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Archives for Shawn Digg » Shawn Woods - Art Director/Senior Artist
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Author Archives: Shawn Digg

Realism in UI Design

The history of the visual design of user interfaces can be described as a gradual change towards more realism. As computers have become faster, designers have added increasingly realistic details such as color, 3D effects, shadows, translucency, and even simple physics. Some of these changes have helped usability. Shadows behind windows help us see which window is active. The physicality of the iPhone’s user interface makes the device more natural to use…. continue reading article…

http://ignorethecode.net/blog/2010/01/21/realism_in_ui_design/

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Social Gaming Network Connections

Social Gaming Network Connections

Social Gaming Network Connections

Social Gaming Network Connections

Finding the idea for an iPhone game is one thing. Making it all work together is another. It can be quite overwhelming and confusing. Which is exactly why I decided to take a more visual approach to connecting these social networking outlets.

It all starts with the iPhone App or Game. I believe every new app should include the basic necessities and viral hooks: Connect to Facebook to brag to your friends and compete on leaderboards, post high scores to Twitter, tell a friend through email, even bump and email if you get that far.

If you post a message on Facebook (or Facebook Pages), it should automatically feed into Twitter. AdMob (now Google) has a great system of sharing similar apps and cross promoting one another. If I am playing a game I like, I will click an ad at the bottom that appeals to me (Tap Tap by Tapulous does a great job of this). Posting on my blog should connect to Facebook, which in turn puts a note on Twitter. The company website is separate from the game website and linked together. LinkedIn takes feeds from your blog. It all works together.

Create a CafePress storefront for print-on-demand t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, environmentally safe grocery bags, calendars, etc. Stores can be created for free or you can upgrade to the premium model with unlimited products for a small fee of $5.95/month. Linking to your store and back creating yet another link in the social networking ring. Of course, as you create movies its wise to post on all the major video sites like YouTube, and Vimeo.

And then there are your “traditional” online advertising campaigns through Press Releases, Google Adsense, and good old fashioned emailing to noteworthy bloggers, news sites, and gamers. A company called Moo has custom “mini cards” for a cheap price ($20 for a 100 pack). These are excellent quality cards with a waxy finish. They are great for in person promotions and starts an interesting conversation to break the ice. You can customize each double-sided card with your app on the front and information how to download it on the back.

If you’d like you site linked here, I’ll start a list below to make connections. Or post a comment/ping back below.

Wildfire Game Labs
Magic Word Party Game on the iPhoneFollow us on Twitter!Facebook Page

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How to Motivate Your Team

How to motivate your team

Success in business is rarely down to technical skills or knowledge alone. Getting the most from your team is the sign of a successful manager and can lead to a successful business. The key to this is motivating people and giving them space to develop themselves to their full potential.

Being able to motivate your team successfully starts with wanting the best for people. If you care to find out about them and their needs and ambitions, you will find what motivates them. This will keep them performing at their best.

Motivation is open, positive and instils energy into your team. For instance, rather than commanding ‘Do this’, motivation entails showing why someone should do something and how they will benefit.

How can you motivate your team?

These are some suggestions for motivating your team:

  • You have to be motivated yourself to motivate others.
  • Motivation needs to be focused on clear, specific, realistic and achievable goals.
  • Seeing progress towards those goals gives a sense of achievement and helps revive motivation.
  • Motivation never lasts – there are always hurdles along the way that drain energy or distractions that take your eye off the ball.
  • Everyone has different motivations – you just need to find what they are. They may well be different from yours and will give you useful insights into what drives people. Ask your people what they want from their job, and for the business as a whole. Also what do they want for themselves in life overall?

Your staff may say money is a motivator – but look closely and you will find that it is a stepping stone to another goal. For instance, a desire for power, recognition, early retirement or travel.

