VirtualInfocom Web Promotion Services:



Web site promotion means listing your website at top position on leading search engines like Google, Yahoo And msn. With proper web site promotion in leading search engines. Web site promotion is achieved with effective optimization of your website for top listings in search engines. This process is termed as Search Engine Optimization. To achieve best results, the web site promotion must be done in Internet’s Best Search Engine’s Google and yahoo. There are other best search engines like AllTheWeb, Altavista, AOL, HotBot, Lycos etc. Your web site promotion is done in these major search engines as well. Internet Marketing Services: We deploy a multi-stage programming and search engine submission in order for your web site to gain top position in the search result lists, proper positioning and unique brand identity. Over the last several years Internet Market has become a very popular subject. Small wonder since the internet is by far the largest intercommunication phenomena since the invention of the telephone. However, internet market is very different that the traditional marketing practices established during the past few decades. Marketing experts are still trying to figure out all of the technical aspects of the internet and it will take a few more years until fixed models are established. If and when this occurs, all companies are left to their own devices to maneuver for positioning. This represents a significant opportunity for smaller and medium sized companies who do not have the huge marketing budgets of larger competitors. Today, becoming an industry segment leader via the internet is not a factor of how much money you are able to poor into your marketing budget for the next several years, the most important factor will be the expertise level of your internet marketing SEO consultant.

SEO Solutions:

It is not an intelligent idea to make a pretty website and just place it among millions of others. If you want your website to be functional & generate good business, it should figure on the first page of every major search engine. SEO is the process of making your website more search engine friendly by assigning relevant keywords and link-building. We would research the most searched keywords in your industry and accordingly design your content to drive relevant traffic to your site from major search engines & directories.

Dynamic Websites:

In the present scenario most of the business websites have Web Pages dynamically built so that user interaction could be made. It’s usually required for online shopping carts and all. Such Dynamic pages are usually built with the programming language like ASP, PHP. sites are sites whose contents are stored in the database and the codes takes out the stored database. Technologies used at VirtualInfoCom for developing the Dynamic Website are like ASP, PHP, JSP, and many more also. We know that the general purposes of the companies are to produce revenue by reaching more and more people and informing them about the products and services.

Basic advantages of Dynamic websites are as under
  1. In dynamic websites one can add and manage anything according to ones desire without anybody else’s help
  2. New pages and sections can also be added to the site
  3. Management time of the site can be changed
  4. Administrator can send emails to its visitors
  5. Quoting and estimating sales information can also be handled here
  6. Newsletter subscription and product notification can be asked

Web Marketing:

The most effective way for business promotion is web marketing. Web marketing is a way of promoting goods and services online. It may involve almost all major activities and services. Web Marketing helps the marketing activities. Mostly web users use search engine for product and services. Web Marketing increases the sales and even open market that may be impossible or away from our reach. This in total expands your Organizations brand in the area where you could have only thought but this makes it a reality. There are several benefits of the Web Marketing which may include Cost reduction, and accessible.

Website Redesign, Maintenance and Support:

The main problem with website maintenance is that often people pay for their website to be designed, because they do not have the skills to design it themselves. This means that they cannot maintain the website that has been designed for them by a professional website designing/maintenance company. The best way to tackle the problem of maintaining your website is to get a good website maintenance agreement within your website designing package, or find another website designing company that can maintain your website for you. You may already have a web site that is not performing as you originally intended, or may be experiencing problems and is riddled wih bugs and dead links. Whether they are design related problems or coding we can help you by giving your online venture a facelift and adding new exciting features.
If you already have a web site and want someone else to maintain and update the site on a regular basis, we can help you. We can work with existing web site layout, format, structure and file organization and implement updates as required. We can help you with suggestions on how to make the best of your web sites. How to improve, bring users to the site and convert them to paying customers. Our professional team is ready to complete your website maintenance needs, below is a partial list of some website update areas we service.

  1. Modification and Addition of Website Content
  2. Image Manipulation and Addition (client supplied images)
  3. Newsletter & email list maintenance
  4. Update announcements, articles, etc.
  5. Replace images i.e. pictures & graphics
  6. Adding/removing pages
  7. Website Design Changes
  8. Shopping cart product updates or additions
  9. Shopping cart price changes
  10. Shopping cart Specials or Sales

Solar Storm Warning



March 10, 2006: It's official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.

Like the quiet before a storm.

