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Michael Johnson

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality Games

Virtual Reality has slowly stepped into the scenes. Such that everything that we do is now slowly evolving around virtual reality. Be it the games we play or the exercises that we do, we are slowly but surely stepping into a whole new world.

However, despite this fact, there’s also still the aspect of augmented reality. Such people tend to confuse the two terms. Though they may be a bit a similar, there still are major differences between virtual reality and argumentative reality. But these are not the only types of reality that they are. As we also have what is called mixed reality.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality is a complete immersion experience that transports the user or the player into a whole new world. Such that even playing the game the player is taken into the game as is.

Take for instance play Virtual Reality best online casinos nz games the player will be escorted into the Virtual Casino where they can play as well as interact with the rest of the players.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality or AR adds digital elements to a live view offered by using the camera or the smartphone. Such that the players surrounding are the same but AR will be adding certain aspects to the surroundings using a device like a smartphone. Popular games that come with

AR include Pokemon go where the player had to use their phone to find the Pokemon at visit website but this does not mean that the Pokemon was actually there in physical Augmented.

What is Mixed Reality?

As one can tell from the name, Mixed Reality is a combination of both AR and VR. Such that it gives players the ultimate experience. Mixed reality is just starting to take off and we are sure to expect a whole lot more fun. As one can only imagine how amazing VR and AR games will be when combined.

How to Apply Maximalist Design to a Small Living Space

Unfortunately for everyone who owns a smaller home, minimalism is out. That means that the simplicity common to modern and Scandinavian styles is outdated, and the larger, louder design of maximalism is in. But, how can a small living room successfully capture the maximalist look without feeling cramped and cluttered? Here’s a how-to guide for small living rooms with maximalist dreams.

Go Big in Your Home

While minimalism is about creating vast, empty spaces, maximalism is interested in cluttered and cramped vibes — meaning it is actually the perfect aesthetic for smaller spaces. Already, your living room is on the small side, meaning most of any items you place inside will feel oversized. To drive the point home, you should consider laying a large rug underneath everything, hanging an extravagant chandelier and investing in well-stuffed armchairs and sofas. Contrary to what you might think, upsizing all your furniture and décor won’t make the room feel smaller; it will take the emphasis off the size of the room and onto its extravagant styling, which is exactly what you want.

Even though maximalism is supposed to make a room feel busy, you don’t want to make your living space non-functional. That means you should strive to keep items out of walkways and utilize your vertical space as much as possible. For example, you can get a massive TV — even one that fills up an entire wall — but you should be sure to mount it. If your set is especially large, it’s wise to hire an Atlanta TV wall mounting service to ensure your investment stays safe and secure without damaging your walls. Similarly, you might use wall-mounted shelves and upper cabinets as storage to keep your floor sufficiently free for movement.

Use Color Instead of Things

It’s important to note that you want to create a feeling of clutter — but you shouldn’t actually clutter up your space. Instead of filling every surface with decorative kitsch, you can achieve the right vibe with colors and patterns. Bright, bold colors and busy patterns should be everywhere in your room: upholstered on couches and chairs, painted on walls, adhered with wallpaper, framed as artwork, etc. Popular color stories run the gamut from moody plums and navies to near-garish hues like electric blue, lime green, and neon pink. Trendy patterns include tropical greenery, geometric lines, and shapes as well as animal prints.

While it’s important to pack as much color as possible into your space, you don’t necessarily want anything to clash. Plan your room using an online tool like Material Bank if you feel competent making the right choices for your space’s story — or, if you aren’t an expert at interior design, hire a professional to help you make the right choices for your space.

Make It Personal

Like minimalism, maximalism is a trend. While it is hot now (and getting hotter), maximalism will one day fade in popularity, which means you shouldn’t make your room the epitome of this design style. If you guide the trend using your own tastes and preferences, your room will remain relevant for longer, meaning you won’t have to rush to remodel in the next few years. Plus, when you make your design more personal, you make the space feel cozier and more intimate, which is ultimately what maximalism is trying to do.

