Picasa plugin for Lightroom 3
So I have been playing around with Picasa more now that Google+ is out (circle me at www.damonledet.com/+). I really like the integration that Lightroom has with Flickr so I was bummed when I found that you could not do the same thing with Picasa. A little Googleing however turned up this great little plugin for Lightroom (http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/picasaweb) Have a look very straight forward it works great. Check out my pictures on Picasa at www.damonledet.com/picasa
Using Google SketchUp models in After Effects CS4
A really cool new feature in After Effects CS4 is the ability to now take advantage of Photoshop CS4‘s new 3d capabilities. Another new feature of Photoshop CS4 is the ability to open .kmz or .3ds files. If we take a look at the extensive free models we have on Google’s 3d warehouse we find a ton of models to choose from. If you can find the model you want on the 3d warehouse as a kmz you are in luck. Open the kmz in Photoshop CS4 and save it as a psd. Import that psd into After Effects CS4 as a composition (making sure to check the box that says “Live Photoshop 3D”). Now you have a new composition in After Effects with a 3D model as well as a null to control it and a camera to pan around it. If you can only find a skp of the model you want on the 3d warehouse, you will need Google Sketchup Pro to export that model out as a 3ds or kmz. Open the 3ds or kmz in photoshop save it as a psd, import that psd in After Effects and you are set.
After Effects Lens Flare with Transparent Background
Question from a student I had in my After Effects training class in Hartford, Connecticut:
You showed me how to get a lens flare with nothing else (no backgrounds/alpha keyed) on the screen using a luma matte…I think! Do you remember the actions necessary to produce such an effect? I keep ending up with a black lens flare! Help!
Duplicating the solid with the lens flare and using the top one as a track matte can accomplish this. Here are the steps; you can download an example of this as well.
Step one: Create a solid and add the lens Flare filter to it, get the lens flare just how you would like it and duplicate the solid.
Step two: on the top solid added the Hue/Saturation filter and take the master saturation down to -100, Also add the Levels filter and slide the white point slider till it just touches the beginning of the levels histogram.
Step three: Set the bottom solid to use the top solid as a track matte (Luma Matte)
That’s it transparent lens flare.
Filemaker ODBC/JDBC to Coldfusion
I have successfully got coldfusion talking to a Filemaker 9 database. It turned out to be pretty simple really.
I enabled ODBC/JDBC in Filemaker server. Installed the latest SequeLink on the coldfusion server. Setup a System DSN and pointed to it in the coldfusion admin. The only odd thing I ran into is in Filemaker field names can have spaces so when I do an insert into a field I have to put double quotes on the field name.
Previous and Next in Coldfusion
I have done this before when the data was clean and when I only needed to worry about one ID by just adding or subtracting one from the ID value. On my photo album pages I wanted to create a way to view my photos without lytebox. I have 2 IDs photo album and photo. Also my data is not the cleanest for example in my Denver photos I do not have a photo 1. I came up with a solution, not the most elegant I will admit. My work around for this problem includes looping the query to set the row number to a variable than instead of displaying against the photo ID I display against the row number. To create the next and previous I just add or subtract 1 from the row number. I also had to put a cfif to check to make sure my previous row variable was not -1. The code is below. You can see it in action here.
<cfif QPhotos.Photo_ID eq URL.PHOTO>
<cfset displayrow = QPhotos.currentrow>
<cfset nextrow = displayrow+1>
<cfset previousrow = displayrow-1>
<cfif previousrow GT 0><cfoutput query=“QPhotos” startrow=“#previousrow#” maxrows=“1″>
<cfoutput query=“QPhotos” startrow=“#displayrow#” maxrows=“1″>
<cfoutput query=“QPhotos” startrow=“#nextrow#” maxrows=“1″>
Using CFIMAGE to create a watermark
Continuing my week off playing around with cfimage, I am thinking this is fast becoming my favorite new feature in Coldfusion 8. This morning I was thinking it would be cool if Coldfusion could watermark images for me. After about 30mins playing around I came up with this.
<cfimage source=“img_2566.jpg” name=“image”>
<cfimage source=“watermark.png” name=“watermark”>
<cfset ImagePaste(image, watermark, 0, 0)>
<cfimage source=“#image#” action=“writeToBrowser” format=“jpg”>
First 2 lines I basically give both images a name. The reason the watermark is a png is I want to have the ability to use alpha channels. Next line I paste the watermark onto the image at 0x and 0y. I cheated and created the images the same size, but you could easily read the image info get the size then calculate where you want the watermark to be. The last line writes the image to the browser in the format of a jpeg. You can check it out in action at my CFwatermark page.
Using cfimage to create thumbnails
I have been playing around with the new cfimage tag in coldfusion 8. I am very impressed with the resize capability. Coldfusion 8 seemed to do a great job resizing my images into thumbnails. I created a tutorial here.
Here is a little bit of code to create thumbnails.
<cfimage action=“info” structname=“imagetemp” source=“Path to your image”>
<cfset x=min(150/imagetemp.width, 113/imagetemp.height)>
<cfset newwidth = x*imagetemp.width>
<cfset newheight = x*imagetemp.height>
<cfimage action=“resize” source=“#Path to your image#” width=“#newwidth#” height=“#newheight#” destination=“#thumbnail destination#”>
NTSC Action on Adobe Studio Exchange
My Photoshop NTSC action is now on Adobe Exchange. If you have not check out the Adobe Exchange it is a great place to download tons of mostly free stuff for all of the Adobe products.
Blog roll for BlogCFC
I have been playing around with Ray Camden’s BlogCFC for the past few weeks. I am planning on moving over from BlogCFM. One think that I really wanted with my new blog was the ability to easily update links in my blog roll. BlogCFC did not have this out the box, but I came up with a very easy whay of doing this. Using BlogCFC’s Textblocks feature I created a textblok called “blog roll”. Next I created a pod called blogroll.cfm and called my blog roll text block using
WHERE LABEL = ‘Blog Roll’
Now all I have to do is update the links in my blog roll textblock, refresh blog cache and my blog roll is updated.
CFChart not working with Coldfusion 7.0.2
I installed Coldfusion 7.0.2 and my TSX Avg MPG chart would not display in IE. It would display fine in FireFox and Safari. After doing some searching I found a trick that worked for me, under your web root create a folder named CFIDE inside of it create a folder called Scripts. Do a search on your hard drive for cf_runactivecontent.js and copy it to the CFIDE/Scripts folder you created. It is working like a charm for me now.