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Icon-A-Day, Icons #28, 29 & 30, The Shared Folders

Three for the price of One.

Thursday, February 03, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 27, 28 & 29 (Shared Folders)

    Today we will use several elements that we did over the last few tutorials. Lets put together the "Shared Folders", My Video, My Music & My Pictures.
 
Step 1a:

For these icons we will re-use the little guys we made yesterday, as well as our My Video, My Music, and My Pictures Folders.

Step 2a:

The Shared Video Folder is going to be easiest, I simply move the reel to the inside of the folder and give it a standard drop shadow.
Step 3a:

I move the folder front back in place, and put a copy of the Admin overlay on top.

Finished Icon Image

 
Step 1b:

For the Shared Music folder I just delete the Red note, form the My Music Folder, and place the Blue notes inside the folder. I also make the Green note bigger.
Step 2b:

I copy our Admin Overlay over the folder and tweak the reflection with the Node Edit tool to make sure it looks right. I also Tweak the size and skew of the Green note, to make sure it looks good.

Finished Icon Image


Step 1c:

For the Shared Pictures folder I rotate the paint brush and lay it down in front of the folder. I also delete the originals reflection and paint stroke.
Step 2c:

I use the mesh fill tool to make a new brush tip.


Step 3c:

Now I adjust the glare bitmap a bit with the Node Edit tool to polish it off.
Finished Icon Image


 


Click here to download the finished icon.

There you go, 3 for the price of 1. Tomorrow we will move further into the folder icons.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21, Icon # 22. Icon #22, Icon # 23, Icon # 24. Icon #25, Icon # 26, Icon # 26.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101
Part 3: Part 3: Exporting 101, Contour & Line 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 27, Admin Folder

More folders, and more usefull elements.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 27 (Admin Folder)

    Moving on through the folders, we come to the Administration Folder. This is another folder that most people don't ever see, but its supported and we want to do a full pack, so we will do it anyway. Also we can re-use several of the elements we are going to make in the process.
 
Step 1:

First thing first, we copy our Open Folder icon.


Step 2:

Now I take the word file from our word folder and take the DOC extension off the top of the file. And place it in the folder.
Step 3:

I use the Polygon tool to make a gear that we can place in the folder.

 
Step 4:

Using the same techniques as yesterday I give the gear a "Poor Mans Bevel" (See Contour Video for more)


Step 5:

I fill in the Gear with some gradient fills.
Then I draw Two Little "People" that I can use for an overlay.
Step 5:

Now same as the gear, and the "T" yesterday I use the techniques from the Contour Video I give the two figures a bevel.

Step 6:

Using our Gloss, Shadow and Reflection techniques I give my little figures a shadow and add some reflections. One more thing, I decided I don't like the file in there so I duplicate the gear, and delete it.


Finished Icon Image





Click here to download the finished icon.

Tomorrow we will have a 3 for 1 special when we take our little people we made tonight and make the 3 Shared Documents Folders.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21, Icon # 22. Icon #22, Icon # 23, Icon # 24. Icon #25, Icon # 26.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101
Part 3: Part 3: Exporting 101, Contour & Line 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 26, The Fonts Folder

Moving into the less well known folder Icons.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 26 (Fonts Folder)

    Icon Packager supports the changing of a lot of the system folders, some of which the average user probably does not ever see, however if I don't do all the supported icons in a pack I feel like I'm cheating. (And you know I will get an email from someone asking why I didn't complete the pack). So over the next few days we will polish off some of the more obscure folders. Today's is one that is seen more often than others: the Fonts Folder.
 
Step 1:

First thing first, we copy our Open Folder icon.
Step 2:

I want to have a big T leaning on our folder so I type in a "T", find a font I like, and use the Perspective tool to slant it back a bit.

Step 3:

Now I do two Contours to do a "poor mans bevel" See the Contour Video for more on this technique.

 
Step 4:

I use a few Gradient Fills to fill in our Big "T".

Step 5:

Because the T is pretty big, and just to be polished, I go in with the Node Edit tool and move a few nodes around in the back contour to make it look a bit more like an extrusion.

Step 6:

Using our Gloss, Shadow and Reflection techniques I "pretty up" the "T" so it matches our other folders.

Step 7:

 Now I want a Font File in our folder, so I copy the Text File, and using the Text Tool, make a "Font" File. (I may use this later to make the *.ttf file type icon). I use the Perspective tool to place the file inside the folder.

Step 8:

I decide that I don't like the way the Red and Teal look together so I go back in and change the colors on the file to red to match our big T.



Finished Icon Image




Click here to download the finished icon.
 

