Archive for the 'Image Stuff' Category

Jul 30 2012

Say “Night, Night” to Long Installation Sessions with Ninite

A new computer is a popular high school graduation gift, and a great one at that! However, getting all your favorite applications and software isn’t as exciting, and can be a very time-consuming process. Luckily, Patrick Swieskowski and Sascha Kuzins–two awesome people at Secure by Design, Inc–have created a way to streamline that process for us!

Click here to visit Ninite, a website with a long list of popular software that you can download in a single bundle.

Ninite Software Options

What would you like to download?

Check the software you want on your machine–Ninite (which takes suggestions of what apps to include) offers a multitude of selections in categories such as browsers, imaging, media, developer, and documents.

This is great if you are (as we hope you are) a devout user of Firefox and Chrome, because your average Windows machine, for instance, comes only with Internet Explorer. How about another free favorite of ours, the imaging app Gimp? Yup! It’s there too.

Ninite's Installer

Easy to download the bundle!

After you’ve made your selections, download the installer and treat it like a dot exe file–execute it! All the programs you want will quickly download. It’s as easy as that!

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Jan 15 2010

Fun Foto Effects

Maybe you are still thinking about the awesome winter break you had and my suggestion to create collages wasn’t enough for you. Perhaps you are feeling creative and want to spiff up some of you favorite photos. Why not try some fun photo filters? Before you complain about not having Photoshop or even the knowledge on how to create cool filters, why don’t you take a look at Rollip?

Rollip is a professional online photo effects site with 40 photo filters. Say you have a picture of NYC and you want to get artsy with your photo you can go easily go from this:

Rollip NYC Pic

to this:

Rollip NYC Effect4

Now you look like a professional photographer that knows how to change saturation and hue (insert other photography words) to create a new image, with a new feel. Rollip has an easy to use interface, it is all done online so you don’t have to worry about downloading any software to use and of course best of all it is free.

So, grab some favorite photos, try out some filters and tell your friends you worked for hours to get the right white balance…or something. Happy filtering!

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Jan 11 2010

Collages Made Easy

It is a new year and school is starting back up for starving students everywhere.

I’m sure during your winter break you took plenty of pictures of family, friends and perhaps some tropical locales you were lucky enough to visit. Now that you have all these lovely pictures I bet you are thinking about all the cool ways you can display them, right? You could spend your time printing pictures out and arranging them in a neat collage like you did back in middle school or you could head over to Photovisi and make a collage there.

Photovisi gives you lots of great template options to choose from and you can crop images inside the site too.  Best of all you don’t even have to sign-up to use their very easy to use  free tool. When you are done it creates an image perfectly sized for wallpaper on your desktop background. In a few minutes I made this:


cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

Ok, so maybe I am not the most creative person in the world (yes that is a pizza box as the background) but, I am sure someone like you could make a collage much better than mine in no time at all. So go ahead and make that collage of you and your friends making fools of yourselves or maybe a secret collage of your celebrity crush. Also, if you happen to make a collage worth putting on everyday items you have the option personalize various products with your collage. Didn’t you always want a mug with your mug on it?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

So try it out and let us know how it goes. If anything, the best part about online collages is not having to worry about getting glue all over the place or maybe that is just a personal issue…anyway happy collaging!

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Oct 26 2009

What is in a Resizing?

Since it has been awhile since we pointed out the handy work of new media specialist Andy Rush, I figured it was time again to give him props.

While it seems like a deceptively simple question, “How do you resize an image?” if you stop and think about it for a moment you will realize this is no easy matter. Sure you could bust out your MS paint and and do terrible things that new human being should ever do with it or you can take a look at a great resource list Andy blogged about.

So now that you have some tips from the new media pro himself go out and properly resize that blurry image you have on that social networking tool you use, we are tired of staring at pixelation.

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Jul 23 2009

Jing Thing

Now Jing might sound like the name of a  Chinese dynasty but, it is actually a free piece of software that allows you to do screen captures, create screencasts, and share it all easily. So lets break Jing down.

As a screen capturing software it is great. As some of you Windows users probably have experienced, taking screenshots is a pain in the behind. Jing allows you to capture a window, pane, or region so you get just what you need. Jing also has a simple markup feature so you can add a text box, arrow, rectangle, or highlight what you want. After you have your screenshot you have several options for sharing it. Either creating a link, sending it to Flickr, or just saving it to your desktop. One of Jing’s aims is to make sharing of your stuff as easy & quick as possible and they do this well.

