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15 Star Wars Scenes Re-Imagined With Lego

Posted by Harshad

15 Star Wars Scenes Re-Imagined With Lego


15 Star Wars Scenes Re-Imagined With Lego

Posted: 21 Feb 2014 05:01 AM PST

For some of us, Lego may be those indestructable landmines found on staircases and in the kids’ toy room. But use them right, and it turns into something magical — e.g. movie-themed Lego builds, mega Lego construction, or cool Lego robots — almost incredible at times. But you haven’t seen Lego like this yet.

lego star wars scene
(Image Source: Vesa Lehtimäki)

Both a Star Wars and Lego fan, Vesa Lehtimäki has been pushing his photography and Photoshop skills to the limit since 2009. His skillful lighting and obsession with detail has created a series of impressive Lego-built Star Wars scenes, good enough to look like they were from a million-dollar movie budget. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

A Pilot’s Dream.

a pilot's dream

The Thing With Old Machines.

the thing with old machines

Last Ship to Rendezvous Point.

last ship to rendezvous point

Bossk Has To Go.

bossk has to go

Bossk’s Cool Day Out.

bossk's cool day out

Sand Speeder Bike With Sand Scout.

sand speeder bike with sand scout

Snowspeeder Knock-Over Mission.

snowspeeder knock-over mission

Breaking In The Tauntaun.

breaking in the tauntaun

The Derelict.

the derelict

Moonlight Shadow.

moonlight shadow

Things That Go Bump In The Night.

things that go bump in night

Rancor’s Pit.

rancor's pit

The Falcon and the Snowman.

the falcon and the snowman

Stormtrooper’s Perpetual Winter.

stormtrooper's perpetual winter

Early Morning Scout Patrol.

early morning scout patrol

There’s more where these came from so be sure to check out Vesa Lehtimäki’s Flickr portfolio for more of this HD Lego Star Wars experience and a behind the scenes look into how every photo came to be.


    






Using Bootstrap 3 With Sass

Posted: 21 Feb 2014 02:01 AM PST

Bootstrap comes with Responsive Grids, and a few common web components that we can pick up to build a responsive website quickly. If you have seen our previous posts on Bootstrap, you probably know that Bootstrap styles are composed using LESS.

While LESS has become more powerful with new features introduced in version 1.5, some of you might be more familiar with Sass/SCSS. There may also be some features in Sass that you can’t live without, but they are not present in LESS (yet). If you want to work on Boostrap and with Sass, thanks to Thomas McDonald, you can because Bootstrap has been ported to Sass/SCSS.

Installation

There are a few ways to start using Bootstrap + Sass. First, since it has been included as a Ruby gem, you can install it through Terminal with the following command line:

 gem install bootstrap-sass 

You can also use it along with Compass with this command below. It’s the same way as how we install Zurb Foundation. But, please note that this way will only include the _variables.less containing Bootstrap variables, and styles.less where you put your own style-rules.

 compass create my-new-project -r bootstrap-sass --using bootstrap 

Alternatively, you can simply download it from the Github repo.

What’s New in Bootstrap 3

Here are a few new features found in Bootstrap 3.

Flat Design

The change that you can immediately see from the new version, Bootstrap 3, is that it is now embraces flat design. The gradients, and shadows that we found in the previous version components are now gone.

Grid in Bootstrap 3

Bootstrap also introduces a set of new classes and new grid constructions. In version 3, there are Large, Medium, Small, and Extra Small Grids to cater to different viewport sizes. Let’s see the following HTML example:

 <div class="container"> <div class="row"> <div class="column col-md-4 col-sm-6"> <p>Left Column</p> </div> <div class="column col-md-4 col-sm-4"> <p>Middle Column</p> </div> <div class="column col-md-4 col-sm-2"> <p>Right Column</p> </div> </div> </div> 

We have three columns. Each column has an equal width when viewed in a large viewport size (on a desktop screen or landscape orientation on the tablet). The size is applied with col-md-4 class.

Then, when the screen size is getting smaller the column width division will be adjusted with the col-sm-* class, so that column width could remain in the right proportion rather than just being stacked, like in the previous version of Bootstrap.

New Components

There are also some new Components added in version 3. This includes Pager (used for building Next-and-Prev type of navigation), List Group, Panels, and Page Header.

Utilizing Sass Functions

Technically, we can just add Bootstrap classes to the HTML elements to make the website layout, as we did in the example above. But, when using CSS Pre-processors, like Sass, we can utilize some of the functions to achieve a cleaner and more semantic HTML structure rather than being stuffed with meaningless class names.

Given the previous example, we can change the structure as well as class names to something like this:

 <div class="container"> <div class="main-area"> <div class="column content"> <p>This is the Content.</p> </div> <div class="column sidebar"> <p>This is the Sidebar.</p> </div> <div class="column side-nav"> <p>This is the Navigation.</p> </div> </div> </div> 

Within the stylesheet, we can use Sass @extend directive to build the layout. Using @extend will group the selectors that share the same style-rules.

 .main-area { @extend .row; } .column { @extend .col-md-4; } .content { @extend .col-xs-6; @extend .col-sm-6; } .sidebar { @extend .col-xs-4; @extend .col-sm-4; } .side-nav { @extend .col-sm-2; @extend .col-sm-2; } 

Alternatively, you can also use Sass @include which will copy and include the style-rules from mixins into our class selectors.