This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

see captionThat was a solar maximum. The Space Age was just beginning: Sputnik was launched in Oct. 1957 and Explorer 1 (the first US satellite) in Jan. 1958. In 1958 you couldn't tell that a solar storm was underway by looking at the bars on your cell phone; cell phones didn't exist. Even so, people knew something big was happening when Northern Lights were sighted three times in Mexico. A similar maximum now would be noticed by its effect on cell phones, GPS, weather satellites and many other modern technologies.

Right: Intense auroras over Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1958. [More]

Dikpati's prediction is unprecedented. In nearly-two centuries since the 11-year sunspot cycle was discovered, scientists have struggled to predict the size of future maxima—and failed. Solar maxima can be intense, as in 1958, or barely detectable, as in 1805, obeying no obvious pattern.

The key to the mystery, Dikpati realized years ago, is a conveyor belt on the sun.

We have something similar here on Earth—the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, popularized in the sci-fi movie The Day After Tomorrow. It is a network of currents that carry water and heat from ocean to ocean--see the diagram below. In the movie, the Conveyor Belt stopped and threw the world's weather into chaos.

see caption
Above: Earth's "Great Ocean Conveyor Belt." [More]

The sun's conveyor belt is a current, not of water, but of electrically-conducting gas. It flows in a loop from the sun's equator to the poles and back again. Just as the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt controls weather on Earth, this solar conveyor belt controls weather on the sun. Specifically, it controls the sunspot cycle.

Solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science & Technology Center (NSSTC) explains: "First, remember what sunspots are--tangled knots of magnetism generated by the sun's inner dynamo. A typical sunspot exists for just a few weeks. Then it decays, leaving behind a 'corpse' of weak magnetic fields."

Enter the conveyor belt.

see caption"The top of the conveyor belt skims the surface of the sun, sweeping up the magnetic fields of old, dead sunspots. The 'corpses' are dragged down at the poles to a depth of 200,000 km where the sun's magnetic dynamo can amplify them. Once the corpses (magnetic knots) are reincarnated (amplified), they become buoyant and float back to the surface." Presto—new sunspots!

Right: The sun's "great conveyor belt." [Larger image]

All this happens with massive slowness. "It takes about 40 years for the belt to complete one loop," says Hathaway. The speed varies "anywhere from a 50-year pace (slow) to a 30-year pace (fast)."

When the belt is turning "fast," it means that lots of magnetic fields are being swept up, and that a future sunspot cycle is going to be intense. This is a basis for forecasting: "The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996," says Hathaway. "Old magnetic fields swept up then should re-appear as big sunspots in 2010-2011."

Like most experts in the field, Hathaway has confidence in the conveyor belt model and agrees with Dikpati that the next solar maximum should be a doozy. But he disagrees with one point. Dikpati's forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.

"History shows that big sunspot cycles 'ramp up' faster than small ones," he says. "I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007—and Solar Max to be underway by 2010 or 2011."

Who's right? Time will tell. Either way, a storm is coming.

Source :

Internet Gaming



Internet gaming took off only after first person shooters came into vogue. Games such as Quake could be played over the internet (or any other network) & this increased the popularity of these games as well as other online multiplayer games. Multiplayer capability is now the norm in all FPS & RTS games. Online gaming also includes a genre called simply ’Internet Games ’.

