Create Vector and Bitmap Graphics online for free

 Have you ever wanted to create vector or bitmap graphics but did’t have all of the expensive programs to work in? Well I got wind of this website/project called Aviary which allows you to do just that. 

Create graphics online for free

Aviary has created applications mimicking all of the popular graphics programs out there today. I will list the different programs, what they do and some examples of work created by people. I find it quite amazing what you can do with these programs — and they are all free.  Aviary uses names of bird species for each of their programs.

Image Editor (Similar to Photoshop, Paint Shop, Gimp, etc.) which is called Pheonix and is depicted by a very nice Peonix icon. Pheonix has all of the basic things you need to edit an image which include: clone tool, magic wand, filters, selection tools, smudge, layers and image resizing.

To Give Pheonix (image editor) a try click here.

Here are some of the popular images that I really like. These were created in Pheonix by regular users:

 

Apple Created with the Pheonix Editor
Apple Created with the Pheonix Editor

 

Flower graphic created with Pheonix
Flower graphic created with Pheonix

 

Very cool. Also created in Pheonix

 

 

Vector Editor (similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, Signlab, etc) which is called Raven and is depicted by a Black Raven icon. Raven has some of the basic things you need to edit an image. Raven is new, so more features will be coming out. Some of the existing features include: pen tool, pencil tool, brush tool, basic vector object tool, gradient editor, layers and smart selection. They also have a simple bitmap to vector tool.

To give Raven (vector editor) a try click here.

Here are some of the popular vector drawings that I really like. These were created in Raven by regular users:

Great vector illustration created with Raven
Great vector illustration created with Raven

 

Beautiful tree with a river and coy fish created in Raven
Beautiful tree with a river and coy fish created in Raven

 

Visual laboratory (not much like it on the market) which is called Peacock and is depicted by the Peacock bird. Peacock enables you to create amazing images with the use of filters, images and other mathematical effects. This application can be daunting at first, so be sure to watch the video on how to use it first.

To give Peacock (color chooser) a try click here.

Here are some stunning images created using Peacock:

Effect created using Peacock
Effect created using Peacock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created in Peacock
Created in Peacock

 

Color chooser and mixer (not much like it on the market) which is called Toucan and is depicted by the colorful Toucan bird. Toucan enables you to create correct color compositions and includes and complimentary, split, etc, color mixer/chooser. You really have to mess around with it to get what it does. It is important for any kind of graphic design when having to choose a number of colors and make them harmonic.

To give Toucan (color chooser) a try click here.

Many more. In addition to the above 4 applications they are supposed to be coming out with many more useful ones. This is a list of the ones I think are quite useful:

       Desktop Publishing (InDesign, Quark Express, etc) called Owl.

       Painting Simulator (Corel Paint, Photoshop, etc) called Pigeon — haha.

       Smart Image resizer (Genuine Fractals) called Woodpecker.

       3D Modeler (3DS Max, Maya, Blender, Sketchup) called Hummingbird.

       Font Creator (TypeTool, FontForge) called Ibis. (This one is particularly exciting to me).

There are more, see them all here.

Learn how to build websites from home 100% free

Learn to make websitesLearning how to build websites can be daunting at first. but with the amount of information on the web, it’s very easy to gradiently approach the subject and become a good website builder. I started a couple of years ago and I can now put together websites with ease. If you want to learn to build websites then this is for you.

This article is not for you if you only want to learn to build websites using visual based website builders and/or content management systems. I will be doing a separate tutorial on how to build websites that way. Realize that both ways can be used correctly and have their rightful uses depending on the goal for your website.

I will not be telling you how to build websites by myself — instead I will be telling you where I learned to build websites. I will give you links to the right places to learn, and all free.

The first and best place to start learning about websites is W3 Schools. W3 Schools has all free tutorials on all of the subjects you need to learn to be able to start building your’e own website. What you need to do is do the tutorials on W3 Schools in the order listed below. Make sure you play around with each concept after you read it. If you have any questions, post a comment here and I will answer it.

Learning Website Building Basics

Read this first. This article gives you the whole picture before you start learning. I suggest you read it.

Learn HTML.   HTML(Hyper Text Markup language) is what every website is made out of. It is the first thing you will need to learn, to be on your way to building websites. Make sure you take the time to really get this because it is the most basic and essential piece of websites.

Learn CSS.  CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) is what most websites use to efficiently style their HTML. With CSS you can make your website have an overall consistent design or feel. It also enables you to make design changes that reflect on numerous HTML pages by only changing the design change in one place.

Learn Basic Website Hosting. Web hosting means having a place for your website to reside. Learning this will allow you to set up your own website. For example, this website is “www.techassistnow.com”. If anyone goes to that web address, they see this website. When you understand how to host your own website you can then have your own domain name and website content. This will allow you to put together a full basic website that can be seen publicly on the web.