Now as a former sign designer fonts are important to me and I see this folder a lot, but some of you may never look at it again. Those of you who do will have something that fits in the theme and does not hurt your eyes. See you tomorrow.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21, Icon # 22. Icon #22, Icon # 23, Icon # 24. Icon #25.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101
Part 3: Part 3: Exporting 101, Contour & Line 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 25, My Pictures Folder

The Last of the "My" Folders. 11:54pm. Made it in :)

Monday, January 31, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 25 (My Pictures Folder)

    It's a bit late tonight, but I promised the My Pictures Folder today, and I don't want to make a liar of myself. So lets get moving before time runs out.
 
Step 1:

First thing first, we copy our Open Folder icon.
Step 2:

Now I want to have some photos in the folder, and a brush in front, leaning on the folder. This should match the My Music and My Video folder and help us keep a consistent style.
I mock these up with some rectangles and the mesh tool.

Step 3:

Once I am happy with the overall layout of my elements, I go in with the mesh tool and start doing some details. See the Mesh Fill Video for more on how I do this.

 
Step 4:

Once I have my brush looking ok, I give the brush handle some gloss; (See Gloss video for more on this)

Step 5:

I want the brush to be trailing some paint, so I use the mesh tool to give myself a blob of paint trailing off the brush head.

Step 6:

Now, most people will use this folder for Photos so lets make some. I take some pictures that I stole from the Galactic Civilizations Artwork folder. Using the Node edit tool I crop them so they fit on our Photo shapes I have already done.

Step 7:

Using basic drawing techniques I make a border for the Photos, as well as corners to make them look a bit more stylized.

Step 8:

Now using the Drop Shadow Techniques we have gone over I make some drop shadows for the brush, to make it look a bit more realistic.

Step 9:

Now using the Reflection Techniques we have used before, I make a subtle reflection on the folder, and one on the floor in front of the folder.

Finished Icon Image



Click here to download the finished icon.
 

Tomorrow we will try a more obscure, but important none-the-less, folder, so check back in then.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21, Icon # 22. Icon #22, Icon # 23, Icon # 24.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101
Part 3: Part 3: Exporting 101, Contour & Line 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 24, My Video Folder

Let us move away from globes and start a string of Folders.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 24 (My Video Folder)

    Now that I have had just about enough of Network icons I want to move on to something different. Today we will take a stab at the My Video folder.
 
Step 1:

First thing first, we copy our Open Folder icon.
Step 2:

Now using a bunch of Rectangles I make myself a section of film.

Step 3:

I combine the small rectangles and together with the big background to make our sprocket holes. Then I take my big rectangles, and Trim the background. This gives us our black film area, then I move my big rectangles up to make the "picture" section of the film.

 
Step 4:

Now I have my piece of film. I make it a group. Then I use the Envelope tool to distort the film, so it looks more realistic.

Step 5:

I ungroup the piece of film and give the black portion of the film a gradient of black, dark red, and dark blue. I fill the center of the film with a cloud fractal. I also make the center portions slightly transparent.

Step 6:

Using the
Contour tool I inline the Black portion of the film and give it some glare. I do the same with the center of the film. For more on making Glare check out the Gloss 101 Video.

Step 7:

Now I want a film reel to be leaning on the folder, so I use the circle tool to make a 2d reel and Combine it into one shape.

Step 8:

I take the Perspective tool, and distort the reel till it looks right. Then once again I copy the new reel and shrink it and offset it a bit to make the back of our reel.

Step 9:

Using the Circle tool and a the Spiral tool I make some film to go inside our real. I use the perspective tool to distort it a bit to fit inside properly.

Step 10:

I use the Contour tool to create a few inside lines that I can duplicate a few times to make a bit of groove on our reel. I also fill all our shapes in the real with some gradient fills.

Step 11:

Using the Techniques from
Reflection 101 and Drop Shadows 101 I make some shadow and reflection for the reel and the folder.

Finished Icon Image




Click here to download the finished icon.
 

Moving on now I think we shall do the My Picture folder tomorrow. So check back in then.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21, Icon # 22. Icon #22.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101
Part 3: Part 3: Exporting 101, Contour & Line 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

How Much Competition Can The Market Bear?

Netscape vs Mozilla vs Firefox vs Opera vs Internet Explorer

Tuesday, February 01, 2005 by Zoomba | Discussion: Industry

Later this month, Netscape (AOL) will be releasing a beta version of their latest browser version… Netscape 8. This time though the browser has a rather odd parentage. Let’s look at the overall progression of the Netscape browser line. Each item is based on the item before it.

NCSA Mosaic -> Netscape 1-7 -> Mozilla -> Firefox -> Netscape 8

So now, by that train of logic, Netscape is loosely based on itself rather than being a direct evolution from previous versions.

