Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hot News Introducting 2010 The Blogger Template Designer

We’ve added a fair bit to Blogger over the years, but one thing that’s been constant for some time has been our collection of templates. While a number of talented designers around the web have offered their own fresh and interesting designs that you can apply to your Blogger blog, our stock set has grown a bit stale, and you’ve noticed. You let us know — in the forums, on Twitter, sitting next to us on airplanes, even from across the counter at a Harvard Square stationary store, and we’ve been listening.

Today we’re taking a big first step in improving not just our template designs, but all the ways that you can customize the look and layout of your blog. We even made a video with jaunty music to show it off:

Here’s what we’re launching today to Blogger in Draft:
  • 15 new, highly-customizable templates from our design team, split into four families: Simple, Picture Window, Awesome Inc, and Watermark
  • One-, two-, and three-column layouts for each template, with complete control over the size and arrangement of the columns
  • Hundreds of background images and patterns from iStockphoto, the leading microstock image marketplace
Try it Now
Go to to log in to Blogger in Draft. (If you’ve never been there before, Blogger in Draft is just like regular Blogger, except with new, in-development features like this one.) Click on your blog’s “Layout” link to go to the Layout tab. The link to the Template Designer is at the end of the row of sub-tabs.

You can use the live preview to see your new template without affecting your blog. When you find a new look that you’re happy with, just click the “Apply to Blog” button to publish it to the world. Note: You can backup your existing template ahead of time by going to Layout > Edit HTML. We recommend this if you have a customized blog design that you might want to go back to.

Classic template blogs: If you have a “Template” link or tab instead of “Layout,” you’ll first need to switch from Classic to Layouts before you can try out the Template Designer. Go to Classic > Customize Design and follow the instructions there. You’ll need to switch to one of our old templates first, but then you’ll be able to use the Template Designer to pick a new one.

Tips from the Blogger Team
  • Get your links to match a background image quickly by using the Background panel’s “Main color theme” to adjust all of your blog’s colors at once. This works particularly well with Simple’s second design.
  • With a three-column footer, you can fit in several gadgets to interest your readers after they’re done reading your post. For inspiration, read Derek Powazek’s post, “Embrace your bottom!
  • If you’re using our new Pages feature, put the Page List gadget in the wide section at the top of your blog. We’ve added unique tab designs to all of the new templates.
  • Many of the patterns in the background image picker are semi-transparent, to let your blog’s background color show through. Look for the “transparency page curl” to see which patterns these are.
  • The Attribution gadget (added to the footer by all new templates) is there to give credit not just to the designer and artist of the background image, but to you as well. Edit its settings by clicking “Edit” on Layout > Page Elements to add your own authorship or copyright information.

Get Involved
  • Show off your new design on Twitter by tweeting your blog’s URL with the hashtag #newbloggertemplate. We’ll be looking for creative designs to feature in upcoming blog posts or as Blogs of Note.
  • We’re taking feature requests. Let us know what else you’d like to see with our Google Moderator page. (And don’t worry: uploading your own background image is already filed and at the top of our list!)
  • To report bugs or discuss the Template Designer in more detail, start a thread on our discussion forum. Include “Template Designer” in the subject so we’ll be sure to see it.
  • Do you design templates for Blogger? Join our template designer group for documentation and discussion on working with the new templates, as well as details on how to get your designs into the Template Designer.
Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be adding new features, templates, and images guided by the feedback we hear from you.

Miscellaneous Notes
  • The Template Designer is not supported on Internet Explorer 6, nor, for that matter, are the new templates. While we’ve made an effort to ensure that they’ll still be readable, the new designs are not going to look particularly attractive on IE6. We strongly encourage the very small number of bloggers and readers still using IE6 to upgrade to a more modern browser. For more information about browsers, visit Google’s What Browser? site.
  • The rounded corners and drop shadows used in several of the templates may not be visible in older versions of some browsers. Opera users will need to wait for Opera 10.5, currently in public pre-alpha release. IE7 and 8 users will not see these effects within the Template Designer, but will see most of them on the live blog itself.
  • From within the Template Designer you can only move gadgets around, you can’t add, delete, or change their settings. Those features are still on the Layout > Page Elements page.
  • Some gadgets, such as Poll, Reactions, or third-party Google Gadgets will not reflect color changes in the live preview but will after the template is applied. Others, such as Followers and AdSense, will not change colors automatically at all. It may be easiest to remove and re-add these gadgets to refresh their palettes, though you could also tweak the colors by hand by editing their settings.
  • Customizations to widget templates will be cleared when applying a new template to preserve the new layout. If you have made changes to your widget templates, save them first by going to Layout > Edit HTML and clicking “Download Full Template.” You’ll be able to copy them back in as needed after you apply your new template.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free Twitter Anti-spam Service Has Been Launched

