Thursday, November 17, 2005

Movie reviews

It's been quite some time since my last blog post. In this time I have been quite busy and with one point I was working three jobs. But now it's back to two casual jobs so I have a bit more time on my hands.
Well in the last two weeks I have watched two incredible movies which were not the sort that I would normally buy tickets to. I actually won passes to watch both movies and I'm so glad I did!

The first movie I saw was a documentary called Inside Deep Throat on the hugely contraversial movie of the 1970s, Deep Throat. I pretty much knew what it was going to be about however I haven't watched the original 1970s movie. In this documentary there were interviews that were held with the original actors, director, media and famous adult film workers. They gave accounts of how the film had influenced them personally and what it was like at the time of it's release.
I found it quite fascinating that a movie of this nature would be shown at that time and how it created one of the biggest political uproars in the US. It came to a point where the government conducted a scientific study in order to try and prove that porn was bad for one's health! And of course it didn't have that affect on people whatsoever.
I found this documentary's personal accounts and stories compelling and moving. For those of you who know of the original this film will give you more insight into the stars, makers and political issues of the time and the unforseen legacy that it created.

The second movie I saw was Rize- an explosive dance movie that started on the streets of South Central, Los Angeles. This film is a documentary on the beginnings of a visually stunning, athletic and awe-inspiring dance craze which was started by Tommy Johnson in response to the 1992 Rodney King riots and he named it "Clowning". It was then developed into has developed it's branched off to what is now refered to as Krumping. This dance craze offers an alternative to gangs and hustling.
The dancers paint their faces and entertain at parties/functions and it is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It's nothing like hip-hop dancing or fashion bling-bling. This is raw, exciting and very inspiring!

Monday, August 29, 2005

I am now a freelancer Graphic Designer

I've just recently got my sole trader ABN number and I am now also doing freelance work at David Wheeler's Graphic Designs in St Peters every Friday as an artwork assembler and finisher. Having worked in the educational environment for about a year now I've had to get used to commercial work once again. Having not done much commercial experience up till this point, it has been hard for me to get back into the production line of churning out work at a fast pace. However it's something which I'm sure I'll get used to as the days go along. So far so good at St Peters (although I wish it wasn't that far) and David is happy with the work up to this point even though I've only been there for three days work so far.
I work from the illustrations and layouts that he does in pencil and I turn it into the finished artwork ready for printing.
I am quite amazed how efficiently he works and it's like I'm spoon fed! He hands me the designs or layouts which he draws up on his drawing board. He labels the colour break downs (in Pantone colours!) as well as a text break down as well. This process works very well and the graphic designer does all the production. I'm quite happy working this way at the moment because I know exactly what he is after, without having to think up something from scratch.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Two wisdom teeth removed

Today I'm recovering over my dental surgery that happened yesterday morning at The Dental Surgery in The Pacific Medical Centre in Blacktown at 9:30am. I had to get two of my wisdom teeth removed on my right side as it was creating a huge ulser and there was no room for the wisdom teeth. I had been putting up with the ulser and pain all weekend. I was extremely nervous sitting in the chair. I had never been to this surgeon (Dr Lipworth) before so that added to my nervousness even though he has been practicing for 18 years. Lucky my dad was there for moral support.
The most painful part of it all was the three needles he used at the start of the procedure. They hurt so bad that I let out a cry at one point. The Dr then started with the procedure with the dental nurse at the ready. I never thought being awake whilst two people operated on my mouth could be so scary! Hell I was shaking with fright the whole time even though I couldn't feel a thing after the needles. If any of you have to face what I went through I wouldn't recommend a local anesthetic because you are awake the whole time. If you do, just close your eyes or look away which is what I did.
The pain after the procedure didn't really kick in until 1pm after I got up from a small nap. So I took two Nuerofen tablets after I had lunch of yummy fish, mash and peas.
Today I'm going fine but I'm not closing my mouth fully because it's still tender in the back. I'm just glad it doesn't hurt all that much. I'll put up a photo later today of my teeth for you to be grosed out about! lol

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bondi Tsunami DVD winner


I'd like to announce that I'm a proud winner of a Bondi Tsunami prize pack which I entered about a month ago!!! I'm so happy to be one of the lucky 30 winners. I had to answer ten questions about the movie and fax my entry back to them and keep my fingers crossed. Can't wait to get the prize in the mail! :) To view the winners (including me) you can go here

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

PDU Graphics Review

On the 21st of June I attended the PDU (Professional Development Unit) Graphics intermediate course on Paint Shop Pro Version 7 (PSP) offered in the university where I work.
Having attended the first workshop called Graphics Fundamentals, I didn’t really learn all that much about the potential of the program so I registered for the next workshop which opened my eyes to what I originally thought was a pretty basic program.
I was quite surprised about some of the features that were available in PSP as I am not familiar with the PSP program. Photoshop is predominately what I work with here in the office.

Firstly, PSP offers the user the option of using vector or raster-based graphics as well as a combination of both in one artwork by letting them choose vector or raster layers. Vector and raster options in PSP make it easier for the user to integrate graphics without having to import their graphics into other programs in order to complete the finished product. However one of the main let downs is that once a shape has been created as a raster image, it remains as it is and the user can only move it around the canvas. If the shape needs to be bigger or smaller they have to do the shape again. If the user uses a vector-based image the user can easily change the size and colour.
Another let down for the raster versus vector in PSP is that photographs and graphics are not easy to combine together. For example, if the user wanted to place a photograph inside a raster star shape the user must resize the original photo before they try pasting it on the canvas. This is because raster layers can not be re-sized. This is a major let down.


