Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Pokemon Go! was huge two years ago, it took the world by storm by creating a game that gets people moving, interacting and used a very well known and loved game. The company Niantic, who created Pokemon Go, has been developing the game, HarryPotter: Wizards Unite!

 

 

The game will be similar to Pokemon Go!; turning real-world streets, neighborhoods and cities into a global game board, and bringing people together in a shared digital reality. It will be interactive and get you moving and socializing with people who also love Harry Potter. You’ll be learning and casting spells, battling magical creatures, and teaming up with others to take down enemies.

I LOVE Harry Potter, so I’m super pumped about this game! People seemed to have really loved Pokemon Go! I don’t know why people have stopped talking about the game, I just assume because its run its course and people got tired of it, but I’m glad the company has continued with the Harry Potter project.

Details on the game are pretty scarce, but Niantic did say in September that the company was looking at using audio cues in future AR games because holding up a phone for an extended period of time “makes them look like a total doofus,” So it’s possible that Harry Potter Wizards Unite, will have sound cues. OMG how cool is that!

The game is set to release sometime in 2018, so get ready for more strangers wandering around your neighbourhood and watch out for those people who wander out onto the street without looking! I think that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be a very good game and very popular, I personally think it will do better than Pokemon Go! So if you’re a fan of Harry Potter or augmented reality games then this is the game for you!

Forget Millennial Shorthand; Get Grammarly

Have you ever hit the send button, only to realize that your phone had auto-corrected into complete nonsense? What about writing a quick social media post and accidentally using their instead of there?

In today’s world with chat speak and millennial shorthand, it is important to use proper grammar. As an Interactive Student in the IMA program at Assiniboine Community College, I find it essential to be on top of the language I am using, as to keep a professional persona; Therefore, I downloaded Grammarly.

Grammarly is available as a mobile app, a browser extension and a software add-in. They also have an amazing website with added perks. Although the different versions of the application have the same goal, they are all presented in a unique way, maximizing their use on each platform.

 

Mobile App

The mobile app; A personal editor you can take wherever you go. This application not only checks the spelling of singular words, but it also checks for contextual spelling errors, giving you the option to view a short and sweet explanation for the correction. To encourage mistake-free writing, the Grammarly app is presented as a keyboard that integrates smoothly across all other apps on your mobile device.

An intriguing part of the keyboard is the option to add words to your dictionary with a simple touch of the + sign. Another bonus feature is the auto-correct notification: A little teal box pops up on the top of your keyboard every time it auto-corrects, letting you know, just in case.

Browser Extension

Grammarly is also available on your Mac or PC. The browser extension works across the web and is compatible with:

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Windows
  • Microsoft Office
  • MacOS

Grammarly’s extension harmonizes with your browser, allowing you to use it across the web. From writing important emails to posting a comment on a blog, you’ll eliminate the worry of making mistakes.

Grammarly.com

Signing in to Grammarly.com allows you access to a world of grammatically correct fun. The website allows you to personalize your account for more relevant checks. This includes setting your primary language, your preferred English vocabulary (i.e. United States English vs. Canadian English), and the level of your grammar skills.

As an application, Grammarly has a lot to offer and has become a successful addition to my tool belt as a graphic/web design student.

This post was edited with Grammarly.

Download the app here!

Here’s some helpful Google Apps that you probably don’t know about.

I have had an Android smartphone since 2011 and up until this past Saturday when my beloved LG G5 began malfunctioning. As a college student with not much extra cash to pay for my smartphone to get fixed, I was lent an older iPhone by a family member. I was missing some apps that were on my old smartphone I wondered if the App store carried Google apps that I used beforehand and, to my surprise they did!

So, here is a brief list of some apps you should check out.  

The first one to be downloaded was Google photos. They have unlimited photo storage but there is one catch, all the photos are limited to a resolution of 16 megapixels. I only learned about this a couple of months ago; meaning I really need to go through and clean out some of the 5,000 photo’s I have on there.

Noticing the maps on the iPhone is terrible when it couldn’t find the address of a friend that had recently moved. I downloaded Google Maps and found the address right away. A neat feature that can be found is under the menu button. There is an option to click and view “your timeline”. Anytime you allowed your location to be on; Google kept track of your movements. Pick a date or time and you can see where you to travelled to on a day by day basis. Only you have access to this feature but, I’m also a little undivided on whether this is cool or scary.

Google translate was the most helpful apps I have ever used. While on a recent trip, I was unsure if I would always have access to internet connection. You can download the language needed for offline use. If you find yourself in a store unable to translate the words, simply open up the app and tap camera icon, locate the text you would like to translate and the app will translate it right on the screen.

 

Lastly, one of the most powerful apps out there but also forgotten: Chrome remote desktop. The app allows you connect remotely to your desktop and gives access to programs and files. All that is needed is a desktop chrome extension on the computer and can be set up with a pin.

