Variable Data Images: Adobe Photoshop Add On

Variable Data Images Photoshop Add On - Start Page

* Full version is ad free, removes image limits and allows settings to be saved.

Also available on Adobe Add Ons

Variable Data Images is a Photoshop Add On that let’s users merge variable data with a photoshop document.

The Add On allows variable text to substitute point or paragraph text in a photoshop template; including an option to automatically resize text if it causes overflow.

Layers in the photoshop template can be turned on or off for each image being merged based on variable data in the spreadsheet.

In addition one or more actions can be run on the photoshop template while merging.

Each generated image will have a filename designated in the spreadsheet and can be output in either JPG, PNG, TIFF, PSD with option for web quality images also.
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Using Adobe Flex & PHP together with Zend AMF

There are a variety of methods we can use to communicate between flash and our server side web applications, including XML and HTTP POST/GET. However a much more robust methods exists–Action Message Format (AMF). AMF uses binary encoded messages. Because of this the messages are compressed which makes AMF the fastest way to transfer data. Another advantage to using AMF is that we can share objects and methods between Flash and our server technology. This post shows how we can communicate between Flex builder 3 and PHP using AMF. We will be using the Zend framework to accomplish this.

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Character animation using inverse kinematics in flash

Adobe Flash CS4 has made character animation in Flash a lot easier. The following post shows an example of using Inverse Kinematics and the bone tool to animate a skeleton character.

Firstly we need to divide all of the limbs of the character into movie clips. A photoshop document version of the character can be downloaded here and the flash source file here. In the screenshot below we can see several movie clips denoting different parts of the character.

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Search Engine Optimisation

Currently Google, Yahoo and Bing share just about all search traffic on the internet and as we know Google have most of the market share. Perhaps as high as 80%. Before Google arrived on the scene search engine results contained a lot of irrelevant results, illicit advertising and spam. Search Engine optimisers had discovered methods of abusing search engines and manipulating their results. Google changed this this by setting up a system whereby a website would be listed in accordance to how many other websites linked to it. A link to a website is considered a vote for that website.
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Crawling the web with PHP

The internet is full of web spiders (also known as robots). The biggest and most powerful web spider is probably googlebot, google’s web spider, responsible for crawling the web, looking for new web pages to index, and checking if pages already in it’s index have been updated. This post shows how we can use PHP to build our own web spiders.

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Papervision3D Basics

Papervision 3D is a powerful open source 3D library for Flash. It allows us to create animations and interactive applications in 3D. The current release of Papervision 3D supports Actionscript 3 and can be downloaded here. This post runs through some of the basics of setting up an Actionscript 3 papervision 3D project.

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Audio books from blog posts

Sometimes it is convenient to listen to a book in audio format rather than to read it. This way we can take advantage of driving, cooking or exercise time to listen to books. This technique is also useful for reading technical documents, blog posts or other articles with little emphasis on graphics.

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Using PHP with Google’s Language API

Google hosts a terrific Ajax language Application Programming Interface (API), which allows developers to integrate Google’s service into their own applications.

We don’t have to use the Ajax API in order to take advantage of this service. Google allow access to the API via url calls–supplied with GET or POST url variables. Please click here to view the developers guide for this process. Using this method we can access the translation service from any programming language capable of calling a url. In the example below we will use PHP.

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