September 28, 2014

Pinegrow webdesign

Once and a while a new application emerges from the brain of a genius that blows all its predecessors away with an unprecedented ease. The best of the best do this on all major platforms - Windows, Mac and Linux. Pinegrow is such a program. Not only does it work faster than any program of the competition (take a peek at the listing), it is easier to use, more efficient, versatile (fit to create sites for browsers of the PC, Mac, tablet and smartphones) and considerably cheaper. Sounds too good to be true? Check out their site!

People like me, who occasionally develop websites, should really take time to see what Pinegrow can do. I suspect 99% of them will never bother to use any other application ever again. But also professionals can incorporate their routines and objects in Pinegrow's library and retrieve them with one or two clicks of the mouse. The program can be used by just dragging and dropping components and / or customizing any detail, because it is based on the increasingly abundant Bootstrap, which also makes your pages look good on any type of device. No other application on the market today allows to design this way.

It gets better still. If you run across a website you like, Pinegrow allows to open pages straight from the web after which you can customize them and use them yourself. This feature plus the fact that Bootstrap is continually evolving, makes Pinegrow an absolute must for anyone who is into designing websites. The best of all is that it costs under 50 dollars... Talk about mindblowing...

Update October 2 2014
Version 1.22 is issued now. Pinegrow already was bloody brilliant, but after updates like the Wordpress module, it has become even more usable.

Update April 22 2020
And what do you know, after all my enthusiasm about the program it corrupted my website beyond repair. Returned to using Mobirise that I gave a bad review years ago. But the software is a thing in motion in which buggy code is improved and features are added. Some updates are good, others are terrible. Mobirise apparently did a good job while Pinegrow took a turn for the worst. 

Update Feb 2022
A few months ago I switched to Nicepage and never regretted it. No coding needed whatsoever, totally free positioning of objects, independent from the grid and numerous features that its competition lacks. Absolutely the top of the bill for beginners, advanced users and UX designers. Check out my blog entry about the awsome Nicepage program. Their developers update the program at an enormous pace, so it gets even better really fast. Nicepage offers total freedom of placing objects anywhere on the page without having to write a single line of code, among a shipload of other very attractive functions. This truly enables web 3.0 design with minimal effort and maximal result. Nicepage also offers a plugin that allows to integrate websites in Wordpress, which means designers become totally independent from the Wordpress functions and build beautiful websites of their own. Creative webdesigners that have little or no coding skills should most definitely check out the magnificent Nicepage program! If you want to get a proper idea of the possibilities and use of Nicepage, take a peek at this video: The only disadvantage of Nicepage is that it is dead slow from time to time, but the abundance of features still makes it the best and most versatile website builder available. When the world is offered a ton of options without coding skills already, moving towards AGI that currently is under development will make things even easier still. AGI is said to make coding superfluous all together, meaning that you should be able to do many things, including coding, that required the ability to code just a short while ago. If you haven't yet tried this program, download the trial version and give it a go. You won't be sorry.

April 23, 2014

Yet Another Cleaner

One of the most useful tools I came across by chance was 'Yet Another Cleaner' that is a junk file cleaner, system optimizer, virus and malware removal tool in one. Its functionality includes removal of malicious and redundant registry entries, bogus icon links and application monitor.

April 6, 2014

THOROUGH airbrush cleaning

All airbrush artists are familiar with the contamination of their gun(s). Performance decreases as more waterborne paint residue builds up inside the airbrush. There are many airbrush cleaning fluids and tools, most of which don't work too well. Ultrasonic cleaners work well, but are quite expensive most of the time and require the airbrush to be soaked and treated inside the cleaner for a while. When artists are in a flow, they don't want to wait, but traditional cleaners do not do a particularly good job.

The stamp loupe I use.

February 25, 2014

Controlling fine line intensity with an airbrush

I've tried to airbrush freehand fur before, which wasn't really successful. The reference image wasn't very good (printed on an old HP 1010 B&W laser printer) as a result of which I wasn't able to make good use of my lightbox. I am currently working on an other project for which I had the reference image printed in a print shop. The image that I found on Internet, was not high res, but good enough to see most detail. The beard texture in the recent project is not entirely similar to the fur texture of the panther's fur, but it requires a similar technique.

February 19, 2014

Yogi - colored portrait WIP

Ok after the testing of Com-Art paint in the yogi portrait, as mentioned in one of my recent blog-entries, I ran across Vallejo Premium paint, which I think I'll make my standard paint, also because it adheres to any type of surface and has a well balanced range of colors. This article will show a WIP (work in progress). Vallejo requires a slightly different approach than Com-Art; it is mega concentrated and must be diluted extremely to lose a little bit of its opaqueness, certainly in the beginning stages of multi-layered airbrushes. This is good - it means I will be able to do a lot of work with a bottle of Vallejo paint. The balancing of air pressure, mix ratio and adjustment of the Iwata HP-BH I found to be quite critical for artists who intend to spray ultra fine detail.

Vallejo's solvent is of such a good quality that the paint remains functional even after leaving it unattended in the airbrush for 8 hours after which the artist can continue airbrushing as if (s)he never interrupted his / her session. I did this recently (updated Mar 20 2014) on a fairly warm (19°C) spring day when humidity was low. It didn't clog and allowed me to spray lines equally fine as before the (unintended) break.

Airbrushing as a therapy in the attic.

February 15, 2014

Lightbox for airbrushing

Projecting images to trace is inaccurate, at least when using an old fashioned analog projector; the lamp gets hot and expands the photo or print. It leads to incorrect positioning of eyes, nose, mouth and other parts of the human face. Digital projectors are less inaccurate, but still leave pencil lines on the airbrush that must be oversprayed or removed in order not to disturb the final product.

Click to see larger image - 3D rendering

Vallejo Premium Airbrush Paint

After recently being struck in a positive way by the excellent characteristics of Com-Art paint I stumbled across Vallejo Premium Paint during a visit to Almere Airbrush Services. Shop owner Eric explained that this paint would adhere to any surface even without applying primer, as long as it would have been degreased. In addition it would be rugged yet flexible after curing. This all sounded almost too good to be true, so I decided to give it a try, not having too much expectations to be honest. Vallejo is best known from providing paints for the model hobby industry, but can be used in a much wider range of applications; the paint is excellently suited to be used in airbrush guns for more delicate operations (i.e. airbrushes with smaller nozzle sizes).


January 7, 2014

Make Iwata Custom Micron SB Gravity Feed - II

The previous blog entry showed a portrait of an Indian yogi that I sprayed mainly with the Iwata HP-BH which is a gravity feed airbrush. The HP-BH I found to be performing even better than the CM-SB in spraying ultra fine lines. Probably because the HP-BH is gravity fed. There has been a lot of discussion about which system is better - Gravity feed or (side cup) siphon feed. It is possible to combine the best of both worlds. Testor (maker of the Aztek airbrushes) offers a side cup that fits snugly into the CM-SB, as do all separately sold, dirt cheap paint cups from Testor.