Archive for April, 2008

Episode 059 – Masks on Textured Background

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Episode 059 is live. I demonstrate how to apply masks on a textured background in Inkscape 0.46. This type of project might be useful for a wallpaper or maybe a background for an Impress presentation (I seem to be making a few of those lately). Additionally, I have seen some rather neat looking Photoshop’ed images where the artist placed graffiti on a wall. Add a little perspective to the text and the same thing can be achieve in Inkscape just as easily.

This screencast is quick and easy. I thought perhaps some of the uber-beginners out there would find this somewhat useful. Using a mask to acheive this effect is one way of doing it. An alternative way would be placing the yellow objects on a seperate layer and using the “multiply” blend mode. That might be familiar to the Gimp user inside of you. Of course we must not forget about the new feBlend filter effect too. Since Inkscape is flexible one could mix a few different cocktails to achieve similar things. Experiment and have fun. πŸ™‚

Monster Donut

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Well…I figured out why my ass is getting bigger. Did you know that if you eat two or three of these things that you’ll most likely get sick? That’s a shame…

Ubuntu Tweak

Friday, April 18th, 2008

A few weeks ago I discovered a neat little tool that helps me tweak my Ubuntu installs. Being a full time KDE user (and recently an OpenBox convert) means that I am able to really configure things the way that I like them. Gnome on the other hand takes a different approach. It’s settings are a little harder to get to. Luckily for me, there is so much Ubuntu documentation out there that finding a way to do something usually takes just a few minutes.

A search for some customization tips for Ubuntu/Gnome turned up an app called Ubuntu Tweak. It reminds me of Tweak UI for Windows XP. For someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of Gnome, this tool is rather handy to have. Here is a list of some of the features straight from the author’ web site:

* View of Basic System Information(Distribution, Kernel, CPU, Memory, etc.)
* GNOME Session Control
* Auto Start Program Control
* Show/Hide and Change Splash screen
* Show/Hide desktop icons or Mounted Volumes
* Show/Hide/Rename Computer, Home, Trash icon or Network icon
* Tweak Metacity Window Manager’s Style and Behavior
* Compiz Fusion settings, Screen Edge Settings, Window Effects Settings, Menu Effect Settins
* GNOME Panel Settings
* Nautilus Settings
* Advanced Power Management Settings
* System Security Settings

Give it a try!

Earthquake in the Midwest

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Frick! Everyone came into work this morning talking about the earthquake that hit us this morning in Indiana. I must have slept through it because I didn’t feel ‘nuthin’. πŸ™


Meet the Gimp: Episode 041

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I had the opportunity to contribute to Rolf’s project over at on Episode 041. If you are interested in such things then check it out. Gimp and Inkscape go hand in hand. Hell, I’ll even throw Scribus in there too. πŸ˜‰

Thanks Rolf and Dai.


Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

pr0g80X.vid episode 0.2 has been released. Check it out. Great job, Pete. πŸ™‚

Episode 058 – Filter Effects

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Episode 058 is now posted. In it I demonstrate how to use a few filters in the newest Inkscape 0.46.

This episode is also the first video where we made the switch from 800×600 resolution to 912×684 resolution for both AVI and FLV. Inkscape has always been a little difficult to shrink down to 800×600 so Richard and I are left recording with a slightly bigger window size and then scaling that to a standard resolution when we encode the video. Version 0.46 of Inkscape is even more challenging to make the application window smaller.Β  We prefer to record in the same size that we encode into so that the video is as clear as possible. 800×600 to 912×684 isn’t a big jump but it might be enough to annoy some of our viewers. The format that we ended up with is middle ground between Inkscape and screencasting. We hope that it will be alright. πŸ™‚

If you hate the larger resolution video then please send all complaints to Richard Querin, P.O. Box 567, French Lick, IN, 169…uh…wait…never mind…better respect his privacy. πŸ˜‰

Episode 057 – Page Curl

Friday, April 11th, 2008


In Episode 057, I demonstrate one way to create a pseudo-realistic page curl effect. I started playing around with the idea when one of our viewers, Don Waters, sent an email in with a nice example of one. Of course it got put on the back burner like everything else in my life. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I probably attempted to record this sucker about 4 or 5 times before I finally got through it passably. And even after that I decided to re-encode it just because of all the mistakes I made. In this final version, about 10 seconds after I start talking, you can hear my dog’s collar chime as he shakes. After that it pretty much settled down and turned out ok.

I’m not happy with the colour gradient I chose for the paper curl in both the intro and the full screencast. A little thing, but annoying. I should have chosen something much closer to the paper shade.

Enough regrets. It’s up, take it or leave it… But please take it. πŸ˜‰

Little Britain

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Typically my family reserves an hour or two late in the evening for a few episodes of a series. In the past it has been Father Ted, Mr. Bean, Peroit, Kids in the Hall, The Vicar of Dibley, Family Guy, Trailer Park Boys, Spaced, The League of Gentlemen, Jeeves and Wooster, Are You Being Served, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder, Big Train, Inspector Lynley, The Thin Blue Line, Cadfael, The Office (British), Midsomer Murders, As Time Goes By, Hetty Wainthropp, Men Behaving Badly, Upstairs Downstairs, The Big Bang Theory, and I’m sure some others that I’m forgetting. We watch them over and over again, never really getting sick of our collection.

As you may have noticed from the list above, we like our BBC America channel. Whenever we watch a few episodes of something we usually get hooked right away and acquire the DVD’s. As of a couple of days ago, we remembered Little Britain. We had watched a few episodes a long time ago but had forgotten about them. My wife got the first three seasons. I’m not sure if there are more but if there are I’m getting them.

So far Little Britain is fucking hilarious. I totally recommend it if you are longing for a good British comedy sketch series. I laughed so hard last night that I went to bed with a headache. I hate that. I think Daffyd and Vicky Pollard are brilliant. Check it out…you won’t be sorry.


Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

It is no coincidence that while working in my CAD system yesterday I had exactly 1,337 occurences (properties) in one particular assembly that I was working on. Yes, my CAD system is trying to tell me something. Perhaps I’m uber cool. Nah…