Researchers from the University of California-Santa Barbara have created a free spam-filtering service for Twitter that detects malicious accounts and forwards the information to the microblogging service for enforcement.
The service, dubbed Spamdetector, is the brainchild of Ph.D. student Gianluca Stringhini.
"We started studying social network spam one year ago," Stringhini said. "With the rise of social network sites, this problem became really important. During our studies, we found out that spam bots (which are likely infected computers) have some peculiar behaviors that [differ] from the [ones] legitimate users have."
For example, spammers are usually very aggressive when it comes to following users in the hopes they can build up a large pool of followers of their own. This point was underscored by a recent analysis by Barracuda Networks, which found 26 percent of users have at least 10 followers and 40 percent are following at least 10 people. Spammers also send similar kinds of tweets, Stringhini said. But the service is also helped by users submitting information about suspicious accounts.

"The usefulness of users flagging spammers is that leveraging this information we can 'target' the crawling to those profiles that send tweets similar to the ones that have already been detected as spam," he said. "In this way, we are able to detect more spammers in a shorter period of time."
Twitter security has taken more than a few hits in the past two years as the number of users has soared. In response to the growing abuse of URL shortening services to send malicious links, Twitter recently launched a URL scanning service.
"It is not easy to reliably detect malicious users, because there's always the risk [of suspending] legitimate accounts by mistake," the researcher said. "However, the Twitter spam detection improved a lot during the last months. Many spam profiles get deleted even before we flag them to Twitter."
To sign up for the service, follower the user @spamdetector on Twitter.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Comparison Of The Web Browser

Learn what a web browser is by watching this 1-minute video

Web browsers by year

A rough estimation of usage share by percent of layout engines/web browsers as of Q2 2009, see usage share of web browsers.
This is a table of personal computer web browsers by year of release of major version, in chronological order, with the approximate number of worldwide Internet users in millions. Note that Internet user data is related to the entire market, not the versions released in that year. The increased growth of the Internet in the 1990s and 2000s means that current browsers with small market shares have more total users than the entire market early on. For example, 90% market share in 1997 would be roughly 60 million users, but by the start of 2007 9% market share would equate to over 90 million users

Graphical time line of web browsers


Historical web browsers

This table focuses on OS and browsers of the 1990s and turn of the century. The year listed for a version is usually the year of the first official release, with an end year being end of development, project change, or relevant termination. Releases of OS and browser from the early 1990s to before 2001-2002 time frame are the current focus.
Many early browsers can be made to run on later OS (and later browsers on early OS in some cases); however, most of these situations are avoided in the table.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Become a Video Game Designer

One of the most exciting jobs out in the market today is video game designing. Many have the impression that it would take too much time and skills to accomplish this. Well reality check does not! If you are into video games and love spending your leisure time (even your work time!), playing games then you have already passed the qualifying stages to becoming a video game designer. May it be for console, arcade, or PC; video game designing reaches all these platforms. Now, let me explain to you some of the basic principles to get you an idea of how to make this dream job work for you.

Throughout the years, games have evolved from the simple Atari and first generation Nintendo graphics to the complex 3D and multi level games of the present. There are just no limits to game designing these days. This multibillion-dollar industry is ballooning and encompassing other industries at a pace no one ever thought was possible. A major factor to this can be attributed to the gamers who are in their 20's and 30's and have never stopped picking up on the latest games and game platforms. Walk into any gaming shop and you will find adults mingling with kids to check out latest releases and try them out...together! So combined with the teenage market, this raving monster called the Gaming Industry is eating chunks out of the adult and teenage market today.

