Author: Anthony Stanley

Office Furniture

office-furniture

Office furniture is the cornerstone of your office decor. If you are truly concerned about making a great impression and having a great office decor, you must invest in the proper office furniture. With that being said, however, not all office furniture is going to work in all offices.

The first thing to do if you are going to work from the ground up and replace the entire decor, including your office furniture, is to have a plan. To get started, you want to have a color scheme chosen, a theme chosen, and you want to ensure that your selections are going to mesh well with the overall office building you are in.

For example, a modern high rise office may be a great place for ultra modern office furniture, but if your office is located in an old style Victorian home, the modern look is not likely going to mesh well with your architecture and/or overall vibe of your office. So basic rule number one when choosing office furniture, make sure it is going to go well with your particular office.

The next thing to consider when choosing office furniture should be comfort. Having great looking office furniture is not going to make much difference if it is not comfortable. With so many choices of office furniture on the market these days, you should be able to find a style that fits your taste, while maintaining a high level of comfort. Remember, you will be using this office furniture for a good portion of your waking hours during the week, make sure you will enjoy using it!

When choosing their type of office furniture, you have many choices regarding materials. The basic two materials you are likely to find are going to be some kind of wood and some kind of metal. Choosing between wood and metal is partly your particular taste, but also goes back to the overall feel of your office building. Typically, metals are going to give you a modern look than many woods, while a traditional look is typically going to incorporate wood furniture.

Once you have an idea of the type of office furniture you want, you will then need to decide on a budget. The cost of office furniture can vary greatly, so it is important to have a good idea of the type of furniture you want and the budget you have available before actually shopping for your office furniture. With a budget in hand and an idea of the type of office furniture you want, it’s time to start looking.

There are many places you can look for office furniture. Browsing online is a great way to get started. In a short amount of time, you can get a good idea of what is available in your price range. Another good place to start is local furniture stores. If you live in or near a large city, chances are there is a furniture outlet in the area. Take a look at these types of brick and mortar stores as well as you may find office furniture less expensive than you would buying online and having to pay shipping.

Good luck in your office furniture endeavors! Remember; above all, make sure you are happy with your new office furniture and how it looks in your office space, as you are the one who will be spending the most time enjoying it!

Computer game character

This tutorial explains some techniques for creating

a 3D human in a generic fashion,

i.e.without referring to any specific 3D program.

Building your portfolio for employment

Character creation is one skill that every employer

looks for in a portfolio. This is because it provides

a good reference to judge a potential employee’s skills.

If you can model and texture convincing characters then the chances are that you can model/texture almost anything. Of course this means that everyone expects high standards of character models — they are, after all, our emotional and visual link to the game world in many games.

Not every portfolio actually requires character models in it; if you do not have the skills to create good characters it is better to leave them out and concentrate on well constructed and textured buildings and vehicles. It is easier to get a job with a portfolio made up of excellent buildings and vehicles, than it is with a portfolio that also contains not-so-good character models. In short, if you can model/texture something well, leave it in the portfolio. If in doubt, leave it out.

Concept drawings

The example shown here would not look out of place in a fantasy game world. It was based on a variety of Dutch Old Master paintings (a wonderful source of imagery for fantasy characters) and a couple of modern fantasy artist’s work

Most good character modeling starts with a concept drawing. This traditional method of design is still the fastest way to work out the look of the character and may also convey his/her personality and also a colour scheme. Good character design relies upon more than the technical skills required to ‘draw people’. Before drawing a character, you should research their physical appearance, hairstyle, clothing, equipment etc that should fit in with the style of the game.

I like to draw my characters in a pose that relates to their personality, but many artists prefer to draw characters in a neutral pose, which can be helpful if the final model is to be created by another artist. I drew the concept sketch using pencil on paper, scanned this and painted over it in Photoshop and experimented with a range of colours until I found a scheme I liked.

