Apr 032012

So you want to create an interactive WebGL liquid metal ball? Glad you asked, programming wizard Paul Lewis has got just the thing!

Making websites is tons of fun, but sometimes you need to break free and do something a bit unusual. That’s what we’ll be doing today. We’ll be using the excellent Three.js engine to create an interactive metallic ball. As you click and drag the ball distorts and then slowly settles back to its original shape.

To do this we’ll be covering spring physics, 3D vectors and ray casting (and a few other things besides) all in an effort to create a compelling and fun interactive experience. Let’s start by looking at what we’re going to make.

The thing about experiments like these is that on the surface they don’t look to have direct commercial applications. You’d be forgiven for thinking the same about this one as well, and perhaps you’re right. But my philosophy is that as a developer you learn techniques and solutions to problems in these experiments that can help you in your day-to-day work. There have been many times where this has proved true for me, and I’m certain it’ll work out for you as well. In any case this is going to be tons of fun, so let’s get started on creating our scene.


via Create an interactive liquid metal ball with WebGL | Tutorial | .net magazine.


Oct 042011



The Function Of Textures

We love texture on the Web for a multitude of reasons. Design decisions shouldn’t be made simply on the basis of, “Oh, well. It looks good.” Design should serve a purpose, and each decision about texture should be made by weighing the pros and cons. Let’s start by going over some of the key benefits.

via The Whys And The Hows Of Textures In Web Design – Smashing Magazine.

Sep 282011



Technologist Benjamin Bojko and art director Dan Mall, on behalf of digital agency Big Spaceship, give us an exclusive look behind the creation of Activatedrinks.com and explain how they pulled off the loading process and added depth and fluid parallax motion to the particles effect on the site

ACTIVATE engaged Big Spaceship as digital agency of record to oversee digital strategy and production, including the brand’s social and mobile marketing. The redesign of Activatedrinks.com and establishing their Facebook presence emerged as the primary initiatives in re-setting their online presence for this growing brand. When the Big Spaceship team began brainstorms towards these goals we didn’t have a lot of time to pull this off.

via Building an immersive environment with CSS and JavaScript | Tutorial | .net magazine.

Sep 202011



Prototyping tools can be restrictive and it’s becoming more important that designers know how to code up their concepts, so Leisa Reichelt organised a workshop teaching how to build prototypes in HTML and CSS. Here Anna Debenham summarises what she taught on the Code Fitness day

If you already know how to build a basic web page, you probably won’t learn anything here. But if you don’t, or your knowledge is from back in the days of table-based layouts, this will give you a good grounding in building prototypes in HTML and CSS.

via Building prototypes in HTML and CSS | Tutorial | .net magazine.

Sep 192011



With subscription services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, downloadable content from iTunes and Amazon, and freebies from Crackle or YouTube It’s getting harder to justify paying for cable. For those of us who prefer our time in front of the tube stimulate, rather than rot our brains, DocumentaryHeaven may be the final push we need to usher our cable TV and satellite subscriptions out the door.

via Maximum PC | Cool Site of the Week: DocumentaryHeaven.

Sep 162011

Designing a great user interface can be a challenge, even for the most seasoned designer. Countless factors need to be taken into consideration and the difference between a good UI and a great one often boils down to paying close attention to the smallest details.

When undertaking such an important and often complex task, it’s helpful to have some handy resources for both education and inspiration. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorites below. Since we can only scratch the surface of the wide variety of UI design resources available, we invite you to share yours in the comments.

via 9 Essential Resources for User Interface Designers.

Sep 082011



Think carefully before choosing a gallery-style layout for your website. For example, it’s certainly not appropriate for sites that really ought to be read sequentially. Portions of your website – such as portfolios, links or even notebook-style blogs – can be a great place to explore the technique, but use it with care. If your content isn’t easily scannable or lacks clear and quickly received content then you’ll end up creating stumbling blocks for your visitors. After that, they’ll just leave with a sour taste in their mouths.

via Five killer ways to use a gallery style | Feature | .net magazine.