Need for video game design teams have increased dramatically because of this growth in the industry and the demand for better and more creative games by consumers. Therefore, the outlook for anyone trying to enter this industry is not bad at all. If you have the love and drive to create games then there is more than a lot of opportunities to do that. Become a video game designer and you could take part and even play a major role in producing legendary games such as Sims, Unreal tournament and Halo to name a few. Get a chance to team up with the best companies and game studios by becoming a video game designer. If there ever was a time to take that leap of faith and trust your gut instincts then it is now! A genuine love for games is one of the most important qualities a game designer must possess. For natural love for gaming spawns creativity and a drive to excel in producing games people will endear themselves to. You could even ask yourself a question. Why would I do a job that I do not have the talents and passion for? Now, if your answer is I am doing this because it is what I love to do, then you are the right man for this job.

This natural passion, even though very important, is only one of the aspects that makes a good video game designer. Companies who hire designers are also looking for someone with good problem solving skills and who is inhumanly patient. There are so many bugs and potential problems when designing a game that it could drive someone mad. These problems range from collision detection to making things look convincing animation-wise. Many of these complex problems need to be resolved quickly and with ingenuity. You should always strive to improve and to innovate the game at any point of the production. This can be profoundly stressful and take up huge amounts of your time even to the point of exhaustion but the rewards are more than worth it. The experience brings a completely new meaning to the phrase sleeping on the job!

Being a perfectionist is also a quality sought after by many of these gaming companies and studios. Making sure everything is up to the highest quality standards and done as efficiently as possible in as little time as possible are talents which are definitely sought after in this fast paced industry. Now, if you have all or even just some of these qualities then this job is just waiting for you out there... so go out and grab it.

So now, you are ready to proceed and create games huh? However, wait, you just cannot walk right into one of these companies and apply for this job if you do not have the skills! Knowledge about such things as graphic designing, computer animation and game development is necessary here. You need very specific training on these and other elements in order to be a certified video game designer. Below is a listing of where you can get the best training in these areas of expertise. With no further ado, here are some of the premier video game design schools you will need to enroll in to become a top video game designer.

International Academy of Design and Technology: The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication (Game Design) is designed to provide training in principles and techniques used to create interactive 2D and 3D computer games. Students can learn design software; modeling and animation skills, networking principles, level and world editors, and game engines used to design and develop games, and will examine market research and business concepts related to game production and distribution processes. Project management, creative design, and communication skills are integrated throughout this dynamic curriculum to help prepare students for entry-level positions in the game design industry.

DeVry University: Offers something more towards the programming end of things with their hot Game and Simulation Programming program. This should really get your feet nice and wet. Take it Online, or check out the various campus locations.

ITT Technical Institute: The ITT Technical Institutes offer a bachelor degree in Digital Entertainment and Game Design. Courses in this program offer a strong foundation in digital game design through the study of subjects such as gaming technology, game design process, animation, level design, and general education coursework. In addition, with over 85 locations nation-wide, there is a good chance that you can find a school near you.

The Art Institutes: At The Art Institutes, you will receive hands-on training from industry professionals, and you will build your portfolio.

The Art Institute Online: The Art Institute Online courses have been designed with extensive input from game-industry professionals and focus on the artistic side of games - not on computer programming. You will concentrate on the specifics needed as a professional game artist: Scene and set design, Motion capture, Character development, Visual storytelling, Game design strategies, 3D animation, Low-polygon modeling, Game level design, Texture mapping... In other words, a lot of the fun stuff.

Westwood College of Technology-Online: Strong creativity, design, computer, and problem solving skills are the keys for success in this exciting and growing field. With these specialized skills in mind, Westwood College has designed a Bachelor degree program in Game Art and Design.

Digital Media Arts College: Learn from industry experts from leading companies such as SEGA, ImageWorks, Disney, and more. They are one of the United States' most technologically equipped digital artist colleges. They have the tools and techniques to empower your creative career.

