Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Grab the latest Envato Community Podcast all about the Tuts+ Marketplace!

Posted: 31 Aug 2010 12:42 AM PDT

Community Podcast - Ep5 Tuts+ Marketplace Special Edition!

The Envato Marketplace Community Podcast is a monthly downloadable official audio podcast produced by the Envato team and is hosted by Support and Community veterans, Drew Douglass and Jordan McNamara. Each episode we have a chat about the latest happenings in the Envato world including exclusive site news, tidbits and interviews with staff or people of note that are involved with the Envato network of sites.

This episode is super special! We walk users through the ideas and concepts of our newest site, the Tuts+ Marketplace with special guests Skellie (Tuts+ Manager) and Sean Hodge (Tuts+ Marketplace Site Manager, Vectortuts+ Editor).

If you’re simply curious about the Tuts+ Marketplace or want a more in-depth explanation of how the new addition to our Marketplace family works, then we strongly recommend you have a listen to the show!

If you’re a Twitter user we also have a competition for you! All you need to do is tweet to your followers, your thoughts about the Tuts+ Marketplace. To be eligible for the prize all you need to do is include a link to the Tuts+ Marketplace (http://marketplace.tutsplus.com – feel free to use a link shortener or this smaller link we’ve pre-prepared http://enva.to/9jTZtn) and include the hash-tag ‘#TutsMP’. We will be choosing a winner at random to receive $100 of Marketplace credits to help you kick start your skills and knowledge!

Grab the podcast now!

Download the latest show and subscribe in iTunes by clicking here!
Direct download the latest episode by clicking here!
Take part in the discussion on the Marketplace Forums by clicking here!

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Author Interview: VideoMagus

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 11:42 PM PDT

Meet VideoMagus (Timur Seyfi) from VideoHive!

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

    Thank you indeed for this interview opportunity. I really appreciate it, definitely not being the best After Effects master on VideoHive, though I am one of the best sellers – thanks to the VideoHive buyers.

    Well, a bit about myself: My name is Tim. I’m not as young as most of the VideoHive authors. A long time ago I became happily married, and have two nice children. For the last few years I have lived in Vancouver, Canada, having moved there from Europe.

    I was born in Russia, graduated in Linguistics from Moscow State University, then studied in a European Film College in Denmark and completed a Russian Film Institute with Diploma in Film & TV production. For the next few years I worked as editor, director, scriptwriter, and actor for Russian TV channels and some international projects. I then spent a few years as a freelance multimedia artist in the Czech Republic, Germany, Malta, and Spain.

    And now I do my best as a video freelancer on the very west of Canada and the world. LOL.

  2. Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

    Currently I contribute mainly to VideoHive, a bit to ActiveDen and GraphicRiver, and some other media stocks. I like different types, techniques, genres and styles, and prefer doing three to five projects simultaneously. Most of my best selling files are different motion design elements and some live footage. Now I have to push myself to produce more After Effects projects. Stay tuned!

  3. How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

    I started my first ever media stock in 2007 on the old cosy FlashDen as ‘Bushido’, where I signed just for fun (on my genius son’s advice) to try to sell my flash animation experiments. And only a few months later I suddenly found there a very small and poor video section, with a dozen authors and two hundred clips and loops made for occasional Flash design needs. They were mostly low resolution, some After Effects and Particle Illusion presets, a few artistic backgrounds, and no real live footage or motion design projects at all. And these fairly simple files were selling really well as the video era was just starting on the Internet.

    But the strange video reviewer xdosex (Mark) wasn’t happy with his tiny FlashDen section, and secretly dreamed to turn it eventually into the world’s best video stock site, despite the many strong competitors like iStock, Revostock and others. Nobody believed it could happen two years ago, but I did. And so did some other FlashDen video veterans like ScottWills, Baf2681, Sharky, Hedley, Kramz, Flashato, Zanimotion, yocreative, creative_sq, elements, juanmar00.

    I started with a few very, very simple clips, and they were very drastically criticized by Brian, revealing his future talent as a VideoHive reviewer. So I forced myself to look for more originality, and submitted my first original live footage compositions like Glamour Walking and Rail Enchanting. By the way, at that time I had no education in pro motion design, just various video directing, shooting and editing experience.

    The market demand here two years ago was mostly for original background loops and particle transitions, and I found that Apple Motion 3 was very friendly and effective for that. I started to make more and more files, improving my video effects under Mark’s passionate guidance, gradually moving up in the number of satisfied buyers.

    The visual technologies and markets are quickly expanding and changing, and self-education is rather slow-effective in our fast times. So in the next year I hope to get a good formal training in hi-end film and TV, and visual effects as well.

    And VideoHive is changing. I had a secret mystic dream about two new VideoHive sections for Cinema 4D and Maya animation projects, so be prepared!

  4. Describe your home workspace.

    For my current motion design practice I’m powered with Final Cut Studio on iMac and After Effects CS3 on PC. I guess it’s very common to work on a second machine, while the first is rendering something huge. And I like to use different software with different features.

  5. Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

    The steps of my creative process are not that strict – just balancing between my artistic wants and the business needs. It’s always some kind of a cocktail of my impressions from the mass media, serious art masterpieces, real things and surreal dreams… and VideoHive reviewer’s rejections of course!