A good way to do this is to choose decorations with purpose. Instead of filling your room with meaningless goo-gas from décor stores, you should set out your most prized possessions to accessorize your room. For instance, instead of hiding away family heirlooms, set them in places of honor, like as a coffee table centerpiece or by themselves on a bookshelf. You might also make a gallery wall out of beloved artworks, perhaps produced by kids or mixed with pictures of family and friends.

Your small living space was made for maximalism — you just need to be brave enough to go big and bold. By carefully selecting every new addition to your room, you can make a more interesting, engaging and exciting room than you ever thought possible, and you’ll keep it on trend for years and years to come.

Featured image by Dan Gold

Top 5 Ways for Beginners to Capture Amazing and Professional-Looking Photos

Beginners are often frustrated when they first get into photography. Most want to capture the types of photos that they see in magazine spreads, but that requires skill and experience.

The good news is that there are ways that even beginners can capture photos that are more professional-looking and stand out:

Learn how to hold the camera still

If you want your photos to look good you need to keep your camera still. That is not as easy as it sounds, but as a start you could grip the camera with both hands and support your elbows on the side of your body.

Eventually, you can try holding the camera in different positions while supporting it as best you can. On top of that, a good shortcut to make sure the camera is still is to use a tripod stand.

Use the rule of thirds

Over time you’ll want to learn as much about composition as you can – but a good place to start is with the rule of thirds. To use it you just need to turn on the grid on your camera, then frame your shot using its lines and intersection points as a guide.

By using this technique, your subject will be positioned slightly off-center – with a focal point at one of the intersection points. On top of that the other elements in the composition should be more balanced if you align them using the other gridlines.

Make sure the lighting is good

For your photos to look good there needs to be plenty of light, and ideally it should be soft and diffused. Natural light (i.e. sunlight) coming in through a large open window will normally suffice when you first start out.

If you want you can look into using lighting kits and softboxes to improve your lighting when indoors. For capturing photos outdoors it may be a good idea to try shooting during the golden hour as the lighting conditions are normally excellent.

Explore your camera’s settings

Try to make it a point to slowly but surely explore the various settings on your camera. Initially you could try out its different shooting modes, but eventually you should aim to experiment with its manual settings.

The better you know the settings on your camera, the more control you’ll have over how it exposes your photos – which will invariably let you snap far more amazing shots.

Try framing subjects from different angles

When you’re shooting a subject, try not to stand directly in front of them and at eye-level. That is the most common perspective that is used for shots, and it tends to look a bit mundane.

Instead of that you should experiment with different angles and distances. The more you mix it up and get creative, the more unique your photos will look. For example you could snap photos from ground level, or from overhead, or you could get up close and fill the entire frame with the subject.

Aside from improving your photography technique, you should also look into learning how to edit your photos. It will provide you the opportunity to make lots of great improvements that really bring out the best in your photos. In fact, even something as simple as applying a black and white filter could transform the look and feel of your photos completely.

If you follow everything described above, you will find that your photography begins to improve by leaps and bounds. From there it is really just a question of continuing to practice your technique to hone it, and trying to experiment and pick up new skills to expand your horizons.

Featured image by Loic Leray

Gaming Screenshots as an Art Form

Flexibility is one of the most fundamental cornerstones of artistic expression. This doesn’t just apply with already established art forms either, as it also reflects the new and constantly evolving avenues which our artistic appreciation can take.

One of the most recent forms that has been becoming increasingly visible is that of static gaming images as art. Of course, games themselves consist of enormous quantities of art assets but, as we commonly see in photography, images when properly framed can account for more than just the sum of their parts.

Borrowing from the Old, Relying on the New

Perhaps the most obvious component of this burgeoning art form comes from the classic discipline of photography. Light, framing, focal length, and so many other forms of image manipulation raise their heads here, and these have benefitted heavily from improving graphical horsepower.

Rising graphical standards through better in-game textures, model quality, lighting techniques, anti-aliasing, and antistrophic filtering have all been growing increasingly convincing in recent years, and these are only a few of the technologies involved.

