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  1. Cisco has patched a high-severity flaw that could lead to denial-of-service attacks on its Nexus switch lineup. View the full article
  2. The zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2020-9859 is exploited by the "Uncover" jailbreak tool released last week. View the full article
  3. As anti-racism protests continue across the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd, several brands have spoken out to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement over the last few days. Many brands are delivering strong statements right now (and it will be interesting to see if they are followed by tangible action). In a minimal, text-based ad, Nike inverted its famous 'Just do it' slogan, urging its followers: 'For once, don't do it. Don't turn your back on racism." Sportswear brand Adidas even put its rivalry with Nike aside to share the message (below). Elsewhere, Twitter changed its profile picture to a black version of its logo, as well as opting for a plain-black header photo (below). This echoes the #blackouttuesday movement sweeping across Instagram today, in which countless users have posted a plain-black square in support of Black Lives Matter. Ice cream brand Ben and Jerry's took to Twitter two days after George Floyd's death, sharing a four year-old news post covering the unrest in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown, in which the brand expressed its support for the Black Lives Matter movement. While it's important for brands to show solidarity, it can be a challenge to avoid looking opportunistic or even tone-deaf – past actions matter, too. Less warmly received was L'Oreal Paris's effort, which saw it proclaim: "Speaking out is worth it". British model and activist Munroe Bergdorf was quick to condemn the post (below), having been dropped from a campaign by the brand after speaking out on racism in 2017. A global audience is quick to speak out when they judge that a brand is failing to deliver an authentic message, as we saw with McDonald's social distancing logo this March. We have seen before that it can be a challenging tone to strike – take a look at these other examples of big brands trying to be woke and failing – while others get it right. Read more: Pop culture creatures become scientific drawings (and we want them all) Lego's comical guide to working from home will brighten your day Cartoons for key workers are a heartwarming delight View the full article
  4. From a brand new iPad Pro to the latest iteration of its 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple hasn't let these strange times slow down its release cycle. But if you're thinking of buying said MacBook Pro, an unexpected new price hike could make the decision a little harder to stomach. This weekend, Apple quietly doubled the price of a RAM upgrade on the base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Instead of the previous price of $100, jumping from 8GB to 16GB of RAM will now set you back a hefty $200. The MacBook Pro might be one of the best laptops for graphic design, but if you want to get the most out of this particular model, you'll now have to cough up $100 more than you would have a few days ago. Browse MacBooks at Apple.com The 2020 MacBook Pro According to MacRumors, Apple occasionally adjusts pricing as component costs change over time, but what makes this a particularly unusual example is that the machine was only released only a month ago. This could suggest that the issue is somewhat unexpected, such as supply-chain problems. The cost of upgrading the RAM on the high-end 13-inch model remains unchanged – going from 16GB to 32GB still costs $400. For creatives who can't decide which new MacBook Pro to buy, this price hike makes things even trickier, closing the price gap between the base model and high-end model. The base model (with 512GB storage and doubled RAM) now costs $1,699 – just $100 less than the high-end model with exactly the same storage and memory, but a much faster processor. It's now even more tempting to drop $1,799 on the high-end model. While every 2020 MacBook Pro features the much-improved Magic Keyboard, internal improvements (including a brand new 10th generation processor) are saved for the high-end version. With the base model packing the same 8th generation processor as its 2019 predecessor, and the price for extra RAM now twice as high, it's becoming difficult to recommend over the pricier option – especially for creatives using power-intensive software such as Final Cut Pro (don't forget to check out the best laptops for video editing). Whatever the reason for this particular price-hike, Apple certainly has recent form when it comes to mind-bogglingly expensive extras. The Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro came with a not-so-magic price tag, and the less said about Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels, the better. Still, there's no denying that both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are brilliant laptops for creatives – check out today's best deals below. Read more: Forget the Apple iPhone 12, everyone's talking about the iPhone 13 You can now get retro iPhone app icons – and you'll want them all right now You won't believe what Apple's next MacBook might look like View the full article
  5. Apple has fixed a critical flaw in its Sign in with Apple feature, which could have been abused by attackers to takeover victims' third-party applications. View the full article
