Monday, January 30, 2006

Graphic Designers: Consider animating logos

My Creative Director sent me this post from UnderConsideration. It's about animationed logos. Now with so many sites incorporating flash and video, it's something that can't be ignored.

And… Logo Action!

As the author opens, he says he had no cable for a year. I can relate. Whenever I am around a television at a friend's house I have to watch the commercials. I analyze the editing the video and the effects, especially any graphical compositing.

--Stephen M. James

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Advice to media graduates

As the last semester for the next batch of job hopefuls gets into full swing, I wanted to offer my advice. (Much of this is aimed at the college junior though). We were introducing ourselves at church the other day (in a small group). Everyone mentions their job--even if it's under their breath. I introduced myself as saying that I worked at an ad agency and do exactly what I did college--except that it's better quality--and I get paid for it. As we went around the room, I was surprised at the number of people that this is not true for.

  1. Decide what you actually want to do
  2. Actually do it (intern, get hired, etc.) before you leave college
  3. Preferably before your senior year
  4. And preferably under someone who is good at it. It was raises your standards bar. All your previous work will begin to have an awful stinch--but hey isn't that good? You will also see that a 50 hour project is small and that great work is often collaborative. You will also learn that collaboration saves time, too. Hopefully, you can throw a Fortune 500 company on your resume.
  5. Drop names, drop a few critical names. You need to gain the trust of your future employee. You need to project that you can do the job.
  6. Put your three best projects on the web, so that your future employer can view them. (Okay, put more than that if you've been in the business a while--but don't put stuff in your portfolio just to make it big). They are looking for quality. Let me repeat. They are looking for quality. Can you do the job? As a recent college graduate, you won't get the job no way/no how if they wanted experience or busines acumen in the first place.
  7. Prove your versatility. Can you do graphic design? Video? Flash? Audio? Hey, don't present it if it's awful. It only takes one project to impress your future boss. Impress him (or her) in a multimedia presentation and storm the castle from multiple sides, Mr. Swiss Army Knife. They wouldn't be hiring a recent college graduate unless they wanted new blood. What can you provide that someone who's been in the industry 20 years can't provide?
  8. Read What Color Is Your Parachute? It covers job seeking, interviewing, and salary negotiation as well as identifying your true passion and learning more about the type of jobs you would really want to do.

--Stephen M. James

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Movie Queue RSS/Data Mining, Google TVoIP, Apple Motion

This Saturday, I realized that sometimes I'd rather data mine about my favorite movies. You'd think that NetFlix and Blockbuster would enable movie blogging--similar to Rhapsody's send to blog. I know that feature films aren't constantly playing in the background, nor are they 2:46 min long, but blockbuster doesn't even do RSS--which is why NetFlix is so much cooler.

I'm still not sure why people STILL go to movie rental stores and pay $4 per movie. Maybe it's because they are impulsive. Maybe it's because they've only bought books online from Amazon.

If you are listening, NetFlix make one's RSS of their Queue public--optionally, of course. Why? Because I ONLY watch cool movies. :-)

Tonight's readings/watching:

Security Now! 24: Questions and Answers

I, Cringely - Google's Grand Plan to Take Over TV Advertising

I, Cringely - How Pay-Per-Click Is Killing the Traditional Publishing Industry (death to magazines by mail!)

I, Cringely - The Falafel Connection (NSA wiretaps explained--it's based on data mining)

After Words: Ambassador L. Paul Bremer interviewed by James Hoagland

Afternote: I had to reinstall Apple Motion 2.0 last week in order to get it to work. Readers, if you are keeping track, that's the third time in two months.

--Stephen M. James

Sunday, January 08, 2006

DVD Studio Pro cannot create buttons, apply templates, halts at "Loading Menus"

If you cannot create ANY buttons (yes, that's correct, no buttons can be created), DVD Studio Pro halts at "Loading Menus" when opening any project files, not can apply templates (Status bar halts when apply any templates).

The problem is exactly like the following posts:

Guess what? All these problems are connected. It is a font conflict. I orginally removed all my fonts with FontBook that had a black dot to the right of it. It seemed to fix the problem--UNTIL I restarted OS-X. The problem was back again! I called Apple to see how to re-install the fonts. If this was Windows, I'd use the cab extractor (extract.exe) from the XP disk, but Apple doesn't have a package viewer app. Their Tech Support told me to do an archival re-install of OS-X. (Thanks a lot, Apple!!!) Kind of over-kill for just a few fonts, don't you think? So I re-installed my whole OS (well, the archival re-install) a few days ago. This meant re-downloading 150MB+ of updates I have previously downloaded via Software Update. (I'm sure they were probably in some temp folder, but being new to OS-X I wasn't sure where.)

The Solution

What I really and only needed to do was re-active the Helvetica.dfont file from FontBook. It is not located in the normal font folder, but in the System/Library/Fonts folder. Now DVD Studio Pro 4 works fine. Yes, it even creates buttons and actually opens files now!

Lesson learned: Software should not be dependent on fonts--even if it is a system font.

--Stephen M. James