BLOT-1 (We are surprized with what we made...)

BLOT-2 (Giving life ...)

BLOT-3 (Music for listening ...)

BLOT-4 (Flip'n'Fly)

3/14/14

Posted by Michael Zigel On 6:37 PM
This is a screencaptured video from our absolutely crazy project - Nux 3d-enviro. When we began to develop it, we didn't have idea what it's going to lead us to. We are just few creative persons who don't want to spend our days in boring offices creating dull videogames. At the beginning it was just new means to fun. We started to invent various designes, architecture and vehicles. Gradually, the new music style appeared, and we suddenly realized that in fact we are searching for something more than just a music style or designs.

Because it's obvious that our life won't look like our parents' lives at all. This project is already ten years old and during this time we have tried some jolt of life and realized that beyond our own projects it's hard to find comfort of creativity. And that we should create this comfort by ourselves. In general we manage to do this and we even want to share this comfort and satisfaction from creativity with others.

As a platform for these different creative collabs we invented a blot-project. At the moment this is almost nothing more than a name:) But we'll probably hit the internet-site and after, even a 3d-enviro. But for now, everyone who wants to collaborate is welcomed. We can make together not only 3d-scenes and soundtracks. It's really important too to have interesting ideas on this music, 3d-scenes or anything else. For example, this soundtrack here isn't like any existing music styles. And it would be interesting to invent some name for this new style.

Also, I'd like to add some conceptual words or even simple whoops to our music in future. This speech in the beginning is generated with a speech synth. You can send us reels with your voice, and maybe we could then add some to our next soundtracks. Please feel free to contact. We love in creativity various expressions much!

For more soundtracks please go: http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/415374/tonux.gix

12/31/13

Posted by Michael Zigel On 5:28 AM

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    ...We wasn't going to invent any new music styles. We just recorded soundtrack for screencaptured video from our absolutely crazy project - 3d interactive enviro 'Nux'. We're just a few creative individuals and we started our first collabs from experimental music before starting Nux project. Nothing that each of us made before have not changed us as much as this giant project and this music. Everything else used to be made just in way of start/finish and go to drain small drink:) After all, at least everything that surround us is made in this way. Whether it's something new or from Ancient Egypt. But here we have something other. It's all unpredictable. It's an improvisation - free flight. Everything is extremely complicated and confused but it's easy to do, it naturally flows by itself like a river. Probably, it's a trial to see parallel universes and explore some possible and impossible combinations of the same basic elements. Maybe it's experimentation with probabilities. As far as reality is just probabilities. We all know very well how one small event can change everything...
    So welcome to watch this screenplay video. At the moment Nux isn't still available online. We think that we still aren't ready for this - everything is still in process. But we want to show something, so we share this set of screencaptures. We're engaged in this subproject - video with music - for almost two years. Probably, girls who sang with us have already lost their hope to see the result:) During this period we was refreshing some of our visions of what we was doing till this moment. We was pondering everything even more deeply than usually. Heroic industrial era people was happy - they was sure that their heroes pondered everything for them. And all they had to do is to follow simple scheme - maternity hospital/nursery/school/factory/hospital etc.. Our lives are different and it doesn't fit to any scheme. It appears that Alan Toffler predicted something similar back in 1972 year. We became interested in futurology for our 3d-enviro project. We just look for some predictions to have an idea how everything gonna look soon. Because architecture and design depends on what, how and when people gonna do. It appeared that we will print smallest devices using desktop 3d printer at home soon, bigger things will grow-up on their own and t-shirts will know about us more than we will. Economical inequality will get smaller with time too. But even this is far not the main surprise which waits us in future. Of course the most part of those changes will go gradually, but the most of them already have started. Because of that we already try to make something with our lives and try to understand what's gonna come of that so we could plan our next steps. We will tell about all that when we will be ready. For now big thanks for stopping by and please feel free to comment and rate. Here is something that everything starts from - trial to look on usual colors of life through new eyes. Welcome!

    Our special thanks to Egy, Fragola and Matilda
for awesome vocal improvisations.

    Soundtracks (full set) free download:
Posted by Michael Zigel On 5:05 AM
Also this is a CD/DVD-Cover tut. InkScape/GIMP installation instructions and links to sources and all additional files here.


This is a legally free open-source vector-image editor. For some simple work Inkscape is better than proprietary analogues like Corel Draw or Illustrator.

Open the svg-file (SvgGphX1.SVGZ) with Inkscape. This and other source files for this tutorial are here: https://app.box.com/s/hd77bxmpr93prpv93id2. And also for this cover we must have fonts and images, included in the zip-archive with all required sources. You can use your own or my images - 'SampleImg1.jpg' and 'SampleImg2.jpg' if you want - please download it and save to your computer. Then copy the address of the image from file manager window and paste it into image properties window in Inkscape. You can find this window in the right-click menu.


Replacing full title (with extension - file type letters after dot) and adress in window with image properties we replace image in the oval clip. To rotate/scale/transform your own image and add/fix deformations drag corners of selection. Hold Shift to keep proportion. And release clip (right-click menu) if you want to change the shape of the oval without changing proportion of image or conversely. Later you can add cliping mask again.
In further I'll show you how you can set another shape of the clipping mask but now I turn to the letters, so those who want to make everything faster could do it.


Here you can add/change texts and fonts with two clicks. In the next step we're going to export finished artwork to exchangeable file format for printing or sharing with friends.


I recommend to print your cover as photography. To do this we have to export file as a bitmap. It's the simplest way to get best-quality image. If it's about even several tens of copies, this way is cheaper than typography print. But if you want, you can also export artwork to printable pdf-file for typographic print.

Inkscape includes awesome custom effects and filters. If your computer has not enough power just wait a moment:) Or remove filters...

If you export your artwork to a bitmap-file (*.png) you get a digital image with scale a little bit larger than square CD/DVD cover: 1476x1476 pixels or 12,5cm/4,92". It's always better to have a little reserve. But you have to keep on mind that if some letters are too close to the edge it's better to move them now. Check everything on my help-picture carefully, because on this stage every detail is important. Now the file which we have is absolutely ready for printing at tescophoto.com, zazzle.com, mpix.com and other similar sites. We just have to remember that we want to get 12,5cm/4,92in print-out. Some online printing services only provide 5 x 5" or 5 x 7" prints. For this case you must change page size (via menu File/Document properties) to 1500 x 1500 px or 1500 x 2100 px and export whole page area. White margins can be cut after.


Since those who like to have all and now probably gone printing already, we can now easy take a look on wonderful possibilities which Inkscape gives us for creation :) In few next steps I'll even try to interfere less. All you need is there on the picture, but it's just a little part of what Inkscape can do. It has even a few things which other vector-graphic editors don't, despite people pay money for them. Inkscape instead is absolutely free software. We'll start with creating a vector geometric figure... Then we gonna make a clipping mask of it for your new photo.


Editing geometric object.


Intersection of two figures. Objects must necessary be converted to paths before.


Importing the raster-image. You can move, transform and rotate the image...


We can select better place for the image.


Clicking on image with the right mouse button we can set object above image as a clipping mask.


Besides Inkscape we have Gimp, which is free too. It is a raster-image editor. I use it for adjusting pics and backgrounds. In few steps we gonna get deeper into this subject, but now I want to show few more tricks with text and vector objects in Inkscape.


It's a simple text into the text-frame. When you transform a frame, text will keep inside it. It's handy for editing small text. It's better to write everything we want to write here now, so we could see how many space it's going to take. Then we can find a nice place for it.


This is one more star. I want to place it on top of the photo to shade the corners. To do that we can copy layer with clipped image or just copy/paste it. Then release clip (right-click menu), delete the picture and fill the star with a half-opacity gradient. Notice that copying layer is easier because layers give us possibility to lock/unlock and show/hide elements which they contain. It's more handy than to have all elements in one layer.


Here you can see what layers contain in this file.


We also can replace raster background with some another form my creative collection https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109907728345873054944/albums/5963536186264888321 or with the simple vector-square.


To edit big caption-text shaping we edit the node of text-path.


If the simple rectangle on background looks too boring we can put some hot collage to the background layer :) With Inkscape and GIMP you can do it without any problems. If you're ready to devote some time to this, you can make awesome visual mixes for your discs or booklets...


Fonts-menu for changing the fonts.


Putting the caption-text on the path.


In this artwork we really have only one layer created in Inkscape. The background collage is made in GIMP. So in this case it would be probably most easily for us to export the final file from GIMP. To do this we have to export the text layer from Inkscape as a bitmap picture and then import this layer into GIMP. It's going to be a png-file, which contains only the picture with the text on a transparent background. Since the GIMP is a raster-image editor, some visual effects are little bit more natural for it.