These are some of the Google apps that can be super helpful, so be sure to check them out.

Is simplicity the easy way?

As an artist, I have been though many changes in the way is think, the way I see things and how I represent them on canvas. Many times have I had that internal struggle saying: should I leave this piece as it is? Or should I add something else? Yet, it is rare for me to think: maybe I should take some stuff out. I have developed a love for making detail present in my pieces. I love spending time on every shadow, texture and any other aspect suitable for the composition. However, around the time of 6th grade, I remember many times I started to draw something and I got so sucked into it that I added way too much. In the end I wasn’t sure why, but I was not happy with the result. It wasn’t until I took a step back and thought if all the extra stuff was even necessary in the first place.

Ever sense, I still struggle with wanting to put more than necessary into my designs. But now I know to take a step back and analyse my composition. In addition, being a student at ACC has helped me a lot as I can see the work of people that maybe have similar minds as I do, or some that are totally different. I love learning from each one of them. All their experiences, which are all unique, affect their designs and creative ideas. This is very fascinating to me.

I do not think that a simplistic design is easy to pull off; there are is a lot of thinking that goes into it. In the end, what I have learned so far is that it is important to slow down from time to time, and take a look at your piece from a different point of view, still knowing what you want, but being able to learn from others as well. I still love detailed art pieces, but I can appreciate the beauty that can be displayed with a much simpler design. There is certainly something satisfying about a simple yet effective composition. Some examples we see out there are: The swoosh from Nike, or the stripes from Adidas; both very contemporary looks, they seem to never go out of style.

Metroid Prime 4, Why Nintendo Won’t Disappoint

In June of 2017 at E3, Nintendo really brought the good stuff and excited fans across the globe with many intriguing new games for their Nintendo Switch Console. Super mario Odyssey was the star of the show with a new trailer and playable demos but one reveal may have excited fans even more. A 40 second trailer showed up in the middle of the presentation with an outer space scene and a number 4 slowly coming on screen. An iconic tune started to play and finally, the message popped up. Metroid Prime 4, now in development for Nintendo Switch. Fans around the world, including myself were jumping out of their seats with excitement as we learned that the beloved Metroid Prime franchise was coming back for a 4th installment after a 10 year hiatus. The Metroid Prime trilogy is classified by many to be one of the best video game trilogies of all time. In a first person view, players control space bounty hunter: Samus Aran, and travel to different planets and fight aliens while gradually picking up new weapons and utilities to help you along the way.  The series started back in 2002 when Metroid Prime was released on the Nintendo Gamecube and saw massive critical acclaim. Two years later in 2004 the second installment, Metroid Prime 2:Echoes was released also for the Gamecube. The series then came to its third installment in 2007 on the Nintendo Wii with Metroid Prime 3:Corruption.

images from www.mobygames.com

http://www.mobygames.com/game/wii/metroid-prime-3-corruption/cover-art/gameCoverId,92852/

All three of the games are some of the highest rated games that Nintendo has ever released. It’s no wonder why the 4th installment has been on many fans watch lists since it was revealed. Right now, nothing about the game has been shown except for a logo and a late 2018-early 2019 release date.

The Metroid Prime 4 logo

I don’t think fans of the series have much to worry about. Everyone know that Nintendo will put their heart and soul into Metroid Prime 4 just like they already have with Mario Odyssey and Zelda Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch. Nintendo is known for listening to it’s fans and very rarely disappointing with their big name titles.  We can definitely expect some form of gameplay or screenshots for the game by E3 in July of 2018, and when we do see it, I’m sure that Nintendo will not disappoint and show us something that Nintendo fans around the globe can be ecstatic about.

Click here to see the E3 trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFbDmTjS_MI

And some Awesome reactions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxfYdZWsBaY

 

When Inspiration Hits

Inspiration. Ideas. Where do they come from? How do you know when they’re going to hit? How do you know if the idea that just hit you is a good one?

As design students, we are presented with the challenge of coming up with new ideas and concepts daily. With each now exercise, assignment and project, our minds race to find inspiration. What if inspiration doesn’t come? What then? Our instructors say, just run with the first idea you have. Don’t overthink it. So i have been trying to put this into practice (which is easier said than done).

So where do we go for inspiration? Some designers have epic Pinterest  boards, or search popular sites like Behance, Designspiration and Flickr. The problem with this, according to Smashing Magazine, is when taking ideas from similar mediums, there is a fine line between ‘inspired by’ and ‘copied’. So their suggestion is to look beyond design galleries, into the wide and awe-inspiring real world. Industries such as fashion, architecture, even music can help you visualize images which you can translate into your project. There are design playlists on Spotify! Did you know? Smashing Magazine has some links to said playlists. Like this one or this one.

 

The other morning as I was driving to school, stopped at a stoplight I looked to the sky. The rising sun hadn’t yet peaked above the horizon line, yet the colours emanating from the east were something else. The perfect gradient. The sky is an ever-changing canvas that never ceases to inspire me.

