Archive for September, 2007

Episode 037 – DVD Software Box

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Episode 037 is posted. In this episode I demonstrate how to make a dvd software box. Since I had just gotten my perspective effect working again I thought it best to hurry and squeeze this one in. Like usual I took some shortcuts and fudged some things. You’ll likely notice that when you watch the tutorial.

Moreover, I fixed the quality of my video. It’s a little better than episode 036. Compiz-Fusion has this neat plug-in called “Resize Info”. When one scales a dialog box an on screen display pops up showing you the window size. It’s really neat and handy. You can make any window any size that you want simply by dragging it to size and stopping when you hit the size that you need. It helped me when I made this screencast.

By the way, yes I did notice the crummy job at tracing my screenshot that is attached to the LCD thumbnail. Trace bitmap doesn’t handle graidents very well without making the output image super big…or superbad…have you seen that movie yet? Funny.

Anyway, grab yourself some coffee or tea before watching this episode. It’s a dozer. 😉

Oh, before I forget. I used the Inkscape logo in this screencast. It’s important to ask permission to use such things first. I didn’t do that. My apologies.

…and the gods smiled favorably down upon heathenx

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

I just finished doing my happy dance. It wasn’t pretty but no one saw me so it’s cool. I finally got the perspective effect working again on my openSUSE 10.2 desktop with Inkscape v0.45-1. This effect has been the bane of my existence. It totally frustrates me at times when I cannot get it working. Out of all the effects that I use, I use this one the most. Perhaps the upcoming Inkscape with the new 3D box that Ryan Lerch blogged about recently will help for future projects. I hope so.

Like any other distro, openSUSE has some pros and cons. At times things just work so well on it and other times I get so frustrated with it that I want to chain my computer to the back of my car and drag it around for a while. Don’t worry…I’d make a back up first. 😉 It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Ubuntu and the pimped version Ubuntu Studio. Of the 6 or 7 computers in my house, Ubuntu is installed on the majority of them. But that is neither here nor there. I was using Suse long before there was an Ubuntu and old habits are sometimes hard to break.

Back to Inkscape. So I was cruising the Internet regarding numpy, the package that is needed for the perspective effect to work, and I came across a post by David Cournapeau (yes, I finally found out his last name and email address) in the numpy discussion group regarding a special repo that he had set up for openSUSE 10.2 users who needed the numpy (or python-numpy) package. Did anyone notice how long that last sentence was? Anyway, I uninstalled my python-numpy, lapack and blas packages with smart. I then downloaded his packages (oh yes…they’re keepers) and installed them. It was that easy. Now my perspective effect works. I still get the “normal” error that many of us are used to:

** (inkscape:18536): WARNING **: Format autodetect failed. The file is being opened as SVG.

** (inkscape:18537): WARNING **: Format autodetect failed. The file is being opened as SVG.

** (inkscape:18538): WARNING **: Format autodetect failed. The file is being opened as SVG.

** (inkscape:18539): WARNING **: Format autodetect failed. The file is being opened as SVG.

But after I click the “OK” the effect properly works. HORAY!

If you are an openSUSE user (are there any left after the Novell Deal?) and you have this problem then don’t fret. There is a fix. Head over to David’s repo and add it to Yast or smart or yum or just download the the packages so that you have a copy for later use.

Thank-you David.

Episode 036 – Rain Drops

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Hello World! I have uploaded my latest creation, Episode 036. In it I demonstrate how to make rain drops in Inkscape v0.45. You’ll find many tutorials on the net regarding this very thing. Most are Photoshop creations…some have been done in Gimp.

I was a little disappointed in the quality of this screencast. I actually thought that my video looked better since I cleaned up my system but it was the opposite. After I encoded the episode it got a little pixelized. The flash version is even worse. I think part of the problem was the gtk theme that I was using in Compiz. My window decorator was a little thick and recordmydesktop needed to jump up the resolution to fit it in. I recorded at something odd like 858×646 or something like that. Once I scaled down to 800×600 during encoding I lost quality. Changing my window theme to emerald, which is what I was using before, seemed to have bettered the situation. I think it dropped me back down to 836×646. The goal is to get recordmydesktop to record as close as possible to 800×600 so that I do not have to scale that much during encoding. That’s why my Windows screencasts are nicer quality. I record at exactly 800×600 on that OS. I cannot do that in Linux as easily.

I’ll try to get the video quality back were it needs to be. Might take some more tweaking but I think I can improve it. Enjoy the screencast.