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A beginner's guide to displacement and bump maps
January 15, 2019

If you’re new to CGI, you may feel that there are far too many tools to choose from in a dizzying array of software. By breaking everything in CGI down, I want to arm artists with the knowledge of which tool is best. With this in mind, let's explore materials and shaders by looking at bump and displacement maps. But first, let's look at why these maps are different to normal maps.What's the difference between bump maps and normal maps?In a...

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10 essential oil painting tips and techniques
January 15, 2019

When learning how to paint, virtually every student starts out afraid and overwhelmed by the unforgiving nature of painting in oils. But the transition to oils can be made much smoother by utilising some simple and practical painting techniques. In the video below, I demonstrate 10 great tips that will help get you started on the right path. (Spoiler alert: it all begins with the fundamentals!)Now let's go through these 10 oil painting tips in...

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The best tripods for 2019: take better photos
January 15, 2019

One the fastest ways to improve your photographs is to get yourself a camera support. A decent tripod will allow you to shoot long exposures, expand your options in low light (by allowing you to use slower shutter speeds), and open up possibilities in new genres such as astrophotography.Which tripod to choose? Aluminium, carbon fibre, magnesium, or some combination more than one? Heavy and sturdy or light and transportable? The answers to these...

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Inspiring packaging designs and resources
January 14, 2019

Packaging is something we're bombarded with on a daily basis. Creating an eye-catching packaging design that suits the product, stands out on crowded shelves, and doesn't cost a fortune to produce is a real challenge. In this post, we've rounded up standout examples of packaging designs to guide your efforts. For more inspiration, jump to page 4 where you'll find a list of handy free online packaging design resources.Now more than ever,...

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#Spidersona fan art turns creators into heroes
January 14, 2019

If you're at all tapped into the world of comics and superheroes on social media, the chances are you've seen some weird and wonderful Spider-Man inspired fan art fill up your timeline lately. But why have fans of the famous Marvel hero started sharing art with #Spidersona? What exactly is a Spidersona? And how can you get involved?Well, it's all to do with the latest Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. For those who haven't seen...

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The best memory cards for your camera
January 14, 2019

Need the best memory card for your new camera? Look no further. We've compiled the best storage media available right now – fast, high-capacity and durable, everything from SDHC to CompactFlash. No matter whether you're an amateur taking casual snaps or a professional capturing images for high-end clients, you need memory cards that won't let you down – and ideally ones that won't break the bank. That's where we come in. Read on for our top...

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How to be a thrifty freelancer
January 14, 2019

One of the hardest parts of being a freelancer is the money side of things. If you've had regular pay cheque your whole life, living with no guaranteed income can be daunting. Some months you'll be working non-stop, others will be ominously quiet. The easiest way to stay out of trouble – especially when you're first starting out – is by being thrifty with your money. We asked leading freelance artists, designers and photographers for their...

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How to create an Alexa skill for your site
January 13, 2019

Many of us now have some kind of voice assistant around the home, whether it be an Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod or a Google Home. It seems that voice is going to have a huge impact on the way we go about our daily lives, and as web developers we need to ask ourselves, what are the ways we can improve user experience by implementing voice into our websites and web applications?In this tutorial, we are going to be building a...

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The best mouse for Mac in 2019
January 13, 2019

Welcome to our guide to finding the best mouse for your Mac in 2019. With this list of the best mice for Macs, we aim to show you that you shouldn't simply settle for the mouse that comes with your Mac.If you own a MacBook, and do a lot of creative work on it, then it's also important to pick up the best mouse for your needs, as while the built-in trackpad of the MacBook is decent, a proper mouse will make working on your MacBook much easier and...

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The best mouse for 2019: 8 top computer mice for designers
January 13, 2019

One of the most important purchases, after you've bought your laptop and monitor, is buying the best mouse for your needs.No matter what creative work you'll be doing, you need the best mouse you can afford to ensure that your workflow is smooth and efficient. As you'll be using your PC – and your mouse – for hours at a time, you'll need something that's fast, responsive and above all comfortable to use.So how do you find the right mouse for...

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