Action Games
As the name suggests, action games have everything to do with fighting, guns, killing bad guys & saving the world. Action also happens to be the most well-known of all genres and the most controversial at the same time. While gamers & developers go gaga over the latest action games, they also come in for a lot of flak from the media for promoting violence.
The action genre has many sub-genres. A few of them are:
a) FPS: Probably the most famous of all genres. FPS stands for First Person Shooter. It places you in the boots of the main character of the game. And only lets you see the game from his point of view. This gives you the feeling of actually being in the game. The FPS genre can be further sub-divided into the following:
1. Stealth: These games are based on the ability to sneak around without being seen by opponents. They are different from traditional FPSes because they place more emphasis on sneaking around rather than on an all-guns-blazing approach.
2. Old School: These feature the run-and-gun type of game play. Action in such games is fast paced, with tons of enemies.
3. Tactical: These games place emphasis on tactics, strategy & teamwork. In many ways, these are the exact opposite of the run-and-gun type of games.
4. Military/War: These are military games, based on the art of war. Examples are- The Medal Of Honour series and Call of Duty. As the player, you are placed in various war missions, which may not enable you to single-handedly save the world, but are nonetheless important in the ultimate outcome of the war.
5. Survival Horror: These is a relatively new sub-genre in FPS gaming. Here, the player is placed in a scary situation. Usually involving ghosts or monsters; the sole objective of the game is survival. Naturally, the basic game play consists of running and gunning, but puzzle-solving elements are also usually built into the game.
b) TPS: TPS stands for Third-Person shooter. Games in this category are similar to FPSes in most aspects, except that instead of giving you a first person view, it places you ‘outside’ the body of your character.
c) Platform: This genre consists of games where the player has to move around on, or jump to and from, a number of platforms. At the same time, one also has to fight enemies and collect objects to successfully complete the game.
Strategy games place the spotlight on the player’s thinking & decision-making abilities. That’s why some people call strategy games “the thinking man’s game”.
The strategy genre can be further sub-divided into:
a) Puzzle: Puzzle games involve solving puzzles, which could involve logic, pattern recognition, and strategy. These games are extremely popular because of their simplicity and ease of use. Tetris, Minesweeper and Solitaire are examples of puzzle games.
b) RPG: RPG stands for Role-Playing Game. They generally involve long, intricate plots with an emphasis on character development. As the game progresses, the characters gain various abilities & can achieve feats. The gamer has to choose which feats to acquire so as to complete the game.
c) Real-time Strategy Games: As the name implies, the action in such games takes place in real-time—that is, the state of the game is constantly changing. Hence the player has to always be on his toes and keep modifying his strategy to match changing environments. These are known as RTS games In short, and have become extremely popular today.
d) Board Games: Board games are simply digitized versions of classic board games. Games such as backgammon, chess, and checkers have all been made for computers, as you’re probably aware.
e) Sims: ‘Sim’ is short for ‘simulator’. Sims are simulator games that usually put their focus on strategy.
Adventure games are characterized by exploration, puzzle solving character interaction & emphasis on narrative. Games belonging in this genre have fantasy, horror, mystery as well as comic elements in them.
The standard adventure games died out when 2D was replaced by 3D. Today, most adventure games are a mix of a number of genres. For examples, Prince Of Persia: the sands of time is a mix of action & adventure elements, with a third person view.
There are exceptions, though. Games such as Myst continued to be popular even in the 3D era. But the fact remains that adventure games are no longer major players in the gaming industry.
Simulators are games that focus on accurately recreating a real life situation in as possible. Realism is the most important factor here, with every attempt made to make the game as true to real life as the software and hardware can allow. The craze for realism has been taken to incredible levels today, with some games to realistic that they can be used to train professionals in their respective fields! This genre is sub divided into:
a) Flight Simulators: Flight simulators, obviously, try and re-create aircraft and their controls. They attempt to copy the controls found on an aircraft-commercial or otherwise-as well as the difficulty in actually flying one. Microsoft Flight Simulator is an excellent example.
b) Racing Simulators: Racing simulators are based on accurately re-creating racing environments. This category includes not only car races, but virtually any kind of race, take boating, for instance. The most popular games in the sub-genre are naturally of the car racing variety, with games based on F1 and rallying among the most popular.
c) Combat Simulators: These take the realistic elements of simulators & adapt them into a combat style game. Here, defeating your opponent in the ultimate objective, but it can only be done if you have a good knowledge of how to operate the machinery the gamer is given, in realistic condition.
d) Sports Simulators: The objective here is very simple- to recreate the playing condition of a particular sport in the most realistic way. Of course, that’s easier than done! Sports simulators tend to be the most difficult to make, with a lot of effort going in to make them realistic, without making them confusing or unwieldy for the gamer.
MMOG stands for massively multiplayer online game. Online gaming has really taken of at present, with broadband internet becoming a reality for a large number of people. Not only do we have the (usually online) games where a few players take on each other, we now have MMOGs, where thousands player can be online simultaneously in a simulated environment.
The most popular MMOG are::
a) MMORPGs: MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) are the most popular types of MMOGs. They follow the client server model, where the gamers running the client’s software is represented in the online world they inhabit via an avatar. The online world is hosted on a server that is usually owned and by the game’s publishers. The most popular MMORPGs are Ever Quest-II, World of War Craft, The Matrix Online, and Star War Galaxies. India, too, has been bitten by the MMORPG bug with Ragnarok being popular among Indian gamers.
b) MMOFPS: this is a massively multiplayer version of the traditional FPS. Although the idea of having thousands of gamers online in an FPS game sounds enticing, it has proven to be difficult to it into practice. One major problem has been the fact that, by the very nature, the games require fast reaction times; thus, hosting a server in a centralized location means increasing lag times for gamers around the world, there by rendering the game unplayable.
c) MMORTS: The third & probably least popular category of MMOGs is the MMORTS, where RTS stands for Real Time Strategy. Once again, it incorporates the offline elements of a regular RTS & adapts them for online play with thousands of gamers.

