Websites for Learning Coding

code-MyOVmpU_If you are looking to learn HTML, Java, CSS, and other coding languages, there are a few websites available that can help. Codecademy is a free site where you earn badges as you progress through the lessons. Lynda.com is a pay site that offers extensive video-based training, but is free for Fountaindale library cardholders (access it with your FPLD card through this portal). After you’ve mastered the basics, check out CodeWars and improve your skills by performing different tasks.

 

Photoshop Club

photoIn late Summer we launched a new, ongoing Club Photoshop for our patrons. The club is for Photoshop enthusiasts at all skill levels — novice to advanced — who want to learn new techniques. Each month we demonstrate a project, provide instructions and project files, and then guide you through completing the project. Every month is different so there will always be something new to learn.

Upcoming projects for the Photoshop Club in 2015 include:

  • Photoshop Diet
  • 3D Techniques
  • Animation
  • Advanced Masking
  • And more …

Photoshop Club meets the last Wednesday of each month in 2015: 1/28, 2/25, and 3/25. You can sign-up 21 days in advance.

Gift making in Studio 300

christmas-tree-1_green-021114-ykwv1Surprise your family and friends with one-of-a-kind gifts that you create in Studio 300. Here are some ideas:

  • Retouch an old family photo and share digital files or print on photo paper using our high-quality printer (you can even make a poster!)
  • Take a family portrait.
  • Find a pre-built model on Thingiverse and print it using our 3D printer (or create your own unique design and print that).
  • Record your family singing holiday songs or just a special message and then make a CD.
  • Convert that old VHS tape to DVD and share copies with others.
  • And more.

These all make heartfelt gifts and are easy and inexpensive. For more ideas and to get started on your project, stop by Studio 300 today.

Photoshop Club

photoshop_logo_wallpaper_by_peterbaumann-d6c88bwThis August Studio 300 will host Club Photoshop.  This on-going club is for beginners, intermediate, and advanced Photoshop users. The first project will be a poster using multiple images, brushes and shapes, and includes Photoshop tools such as masking, typography, and basic compositing.

Club Photoshop is for you to explore techniques beyond our regular Photoshop classes and an opportunity for you to work with and learn from other Photoshop users. Future projects will include photo editing, HDR photos, digital illustration, and so much more. Your suggestions are also encouraged.

Club Photoshop meets the last Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. starting on August 27. Seats are limited so sign up today.

Girl Scouts craft website

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Recently Girls Scout Troop 51221 worked on their Silver Award by creating a website with help from Studio 300. Their challenege was to create a website that would allow other people to share their stories on how cancer has affected their lives. The Scouts used the free Weebly.com to make their site. Weebly allows you to quickly create your own web page using templates. Take a moment to visit the site they created.

Studio 300 offers a basic website building class. Check the calendar for upcoming dates.

 

Painting with Photoshop

wacomWant to learn how to use the Wacom drawing tablet to paint on the computer? This April and May we are offering Photoshop 103 – Digital Painting. You will learn how the brush tool works, how to create your own brushes, how to upload free brushes, and how to use the Wacom drawing tablets. Use these skills for digital illustration, to create dynamic photos, and for scrapbooks.

Sign up here.

 

Minecraft has taken over

We recently held an awesome MineCraft After Hours event for teens. Part of the program was to create tutorials using Minecraft, ScreenFlow, and iMovie. These short how-to videos worked from an in-house Minecraft server created by the Studio 300 staff. Overall, the videos went great except for a few deaths (make that a lot of deaths), a distressing silverfish incident that took out a building, and a few server crashes (silly sheep). Check out some highlights below:

Other activities included green screen pictures (see the results here), creeper duck tape wallets, buttons, and other  paper crafts. The event was really successful and we received great feedback from the kids. The future of Minecraft at Fountaindale Public Library looks bright, sunny, and zombie free.

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Image Formats

file4411234628810What is the ideal file format for your completed images? First, decide the purpose of your image. Are you posting it to the web? Printing it? Does it need to be large or small? Is detail and line quality important? Here are some suggestions about formats you might use for a given purpose.

JPEG

Works best for color photographs where keeping the file size small is important. It does not work very well for text and large blocks of color that have precise lines as it will cause some blur. There are three ways to save a JPEG: Baseline (Standard), Baseline Optimized, and Progressive. Baseline (Standard) is recognized by all web browsers while Baseline Optimized has better color and compression but will not work on earlier web browsers. Progressive on web pages loads immediately but starts out blocky then clears up as the upload progresses.

PNG

Use this format when you need smaller file sizes and transparency. It was developed for a replacement for GIF.

TIFF

This large file type has no quality loss and also has transparency support. Due to its larger size it is not the best option for web graphics.

GIF

This simple format works best for black and white line images. It only does 256 colors but it does support very simple animations. It works well for buttons and charts.

Unsure how to proceed? Ask us in Studio 300 and we’ll help you optimize your image saving.