  • A sense of belonging motivates – the smaller the group to which someone belongs, the stronger the loyalty, motivation and effort.
  • Participation motivates – people feel more motivated when they feel their involvement in a project is important and valued. Often we exclude our greatest assets – the people around us, from decisions in which we could include them.
  • Challenges motivate and people often rise to the occasion. However, it can also be demotivating if they are unobtainable, or conversely, too easy to achieve.
  • Motivation needs recognition and reward – even something as simple as a thank you.

What causes demotivation?

  • Constantly moving goalposts – people lose sight of goals, or feel they will never reach them and so cease to care about them anymore.
  • Not knowing what is going on. If you do not bother to tell people what is happening, you can demotivate and possibly alienate them too. Uncertainty is a very destabilising emotion in a group.
  • Not showing faith or trust in people.
  • Arbitrary decisions which are not consistent for all members of staff, and humiliating people in front of their peers.
  • Pay, work conditions or available facilities can affect motivation and often small changes can bring large differences.

Some signs of demotivation

  • Increased absenteeism/sickness.
  • Incomplete or careless work.
  • Lack of concentration.

Motivate yourself

Before you can inspire others to extend themselves, you need to develop your own sense of motivation. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Build your confidence and develop self-belief. Success doesn’t always go to the strongest person, but to the person with the greatest conviction.
  • If you work alone, identify an understanding person with whom you can talk through business issues and who will encourage you. A mentor can help here.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by a daunting task, such as sorting out your tax or personal finances, it tends to affect the rest of your attitude. There are three ways you could deal with a large task:
    1. Divide it up into smaller chunks and start immediately on the first chunk.
    2. Use an independent specialist who can relieve you of the anxiety of dealing with the task and will have more knowledge on the subject than yourself.
    3. Delegate the task to a member of your staff. Delegation can be a great motivator – but dumping an unwanted job on someone isn’t.
  • Assess, plan, act. Write a plan for yourself for the next year, both in business and personal terms. Set tough, but realistic objectives with timescales. We all react positively to these.
  • Also write down why you want to do something, even if the reasons hardly seem valid. Something as simple as ‘I want a clear desk so I don’t have to start the day in a mess’ is valid. Clean it up tonight and start tomorrow afresh.
  • Use picture power or imagination to ‘fix’ your goals. Have you ever seen something in a shop window and longed for it? It is easier to visualise having something that you can see, so visualise the result you want. Savour the emotions you will feel when (not if) you land that order. Also, collect pictures that summarise these emotions – your dream house, boat, car or holiday – and pin these round your desk to remind yourself why you are doing it all.
  • Tell people what you are going to do – it will make you feel more committed.
  • Compile a record of past successes. When you feel you are achieving nothing, review your records to remind yourself what you have achieved!
  • Finally – give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it for having the strength of character to go out and make things happen.

Solutions guides

We have a range of solutions guides covering all areas of business. You may find the following pages on our web site particularly relevant.

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COLOR TRENDS AND FORECASTING 2010

Spring / Summer 2010

COLOR TRENDS AND FORECASTING

Overview

The connection between old and new, east and west, and a sense of community..the glamour of the 70′s mixed with Moroccan colors and exotic jewels from India; ethnic mixtures of patterns and textures from Japan and China; reflecting the diversity of the world..

Feathers play a large part in many cultures. The wide variety of natural and dyed feathers add a lot of color and texture making them perfect embellishments.

Feathers are seen all over the runways for Spring/Summer 2010 in multiple types of applications, from accessories like head gear and jewelry to skirts and tops.

Key Colors

Acidic Greens
Earthy Hues
Frosted Pastels
Indigo
Jewel Tones
Neutrals
Shades of Grey
Sky Tones of Blue
Sunny Yellows
Taupe, Beige and Mauve
Turquoise
Violets

Moods and Inspirations

Cultures from around the world – primary Africa, China, Japan, and Latin America
Vintage, Romantic and Soft

Embellishments and Trimmings

Beaded Light Cottons
Brushed, Tarnished or Matte finished metals
Feather Circled Motifs – such as Feather Medallions
Feather Fringes
Fringe used at hemlines, necklines and sleeves
Graffiti on Denim
Leather w/Metallic Finishes
Metallic Embroidery
Paisleys and Ethnic Designs Blended with Bright Color

