I am really glad to be back online. What turned out as a web server’s hard drive going down, turned into moving my site to a new server (twice) and then running into a domain DNS problem.
I think everything has been cleared up now. So if you tried to get to my site and couldn’t, or tried to email me and it got returned, the web server going down was the problem.
I had seven sites on that server and what helped me is that I use web hosts that have the popular control panel called cPanel. cPanel has a backup utility that also helps restore your site when you move. I just needed to find another host using the same control panel.
Remember to do your backups on your site in case this ever happens to you.
Steve Nicholson over at Auto Restoration 101 contacted me to let me know about an article he did on me and my artwork. Steve has over 20 years experience in antique auto restoration and street rod fabrication. His work has been featured and displayed at SEMA, Good Guys, Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, and much more.
Steve also runs a couple of sites, one of which is his art site “Just for the Art of it”. There he displays all kinds of cool items which he makes from recycled parts, like the Oldsmobile timing gear and valve spring wall clock that is painted tangerine.
One of my favorites is the Spark Plug hubcap clock. It’s made from an aluminum hubcap and has 12 spark plugs that represent the hours.
Below is a link to an interesting article I came across that shows the process of laying out a car wrap design. The article includes the many different steps and also has links on finding vehicle outlines. One of the links is for a download of 6000 free car outlines.
So what makes this configurator better than the others? First of all it has lots of options. Options for the car, options for the background and also options for different effects you can apply to the car like a burnout, dirt, and smoke.
The other nice thing is that it loads fast. Sometimes when configurators have as many options as this one, it will take forever to load.
The one little thing I think could have been done better is the parts side navigation. I kept having to chase down the “selected parts” link once the box resized itself. It would be great if it stayed the same size or either expanded just from the top down.
It also has nice share options so you show your friends what you created. Here is a link to one of the Mustangs I did. If you go and create one, come back and post it in the comments so I can check it out.
If you are like me and use Photoshop to save images for your website, then you have seen Photoshop’s jpeg quality settings.
The basic idea with these setting is that the higher the setting, the better the image quality and the lower the setting the lower the quality. Along with the image quality is the file size. The higher the setting also means a larger file size and lower the setting means a smaller file size.
The balance is to have the best image quality with the lowest possible file size.
So a common practice, and one I have used over the years, was to go with a middle-of-the-road setting of 50. That way you got good image quality without having a file that was large and made your site load slow.
The thing that stood out for me in this article was when Sergey wrote that when you save an image in Photoshop under 50, it uses an additional optimization algorithm, so if you are saving an image that has small, high-contrast details it is better to set the quality setting to at least 51.
In the article, there are some images to show you the difference between that 50 and 51 quality setting. You will be surprised at the difference.