Once you get a feel for this, practice using HTML and CSS until you are pretty comfortable with it. It is wise to know these subjects well before going onto the next step, which can be difficult at first. By Learning HTML and CSS you have the basic knowledge to build a website. If you want to learn how to make interactive, more modern websites, continue down this list.

Learning Advanced Techniques

Learn Javascript. Javascript allows you to build interactivity into your web pages. With javascript you can make your page come to life and be more inviting to the people visiting your website. Learning Javascript can be troublesome at first, so take it easy and mess around with the examples as much as you can. Javascript has nothing to do with JAVA. JAVA is an advanced programming language and shares no similarity to javascript.

Learn PHP. PHP is a programming language that allows you to be able to deliver more dynamic web site content. This kind of programming is called server side scripting. There are numerous different types of server side scripting. I recommend using PHP because it is the simplest to learn and is used broadly on the internet. Do not expect to learn this all at once. As you learn some, use it and build something with it.

Once you have gotten pretty good at PHP, you have come a long way. Learning the really advanced features of website building will become easier as well as learning other server-side scripting languages.

Learning More about the Advanced Techniques

Becoming really good at building websites can involve numerous other subjects. I list them below so you can be directed to the right place. Other than that you can google any questions you have and find very good free articles and tutorials on these subjects. As a tip, if you see something that you like on a website you can right click in the browser window and click “View Source”. Looking through the HTML should give you an idea of how it was done.

Learn Ajax Here. Ajax is a type of javascript programming that can make webpages even more dynamic and load faster. When you go to a website like Google Docs you can see ajax in effect. A lot of new websites are using this programming technique.

Learn XML Here. XML stands for (EXtensible Markup Language). XML is used to store data.

Learn Other Server-Side Scripting. Learn programming languages that are similar to PHP. Click on the one you are interested in.

Learning Web Design

Learning web design is a whole subject in its self. Learning web design normally requires learning graphic design to a degree. If you are already a designer or if you just want to jump into learning web design, read on.

Learn the web design/Planning process. This is the first step in designing a website. It is essential to a good website to plan it correctly.

Learn Photoshop. Photoshop is the main program used today to design web sites. Many sites are planned using a graphics program before any HTML or web coding is done. Websites done like this can have a huge edge on aesthetics and design. Photoshop is a huge program and can be a lot to learn by yourself. I suggest getting a book on this. The book I used was the Photoshop Bible, they come out with new ones for each new Photoshop version. Google “Photoshop Bible” or go to Amazon and get it.

Learn Web Design and Web 2.0. These are some very good tutorials from Scratch Media. I love this website and would suggest anyone read the information on there.

Learn Web App design and put AJAX to use. This is also a site from scratch media. Very useful and informative.

Steel Text (With Brushed Metal Look)

 

Make Steel Looking text. Also learn how to make the brushed steel texture. Once you know this you can add your own modifications and create your own steel look. There are millions of ways of making the steel text look. This is one way.

Level: Intermediate

Photoshop Version: CS2 (Can be done in Earlier versions up to Photoshop 7.0)

Definitions:

DPI: Dots Per Inch. This means how many pixels there are per inch of space.

Tutorial:

First create a new image with a black background. Create it 5 Inches Wide by 1 1/2 Inches tall at 300 dpi, or a dpi you desire.

Next, with your choice of font, create a white text saying whatever you would like to put there. I used Steel as the text and Franklin Gothic as the font. Some other good fonts for this are Bank Gothic and Copperplate Gothic.

Press “Ctrl j” while selected on the text layer. This will make a copy of the layer.

Next, rasterize the text layer by selecting it and going to [Layer -> Raterize -> Type ]

Next click on the rasterized type layer and click the lock transparent pixels button. This will loc the transparent pixels, so that anything you do to this layer wont affect the already transparent pixels.

Next thing you do is go to [Filer -> Noise -> Add Noise]

Apply the settings as seen here. If you want more streaks up the amount. If you want mutli-color streaks unclick “Monochromatic” which means one color only.

Next, go to [Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur]

Apply the settings here, or change them as you desire. The main one you might want to adjust is distance. This is how much it applies the motion blur.

Now Select the gradient tool. Go to the gradient editor and select the “foreground to transparent” gradient. Click ok. Make sure your foreground is black. Then drag you gradient from bottom-right up to the top-left and top-left to the bottom-right. Here you can see what we are going for:

Next double click on the rasterized text layer to open the layer styles window. Check the box named satin and set the settings shown here or a variation if you like.

This completes the tutorial. Here is the outcome: