(45 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)


Done.  I commend you for your bravery in coming clean and admitting that you need help.  Here's a passage from Galatians that continues to empower me to this day:

Galatians 5:24 (NIV): "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires"


(9 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

I just did a short write-up on a grid system resource site that was launched recently. The purpose of the site is to provide a repository of information about grid systems and help train and educate designers/developers on how to use them in your work.


(12 replies, posted in Local Meetups)

I'm also in N. Austin (near the Arboretum) so anything north of the river works for me too.  Mozart's is great, but I just read some Yelp reviews on Sodade and that place sounds pretty awesome.  I can't do lunch though because I work off Congress, so I'd have to meet up after work or on the weekends.


(12 replies, posted in Local Meetups)

Awesome fellas.  James, I say we just plan it out in here so that anyone else who comes along and wants to meet up knows the details. 

So are we thinking a meet-up at a coffee shop, restaurant?  Would someplace centrally located be best for everyone?  Weekday, weekend?


(12 replies, posted in Local Meetups)

Thought I'd bring this one back up fellas.  There still interest for a get-together of some sort?

Back when I did more printed work I usually stuck to a 1/8th" bleed all around, so your size of 3.75x2.25 would be right.  I've found that most printshops want at least 1/8th inch bleed.

I think that C.Barr's solution is pretty good, although I tend to steer away from "onEnterFrame" loops and having the playhead play in reverse.  I've read that can cause strain on the Flash player's performance.  The nice thing about this method though as C.Barr explained is that the animation is fluid if you roll on or off during the animation. 

The only other thing I would add to this, which I add to all of my rollovers, is an "onDragOut" function.  That way if you're user clicks on the button, holds and drags out of the area of the button the reverse animation still happens.  Otherwise your button will remain in it's "over" state.  The code is very simple:

this.onDragOut = function() {
   rewind = true;


(12 replies, posted in Local Meetups)

Ah, fellow Houston transplants!  My wife and I moved to Austin in Nov of last year and yes, it's different here but mostly in a good way.  The housing market's something that we're definitely having to get used to. 

I'm game for a get-together.  Maybe just a meet up for dinner or coffee/drink somewhere to get to know each other?


(568 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Welcome aboard Eric.

My wife and I recently moved to Austin last year from Houston and we love it here.  Great culture and opportunities for design work (reason why I moved).  Also being in the hill country you have the natural beauty of the area and the weather here is much more tolerable than Houston.  It's also close to most of the major cities in Texas and is great for small trips.  Home prices are a little high, so something to take into consideration.  Austin is also generally considered to be the most "non-Texas" city in Texas.  There is a definitely west-coast feeling to it (a lot of Californians live here) and that combined with the deep music roots gives it a "hippy" vibe in some places.  I also really enjoy the fact that it's not a huge metropolitan city like Houston and Dallas.  Traffic isn't great, but the distances are much shorter and there are just so many unique places to check out and experience.  It's just a very creative city.

Houston gets a bad rap and being from there I can understand it, but I think it's unfortunate.  Compared to a lot of other major US cities it's nothing special and it does have some things going against it like being flat and hot/humid.  However, the people there are really friendly, it has amazing restaurants, the cost of living is very affordable.  We used to live in Sugar Land, which is a very nice suburb and was recently ranked as the 3rd best place to raise a family.  The city is not for everyone and really isn't one that is much fun to visit, but living there is a different story. 

I'm not a huge fan of Dallas and it actually reminds me a lot of Houston.  The culture in Dallas, in my opinion, can be pretty fake and I find it hard to find an authenticity in the some of people I meet.  Again, totally my point of view, but the city has at times come across as pretentious.  I will say that there are some great churches there and finding work in our field is much easier than in Houston.


(4 replies, posted in Prayer Requests)

Man I'm sorry to hear about the car damages and the struggles you're going through right now.  No doubt being engaged, planning a wedding and working on taking that step in your life consumes your mind enough that I totally understand how these other things are just not what you want to have happen.  I agree with Maspick on his points in that especially in times like this we can tend to rely solely on ourselves to get out of these messes and not trust on God's promises for provision, so yes definitely do a gut check and see if maybe there are areas where you're relying more on your own strength and not on God's. 

I'd like to offer a few pieces of practical advice that were a huge encouragement to my wife and I when we were buried under financial debt and going through some tough times.  I'd recommend getting some guidance from a financial expert and have them help you plan our a route out of this situation via budgeting and helping you look for ways to minimize your expenses and possibly look for additional means of income.  We read up a lot on what Dave Ramsey has to say about finances, incorporated his "debt snowball" action plan, and also found someone who had gone through the same plan and could help support us if we had questions or needed encouragement.  We got tight on our living.  We rarely ate out, we were very picky on groceries, entertainment, etc...essentially cutting back on anything that was not a necessity.  In addition to my day job I was freelancing and making money that way. 

Basically, it came down to doing whatever we could with our own strength and trusting God to provide the rest.  I don't know much about your situation, but maybe that means picking up a second job to help supplement your $7.60/hr current job.  Work morning shifts at Starbucks (I believe they offer health benefits too which is a plus) and then afternoons maybe at your current job.  One of Dave Ramsey's biggest "extra job" suggestions is delivering pizzas because you can make decent money doing that.  But you might have to double up on jobs right now to help get this ball rolling if that's an option.  If you have a car payment maybe that means you sell it and go buy a used car for $4000.  I don't think that any of these things is "not trusting God".  I believe that we honor God by first trusting him and second working hard and adjusting our lifestyles if we have to in order to get through a tight situation. 