  6. Is mastering graphic design at the top of your to-do list for the year? If so, it's never too late to tackle that goal. No matter your level of design expertise, keep your skills sharp with The School of Graphic Design Mastery Bundle, now only $39. As creatives, it's essential to continually be learning to keep up with the latest updates in the industry. Packed with seven in-depth courses and over 350 lessons, this bundle contains everything you need to master graphic design. And our pick of the best tools for graphic designers will complement it perfectly. A course designed for all abilities If you're a beginner, you'll start with the fundamentals of top industry software, such as Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator, and InDesign, and move onto design theory, branding, and more. You'll learn what each design platform does, and extensively review topics such as typography, photo manipulations, branding, magazine layout design, and logo design (for more, see our guide to logo design). Real-world exercises are provided, allowing you to practise what you learn as you go. Once you master the basic concepts, you'll jump into more advanced theories and practices. A few topics you'll tackle include: taking a complete look into proper layout design, learning how to brand an entire digital marketing campaign (including social media assets), and diving into Adobe tips and tricks to help speed up your workflow. You'll also be assigned more meticulous projects to complete – such as creating a full photo manipulation project for a large poster ad, or taking on a full logo and branding design project from start to finish. The 40 hours of content will equip you with everything you need to be confident in your graphic design abilities. With courses dedicated to working with clients as a freelancer, in an agency, or on an in-house team, you'll get extensive training on how to showcase your graphic design work. Techniques in creating polished presentations, building your portfolio effectively from scratch, and understanding how to display your designs successfully, will be taught with guided video tutorials. Best yet, you'll have unlimited access to all the content, allowing you to visit each concept or lesson time and time again. The School of Graphic Design Mastery Bundle brings you everything you need to jumpstart your graphic design career or merely brush up on your skills. Usually $1400, you can master design for only $39 (that's 97 per cent off)! Add valuable skills and credibility to your ongoing creative portfolio and conquer your goals today. *Prices subject to change. Software not included. Read more: View the full article
  7. Artists certainly nailed what the world wanted from a toddler-sized Yoda when they created Baby Yoda for The Mandalorian last year. We, and the rest of the galaxy, can't get enough of those endearing eyes, super-long ears and oversized space jacket. But newly-released concept art reveals that the mini-Yoda wasn't always intended to capture our hearts with sheer adorability. In fact, one early mock up of Baby Yoda shows that Disney could have gone in quite a different direction, leading us to believe that in an alternate universe there lies a Baby Yoda who is, in short, TERRIFYING. Let's take a closer look at the design, which definitely wouldn't make our list of top 3D art... Take a moment to soak up those chubby cheeks It was vital the character of Baby Yoda was perfect (see him above) – they were dealing with one of the most iconic characters in film history, after all. And, as John Favreau discloses during the newest episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (try Disney Plus for free to get involved), getting the final design just right – cute, but not too cute – was a long process that involved viewing hundreds of concept drawings. These drawings swung wildly, one way or the other: too cute or too ugly. And the version below gives the final character a totally different feel. A pretty horrifying one, actually. Just. Not. Okay. Though there are echoes of the final Baby Yoda within this design, the small and rounded eyes, cavernous ears and stomach-turning curly hair are at odds with the enchanting depiction that made it out of the studio. Though the face is squidgier, the toddler actually looks older, and those plump cheeks are not ones we want to squeeze. Unlike the final version, the features don't pull us in and we find ourselves wanting to look away – not a great feeling to have when faced with the coolest small being in the universe. Seeing the different renditions together as above feels like spending time with a bunch of Yoda's siblings – all of which have wildly different personalities. (Including Danny Yo-Vito, according to Twitter user Blanked_Space). Fans everywhere are overwhelmingly appalled at what could have been, with expressions of gratitude pouring in for the appearance of the final render. Judging by the response to Sonic the Hedgehog's design misfire last year, Disney did well to get it right. Read more: 27 top character design tips 9 character designers you need to know The best laptops for 3D modelling in 2020 View the full article