  6. What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

    The most important thing is to try to create something not only different from the rest, but really new. That’s the best way to learn the tools, to get a sudden masterpiece, and sometimes to produce a good seller for VideoHive.

    There are many ways to be a successful producer – as with a huge, wide-range portfolio, or with just a few very brilliant files. But it’s always about the five complex rules – the right marketing response, good technical quality, high presentation level, strong promotional support.

    And fifth – keeping only positive relations with your partners and customers. There is no good conflict – you only lose your life’s time and energy. Even when planned as a tactical move in your mighty commercial strategy, the tail wags the dog.

  7. What do you do to market your files?

    Self-promotion is still my weakest point. I don’t advertise my VideoHive portfolio very well. I don’t advertise on any of the popular social and professional networks. I just occasionally post on Envato’s forums. I have a very simple link-listing web-page, www.videomagics.com, and a very limited personal stock site,  www.videomagus.com.

    I definitely need to hire a good agent, or at least a smart secretary. Oh, I forgot – sometimes I get an interview as VideoHive celebrity!

  8. What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

    Over the past two years I’ve made about five hundred stock files, and always try my best. But nobody’s perfect!

    If I had to pick just three favorites, they might be:

    - the CGI background loop Silver II,

    - the live footage based intro, Underground Countdown,

    - and the After Effects project, 3D Brochure.

  9. Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

    I’m really impressed with the number of superior VideoHive files, which are growing daily. They are much better than mine, made by veterans as well as newcomers – including Plamencvetanov, InLifeThrill, Vaynah, Felt_tips, Wayman, Placdarms, Dorde, and UNVI – just to name a few of the best.

    But my favorite author ever is MarkBrodhuber, with his one absolutely unique After Effects project – called VideoHive!

  10. What do you do in your spare time?

    In my very rare spare time I’m happy to play with my kids. No kidding!

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

SunPower Corp. Sparks 1,000 New Green Jobs with Solar Installations for U.S. Government

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 08:10 PM PDT

SunPower Corp. creates 1,000 new green construction jobs for solar installations in the U.S.Solar industry powerhouse Sunpower Corp. is busy creating new green jobs in the renewable energy sector, the latest endeavor being a group of contracts for a minimum of 20 megawatts in new solar installations for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, General Services Administration and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  All together, SunPower estimates that the construction work will create about 1,000 new green jobs in the local communities where the installations are located, in addition to saving taxpayers money by helping to shift the U.S. military into a more stable, low risk form of energy.

The new projects also illustrate how the Obama administration has stepped up the pace of solar installations at government facilities. SunPower has been installing solar arrays at U.S. government facilities since 1999, for a total of 20 megawatts to date. That’s equal to the minimum amount of solar capacity that will be installed under the new contracts.


U.S. Coast Guard Goes for Wind Power

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 05:25 PM PDT

u.s. coast guard installs first wind turbine at its Southwest Harbor facility in MaineFollowing close on the heels of the U.S. Army, which just activated its first wind power project at the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, the U.S. Coast Guard is diving into wind power, too. The new turbine has been installed at the Coast Guard’s Southwest Harbor Base in Maine.

The new turbine is only rated at 2.4 kilowatts, but in this case, size doesn’t matter. What really matters is that the U.S. military has historically been very cautious about adopting wind power partly due to concerns over radio interference, but now with two branches of the armed services getting their feet wet, perhaps a tipping point is near and more clean, renewable wind power is in store across the Department of Defense.


Soda Could Add a Green Energy Pop to Laptops

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 04:39 PM PDT

saint louis university scientists are developing biobased fuel cells that could use soda pop to power laptopsScientists from Saint Louis University in Missouri are reporting the development of a new class of biobased fuel cells, which could replace disposable batteries and their toxic components. The new biofuel cells could be used to power small electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones, and could be charged by sugar from common sources such as soda pop and vegetable oil.

Conventional batteries, even when rechargeable, have become an enormous logistical issue, not only for consumers but also in terms of providing portable power for military purposes and dealing with supply and disposal issues, especially at remote bases. The U.S. military has already begun to develop biobased fuel cells, so chances are that the consumer market won’t be far behind.


Your Car Would Have to Get 70 MPG to Be as Clean as an Electric Car, Study Finds

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 04:27 PM PDT

Are electric cars less catastrophic for our future climate than gasoline cars? Well, duh. But, here’s another study carefully poring over the evidence and showing it to be the case. At least for Europe.

A team of Empa scientists made a detailed life cycle assessment of the current state of the art lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used in electric vehicles, and published it in the scientific journal “Environmental Science & Technology.” 

Comparing not just the energy sources of gasoline-powered versus electric-powered cars, but also comparing an exhaustively detailed full life-cycle analysis of every step to make a battery versus a combustion engine: what did the researchers find?

The EV is the cleaner way to go. (more…)

Watering Deserts

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 02:06 PM PDT

The increasing desertification of the planet due to climate change is a serious threat to future humans,  so technology that can create water in deserts is arguably one of the more critical technologies that we need to master.

Wacky ideas that purport to solve serious climate issues are a dime a dozen, but ones that have actually proven themselves – by actually working in the real world – are welcome news.

At two years into successful operation on the largely arid Arabian peninsula, the “fog catcher” is such a concept. (more…)