While depictions of realism have obviously seen some of the biggest leaps in believability, it should also be noted that stylised graphics like those from cell-shaded games have also made significant strides in recent years.

Aiding in this more traditional appeal to photography is the inclusion of what is known as a photo mode in many newer games. This is usually triggered through the pause menu or by performing a special button combination, which then pauses the action and opens up the photo tool.

This tool then allows players to fully rotate and tilt the camera, change its distance, add filters to the screen, remove certain characters, add borders, manipulate saturation and brightness, and otherwise play with a whole host of other options.

In effect, this gives more freedom than a real-life photographer could ever find, which can give rise to some astounding artistic pieces. Take a look at a few from Redbull, for the recent PS4 Spider-Man game, to see just a hint of the possibilities here.

Building the Business

The other side of this equation is afforded through the inclusion of humanity as a means of guiding expression and understanding. Before taking a look at how we accomplish this today, however, we need to examine the place screenshots have had in gaming’s past.

Primarily, screenshots were a form of advertising above all else. By placing images of the most exciting parts of a game on the back of the box, a studio could show their games in the most measured way possible. This could allow them to draw from parts of high action or the areas where games possessed the most graphical fidelity.

This was so important, in fact, that it sometimes involved less than honest practices and, more recently, helped shaped the current form of console gaming. On rare occasions, the screenshots on the back of the gaming box would only include images from the best-looking version of a multiplatform release, for example, while the game included within might never match these standards.

When it comes to the most recent generation of consoles, gaming enthusiasts have lamented the emphasis of resolution over frame-rate. This very deliberate choice has allowed games to look amazingly good in still images like screenshots, though it inevitably makes the gameplay itself suffer as a result of less fluidity.

Better in screenshots, and better for their art, but less helpful to those invested in more mobile depictions of gaming art.

Taking from the Human Aspect

In terms of bringing the visibility of gaming and the art within to mass attention, few developments have been as influential as game streaming. Giving space to both the game and the human participants, this goes for a different tact than just in-game illustration, relating human response and feeling back to the game with a direct line.

There is a modern classic style in taking screenshots from live gaming services like Twitch, UStream, and YouTube, for example, in times of success, failure, frustration, or comedy. Selecting the right moment, and using this to capture emotion is an incredibly effective system and one that has inspired memes the world over.

This doesn’t just apply to these services either, as casino online services utilise game streaming to offer interactive classics such as blackjack and roulette though the likes of live casino games. These are more interactive, and all the more effective at conveying and setting a mood because of it.

Static, Moving, and Virtual

As graphics and animation only improve, and the gaming market continues to grow, it is inevitable that we will see a greater emphasis on gaming-related art in the future. With the introduction of new tech like virtual reality, this could even take the form of fully immersive images, which could shape the medium in ways not yet conceived.

Offering itself as one of the more communal and participatory illustrations of art, from the assets to the placement and capture, this opens doors to an interesting future of collaboration. Regardless of how you see gaming itself, these possibilities are certainly expansive and exciting.

5 Quick Ways to Enhance Portrait Photos

People nowadays snap a lot of portraits, ranging from headshots to selfies, or even group photos. Considering how popular portrait photography can be it is no surprise that most editors have tools to enhance them – but PhotoWorks is particularly noteworthy.

Not only will PhotoWorks provide you with numerous ways to enhance your portrait photos, but its tools are designed to be extremely intuitive and user-friendly. With their help you’ll be able to quickly touch up and improve your portraits as a professional would.

Automatically Balance the Color and Light

Many photos suffer from bad lighting that makes them overexposed, underexposed or affects their colors. In PhotoWorks you can fix that with a single click by using the auto enhancement module.

It is up to you whether you want to correct the light or color balance, or both. Referring to the histogram will let you check the tonal distribution and decide which option to use.

On top of that if you want you can fine tune the adjustments further by using the manual settings to directly alter the Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Hue, Saturation, and more.