  8. With over 50 Adobe apps available, you'd be forgiven for sometimes struggling to tell them apart. In an attempt to address the issue, Adobe has begun updating its entire brand identity, and the most dramatic change so far is a brand new icon for Adobe Creative Cloud. A far cry from its current red-and-white iteration, the new Creative Cloud icon (below) features the logo atop a bright, colourful gradient which "brings the colours of [Adobe's] product brands" together. Check out the best Creative Cloud Plans if you're ready to get to grips with its many creative apps, from Illustrator to Photoshop. Old (left) vs. new (right) The new splash of colour certainly helps Creative Cloud look a little more, well, creative. As the umbrella that unites Adobe's many apps, it makes sense for it to enjoy a more artistic appearance – since that's what Creative Cloud is all about. The previous icon looks positively corporate in comparison. It isn't just Creative Cloud that's enjoying a new coat of paint. The Adobe logo itself has been given a more subtle makeover, with a slightly different hue of red. In a blog post about the identity refresh, Adobe calls the new colour "warmer and more contemporary". "Warmer and more contemporary" (aka "more red") Across the board, Adobe is tweaking icons for all of its products with the removal of borders (taking them even further into the realm of flat design), and the addition of rounded edges to any icons that were previously square. Both changes are designed "so that the system can flex to accommodate a range of operating systems and devices". When it comes to helping to tell the products apart, Adobe says that as it rolls out more updated icons, it will be "using colour to organise products into categories such as Video & Motion or Photography, to ensure customers can easily find the products they need". As if the Photoshop logo couldn't get any simpler While Creative Cloud undoubtably contains some of the best software for digital art, the sheer amount on offer can sometimes be confusing (check out this unmissable video explaining all 50+ Adobe apps). It's great to see Adobe take some measures to help users differentiate between apps, as well as highlighting the creative aspect of Creative Cloud. Check out today's best Creative Cloud deals below. Read more: Pop culture creatures become scientific drawings (and we want them all) The 6 best laptops for Photoshop in 2020 64 top-class Photoshop tutorials to try View the full article
  9. We've seen all sorts of fantastic creative projects during lockdown, and this series by a Texas-based illustrator is a whimsical delight. 'Unnatural History' takes several fictional creatures from the worlds of film and TV, and transforms them into vintage-style biological studies. From Stranger Things' Demogorgon to everyone's new favourite alien, Baby Yoda, the collection by Chet Phillips features over 20 creatures, complete with latin names and descriptions. As with all of Phillips' work, the series was illustrated using Corel Painter (one of many great photoshop alternatives). Baby (we mean Puer Versionem) Yoda The illustrations are all available to buy via Phillips' Etsy page, either individually or as a beautifully presented box of 10 (including one original sketch). The reviews on Phillips' page are filled praise: "I Love Chet's work," one says. "It allows me to show my love for pop culture in a totally unique way." Straight from the upside-down We love the authentic vintage style of Phillips' illustrations, and can't help wanting them all – it doesn't help our wallet that they look so great as a full set (below). The project is a delightful tribute to fantasy and imagination, not to mention a welcome distraction from these strange times. We want them all. It's a testament to Phillips' skills that these wildly disparate creatures now look like they could all belong to the same (very strange) universe. If a brand new creature is ready to spawn from your own imagination, head straight over to our list of essential character design tips. Read more: Lego's comical guide to working from home will brighten your day Cartoons for key workers are a heartwarming delight Burger King’s genius Social Distancing Whopper will make your eyes water View the full article
  10. Garry Pye has been drawing cartoons all his life. Despite no formal artistic education, he went from hobbyist to full-time animator after discovering Reallusion and their 2D animation software six years ago. I have been drawing cartoons ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I am a self-taught artist, illustrator and animator who specialises in creating characters, backgrounds and prop content. I started working as a content developer in my spare time, and this has turned into a full-time business. I now have over 1,400 assets available online, which I sell to animators around the world. From the age of 17, I worked with my father in our family trophy store – for 31 years, in fact. But my true passion was drawing cartoons. And I dreamed of one day being able to do that as my full time job. In this article, I’m going to share with you how Cartoon Animator (formally CrazyTalk Animator) helped me to jump from working in that trophy store to creating a profit-making, successful full-time online business. Garry Pye in his studio Discovering animation Since I was a child, all I’ve ever done is draw – learning from great fantasy artists like Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta, and the incredible comic artists of MAD magazine like Mort Drucker and Jack Davis. I mimicked their styles until eventually I developed my own. I always had a fascination with 2D animation, and although I experimented many times with it, I did not have the skills or patience required for traditional frame-by-frame cell animation. Then I came across a piece of software called CrazyTalk Animator, which promised aspiring animators the opportunity to produce professional results without the tedious frame-by-frame work. Discovering this software changed my career. After