Category: Casey Design 2.0 Blog

Unplug and Verify!

Verify every variable before presenting to your potential customer!

Many things can be different between your office and a presentation room. These are things you may not notice or take for granted, until they become a problem on location at the time of presentation.

Since I been surprised by this type of experience myself, lately by both Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, I highly recommend some preliminary verification, setup and preparation. When you are presenting work, especially through Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office remotely, there are some things you might want to walk through first:

  • Is your laptop battery charged?
  • Do you have an AC adapter and all required projectors, connectors and adapters.
  • Will your presentation application require Internet access to function on location?
  • Will it require a username and password?
  • Are you 100% sure you have the correct username/password required?
  • Will you have Internet access to present at the location?
  • Will it be easily available both on location and in the particular room in which you’re presenting to the customer.
  • If you need it, will the person you’re meeting with have the Internet password? (I advise you avoid needing it in the first place. It can be annoying to an interviewer or client to have to locate a password for you.)
  • Don’t assume anything. (I would suggest completely disconnecting your laptop or device from the Internet and network, then seeing what would happen if you had to present completely disconnected.)
  • Are there any other surprise passwords needed on-site? Any there any network drives your computer is linked to in your office network that won’t be available? Is there a VPN password, Internet log-in or even something as basic as a laptop login or an Internet plugin that may be required?

I have seen all these things delay, interfere or stop presentations.

  • What if the power goes out, you drop your laptop, the battery wears out or your hard drive fails? Avoid disaster easily by always bringing a hardcopy backup and be prepared to use it!
  • If your audience has to wait more than 2 minutes due to technical issues, fold up the laptop and hand out your attractive collateral and meeting guides that you brought just in case.
  • Laugh it off, apply your natural charisma and present your material. (This is much more impressive to your client than making them wait. No presentation is worth waiting very long for while you “fix the problem”. The client rightly expects you to have done all that before you arrived.  Trying too long to “fix” a presentation will make you run over your allotted time and says to your client that you don’t value their time.)

Inland Empire About Reincarnation?

200px-inposA throwback to my more film and media centered days. I just saw this film and the performance by Laura Dern is amazing! Although I felt it made a big request of the viewer. You had to watch and experience it and suspend the need to literally understand it, since it often made no sense as you absorbed it all.  This was a challenge in a highly disturbing and mind bending film like Inland Empire, three hours long that sometimes it lapsed into Polish with no subtitles, which pushed you as a viewer to read facial cues and watch the character’s eyes and expressions to follow the story.

I felt it absolutely had to be related to reincarnation. In the film she is thrown back and forth between places, people, the past and the present.  It seemed she was remembering multiple past lives, sometimes symbolically and sometimes as images, visions or confused fragments. I felt Lynch was also commenting on the hard social role of women over time and their suffering over time. Besides bringing up the possibility of reincarnation, he also addresses why it might be a disaster if we could remember our past lives.  The film shows how it might be identity and reality shattering to glimpse through the veil of time and identity (pierced with a burning cigarette?) At one point in the film Laura Dern yells “Did you know me before?”  What a fascinating film regardless of how you interpret it.

Excellent Art Book for Artists

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 3.53.12 PMFellow artists: Want to pick up some great tricks all in one place to improve your work without commiting a lot of time and money ? Check out Mike Hoffman’s book called “Secrets of Drawing by Hoffmann” at his Mike Hoffman’s Etsy Store Online

Easily Combine Movie Clips in AE


ae ccSay you have a bunch of digital video clips that you want to put in order to create one combined movie in Adobe After Effects?  

  1. Name them sequentially
  2. Make a new project
  3. Drag them into the AE project window
  4. Select them all
  5. Drag them over the composition icon down to the base of the project window on the right
  6. A dialog panel will appear and in that check the box that says “Sequence Layers” and ignore the rest.

This will put all the digital movie clips in order in your composition timeline.  After that you can edit them or just create a composite movie by adding the whole thing to the render queue, selecting your settings, the movie name and the location to save the file.  🙂

Black Panther Artwork!

Black Panther_by_Casey

New Black Panther artwork in honor of the new movie
(Sorry, if that’s a spoiler!)

