures From Life: Drawing With Style. Its luxurious-to-the-touch cover, with its raised typography for the title and a striking sketch of a woman kneeling, provides an early glimpse of the glory held inside. Jones' artistry and advice is spread across 160 pages, and contained within six wonderfully in-depth chapters. Each of the topics under scrutiny – gestures, long and short poses, artist’s studio, rhythm of life and “love devotion surrender” – open with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to draw a certain pose, each stage accompanied by a large photograph for reference. It’s here and in the following pages, which feature the most intricate and impressive drawings of the male and female form, where you get your money’s worth. Not only does each chapter spell out how to draw a specific pose, but also also includes a number of invaluable artistic tips. Common mistakes and problem areas are noted too, as well as the occasional elaboration for tackling certain trickier areas of the body, such as the head, hand, arm and leg. Figures From Life is surprisingly light to carry around At A4 size, this book would easily fit in most standard-sized bags, and while it’s fairly thick and the quality clear, it’s surprisingly light to carry around. One slight downside is the size of the body copy, which is a little too small when you consider the word count. But then this allows for larger images, so it’s all about balance. The image-to-word ratio will work for some and not for others. Either way, it takes nothing away from the book’s brilliant content. There’s a strong sense of authority surrounding Figures from Life: Drawing With Style. The fact that art legend Julie Bell has written the book’s foreword should tell you all you need to know about Patrick’s talents as an artist. And if that doesn’t, the expertise and passion for art that oozes out of the other 159 pages certainly will. 02. Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count Figure Drawing For Artists includes chapters on drawing different parts of the body Despite some grand claims on the back-cover blurb, Figure Drawing for Artists doesn't quite offer the revolutionary approach to figure drawing that it suggests. However, it's still an authoritative and useful book with a range of expert tips, pointers and advice that will help improve your figure drawing, all written by a well-known and popular artist and instructor, Steve Huston. The first half of the book addresses the basic elements of drawing, with chapters on structure, gesture, perspective and light. The second half offers an overview of basic forms, plus chapters on drawing the head, torso, arms, hands, legs and feet. There's also a final chapter on finishing details (light and shadows). This book is a great introduction to drawing figures At the end of each chapter, Huston reviews a master work by a classic artist, such as Michelangelo and Raphael, and explains how it relates to the lessons. A lot of ground gets covered, but with its airy layout this book never feels cluttered or academic. This is a fine introduction to drawing, and would make a good supplement to other of the other guides listed here. 03. Human Figure Drawing Human Figure Drawing is full of exercises for you to complete This book takes the view that learning to draw anatomy is like starting to talk or to play an instrument. So rather than spend too much time on theory, Daniela Brambilla instead sets a series of exercises and encourages you to learn by doing – while learning from your mistakes. This large-format, 260-page hardback covers almost every area of human figure drawing. It begins with the basics: gestures, contours and understanding position, proportions and lines of force. Then it's on to more advanced topics such as expanding your imagination and capturing "the movements of the soul", as Brambilla rather evocatively puts it. With plenty of examples, and exercises that encourage you to get scribbling, it feels like a relaxed evening class held by the best teacher in town. 04. The Anatomy of Style: Figure Drawing Techniques Learning about anatomy is key to improving your figure drawings Here's another great book from Patrick J Jones. In The Anatomy of Style: Figure Drawing Techniques, Jones explains how to draw anatomically accurate figures. The illustrator offers practical tips on things like art supplies and, step by step, body part by body part, explains how to apply the principles of anatomy to your life drawing. He begins with short poses, progresses to the long pose, then extends those principles to creating human figures from imagination. The first five chapters apply mainly to drawing, the sixth addresses painting, the final features timed life drawings, showcasing the techniques outlined in the book. Detailed notes deconstruct every illustration. 05. Figure Drawing Masterclass This easy-to-use book shows you how to emulate great artists When you're trying to emulate the great masters of art, it makes total sense to look at... well, the great masters. This book by respected artist Dan Gheno does just that, by dissecting the work of the likes of Raphael and Rembrandt, and showing you how you can use these techniques in your own artwork. Other lessons include how to draw heads and hands – two elements many artists struggle with – and key concepts of figure drawing, including how to convey emotion with posture. This informative book includes many of Gheno's own drawings, and is suitable for beginners as well as those looking to take their figure drawing a step further. Parts of this article originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine. Subscribe here. Read more: How to begin a figure drawing How to draw a cat The best online art classes right now View the full article