installing it, in a matter of hours I was making things move. About 3 months later, I was creating funny short animated videos (such as the one below) to entertain my friends. I soon realised this tool could really help businesses of all types to be able to immediately tell a story, or demo their concept for business or education purposes. Building a Business Very quickly, I started to sell my art in Reallusions 2D Marketplace, and have continued to do that for the last 6 years – adding more and more characters, backgrounds and props. Eventually, I opened my own Theme Store on the Reallusion site, and even began representing other artists' work. In my 31-year career working in my family trophy business, I learned many of the skills I would need to turn my hobby into a successful new career. I learned how to operate a business on a day-to-day basis, from marketing and advertising to sales and manufacturing, and also taught myself software skills including Photoshop and CorelDraw. And, of course, customer relations and communications – which in my opinion are the most vital skills for business owner. I look at where I was with CrazyTalk Animator 6 years ago compared with where I am today, and it demonstrates something truly wonderful about this software: it grows with you. The software guides you through those early days of basic animation, so that as your confidence and skills grow, you become more comfortable exploring the more professional tools within, and your animations become more polished as a result. One of Garry Pye's animations Collaborating with developers and becoming a Reallusion community manager As my digital content business grew, my hobby not only became my full-time job, but I also opened my own market store to sell my creations and also help other artists like me to get into world of digital creation. I believe there are many more artists like me out there – talented designers and artists who struggle between work and their passion. That’s why I recently officially became a Reallusion Spokesman and Community Manager. I want to share my true passion with others, and help more artists to succeed. Two Theme Stores: Reallusion Content Store & 2D Marketplace Garry Pye's 'Little Mates' Reallusion offers several different areas on the website for developers to sell and promote their products, from hobbyists to professionals. The first step in becoming a content developer was to sell my characters, props and backgrounds in the 2D Marketplace, a wonderful platform for artists at any skill level. The Marketplace allows you to load any content at no cost, and you make a healthy commission from each sale. Reallusion provides you with the templates you need for marketing, but the look and design of your marketing is entirely in your control. I still load all of my new content to the Marketplace today and it’s a fantastic site for being seen by potential customers. Once my catalogue of content had grown in size, I was invited to join the Reallusion Content Store which has the advantage of being controlled by Reallusion itself, including all marketing, which is extensive. The secret to both the Marketplace and the Content Store was to remain relevant and current, creating and uploading new content on a regular basis so the audience I was building would return to see what new content was on offer. Then I was invited to open my own Theme Store on the Reallusion site, which meant that my store was now featured on the main page, giving me considerable more exposure on the site and once again building on my brand. By this time I had a large following of loyal customers that had been accumulated through each level of the sites platforms, from Marketplace to Content Store and finally to Theme Store, where I now represent other artists and help promote their work. All Stars – My latest series of characters created with Cartoon Animator 4 As well as making standalone characters, I knew from the beginning of my work as a content developer that I wanted to make series of characters as well, so that animators would have a range of characters to choose from, all with the same distinct and recognisable style. For the All Stars I chose a vector style of design, with no black outline, which I felt was more suitable to the needs of media presenters for corporate training videos and slideshows (my target audience for this series). The characters are cartoony, but still based on normal human proportions. Fun, but professional. I would certainly have been able to create the All Stars in CrazyTalk Animator 3, however Cartoon Animator 4 gave me several distinct advantages. The main one was that with CTA4, I am able to add additional layers to the face, meaning that for the first time you could create things like hair that has multiple levels, each of which can either be visible or invisible to change a characters hair style, or even animate the hair sections using the Deform function. Moustaches and facial hair could now be easily turned on or off without having to have them built in to the nose sprite, making sprite selection much easier. In addition, the new G3 360 Degree Heads allow much more natural movement for character animation. I did not incorporate the full arc of movement with these characters heads with The Bendies, which was a design choice. And the option is always there should I choose to expand the characters style and incorporate it later. View the full article