I believe it is important for us as aspiring designers and creators to keep our eyes open. Keep our childlike wonder and tap into our curiosity often. Try to look at things from another perspective. And when we have found that ‘other perspective’, look again.

Keep it real my darlings. Eyes to the sky.
xo M.

Can You Hear What I Hear?

From Baldy Phones to EarPods and Beats, headphones made quite a change over the past century. Since music has been a big part in our lives, what is better than listening to your favorite tunes when you’re the only one listening. As headphones are placed on your head we feel like it’s an escape to our own world. Everything around us just fades away.                                           http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/31558.aspx#

The first ever working headphones were created by Nathaniel Baldwin, it was the only way to listen to electrical signals (until amplifiers became available). The headphones that Baldwin were made from iron, the metal part of the headphone speakers. Think about that, wearing headphones that are made from iron? That would be so heavy, so uncomfortable and irritating (ha get it, irritating – (ear)itating). In 1958 stereo headphones became a thing, while the Sony Walkman in 1979 released the earbuds. Earbuds became very popular when they paired with the Ipod from Apple in 2001. In 2012 however, Apple designed a new look for the earbuds. A much nicer look and more fitting to the ear.

 

                       

Just like any other kinds of technology, the headphones evolve from metal speaker parts to soft leather speakers. There are many types and brands of headphones and earbuds. I personally like headphones, I like how they fit and the speakers of the headphones fit nicely around my ears for that comfort. I own a pair of beats headphones, I use them all the time. The padding of the speakers are made of leather which makes them a comfortable fit. I also like the Apple earbuds, they fit nicely in my ears and are great quality. Bluetooth is also a nice feature in technology, especially with headphones because then there no cords to get all tangled up. Apple in the last year came up with the airpods, they are the same as the earbuds that ues but with no cord. They are wireless.

Big brands such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Beats etc. All of them have their own unique style for their products. Each one just as successful as the next. When you’re out and about looking for some new headphones or earbuds, find one that you like and that you are comfortable wearing. Let your ears talk to you (well that’s odd).  

Resources to Better Your Coding

If you’re like me, you’d like a little advice and guidance when it comes to improving your coding skills. Here I have compiled a list of a few popular resources to help you code better in the future:

  1. Scratch

Scratch is aimed at a younger audience about 8-16 years old, but don’t let that deter you if you are a bit older.  Scratch has a bright, colourful website that is easy to manipulate and navigate; which makes this a great starting point for anyone. You can visit them create and explore pages where you can learn to animate, make music, create basic games and many other activities to develop your skills.

  1. Code. org

Code.org provides tools for grades K-12 for some of the largest school districts in the United States. Some of it’s supporters are Microsoft, Facebook and Google. Annually, code.org organizes an “hour of code” which engages 10% of all student’s in the world. They offer tools for educators and much like Scratch, they have activities that the user can create with code.

  1. Codeacadamy.com

Codeacadamy.com offers a large online community where a user can go to discuss problems that others may be experiencing. Code academy is an education company that seeks to rebuild how things are taught. They offer help with the commonly used languages, such as: HTML/CSS, Python, Ruby, Java and many more popular languages.

  1. W3Schools.com

W3schools.com is an absolute must have recourse for a beginner, or even a veteran programmer. It gives lessons, tips, and a vast knowledge of coding for all levels expertise. You can choose from various types of programming languages, just like the other examples. They offer a bit of “try it yourself” where you can test what code they provide for you. This way, you can see what works and what doesn’t and apply it to the work you are doing.

  1. Other resources

I use an app called SoloLearn. It is useful because it gives small “drill” like activities or quizzes and it’s easy to use. I use it when I have a few extra moments. I also use Coding for Dummies. It sounds silly, but it has helped me a lot and really breaks down what is what.

Some of these sources are repetitive, however, you can’t get better at something if you don’t practice. And practice is just reputation by a different name!

 

Resources:

https://scratch.mit.edu/

https://code.org/

https://www.codecademy.com/

https://www.w3schools.com/

Highs and Lows of Competitive Gaming

It’s a popular stereotype to consider a competitive gamer to be a sweaty 30-year-old nerd who lives in his parent’s basement or a whiny 8-year old kid who got a hold of his brother’s violent video games. However, there is actually a lot of variety in competitive gaming. I made the examples men in the stereotypes, but women play competitive as well. However, like anything, it has a rather unpleasant side.

Let us start with the basics. Competitive gaming is when you play games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, League of legends, DOTA, Mortal Kombat and Street fighter either get together online or at conventions and compete against each other to see who’s number 1 for that time of the year. Many play for the fun and enjoyment of it, others use it as a career path to gain money. There are even some competitions dedicated to a game itself. Some of these include Overwatch League, Call of Duty World League and Capcom World Tour (dedicated to street fighter).