Mobile Games are the latest developments who have occurred in the digital world. Ever since mobile phones could do more than just phone calls, mobile have taken off. The industry has seen a boom ever since the advent of GPRS, with its ability to transfer large amount data wirelessly. The games focus more on the game play, and developers try to make the games fun and addictive enough to entice customers. With the games priced any where between Rs 15 & Rs 150, the game developers & network providers are laughing all the way to banks!
The advancement in computer technology and console gaming has revitalized the entire gaming experience. Newer technologies are pushing the boundaries of our gaming experience. We take a look at what the future has inn store for the hardcore gaming enthusiast.
Gaming, as an industry, has travelled a long way in a very short period. And in the two decades that games have been developed on a really commercial scale, PC and console gamings have been the favored areas for further development.
Just a few years ago, no one thought a physics simulation chipset was a viable proposition. Storage technologies such as Blue-Ray and HD_DVD were just on the drawing board. The only dictum that held true was Moore’s Law, and if that continues to hold true, in less than a decade we will be using gaming rigs that run at speeds of over 50 gigs.
Is the present scenario a situation from which we can predict the gaming technologies of tomorrow-considering the leaps that technology takes, particularly in areas such as graphics and display technology? Perhaps, let’s take a look at technologies that have run as by, and the newer ones on the threshold, and thus gauge where the gaming industry to headed, we have started with the more feasible and down-to-earth, and then embarked on flights of fancy!

Can You Deliver IT as a Service?



The IT industry has worked toward a vision of delivering IT as a Service for years. But until a recent convergence of events, true success has remained an elusive goal for many companies. Today, unprecedented economic pressure for new models of doing business and the maturity of virtualization technology are accelerating the adoption of cloud computing. Solutions for turning IT into a service are now both more accessible and more affordable.

If you are downloading music, buying airline tickets online, participating in a social network, or using hosted e-mail, chances are you are one of more than one billion users already accessing IT services

IT as a Service can help you:

  • Be more responsive to customer needs.
  • Deploy new services quickly.
  • Capitalize on a new business model.
  • Expand or contract IT resources quickly and for less money.
  • Move IT from a capital to an operating expense on a metered basis.

important points to remember when creating a Flash intro



important points to remember when creating a Flash intro

Once you have gone through the advantages and disadvantages of using Flash intros and have decided that the web site cannot do without one, you need to remember several important points when creating the intro. The points are concerned with providing a pleasant experience for the visitors like providing adequate navigation and handling the control of the intro in the visitor's hands.

Because Flash intros were a way for a beginner to prove his or her ability in implementing the latest technology several basic rules were not followed. Most of these points follow from simple common sense.

Provide a "Skip" button in the intro

Make sure that you provide a "Skip" (or "Skip Intro") button from the very start so visitors who either don't want to view the intro or who are on low bandwidth net connections can quickly go to the meat of your web site. Do not test the visitor's patience by forcing them to view the flash intro in its entirety.

Provide static HTML links below or better still, above the Flash intro

Remember to provide static HTML links to the important sections/pages of the web site. This is especially important if the navigation menu in built in the Flash intro. This set of static links can be placed below the Flash but if the intro covers the entire active vertical area of the browser put the links at the top of the Flash intro.
Adding static HTML links serves two main functions -
1. Provides a option for the human visitor to jump to the page/section directly without waiting or the intro to load.
2. Helps search engine bots to index other pages/sections on the web site.

A "Loading" bar or message

If the Flash intro exceeds 50kb, make sure you put the "Loading" message. The best is to provide a "Loading" bar (a bar that expands in a defined area) or numbers as percentages with which visitors can ascertain the time left for the Flash intro to load completely. You can actually create very elegant "Loading bars" by using elements from the web site design. For instance, you can fill up a heart on a web site with a romantic theme.
If the Flash intro displays nothing till it loads fully, then it is imperative for your to have the "Loading" message or bar. If visitors don't see something in a few seconds, they will simply close the browser window or click on the Back button.

