Archive for the 'Stock / Resources' Category

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

A Periodic Table of Visualization MethodsWhile writing yesterday’s post, I came across the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. As the name suggests, it’s a periodic table of faux elements, grouped into different categories, whereas each element represents a visualisation method (such as yesterday’s mind map). Hover over an element to see an example of each. So, next time you need to present statistics, or your boss needs you to create some buzzword-ridden slides, you might want to check the periodic table of visualization methods to see if there are better ways to present information.

Mindmeister: Collaborative Online Mind Mapping

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Mind maps are a great way to jump-start your creativity. In case you’re not familiar with mind maps: basically, you write down a a central term and in a “branching” fashion write down every word that comes to mind on that subject. The new words in return lead to new words that fit to those, and so on. In the end, you have a structured and hierarchical presentation of all the ideas that come to your mind:

Mind Map

I’ve done this numerous times for projects, and it really helps to grasp the full potential of the subject matter. Often, you’ll come to ideas you may not have thought of before. Letting your mind wander is not a problem (on the contrary, it’s the point!), since you’ll be able to pick out the branches and ideas that you deem useful.

It’s all the more fruitful when you have a friend or team partner brainstorming along with you. Until now, I’ve been using FreeMind, which is a great and highly productive desktop tool, but has one flaw: you can’t collaborate unless you’re sitting at the same computer, and ideas tend to come so fast you may be fighting for the keyboard. What about those sessions where the only connection you have is online?

mindmeister.jpgWell, a new project called Mindmeister promises to remedy this: they offer free online mind mapping that is (in my opinion) as intuitive and fast to use as FreeMind, with the additional advantage of collaborating with as many simultaneous users as you like. If you’re familiar with FreeMind, you’ll be glad to note that they’ve implemented the same keyboard controls that make the desktop client so easy to use (and on a side note, it’s prettier).
(Thanks, Kai)

Adobe After Effects Video Tutorials

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

videocopilot.jpgI’ve been fooling around with Adobe After Effects the past days. It’s amazing what can be done with it, but for newcomers (like myself) it can be very daunting. Luckily, there are a number of very good tutorials around to help you get started, and I’d like to present one site that has been of good help to me.

Video Copilot has some easy to understand tutorials that help you achieve some pretty advanced effects, among others a rendition of the beautiful iPod Nano ad. The best part? All tutorials come with the project files, so you can just dig in and play around.

Please feel free to add links to good After Effects tutorials in the comments section!

101 Essential Freelancing Resources

Monday, April 16th, 2007

101freelance.jpgFor the freelancers out there, and those of you thinking about taking the leap, here’s a new site that promises to be a valuable helper. FreelanceSwitch is, in its own words, a site built and written by freelancers for freelancers, be that designers, writers, programmers, illustrators, photographers, you name it. And they’re off to a good start, with articles such as 101 Essential Freelancing Resources, an array of tools that’ll help out with time and project management, invoicing, legal, advertising, stock resources, and a whole lot more. Also take a stroll down their front page, you’ll find a lot of articles that’ll make you want to click. Good stuff.

“Akzente” Style for Sage RSS Reader

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

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Looking to spice up your RSS reader a bit? Akzente is a custom stylesheet for those of you using the Sage Firefox extension. I created Akzente with optimized readability in mind, with a touch of typographic goodness and simplistic aesthetics. Let me know if you like it!

Preview AkzenteDownload Akzente

For even better readability, get the fixed-width version (preview).

Sage RSS ExtensionWhat’s Sage?
Sage is a nice little Firefox sidebar extension that offers you a customizable RSS reader right in your browser. You can use your own stylesheets and make your feeds look exactly as you like them, without having to use an external app for reading.

Read on for installation instructions (simple stuff).

Free SVG Vector Images

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Free SVG Vector ImagesIf you’re curious as to what the open source SVG vector format is capable of, then have a look at these free SVG images. The vectors are free for download, and created with Inkscape, which is, by chance, also open source. And this is only a glimpse of what can be done, if you have a look at the screenshots.

40 Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Illustrator TutorialsSmashing Magazine is at it again with a list of some of the best Adobe Illustrator tutorials around. There’s something for everyone among the 40 links, from novice to advanced.

If you’re looking for Photoshop tutorials, they did that too.

Dropdown Low Down

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

Dropdown Low DownJohn Faulds of Tyssendesign has written up a comprehensive summary of CSS-based drop down menus. What makes this one stand out from regular link lists is that he provides all the pros and cons that come with each solution, so you can pick out what is best for your needs and know the limitations and the alternatives to each method from the start.

planiglobe – Online Map Creation

Friday, December 8th, 2006

planiglobeJust a few days ago, a friend asked me where to find a vector version of a certain country map. Hell, I’d love to know! It usually takes ages to come up with anything useful, and that usually isn’t free. Well, a little search on brought up this gem: planiglobe lets you generate vector maps completely to your needs. Zoom in to the place you need and click the download links. The system then generates downloadable PostScript and Adobe Illustrator files with your exact selection, completely vectorized, layered (.ai version) and editable. Good stuff.

Awesome Stuff

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Awesome StuffMy net has been down yet again, so sorry for the lacking updates yet again. I’ve written a rant about my ISP over at the e-commerce-blog (in German), for those interested. Anyways, to make up for it, I’ve got some Awesome Stuff for you. Paul Armstrong has written some awesome scripts, among others a Lightbox variant, but done with Yahoo! UI and animated much slicker than the regular ones. Anyways, just have a look, you might find something awesome you can use.

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