In competitive gaming, players are mainly in teams of 5-12 people at most within the ages of 17-35 at most. Popular teams include Team EnVyUs; Seoul Dynasty; FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming. These teams compete in tournaments and/or championships to gain a reputation of who is the better team in the league.

Like sports, competitive gaming can become very exhausting. You sit in a chair for hours at a time focusing on the players that you are up against, sometimes not getting a break. Your body loses energy quickly and that can of red bull that sponsors the tournament is not going to give you enough energy to last the rest of it. Competitive gaming takes a toll on your body, so when they can, competitive gamers will take the time for a break and get the energy they need to power through another few hours of gaming.

If you think, you can handle the power of becoming a professional competitive player, good luck with that. I will just stick with having fun with it.

 

The New Reality (AR Breakdown)

I have only paid attention to Augmented Reality for a few years now but it has been going on since the late 90’s. AR is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. If I really wanted to, I could have a Smurf juggling apples in front of me. In reality that is, not happening but I am visualizing it through a screen. That leads me to ask the question; what is reality? With the growth rate of AR and its relative VR, otherwise known as Virtual Reality. Our realities are about to change, if they haven’t already.

EARLY AUGMENTED REALITY

AR began its life back in the olden days, well, by olden days I mean 1998. It first appeared as the yellow first down line that you see on TV while watching a football game. The term Augmented Reality was coined eight years earlier by Boeing researcher Thomas Caudell. Back then it wasn’t a serious topic but now they have evolved AR into such things like the Google glass and heads-up displays in car windshields.

CURRENT AUGMENTED REALITY

Technology Companies are taking advantage of this and using it to evolve their apps on mobile devices. Snapchat for example, uses AR to allow users to wear an augmented mask, otherwise known as a Snapchat filter. IKEA uses AR on their app to allow customers to visualize what a piece of furniture may look like in their house before they even buy it.

FUTURE AUGMENTED REALITY

AR is heading in a very impressive direction. Holograms becoming a reality are very near. Microsoft and multiple other companies have dedicated teams to working on such a project. AR and VR are working with each other as well, allowing users to take advantage of the benefits from both Virtual and Augmented Reality. It’s a multi-dimensional reality.

IMPORTANCE OF AUGMENTED REALITY

AR is not just some toy people can play with either. Multiple industries use the innovative technology, including: healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism, and marketing.

“Neural implants could accomplish things no external interface could: Virtual and augmented reality with all five senses; augmentation of human memory, attention, and learning speed; even multi-sense telepathy – sharing what we see, hear, touch, and even perhaps what we think and feel with others.” –Ramez Naam

It’s amazing technology; use it to your advantage.

A Brave New World

 

Announced very recently, was another round of Downloadable Content (DLC) for Final Fantasy VX. This content is meant to flush out the main game and add on to, what most people considered an unfinished game at its original release in 2016. While widely successful, the story lacked parts that needed explaining.

Thankfully, this was filled in with the addition of several pieces of content later released as part of the Season Pass. Episode Gladiolus in which the character Gladiolus goes off on his own little ‘self actualizing’ adventure and later returns to the group. After that came Episode Prompto. This particular fill in came later in the game when the character Prompto is separated from the rest of the group and ends up searching for answers about his origins. During the interim, Square released a multiplayer mode, in which players could customize their own character and go on missions to help bring light back to the world. This is meant as a sort of filler to the main story in which the main character, Noctis, disappears for a ten-year period. Finally, in the latter part of the year, Episode Ignis was released. The order of operations is a little weird as the events of this are told off screen during the main story of the game, to which, Ignis is rendered blind.

With each episode, a secondary character encounter through the main story assists the protagonist on their journey. Gladiolus is assisted by Cor, a member of the Crownsguard to the King. Aranea, an Imperial soldier turned mercenary, helps Prompto. Lastly, Ignis finds an unlikely ally in Ravus. All these add some back-story to events that unfolded, but the game still lacked in areas.

Coming back to the content recently announced, some minor aspects such as the car your retinue cruise around the open landscape with, will now be upgraded to have off-road capabilities. The addition of the Royal Vessel, a yacht, will not give players the ability to explore the ocean beyond. My personal favorite in the announcements was the addition of the city of Insomnia becoming expanded. Lastly, extra bosses. Cerberus, Omega, and Rulers of Yore. Not much is known about the latest entry in terms of cost. Will players already in possession of the game be require to purchase more? Will it be included for those who already own the season pass? Only time will tell.

From the Beginner designer to Intermediate one – 2

Last week, I introduced the first tool : The colours. Miranda asked some questions about how to share with other Adobe registration or non-registration users, here I would like to answer her concern.
First, only the Adobe registered users could share and use the colour swatch.
Secondly, the created colour swatch could export as ASE and images; it could create a link to share with others.
Thirdly, the colour swatch can share the message, mail, facebook, iCloud, Google Drive and work software or APP for both PC and MAC or non-Adobe registered users.
As an interactive media designer who needs draw on software and using the colours tool buys an Adobe suite is necessary.