Needless to say, I hope, all rights reserved on the art. 🙂

Fix for InDesign Spellcheck Bug

I was working on an article in Adobe InDesign and it was showing many, many correctly spelled words as misspellings.  I checked online and some forums said to be sure the english dictionary was selected in InDesign’s preferences. I choose the English dictionary again, which I had already checked, resaved the language choice, but InDesign still defined half the words as misspelled!

Here’s how to fix this problem:

  1. Select all the text in the document (May be unnecessary, but it’s what I did when it worked.)
  2. At the top of the screen, in the center of the heads-up menu, underneath the “Character Style” drop-down menu, is the “language selection” drop-down menu.
  3. Click on this drop-down menu and hold down the right mouse button, with all the document text still selected, drag down to the language you wish to apply to the document, in my case English.
  4. Once you do this, the Adobe dictionary definitions and spelling for that language will be applied throughout the document.

Once it’s applied, the Adobe spellchecker is a very good one, but Adobe should make the preferences the default language and this other method an option for special circumstances, not the other way around.

Once you know how to do it, this is pretty easy to fix, but it’s not intuitive at all.  Adobe shouldn’t let this kind of opaque complexity exist in final software, but don’t get me started on monopolies! Of course, if one of us end users selects English as their default language in the preferences, it should apply it as the language selection globally, whether it’s English or whatever other language.  Sorry to say, this is not true in InDesign CC.  Adobe must not care much about inconveniencing their customers, to release software with such a built-in complexity, in such an essential component as the Spell Checker.

Words & Image Artwork

And Now for Something Completely Different…

There is some great history and fiction about ancient Rome.  An excellent and immersive series is the extensive “S.P.Q.R.” series by John Maddox Roberts.  If you like this type of writing, you might want to check out the quality works by Harry Sidebottom, Simon Scarrow, Robert Fabbri and Robert Harris. This genre inspired this pen and ink of a roman soldier.  It’s made up completely of words and phrases about ancient Rome. 🙂

Michael_L_Casey_Artwork_Centurian

 

A Thousand Watercolors

wendy_painting02Working on a new watercolor for my wife.

A great book on watercolor painting stated “Your first 1,000 watercolors will be the hardest.”
I have to agree that even after years of painting, watercolor is the most vibrant and dynamic paint and the most volatile and challenging.

Google Pushing Mac OSX Users Forward

office-625892_640
If you are using any Mac OSX system earlier than Mavericks, be prepared for Google to start dictating to you that you need to move to a newer OS to use their web browser, Google Chrome.  Google Chrome users on the Mac OSX, any earlier than 10.9.5 (Mavericks), will get an annoying pop-up every time they open Chrome telling them that support for Chrome under their current OS is being ended. I understand that message coming up, but it starts to become more prevalent and has an ominous feel to it.  It’s sounds as if you don’t comply, you’re version of Chrome might just stop working all of a sudden. We’ve seen Google take some aggressive stances on the way their browser will work over the last year.  First the news that Google will index mobile friendly sites first and favor them over non-mobile friendly websites, then news that by default Google Chrome will not play Flash content.  Users who want to see Flash content will have to go into settings and turn it on, if they want Flash elements to continue to play in the Google browser.  Now Mac OSX users have to comply or maybe lose browser support.  Safari and Firefox are starting to look a little better to me.

New Adult Coloring Book Page

wizard_coloring3_web
New Adult Coloring Book Page

Hey all,

Here is another adult coloring book page in the Sword and Sorcery genre. Enjoy the “Spell Casting Wizard! Click on the image and right click to save or print.  Color the laser print with ink, markers or pencils or if you own Adobe Photoshop, open the image and create a new layer on top of the black line art of the wizard (make sure the color mode is RGB and not grayscale) and set the blending mode of this new blank layer to “multiply” and color away.  The color will show up and not affect the black lines underneath.

My next post will be a review of the creative placement agencies in the Twin Cities, their value to  creative freelancers, as well as ratings and lists of their characteristics and quality of service.

Until then, download a wizard or warrior, color and cool out. 🙂