Counting your polygons

The next step onwards is to model the character. When modeling in 3D in your 3D program, you may find that it allows you to replace the background of your viewport with an image. If so, you may find it useful to put a copy of the concept sketch there. If this function is not supported, you could make a box with the same dimensions as the concept scan and apply the scan to the box as a texture. Move that to the rear of your viewport and you can consult your concept without having to look away from your monitor. When modeling a character for a computer game you need to know a few pieces of information that would normally be supplied by the lead artist or a programmer.

  • How many polygons do I have to model the character with?
  • Is it a seamless skin or a segmented model?

(read the book for further explanation on this).

  • How many/how large/what colour depth textures can I use? (again, read the book for further explanation on this).

Each game has it’s own particular variables, but the above points are true of every game. For the example that will be shown here we will make the character a seamless skin 3000 polygon figure with a 512×512 pixel texture in 24 bit colour, with perhaps an additional 256×256 texture for the head and maybe a 64×64 pixel texture with an alpha channel for the hair. These limits would create a model suitable for the Xbox, Gamecube or high end PC. The PSX2 could also handle this amount of detail, but it would require smaller 8 bit textures because it has much less VRAM than the other platforms.

The first step to modeling a character in 3D is to decide which method to work with. There are many different ways of modeling characters, but the easiest way for the beginner is extrusion modeling.

Extrusion Modeling

Extrusion modeling should be available in every 3D modeling package. The basic concept is that you start with a primitive object, usually a box, subdivide it (a process that increases the number of polygons on each side of the box) and then select particular polygons and extrude them out or into the mesh to form general shapes. The extrusions/intrusions are then adjusted and refined to form the details of the model. In many respects, this style of modeling is similar to real world sculptural techniques with clay

To create a character, first start with a box that is approximately the height, width and depth of your character’s torso if he was standing upright. Now set the amount of subdivisions on the front to at least four, on the side to at least two and the top to at least two.

It is important at this stage to use even numbers because we want to ensure that the model has a line of geometry down its center, which will help later.

The legs. Now select the faces that are where the legs would start from at the base of the box. You should be able to select both leg tops and extrude them at the same time. Use a face extrude tool to extrude the legs out to mid thigh. Extrude again to the top of the knee, mid knee, and bottom of the knee. Then extrude to mid calf, ankle and the base of the foot. Select the quad face at the front

of the bottom of the leg and extrude the foot from it, giving it about three segments.

 

Use the same technique on the faces of the box where the arms should start and extrude the arms to the wrists, again selecting both arm start positions at the same time will make the job quicker and more symmetrical.

Extrusion modeling often works well with a type of polygon called a quad. In basic terms, a quad is two triangles that lie next to each other and share an edge down their center. This edge is often hidden in 3D programs to designate that the two faces can be selected in a single selection (assuming the package has quad selection). They are very useful because they are often rectangular in shape and easy to extrude from and then refine to create more of a curved form.

For the hands, extrude as before up to the end of the palm, allowing two segments to create the palm. This gives you a quad face on the side of the hand to extrude the thumb from. To create the fingers you will need to use a tool to subdivide the end quad of the hand.

This may be called edge or face divide, or cut or slice or a similar sounding term. Divide the edges that make up the top and bottom of this quad until you have four quad segments. You may have to use a turn edges tool to ensure that the quad face is now divided into four square quads. Now select each quad in turn and extrude it to form the segments of each finger. You may wish to move or scale each finger slightly as you extrude them so that they can be selected easily later on an individual basis.

The next task is to extrude the head. Select the faces at the top of the torso where the neck would be and extrude a neck, giving it two segments. Now extrude the head from the neck: it’s hard to estimate at this point how much detail you will

need for the head, so allow around 4 segments to give a basic shape to it.

The reason why I said it was important to have a symmetrical look to the character will now become clear.