Jing also can let you record up to 5 minutes of video of the window or region of your choice. Creating a quick and cheap screencast is simple with the features that let you narrate on the fly and allow you to upload your product as soon as you finish recording. Along the same lines as screen captures Jing makes it easy to share your screencasts with the world. So before you know it you will be screencasting like Andy Rush!

Now I’ve been speaking strictly about the free version of Jing but, if you find the service useful you may consider upgrading to the pro account for $14.95 a year. With that you have more uploading and encoding options for your screencasts, lose the logo on videos and add webcam footage into your screencasts. If that is not for you Jing still has the basic account for free (and we like free).

Like we always say here at Stuff for Starving Students, try it and see what you think. And if you’ve done something really cool with any “stuff” we have talked about (or haven’t!) let us know and we will feature you.

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Jul 01 2009

Forget Photoshop

Here on Stuff for Starving Students we have talked about cool stuff for starving artists before. There is yet another tool that I have played with for some time now (back when it was still in private beta) and while I don’t have ton of use for it as a boring old history major this has to be one of the most powerful online creation tools out there.

Addiction by mpeutz on AviaryAddiction by mpeutz on Aviary.

The above image was created on Aviary a web based tool that is an image editor, image markup, effects editor, swatch editor, and vector editor. Each of these tools has their own clever bird inspired name, e.g. Peacock, Phoenix, Toucan and a few others. What you create in one can easily be brought into another editor, making the process of creating a visually amazing image simple. There are many great tutorials and documentation available for those of you who don’t know where to begin or need a little help getting some stuff done. I wish I could talk more extensively about the image editor, Peacock, but not often needing such a powerful editor I have not used it. I’m willing to bet that many of the tools on Aviary would impress those artists who understand color swatches, vectors, and other artsy terms. As I mentioned before though I am a boring history major, so why am I bringing up Aviary anyway?

Recently Aviary released a new editor called Falcon that works alongside a Firefox extension called Talon. As a long time PC user (no comments about that please) I have never really impressed by Windows screen capture options or MS paint. In fact I don’t think MS paint has changed as long as I can remember that application, that is besides the point though. This simple add-on that so innocently sits right next to the Delicious add-on (you did install it like we told you to right?) has already made my life so much easier. With Talon you can easily capture just a portion of the screen, the visible portion of the page, or the page in its entirety. After you have taken the screen shot you have several options. You could save it to your desktop and call it a day. Or if you are feeling more adventurous open it up in Falcon which is similar to MS Paint but doesn’t look so ugly and also gives you the option to go to a more advanced editor which totally kicks MS Paint butt. Even more than that you could open the image in the other editors we mentioned earlier in this post and do more fancy stuff!

And would you believe all this editing stuff is free? So instead of shelling out big money to use Photoshop, and lets face it you won’t even use half the features in Photoshop if you are anything like me, get a FREE account at Aviary. Even if you want to upgrade to a premium account the cost won’t make you cry yourself to sleep at night and eat ramen noodles for the rest of the semester. For the awesome screen capturing goodness alone this is worth it but, as long as you are going to sign up for account might as well play around, right?

Keep on doodling you starving students!

One response so far

Jun 12 2009

Create & Collaborate

This latest cool stuff was pointed out to me by Patrick Murray-John who once again has found a rockin’ tool. Creately is an online tool that lets you create diagrams and designs and collaborate with others on said stuff. This is one of the best programs I have seen for diagram and design collaboration because not only is it intuitive but it also comes jam-packed with lots of useful features and lots of granular control.

Creately Screenshot

The objects are smart and have features that only appear when you need them to by clicking on them. The tool has hundreds of features but does not overwhelm you with a myriad of menus and buttons. The toolbar is simple and elegant too. Images can be stretched, skewed, and inverted. You can change colors, size, font and there is an infinite undo and redo button (yay!). The tool saves revisions so you can revert back (like wikipedia) if necessary. There are lots more features I could talk about but it is better if you go there and try it out for yourself. Creately is a powerful tool and most importantly (to this site at least) it is free!

Collaboration is made easy by clicking the share button in the upper-right hand corner and sending it off to your fellow collaborators. You can also leave comments to discuss the diagram/design and Creately allows you to intelligently point to a specific piece within the diagram/design so other people know exactly what you are talking about. There is little confusion when using this tool, it is really user friendly. Another great feature that is simple but important is the ability to export what you have created. There is the option of creating an image, PDF, XML, or to send it off in an e-mail. You’d be surprised how many tools that work great don’t have great options for exporting what you create, for this Creately gets extra bonus points.