Remove Unwanted Glare

Glare is another common issue that can affect your portraits and make the skin texture look greasy. Fortunately learning how to remove glare in PhotoWorks is easy – and you’ll have several options that you can use.

The easiest way to remove glare is with the Remove Face Shine option in the Portrait Magic tool. It will get rid of the glare on your portraits with a single click.

In some cases you can use other methods to remove the glare however, such as adjusting the Highlights slider, using the Adjustment Brush, or with the Clone Stamp. Each option is different, and suffice to say you’ll be well-equipped to handle any type of glare you encounter.

Fix Red-Eye Effects

If your camera flash was too close to the subject, you’ll end up with portraits that have glowing red eyes – which is what is known as the red-eye effect. That can be fixed quickly using PhotoWorks’ specialized Red Eye Removal tool.

Once you select the tool you can use it to paint over the red eyes in your portraits to fix them. For best results you should adjust the size of the brush, and zoom in to the photo to make painting over the affected area easier.

Whiten Yellow or Stained Teeth

Yellow or stained teeth can make your subjects look older and make smiles look less attractive. However it is easy enough to whiten teeth in your portraits using the specialized preset in PhotoWorks’ Portrait Magic feature.

Not only will the whiten teeth preset help you to make smiles look more radiant and give your subject a set of pearly whites, but you’ll get to control how much you want to whiten the teeth using a simple slider.

Conceal Skin Imperfections

Removing small skin imperfections can be tricky, and over-editing can make your skin look unnatural. That being said if you want a quick way to conceal skin imperfections such as acne, wrinkles, scars, or even eye bags you can use the Healing Brush in PhotoWorks.

As a smart editing tool the healing brush will automatically identify the best area to sample and let you conceal any skin imperfections by simply painting over them. It works best on small imperfections, and you can adjust the brush size to allow for a more precise selection.

The feather and opacity options can help soften the edges of the mask that is applied to make it blend in more naturally.

Conclusion

Overall you should be starting to see how easy it will be to enhance your portrait photos and make them look their best using PhotoWorks. Most of the tools require just a single click or a few simple adjustments using convenient sliders to apply them to your photos.

To be perfectly honest the features described above are just a small selection of the full scope of PhotoWorks’ tools. As you explore its features, you’ll see that there isn’t much that it can’t do, and it will let you really come up with portraits that look like they’ve been snapped in a professional studio.

Featured image by Simon Wijers

Why is the Mona Lisa So Famous?

Creativity and Art

Ever noticed that whenever people have a discussion about art somehow it diverts to become a topic on creativity. But many do believe that the two have no connection whatsoever. Creativity is not art but we can definitely say that art is creativity.

The reason why we are so comfortable saying that is because art is design, the ability to manipulate anything that comes to mind. It does involve a little bit of creativity but it is not creativity. Art is the freedom of interpretation that has no rules, unlike south african casino games they have many rules. You can decide to see a different thing from what everyone else can see or hear or feel. That is art.

The famous painting of Mona Lisa is worth talking about. It is not a usual thing when people mention art and do not mention the painting of Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa Playing Cards

What really is the fuss about this painting. Seeing it for the first time well we bet you all have thought, ok, this is just a pretty woman with a nice smile and looking very modest. With no jewelry or makeup whatsoever. But is that what this is about?

We would like to think so. But again it is also because of the talented hands of the legendary Leonardo da Vinci. Only the real artists would understand the meaning of detail. The Mona Lisa painting shows the handling of sfumato among other great techniques that only the talented and skillful are able to possess, just like most of the creative online casino games visit site if you would like to see more.

If you are to look at that painting very carefully you will think it is a photo that was taken. And with that, you fail to find a reason for the admiration for the great painting.

What better way to appreciate the painting but to have Mona Lisa playing cards. To be honest it would only make sense this way. Playing cards have paintings that are ancient and very artistic. And we did mention that there is no art without Mona Lisa. And there you have it enjoy using Mona Lisa playing cards.  

