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freaksngeeks Blog


I may have left, but I never left you, or... no that is not right- what is the saying? Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that my latest project, thisMoment just launched. If you have a moment (cough - cough) please check it out. I've even made a few game, film and tv moments, who can forget Tales Of The Gold Monkey?!

Parting Banner Tips

There are a few golden rules to making a good banner. As I've made far more of these for the sites than I can count, I've got a few words of advice for any banner makers out there. I point out examples below not to ridicule but to educate, after all, we all want beautiful banners!

1- make sure you can read the text that overlays on top of the banner image. After all the banner is to support the page title, not obscure or hide it. If any rule should be followed it is this one.

a few major criminals:Adventures of Robin Hood

2- there are better ways to achieve rule number 1 than a dark cloud of death fade to black- and if you do fade out- go naturally.

bad fade to black:usual suspects
resident evil

natural:pan's labyrinth
-note how it fades to a similar color not just black.

seven samurai - uses supportive imagery to create a speration between focal image and dark background.

3-composition. find a focal point, focal image. don't just drop in random images, unless they are orgonzed in a collage. Also cropping can be good, but it can also be real dirty.

bad composition (two equal size focal images, not integrated, evenly spaced, no focus:
spirited away
the big lebowski
- sometmes, less is more, but sometimes, you don't have a good focal image to work with, then you need to collage it up...

good collage:
-good use of the old "photo-trick", soemthing I used far too often I admit when in a pinch:grease

bad cropping:
rescue dawn
license to wed

good close up cropping: 
the good, the bad, and the ugly
finding nemo
bourne ultimatum
- can't go wrong with a good cropping of the eyes, just avoid showing the nostols, too much face and it looks uncomfortable. 

4- contrast. A simple adjustment of contrast can make dull images more powerful and professional.

5- source image quality. If the image isn't good, don;'t use it. banners are to enhance.

back to the future
surf's up
- this is an animated film there are tons of clear images to choose from.

6- sometimes a good screen is your best friend ...(to make up for bad source images)
being john malkovich

Now these banners are not easy to make, hopefully these tenets will help any would be banner makers out there interested in the business. Good luck, and good banner making!

Exit Stage Left

As many of you may already know by now, and even many more who likely don't, I have recently resigned my position at CNET Entertainment. This was a very, very difficult decision to make. Leaving here was not a celebration by any means. My three plus years here have been some of the finest of my life. It's been quite a ride. I have put far more blood sweat and tears into my work than is probably healthy, but that's just me, and that's the level of passion we have for our work. I slept on the office floor a few times, and let me say to any would be office decorators out there that shag carpeting could be a nice touch to office decor, this tight loop industrial stuff does wonderful damage to the cheek bones. I love these sites, they have been a huge part of my life, and they feel like my children. But even more than the work, I have had the pleasure of working with a whole soccer league of talented and exceptional people all the way around, and I miss them very much already. Now, how does this affect you? Well, I still get many requests for images and banners and such for game-spaces, show-spaces, person spaces, film-spaces, etc. Please forward all these to the appropriate mods per site- they'll look after you, they are all quality peeps. It's been my pleasure working with you all.

I'm sorry DS, I never knew!

I was wrong. So so wrong. When the DS and the PSP came out, I was a big boo-hoo on the DS. The PSP just seemed too slick, too dreamy, too powerful. One year later, my PSP is in an unknown junk drawer somewhere. On Sunday, I bough a DS along with "New Super Mario Bros." - already one day in, I'm having more fun than I ever had on the PSP. It's no new BMW like some people I know bought on the very same day, but it's pretty spiffy.

Win Win situation

I don't understand award shows for Sports. Isn't it a bit redundant, as sports intrinsically award the winners as part of the sport. Doesn't the Espy for best baseball team go to the team that won the world series? Best football team won the superbowl, and best bowler the person who cleaned house in the Reno open?

My 360 Does Not Love Me

I love my XBOX 360, but it seems to hate me. It seems I can only play one game on it. All others crash. Call of Duty 2 crashes every time during the second mission. Call of Duty 3 crashes in first ten mins, every-time. Gears of war, much better, but crashes at least once an hour. Perfect Dark Zero- eh, i wish that would crash. Only game I can play is Oblivion, which, thankfully is a game you can play for a year straight, which I have, and will for another year I suppose as there seems to be an endless supply of holes to dive in and chop up it's inhabitants.

Name that Lost Gun

It's kinda scary that I instantly recognized that gun in her hands as a Soviet SKS semi-automatic assault rifle, that uses 7.62x39mm ammunition. In my teens i was exposed to guns more than I should have it would seem.