For very large Flash intros

If the file size of the Flash intro is very large, it would take a bit of time for it to load. In such cases, it's a good idea to keep the visitor involved in the page by displaying animated messages or small vector art. Remember, you have to keep the visitor engrossed in the intro if you want them to wait patiently. Do not shove in sale pitches in the preliminary messages... the best bet would be to ask intriguing questions (concerning the business of the web site, of course) so that they expect the answers when the intro loads.

Provide a link to the Flash plugin

Though the percentage of net surfers who have Flash installed on their system is more than 90%, there is no harm in providing a link to the Flash plugin download.

Music in the Flash intro

If you have music embedded in the Flash intro, be sure to put a button with which the visitors can mute the sounds. Further, if you have a good command of the ActionScript language and you have this long playing music in the intro, it would be a good idea to provide volume control.

Placing keywords for Search Engines

Make sure you place keywords of the web site in the META tags and also as plain text below the intro. Do not think that including keywords in the HTML comments will work (as most crummy SEO companies would recommend). Also, do not try to hide the text by making the text color the same as the background color. In short, do not try to spam the search engines. Search Engine bots are quite advanced nowadays and ignore or penalize spamming techniques.

Finally, make sure the Flash intro has a purpose - a reason to be there on the web site... just because it can be done, doesn't mean you have to do it.

How to Add Depth of Field to your Photos with Adobe Photoshop



Adobe Photoshop allows artists to alter photos and images in amazing ways. One of the more subtle (and often very effective) changes that you can make to an image is to add depth of field.

What is Depth of Field?

The term depth of field is used to describe the area in a photo that is in focus (as opposed to being out of focus).

For instance, when you look at a real landscape, outside, some objects will be in focus and others will be out of focus, depending on what your eyes are looking at within the scene at any given time.

Photographs of that same landscape, no matter how well they are produced, may not be able to recapture that same depth of field that you saw and remembered.

Photoshop lets you create depth of field where there was none before, or enhance the depth of field that’s already present. You can use this technique to tweak a photo to be closer to the original impression you had of a scene, or if you just want to exert more control over the final image.

How to Add Depth of Field to Images

Every image will be different, but the first step is to select the area which you plan on blurring, or putting “out of focus.”

In this tutorial I’ll be enhancing the depth of field already present in the photo below, so I’ll be selecting primarily the left half of the image.

Depth of Field Photo

As you can see, objects naturally become more blurred the farther away they are from the focal point of an image—this means that your selection will need to fade out as it gets closer to the main subject.

To create that “fading” selection, first enter Quick Mask mode by double-clicking on the button near the bottom of the tool bar.

Under “Color Indicates” choose “Selected Areas” and press OK.

Choose Quick Mask Mode

Now that you’re in Quick Mask mode, choose the Gradient tool from the toolbar and draw a line across your image. It should add a fading red section over the top of the picture, like this:

Gradient Selection

(Make sure the red fades out towards your planned focal point—that’s very important.)

Once the gradient is in place, exit Quick Mask mode by clicking on the same button near the bottom of the toolbar. You should see a selection box on your screen, covering roughly the same area as your gradient.

Selection Box

Now it’s time to blur. From the main menu bar select Filter >> Blur >> Lens Blur. A new screen will appear with lots of options on the side and your picture in the middle.

Lens Blur

The only thing that matters, though, is the radius slider. Move it left or right to adjust the amount of blur that you’d like.

You’ll quickly find out that too much depth of field looks unnatural, and may distract from picture rather than enhance it—so use this technique with care.

Once you’ve found the perfect amount of blur, click OK, and you’re done!

7 Watercolor Tips for Creating Intense Colors and Strong Values



With watercolors, it’s not always easy to achieve pure, intense colors and a full range of values. Worse yet, when you scan a watercolor painting for reproduction, you’re likely to lose even more of the color and contrast.

The best way to avoid these technical problems is to adjust your painting style to achieve the strongest colors and values from your watercolor paints possible.

Here are seven different ways that watercolorists can create darker values and stronger colors to enhance their paintings:

1. Use artist-grade watercolors.

Even if you stay away from toxic hues like Cadmiums or Cobalt, artist-grade watercolors have more color and less binder, which means extra pigment on the paper and more concentrated intensity.