To import our exported text-layer or any other image to GIMP you can just drag the file from your folder right into GIMP's main window. I share a few GIMP-files scaled to printable dimensions. Select and download if you want some images here: https://app.box.com/s/hd77bxmpr93prpv93id2/1/1421420792


Layers in GIMP can switch between different opacity and blending modes. We can duplicate same layers with fonts for example, move them little bit and change modes of the layers to have great effects for the fonts.


To hide some areas of pictures, in GIMP we can create masks like in Inkscape. We could just erase these areas, but working with masks we can show some elements again... We can create masks (press Ctrl+M if you use my GIMP-settings) from selection, or blank white full-transparent masks for beginning. In GIMP it is a wonderful tool for free-shaped selecting.

By the way, I use here my special custom keyboard shortcuts. From the very childhood I use these shortcuts composed by my dad - graphic designer. I want to share custom keyboard shortcuts and layout settings in one file (GIMP-SETTINGS folder) into zip-package with all sources. Unpack and open 'Annotation'-file with instructions for use. I think it's better to spend few minutes to make GIMP-interface adapted to faster work...


Entering to the masks (click the symbol of mask in the layer-menu to 'enter') we can paint on the masks to show/hide different elements for masked layers.


GIMP's fantastic filters help to warm our creativity...


Don't forget to periodically save your artwork. GIMP's native file-format is .xcf with variants. Xcf contains information about layers and settings. For printing you can export the whole image as a jpeg-file. Jpeg doesn't contain any layer information but you can print it as photography in any place with printing service.


The best resolution-settings for all printings are 300 dpi (dots/pixels per inch). I have one more thing to say but you can finish your artwork at this stage. Next steps will show the color/density corrections of the image, which are almost invisible...


With levels you can run up almost everything you want.


If you can't do something using levels, try color curves.


Now we'll glance on two awesome tools. First one clones small areas of the picture, defined by the brush you use, from one place to another. This way artists soften some blicks etc. With Ctrl you select the source area for cloning.


And this tool smudges blends where it's needed.

 These steps here are all the basic steps that are required to make any 2d-graphic design. Using these steps you can make various graphic compositions from small flyers, labels and booklets to big calendars and posters.

People who make that kind of things everyday, actually just make those steps everyday. Of course, they can do it faster. But speed doesn't always mean quality. After all, it's just an issue of criteria. Probably, today we enter some new era, where new ways of connections between people, and new criteria emerge. Creativity may become a lifestyle not only for professionals. A lot of futurists say that people now going to engage in different things during their lives. At least my life goes like this on its own. And I like it. At least it's not boring:)

It's very nice if you like graphic design and my thing helps you to open something new in your self-understanding. This tutorial is really concentrated. But on the other hand, you can always come back, and next time you'll see it, it will look far more simpler. Now, when you saw everything here, you should catch on what things do in my other file. Please feel free to change anything in any my file. And thank you for your time, please comment and rate. All questions and ideas are welcomed.


12/23/13

Posted by Michael Zigel On 8:48 AM
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Posted by Michael Zigel On 8:19 AM

I want to share here my few ideas for making CD/DVD cover picture. After four steps you will have a simple design. The main thing here is that we gonna use fully functional graphic applications. Today there's a lot of utilities for making CD/DVD cover design, but thay have limited functionality. For example, you can't insert picture into a clipping mask or put text to custom free path. I use open-source free applications, and they're really easy-to-use and sometimes they have even better instruments than their analogs. It's Gimp and Inkscape. To make the simplest version of this cover you just have to install Inkscape. With it you'll be able to make a finished design and print it as a photography. Using GIMP you can edit inserted images and add custom effects.

InkScape download link: http://inkscape.org/en/download/
GIMP download link: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

16 MB sized zip-package with source IncScape files, required fonts, custom GIMP settings and other additions: https://app.box.com/s/hd77bxmpr93prpv93id2

tonux.gix's new experimental music album

I made this cover in the same steps and with the same software. This is a cover for tonux.gix's new experimental music album. I'm one of tonux.gix members and I participated in this project too.
We wanted this cover to look a little bit like something "home made". Everything that tries to look like "professional" wants to please everybody. We thought that it doesn't make sense to us. We wanted it to look more cozy and warm...

Check it if you want - we use this music as soundtrack for video-screencapture showing our biggest absolutely crazy project - Nux 3d interactive enviro.

 If you are ready to start your cover picture, go: http://blotproject.blogspot.com/2013/12/cddvd-cover-tut.html

 
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