WEBSITE LAUNCH: www.dts.net.nz

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DTS is one of New Zealand’s leading business broadband providers and I was really honored to be asked to design & develop a new web site for them.

Check out the new DTS website here.

The site was developed with the WordPress framework so that it’s easy to maintain and is built around the concept of progressive enhancement. This basically means that it looks it’s best in new, CSS3 capable browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc) and still degrades to work nicely in Internet Explorer but without some of the visual niceties.

Compositing two photos in photoshop

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I was looking through some photos on my phone recently and came across this hard-case photo of my boy. This is his “I’m stuck to the floor” pose but to me it looked more like kung-fu … and an opportunity to try a little more photoshop compositing.

There were a number of steps in putting this image together, and though I wont go through each of them I’ll mention some of the more interesting ones.

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Relighting a person in photoshop (and adding luminous butterflies)

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Sticking with my theme of actually doing tutorials (and not just watching along) I wanted to experiment with a very cool lighting technique demonstrated by photoshop legend, Russell Brown, in this fantastic tutorial.

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/the-russell-brown-show/samurai-poster-part-2/

We had a nice afternoon out at a local park when something caught my little one’s attention. We took a quick photo (as you do when you have kids) and when we returned and looked through the photos I realised that this was the perfect pic to try out the technique.

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WEBSITE LAUNCH: Discoverboating.co.nz

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The Discover Boating website is an initiative from the Marine Industry Association of New Zealand with the aim being to educate and encourage people on all matters boating.

I worked closely with the the team at MIA to replicate the content from their existing site and set up a similar structure in the WordPress platform.

Once the structure was developed I then began work on the look and feel. It was important that the new site look and work pretty much the same as the existing site so as not to present any undue suprises to the users.  I did manage to squeeze in a few subtle enhancements and for those using browsers that support some of the newer CSS3 options (Firefox, Chrome, Safari) then the interface is enhanced with rounded edges, shadowing and more.

Check out the discoverboating.co.nz web site here.

Overall the transition from the old platform to the new WordPress based environment went very well indeed.

Tutorials: Do you do them or do you just like to watch?

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I have to confess that I spend invest a lot of my time in keeping up with the huge number of fantastic tutorials available these days. I’m addicted. Vodafone will be happy to hear that as I’m almost always going over my monthly data limit.

One of the things that really interests me is motion graphics so any chance that I get to fire up After Effects  and Cinema 4D is welcomed.

However .. I recently went to attempt a small job that a Cinema 4D render would have been ideal for. Upon opening Cinema I realised that I actually had no idea how to do it. This was very strange as I was certain that I did know how to do it because I had seen a tutorial somewhere.Read More  »

Quick Tip: Copy and Paste from Illustrator to After Effects

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For some reason, copying and pasting between Illustrator and After Effects hadn’t been working for me. Perhaps I had changed an option somewhere.

Turns out it was a really easy fix. So for all those that haven’t had any luck with copy and paste from Illustrator to After Effects (CS4 at least) it’s as easy as changing the following:

Preferences > File Handling and Clipboard > Clipboard on Quit

Then enable the Copy As > AICB checkbox, and then enable the Preserve Paths checkbox.

Flash based interactive game with vfx sequence created in After Effects

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Click here to play the game. (1MB)

Sometimes you get a Flash interactive project that is just great fun to work on … this was one of them.

While working at Martian Design I had the opportunity to develop a series of Flash based games for the mintshot.co.nz website. This was one of my favourites. The goal of the game was to disarm a bomb and save your prize from exploding. If you saved it, you won it.

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Quick tip: Fireworks 9 slice symbols

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Adobe Fireworks and just recently I was reminded why.

I was putting together a small job for a client who needed to put the finishing touches onto his website. He has a video trading website and one of the requirements when listing videos for sale is to include a censorship rating. We have about 9 common labels ranging from G through to R .. and in typical fashion the artwork available was pretty poor and needed to be redeveloped.Read More  »

Site Launch: Creative Space

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Like so many businesses, Creative Space had a web site that simply didn’t reflect the nature and quality of their work. Until now that is.

Creative Space are a Tauranga based architectural studio who had outgrown their previous web site. They needed a new look to aid in a marketing campaign and it needed to be very clean and very sharp .. just like their work.

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