Friday, January 21, 2011

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Motion Graphic Quality Standards Have Been Raised, A LOT!

Posted: 21 Jan 2011 10:37 AM PST

The time has come again to raise the bar in terms of quality within VideoHive’s largest section. Motion Graphics was the section that started it all. Once residing on FlashDen, the small section grew into a large section, which then became VideoHive. We feel the section has grown to contain the full range of possible file types, and now that we’ve reached this point it’s time to shift gears and focus on quality.

The last raise in quality standards brought with it a slightly higher requirement to get a file accepted in this section. We weren’t just looking for files that functioned, we wanted files that looked nice too. This time, the standards aren’t just raising, they’re sky rocketing. The reasoning for this is to help prevent saturation, while also ensuring that we’re offering our buyers the best possible file selection.

Moving forward we’re going to be looking for files that we consider broadcast grade. Files that people would expect to see in commercials, shows, and movies. Motion Graphic submissions will need to serve a purpose, be functional, and most importantly they’ll need to be designed well. Some aspects we’ll be looking at are composition, layout, color selection, animation, typography, and balance. We expect the number of rejections to go up during the initial shift to the new standards, but also expect everything to settle back down once everyone is comfortable with these new standards. In the end, I think this move will solidify VideoHive as the go-to place for high quality motion graphics. I’ve always said it’s important for authors to focus on quality over quantity, now inside of Motion Graphics, its the law.

For an idea of some recent files we’ve accepted that I think meet these new standards, please see the examples below.

Mac App Store’s Top Free Apps

Posted: 20 Jan 2011 08:41 PM PST

The Mac App Store is not yet two weeks old, and already millions of apps have been downloaded. How many have you grabbed?

I don’t know how impressed you’ve been with the store, but it’s not yet the best place to find free Mac apps. The app store is a great opportunity for developers, and some have made the most of it. So let’s take a quick look at the most-downloaded free apps currently available.

3 Games

  • Solitaire Greatest Hits is the Number 1 free app. It’s the perfect download for Windows switchers who don’t know what to do with their free time.
  • Pangea Arcade is the second most popular download. It’s a retro Atari game for those who miss the good old days.
  • Hedgewars is a strategy game similar to Worms.

2 Graphics/Photography Apps

  • Sketchbook Express is a highly rated app by Autodesk, designed to give you a taste of the “SketchBook Pro experience”. Sounds good to me. It’s the third most popular free download.
  • Image Tricks Lite is a free photo editing app that utilizes filters and a random image generator. It looks pretty basic, but the images in the screenshots are impressive.

2 Utilities

  • Caffeine is the well-known but very basic app that keeps your Mac awake. There are times when you really don’t want it to fall asleep, like in the middle of a movie. Until the time Mac OS itself manages to be smart enough to handle this task, it’s a handy download.
  • VirusBarrier Express is another great app for Windows switchers. I imagine it must feel very unnerving having no antivirus software running – this app will let them stop worrying and get some sleep.

2 Productivity Apps

  • Evernote is a great place to keep your notes and information in – everything is automatically synced with the cloud, and any other computers and devices you have. This is the first app I installed from the Mac app store. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it for years!
  • MindNode for Mac is an easy-to-use mind mapping application. It’s a refreshing change from Freemind and Xmind, but I’m not sure whether I prefer it.

2 Social Networking Apps

  • Twitter (formerly Tweetie) is a desktop app that gives you access to your tweets. It looks interesting, but I’m in the habit of using Hootsuite and CoTweet, and the Twitter app on my iPad. I may have to try this one.
  • Trillian is a popular Windows messaging app ported to the Mac. Use it to chat with your Facebook, Windows Live, Twitter, GTalk, AIM and Yahoo friends.

1 Music App

  • SoundCloud gives you access to tracks on the popular website. If you’re a big user of SoundCloud it’s probably worth trying.

Well, those are the dozen most-downloaded free apps on the Mac App Store. Which have you downloaded? How useful is the app store at this stage?

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