Sunday, 28 February 2010

Dumbed Down Life 064

The F1 season is soon to be upon us. Lance & Darren discuss the old cars and what to expect with this season's rule changes.

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Song 1: Secret pop band - Saccharin Smile

F1, The Build Up
Lance and Darren talk about memories of F1 and the upcoming season.

Song 2: The Weightlifters - Rock 'n' Roll Police

Friday, 19 February 2010

Dumbed Down Life 063

First we would like to appologise for the poor presentation of this particular episode. The track name is missing the number, there's no album art and I hope you don't use the track number to sort your podcasts as that is missing too. Lance really did a bad job on this one and should be ashamed.

On the other hand... Without Lance's determination and dedication to keeping this show running I'm sure it would never have got this far.

Oh and the unusual sound quality is because this show was recorded in the Priory (no, not THAT Priory) in Wellingborough over a nice lunch.

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Song 1: Good Enough - Alexx Calise

What's The Buzz?
Remember last week when everyone was talking about Google's new social Networking tool Buzz? Well before it gets shut down over privacy issues, human rights problems or what ever Google are being accused of, Lance and I had a little chat about it.... down the pub.

Friday, 12 February 2010

The Evolution Of A Logo

When Lance and I started the Dumbed Down Life podcast we knew from the beginning that we'd need a web site to go with it.

Lance modified one of the standard templates supplied by Blogger, the service which we'd chosen to host the site, giving us the orange colour and space for a logo.

We talked about a logo and Lance came up with the idea of a graphic to represent each of the words in the title. For "Dumbed" we had a dunce cap, "Down" an arrow pointing down and "Life" a heart.

DDL Sketch
Initial concepts for the logo made the hat and arrow more pictorial.

Although we didn't have big plans for the podcast and associated web site we still wanted an identity that would look good printed on business cards, letter heads and t-shirts. We simplified the dunce cap to the triangle at the top of the logo, the arrow to the triangle at the bottom and proportioned the heart shape to fit into the triangle shape of the logo.

DDL Flat Black Logo
From the first cleaned up attempt at the stylised logo we cleaned it up, making sure the "D" triangles were equilateral. Now we had the template for our logo.

While simple and clean would be great for print and scaling it was clear that for use with the Internet, where we had more colours to play with, some subtle art package tweeks were needed.

DDL Orange LogoDDLWhiteT-Logo

Playing with layers, putting a coloured logo over a black one gives a very simple drop shadow. We interchange the white and Orange colours, sometimes having the orange logo, sometimes having the orange background.

DDL 30 Cover ArtDumbed Down Life 47 ArtworkDDL4thJulyDDL Nov 5th
As the logo is so simple we have sometimes used it as a stencil with other images to create album art for our podcast that is relevant to the recording.

DDLStar Wars
When the merged image is simple it works pretty well. However, mixing pictures in the logo with a complicated background was a little over ambitious.

DDL Website on the Touch
The simple design scales will for displaying on the web page even when rendered on a portable device.

DDL T-Shirt FrontDDL T-Shirt
We printed off some DDL t-shirts after first testing the design on a model in Second Life.

DDL Race Car
The DDL racing car was a plain white car with some paint package trickery to place the logos.

In the 80's a brand of compilation albums titled "Now That's What I Call Music" was launched. The logo for the brand went through a few incarnations. As with the DDL logo it started off two dimensional. When they reached "Now That's What I Call Music 20" they settled with a three dimensional logo which, with little variation, has continued in use up to the present day. Even when the series reset the counter for the US market they've kept the same, brand logo of the 3d model. It was this logo which I'd seen emblazoned on albums, cassettes and CD's that inspired me to wanting a similar 3d rendering for the DDL logo.

NOW That's What I Call
As part of a test for the 3d software I created a basic copy of the NOW logo.

Moray DDL
Lance used a graphic program called Moray that creates files to then be rendered in a specialist program called POV. The program uses simple shapes combined to make complex ones.

The "D" was simple to create and we created that as a test not long after we'd created the original 2D logo. The heart for the "L" was more complex. This render of the logo in glass shows how the heart shape is made up of intersecting cylinders and cubes.

We've not found yet if it is possible in Moray to render the transparent materials without showing the complicated parts of the workings inside the "L".

DLL Logo SolidDDL 3d Orange
DDL Robot Reflection
With this model we are now able to change the texture, lighting, scale and positioning. We can combine the logo with other 3d models.

Something to note about our 3d model is that it can't actually be made, well not made and stood up, at least not without "cheating". The center of the "D" floats in mid air.

We'll be adding a gallery page to the DDL web site, look out for different album art, desktop wallpapers and various other DDL images in the future.