Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Leslie Alsheimer Book on Black and White Photography and Photoshop CS4

Two years ago I recommended Alsheimer's wonderful and thorough book for perfecting black and white digital photography, enhancing in Photoshop, while also managing your photos with Lightroom.  You can read the original review here.

There is now an updated edition for CS4 and the latest Lightroom. If you think there can't be much you can do with creating digital black and white images, you need to read this book.  If you have a gazillion photos on your hard drive, but haven't tried Lightroom yet, it's time you do (and read this book). I love Lightroom not just because of it's organizational abilities, but it's sophisticated photo adjustments (called aptly, "developing") are often all I need. Asheimer's insights into the art of digital black and white photography should lead you to some exquisite images.

Paraphrasing Alsheimer, you will need to awaken your inner geek for some of the content, but she does a great job of making you feel at ease if you don't quite get it the first time. There are chapters that I have to reread because I don't always remember all the technical info. But, her style of writing is very comfortable and refreshing, and the book is very well edited and designed, so I never feel overwhelmed or bored reading it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Suggested Beginning Flash Projects

As promised, I am sharing how I started my Flash unit, using Flash CS4.

For the Sampler, I demoed step one, had them try step one, etc. Demo/try, demo/try, etc. Peer helpers are very important.

Practice Flash Project

The project has at least 4 layers:

1. Dingbat, modified to graphic symbol, moves around stage and distorts as it moves. (Motion tween)
2.Shape morphs into another shape. (Shape tween)
3.Shape appears to move into stage, but actually the shape grows larger. (Shape tween)
4.A shape changes alpha (opacity) from 0-100%.(Shape tween)

Flash Concept Animation

Using what you learned in the Practice Flash project, express one of the following concepts using shapes, letters or dingbats:

1. congestion
2. playful
3. tension or stress
4. lost
5. victory
6. fear
7. perseverance

Requirements:At least 100 frames in length. Must successfully express the idea without words. Use 3 different objects, each on it’s own layer, and at least one motion tween and one shape tween.

Have a peer from across the room critique your animation and make any agreed upon changes. Don’t tell them which topic you chose; see if they can recognize it. Your peer must also check that you put it in your finished folder and named it properly.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving

This is a fantastic book of projects for a 2D design class, by the founder of the Graphic Design Department of The School of Visual Arts, Richard Wilde. The projects are clearly described and there are many wonderful student examples. The book itself is a fantastic example of visual literacy.  (Ironic how non-visual so many visual literacy books and presentations actually are.)  Fun projects that challenge your students to turn on their creative mind, for grades 11-college.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Design Revolution: On the Road to Change the World

Great article from the San Francisco Chronicle that explains design as innovation projects that have made a difference.