Netscape, Mozilla and Firefox are all competing against Microsoft for market share in the web browser arena. IE rules supreme here through a combination of shady business moves by MS, and sheer incompetence by Netscape. The browser wars were declared over and dead years ago, no one can really argue who won. However, now we have a revival of that old competition, though it’s not quite as close as it used to be. Firefox right now represents the best threat to IE, taking up roughly 20% of the pie (MS still holds about 70%, and various versions of Netscape, Mozilla and Opera make up the remaining 10ish%). So you’d think Microsoft might be feeling a bit uncomfortable, that maybe they’d be rethinking their IE strategy, right? Well, probably not.

Most computer users don’t really care what the name of the program is that lets them check CNN.Com, or access their bank information online. To many, the web browser is just another feature of the Operating System itself, not a separate application that they could find a replacement for (issues of IE being built into Windows notwithstanding). To the average user, a computer is a black box that just has to work and they’ll take whatever is thrown at them by default.

Let’s say that the above population is steady at about 60% of all computer users (it’s likely higher, but we’ll go with that number). So that’s over half of all surfers who will always use Internet Explorer. That leaves 40% to be given to a competitor. Now, even 40%, while not quite half, is a respectable chunk and can provide some real power to whoever makes the browser that sucks up that share. Even at 40%, a competitor could give Microsoft a bit to worry about and would likely spur them on to better their own product. Even though the tables are slanted, you still have the recipe for good, healthy competition.

As things are going though, even if IE drops to 60%, or hell even 50%, we’ll never see any real competition. The reason is the other side of the line is too busy trying to edge out each other. Netscape is going after the AOL crowd… Mozilla is trying to act as a technology platform, and Firefox is just doing its own thing and is somehow gathering popularity. They’re taking the market and fragmenting it severely. Netscape has the brand recognition that the other two could only dream of, yet it’s the browser whose horrible design decisions were what finally tipped the scale towards Microsoft. Mozilla is trying to be the end-all-be-all tool and tech platform… it’s a beast of a browser. Firefox is just trying to take what Mozilla is doing, strip out all the crap, and build something that just flat-out works without being bogged down by bloat. Problem is that while they all technically work together, they’re trying to undermine and outdo one another.

There’s a lot to say for limited product choice in some cases. Yes, greater choice in a lot of cases means greater competition. In computing though that doesn’t hold true, because the consumer doesn’t know enough to be able to pick the “better” product. Mac OSX is a better product in terms of technology, security, ease of use and all that. For the average user, it even has all the software you need. But it’s not even making a dent in the market share of Windows. Certain distros of Linux are making huge strides in terms of usability, but aside from in the tech geek arena (where quality does matter), it’s not really touching Windows on the desktop. The better product doesn’t always win in this arena. You win through being quickly recognizable. You achieve that by being one of the two or three dominant providers in a given area.

With such an entrenched user base for IE, having four or five competitors isn’t going to do much to dislodge MS’s stranglehold on the market. The Mozilla camp (since they’re all the same core technology) needs to realize that there is a lot more to gain by banding together under one browser and using their resources to push that, instead of putting out a whole bunch of different products that are only incrementally different and ultimately lose out to MS just because they have the single largest chunk and no one else can come close.

Sadly, until the tech community as a whole realizes that it’s not us geeks who choose the successful technologies but Mom and Pop Smith who can’t even program their VCRs, we won’t see anyone come close to challenging Microsoft in any market.

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 23, Email

Ok, so I forgot one globe.

Saturday, January 29, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 23 (Email)

    After all my talk about being done with the globes I realized that I forgot one, and one of the most important icons at that: The Email icon. For some time now I have been using the convention of an envelope and a globe for email. I am quite sick of it, but it is the most easily understood symbol and probably the most popular so we will go with it again here.
 
Step 1:

First we copy our Internet icon and remove the cord and plug.
Step 2:

I decided to keep the bottom cord of the Internet icon so I move it back, I also offset the globe to the left of my Guide box.
Now with a Rectangle and the Mesh tool I block in our envelope.

Step 3:

I place a few more mesh rectangles over my envelope to make doing the details easier.
 
Step 4:

I go though the new shapes with the mesh tool and mold them into the envelopes folds and flap.

Step 5:

Once I am happy with the envelope I use the same Reflection technique we have been using and give the envelope a reflection.
Step 6:

I quickly pull a drop shadow off the cord and give the envelope some texture with the Interactive Transparency tool.
Finished Icon Image




Click here to download the finished icon.
 

Ok, now I am done with the globes. Really this time I mean it... I think... Later this weekend: CorelDRAW For Skinners, Part 3.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21, Icon # 22.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-day, Icon # 22, Sharing Overlay.

