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Fireworks Patterns Pack 1

Almost Daily


Pattern Fever:

Peter Richardson (aka flash), who is a very talented graphics artist had a play around with the patterns pack I released for download earlier in the week. The first two images, were made by him. The folder image you see below is made by yours truly and will be released as a tutorial shortly. Both Peter and I like to work with patterns by using multiple layers, varying the opacity of the layers and shifting the handles of the pattern so that you gain a more realistic effect.

The key to patterns is to use a multi-layered approach, because what you should be after in your graphical work is some subtleness that distinguishes the graphic from the more usual techniques. Peter has it right; he has managed to gain a subtle translucent effect on both of the first two images, by using patterns and transparency. You would do well to follow suit.


A Slick Little DHTML Effect:

I was taking a look at some flash sites, that have a slick looking sliding rollover effect on their navigation systems and it occurred to me that it could probably be done in DHTML too.You can see the effect by following the link below and interacting with the buttons.

Click To See Gliding Rollovers

It's quite a smooth little effect, even if I say so myself. The advantage of doing something like this in DHTML is that no plugins are required and the code is really light weight, coming in at less than 1k.

Essentially it's a rollover effect, but what I like about it, is that it is a different sort of rollover effect and it engages the user to play around with your navigation systems, therefore keeping them at your site longer. And we all know the value of that.


Fireworks Patterns:

I was fooling around with Fireworks and bemoaning the fact that we couldn't match a few effects made with Photoshop. In some ways we still cannot, but there is a good compromise in some instances.

Fireworks has a very under used feature called patterns. Essentially they are seamless images, but are not to be confused with seamless background textures. The primary use of patterns in Fireworks is to add effects to your elements, rather than using them as web page backgrounds.

The standard pattern pack that ships with Fireworks really does an injustice to this powerful feature, as it does not give the user much variety. Additionally, a quick scan through some of the more prominent Macromedia Fireworks sites sees that there are no additional pattern packs for users to deploy.

Frustrated, I set out to make a specific pattern that I wanted to use within fireworks for a specific project I had in mind. After making one, well what can I say? I got a bit carried away and ended up making over 80 of them. Here are just a few of the samples I made very quickly with these patterns;

Click for More Sample Previews

The patterns were made with various 3D programs and then bought into Fireworks and hand tiled and exported as 32 bit png files to preserve their quality. The only restriction that applies to these patterns is that you cannot redistribute them, without my express written permission, nor represent them as your own work. Other than that they are free for you to use, and are available in the downloads section of this site. Please note that the download file is over 5 megs so for those on slower connections make yourself a coffee while you wait for the file to download.

Bryce 5 Skies:

In addition to the fireworks patterns, I also uploaded some Bryce 5 source files for skies. These are contained in the download section as well. Expect, some more goodies in the following days and weeks.

Nirvana RSS Feed:

Carl Jung a famous psychologist coined the term synchronicity. Most people incorrectly assume that synchronicity is something that happens to us, where it is in fact our own creation; in other words we unknowingly create our coincidences.

For the past week, I have been thinking about creating my own RSS feed for this site, but "fate" intervened and it seems like someone else already did the work for me.

Click To See the DHTML Nirvana RSS Channel

You can subscribe to the channel for this site, by following the link above. It is a free service so go take a look. In the coming weeks I will rework the navigation system on the left and have an xml link there as well as cleaning up the xml, to make it easier for people to syndicate this site. One more thing to do…

Blog Archives:

A few people have written to me and asked me about the removal of my blog archives. The reason for the removal is a simple one, I want to make a clean fresh start to the year, without being reminded of last year. So no, the archives will not be making a return.


The Difference Between One Second and the Next:

Melbourne Fireworks Display 2004

In Melbourne, Australia, we celebrated the New Year with a 15 minute fireworks extravaganza that saw some of our famous landmarks ablaze with light. To say that the fireworks display was spectacular would be an understatement. We are lucky those of us that live in Melbourne, for we live in one of the best cities in the world.

Never has this been more highlighted for me than after my return from living in North America for the past few years. It isn't that North America, particularly Canada is a bad place to live, in fact it is quiet a pretty place to live in and has a beauty all of its own. I have some fine memories of that region in the world.

But when all I said and done, I am glad 2003 is over and done with and I am glad that in 2004 I find myself living in Melbourne. The year 2003 was a particularly difficult one for me in nearly all aspects of my life. It wasn't just the trauma of having a heart attack and dealing with the repercussions of that, there were other significant stressors that made the going tough.

Despite the tough going of the year past, I look forward to 2004 with optimism and renewed vigour. I naturally have a pretty determined outlook on life, but when that special second of time that marks the end of the year and the beginning of the new year passed, I found myself fiercely determined as never before. It is amazing the difference between one second and the next.

New Tutorial:

In the graphics section of this site there is a new Macromedia Fireworks tutorial on how to make some simple fading grids.

Projects to Complete:

One of the things I have been doing over this past month is going through my pc folders and realizing that I started quiet a few things and because of various circumstances never completed them. Now is as good as time as any to complete them or at least the ones that I think are viable for you the reader, be they freebies, tutorials or commercial widgets. In the coming weeks, barring any unforeseen circumstances, you should see plenty of new additions to this site. I will also make an effort to send out a newsletter in the coming few weeks, I just want to upload a whole bunch of goodies before I do :-)

One thing Jeff Rouyer and I did manage to complete was a large site for World Arena. We are just debugging and refining the interface before signing off on it. It is a flash site that degrades for non-flash users and features multi-tier xml driven menus, asp data connectivity, interactive audio and animated fading marquee. When it goes live I will put up a link, in the meantime a screen shot is available here;

WA Screen Shot

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Jim Dandy