Batch image resizing

Friday, August 28th, 2009

One of my current web design jobs is requiring the resizing of more than enough pictures, and then resizing again to create thumbnail versions. Fireworks and no doubt Photoshop can do batch image resizing, although last time I went through all the settings in Fireworks to do a batch image scaling process it died within two minutes (and that was before it had output the scaled images).

So along comes this web developer’s gem: http://www.rw-designer.com/picture-resize. A free batch photo resizing application, or to be more specific, an .exe icon you can drag pictures on and it instantly outputs the resized version. The .exe contains the size you want to duplicate the image into so if your .exe is named “PhotoResize800.exe” then your image output would be scaled to a resolution of 800px.

Fast, simple uncluttered and doesn’t even require an install. Easy to use so definitely worth trying out.

Testing Websites in IE6/IE7/IE8

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Personally I hate Internet Explorer 6. It’s a web browser that doesn’t speak web, a browser that pretends to be able to do what it’s used for. This isn’t what makes it truly annoying though, nor what makes it my digital enemy, and without a doubt a problem in the world of websites. What causes the friction between me and it is the fact it just won’t die. Recent reports show that there is still roughly 30% of people browsing the internet who still use IE6. Microsoft says it’s shipped with XP; we support XP, meaning we need to support IE6. Indeed most of the users still using it are coming from offices or so, that hasn’t had their browsers updated and probably don’t feel the need to neither update nor want the hassle or cost since IE6 works… in its twisted poor language interpreting way. With sites like http://deathtoie6.com/ and big online brands like YouTube now displaying “We will be phasing out support for your browser soon” to users either forced or damned to use IE6 for the time being, there is only but hope that eventual backwards compatibility and life support will begin to be switched off.

However, in the mean time I was linked to probably the most awesome Internet Explorer party there is.

I myself am a beloved Firefox fan (http://www.firefox.com) but do keep my vista up to date on both my laptop and desktop which means I’m running IE8 on both.

So the question was how does someone that escaped the plague of IE6 actually go about testing in it. The answer is IETester: http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage

This tool doesn’t just provide you with IE6 mode, but also IE5.5, IE7 and IE8.

Great for testing compatibility and making sure that what should work and look ok does work and look ok. It does randomly crash every now and then but who can blame it.

Underwater Escape

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

From now on I’ll be writing a small blog post to go along with finished project stuff as they are added and likewise with portfolio work. So without further a due my first project blog post is Underwater Escape, which is definitely my best digital art work so far and a good start to my project posts. Underwater Escape depicts a small red possibly outlawed rabbit riding a shark. A sense of action is added by the green laser beam being fired and dodged by the shark. I planned to fit explosions into the picture as well so that it would consist of rabbits, sharks, lasers and explosions but decided it would be best to keep the picture less busy. Created at a resolution of 1920×1280 in Photoshop and hand drawn on my tablet. I’ve started to make more use of filters and Photoshop tools and features as well now.

Underwater Escape: http://www.beakable.com/projects/photoshops_and_drawings/underwater_escape

Small Update

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

After the large influx of sudden visitors from smashingmagazine.com there was an increase in the amount of people viewing and clicking the Submit button on my contact page. I guess it was a case of seeing a button and clicking it to be enthralled by what was to proceed.
Sadly and I’m sure to many people’s displeasure nothing would occur, well when I say nothing, I mean the clicker would gaze upon nothing and my inbox would receive another blank or quickly filled in email.

But now, behold, I give you a button. A button which will most definitely perform and hold up to high expectations. A button that won’t only send me an email, but will give the clicker the much desired button clicking delight they seek.
Feel free to test it out, input is now required in the contact form before you’re able to click send but if you dont have anything to say feel free to fill it with garbage.

I was over the moon recently to find that Beakable.com had been linked to from SmashinzMagazine.com (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/30/50-fresh-portfolio-websites-for-your-inspiration/).
Under a post titled “50 Fresh Portfolio Websites for Your Inspiration” my site was amongst some amazing pieces of work that I would never have thought I’d be placed next to. The site refers to Beakable as “Iain Hamilton’s portfolio is interesting and unconventional. Maybe funny characters in the header make up the core feature that singles out this design.”
This really did make my day.

I wasn’t too sure about the changes from the frog and Jason rabbit to the snail and salt shaker, and when I do get some time I will be thinking of some new characters. However I definitely won’t be changing my header away from my cartoon styled drawings now.
It’s also worth giving a mention just now to Dustin Morris (http://www.dewtone.com) and Christine Mackey (http://www.studiom-productions.com) who both provided me with work over the last year which without a doubt took my level of design from nothing to actually being reasonably presentable now. Both of them persisted from space increases of one or two pixels to colour shade changes that over the last year greatly improved my eye for detail and positioning as well. It will be interesting to see how I improve over the next coming year.