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By Lynda Weinman | Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wild about Harry

wildharryA noteworthy new Creative Inspirations video installment has been released today on the Online Training Library. Harry Marks is considered by many to be the godfather of broadcast design.

More than any other individual, he changed television by doing things with graphics that had never been attempted before. Not only did he pioneer the use of emerging imaging technologies, but he did so with style and reason. His pioneering work in the field of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) brought him into collaboration with many other industry pioneers, including Douglas Trumbull, Robert Abel, Carl Rosendahl (whose company evolved into DreamWorks Animation), and Dale Herigstad (who is also the subject of a different Creative Inspirations).

In the early ’80s, Harry had the idea of bringing together people who work in the disparate fields of technology, entertainment, and design, so he partnered with Richard Saul Wurman and the TED Conference was born. This installment of Creative Inspirations takes viewers on a historic journey through the extraordinary career of Harry Marks.

By Lynda Weinman | Monday, May 18, 2009

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Author dinner on Thursday, May 14th From left to right: Taz Tally, Lesa Snyder-King, Jay Nelson, Max Smith, Jan Kabili, Megan Anderson, Bruce Heavin

Author dinner on Thursday, May 14th From left to right: Taz Tally, Lesa Snider, Jay Nelson, Max Smith, Jan Kabili, Megan Andersen, Bruce Heavin

Taz is here recording Photoshop CS4: Color Correction, Lesa is recording internal movies for our staff related to iStockPhoto usage, Jay is  recording QuarkXpress 8 Essential Training, Max is our lead training producer and he’s making sure our authors are eating a well-produced meal, Jan is here for a staff meeting, but her next project is Photoshop CS4: Selections in Depth, Megan is relating in her Author Relations role at lynda.com, and Bruce is here for the good meal and conversation with me, who is not in the shot as I am behind the lens taking the photo. We have meals with authors all the time, and now that I am blogging I hope to document these occasions and let you know which authors are in town and what new courses they are cooking up.

By Lynda Weinman | Friday, May 15, 2009

Dr. Taz Tally at lynda.com

Taz Tally in the lynda.com recording space

Taz Tally in the lynda.com recording space as he waits for his movies to render!

My first memory of Taz is from the late 1990′s when I observed his blurry figure running up and down a giant escalator as fast as he could in the lobby of a hotel where a photography trade show was taking place.Years later, when he first came to record video classes at lynda.com in 2004, we invited him to our house for dinner. Bruce and I will never forget Taz showing up, covered in mud from a local hike he took after work, with a live caterpillar poking out of his curly hair! These two examples describe some of the many sides of Taz Tally. He’s a digital photography master, a fitness fanatic,sports a Ph.D. in geology, and  is a true mountain man who loves to hike and explore the wild.

Taz is currently recording a photography color correction course using Photoshop CS4. He pitched the idea to me of creating a fitness video sharing all the techniques he uses when traveling, working at his desk, or how to take advantage of every day situations and objects instead of gyms and cumbersome equipment. What do you think? Are we ready for fitness videos at lynda.com?

By Lynda Weinman | Monday, May 11, 2009

Grokking the Gravatar

gravatar

I am usually the reassuring one; helping others get past the “feeling dumb” part, and into the mindset of being open to learning new things. Now that I’m officially a blogger (took me long enough, eh?) I wanted to learn how to make my picture show up next to my comments.

The process was a little uncomfortable, but it worked. I logged on to the free service athttp://en.engravitar.com and followed the directions. Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. I used the same email address that I use when I post a comment to our blog. Magically, once I loaded my image there, it appeared in our blog next to my comments.

It’s weird to me that one disparate service can tie my email address to my picture off my hard drive to unrelated software that we use for blogging. We’ve apparently set up our WordPress software to acknowledge the gravatar image plugin. I hope you’ll comment on this post by uploading your pictures to gravatar and seeing the magic happen yourselves.It’s easy, fun and a little weird. And it even makes a person who is feeling dumb feel a little more cheeky.

