Today I thought it would be a fun idea to do a meme where everyone can share a bit of their talents.
Meme instructions: Blog a tutorial and teach me something that you think I might not know about (even if I do, doesn’t matter, do it anyways). The tutorial can be something within Second Life (how to build, create tattoos or clothes, pick up guys at info hubs, tie your virtual shoelaces, whatever…) or something in Photoshop or on any social network (just focus on something sl-related somehow). Make it informative, make it hilarious, make it whatever you like! I’d just love to learn something from you that you may be good at and are willing to share. Remember to leave your link in this meme’s post so others can come by and learn too!
I decided to teach you guys how to create animated gifs using photoshop that you can use in your blog posts or on plurk.
I did a video tutorial, but you guys totally don’t have to do that for your tutorials, you can just write out the steps. I’m going to try and do that myself below as well. This is the link to the video: http://youtu.be/fQ_suHnRnWk
Steps to Creating Animated GIFs using Photoshop CS5
Create a new document and put each frame of the animation on a different layer.
Open the Animation window, by going to the Window menu and then choose Animation.
Modify each frame as desired, if needed.
Select the delay time for each frame.
Save your GIF. From the File menu, choose “Save for Web and Devices” and choose GIF from the drop-down menu. Select Preset GIF 128 Dithered and hit save.
Please note that animated gifs do not work on Flickr, so I had to upload this week’s picture to my blog itself, I usually host my blog pics on flickr. So that’s my meme and tutorial for today. You can find more of my tutorials on my Tutorials page.
Please remember that you can participate in any of the memes at any time. You’ll find them all under my Blog Challenges category along with other memes and challenges I’ve done over the years. If you do an image for your meme and put it on flickr, feel free to share it in the Blog Memes Flickr Group.
I’m a day early with this meme again as I’ll be in meetings on Monday. I might be posting the memes for the next several weeks a day early as my real life will be a bit hectic as the school year ends. Thanks for participating and I hope you guys have a productive Monday! <3
EDIT: A few people have messaged me asking what I used to record my screen as they would also like to do a video tutorial. I used Camtasia but there are a few other free options such as Camstudio, Fraps, Jing, etc… and people are sharing more in this plurk.
If you have a Facebook profile for your Second Life avatar, you probably already know that the SL community on Facebook is very friendly and active. Everyday that I login to my SL facebook, I am greeted by at least 5 to 10 friend requests from other SLers. I always accept, as long as I can clearly see that they are in Second Life, because to me that’s what social networks are about: friending and socializing and sharing. However, as your friend list grows bigger and you like more and more facebook pages you will start to lose control of your newsfeed and might even miss important things in there that you definitely do not want to miss. So I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to fix a few of your FB settings so you don’t miss anything important from close friends or your favorite facebook pages.
I have a few close friends on Facebook and I want to make sure I don’t miss what they are posting because I’m always curious about what’s going on in their lives (and also cuz I’m a total stalker). So all you have to do is go to their profile and hover over the “friends” button on their cover page and you will get the above menu popping up. From there you can activate “close friends” and make sure “show in news feed” and “get notifications” are also checked. But don’t worry, Facebook doesn’t tell your friends that you’ve done this and are stalking them in any way whatsoever. This way you won’t miss anything they post on Facebook and can stalk them like a pro!
Favorite Facebook Pages:
Did you know that Facebook doesn’t always show you every update a Facebook Page makes? So if you’re a fan of a Facebook Page and you want to support them or just want to stay in the loop, getting notifications is the best way to do it. All you have to do is go to the Facebook Page you want to follow (here’s a link to mine). Hover over the “Liked” button and make sure to activate “Get Notifications” and “Show in Newsfeed” this way you’ll never miss any posts from them. I’ve done this to a few pages I want to keep track of: the Second Life facebook page and also some pages of designers and bloggers that I don’t want to miss posts from.
A couple of weeks ago I was inspired by this pose and dress and wanted to create an image of a girl falling apart in pieces. I was experimenting with different tutorials I found online and they just weren’t helping me as much. So I showed my plurk friends a work in progress image (in this plurk) and they gave me lots of good advice, which I took and came up with the image you see here. However, it still needs a lot more work and polishing up but I’ve finally given up on it, for now. Real life got me busy so I haven’t had time to look up more tutorials or see how else I can improve it.
In the meantime, a few of you have messaged me and asked me how I did this effect. It’s really hard for me to explain it over IM or email so I promised to do this video and here it is. Not sure if it’s easy to follow or if it makes any sense but this is what I did to get this effect.
If I know myself well, I am sure I am going to continue to figure this shattered image out more in a few weeks when I have more time. If I can think of a better way to do this so it looks more polished, I will definitely share it here!
Let me know what you think of this tutorial and if you want me to share more like this!