Back to today’s topic, I would like to introduce one more functional tool in Adobe Capture CC which is brushes.

The purpose of brushes tool is that users could record the patterns, images or a little didos as brushes and used at Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch.

The way how to create brushes is similar to the colours tool, click on “+” again, and it will turn on the camera, there is a white dot show in camera screen, drag it to your pattern area and take the picture. Crop the brush pattern capture area and then choose the styles you like in different Adobe software, please noticed that the brush styles are black and white in Photoshop, Illustrator, but it is colour brushes in Sketch brushes style. Under presets menu, users can adjust the brushes attributes differently, and it is difference attributes setting between different software.

Finally, users can edit, duplicate, share brushes and upload to users library or template.

This brushes tool is quite handy when you try to draw complex symbols as a background pattern, and the merely repeating brushes will make your job easy and unique.

For the next post, I will elaborate the ultimate handy tool: patterns.

Smartphone cameras then vs now

DSLR cameras have come a long way since 2008. Sony, Canon, Nikon were just a few that were wildly popular back then. The cameras costed anywhere from $300-$1000. Even the best compact digital camera couldn’t compete. Cell phone cameras were minuscule and most couldn’t afford to spend so much money on a huge camera.

With the demand for quality smartphones that do more than just the basic call, text and picture message; companies started paying more attention to the quality of the camera. Camera quality can also be one of the main selling points to customers. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are all heavily media based content. This allows users to quickly snap a picture, edit it quickly and post it within minutes. Instagram was released in 2010 for iPhone users. When the app began to explode in popularity there was demand for an Android version, but it wasn’t released until nearly two years later in 2012. The app gained popularity among young users, photographers, and many types of other people who wanted to share their creativity with the world.

When the HTC One M8 was released in 2013, it boasted an impressive dual lens camera which hadn’t been seen before. Users also had access to manual controls. This function allowed people to express their creativity more freely within smartphone photography. The freedom of being able to carry a tiny powerful camera that fits into your pocket is more convenient rather than lugging around a heavy and expensive camera along with its accessories. Reaching for a smartphone to capture special moments is almost second nature to many of us.

Fast forward to 2018 almost every smartphone has the ability to capture raw images, manual camera controls, and dual lenses. Companies also developed small camera accessories that have a similar function to DSLR accessories. It is hard to imagine what smartphone cameras will be able to do in the future. Will the cost of the camera drive up the price of the smartphone? Are exposure settings that of full frame DSLR? I’m excited to see what will be coming out in the years to come and I will probably base my next smartphone choice on the camera it features.

New NBA “City Edition” Jerseys. My Personal Favorites and Opinions

NBA “City Edition” Jerseys: A Fresh Start For jersey Design

 

Nike has taken over the NBA for the 2017-18 season as the league’s new jersey manufacturer. Because of this, we knew that we could expect some fresh new designs out on the court this season. Nike has come out with a new alternate jersey for each of the 30 teams in the league called a “City Edition” jersey. These jerseys are meant to have designs that aspire to a deeper level of meaning around the city’s or team’s history. I think that this is a fantastic idea and after seeing the designs, I can say this is just what’s the NBA and all of professional sports needed in the design department. Pretty much all of the designs are extremely unique and represent the team or city very well. I’m here to give my opinions on some of my personal favorites that were revealed.

Golden State Warriors

This jersey pays homage to the Chinese culture in the San Francisco bay area and while the Warriors have done this idea before, this is definitely the best one. The logo with the Chinese dragon looks fantastic and the addition of red amplifies the Chinese culture even more.

Los Angeles Lakers

Pays homage to Kobe Bryant’s nickname “The Black Mamba” by using a scaly snake pattern. Very unique and a great way to celebrate Kobe’s first year of retirement.

Miami Heat

A throwback to the 1980’s in Miami when Miami Vice was all the talk. The bold pink, baby blue, and black is much different than the Heat are used to wearing but I think it looks fantastic.

Orlando Magic

This is the wildest jersey design to hit the NBA since the early 2000s but I think that designs like this are great and they make a team stand out and be unique. The space design looks really cool and is something I never thought i’d see on a professional sports jersey.

Utah Jazz

My personal favorite reveal. The design is based on the red rocks that are all over the state of Utah. This color scheme fits the team much better than their usual navy, yellow and green and I wouldn’t be against them adapting it full time. The jagged rock pattern down the side panels is also a really nice touch.

So those are some of my favorites. I would love to hear what yours are. Here is a link to see all 30 of the jerseys that were revealed.