The next task is to select half of the body in the front view and delete that half of the body, leaving you with half a torso, one arm, one leg and half a head. Now you have deleted half of the model, use a copy function in your 3D package to copy a ‘reference’ or ‘instance’ version of the half figure. Mirror this model so that it appears to rebuild the other half of the character.

Because the new model is an instance or reference of the original mesh, any modifications you know perform on the original half figure will be replicated automatically on the instance/reference model. This is a huge time saver in creating living creatures, which tend to be symmetrical. Depending on what program you are using, it may be important to remember to only work on the original mesh, as operations performed on the instance reference may not be passed back to the original. To make sure you do not forget which model is which, put some 3D text next to the original mesh saying ‘Original’.

Smoothing your model

The next part of the tutorial is the longest and hardest. Now you are ready to begin to transform the mass of ugly hard polygons into a curved, organic form. Using the mesh you have created you will need to start to refine and adjust the mesh to fit the design that you previously drew. At this point you will discover that the more time you spent on the concept drawing, the less questions you will have about the actual structure of the model.

Each modeling package has its own tools for modifying the surface of a mesh, but I would advise looking out for tessellate or subdivide functions to increase the amount of polygons in an

area of the mesh to give you more vertices to move about. Cut and slice tools will help you break long edges up so that the newly formed vertices can be moved to increase the curvature of the edge.

I would advise working over the entire mesh to increase the level of detail in it to an equal level. This means you should not overly increase the amount of detail in any one area over any other at this stage in the modeling process. The reason for this is it is very easy to become stuck trying to model the perfect face and then discover that you do not have enough polygons left in your polygon budget to refine the rest of the model. This is a common mistake and results in very chunky models with highly modeled and smoothed off faces, a combination which jars the eye.

If your 3D package has a polygon counter, keep it on screen to show you how many polygons you have left to work with. Once you have used 60 – 75% of your polygon budget on rounding the overall form of the model so that it looks good from a distance (it may be a good idea to set up a camera view that sees the whole model at a resolution of 640×480 pixels so that you can tell where you should add more detail, and also where it is not needed), you can use the remaining budget to increase the level of detail of the face of the character, as well as any additional details that define the nature of its personality. This could be more detail In the clothing to show the style of it, or the state it is in. Extra modeling could be put into the hair, especially if the character has a flamboyant hairstyle. Equipment for the character to have about itself may be a good addition: backpacks, weapon holsters, armour etc. A basic rule of thumb is anything that would look strange on the model if it was just represented by a texture on a flat mesh, should be modeled in the detailing part of the modeling process.

Once you are happy with the look of your model, you can join the two halves together and then fix any mesh artifacts that arise from this

process and assign or correct any smoothing groups that are required. You may discover at this point that parts of the mesh are not quite in proportion. It is a good idea to have someone else look at your model for these types of errors because you have been looking at it for so long that your eye will begin to ignore such problems.

Texturing your model

When you have finished the modeling process you must begin the texturing process for the character. As this is a games model we have already decided that all of the body of the character will be textured using one texture, with the head using another texture and the hair using one final texture. Because the body must fit into one texture, you will have to create a texture that looks like a bit of a puzzle, or a mass of severed body parts! If you look at the texture for a games character (Quake3 models are an excellent source as their bitmaps and models are easy to find in the installed game) you will see how the artist has packed every detail possible into every pixel available to him.

This process usually starts by applying different forms of UVW mapping to the parts of the character mesh (for further explanation about different forms of mapping, read the book). Thus an arm is often given cylinder mapping, the palm and back of the hand uses planar mapping etc. Then each part of the mesh that requires a texture is selected in turn and then ‘unwrapped’ to a flat surface which can be saved out as a bitmap containing an image of all the wireframe of the model within it. These wireframe images can be combined in Photoshop to form a collage of all the parts of the model. Pack them as close to each other as possible (although it is often good practice to leave a 1-2 pixel gap around the edges of each body area, as this prevents the pixels from one area of the model from ‘bleeding’ through into another area when the model has bi-linear filtering applied to it in the game engine). Now you can see where you should start to paint your textures.