Featured image by Juan Di Nella

5 Points on Great Logo Ideas

A great logo plays a significant role in any successful company as it goes a long way in creating an appealing and catchy visual impression of a brand. Although logo maker software can help you create a professional and stunning logo, you shouldn’t rely solely on the intuitiveness of the program because each business is unique. A logo design isn’t one-size-fits-all; it should be tailored to portray specific unique aspects of your business in an exclusive way. Here are some great logo ideas that can help you come up with a killer logo that will be recognizable by your clients whenever they see it and remind them of the great experiences they’ve had with your business.

1. Understand your audience

Before everything else as far as logo designing is concerned, you need to understand your target audience and the best way to win their loyalty. Identify that which they value in your business. It could be that they value speed in the way you serve them, the quality of your products, affordability of your product and the like. You can do a little research to identify that.  Your logo should feature at least one particular thing that your existing and target customers value or likely to value about your business. That thing should also be part of the business’ values.

2. Strive to be unique

In as much as you might be tempted to go with the trendy logo design, uniqueness is key as it sets a business apart from others. Uniqueness in a logo creates an impression of the exceptionality of a business, even in its operations. As such, ensure that you create a logo that you are convinced that none other out there looks similar. Well, it’s not easy to come up with an original thing, but it’s possible. Just take your time to give it the best shot.

3. Color matters

The color palette has very significant influence on the impression of your logo as colors bear different meanings and convey different ideas.  You can either use the brand’s color(s) or any other color(s) that you are certain will bear the intended meaning and convey the message you want to be communicated to the target audience. You can conduct research to understand different colors and their respective impressions to ensure that you don’t go wrong with your color pallet choice.

4. Keep it simple

The best logo is that which a targeted person will easily understand the message it conveys. There’s no need for giving the target audience a hard time as they take ages to analyze the logo. In as much as you might want to show off your typographical prowess, you need to understand if you create a complicated thing, most likely it won’t give you the desired results. The main aim of a logo is to represent a brand in a way that will make it memorable for the people to which it’s directed. A complex logo won’t be memorable. On the other hand, a simple and powerful one will be easily memorable and so, stand the test of time.

5. It’s even easier with online resources

In case you need some inspiration to create a stunning logo design, you can turn to online resources such as logo maker software.  There, you’ll get an array of design tools that will help you customize a logo that will accurately reflect the brand at hand as well as the related products.

A logo is a very vital component in the marketing of a business or brand. Therefore, its creation should be given the attention it deserves. Particularly, ensure that you implement the above five ideas.

Featured image by Aleks Dorohovich

Kickstart Marketing With Free Stock Music?

Most entrepreneurs approach marketing from a visual standpoint, and rightly so. The way your logo, website and social media posts has a tremendous influence on consumers. But, if you want your brand to stand out, add music to your videos, websites, and social media posts.

Finding The Right Music

Music isn’t just a dash of something extra to make your work pop, it’s expected by consumers. Background music gives YouTube and Instagram videos more polish, making them catchy and professional. And the public will trust your brand more if your marketing efforts have that extra spark music gives. Thankfully, you don’t need to hire a team of expensive songwriters to create unique music. Finding royalty free music is easy, and there are thousands of tracks to choose from.

Royalty Free Stock Music

Social media spurred the need for background music because of the explosive success of YouTube. Personal and professionally made videos needed background tunes to make them stick in the minds of the audience. Most content creators at the time couldn’t afford to commission unique music, so they discovered royalty free stock music.

Rights managed music is where the marketer pays royalties to the composer of the tune depending on how many times they use the song. Royalty free stock music is the opposite. The composer licenses the music or sells it outright to a royalty free library. This allows the music to be used repeatedly without paying royalties to the writer of the music.

Why Music Works

Even before the dawn of the internet, marketing has used music to great effect. Countless television commercials and radio jingles have sold products and created brands. The reasons are numerous, but here’s the science of music made simple.

