Archive for January, 2007

The Same Only Random

When browsing around the web, there is something I have noticed when looking at some architectural renderings. Given, the focus is always the building. That’s where most of the effort lies in modeling, textures, and lighting; but the landscaping, if not done with care, can ruin the painstaking effort for realism in the building.

In nature, everything occurs at random. No two trees, bushes, or blades of grass are the same. Many artists, however, will take the same graphic of a plant and repeat it throughout the work. This is fine, but care should be taken to vary the shape, and lighting wherever it is used so a repetition doesn’t develop. Amazingly, those viewing the work will pick up on it no matter how subtle the repetition becomes. The viewer may not know what it is, but they will know something is off. A little extra time spent on these little details can make the difference between a good rendering and a great one.

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Not too long ago, I thought it might be fun to start an online magazine (still working on it!), so I began a search for a content management system that would work for that purpose. I tried all of the main CMS options, and none seemed to do what I wanted. I finally ran across Movable Type which is fantastic, and is working out well for my needs on that project. But, during this evaluation process, I discovered WordPress, and it really caught my attention.

So while reading Andy Clarke’s new book about CSS, my enthusiasm to try some of his techniques found me in front of WordPress attempting a template design. Well, I am excited to say that setting up a blog was as simple as could be. In a very short time, I had it installed, a template created, and found myself looking at a “write post” screen. So without any intentions of really doing so, I find myself with my own blog.

I have to really give my recommendations for both Movable Type and WordPress. But if you are really just wanting to get a blog up and working without a lot of effort, WordPress is the real deal. Now I’m looking at the plugins and options that are available and my mind is racing with all of the possibilties . . .

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Transcending CSS

Over the Holidays, I began reading a book written by Andy Clarke entitled “Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design”, and I am finding it a fantastic reference. It approaches the use of CSS from a designers perspective, and it has made me think of web design in a whole different way. His explanation of proper structural mark-up is one of the easiest to understand that I have seen. The book also has a very good section on designing web pages to the grid. By laying grids over screen shots of beautifully designed sites it illustrates how the designers use them in exciting ways.

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