If you want professional services for your next project, click here.

Memorial and Meditation Garden Landscapes

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Walkway and Patio Edge Designs with Modern Low-maintenance Plants

 

Modern low-maintenance plants surrounding walkway and patio edges in memorial and meditation garden designs convey intimacy. Choosing suitable garden plants is crucial.

 

Memorial and meditation garden landscapes are welcoming and restful spaces. Regardless of size, components of these landscape designs are a central meditative or memorial feature, an open space like a patio, benches, and walkways for entering and exiting the garden. If the area is large, there may be margins of walls, fences or hedges as well as meandering pathways. Nevertheless, the setting should be one of intimacy. Low-maintenance landscape plants contribute tremendously to achieving this desired effect.

 

In order to focus on the main meditative or memorial feature, plantings are best restricted to patio and walkway edges. Plant selection is usually the last designed garden landscape component. Planting a successful garden landscape requires knowing three factors:

  • Site conditions
  • Characteristics and functions of desired plants, and
  • Coordination of plant colors and appearances

 

This example shows a church model that memorializes early 19th century church founders as the focal point of a landscape garden. The plant hardiness zone 7 garden is set facing south on disturbed soil that is primarily acidic red Virginia clay. The specified soil amendment is mushroom compost.

 

Planned benches are teak. Installed irrigation is underground. Poured concrete makes up the patio and walkway. Timers trigger safety lighting on poles and within the model.

 

Low-maintenance Plant Colors and Characteristics

Coordinated colors and plant textures present a unified and tidy appearance and pleasing public image. The idea here is to bring warmth and welcoming to the garden without detracting from the model. Colors, carried out through both flowers and foliage, are white, pink, deep blue and intense yellow.

 

Plants in this scheme either are small-leaved evergreens or possess some kind of late winter interest. They remain small and require little or no pruning. They are also resistant to common pests, diseases, drought and, for the most part, are deer resistant. They can all triumph over a variety of soil types.

 

Sun and Shade Site Essentials

  • South facing walk edges: East, west and southern year-long sun exposure on shrubs planted here. Plants here must be capable of withstanding year-long sun exposure on a daily basis. Evergreens are not appropriate due to possible winter wind and drought damage.
  • South facing patio edges: East, west and southern winter sun exposure; some east and full southern summer sun exposure. Plants here must be capable of withstanding winter sun exposure. Evergreens are not appropriate here also due to possible winter wind and drought damage.
  • North and east facing patio edges behind memorial: Limited winter shade from surrounding deciduous trees and memorial; heavy summer shade from surrounding deciduous trees and memorial. Plants here must be capable of surviving in part to heavy shade. This is an excellent location for some small-leaved evergreen shrubs.
  • North and west facing patio edges with benches: Limited winter shade from surrounding deciduous trees; filtered summer shade from surrounding deciduous trees. Plants here must be capable of surviving in part to dappled shade. Evergreens are also not appropriate here due to possible winter wind and drought damage.

 

Specific Low-Maintenance Plant Selections for this Landscape Garden Design

  • Low-Maintenance Plants for DIY Landscape Gardens: Bordering Walks and Patios in Memorial and Meditation Garden Designs

 

If you need help maintaining your garden or clearing trees, be sure to visit Portland TT to know more about their professional services.

How to beautify the floor of your kitchen?

kitchen-room-interior-architecture

The kitchen floor is subjected to constant assaults. The choice of the coating should not be dictated only by aesthetic considerations but primarily by criteria of resistance and easy maintenance. For cleaning do not turn the drudgery and the kitchen stays beautiful longer, it is imperative to choose flooring adapted.

Wood is sensitive to water. But its use is possible in the kitchen, provided you choose species resistant to moisture. This is true of most exotic woods that are naturally rotting. The European species can also find their place in wet if they were treated by cross-linking, that is to say, dried and then heated at high temperatures.

Which variant to choose? A glued with polyurethane is recommended because it only allows the floor to withstand variations in humidity. More than in any other part, the installation must be performed in workmanlike and careful sealing. Sealing between each blade but also on the periphery, with such joints boat decks in black polyurethane. To finish, the oil is preferred varnish which tends to close the surface. In everyday life, the floor is washed with soap specific maintenance. Here is some other materials you can choose for the flooring of your kitchen.

Vinyl Floors : They are also inexpensive and available in all colors. Attention, it is imperative to choose a quality model, more resistant to wear and shock that the first prize and a model that has received a non-slip treatment to avoid slipping.

Concrete: Very durable, Concrete is the material of industrial environments, contemporary lofts. The concrete used to create a seamless large area, except for expansion joints. Treated with water repellents, he converses easily with non-aggressive detergents. Over time, he slips in and wins personality. Drawback, the implementation of a concrete floor is cumbersome since it is always done by a professional.

Lino: Natural product made of linseed oil, natural resins, wood flour, pigments and mineral fillers on a burlap backing, it is cheap and cleans easily with a damp mop dipped in product maintenance non-abrasive.

Terracotta: Made of natural clay, terracotta environments created glowing, warm, and authentic. Particularly porous, it requires protective treatment and regular maintenance of hot water and soap. For added protection, it can even be oiled or waxed.

The stoneware: The stoneware today tends to supplant natural stone because of its many advantages. Made of clay and silica, nonporous material can be placed anywhere. The stoneware fears neither stains nor water, nor the shock and talks just hot water.

In need of ideas or guidance on your next kitchen design changes? Be sure to check out Brenda Lee Design’s services.

Container Gardening – Edible Roses

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As if the rose isn’t perfect enough with its exquisite beauty and seductive perfume, this winsome favorite also produces edible fruit, called hips. Throughout history, rose hips have been used in herbal medicines and in many a family recipe for jelly, jam, soup, syrup and tea.

Hips, also called haws, appear in early fall underneath the spent flower blossom and contain the rose’s seeds. They are typically red, maroon or orange and, just like roses, come in various shapes and sizes, from plump and round to long and skinny. Since roses are members of the apple family, their fruit is often called a “rose apple” and in some species, the hips can be as big as crabapples. Once hips are allowed to form, this stops flower production and signals the plant that it’s time to rest and go dormant.

Extremely high in Vitamin C, hips have as much as 20 times more of this important vitamin than oranges. No wonder ancient cultures used rose hips to treat a myriad of ailments including stress, colds, urinary tract infections and digestive problems. Walk into any health food store today and you’ll find that rose hips are still a key ingredient in many herbal preparations. Sources of Vitamin C have long been staples in both the medicine chest and the diet. In World War II Victory Gardens, rose hips were grown so they could be converted into a Vitamin C-rich syrup to replace the oranges that could no longer be imported into Britain during war time.

If you’d like to experiment with using hips in cooking, be sure they are from a rose that has not been treated with pesticide. Look for disease resistant rose varieties so spraying is not necessary. You can also employ organic controls to manage any pests or diseases. Stop deadheading your roses in August/September (depending on your climate) to promote the development of plump hips.

Many roses produce interesting looking hips. For starters, check out Rosa rugosa ‘Hansa’ which sports double medium-red blooms and then lovely large red hips. R. moyesii ‘Geranium’ has brilliant geranium red single flowers with large, deep orange-red hips. R. ‘Felicia’ is a modern shrub rose in a pink blend and produces large, round hips that slowly turn from green to red. Hips start out hard and green, but the first frost usually turns them bright red or orange and helps to sweeten them. Leave them on the bush until they reach this stage and then collect them. To prepare the hips for cooking, cut off both ends, cut in half lengthwise, remove the tiny hairs and seeds in the center and rinse. Don’t use any aluminum pans or utensils because they will destroy the Vitamin C. Dry the washed hips on a cookie sheet in a low (250 degrees) oven and then store in a cool, dry spot or in the fridge in glass jars.

There are many recipes for rose hip jelly, probably the most common edible use for this fruit. Try this one for something a little different.

Even if you decide not to cook with rose hips, they are still beautiful in the winter garden, adding a dash of color to the stark landscape. And they are also a great source of food for birds and other wildlife. So, no matter how you enjoy the hips, they are really just one more reason to grow this most lovely of all plants – the rose.

If you need tree planting or yard maintenance services for your house garden or yard, be sure to check out Portland TT.

Picking your perfect Roman Blinds

When it comes to pure convenience and simplicity, there isn’t a better addition to your home than a set of Roman Blinds. If you’re redecorating a room from top to bottom, or simply just fancy a subtle change, Roman Blinds are an ideal solution.

You could say that they provide a perfect hybrid between curtains and normal wooden blinds. Whilst the Roman Blinds give the homeowner the aesthetically pleasing features that curtains do, they also provide the operational ease that blinds do.

It may come as a surprise, but for such a useful product, they are actually startlingly cheap in comparison to the competitors. As the blinds are in essence, simply flat panels of material, the cost is very low. In turn this means that even the top of the range products tend to be within the budget of the majority of homeowners.

The two main varieties from which to choose are categorised by the shape or fold they take when raised. The popular choices tend to be the horizontal draw and the teardrop style. The former is the style most people associated with blinds, and it simply folds neatly into itself. Teardrop blinds tend not to lie flat when raised, but in a more curved, teardrop-style shape (hence the name).

Which blind you choose is totally up to you, and different blinds suit different windows. The general assumption is that windows in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens may well go hand-in-hand with the horizontal blinds to represent the simplicity of the room. On the other hand, rooms with picturesque views may reap the benefits of their settings when fitted with teardrop blinds. Teardrop blinds can combine with scenery to create a picture-perfect view on the right day, so it totally depends on what you want to get out of your blinds.

Another important factor to consider is how well the blinds will match the existing furnishings in the room, especially if you aren’t carrying out a full makeover. No matter how complex your current decoration is, a simple solution is always around the corner. Whilst a custom-made product will cost more than the average set of Roman Blinds, the price would still be extremely competitive when compared to alternative solutions.

Whatever you need – be it a simple blind that stops the neighbors watching you slave over a hot stove, or a quirky teardrop blind that makes a statement and adds a dash of character to your existing view, the solution can be found at Brenda Lee Designs to consult and get the best set of Roman Blinds for your home.

 

Find Stunning Contemporary Furniture To Make Your Home An Oasis

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When most people are looking for new furniture, they simply go to their local furniture store, look around and settle for what they like the best out of the few pieces that are available. Unfortunately, they likely were unhappy with the furniture that they chose, but it was the best of the worst. If this sounds like you, then you need to find help from an interior design company, like Brenda Lee, and discover some amazing Contemporary Furniture that is available on the Internet. Contemporary furniture provides a unique look and feel, which simply cannot be found in your local furniture store. Some of the best websites for them provide exemplary design, bold shapes, vibrant colors, and clean lines. All of these combine together to make unique pieces of furniture, that are more than just functional; they are incredible pieces of art.

 

Finding contemporary furniture is extremely easy, as all you need to do is look on the Internet. However, finding high-quality can be increasingly difficult. You can narrow your search by looking for websites that offer extremely high standards of craftsmanship in their furniture, as well as offering genuine Italian furniture.

 

In this manner, you know that you are getting the highest quality in them available. In addition, they will provide you with extremely innovative designs and the lowest possible prices. All of them that you are looking for is available online, but you do not want to overpay. For this reason, you will want to find the best website that carries the most extensive range of contemporary furniture from the world’s most renowned Italian manufacturers, including Kristalia, Cattelan Italia, Reflex and Il Loft, at the lowest prices possible.

 

Your furniture says a lot about you, without ever having to say a word. In addition, it makes a statement about your home, so you are going to want the best, most beautifully designed them available. It is still highly functional but offers its own unique panache to any room. With the right furniture, you can transform any room into a luxurious suite, a comfortable retreat, or any other feelings you are trying to invoke in any room, the most stunning contemporary furniture can provide this for you, and much more. Regardless of the room that you need it for, you can find it all online. With the right website, you can find the most stunning selection of leather beds, modern barstools, innovative dining room furnishings and much more, to turn your home into a metropolitan art studio in and of itself.

 

What’s more exciting, is an addition to the world’s most finely crafted contemporary furniture, you will also be able to discover a complete line of chandeliers, computer stands, mirrors, game tables, lamps, dressers, curios and much more, on the internet’s most innovative and exciting furniture website. No matter what your taste, style or budget, you can find a complete line of them that is of the highest quality, crafted from the finest materials, lovingly made in Italy, but brought home to you.

The Three Biggest Interior Design Questions

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Before starting any interior design or remodeling project, you need to think about the three biggest areas. Do you know what they are? You’ll find out below along with some interior design tips on how to handle them

 

What To Do With The Walls?

This is perhaps the biggest question and the area that can make the most difference in the outcome of your interior design. Wall color can set the tone of the room, but many people are afraid to paint their walls with anything but white. One way to get around this is to buy small samples of paint that you think you may want on the walls and paint it on a section of the wall. You don’t have to paint the whole wall – just a 1 foot square section. Live with it for a day and see how it looks in all different kinds of light. Be advised, however, that many colors – especially darker ones – attain their true beauty from the look of the entire wall after being layered with several coats of paint.

Don’t be afraid to go ahead and paint the walls – paint is cheap. If you don’t like the way it looks you can always paint over it!

 

What To Do With The Furniture?

Should you buy new furniture? What if your old stuff is still good, should you have it re-upholstered? While budgetary concerns may dictate, you should evaluate the furniture for style and value versus the cost of the re-upholstering. If you are looking for a sleek modern style living room and your old sofa is a country style, you should probably consider buying new. If expense is a problem, take a trip to your local consignment store. You can buy like new furniture for a fraction of the cost and if your old stuff is still in good condition you can consign it and get some money for it to help pay for your new one. To a better result, you can hire an interior design company like Brenda Lee Designs to assist you.

 

What To Do With The Floors?

Decisions about floor designs should be based on your personal taste as well as your budget. Some flooring is extremely expensive and, although it may be the type that will look best with your design it may not be affordable, or even practical. When replacing flooring, you should always consider the use of the room and if the flooring will hold up well. A wood floor might be a bad choice for a kids playroom and will soon show the marks and wear of toys being slid across it. Carpeting might go well in the family room, but if you tend to eat in front of the TV you’ll want to be sure to get a stain resistant type.

 

The Three Main Ingredients to Making Candles

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candle-flame-close-up-backgroundWhen making great candles one should consider not only how they will “smell”, but how they will burn (as the burn will affect the scent throw). Think about what you look for when choosing a candle and give that same quality, or better, when making your own. Each person has their own ideas of what they want to achieve, but here are some fundamentals to help get you started in the right direction:

 

Choose a Wax

 

There are numerous waxes available for candle making. Each differs in their performance with fragrances, appearance, how they receive dyes, etc. Look at the characteristics of the waxes you’re considering and make an informed decision. Your retailer should be able to recommend a wax for the types of candles you are looking to make.

 

Fragrances

 

Fragrance oils can be purchased from candle supply companies, fragrance companies and even hobby stores (I do not recommend the hobby store route, however – they are usually pretty weak). There are probably 1000’s of fragrances available and each company will offer their own variation of a specific one. Here’s the biggest piece of advice I can give you: Order samples (or a small 4oz bottle) first before buying a larger quantity – make sure you like it.