 

http://news.sportslogos.net/2017/12/27/nba-city-edition-uniforms-official-unveiled-by-nike/

All images in this post are from the link above

Technology in Farming

With the new age of technology, with all the phones and gadgets we use these days there was no doubt that farming would eventually change as well. Now I’m no farming expert but I’ve grown up on a farm, and I wanted to share some stories and my opinion on new farming technology.

My grandpa has been farming since he was young, and back then they didn’t have cabs on the tractors or combines, so that was great technology to get use to! Last harvest my grandpa got into a new state of the art John Deere tractor and was blown away. He was use to driving a rusty old red tractor that he had to fix every time before going out and that had bad reception on the barely working AM radio. This new tractor had a great radio and he barely had to drive, it had cruise control and all he had to do was turn the wheel when he got to the end of the field.

One of the hardest things I’ve experienced with farming has been loading the grain truck. You have to line it up perfectly and not let it overflow, make sure the grain isn’t coming out to fast, etc. It may have been stressful, but I had a lot fun with my grandpa and dad trying to figure it all out. When I heard about Automatic Grain Off Loading, I laughed, because it does everything by itself, the arm will move itself so it won’t overflow, it knows when to stop, etc.

I love technology and I think most things in life are better with it, but I also think some things should be left alone. Farming is a family business and I’m all for making a business flourish and if you really want to spent lots of money to cut down on a few minutes everyday because you’ll eventually make more money, then by all means get the new fancy gadgets, but remember why you started farming in the first place, was it to make money in a business like fashion, or was it because your dad or grandpa took you out on the field when you were young and you fell in love with it and want to continue the family business making money doing what you love with your family.

 

 

link to new technology in farming:

http://www.farmindustrynews.com/farm-equipment/20-technologies-changing-agriculture

 

Inspiration in Your Pocket: The Subtle Art of Adobe Capture CC

As a Graphic Design student, Adobe Capture CC has quickly become my most reliable ally. Capture is part of Adobe’s mobile App family and easily the most beneficial for designers on the go. In 2016, Adobe combined four of its mobile asset building tools into one, forming a single app that can capture colours, patterns, materials, brushes, and shapes.

Adobe Capture CC opened the door to unlimited possibilities. With a few simple clicks on your mobile device, you can now create project assets from anywhere that are accessible all across Adobe’s mobile and desktop apps.

 

Shapes

Originally, the shapes function was the reason I downloaded this App. Capture takes your sketchbook doodles and instantly turns them into vector shapes, you can also create shapes from high contrast photos.

Quick tip: Make sure to outline your doodles with a dark coloured marker before using the app, it will pick up the lines and curves easier.

 

Colour Themes

It’s so simple, just point and shoot for colour themes. Pulling colours from the real world has never been so easy. Snap a picture in the moment or use a picture from your camera roll on your phone and let Capture do the rest. Six movable circles will show up on the screen, once you’re happy with the colours picked, you can save your colour theme and use it over and over from your CC Library.

 

Patterns

Create new and authentic patterns using the digital kaleidoscope with the Pattern tool. Select one of five geometric real time templates at the top of the screen and move your camera around until you find exactly what you’re looking for. The app prompts you to refine your pattern before saving it to your CC Library.

Furthermore, Capture goes above and beyond by building  textures and materials in seconds and also allows you to create customized brushes, forever creating original and authentic designs.

To top this digital sundae off with the perfect cherry, all assets created in Capture are instantly saved to your Creative Cloud Library making them accessible in all of your Adobe mobile and desktop apps. Creating genuinely original designs has never been so simple.

Adobe Capture CC is a designers dream and it fits right in your pocket.

There is more information available on Adobe’s website:

https://www.adobe.com/products/capture.html

Your Style?

 

 

The concept of an artist’s own style is very interesting to me. So many artists stress out trying to find this golden and unique style that sets them apart from the rest. Yet, can we truly make exact copies of others people work without trying?

Since I have use of reason, I have been very fond of creating and drawing. Although, I really started to invest a  large amount of time into it when I was about 7 years old and my uncle told me about this series called Dragon Ball Z, he had watched it when he was a kid too so it’s been around for a while. I started watching it every night as it was shown on TV, and I was hooked. I fell in love with the art style and the creativity that it offered. Years later, I saw my uncle painting one of this show’s character on glass. It was a small piece. I thought it was fantastic and it gave me inspiration to develop a passion for drawing; not on glass, because I was young and I found it too difficult, but I started drawing and developing with any other media; pencil and paper being my primary choice. Over the years, I developed my technique further and I was able to replicate Dragon Ball characters rather well.

When I was about 12, I heard of another anime series on TV that I should check out. It was called Naruto: so, I watched it and just like with the other series, I completely fell in love with the story but also with the visuals that where between simplicity and complexity. Yet, they where very effective. As I did with Dragon Ball, I also tried to imitate the drawing style of the series, making various illustrations of the characters.