Almost everyone has a tune that reminds them of a certain place or time. This is because the brain processes emotions and memories in the exact same place it processes music. Neuroscientist David Levitin has studied music and how it works with emotion. According to him music is an evolutionary obsession that bonds humans with the song and the images that accompany it.

Music provokes an emotional response in the listener, and it creates an associated memory too. Obviously branding hinges on emotions and memories, so adding music to the marketing mix is an easy decision.

Branding With Music

We can use music for different purposes. For instance, you can use it to target a specific demographic. If your target audience is 18 -30-year-olds, adding hip-hop beats or other contemporary tracks would be extremely effective. Looking to corner the high brow, intellectual type? Use classical music tracks. Music can take a boring ad or social media video and take it from boring to unforgettable.

Selecting The Right Music

Be careful to select the music that fits your brand best. This seems like a simple task, but often marketers fall short when choosing background music. Ask yourself a few questions about your brand, and the image you want to project before selecting the music. For example, if your brand is a fashion-forward cosmetic line, do not choose a ballad about love and loss. Not only is it a questionable choice, but it would confuse the target audience. If you are marketing funeral services, playing an upbeat dance tune would definitely be a no-no.

The other thing to keep in mind is the rhythm of the video you create. You want to match the music to both the mood and to certain beats. Syncing the beats of the words spoken, and the music makes the video appear seamless and professional.

Make Music Work For You

Music is important to people’s lives. It is scientifically proven that human beings respond emotionally and physically to songs, making the message of your marketing more memorable to the listener. Whether you have a small marketing budget or a bottomless purse, music will make your efforts stand out. Use the power of music to drive sales and promote your brand in a cost-effective way using royalty-free stock music.

Featured image by Simon Noah

3 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Hit the Wall

Keeping motivated when everything in our bodies screams to stop can be difficult. Hitting ‘the wall’ during a particularly tricky task can be easier than continuing and finding that elusive solution to the persistent, nagging problem. Finding motivation can be hard enough, maintaining it can be even more difficult, but hope should not be abandoned. Here are some techniques to deal with getting motivated and staying motivated, from how students continue studying to how supermarkets keep custom. Following similar advice could help get you motivated or break through the wall.

Taking tips from students studying at university seems counterproductive, given the reputation students have for (not) actually studying. But as each university produces thousands of graduates every year, there is obviously something that keeps students motivated through several years of study. Breaking up larger tasks into smaller, manageable chunks is the essence of the student journey. Taking inspiration here could be as simple as breaking a large task into halves, then halving it again, until each step in the task seems more realistically achievable. Counting percentages to completion can help motivate as each step forward spurns you on to finish whatever it is you started.

Taking inspiration from the world of business and how companies motivate customers to use their services can be interesting. Plenty of shops and cafes run loyalty schemes that reward customers for repeat purchases. This motivates them to choose to patronise a particular store over another when thinking of buying something they need. Online casinos also have neat tricks to attract customers, as can be seen through the bonuses offered at particular casinos seen in the source here. The motivation offered here uses a mechanism whereby the user receives a reward for completing a task or for achieving a certain level of completion. To help you beat the wall, set milestones that warrant such rewards and – rather than rewarding customers – you reward yourself when you reach one.

Another outside-the-box way to motivate yourself is to turn whatever you’re doing into a competition. Take tech giants Apple and Samsung, for example, whose motivation for completing designs and churning out new smartphone models is to be in healthy competition with one another. Motivating yourself by competing – either with someone else or just your own record – could unlock a competitive streak that ensures you get the task done. Nothing helps motivation more than winning – or, at least, not losing. According to this piece, Science has proven that competition is the best form of motivation when it comes to exercise. Fitness professionals surround themselves with those who motivate them to improve and there is no reason why this technique wouldn’t work across the board.

Motivation can be easy to say but impossible to find, but there are countless ways of breaking through and finding it. Sometimes the best way to pull yourself out of a tricky situation is to look at how others break themselves out of their own binds and break through that wall. It may inspire a spark of genius that gets the wheels moving.

Featured image by Fabio Comparelli