 

Also, when making candles, fragrance is measured by weight, not volume. Also, the amount you use needs to be compatible with your wax for proper mixture. Not all waxes hold the same amount of fragrance. When too much is used you could find some of it sinking to the bottom of the jar!

 

Wicks

 

Choosing a wick is as important as anything else when making candles. A wick not strong enough for your jar will leave wax behind causing the waste that can be so very irritating. A wick that’s too strong will burn your candle too quickly. Like everything else, finding a proper balance is a good thing.

 

Choose a container before purchasing your wicks. Measure the diameter of your container and ask a candle supplier which wick is the proper one to use. They should be able to tell you. If not, trial and error usually does the trick. Just like wax, there are numerous types of wicks that have their own characteristics. I suggest purchasing a sample package of several and decide which one fits your needs.

 

To make the most of your candle making effort, do some research before investing in your supplies. Check what ingredients great companies like The Big Damn Company use for their candles. This will help minimize mistakes, which translates into money spent.

Digital Video Editing Preparation

With any nonlinear editing system, it is a good idea to know the system before you begin shooting so you know what your system is capable of. Don’t assume anything. Always do a trial run of any effects, tricks, media exchanges between machines, etc. before you invest any time or money into a project. If it is your first time editing with a particular system, don’t learn with a project you care about. Take a training course, assist someone else first or do a few trial projects of lesser importance. As with everything, you learn by doing and you don’t want to spend your time in the edit bay learning as you are wasting precious editing time. If you don’t know what you’re doing find someone that does.

Check your transfer

When you get your tapes back from the lab, make certain that all your footage has been transferred to your satisfaction. If not, determine whether the fault is with you for failing to be specific or with the lab for failing to follow your instructions. If you don’t have tone or color bars on your transfer, you won’t be able to set your wavefrom or vectorscope or calibrate audio levels. Double check to be certain that the Time Code from your transfer matches your window burned dub. If it doesn’t, don’t start logging.

NOTE: CHECKING TIME CODE

Be careful, because sometimes decks seem to read TC from a tape even when there isn’t any on the tape. It will seem as if it is reading because you can note the TC of a particular clap, then fast forward or advance it, come back to the same spot and it will read the same TC. To determine whether there is TC, note the TC of a clap and then fast forward or rewind on another deck. Put the tape in the original deck then see if the clap matches the TC.

To check whether or not TC matches from your dub to your original transfer, find a clap on your dub. Then go and find the same clap on your original transfer. If the TC matches on both dubs, it is safe to assume they are identical. It is essential that you check before logging, otherwise all the tedious work will be wasted!

Log your tapes

The reason why you have the window burned VHS dubs made is so that when it comes time to log the tapes, you can do it from the comfort of your home or any VCR.

The author recommends that you:

  • Get a higher end consumer VCR with a jog shuttle or a VHS Industrial deck. Then you can advance frame by frame or pause while you write down Time Code and Shot descriptions.
  • Obtain some log sheets or some lined paper with seperate columns for A) Scene and Take Number B) Five to Six word shot descriptions C) MOS or SYNC D) Your own one word evaluations of takes E) Start Time Code F) End Time Code

As you sit down and begin to view your tapes, watch each through once just to get a feel for the footage. Then go through and find the start and end time code of each shot, shot by shot. Fill in the slate number, shot description, MOS or SYNC for your own evaluation of the take. This may seem like a tedious task and it is tempting to take short cuts or delegate the task to an Assistant. You are much better off logging all the information for every single take, even ones you know you’re never going to use, including camera flashes and roll out so that you at least have it all on paper as a reference guide later on. It will save time when you’re on the clock and your time is precious. I also find that I am much more intimately familiar and have a better sense of the footage if I log it myself.

Once you have completed your logs, you are ready to convert them from paper to a log file that the computer can read.

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