Sick and tired of Globes.

Friday, January 28, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 22 (Sharing Overlay)

    We have had enough of globes for awhile, but we have a lot of non-glamorous icons to create if we are planning on completing a full icon pack. One of the icons that always seems to be a problem is the Sharing Overlay. The thing you have to keep in mind with this one is where it is going to be used. We have established a convention with this pack of using cables to represent network connections, so I am going to go with that for our Overlay, something similar to what we have used in the Network Computer icon.
 
Step 1:

First thing I do is mock up the general shape of our overlay. I place it on top the existing folder icon, to make sure it fits.
Step 2:

Now since what is shared the most are folders and drives, I make sure it looks ok overlaying the Hard Drive icon as well.

Step 3:

Now I copy over the Network Computer Cable just to use as a guideline for our new cable.
I use the Mesh Tool and a Rectangle to start molding our new cable.
 
Step 4:

To save a bit of work I copy the join I used in the Network Computer Cable and tweak its size, making it useful for our new cable.
Then I create another cable with the mesh tool.

Step 5:

Now using some circles and Radial fills I make my "Plug" that will connect to the icon that we are overlaying.

Step 6:

Now I pull a shadow off our cord, and using the Interactive Transparency tool I fade out the edges of the cables and shadows.
Step 7:

Last step is to place these overlays over the folder and drive icons to see how they look.

Finished Icon Image



Click here to download the finished icon.

 

Tomorrow I will try and do something a bit more exiting. Also check in for the next installment of CorelDRAW for skinners.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20, Icon # 21.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 21, Network Computer.

Just about done with the network icons.

Thursday, January 27, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 21 (Network Computer)

    This should be the the last of the Network related icons for now. Most people never see this icon, but I always feel bad if I don't include all the supported icons. It is also nice to have since people use it  for a lot of other things.
 
Step 1:

First we copy our My Computer icon.

Step 2:

Now I take our image of Earth from the other night and crop it down a bit.

Step 3:

Using the Bitmap Perspective effect I give it a bit of a taper, and Crop it down to fit in our monitor as our screen image.

 
Step 4:

Now that I have our bitmap in place I give it some Gloss.

Step 5:

Using some rectangles and the Mesh Fill tool I draw in a cord below the monitor.

Step 6:

I using some more rectangles and the Mesh Fill tool, I draw in some graphics that will be my cable joins.

Step 7:

With the Mesh Fill tool I sculpt our Cable joins to look more metal.

Step 8

I finish up the cord with the Mesh Tool, and make a drop shadow off the cord. I also use the Interactive Transparency tool to fade out the edges of the bitmap and shadow.

Finished Icon Image.





Click here to download the finished icon.

 

Now I am sure everyone is sick of Network Icons for awhile, so tomorrow I am going to do something different. Tune in then to find out what.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19, Icon #20.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 20, Web Folder.

Twenty Icon down, forty or so to go.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 20 (Web Folder)

    As we move down though the Network related icons, we come to the Web Folder. I want this folder to meet some of the standards that we set with the My Music folder, so here we go.
 
Step 1:

First we copy the Open Folder icon.

Step 2:

Now we simply copy the globe and cord from our My Network Computer icon.

Step 3:

We place them together to get the basics of our folder.

 
Step 4:

Now I take the HTML File from earlier and remove the glare and the color band from it. Group it, and using the Perspective tool make look like it is sitting in the folder. I also place it behind the front of the folder.

Step 5:

Now using the Gloss techniques we have been using, I add a new glare that fits a bit better than the old one.

Step 6:

Now using the mesh tool I tweak our existing cord to make it look like it is going behind the folder.

Step 7:

Now the changes I made to the Cord have left me with a shadow that is not correct, so I quickly crop it down to look right, again using the Node Edit tool.

Step 8

I copy the globe and convert it to a bitmap, Crop it and make it 60% Transparent and offset it a bit to get a little reflection on our folder front.

Finished Icon Image.





Click here to download the finished icon.

 

Now we have once more set the standards for our our folders, and we have a style to match from here on out. Also we have cemented the convention of using the cord to unite all of our Internet related icons to the "world"

Tomorrow we will wrap up the Network icons with the Network Computer icon.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: Icon # 1, Icon # 2, Icon #3, Icon # 4, Icon #5, Icon # 6, Icon # 7, Icon # 8, Icon # 9, Icon #10, Icon # 11. Icon 12 & 13, Icon # 14, Icon # 15, Icon # 16, Icon #17, Icon #18, Icon # 19.

CorelDRAW for Skinners.
Part 1: Mesh Tool 101 & Gloss 101
Part 2: Drop Shadows 101 & Reflections 101

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com

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