PDU Graphics Intermediate exercise although I experimented with putting in a photo.

Users of Photoshop would be familiar with the PSP layout. It has similar palettes such as tools, layers, materials (the equivalent of Photoshop’s foreground and background selections) as well as more palettes that Photoshop users would be accustomed to.
The feature which I found most interesting was in the Materials Palette where the options of colour, gradient, pattern and texture were readily available for the user. These options allow the user to experiment more freely with the numerous presets which are offered in each category. The user can even combine any of the colours, gradient, pattern and texture together. Making customised colours, gradients, patterns and textures is also possible. These combinations can then be used with various tool palette options like airbrush, paintbrush etc. The only let down to this option is that combining presets limits the user to changes later on.


bricks texture with colour red


two patterns mixed together by using the tolerance function

A feature in PSP’s tool palette is what they call picture tubes which are a number of different pictures built into the program which you can use in your image. In essence it is like a rubber stamp. The user chooses the picture and then chooses the scale and step of it on the canvas. One can also make up their own custom stamps which is handy for easily placing small graphics which are intended to be used over and over, or even company logos.


Picture tube experiment. Made up of billiard balls, lightning and waterdrop presets

Another feature in the tool palette which is different to Photoshop is their Flood Fill option which is equivalent to the Paint Bucket in Photoshop. However the Flood fill tool in PSP fills area with not only colour but textures, patterns or gradients! Or even a combination of them all! Don't forget those customised ones as well. The Flood Fill selects the Pixel it is over when the user clicks the mouse and fills it (and any adjoining pixels depending on the tolerance) with the fill type that the user specifies. The tolerance is the amount of pixel space that you want to select from the place you want to click on. The higher the number the larger the selected area.


Flood Fill experiment made with firstly gradient red-white then overlayed with rainbow gradient with various tolerance.

In PSP there are a number of different effects which are similar to Photoshop like 3D effects, Art media effects, artistic effects, dropshadow etc. The effects allow the user to manipulate the effects to some degree and provide a preview of how their choices affect their image. The effects application process is much more simple than Photoshop but still allow the user (novice or expert) to control the various levels of changes to their artwork with ease.

Multiple image printing in PSP functions similar to Photoshop’s Automate Contact sheet function. Multiple image printing allows the user to print more than one image on the same sheet of paper. This function is quite useful if you need to pick images from different folders to make up your contact sheet. Although this can be quite time consuming if you want a contact sheet of more than 10 pictures, especially if you want to line them up nicely.

Photo manipulation can be applied to any photo in PSP by changing the colours, copy and pasting areas within itself, adjusting the colour “makeup” of the photo using Adjust menu, and using the “effects” in the Image menu.

Within PSP there is also a screen capture function. This feature allows the user to setup screen capture and go anywhere on their computer and select as small or large an area they want to capture. Once the selection is made, PSP instantly reveals the selection which the user made. Most people will be familiar with the easier method using Windows, but it doesn’t capture the cursor and takes a shot of the whole screen. If you use the screen capture in PSP it captures the cursor, if you make the selection of the area and it also allows the user to specify the area size they are after. This is a VERY good function if you want to highlight some detail for say a screencast lesson for example.

That’s most of the features that were covered in the PSP workshops but I’m sure there are a lot more that I haven’t touched on because I haven’t stumbled across it. All in all PSP I think is a good program that allows flexibility and variety without the complication, which can sometimes be confronting in Photoshop. However there are also PSP’s obvious let downs which Photoshop blitzes away! Have a try of PSP and let me know what your opinions are.

Pizza Hut

Yesterday I was hysterical when I heard that Pizza Hut are doing what they call The PC game meal deal. You can choose from 3 different games The Sims2, Battlefield 1942 (I think..) and Need for Speed Underground 2 and get a meal deal all for just $39.95!!!!!! YES you heard me $39.95!!!!! If you're a fan of any of these games and haven't got it and you live near a Pizza Hut restaurant you'd be stupid not to get this because you'll be saving about $80!!!! So go on get that meal!! :) I'm getting it today after work and sharing the celebration with Daniel (bf) family!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Sims2!


This is an update to the Burb family in the Sims 2 who I'm playing god to. I have successfully raised a beautiful intelligent boy named after my other half, Daniel. He has now started school and I got him into a private school along with his sister as well by shmoozing, cooking dinner and giving a tour of our house to the headmaster of the school. I'm thinking of having another child but I've gotta work out how to make the house bigger!
I'll keep you posted Posted by Hello

I have recently become a full time supporter to a sydney community station called fbi 94.5 FM who play a fantastic array of music from local artists in Australia as well as from other parts of the world. Check them out at www.fbi.org.au and I urge you to tune into FBI Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

LOUD!!!!


My favourite site at the moment is Loud

Monday, March 14, 2005

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my new blog. My name is Eleonor and I am a Graphic Designer at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. I am involved in the Educational Development Centre here at the university and work in designing courseware graphics and animation for teaching purposes. I'll be making posts to share with designers and friends.