As of today (6/12/09) it is in private beta but, I got an account easily enough and within half an hour I was playing around with Creately. So next time you have a group project that requires designing or diagramming I expect you will enlighten your group about this awesome tool. And go ahead and take the glory for making the group project much easier through your “discovery” of this cool tool, I won’t tell them where you heard about it.

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Mar 27 2009

Spice Up Your Prezintations!

Yes, I know how to spell presentations in case you were wondering. Prezintation is just my bad attempt at a pun in order to turn your attention to Prezi.com.

If you somehow missed it, by clicking the little image above you can get a preview of what Prezi does. So click now, I can wait.

Now that you are back you are probably wondering how exactly you can make a sweet presentation like that. Well the first step is to sign up for a free account. The one current drawback is that it is still in private beta, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this cool app.

Next you can check out the learn tab and see how easy it is to create visually appealing presentations. The website says it the best, “Prezi is the ultimate tool for the creative, the child-like, those who want to impress their audience, and those who like shiny objects. It might look scary and confusing first, but it is, in fact, self-explanatory and easy to use”. If you think you fall into one of those catgeories (or many like I do) than Prezi just the tool for you.

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Feb 18 2009

Stuff for Starving Artists

At SfSS, we know that starving artists are an important subspecies of starving students. That’s why I’ve hand-picked five useful resources for all you tormented, creative types out there.

First, the Louvre! Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to Paris to visit. The Louvre’s website provides images of the museum’s artwork, plenty of corresponding information, and–joy of all joys–a totally badass virtual tour. You can wander through the wings of the Louvre, clicking on any painting for a closer view and description. You can even save your favorite works in custom albums, using their ‘my personal space‘ feature. Want to be the next Van Gogh? Nothing’s stopping you now!

If you’re a musician, I’m about to make you very happy. No, I haven’t just kicked Paul McCartney in the balls, but I think you’ll like this too. Chordie is a website dedicated to providing guitar, banjo, ukelele, and mandolin chord progressions for pretty much every song you can think of. And, because it’s just made of awesome, it will transpose these songs into any key you want! Imagine the possibilities.

But what about writers? Try Duotrope! I know it sounds like a sleazy, non-FDA approved drug, but I promise it won’t give you cancer. Duotrope’s Digest is the largest database of literary journals on the web. If you’re looking to get published, this is a fantastic resource for finding journals to submit to. You can search by genre, length, payscale, and a whole host of other attributes. Do you write experimental post-apocalyptic short fiction about mice and root beer floats? There’s a journal for that. Well, probably.

Maybe you write something that can’t be published in a traditional way, like screenplays. While certainly not the most attractive website, the Internet Movie Script Database has screenplays available for most movies, word-for-word. Recent additions include “Slumdog Millionaire“, “Revolutionary Road“, and (unfortunately) “Twilight“. If you want to write like the Coen Brothers, the best way to start is by studying their work. IMSDb makes that easy.

Hey graphic artists, you didn’t think I forgot about you, right? Check out Vecteezy for free creative commons vector art. You can search by category, file type, or license, and there are even sections for flash animation, Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator brushes, and all kinds of nifty icons. Web designers, I’m looking at you too. Think how shiny your sites will be now that you’ve got this resource at your fingertips. People will follow you around, in awe of your design skills. Small children, cuddly animals, and generous millionaires will flock to you.

So go create art, you beautiful people!

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Feb 13 2009

Digging the Past: Propaganda, Education, and So Much More

Since I am a history major I am always on the lookout for cool (read: nerdy) history sites.

Two of my favorite places to go for video and photos are the Internet Archive and Shorpy’s Blog, respectively. These two sites are chock-full of videos and photos from 20th Century America.

To start off, the Internet Archive. With over 150,000 “moving images” (as the I.A. so calls them) it is great place to search around and find old film clips and moving images of just about anything. For you ladies out there that are interested in becoming secretaries this video will be sure to help!

But seriously the Internet Archive is a treasure trove of video, photos, and audio. Whether you want a good laugh or need some primary sources to help you understand the past, Internet Archive is a good resource.

Next on the list is Shorpy.com. Shorpy’s Blog has hundreds of high-resolution images from the Civil War era to the 1950s. I’ve used photos for many presentations and I’ve even printed out some photos and hung them up in my room (did I mention I was a history nerd?). All of these photos can be freely used and there are images from such photographers as Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Mathew Brady. I can’t emphasize how high-resolution these images are, they beat anything you can find on google.

So next time try the train…err or Shorpy.com 🙂

Hope this is helpful for you history buffs and nerds out there. Great resources for free, now thats my kind of stuff.

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