  11. You're here because you want to know what the best smartphone tripods of 2020 are so far, and that's exactly what you'll find right here. Smartphones have made massive inroads into camera tech, and a quality smartphone tripod can really help produce professional-looking images and video. While many of the best camera phones come with optical image stabilisation and help smooth out unwanted camera shake, there will always be times when more stable support is needed. Whether you want to shoot a piece to camera without the arm-outstretched vlogging look, or capture a long exposure photo in low light, it’s a good idea to attach your phone to a tripod. But don't worry, this doesn't mean lugging a tripod the size of the Eiffel tower around (although if that is what you're after, browse our best tripods article). There are plenty of ultra-compact tripods on the market designed specifically for phones. And the best ones are so compact, they can sit on a table top, each tripod leg being around 20cm long, folding down to the size of a 500ml water bottle. Jump down for how to choose the best smartphone tripod The best smartphone tripods available now Our pick of the best smartphone tripods right now is the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod Kit with universal smartphone clamp. Manfrotto’s PIXI mini tripods have been around for several years and have established a reputation for good quality at a reasonable price. The particular version is a two-part kit comprised of a PIXI Mini tripod and Manfrotto’s Universal Smartphone Clamp. This simple, spring-loaded clamp can accommodate a phone up to 84mm wide – more than enough for even a phablet-sized device like a Galaxy Note 10. The clamp’s grippy jaws hold your phone securely, and the clamp itself attaches to a small ball head atop the PIXI tripod, making it easy to tilt your phone up or down for high or low-angle shots, though only with the phone mounted horizontally. You can also detach the clamp and mount a lightweight interchangeable lens camera to the ball head instead, increasing the tripod’s versatility. And when it’s time to get on the move, fold the tripod’s legs together and they form an ergonomic handle that makes handheld vlogging much more stable and comfortable. Joby’s GorillaPod Mobile Rig looks more like a stick figure than a typical tripod, thanks to its arm-like supports on either side of the phone holder. These can be used to mount compact LED lights or a separate microphone, helping you boost the quality of your footage. The GorillaPod’s extra-flexible legs allow you to instantly bend them to any angle for effortless set-up, and you can even wrap the legs around objects like railings for extra variety in shot compositions and framing. Your phone is held securely in Joby’s GripTight PRO Phone mount. This uses a single locking knob to simultaneously secure your phone and to switch between horizontal and vertical positioning – an option lacking in many clamps - though the do-it-all knob means it’s possible to accidentally release your phone when you only want to rotate it. The clamp is mounted on a tilt hinge for extra framing flexibility, and above the holder is a cold-shoe-type mount ideal for attaching a compact shotgun mic. Next in our roundup of the best smartphone tripods is the Joby GripTight PRO TelePod. The trouble with most mini tripods is that they have to be perched on a table if you need extra height, but that’s not always an option. The TelePod can stand tall thanks to its nifty telescoping centre column, which extends up to 79cm. It’s a clever trick, though the three tripod legs are still as short as those on a typical tabletop tripod, meaning it’s not the most stable phone support when your phone is balancing high up. Alternatively, you can take hold of your phone and use the TelePod as a monopod support to keep your phone level when recording panning shots. Not only that, but the tripod legs can fold together to form a handle, then, with the centre column outstretched, you’ve got a good quality selfie stick. Joby even includes a Bluetooth remote so you can control your iPhone or Android phone’s camera not just when it’s on the end of the selfie stick, but from up to 90 feet away. The supplied phone holder is Joby’s feature-packed GripTight PRO Phone mount that compliments the TelePod well, with its extensive adjustment and quality build. The smaller sibling of the Joby GripTight PRO TelePod, the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini is still a great option for a lot of smartphone camera enthusiasts. First of all, weighing at 32 grams, this is not going to slow you down, and with its diminutive size, it take up a lot of room either. It's the cheapest tripod that Joby currently make, but it includes the companies trademark flexible legs, made with several moveable joints. Because of this, you can stand the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini up exactly like a mini table-top tripod, or attach it to something with its wrap-around legs. For less than $20/£20, it will come with a phone mount too, so you're good to go from the off. If you're looking for an extremely portable, convenient (yet small) tripod, this is a fantastic option. If you like the sound of the Joby TelePod’s tripod and selfie stick versatility, but are less keen on its hefty price tag, Benro may have the answer with its BK10. It performs the same tripod-to-selfie stick transformation for a fraction of the cost, yet it’s still made by a well-respected tripod brand and feels much better made than the bargain price would suggest. With the telescopic centre column outstretched, your phone can rise up to 91cm off the deck, though as you’d imagine, balancing your phone this high when the tripod’s