Digipen Institute of Technology: Located in Seattle, take the first step towards becoming a video game designer by learning computer science, computer engineering and fine arts degree programs related to the digital entertainment technology.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The best schools for 2D Animation, 3D Animation and Video Game Design

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The following is a list of colleges, universities and tech schools with programs that would help someone in their pursuit of a career in the technical direction of the animation industry or the creative side of animation. The list is dedicated to schools that many animation studios feel caters to technical direction and to the more artistic field of character animation

A career in animation is custom made for you. With your bachelor's degree in animation from Westwood College, you'll have the skills to work in the exciting field while doing what you love to do. And your courses are as interesting as your career will be-with classes that incorporate audio/video technology, laws of motion and drawing with general education. Business classes provide you with important skills in critical thinking, logic, communications and problem solving that will help you address workplace challenges. You'll leave qualified for entry-level positions, like web animator, 3D animator/graphic designer, desktop publisher or flash designer/animator.

DeVry University

DeVry's Game and Simulation Programming curriculum prepares graduates to join the private and public sector game software industry in a variety of software development roles across the game programming life cycle, including programmer, software engineer and project coordinator. Applications-oriented, the program provides preparation in the math and physics of games; programming fundamentals; game design; modifications (MOD) and massively multi-player online game (MMOG) programming; two- and three-dimensional graphics programming; and simulation and game engine design. Also included is a full complement of general education courses, recommended by game industry experts as critical for well-rounded development team members.

The Digital Entertainment and Video Game Design program in the School of Drafting and Design at the ITT Technical Institutes can help graduates prepare for career opportunities in a variety of entry-level positions involving the technology associated with the design and development of digital games and multimedia applications. Courses in this program offer a foundation in digital game design through the study of subjects such as gaming technology, game design process, animation, level design and general education coursework.

Graduates of this program may pursue entry-level career opportunities in a number of different digital entertainment and game design companies. Job functions may include working in a team to design, develop, test and produce video games, or create animations and 3D scenes for use in video games.

3D Animation Program

Animation involves bringing artwork and characters to life with such precision that they truly seem real. Animation is part acting, part storytelling, and part visual art - it's a mix of both electronic arts and traditional animation skills. You'll study methods to create realistic movement in 3-D digital environments, and collaborate within a team environment to gain practical experience. Graduates are prepared to seek entry-level employment such as 3-D character animator, modeler, and storyboarder.

Game Art & Design Program

Graduates are prepared to enter the Game Art and Design field as modelers, storyboard artists, animation artists, 3-D illustrators, digital artists, FX artists, video post-production artists, and broadcast graphics designers, as well as game designers. Learn what it takes to produce great art and design and use the skill to create applications used by the business, education, training and entertainment industries.

Westwood College Online offers a diverse curriculum that focuses primarily on the chosen degree field and is enhanced by general education courses. Students receive a truly comprehensive education; our Game Art & Design Program teaches both Maya and 3DS Max, which allows students to work in their preferred format. Many other video game design programs teach only one of these packages. To top it all off, students get exposure to game engines through our program, and this is certainly a benefit to them.

* Conceptualizing and developing ideas for cartoons and animations

* Using life drawing and rendering techniques to develop characters, backgrounds and stories

* Creating 2D and 3D characters and animation for the Web, digital media, television, movies and software

* Utilizing the laws of motion and physics to create life-like motion for the animated characters you create

* Integrating audio and video effects to create animated features

This is just a highlight of our online animation program. Students are prepared for the challenges of a career and provided with skills to navigate the ever-changing trends in animation. Picture yourself in the creative career you have been dreaming of, and work towards that goal with the help of Westwood College Online!

Learn from industry experts from leading companies such as SEGA, ImageWorks, Disney, and more. We're one of the United States' most technologically equipped digital artist colleges. We have the tools and techniques to empower your creative career.

Take classes in artist-designed labs and facilities. Learn from experts in digital artistry. Work with industry-standard animation tools, 3D software, and imaging technologies. All at DMAC.

Bachelor - Computer Animation

An artful blend of creative vision and technology, computer animators work in 3-D to bring their imagination to life. Animators can specialize in motion, feature films, materials, and more. Our new motion capture studio will give you the opportunity to train on the same equipment that's used in major motion pictures. The computer animation program is designed to teach you how to develop drawing skills and combine them with storytelling in the digital realm to acquire the skills you need to help you enter the field of computer animation.