  13. Admins should update immediately to fix a remote code-execution vulnerability. View the full article
  14. A CSS methodology is a set of guidelines for writing modular, reusable and scalable code. Although CSS is an easy language to write, without an agreed-upon convention the code gets messy almost as fast as it is written. Since each CSS declaration is defined on its own line, files get huge quickly, making them a nightmare to maintain. To solve this and other CSS implementation issues (for a further explanation, jump to Why do we need CSS methodologies?), groups of coders around the world have developed different CSS methodologies, or sets of standard practices. Each comes with its own focus, advantages and disadvantages. Cool CSS animation examples They are not frameworks or libraries, rather rules for writing CSS code that encourage developers to stick to conventions that make code easier to write and maintain, saving hours of development time. These methodologies are not mutually exclusive and can be used together in a way that best suits developers. In this article we will take a look at the pros and cons of a few of the most popular CSS methodologies: object-oriented CSS, Atomic CSS (related to atomic design), BEM and SMACSS. Use the boxout opposite to jump to a particular methodology. Alternatively, hop to page 2 to see how they can be combined together in a custom methodology. Object-Oriented CSS In a nutshell: Divide layout into objects, then abstract their CSS into modules OOCSS involves identifying objects on a page and separating their structural and visual CSS styles into two declaration blocks. These blocks can then be reused by different elements, and changes need only be made in one place, leading to better consistency. Declaration blocks are applied to elements using single-class selectors to avoid specificity issues. This technique also separates content from container, so objects look the same wherever they appear. Classes also decouple mark-up from CSS. Using .title instead of h2 for heading <h2 class="title"> allows it to be changed to <h3 class="title"> without changing the CSS. To further separate HTML and CSS, class names should not include property values. A class 'blue' would require renaming in HTML and CSS if the colour changed. Using OOCSS a button's CSS and markup can be defined as: OOCSS introduces many useful concepts, but its lack of rules leads to variations in interpretation that can result in inconsistencies. It has, however, been used as inspiration for stricter methodologies. Atomic CSS In a nutshell: Create a class selector for every repeating CSS declaration ACSS encourages developers to define single-purpose class selectors for every reusable declaration. Unlike OOCSS, which discourages CSS property values in class names, ACSS welcomes it. Using ACSS styles can be defined and applied to elements as: There are programmatic approaches to ACSS that automatically generate CSS based on classes or attributes that users add to the HTML. Atomizer is one such tool, allowing the previous HTML to be redefined as: This would automatically generate the following CSS upon build: The main benefit of ACSS is the ease of maintaining consistent code and not having to invent classes for components requiring a single CSS rule. However, ACSS used on its own can lead to an unmanageable number of classes and bloated HTML files. It is therefore common to only use ACSS principles to create helper classes that define consistent, reusable declaration blocks. Block Element Modifier In a nutshell: Use a standard naming convention for classes BEM encourages developers to divide layouts into blocks and nested elements. Variations from the average appearance of a block or element should also be identified and applied using modifiers. CSS declarations are applied using a single class name of format block-name for blocks and block-name__element-name for elements, with two underscores in between. Modifier names are appended to classes, prefixed with an underscore or two hyphens for better clarity, for example block-name__element-name_modifer-name or block-name__element-name--modifer-name. An object is a block if it can exist without ancestors, otherwise it's an element. Blocks can have nested blocks and elements, but elements cannot. Modifiers must be used alongside block and element classes, not instead of them. BEM can be applied to a list, where list-block--inline and list-block__item--active display lists horizontally and highlight items respectively: BEM is a highly effective naming convention that creates predictably behaving CSS that is easy to manage, maintain and scale. BEM does have downsides, however, including the difficulty in inventing class names for deeply nested objects, the ridiculously long class names and bloated HTML that may sometimes result, and also the lack of consistency that is caused by the inability to share CSS between objects. Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS In a nutshell: Split CSS code across multiple files for better performance and organisation SMACSS works by dividing CSS into five categories – base, layout, module, state and theme – commonly split into separate files. Base styles override the default styles and are mainly applied using element selectors: Layout styles are for major objects like headers and sidebars. They are applied using IDs or classes with generic helper declarations optionally prefixed with l-: Module styles are for smaller, reusable objects like buttons and lists, each commonly with its own file. They are applied using classes, with nested items classes commonly prefixed with the ancestor class: State styles are for changeable states, like hidden or disabled. They are commonly applied with class names prefixed with is- or has- and chained to other selectors: Theme styles are optionally used for changing the visual scheme. SMACSS provides well-organised CSS code split logically across multiple files. Using SMACSS does, however, introduce specificity traps by allowing IDs and relying on selector chaining for state and some layout declarations. Next page: Learn how to combine different methodologies to create your own As you have probably gathered from this article, each CSS methodology comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. It is, however, possible to combine aspects of multiple methodologies together to create your own custom one that's specifically suited to your needs. Let's look at one way of combining the four methodologies discussed on page 1, for a site with a homepage and a button component, using Sass as a preprocessor. Applying SMACSS principles, we can divide our code across multiple Sass partials as shown in the image below. Click the icon in the top right to enlarge Then import them into styles.scss that will be converted to styles.css by Sass, as follows: Next we can add any styles that override the browser defaults to _base.scss, allowing mainly element selectors and their pseudo-classes: Selector chains are sometimes required to override unwanted styles applied by external frameworks. For example, the Materialize.css framework applies padding to grid columns using a two-class selector chain .row .col, making it impossible to override with a single-class BEM selector. Such overrides should also be added to _base.scss, for example .row .col {padding: 16px}. For this to work make sure external libraries are sourced in the HTML before styles.css. Using ACSS ideas we can create helper classes that apply consistent styles to any element, eliminating the need to create a new class name and component file for elements requiring a single CSS declaration. Instead we can apply the helper class directly to the HTML. For example, we can create a responsive, top margin helper class in _helpers.scss: For each component we will have a separate file in the components directory and use a BEM methdology. We will allow BEM formatted single-class selectors, their pseudo-elements and an infinite number of chained pseudo-classes. For example, the CSS of buttons can be defined in _button.scss as following, with modifier button--is-disabled greying out the button and showing a tooltip with the message disabled on hover: Finally, we can add page-specific overrides to a corresponding file in the pages directory. To ensure that these overrides are always applied to our elements and those from external libraries with potentially multi-class selectors, we will give each page a unique ID. For example, we can hide disabled buttons on the homepage by adding the following to _home.scss: As you can see, combining methodologies is easy and can lead to a personalised, consistent approach to CSS development that scales effortlessly and is easily maintained. The custom methodology detailed above is just a suggestion, and my advice is for you to develop your own. Combine aspects you like from as many methodologies as you can find, adapting them to your liking, and stick to them. There is little point in creating a methodology if you constantly deviate from it. If you find yourself doing so, then incorporate these deviations into your methodology in a way that is consistent and easy to understand. Why do we need CSS methodologies? CSS preprocessors such as Sass, Less and Compass, have done wonders to mitigate this problem by allowing selectors to be nested and blocks of code to be replaced with single-line 'mixin' declarations (take a look at What is Sass? for more on this). While this helps, large projects can still require thousands of lines of code. Fortunately, preprocessors also allow CSS to be split across smaller files, or 'partials'. But what to include in each partial and how they are named must be agreed upon by a team, otherwise their use can do more harm than good. Another potential problem experienced with complex projects is managing specificity. CSS assigns a weight to each style rule, so when multiple rules are used on the same element, the highest weighted rule is considered more specific and is therefore applied. When multiple, equal-weight rules are used the lowest one wins. Specificity is calculated using four number groups represented as 0-0-0-0, where numbers do not overflow from one group to another, so 0-12-21-5 is valid. Each element or pseudo-element in a selector increments the right-most group, e.g. h1 is 0-0-0-1 and div::before is 0-0-0-2. Each class, attribute or pseudo-class increments the next group, e.g. .some-class.another-class is 0-0-2-0 and section.some-class .another-class:hover is 0-0-3-1. IDs increment the next group, e.g. #some-id#another-id is 0-2-0-0 and ul#some-id img.some-class:active is 0-1-2-2. Inline styles applied using HTML style attributes increment the leftmost group and are therefore the most specific selectors. The higher the overall number, the more specific the selector. So if one developer uses div.some-class to apply styles to an element, it is not possible to override them lower down the code using .some-class on its own. It is therefore common practice to use only single-class selectors when possible. This article was originally published in creative web design magazine Web Designer. Buy issue 282 or subscribe. Read more: Create cool UI animations with CSS The best JavaScript frameworks 21 ways to optimise your CSS and speed up your site View the full article
  15. Users of the popular file-compression tool are urged to immediately update after a serious code-execution flaw was found in WinRAR. View the full article
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