That's right, friends, it's a new look for CMD Sketchpad!
CMD Sketchpad is going to go through a few changes. In response to Oma's comment on my recent PSP recreation, and because I'm really not keeping up with the Paint.NET tutorial scene, I'm branching out. The Sketchpad will still host Paint.NET tutorials, and I'll still write tutorials for Paint.NET, but I'll also be writing tutorials for The GIMP, Inkscape, and general web design tips and tricks. To go along with the restructuring, here comes a redesign!
This mock has quite a few interesting things about it:
The area in the header will be an interactive bit, where the arrows will cycle through the preview texts of the few most recent blog posts and tutorial entries.
The side links will also be dynamic, and the arrows there will cycle through the links list, the recent tutorials list, the recently added downloads list, the alternate CSS sheets list, and the recently posted blog entry list. The icons above the line in the sidebar show the icon for the category link as shown in the main link stack, and there is an arrow below the currently active list. The small disk icon on the left of the sub list icons would bring up a dialog which would allow the user to save the currently selected list as the list to be displayed by default.
The main links stack shows the links in their available states. The Home link is in the selected state - the way that link would appear on the home page. The CMDNotepad link is in the hover state. The remainder of the links are in their normal state, solid white with a light grey icon. The icons themselves were created by hand, pixel by pixel, using the Pencil tool.
One thing I plan to do with this design which I've not done before on the Sketchpad is including real photos in the design. Since I'm such an advocate of freely sharing things, I'm "partnering" with photographers who post their images on the Stock.xchng - each page will have a different image relating to the content of that page and each image will come from the Stock.xchng. To "give back", each image will link to the photographer's profile page on the Stock.xchng.
The image used for the header here in the home page is titled Lily Series 4 by Jake Levin: [ SXC | dA ]
This design actually came about strictly because of Jake's photographic brilliance. I went to SXC.hu to look for a specific image style for a project I was working on, but sibaudio just happened to be the featured photographer on the front page when I entered, and Lily Series 2 was his featured photograph. The composition was so perfect, the colors were so striking, and her eyes were so engaging that they not only carried the photograph despite the rest of her face being hidden, but gave it it's very appeal. I started browsing his gallery, and as soon as I saw the fourth in the series, this entire design just composed itself in my brain. The rest of the design process was just trying to get the original vision out in pixels.
This is the second version of my "C is for Curiosity" piece. I removed the black spots by popular demand, despite me liking the effect they made, I think it's important to consider other's opinions, so thanks to all for the feedback.
I'm sure we've all had times where we felt just...down. You might have seeped into the top rows a little....maybe a lot. Maybe you went down quite a bit, but found your way back up again. If you hit the very bottom, then, what the heck are you doing, looking at this?
This is the new icon and logo artwork that I created for Paint.NET v3.0. I made it back in May 2006 using a combination of Paint.NET v2.6 and a very early, half-broken build of v3.0 (heh). The brush was authored separately and then imported, and was originally an 18-layer 2048x2048 pixel image. I experimented with having a shwoopy "reflection" on the top portion of the image, but ultimatedly decided against it.
The image that is in the icon is cropped from the top-right of a photograph I took up at Snoqualmie ski resort: [link] . It was then fed through the Oil Painting effect and some other adjustments were applied.
One of the goals with this was to have icon and logo artwork that was original, and that was available and useful for a wide variety of purposes. The old icon was only 128x128 pixels and thus could not be used very well in at least 2 scenarios: print (e.g., magazine), and Windows Vista (which wants 256x256 pixel icons). It also limited the size at which a full logo (which includes the "paint.net" name) could be authored at. Since I authored the icon portion of this logo at 2048x2048 pixels, I think I'm safe there for quite awhile
I think total time to create this was 30 hours.
Oh yeah, if you're interested be sure to download the full-size version. It's 4844 x 1216 pixels (the "full view" here is set to only 1600 pixels wide). I originally tried to upload this with a transparent background (yay for PNG), but apparently deviantArt doesn't handle that very well and put a black background behind it. If you want the transparent background instead of the white background, you can find links on the Paint.NET forum in the Pictorium topic: [link]
'Unimount' Does it seem familiar? Paramount Studios was the inspiration... It seemed a natural fit for the Inkscape mountain landscape. I'm traditionally a Corel Draw user (since 1989) and was a professional graphic designer for many (many) years. Now I also teach computer graphics (among other computer-ly things) to high school students. We first used Inkscape as the 'free' and open alternative to Corel Draw or Illustrator (for PCs). As I and my students used it extensively over the past several years, we found it stands by itself on its own and not just because it is 'free' but because it works and meets the needs and expetations of my students and myself. With each consecutive update, it becomes more stable and I'm compelled to use it more and more often. Thanks for the cool software and the means to show off some new related skills.