*Skin: al vulo- Arya* natural blonde brow milk by Hlin Bluebird
*Hair: ::Exile:: Say What You Want:Sable by Kavar Cleanslate
*Dress: MEB : Lady by MariaElena Barbosa
*Mesh Hands: Slink Mesh Hand Casual by Siddean Munro
*Pose: flowey. Whiskey Monday: Punching Holes in the Clouds by Flutter Memel (@ Pose Fair)
I often get people asking me which blogging platform to use when starting a blog. I refer them to my Fashion Blogging 101 tutorial (which is a bit dated now, but still has a lot of good advice). I also say that I have tried and have blogs on all three: wordpress, blogger and tumblr and my preference is definitely WordPress. That’s just what I prefer though, mainly because of all of the features and customization it has to offer, but I also do like blogger and tumblr as well. I find this article comparing the two platforms, blogger and wordpress, very informative and unbiased: Blogger vs. WordPress @ ComputerWorld They were pretty fair with their comparison and didn’t bash one or the other. Once you read that, you can decide for yourself what you prefer.
Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
If you decide on wordpress, you can create a free blog on wordpress.com and start blogging right away at no extra cost or expense. However, because I wanted my own domain and hosting and wanted to be able to really customize and have ads on my blog, I decided to go the self-hosted wordpress route. I currently use GoDaddy for all of my domain and hosting (which I’m thinking about changing) but here’s an article that can help you find a good wordpress host: How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting? I also want to add that WPbeginner is one of my favorite blogs. I’ve learned so much from them!
Three WordPress Plugins I Love!
So once you have your self-hosted wordpress all setup and you start blogging, I really recommend you install and use the following three plugins. They are, in my opinion, must haves and the best plugins for wordpress bloggers!
Jetpack – This plugin is a must have! It brings you so many features, especially those beloved ones you loved while using wordpress.com. You can check out the Jetpack.me website for more details but this plugin provides me with awesome statistics, free and easy to use contact forms, useful widgets, and so much more but my most favorite…the awesome social media buttons and the “like” button at the end of each post so people can like and share your posts (and my sincere thank you to all those that do)!
WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache – These two plugins are supposed to speed up your load time. I am not familiar with this technology, however in the 3 years that I’ve had a self-hosted wordpress blog I’ve used both of these plugins and they both worked well for me for the most part. Except, one time something happened with W3 Total Cache and it was buggy and slowed down my whole site. I couldn’t figure out what was happening until one of the guys at my hosting place told me it’s one of my plugins. Since I disabled and removed that, my blog’s been working fine. I have a feeling I probably did something to the plugin to mess it up though, since I’m not that familiar with it so now I stick with Super Cache because it’s simple and easy for me to use. I also found a great discussion about these two on the wordpress forums a while back that you guys might find useful and informative: WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – I recently started using this I have to tell you, I am loving it. It took me a long time to understand and grasp everything, a lot of reading! But once you have it all setup and working, you’ll notice that it really makes a big difference. I learned so much from the plugin itself just by going through all of the features. I recommend reading WordPress SEO resource by yoast for an in-depth guide. I also learned a lot from Canary Beck’s posts on irez.me she did a few months back. She covered this topic well in three separate posts, you can read them all here: Search Engine Optimisation for your Blog Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3. Part 1 and 2 are great for those that don’t understand SEO at all and need a simple “what is and how to guide”.
And a few more Plugins
Those aren’t the only plugins I use, but I do feel those are the really important ones that everyone should have. I don’t use many plugins though, I’ve been told that it’s not good to have too many plugins running as it can really slow down your site. I am currently using less than 10. Another plugin I use a lot is Akismet. However I actually switched to another plugin for spam recently but went back to Akismet as I felt it was working better. I also use a plugin for my blogroll page, lame I know, lol but I found it helps me keep it kind of orderly. And the last plugin I wanted to share but definitely not a must have is the Follow Button which lets you have that little follow button that you’ll find at the bottom right hand corner of my blog. This plugin encourages your readers to sign up to receive your blog updates via email, which I hope you guys do! :D
Another thing that I love about wordpress is the new reader they have implemented. If you have a wordpress.com account, this link should take you to their reader. I have linked my wordpress.org and wordpress.com accounts so now I can use the reader with ease and add and follow all of my favorite blogs on there. You can like and comment directly from the reader as well. I admit, since the sad news of Google Reader going down, I have been trying out many different readers in hopes that one will catch. These days I’m kind of liking wordpress but there are 5 or 6 others that I am also switching back and forth with. I am planning a big post about readers very soon and will tell you which one I like best and have decided to go with once I’m done all of my investigating. But for now, wordpress is definitely a good reader to try! Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like on my screen so you can get an idea.
I think that’s about everything I wanted to cover in this post. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time since I get so many questions from people who want to start blogging and are not sure how to go about it. I hope it’s not too confusing or overwhelming. If you do have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll try and address them if I can.
This isn’t really a typical tutorial but I think I will add it to my tutorials page just because of all of the recommendations in platforms and plugins. Thanks for reading, I hope you found it useful!
People are always asking me how I add the highlights and shadows on my pictures. Of course, a lot of that are my windlight settings. But I also play around a little bit in photoshop. I do some dodge and burn, which I used on my hair in this picture. Using curves on adjustment layers is another thing I do sometimes, but it’s really not that obvious. It’s a very minor adjustment that I think adds a little more depth to an image. I’m not sure how useful you’ll find this technique, but here it is anyways.