One of the reasons that artist-grade watercolors have more intense pigments is because the pigment particles may be milled finer, so that more of them fit in around each other in the same drop of gum arabic.

In pan watercolors, how the pigments are treated while the pans are being made can also affect their strength. Yarka St. Petersburg Professional watercolor pans are poured and dried rather than extruded, which protects the delicate pigments and results in colors that dry with nearly the same intensity as they look when wet.

2. Make test swatches and let them dry.

Watercolor has a unique problem of drying about 50% lighter than it looks when it’s wet, especially on watercolor paper. So it may help to simply mix a wash that’s twice as dark as you want, then test it on a scrap of watercolor paper first.


Let the test swatch dry thoroughly and adjust the wash up or down by adding more water or more paint till you get it to the value you want.

3. Let your painting dry, then glaze it.

If the painting’s already done and looks too light, you may be able to go over it again with a glaze to make it darker.


First, let it dry thoroughly—your painting must be bone-dry for a glaze to work. In a moist climate that would be letting it dry overnight. Mix the same colors again, or mix them slightly darker, then gently go over the light areas again with a glaze.

Paint area by area until the entire painting is one or two steps darker. Keep hard edges intact by letting them dry completely before adding any adjacent glazes.

Watercolor will go over other watercolor without mixing or reactivating if you work fast (don’t linger over one spot, or scrub into the dry paint below) and of course, always make sure that it’s completely dry to begin with.

4. Use paint right from the tube.

For bold areas of intense color, don’t bother diluting the watercolor! Squeeze out a bit of Cadmium Yellow or Payne’s Grey and dip the brush right into the creamy, gooey paint. Smooth out your strokes if you like, but paint directly in tube color without dilution to get the purest colors and strongest darks.


This is also a great technique for getting good dry-brush effects as the tube paint is thicker than any washes. Test it on scraps to discover how much you need to put on the brush to get either full coverage, or a good dry-brush effect.

5. Undersketch with watercolor pencils.

Watercolor pencils are made up of concentrated color, so any sketch lines or patches done with good artist grade watercolor pencil can be covered heavily and rinsed to create a strong color.


Use more pressure and multiple layers of color for dark tones before washing. Watercolor pencils are especially good for creating small, dark, colorful accents. Draw them in, then wash with a pointed round brush.

If you draw directly onto the paper while the paper is damp, an even more intense color may result.

6. Use pen accents.

Hatching and stippling can also give a beautiful textural effect to a watercolor painting that’s come out too light, since you’ll be reinforcing the lighter value areas without changing their hue. This is an excellent way to add details at the end of a painting.


Using watercolor with pen and ink produces a gorgeous traditional style, reminiscent of Audubon and numerous other classical watercolorists. India ink used with a brush can fill in flat black areas for maximum intensity, while colored inks can sometimes have a stronger intensity than watercolors.

Penwork is a great fix for many problems in failed watercolors. Consider looking over some of your old faded paintings to see if they can be spruced up with a technical pen, dip pen or the new breed of archival extra-fine point pens like Sakura Pigma Micron, Pitt Artist Pens or Prismacolor Archival Markers.

7. Work out your value range ahead of time.

Do a monochrome version of the painting first, even if it’s small. Create a few notan or charcoal sketches of the subject, then try it with an ink wash or watercolor wash in monochrome blue, brown or black.


Coming up with a notan will help you plan your areas of light and dark, as well as build a good composition from the very beginning.

Professional Photography



Would you like to photograph anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want, any way you want, with a great professional camera system? Would you love to travel to luxury destinations and photograph whatever, whenever you want?

The only way to do this is to keep your real job and do photography on your own time.

If you want to photograph professionally you'll make less money, have to shoot the boring stuff in crappy locations for which you're hired, shoot it the way the client wants, and probably have to shoot everything as if it's some big emergency every time. You'll probably only be able to afford beat up old gear that's "good enough."

Making a buck in photography is a lot tougher than keeping a real job. The photo jobs and locations that pay the most are the most boring. Think you're going to have people hiring you as a travel photographer? Guess again.

It's exactly like golf or surfing. Golf is fun, and it's almost impossible to get people to pay you to do it. Only one guy in ten million makes lots of money in surfing, photography or acting. Everyone else who makes the money does it in something allied to the field, like making or selling product or the dream.

