May 2005 Archives
It was with a sinking heart that I read of the recent arrival of the latest version of Netscape. Great. It just became that much more unlikely that anything beyond the simplest Web page would render as designed. Really, why even bother trying to come up with an ambitious design for a page, let alone an entire site, faced with the current profusion of browsers. It's 1997 all over again!
What do cheesy religious knick-knacks and an early Rolling Stones album have in common? If your answer was that they both use 3D lenticular effects, then you win the digital cigar. While “lenticular” is the technical term, more often such images are simply referred to as stereographic and come in several variations. Some change from one image to another as your angle of view shifts, an effect referred to as a “flip”, while the Stones album used a 3D effect (as near as I can rememberit was the 60s, after all).
Would you upload a file to a Web site and pay to have a large-format print delivered to you, a co-worker or a client, as early as the next day? Seems to me such a service might have its uses. Say you're an in-house designer and your firm is exhibiting at a trade show. Suddenly there's a flurry of interest in a product that's not represented well at the show and a large display graphic is required asap for the show booth. However, you're hundreds or thousands of miles away.
Aquent's recent release of RoboHead 3, the latest version of its Web-based system for project management designed specifically for those in the creative services field, has gotten me wondering about the degree to which this approach is being adopted. Aquent is a global player in the area of hooking up companies with freelancers in a variety of domains, but notably that of marketing and creative services.
The Mac News Network site is running extracts from a recent NPD Techworld report on the Adobe/Macromedia acquisition. The report feels that Dreamweaver will kill off GoLive, while Fireworks and FreeHand will also get the heave-ho. Definitely worth a read.
In a move undoubtedly related to its upcoming acquisition by Adobe, Macromedia has placed the future of its capable, but aging, Fontographer application in the hands of FontLab. At this point FontLab is just licensing it, but look to them owning it outright once the acquisition is finalized. The good news is that after years of neglect, FontLab has committed to finally bringing Fontographer into 21st-century design workflows. Any speculations on what Macromedia will throw overboard next?
Static, two-dimensional content has always had an uneasy relationship with its dynamic, three-dimensional cousin. If you missed the announcement last week, Strata has announced Strata 3D Live, a new product designed to let users view and interact with 3D content embedded in Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. While this might first sound less than earth-shattering, when you think about it, allowing clients to view and manipulate such 3D content as product designs or visualizations, and then comment on them within the framework of an Acrobat document, actually represents something of a breakthrough for many designers.
While the recent release of the latest version of OS X has resulted in the usual flurry of interest, the almost simultaneous release of a new flavor of Windows XP seems to have gone almost unremarked. Apple's Tiger release provides some worthy interface improvements and new functionality but for the creative community the new XP Professional x64 Edition actually represents a significant advancement. No, it doesn't look any better than the rather plain old XP we've been staring at for years. But it does add something significantraw performance. More performance equals time saved and if you're a creative, time is definitely money. For most of us, more money beats interface widgets hands down.
If you shoot digital photos, odds are you either use, or are familiar with, the RAW file format. A RAW file is simply one that contains the actual, unprocessed raw data created by a digital camera. That being the case, such files provide a better starting point for manipulation and ensure that none of the original image data has been lost, ensuring the utmost fidelity. Sounds great. In theory.