There are great moments of humility that come through this and for my wife and I, it drew us closer to God because it more clearly showed us just how little control we have over our circumstances.


(3 replies, posted in Purely Graphical)

As for the buildings, I would cut out and arrange them the way you want first.  Then try selecting the shadows of those building images (do a color range selection, shift clicking to add the dark colors to your selection and play with the fuzziness slider), with that selection loaded create a new layer on top of your buildings layers and fill it with black.  That really creates a nice grungy, high contrast look.  With that layer you can do a lot of different things.  You can colorize all of your building layers to give it that monotone/duotone look like in the example you linked to.  You can fill the underlying building layers with a solid color (basically creating a silhouette of the buildinds) and use that to shadow layer to be the only thing that's giving structure to those buildings.  Those are just some ideas.  Hope they help.


(12 replies, posted in CSS Discussion)

Look at Nathan....making the big time....

960 listed in Smashing Magazine's "Best of March 2008"


(10 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Yeah man.  I only have Leeland's "Sound of Melodies" and it's fantastic.  I hear their new album is really good too.

What do you mean by alpha blended shadows?


(5 replies, posted in Purely Graphical)

Ha that's true, it is pretty similar to Letters from Iwo Jima.


(5 replies, posted in Purely Graphical)

I just posted a tutorial over on our site's blog concerning how to accomplish the photo effect you can see in this image.  A few of my friends have asked how to do this effect on their photos in Photoshop, so after playing around with a photo and coming up with this result I decided to do a write-up on how I did it as well as post a link to the PSD for download (available at the end of the tutorial).  Hope it's helpful to you guys as well.

Just wanted to make a note here about the discussion of a simple, minimalistic design.  While that kind of design could possibly take less time to develop and has the benefit of not having a lot of imagery which is good for people who aren't as accomplished in graphic imagery, these designs are still some of the most difficult to pull off.  I think there's a misconception that a minimalistic design is easy to do.  Technically yes it can be easier to code, but behind every high-quality minimalistic design I can assure you is a designer who painstakingly worked out every little detail such as white space, positioning, typography, etc.  Some of the designs that InfaredFrog posted are clean and well done and good to use as inspiration.  I just want to stress the point, because I see it all the time, that a minimalistic and clean design is just as difficult to pull off as a heavy image based design.  I have several personal experiences where I've stressed more over a simple layout than a textured one.  I personally believe that they are actually more difficult to get right because there's very little room for error.

All that being said, I would still recommend going with a simple layout for your site and build from there.  I would just add that in addition to looking at these sites and how they designed out their site elements, definitely pay close attention to the spacing of everything, colors and fonts.  There's a lot more going on there than you see at first glance.


(12 replies, posted in Purely Graphical)

Nice article Nathan!  I admit that I'm clueless when it comes to FW, but have heard of it's strengths and after reading your article I might have to blow off the dust and give it a shot.

Solid!  Looking forward to it guys.

So question...the Godbit site shows the dinner at 6:30 but Upcoming has it at 7.  Which one is it?

jpc101 wrote:

Do people prefer using bootcamp or parallels for windows running? I've heard good/bad things about both!  I've heard good things (and read about them on godbit) about textmate & transmit. textmate certainly looks good. On my mac mini (an old ppc 10.3.9 one I use for podcasting) I've used subethaedit, but text mate does look superior.  For ftp on the mac mini I've used cyberduck and now fireftp on firefox.  What's transmit got that those to haven't?!

I run Bootcamp, mostly because I don't load Windows apps that often so I couldn't justify the cost of Parallels.  Restarting to boot into Windows really isn't that big of a deal.  I think it mostly has to do with how often you think you'd use a Windows app.  The nice thing about Bootcamp is that Windows is very snappy (did I just say that?) and basically you're running a Windows machine so you're getting the best performance possible out of your laptop.  Outside of Quickbooks and Microsoft Money I boot into Windows to use Netflix's "watch now" feature and all of that works great. 

I have Transmit and I love it.  I've used Cyberduck too, but I've found that it's not a solid of an ftp client as Transmit.  The guys at Panic really know their stuff and Transmit is quick and just feels solid.  It also comes with a dashboard widget which is pretty cool if you have a server that you log into regularly.  I would highly recommend using that as your ftp client over anything else.  I don't think you'd be disappointed.

I have a 15" MBP, I'm a designer, and I can work just fine on it in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and After Effects.  I don't have it hooked up to an external monitor either, although that would no doubt be nice to have.  Before I got this one I was leaning towards the 17" and sure the extra screen space and higher resolution would be nice to have, but I don't find the 15" to be a hindrance at all.  Now that I have a Leopard on it too, I run Spaces and set different apps to launch in their own space which really helps too.  I also make use of Expose and that really helps me move around between my windows very quickly.


(15 replies, posted in Website Critique Area)

dmarino wrote:

Sidenote: I've always like the navigation on the interactive.net website - It has been used as inspiration in a previous project I did

Very cool man.