I have to admit that never in my life did I ever think what my own style was. I never saw anything wrong in drawing famous characters or designs. I always thought that it was ok to have something that you like drawing, over and over again; in doing so one develops the skill to use the art mediums or tools without stressing too much over the “idea” and if it looks right or not. As one has an image beside to compare.

In my humble opinion artists shouldn’t worry about having their own style of drawing from the beginning. I believe that the simple fact of you being a different individual, with a brain and body that works differently than others, is enough to make anything you do different, even if it’s a microscopic difference. And after a while in the process of trying out different styles; one will find out that there are some styles that stand and make you feel happy, those are the ones that will guide you in discovering your own style.

Streaming services in Canada

Netflix started streaming movies and TV shows in Canada in 2010. This soon became very popular and the reason people love streaming so much is it’s a lot more affordable than cable. Netflix grew so fast they started producing Netflix original TV shows and movies in 2011. Netflix led the way for other websites to start streaming services, giving us more options to stream TV and movies. 

Crackle is small in comparison to Netflix but it’s completely free. With no montly fee there is really no reason not to check it out. It’s mainly a way to watch cult classics as it has a wide variety of older movies and tv shows. While it doesn’t have a lot for current media, you’ll still find plenty to watch, especially when you don’t want to spend anything.

Shomi is more comparable to Netflix with thousands of TV shows, movies and its collections which are better than Netflix’s recommendations feature because they reflect moods and moments as well. They have hit TV shows and the classics you love plus movies for every occasion. The subscription is $8.99 per month after a one month free trial and is also available through a few cable bundles like Rogers and Shaw.

Amazon Prime isn’t just a streaming service, but you’ll still find plenty to watch. It’s considered one of the top streaming sites alongside Hulu and Netflix because of its extensive collection. Amazon also has a collection of it’s own original series. You will get ads on the site but can pay a small fee to be rid of them. What sets them apart is you get two day shipping, music streaming, photo storage, kindle ebooks, and more with your yearly fee of $99.00.

Crave TV recently became a stand-alone streaming site in 2016 and is mainly TV shows as opposed to movies. Some TV providers also have Crave TV as part of their service. They also have HBO and Showtime programming. Their service starts at $7.99 after a month free trial.

Hulu is one of Netflix’s number one competitors as the service offers current seasons of popular TV shows with most being available to you within 24 hours of being released on TV. The basic service starts at $7.99 per month and includes commercials which may be the biggest downside to the service. You can get commercial free for $11.99 a month.

Something New and Fun!

I am a student attending Assiniboine Community College (ACC), taking Interactive Media Arts (IMA) course. Everyone I know and run into always asks me “So are you attending school? What course are you taking?”. My exact words for that is “I am taking a course called IMA.” Every single person will look at me with a confused look, my response to that is “IMA stands for Interactive Media Arts, it has to do with a lot of graphic design.” This is just an easy way to explain to them what the course is about. The program is a two year course, no pre-requirements acquired. This course is much more than just designing, it’s about learning more and improving your skills on what you already know. A lot of the things that we do in this course is preparing ourselves for future jobs, and how we present ourselves to a client.

You’re probably wondering who can take this course and how would someone find out about this. Anyone can take this course whether you like designing, video games, or you just came across it and want to check it out. A majority of the other students in my class are computer game savvy. They like the graphics of video games they all play such as, Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, Battlefield, Skyrim etc. Then there are ones like me, I have never played a complex video game (if you consider any of the ones I’ve listed complex) I am more of a Wii person, I like my Mario Kart. I never thought about video games being in the graphic design field for some reason, it never crossed my mind. I was just interested in Photoshop and Illustrator when I was in grade 10.

When I found out about this course I was interested in it, it fit into what I enjoyed doing. I went for a spend a day with who is now a second year IMA student and I got to see what this course was actually about. It was sure an eye opener. It was different than what I thought it was going to be. You get to do things like creating small icons, posters, design your own personal website, and you do some writing as well. There are so much stuff you get to learn and do everyday.

If you’re a gamer, or have a creative mind and a love for technology this is a course I will recommend. Even if you just want something new and fun to do. I assure you, you will enjoy this course, especially if you are doing something you like. You learn something new everyday, why not try something new?

 

The Ultimate Test

 

Ah, yes to determine if you are a human or a robot cleverly disguised with what the humans think is “skin”.  The topic of determining who is who and what is what is common in science fiction. Often painted in a bleak dystopian future, where society is dark and filled with dim neon lights; or been destroyed by an atomic bomb or two; the thought of Artificial Technology being an enraged enemy trying to destroy all that is flesh and bone. Because robotics and AI technology are coming up as a big society game changer, it is addressed in different forms. From novels to movies, and even video games, it’s touching our lives in hypothetical ways on real fears.