Key Themes and Trends

Birds and Floral Embellishments
Emphasizes on the Wrist
Floral Prints
Folk Craft
Haute Hippie
Large 70.s patterns
Silk Tulle and Feathers
Thick Belts and Wraps
Vintage Silk Scarves and Purses
Wood and Plastic Accessories

Interiors
Ancient Africa Inspires Rich Color
Black, White and Grey as Timeless Centerpieces
Importance of Neutrals
Influence of Japanese Culture
Need to Preserve and Reserve
Understated Meets Sophisticated

Feather Wreaths, Trees, Flowers and Stems provide consumers with eco friendly decorative by-products that are sustainable.

Many Feather Products are available in neutral tones for home decor, including Pheasant, Peacock and Rooster Feathers, which have also been made into feather pads and medallions for all your decor needs.


Spring / Summer 2010

BLUE BROWN
Pantone: 15-4825 TCX 16-4134 TCX 19-4037 TCX 17-1230 TCX 19-1333 TCX 18-1031 TCX
Blue Curacao Bonnie Blue Bright Cobalt Mocha Mousse Sequoia Toffie
ZFP Color: LT – Lt Tuquoise RL – Royal R/N – Nat Red BN – Brown
GREEN NEUTRAL
Pantone: 16-0110 TCX 14-6329 TCX 17-0230 TCX 13-0000 TCX 12-0813 TCX 14-1012 TCX
Desert Sage Absinthe Green Forrest Green Moon Beam Autumn Blonde Champagne Beige
ZFP Color: CD – Celedon FLG – Flour. Lime Green EG – Eggshell BE – Beige
ORANGE PINK
Pantone: 14-1219 TCX 16-1543 TCX 15-1247 TCX 11-1408 TCX 15-2214 TCX 16-2111 TCX
Peach Parfait Fusion Coral Tangerine Rose Water Rose Bloom Mauve Orchid
ZFP Color: SH – Shrimp O – Orange CP – Candy Pink DRE – Dusty Rose
PURPLE RED
Pantone: 15-3620 TCX 19-3536 TCX 19-3847 TCX 18-1664 TCX 18-1661 TCX 18-2027 TCX
Lavendula Amaranth Purple Deep Blue Fiery Red Tomato Puree Beaujolais
ZFP Color: OR – Orchid PU – Purple RE – Regal R – Red BU – Burgundy
YELLOW
Pantone: 12-0752 TCX 14-0848 TCX 15-0955 TCX
Buttercup Mimosa Old Gold
ZFP Color: Y – Yellow AGO – Antique Gold
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African Safari Calendar

African Safari Calendar

African Safari Calendar featuring original photography by Andrea Woods and Shawn Woods. A beautiful set of African wildlife from the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Masai Tribe.

We visited the beautiful country of Tanzania. It is filled with some of the most exotic tours in the world and the game viewing is amazing. We camped in the middle of the Serengeti surrounded by laughing Hyenas at night, had afternoon tea beside a pride of Lions, and even witnessed a Cheetah hunt down it prey (unfortunately she did not catch the Gazelle this time).

The photos below are high quality and print beautifully.

read more | digg story

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Article – Asian Art showcased in EXOTIQUE 4

Asian artists show game and comic art for EXOTIQUE 4. The Cover is gorgeous!

This is a short tutorial/tips article on the creation of the art for the cover of the EXOTIQUE 4 book. Most noteworthy is that this digital painting was done entirely using a mouse!

Tutorial by Mario Wibisono

Tutorial by Mario Wibisono

read more | digg story

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Creative Director, 3D Video Game Artist, UI Designer

I just created a new account with DIGG and posted my blog on there. If you would like to DIGG my site, click the link below. Thank you for your support!

Shawn is an award-winning industry Veteran with years experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility in Entertainment, AAA Games, Casual Games, and Web 2.0 Design. He has worked on such games a Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, The Outfit, and Fit Brains Games.

read more | digg story

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