We all know the few actors who pull in $20 million per movie. Did you know the average annual income of the many SAG (Screen Actors' Guild) members, the majority of whom we've never heard, is something more like $20,000? The SAG website's FAQ page offers this advice on how to become a performer: "Develop another career to supplement your income." People pay photographers less than actors.

A person who studied stage lighting in college and worked in Hollywood discovered that almost no one makes it in the fun job of lighting. The people who make more money more regularly are those who become lighting salesmen.

Who makes more: an actor, or an agent who earns 10% from each of the 20 clients they represent?

If you want to make money in photography, it's probably not by doing photography.

You can become a super star photographer, but it's all in your self-promotion and luck. If you want it hard enough you can do it. In America you can do anything you can imagine, however if you want to make money and have fun making photos there are easier ways to live.

how to be an animator ?



There are a number of different career paths for animators. We often think of animators as the talented artists who create the cartoons we love, either for film or movies. Animators continue to work in these areas, but increasingly, many are employed creating animated graphics for a variety of projects.

This can include websites, online advertisements and video games. Animators can find full-time employment with movie or television production companies, with advertisers, web design firms, video game companies or with animation firms. Free lance work is another option for animators, particularly those specializing in web animation. Most entry-level positions will require an animator to have a bachelors degree in a related field such as fine arts or media. There are a number of animation schools that offer course work specifically in computer animation and associated technologies. In addition, a strong portfolio of work, which a training program can help you to develop, is an essential part of landing a job in computer animation and becoming an animator.

What is the outlook for the video game designer?



What is the outlook for the video game designer?

Video games are big business. We're talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that has now outgrown many other industries in a very short period of time. Video games are no longer looked upon as kids entertainment. Walk into any video games outlet, and you will see 20-30 year olds checking out the latest versions of Grand Theft Auto or the Sims. With the recent releases of the Xbox 360, the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii, producing games will be harder and a lot more involved. Video game designer teams producing these games have ballooned in size to meet the demand of a next gen experience.

So what does this mean for you? Basically, there are a load of opportunities to get into the video game industry. Video game popularity and complexity is exploding, and so are the opportunities at game companies and studios.

What qualities do I need for game design?

There are some qualities that game companies will be looking for when hiring someone into their fold.

First off, you really should like video games. You should be the kind of person that hears the theme song to a game in your sleep. These companies want to hire someone who knows what makes a game good, and what makes a game bad. They want someone who knows good level design vs poor level design. The only way to do this is by playing, and playing AND playing video games over and over again. There are a load of people who spend all their time playing these games. Why should they hire someone then that hasn't put their time into gaming, and doesn't have the same passion for games as others?

Secondly, they are looking for someone with good problem solving skills. There are so many bugs and potential problems when designing a game. This ranges from collision detection to making things look convincing. You need to be the type who is willing to solve a problem even if it kills you. Hopefully this will not happen. ; )

Finally, they are looking for someone who can do things in a crunch. The gaming industry works at a torrid pace. Yes, you need to be patient, but you need to be awfully efficient in what you do.

Are you ready to take it by the horns and ride? Perhaps video game design is the career for you. There really has never been a better time to get on board. Maybe you'll become the next hot video game designer.

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Gaming for me



For me, games aren’t my job. I breathe them. I think it’s astounding that I’m paid to make games and to talk about having made games. As is apparent with Train, Siochan Leat and The New World, I make games whether I am paid to or not. I can spend all my time in the space of games and never run out of things to do, to say or to explore.

There is an important distinction here, though. I love to make games as much as I love to play them. It is not a one-way gig. I have made games all my life and the process, the thinking, as you undoubtedly know, is so much different. So many people come through the industry’s doors with visions of Hollywood hoping to meet their favorite star, but the play isn’t the design, and it’s not the same thing. If you are thinking about being a game designer, you should already be one. I was making games before I knew it was what I wanted to do. If you’re not making games, start now. Just go. Screw it up. Make something terrible, but make it. You’ll get better with time, with mistakes, with experience.

Simulation Industry



New technologies are transforming the business simulation industry. The technologies come from research in computational fields of science, and they endow simulations with new capabilities and qualities. These capabilities and qualities include computerized behavioral simulations, online feedback and coaching, advanced interfaces, learning on demand, and the ability to teach specific knowledge. While describing the new technologies, this article also describes the industry's transformation by estimating its size, presenting trends affecting demand and supply, and analyzing its structure. It is believed the industry is going through Schumpeter's process of creative destruction.

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