 .main-area { @include make-row; } .content { @include make-xs-column(6); @include make-sm-column(6); } .sidebar { @include make-xs-column(4); @include make-sm-column(4); } .side-nav { @include make-xs-column(2); @include make-sm-column(2); } .column { @include make-md-column(4); } 

Now, view it on the browser and you will get your responsive layout.

Conclusion

Bootstrap and Sass definitely make a great combo. With Bootstrap, you can build a functioning responsive website in just a few hours. And features in Sass like @extend and @include can help us write leaner, programmable, and maintainable CSS. For more on Sass, you can refer to this article: Getting Started With Sass: Installation And The Basics.

So, have you tried Bootstrap + Sass?


    






Communication Blunders &#8211; Are You Making These 3 Marketing Mistakes?

Posted: 20 Feb 2014 09:01 PM PST

Ever tried to have a conversation with someone you don’t share a common language with? It can be fun, under the right circumstances (hand gestures are a great ice breaker), but if neither of you have the words to properly express yourselves, it can quickly turn frustrating.

Freelance designers are notorious for sending mixed messages to potential clients – they either want to reach too broad an audience, or they simply haven’t studied their market enough to know what their ideal clients want to hear.

In this article, we’re going to look at 3 ways freelance designers miss the mark when attempting to reach new clients, and how they can correct their course and begin speaking the right language.

1. Leaving Former Clients in the Cold

It goes without saying that bad clients – the ones who disappear with your work without paying for it, or who are so aggravating that you end up firing them before the project is done – should be taken off of your contacts list forever.

If the first experience with a client was that terrible, there is usually no reason to contact them again (unless you’re trying to collect payment, but that’s a topic for another article).

But what about your good clients? The clients who were easygoing and polite? The ones who knew exactly what they wanted and trusted you to deliver it to them? The clients who paid on time and continue to rave about your work? They’ve given you a great testimonial and a referral or two, and everybody feels good in the end.

Keeping In Touch

Once the work is finished, it almost seems like a shame to lose touch with such an awesome person. Well, of course it does – which is exactly why you should never do it. It may seem like a lot of effort to keep in touch with old clients, especially if they have no work for you in the immediate future.

But this is actually one of the most important things you can do to build your network and ensure that you virtually never have to go chasing after new clients again. Even something as simple as one quick email every quarter, updating old clients and letting them know what new projects you’ve done can go a long way in keeping you at the top of people’s minds.

When a former client needs design work done again or knows someone who does, even if it’s years from now, who do you think he or she is going to call: the designer who still makes an effort to keep in touch, or the one who vanished without a trace? Exactly.

2. Not Having a Consistent Call To Action

We all know the benefits of having a strong call to action on your design website. More and more designers have jumped on this bandwagon in recent years, with excellent results. They’re pulling in more business with better quality clients who are clear about what they’re looking for.

However, a lot of designers don’t consider where else a call to action might serve them. You might be thinking "Huh? Where else is there to place a call to action except on my website?"

The answer is: pretty much everywhere you put your name.

Constantly Market Yourself

Got a print portfolio or mailer? Perfect place for an engaging question or two. Business cards? Don’t just list your contact info – tell people to give you a call. If you have a design blog or Facebook page, provide information that’s useful to potential clients, and make sure you encourage them to join your mailing list.

Your calls to action across your marketing materials should all be streamlined for one particular purpose. Only you know what that purpose is, but whatever it is, it’s important that you keep it consistent and clear. Perhaps you’re on the hunt for new clients. Discover what actions people are most likely to take when they’re looking for freelance designers, then give them the incentive to take those actions – no matter how or where they find you.

3. Not Being Yourself In Writing

I know it seems trite, but one of the major ways freelance designers lose out on potential jobs is by adopting a writing style they think is more “businesslike", sacrificing their unique personalities in the process. If you happen to be a more formal person naturally, then by all means, convey that in your marketing and promotional efforts.

But if you’re like the rest of us, chances are good you don’t use phrases like “dynamic imperatives" and “synergetic user experience" in your everyday speech.

Tone It Down

The classic rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t say it out loud, you probably shouldn’t say it in writing either. Remember, you’re a human being attempting to make a connection with other human beings. Forget greetings like “To Whom It May Concern" or the dreaded “Dear Sir or Madam" – it’s important to reach out to people the way you’d want them to reach out to you.

Imagine if your favorite online retailer assaulted you with a wall of big, pretentious words in an attempt to get you to make a purchase. You’d probably run away screaming before you’d whip out your credit card. Potential clients feel the same way. They don’t want to have to break out the dictionary just to navigate through your "about" page.

When in doubt, always go with what sounds natural to your own ears. You’ll connect with more people almost all of the time.

Conclusion

Marketing yourself as a freelance designer is a full-time effort that requires an artful touch and a heaping dose of humanity. If you aren’t speaking the same language as your potential clients, they’ll end up passing you by, often without you ever knowing they were there.

The sooner you can patch up the holes in your marketing “net", the sooner you can start attracting more and better design clients.


    






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