legs are so short is a bit precarious. You can’t have everything at this price, and Benro’s phone clamp is very basic. It does hold reasonably securely though, and while it won’t rotate between horizontal and vertical orientation, the tripod’s compact ball head will let you do this. Somehow Benro has also managed to throw in a Bluetooth trigger for remote camera control, and its 30-metre range is easily enough for most shooting scenarios. The last, but not least, to feature on our best smartphone tripods 2020 list, is kind of a big deal! Most phone tripods are so small they end up compromised in terms of support, especially when you use a phone tripod for regular shoots. Manfrotto's Compact Light Smart smartphone tripod has no such drawbacks, as it combines a smartphone clamp holder with a full-size travel tripod, just as you’d use for an interchangeable lens camera. This enables a genuinely usable 131cm max shooting height, as each leg of the tripod has four sections so they spread far wider than the single-section legs on a standard tabletop tripod, significantly boosting stability. Naturally this does mean that at 39cm long when packed, this isn’t the most compact phone support out there, but it is very small for a ‘proper’ tripod, and at only 840g, it’s also extremely light for its size. The included phone holder isn’t as fancy as the clamp you get with a Joby GorillaPod Mobile Rig, but it does the job, and the same can be said of the basic ball head, which also allows your phone to rotate through 90-degrees to shoot in portrait mode. Factor the price, which is less than some tricked-up tabletop tripods, and this Manfrotto support certainly gives you a lot for the money. How to choose the best smartphone tripod A phone tripod is only as good as the mechanism it uses to hold your phone. Whereas a traditional camera will have a dedicated tripod mounting point, nowadays you’re lucky if there's a headphone jack on your phone. This means a smartphone tripod will usually be bundled with a mounting clamp that grips your phone, similar to a phone holder for your car. All the tripods on this list come bundled with a phone holder, so they’re ready to use. What’s more, phone tripod manufacturers also recognise that today’s phones are much wider than those from a few years ago, so you should be able to mount even the widest XL/+/Max-sized devices with ease. Read more: The best photo apps and photo-editing software 6 expert smartphone photography tips The best smartphone in 2019: be more creative on the move View the full article
  12. The Russian spy group, a.k.a. BlackEnergy, is actively compromising Exim mail servers via a critical security vulnerability. View the full article
  13. For many professional creatives, having a laptop that doesn't just help you unleash your creativity, but also speeds up your creative workflow is essential. It means you’ll be able to easily hit deadlines, and by working faster, you can take on more work. If you’re looking for the ultimate creativity and productivity machine, then, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is the perfect choice for you – and it can prove to be a real game-changer that can transform your creative workflow. For a start, it’s one of the most powerful laptops in the world, with Nvidia’s latest and greatest RTX-capable graphics cards installed. These amazing GPUs allow the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo to accomplish intensive graphical tasks, such as 4K video editing and 3D rendering, incredibly quickly, and offers a big speed boost to your workflow. For 3D animators and modellers, Nvidia RTX GPUs also allow you to add advanced ray tracing lighting effects to make your creations look even more realistic. Also packing a high-end 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 processor and bags of RAM, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is also a killer multi-tasker, allowing you to power through tasks both creative and professional. Gone are the days where you have to leave your laptop alone while it struggles to complete a single task. Thanks to the super-poerful hardware in the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, you can keep on working on it while it completes those tasks in the background. Those features alone would make the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo a formidable productivity machine for any creative, but this unique laptop has another trick up its sleeve: dual 4K displays. That’s right. As well as having a stunning 15.6-inch OLED 4K screen, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo has a second 14-inch 4K touch display, known as the Screenpad Plus, above the keyboard. This second screen is a revolution when it comes to boosting your creative workflow. Not only can you use the second screen to display additional applications – such as an email app – giving you more space to work on the main screen, but you can also move tools from certain creative apps, onto the Screenpad Plus. This gives you quick and easy access to your most-used tools, while freeing up more screen real estate on the main screen. For digital artists, the Screenpad Plus can transform into a sketchpad with the included stylus, allowing you to instantly draw, paint and doodle digitally. The main 15.6-inch screen is no slouch, either. As well as offering stunning 4K resolutions, it’s also Pantone and DCPI-3 validated, which means colours are vibrant and – most importantly – accurate. By packing the kind of power you’d usually see in a desktop PC, with two gorgeous screens, into a portable laptop body, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo really is a game-changer when it comes to boosting your creative workflow. View the full article
