The Blog

News, views, tips, tricks, opinions and the occasional rant – live from the N3RD hive mind.

Experiencing XD
business, design, opinion, tech
Like many web design agencies, we’ve been stuck in the past for quite a while. That sounds bad, but let me explain... The standard way of designing and supplying website visuals is still through Adobe Photoshop (layered PSDs) but this is all about to change. Photoshop was never created for website design, it just happened to be the most viable tool for the job over the last 5-10 years. However, since responsive layouts (and more complex page interactions) has become the norm, Photoshop is struggling to deliver the tools designers, clients and developers need to create viable website visuals.
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Agile Vs Design
business, design
The current creative environment often involves high workloads, anxious clients and sometimes unreasonable demands. So how do we best manage this process? One solution is the use of 'Agile methodology'. Dating all the way back to 1970, Agile is still a relatively new way of managing projects - opposed to the normal 'waterfall' method which sees each phase developed sequentially. It was originally created specifically for the development of large software systems. However, it's only relatively recently that Agile is being adopted across a wider range of development teams and project types.
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A very scrolly Christmas
business, fun, marketing
We don’t know if you’d noticed, but Christmas is nearly here! At this time of year, many companies want to send out some sort of Christmas message to their clients. Christmas cards are all very well, but perhaps not very cutting edge, and when your clientele is based all over the world, not very practical either. Our lovely client Mergermarket came to us with this exact quandary - how to create something beyond a basic ‘Merry Christmas’ email that could be sent out to their wide range of clients around the world.
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Pasta Masters!
Last Thursday the N3RD crew headed to Jamie Oliver’s Recipease in Notting Hill for our Christmas Party. The team tried their hand at creating fresh pasta from scratch! All in all, we managed to craft some delicious spaghetti and tagliatelle which was for the most part quite edible.
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Flash in the pan
design, opinion
Flash is dead. Ok we get it, Flash began it's slow death several years ago, and now even it’s authors Adobe have finally admitted as much in an official blog posted yesterday. Whilst Flash Professional will still continue to exist, it’s being renamed to ‘Animate CC’ with a focus on creating HTML5 content over Flash - however, unlike many, I miss the old and much bemoaned plugin, and here's why.
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Creating an animated walk cycle in AfterEffects
motion graphics
AfterEffects is a really great tool when it comes to motion graphics and can be used for anything from quick video edits to movie style effects. It's capable of so much, yet the one thing it's always been poor at is character based animation. Adobe introduced it's 'puppet pin' tool a while ago to try to help solve this problem, but it's first implementations were pretty clunky and didn't really work the way you'd expect. While that's still largely true, it has improved to the point where – as long as you get to grips with what it's good at and what it's not so good at – it can offer a workable solution to character based animation within After Effects.
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