In movies and novels like Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, 1982) the Void-Kampff test is developed to determine human from machine, or Replicant in this case.  Using questions to stimulate a strong emotional response. This theory of tough emotional questions is also applied in a more recent story line of Fallout 4, a recently released video game in 2015. Unable to detect the difference between human and robot, one community develops a test like the Voigt-Kampff test, calling it the “Safe Test”; asking the visitor to answer the questions as honestly as possible. When all is said and done, they really are not any closer to determining if you are a robot or not.

So will we one day be this dimly lit dystopian future, searching for rogue robots or questioning our neighbours about their authenticity? If one day we were to have indistinguishable humanoid machines around us, what sort of tests will be devised to know what’s what; or will we even need one? What sort of questions does one need to ask for successful determination of human or machine? Emerging technology of computer chips in humans, cybernetic limbs and prosthetics are becoming a new frontier for us humans. Do we eventually categorize these people in the same as these AI?  Where is that line of “no longer human” drawn? Indeed, more questions about our morals as a society may be put to the test, rather than the machines.

So when asked:

“You are approached by a frenzied scientist who yells, ‘ I’m going to put my quantum harmonizer in your photonic resonation chamber!’

What’s your response?” (Fallout 4, 2015)

Top 5 Design Trends for 2018

As designers, we all have certain styles we love, and once we find our own signature style, we tend not to stray too far from our comfort zone. But staying in one place for long, my friends, is not so comfortable after a while. You may start to feel left behind, or obsolete in certain areas. Interactive design is constantly changing, and as this new year starts, we are all probably looking for inspiration and new avenues to explore. There is no longer any excuse for not creating user friendly, interactive and visually stunning websites. So here are some insider tips from Digital Synopsis and 99 Designs on trends to start incorporating into your work now.

1. Bold Typography / Intersecting Elements

With web coding technology so far advanced these days, it is easy to use more than just the basic web fonts. Custom fonts are very widely used on many websites now, creating strong visual tones for your page and to help portray the overall feeling of your site. Now start playing around with these fonts and types – break them up in different ways and use intersecting elements of type and graphics to create interest.

2. Vibrant Colours / Duotone

Many large companies, such as Spotify, have pushed trends such as duotone to the spotlight. A trend that started last year and will continue on into 2018. Vibrant tones online are breaking out of those web safe colours. Technology is allowing us to use thousands of colours, so why not take advantage. Bright colours are sure to attract attention.

3. Split Page / Asymmetrical Layouts

Image Source: sitepoint.com

Grids are made to be broken in 2018. Splitting your page and grid layouts to create asymmetrical sections on your page is distinct and unconventional, and will set your site apart from traditional sites. It’s risky for certain markets or brands, but very striking when pulled off correctly.

4. Custom Retro-Modern Illustrations


Image Source: dribble.com

Gone are the days of clip art. Trending now are simple, line images, which combines sleek, modern lines with retro colour schemes to keep things playful and friendly. Customizable to fit any concept or business.

5. Thoughtful / Interactive Animations

Animations have come a long way and in 2018 will focus more on intentional movements and directions. Signalling interactive content to engage users, helping them move through your site with ease and purpose.

Now give it a go! Explore! Create! Be wild and free my dears.

xo M.

Bitcoin

Just a Bit of Crypto

If you have not heard of Cryptocurrency or at least Bitcoin yet, you are seriously missing out. These past couple of year’s Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, took a boost in its popularity and continues to rise. Investing in Bitcoin has very high risk but also a very high reward. Some like to take the risk while others are still curious to what it actually is and what it can do; such a mysterious thing to surface publicly.

“Virtual currencies, perhaps most notably Bitcoin, have captured the imagination of some, struck fear among others, and confused the heck out of the rest of us.” –Thomas Carper, US-Senator

Before its rise to fame Cryptocurrency was something only known to the users of the Dark Web or sometimes referred to as the Dark Net. Bitcoin surfaced when a mysterious user of the underground World Wide Web posted Bitcoin on a crypto forum. They went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity remains a mystery to this day.

I used to research the Dark Web a few years back, I was obsessed with the fact that Dark Web info was untraceable. This led me to come across Bitcoin 3 years ago. I really started to become interested in Cryptocurrency, but I did not think much of its value, and looking back now, I wish I had taken it much more seriously. Three years back I had some apps that I would play to earn Satoshi which when added up to a certain amount would give me small amounts of Bitcoin. In fact, by the time I was done with those apps I had $0.25 worth of Bitcoin. $0.25 in Bitcoin today is now worth $9.00. Now you understand my pain. Yes, that is still better than only $0.25, but imagine investing $100 back then; you would have some nice bank to sit back on.

It is very easy to look at Bitcoin and its fellow Cryptocurrencies and want to throw bank in but this may not be wise if research is not done properly. Some people have mortgaged their houses to attempt for success. Some succeed and some do not, it is a dangerous game to play. The fact Bitcoin increases so quickly makes it also capable of dropping extremely quick. Invest wisely.