  14. We've loved seeing examples of the creative community coming together during lockdown, and this latest cartoon project is a truly heartwarming example. A psychologist and a cartoonist have come together to capture the one moment key workers are most looking forward to when lockdown ends, and the results are delightful. Last month, psychologist Kevin Dutton asked key workers to share the moment or memory that's currently keeping them going, and cartoonist Rob Murray is now illustrating them each inside a bottle. #BottleMoments has seen Murray capture over 50 moments inside bottles, and they're guaranteed to raise a smile. If they inspire you to get drawing, our how to draw guides will keep your skills as sharp as your pencil. Dutton is currently sharing Murray's efforts on Twitter, along with a quote from each key worker themselves. Moments captured so far include postponed weddings, delayed travel plans and lots of family reunions, including this care home worker who can't wait to visit her own nan: "As a cartoonist working for magazines and newspapers, you spend most of your time poking fun at situations," Murray told Good Morning Britain. "The positive thing about this project is that it is about normal people, and their normal lives." "The major theme is connection," Dutton added. "It shows us that as a society, the DNA of what gets us through is being together." Murray's cartoon pencil style is perfect for capturing these often simple moments of togetherness – the drawings are a touching token of appreciation and hope for key workers during a time of great hardship and courage. Placing the moments in a bottle is an inspired touch, capturing them and almost turning them into timeless vignettes. Key workers can share the moment they're most looking forward to with the hashtag #BottleMoments – and it might just get bottled up by Dutton and Murray. Other recent displays of solidarity within the creative community have included Rob Biddulph's free drawing lessons for kids. Rob recently attempted to break the world record for the largest online art lesson with over 10,000 viewers (he's still waiting for the official result). For more inspiring examples, check out our best free resources for creatives stuck at home. Keep reading: Burger King’s genius Social Distancing Whopper will make your eyes water Your Fujifilm camera is now an ultra-HD webcam for video calls Is this the ultimate working from home setup (or the stuff of nightmares)? View the full article
  15. Known for its problem-solving approach, Lego has tackled one of the most universal problems facing workers at the moment by creating a tongue-in-cheek guide to working from home. The step-by-step picture guide will teach you exactly how to handle the unique challenges of WFH, and how to "be awesome" at it. Recreating the on-point vibe of an office (remember those?) within the comfort of your home involves remembering to get dressed, sitting properly at your desk (no dining chairs allowed – see our best office chairs if you're struggling with this), personalising your desk and then remaining on task at all times. It's a lot to take on, but following Lego's guide should see you right. If all this Lego talk has whet your appetite, you can head over to our best Lego City sets guide. But first, let's take a closer look at Lego's WFH instructions... Dress appropriately The first step is to dress appropriately. 'Appropriate' in this case, is to take on the strategy of newsreaders everywhere (we assume). Your top half is all that matters here. As long as you don't stand up during your video call, you can follow the Minifigure's lead as he models a business-ready top half and more-than-casual-Friday lower body attire. Follow proper ergonomics Next, get your build on and recreate the ergonomics of your office set-up. Lego has created a stable structure to rest a laptop on, and we're sure those Lego books fit together more solidly than our wobbly tower would. And if the tower of books won't cut it, here's our pick of the best desks around right now. Personalise Now it's time to soften things up with some personal touches. Lego's idea of personalising your desk seems to involve adding a looming picture of your boss on your left (it might help to keep you on track), and an interloper visitor on your desk (pretty accurate in our case). Start working And finally, to work. Which may be easier said than done, of course. As Lego suggests, that picture of your boss is totally expendable when the inevitable procrastination begins. And how is your cat meant to resist that mouse, anyway? So, if you're not totally happy with your WFH set up, perhaps Lego has given you the tools to get it right – heart patterned underwear and all. We certainly send our thanks to Lego for making light of a tricky work/life situation. Getting creative with a WFH set up is widespread during lockdown, as we saw with this ultimate work from home set up that divided opinion recently. And it isn't only work-from-homers that are unleashing design creativity in the time of COVID-19. This optician now has a perspex screen in the shape of a pair of glasses to shield its reception staff, which has taken the internet by storm. Read more: How to work from home more productively This is what Banksy working from home looks like The best office stationery for working from home View the full article
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