By Lynda Weinman | Friday, May 08, 2009

Flash 10 Player Course coming this summer…

lee_n_flash

Lee Brimelow, a lynda.com author who has created courses in After Effects, Flash, and Expression Web, wrote to me out of the blue the other day and proposed a course on Flash Player 10.

When creating Flash movies, websites, or applications, it is important to know all the new features of the authoring tool. But it is just as important to know the capabilities of the latest version of the Flash player. Each new version of the player introduces support for the latest and greatest features, many which are not exposed in the authoring environment.

Flash Player 10 introduced a ton of new creative capabilities, from 3D, advanced Text effects, Pixel Bender (like filter effects you’d find in Photoshop, only over time), to new sound and drawing APIs. This course will explain how to tap into these new features to take your Flash work to the next level.

It’s been a few years since Lee contributed to the lynda.com Online Training Library; he’s been busy with his blogs, The Flash Blog, gotoandlearnFlashermag, and working as Platform Evangelist for Adobe Systems focusing on the Flash, Flex and AIR communities.

Needless to say, the course idea is approved in the queue to record soon. We’re honored to work again with Lee; he fits the profile perfectly as an author with true passion, deep knowledge, and he’s addicted to sharing!

By Lynda Weinman | Friday, May 08, 2009

Upcoming Creative Inspirations: Duarte Design

duarte

I was in Mountain View, California on Wednesday 5/6/09 at a lynda.com video shoot for an upcoming Creative Inspiration documentary profiling Duarte Design. Their space is so inspiring!

Good design in an office space really makes my heart sing. It was also inspiring to meet another female entrepreneur who started her business with her husband, has a family, created a book, does training, and has a company. It’s almost freaky! Nancy Duarte is the author of the beautiful book Slide:ology, and has built a business around creating compelling PowerPoint presentations.

I know a lot of people don’t put the words ‘PowerPoint’ and ‘compelling’ in the same sentence, but Duarte Design has a 65(!) person staff of artists and storytellers who transform the art of presentation. The lynda.com documentary will be completed by end of year; meanwhile head over to Nancy’s site and blog and check it out!!!

By Lynda Weinman | Thursday, May 07, 2009

What are we missing in our various CMS courses?

My last post about Joomla! triggered some buzz in the twittersphere and prompted more discussion. Jen Kramer wrote to me that Maria Langer (lynda.com WordPress 2.7 Essential Training author) contacted her:

Maria Langer contacted me by Twitter and said she’d love it if you asked the same question about a WordPress course. Now I’m wondering if we couldn’t make this a more generic series of movies, suitable for Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. They all have the same starting place for their customized templates/themes — a static HTML web page.

Tom Geller (lynda.com Drupal Essential Training author) has been coordinating a CMS Overview course that would explain the strengths and weaknesses of the different systems and help newcomers navigate which choice to make.

So, open question to you all – what are we missing in our various CMS courses?

By Lynda Weinman | Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What should be in a Joomla! web basics course?

Joomla! Advanced CSS with Jen KramerOne of our lynda.com authors, Jen Kramer, and I are scheduled to talk this week about an idea for a new course. Jen is the author of Joomla! Creating and Editing Custom Templates and Joomla! Advanced CSS in the lynda.com Online Training Library®, and creates Joomla! based sites through her company, 4Web.

Since publishing these courses with us, Jen tells me she has been surprised by the number of lynda.com members who have written in asking her how to make the graphics and base-line web site assets/HTML for Joomla! sites. She had wrongly assumed that most people already knew how to do this, and we’ll be talking about creating a course to explain these details.

A whole new generation of web publishers are coming in through the CMS (content management system) door (i.e. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla!), and their learning process is different than those of us who started in web development and design before CMS existed.

I’m planning to green-light her new course suggestion for a Joomla! web basics course because I love to find new ways to support the diverse membership of lynda.com. One of the joys of building the library is to listen to what members want to know, and fill the holes and gaps.

What would you like to see in a Joomla! course that focused on building design, forms and HTML assets?

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