Bachelor - Visual Communications: Game Design
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication (Game Design) is designed to provide training in principles and techniques used to create interactive 2D and 3D computer games. Students can learn design software; modeling and animation skills, networking principles, level and world editors, and game engines used to design and develop games, and will examine market research and business concepts related to game production and distribution processes. Project management, creative design, and communication skills are integrated throughout this dynamic curriculum to help prepare students for entry-level positions in the game design industry.

Our diploma program in 3D Animation for Film, TV & Games focuses primarily on animating characters for film, game and television production.

The department head for our program, Calvin Leduc, has over 20 years experience in the animation & gaming industry, including 9 years at Walt Disney Feature Animation. The program also includes regular live web chats with Pixar animators Andrew Gordon and Mike Venturini, direct from their studio in Emeryville California! Together with additional instructors from Industrial Light & Magic and other studios, our students learn to master their craft and produce a professional demo reel for studio recruitment.

Vanarts is a member of the Softimage Education Partner Program. All students graduating from the 3D Animation Diploma program, will now receive a FREE one year commercial license of the computer animation software SOFTIMAGE/XSI Essentials. This will allow graduates of Vanarts 3D Animation to continue using Softimage/XSI to freelance, to set up their own companies to do commercial work or to keep in practice.

Careers in the 3D Computer Animation field include character and effects animators, modelers, lighting and texture mappers, concept designers and storyboard artists.

Bachelor - Game Design

The curriculum in our Game Design Program is designed to equip you with game essentials like C++, Java, 3ds max and AI (Artificial Intelligence) so you can make your quest-driven concept a game reality. Your education in Game Design can take you from game research and planning, character development and storytelling, all the way through level design, modeling programming and project management. It takes more than imagination to be a game designer, and we can help you to take your ideas from concept to completion and beyond.

BA Visual Art w/ Game Art Major
As a student, you can learn to create characters and settings that bring a game to life. You can learn the fundamentals of sound design for game projects and explore the workflow concepts behind the art department of a major game studio. You can visualize a concept and acquire the computer skills necessary to render it in 3D.

Enroll in this exciting Visual Arts degree program with a major in Game Art and you'll take classes such as Creative Visualization, Audio for Gaming, Game Design Project Management, 3D Studio Max® 1, and 3D Modeling. Computer labs, traditional animation labs, photo/video labs, and a photography studio lab are available to students who choose this Visual Arts degree program. In approximately 31 months, you can earn a degree to help you enter today's workforce as a Game Designer.

Digital Visual Media Program

Ex'pression Digital Visual Media Program is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills through an intensive series of courses that cover a wide spectrum of digital visual media including 3D modeling and animation, texture and lighting, compositing, digital film and video effects, creating graphics for the Internet and more. You will gain experiential knowledge through extensive lab time using multiple hardware platforms. A one-to-one (student-to-machine) lab ratio allows you to individually explore the intricacies of a wide variety of graphics software.

The Animation Mentor curriculum has been designed by professionals, working at the top animation studios in the industry, focusing 100% on character animation. This gives our curriculum a "real world" insight into what studios are looking for in new animation talent. At Animation Mentor, students are mentored one-on-one by professional animators from major studios. Our approach prepares students with the skills and attitude they need to take into the studio arena. Our online campus is built with a studio focus in mind, allowing our students to get comfortable with the many challenges and opportunities they will experience when working in a studio environment.

Admissions: (510) 809-1177

3D Modelling Animation Art and Design - Are you passionate about 3D animation? Ready to turn this passion into a fun-filled creative career? In the 3D Modelling Animation Art and Design diploma program at VCAD, you'll learn the tools and develop the skills to succeed in the Computer Generated animation industry.

Career opportunities can be found in a variety of CGI-based industries, including computer animations studios, game development companies as well as post-production and special effects studios. Positions may include 3D modeler, character modeler, technical artist and junior production designer. Employment may also be found at industrial design firms, software producers or other companies that require the production of 3d graphics and animation.

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