I am not usually the kind of person who likes to blow his own trumpet but, in the complete absence of a brass musician of any kind producing articles for this blog, I feel compelled to break the mould on this occasion, by bringing your attention to a small achievement on my part that I only discovered this week.
As most of you are aware by now, I am a lover of all things to do with free and open source using, as I do, Linux distributions as the operating systems of choice for all my PCs, and Free Open Source Software wherever possible, so it is no big surprise that I recently downloaded the most recent version of Linux Mint (Code named ‘Nadia’) to use on one of my machines at work.
Linux Mint – The most recent version numbered 14
I was more than a little bit surprised, however, and more than a little bit pleased, to find that one of my own photographs had been packaged at a standard Linux Mint Wallpaper, and was being distributed along with the operating system. I read the release notes and saw that I also got a mention in the credits for the artwork.
Sunrise over the Ligurian – Click on Image for full size download.
I would therefore like to thank Clem Lefebvre and his team that bring this highly polished and professional distribution together every 6 months and would urge all readers of this blog to consider using this distribution by visiting the Linux Mint Website and downloading a copy of ‘Nadia’.
If you don’t want to go that far, you might want to download my photograph and use it as a wallpaper on your own system? Please do not use it on a Windows system – that is one way to really upset me!!
Aberdeen Kettlebell Club have launched a new club team Polo Shirt in conjunction with ourselves. Early indications are that members are delighted with their new design, which was a collaboration between blog member Ray Wilson @ray-wilson and myself over the last week or so.
Take a look at the images below, kindly supplied by Ray, and let us know what you think. (Click on any thumbnail to open carousel).
The new version of the AKC Logo produced in Inkscape.
The new Rack and Reload Logo designed as a collaboration.
The new Rack and Reload design was based on Ray’s idea of using a line drawing of a person lifting 2 kettlebells and was brought into life by myself using the FOSS program Inkscape. The new AKC logo was vectorised by myself under Ray’s expert and extended guidance!
Please note that you can download Inkscape for yourselves by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Once I am over my bout of ‘Man-Flu’ which is making my voice a bit croaky, I will be making a little tutorial on producing animated banners and buttons using my old friend GIMP.
If you are not sure of what these are, below you will see an example of something that I made tonight for one of my groups on deviantArt using one of the images that can be found in the clip art gallery on this blog.
An avatar button made for the dA-Animal-Lovers group on deviantArt
I am hoping that this might inspire some more of you to start using FOSS in the near future. The link to download the program can be found in the footer of this page.
When I set up this blog at the end of January, one of the objectives that I set myself was to make it into a library of clip art and photoclips to help up-and-coming artists. I made a few tutorials on producing photoclips using the free software GIMP, and hoped for a few contributions from readers. Unfortunately, this has not yet happened, so I have decided to start producing a few interesting images of my own in the hope that members might join me.
A carved version of 70′s cult classic Monkey.
Last night I spent an hour or so extracting a wooden carving of one of my favourite TV characters ‘Monkey’ (seen above), who has now been submitted to our photoclip library for your use. If anyone would like to contribute to this gallery, just let me know and please remember that you will have to use a CC-BY-SA license on your work (or make it CC0 – Public Domain), so that it can legally be used as intended. If you are interested in CC licensing for your own work, I recommend that you click on the link at the bottom of this page and see how it can help you.
As we have now started making a weekly puzzle, I will take this opportunity to add another ‘poser’ to our members:-
What were the names of Monkey’s other two companions on his quest?
Once again, there are no prizes for this. I thought that it might be a bit of fun for some of you that grew up in the 1970′s and watched badly-dubbed Japanese TV programs!!
Please try and contribute to our galleries. Your work will be accepted regardless of quality (within reason).
I just came across a set of posters by my friend Martin Owens that I set as favourites on deviantArt some long time ago, and thought that it would be a good idea to upload them to this site in an attempt to explain the concepts of Creative Commons and FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).
In an age where everyone is complaining about austerity, I find it amazing the people are still buying software and using operating systems that require you to buy more software in order to be able to use it safely, especially when FREE and OPEN versions are readily available to download!! Without any worry about piracy laws!! I can only assume that the reason for this is that the public are unaware of the alternatives available.
The posters in this gallery are devised to help us all to make people aware of CC and FOSS, so please feel free to use them.
Ensure that you accredit the original artist by using this link.
You will notice that these licenses are used extensively around this site, especially in our clip art galleries. Please make certain that you obey the conditions of the license if you use anything that is not Public Domain (CC0).
As promised, I have now produced another screencast Inkscape tutorial to show how to make ‘Art Nouveau’ style motifs, which you can use on your own projects, or as part of a border (tutorial to follow). I have not yet fully mastered the production techniques but, thanks to Nigel and Ray, I know what I have to work on with regard to this aspect.
Could I therefore request that any critiques be addressed to the content, rather than the quality (or lack of quality) of the video this time around. I need to know if it is understandable, if I am going too fast, too slow etc.
Please feel free to comment this post with any constructive ideas.
I hope that you found this of interest, and that it may have inspired one or two of you to give Inkscape ‘a go’, especially as it will cost you nothing. I would also be interested to see what you guys can produce, so please feel free to send us your efforts.
So far we have made a roughly cut-out version of our daffodil flower floating on a transparent background. If you zoom in to the edges of the petals, what I mean by rough-cut becomes all too apparent – this mosaic like effect, with occasional bits of background and a few bits of petal missing can now be ‘healed’ by working on the transparency mask that we set up in the last part of this tutorial. Continue reading →