have _print media_ expertise, Illustrator skills, need QC suggestions

foldingdummy's picture

Hello to all.

What do you suggest?

I'm a Graphics instructor. I have mastery of vector drawing with Adobe Illustrator. Courses that I teach focus on layout/design for print media, plus PDF. Vector vs. raster is very clear to me; I completely understand paths, resolution, device-independence, SVG, alpha channels, masks, layers, essential PostScript, etc.

Never have I been a programmer, although I understand HTML and CSS, and I used to make Hypercard stacks a lifetime ago. I don't speak l33t.

Now, I need direction to be self-taught in QC. My initial "nube" goal to create professional, "classy" backgrounds for Keynote -- subtle shifts of color, shapes, and light, without sound. Nothing flashy, distracting or shot from a phaser!

I'm also intrigued by ways that simple animations might help our students better understand print production processes (conversion from RGB pixels to CMYK output screens and halftones, for example).

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usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: have _print media_ expertise, Illustrator skills, need ...

I suggest you dive right in and start creating small projects to execute simple visual ideas.

Even when I'm having difficulties with a large project I'l frequently just set up the most reduced essence of some particular functionality in a separate composition to really grok it and what I'm asking it to do in the larger context then integrate that into larger project. I find that can save a lot of time chasing ones tail hovering over outputs in a large composition. Also I heavily employ macros that print data to screen for debugging and developing the comp. They are frequently included in the comps I post on Kineme.

Then I'd start dragging out patches that sound interesting to you and investigate how they operate. Understanding why they operate the way they do often requires some broader explanation or context. For that I'd recommend firstly the Apple documentation, I think it's separated into Leopard and post-Leopard docs on the developer site (free to join as a no-frills member). Looking back at the older docs you can find some additional basic example code to what's in the latest docs.

I also came to QC with a Graphics (and digital imaging teaching) background and I found that Apple's own example code (compositions) the best training resource available a few years ago when I started. Also contributing to threads here (of course) and asking questions occasionally on the Apple QC dev-email-list.

I'm surprised there's not been more of a run on the Keynote bkgd thing, Apple's lack of QC support (mouse-event passing just for starters) in KN is possibly a dampening factor in general and I've trying to get that message to the KN team various ways but it feels like trying to get a message into N Korea. My letter was titled KN and QC should stop just dating and move in together. More like flirting than dating with hind-sight.

The best Introduction to Programming book I've ever read I only read this year (despite learning to code before I could really draw anything much). It's Learn to Program by Chris Pine. He has the content in HTML on his own site too. I've recommended it to others who teach on fringes of programming (eg Arduino) and they have been similarly impressed. He goes from Hello World to some more advanced concepts like passing code block to functions without ever becoming dry or overly abstract (ie good for beginners). Code is all Ruby which is a very interesting and flexible language. Good luck on your QC path!!

foldingdummy's picture
Re: have _print media_ expertise, Illustrator skills, need ...

Thanks for your warm welcome and encouraging thoughts. Yesterday I made five files using Particle System library elements to generate roving squares with shifting colors. I understood most of the field labels, but I haven't got a grip quantitatively yet. Can you hear me talking to myself? Like, "What does .5 mean?" (not knowing the range of possible min/max). "How much change is .1?" (a tenth of what? ... shiminny!) Then I tried out the files in Keynote -- worked flawlessly -- especially in combo with other shapes made in KN and some builds in and out. Next goal: graph paper that self-generates as a gridded background. You said: --trying to get that message to the KN team various ways but it feels like trying to get a message into N Korea-- This could apply just as aptly to my right- and left-brain(s) pounding on the door into each other!