Steven Powers (SMP): September 2011

Quick Tip: Launchy + Dexpot

Just want to introduce some free applications that I was introduced to the other day.  These are great little utilities that can help speed up ones work flow. Launchy is cross-platform while Dexpot is for Windows users who like the virtual desktops that is found in Ubuntu.

COMING SOON! - Blender 2.5 Video Sequence Editor

This is a snapshot of a new tutorial that is on it's way.  In the past few months I have been working on moving from commercial applications to FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) and Blender has been one I have been working with since 2.48. One feature is Blenders Video Sequence Editor (VSE), which is also refered to as the Sequence Editor.  I have done some extensive testing changing options and working through some issues.  I want to show how to set up Blender's interface, add video files, edited them within Blender, add image overlays for titles, watermarks etc, and how to animate some of the properties.  These tasks maybe broken down into multiple parts so you can pick and choose what you need and to minimize the duration of the tutorial.

I hope to have it out within the next week or so,
- Steve

Quick Tip: MyPaint and GIMP Template

I have been working with GIMP a lot lately and also playing with MyPaint. I have seen some very good paintings done with MyPaint and I love the feel of the brushes. But I have always been able to control my canvas size and resolution. But MyPaint doesn't allow you to set either from scratch. This is one method that gets around those issues.

GIMP: How To Add Themes UPDATED

This is an update to the original tutorial on theme. In this tutorial I show how to download, adjust the themes and install them in either version 2.6.11 or 2.7.3.  In the end I preview the new themes and show how to set it as your default so it loads automatically.   The custom themes can be downloaded from GNOME.

Update: Installing GIMP 2.7.3 in Windows

UPDATE-: I add this update to an earlier post on "How To Install GIMP 2.7.3 in Ubuntu and Windows.
I had issues with saving to the OpenRaster extension (.ora) and had to go back and forth between 2.7.3 and 2.6.11 (stable version).  I went and backed up my .gimp 2.7.3 folder and uninstalled Gimp 2.7.3 with RevoUninstaller.  Then I reinstalled it with the version I downloaded from HERE.  I verified that it worked by exporting as an .ora file.  Then I copied my themes and brushes into the new folder.  Not sure what happened, but it is an experimental version.

Hope this helps,


How To Sketch: Sketching The 4 Step Method

Sketching is a vital skill that enables one to quickly capture a vision or idea. Sketching is normally the first place that artists start out and is also the basis for most projects. Even movies start out with storyboards that are a sequence of sketches. Most often, but not always very rudimentary ones at best. Sketching is very important for digital artists for that reason. It is utilized in all media. Sketching is art in it's simplest form but can be taken to a very high degree of detail. Their is a difference between sketching and drawing where drawing is more detailed. These terms are quite often used interchangeably.

Running Computers On Generator

Well we are back on commercial power again.  We were able to borrow a generator Thursday night.  One thing I must mention with running electronics on a generator is that you should use one that has an inverter or use a separate one or you may damage your equipment.  An inverter basically works like a filter and cleans up the noise on the electrical signal similar to background noise found on audio signals.  I was lucky that I didn't damage anything (haven't noticed anything yet) but I did have issue with frame rates with video editing.  Normally I run about 130fps with normal encoding tasks, but I had less than 50fps at times.  So even thought I had power, and ran it through an UPS, it still wasn't good power.  Something to keep in mind if you are in the market for a generator.