Time to work on our "book"

Area for developing group projects, such as workshop equipment
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Odegard
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby Odegard » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:07 pm

I am also creating a page on the Wiki to explain the project, as well as to keep track of shared ideas.
I heartily encourage others here to edit and add to the page.

The new wiki page is here.
Christopher Odegard

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wammie
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby wammie » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:14 pm

Odegard wrote:I am also creating a page on the Wiki to explain the project, as well as to keep track of shared ideas.
I heartily encourage others here to edit and add to the page.

The new wiki page is here.
Chris, the page looks great! Thanks, I'll be helping out.

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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby wammie » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:38 pm

I suggest the following basic bits for project information:
  • Project:
  • Description:
  • Goal:
  • Builder(s):
  • When built:
  • Where built:
  • Resources and materials used:
  • Completed (as of date)?:
  • Where the project lives now (as of date):
  • Further details:
  • Suggestions for future builders:

I think this is good to start, enough information to satisfy the general reader, yet flexible enough for the author/writer to expand as much as needed.

I suggest a minimum two-sided page design, 1st page with some of these items and pictures, second page with details and more pictures, third and later pages with details for projects that happen to have lots of documentation.

Probably we can create a web form with some CSS and use other print CSS for the book?

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Odegard
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby Odegard » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:39 pm

Wammie (et.al.), I like your contributions, but I probably should give you some feedback from our first meeting. Most of what you mention had been discussed, but not all of it has been decided by any means.

One aspect that I think was pretty much decided was the page concept. While acknowledging the occasional exception, we agreed that the point of the traveling book was to show the broad and diverse range of member-completed works with one, single-sided sheet per project. I was also under the impression that we concluded the traveling book should be for completed projects, not works in progress, nor does it need to be detailed enough to be used as a how-to guide. As a basis for comparison, you're probably aware that photographers and illustrators will have a portfolio that includes only a small sampling of their best completed work; a very different concept than the same photographer might take when creating an exhibition catalog.

Having said that, we also discussed that there should be an electronic companion to the book, (possibly as part of the wiki) that would allow a maker/member to more fully show off and/or explain aspects of their completed projects. Most of the members at the in-person meeting seemed to agree that TC Maker has a need for both a presentation portfolio as well as a more in-depth catalog resource. The audience for the first is local and national events, as well as being available during tours for prospective members. The audience for the more in-depth piece would be dedicated makers—members of TC Maker or otherwise.

Here's what we came up with for essential material to include, though this is based only on discussion so far, and is not intended to represent any sort of formal consensus:
  • Project title
  • Maker or makers responsible (names, handles or both)
  • Brief biography of maker(s) (three or four sentences)
  • Date of project completion (adding a start date is not a bad idea, but seems less essential to me)
  • Materials and resource used (in list form)
  • One featured photograph (showing the project at its best)
  • Two or three secondary images (schematics, detail images, etc.)
  • Two or three paragraphs succinctly explaining the process and/or function of the project, including a brief explanation of the impetus of the project and whether the project satisfies the intended purpose

The above would be for the portfolio book. The more in-depth resource (online or otherwise) would include all of the above, and also (including Wammie's excellent suggestions):
  • Several additional paragraphs, with subheadings to enumerate key steps with tips for the process
  • Suggestions for future makers who might wish to benefit from lessons learned on the project
  • Where the project has been used, and where it currently is housed (where applicable)
  • Where the project was built
Christopher Odegard

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wammie
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby wammie » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:28 am

Thanks for the clarification, Mr. O. I wish I was able to attend the first meeting (I was working on our classroom plotter that day). I think this is a good plan. Will we be meeting again on Wed. at H.F., 10:30 or so?

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smittex
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby smittex » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:45 pm

Thanks Odegard.

Y'all can see how the implementation is coming along on the talk side of the page Odegard setup.

Got a few questions for you guys to ponder about:
* What fonts are used? TTF or PS? Need copies for server.
* RGB or CMYK?
* Print resolution → 300dpi?
* What configuration of user supplied images should be accepted per template? {x| x? 1-3} → may be easier to pregenerate the shadows…
* API? e.g. call http://tcmaker.org/portfolio.php?name=J ... ahBlahBlah to automatically generate the image which can be consumed by your app, browser, etc.

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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby Odegard » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:44 pm

smittex wrote:Got a few questions for you guys to ponder about:
* What fonts are used? TTF or PS? Need copies for server.
* RGB or CMYK?
* Print resolution → 300dpi?
* What configuration of user supplied images should be accepted per template? {x| x? 1-3} → may be easier to pregenerate the shadows…
* API? e.g. call http://tcmaker.org/portfolio.php?name=J ... ahBlahBlah to automatically generate the image which can be consumed by your app, browser, etc.

Odegard's opinion:
Fonts?— Still to be determined, I guess. I used something called Corporate on the template, but we should explore other options using public domain or open source fonts and let consensus determine the final choice. The template fonts used have been converted to paths, so that is not an issue.
Color Space?— CMYK is preferred from my point of view, but that's one of the nice things about a PDF result: RIPs and drivers interpret a PDF much better when using RGB and/or CMYK printers for hard or soft output.
Print Resolution— Well, the templates (except for maker-submitted photos) should remain in vector format, so resolution and file size is not really an issue. 300 dpi is ideal, but perhaps 200-250 would be enough. I see no reason to be concerned about file size of the end product. One can always optimize a PDF if electronic distribution is desired. The shortcut would be to generate a 250 dpi version and a 100 dpi (or so) version, labeling the latter with the same file name, plus LR (or similar low-resolution designation).
Image Submission Criteria— We should specify a recommended pixel size and file format (1024 x 768 as uncompressed JPG, for example). Regarding the pre-generated shadows, my thought was to create a few, various template shadow images (perhaps four or five, e.g., a:one large photo; b:one large, two small; c: one large, three small; etc.), and then provide the programming with the necessary calculations to fit that template (size and/or crop image to the appropriate pixel dimension, rotate 5 degree clockwise, and place five inches from left margin, etc.).
API— Um... I'm not qualified to form an opinion without more information on that one.

Aside— Bryan, thanks for setting up the wiki page. We can talk Wednesday, but I wanted to know what prompted you to convert the template file to PNG format. Rasterizing the image definitely beefs up the file size, and loses resolution. What am I not seeing in the process?
Christopher Odegard

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smittex
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby smittex » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:42 pm

Thanks for the great input.

The PNG choice had to do with limitations in the graphics library I'm using. I will look around to see what else is available; the library is actually pretty horrid but was one of the fastest I had come across. I agree that conversion to PNG is not ideal.

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smittex
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby smittex » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:25 pm

Updated the portfolio talk page to include a new library called Cairo which is a 2D vector graphics library. I am very happy with the results, though I don't have it outputting Odegard's templates yet... Does anyone know of a tool that will show me (or highlight) the respective SVG markup when I click on the different elements or layers in the image? That would be a great help in positioning everything correctly.

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otto_pjm
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Re: Time to work on our "book"

Postby otto_pjm » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:07 pm

smittex wrote:Updated the portfolio talk page to include a new library called Cairo which is a 2D vector graphics library. I am very happy with the results, though I don't have it outputting Odegard's templates yet... Does anyone know of a tool that will show me (or highlight) the respective SVG markup when I click on the different elements or layers in the image? That would be a great help in positioning everything correctly.



Not so pretty but Inkscape will relate SVG elements you select to there respective xml code, you might try firebug too, It may have that ability now.

Pete


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