Tuesday, September 29, 2009

JISC Posts New Guides to Moving Images

JISC has just shared three new video guides: the Basic Guide to Videoing Interviews, the Basic Guide to Videoing Lectures, and the Basic Guide to the Flip. These supplement the materials JISC already provides in its Advice on Moving Images page. Here you will find a wealth of information on creating, managing, finding, and using moving image resources. These include the Basic Guide to Shooting Video and many other sections on topics such as digital video file types, animated graphics, metadata, transcoding, digitization workflow, and online delivery options.

Image: Mika Hiironniemi, Video Shoot, 2008. From Flickr, some rights reserved under a Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library, launched in April of this year, is a project initiated by the Library of Congress in collaboration with UNESCO and a number of international partner institutions, companies, and foundations. An online collection representing cultural heritage from around the world, the WDL seeks to promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding. Over 30 contributing collections provide access to digital materials that include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

Navigation tools and content descriptions are provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. In addition to open-ended searches, one can browse and narrow searches by place, time, topic, type of item, or contributing institution. Special features include "interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities."

Image: Detail from a nara-ehon manuscript, The Origin of Tenjin. Japanese, 1596-1615. From the World Digital Library.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Features in ARTstor

ARTstor has recently released some new features. From their announcements:

Save detail to image group
You will now see an icon in the ARTstor Image Viewer that allows you to zoom in and save a particular detail of an image to an image group. With this new feature, full views and multiple details of an image may appear together in any given group, as well as be exported for use in the Offline Image Viewer (OIV) or PowerPoint. This ability to save and share multiple views of the same image helps to meet the many teaching, research, and presentation needs of the ARTstor community. Learn more.

Nested folders
ARTstor has also enhanced the functionality of folders in the Digital Library. Instructor-level users can now create nested sub-folders that can be moved easily from one folder to another by dragging and dropping. For example, you may build draft versions of your image groups in a private folder and simply drag them to a public folder when they are ready to be shared. The addition of nested folders allows you to organize ARTstor content in ways that are meaningful and intuitive to you. Learn more

Export to PowerPoint (Beta)
This feature is currently in Beta. It is only available to Instructor Level users at this time. Learn more about Instructor Privileges.

1. Log into your ARTstor account and open an image group containing 100 or fewer images.
Above the image group thumbnails, towards the right side of the screen you will see the export to PowerPoint button (image:Download_ppt.png). Click this.
3. A window will appear telling you how many images you can download in the current 120 day period. Click Yes to proceed. In Beta testing this will be limited to 1000 images per 120 days.
4. A new window will appear with a progress bar as your PowerPoint2007 presentation file is generated. This may take several minutes, depending on the group size.

5. A new window will appear. Follow the prompts to SAVE the file to your computer. Once you have saved the .pptx file you can open and edit it using Microsoft PowerPoint 2007. Each image will appear on its own slide, with the image data in the notes field below each slide.

For more information about using these new features, please contact ARTstor's User Services team at userservices@artstor.org.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Functionality in Google Image Search

Google has been adding new functionality to its image searches. The "show options" link that appears with search results gives the user the opportunity to restrict searches on size, type, and color. Size now includes a broader range of options, from "medium" and "large," to "larger than" a range of pixel dimensions and megapixel sizes. It also allows the user to search for specific image size and proportion by entering precise pixel dimensions. Type choices comprise faces, photos, clip art, or line drawings. Color options include full color, black and white, or specific colors from a small menu of choices -- this yields image results which prominently feature shades of the selected color. This option, while a welcome development, is still primitive when compared to other online tools (see Idée's Multicolr Search Lab, for example).

The Advanced Image Search repeats most of this functionality (no color menu option), but additionally permits:
  • Content types: allows the user to find images from the news, in addition to faces, photos, clip art, and line drawings.
  • Aspect ratio: returns images with aspect ratios that are tall, square, wide, or panoramic.
  • Filetypes: yields image files formatted as JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP.
  • Domain: lets one search a particular site or domain.
  • Usage Rights: returns images that are labeled for reuse, including for commercial use with or without modification.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Contemporary Art in the VRC Image Collection

The VRC digital image collection focuses on materials that relate to the curriculum of the Department of Art and Art History. In addition to images of works by our faculty, graduate students, and artists from the Visiting Artist Program, the VRC acquires other images related to our faculty's teaching and research interests -- specifically those that are difficult to obtain in other places. Recent additions to the collection include hundreds of images of contemporary art, with a special focus on sculpture and installations. The artists represented are too numerous to list, but sources for images include vendors and fair-use scans from books. Some examples of recent sources are:
  • Judith Collins, Sculpture Today (2007)
  • Hugh Davies, Blurring the Boundaries : Installation Art, 1969-1996 (1996)
  • Nicolas De Oliveira, Installation Art in the New Millennium (1999)
  • Jiehong Jiang and Saatchi Gallery, The Revolution Continues: New Art in China (2006)
  • La Biennale de Venezia, Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense (2007)
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, Biennial Exhibition (1997)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Thing: New Sculpture from Los Angeles (2005)
Stop by the VRC if you have questions about how to search for these kinds of materials effectively in our collection. We also welcome suggestions for our image collection from our faculty and students.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Photoshop Video Tutorials

Perhaps you a foreign leader who needs to brush up on your Photoshop skills for some nationalistic propaganda. Maybe you work at the art desk of an advertising agency and would like to curtail your airbrush abuse or avoid unfortunate monstrosities. Or you might simply be interested in learning and experimenting with Photoshop tools. Hongkiat has just posted links to 56 Absolutely Brilliant and Intriguing Photoshop Video Tutorials at Hongkiat.com. The hyperbolic name and some very cheesy images and effects aside, you may find some good material here. These video tutorials are easy to follow, with topics that include How to Apply Texture to Uneven Surfaces, Gritty Photo Effect, Vanishing Objects with Clone Tool, and 53 more! But please use these skills wisely and responsibly. Just because you can simulate water droplets or create a burnt map effect, doesn't mean you should.

Image: Dave Cross, Gritty Photo Effect, from Planet Photoshop

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcome, Meredith Kahn, new Art and Architecture Librarian at the University of Colorado

The Visual Resources Center extends a very warm welcome to Meredith Kahn, the new Art & Architecture Research & Instruction Librarian with the University Libraries at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We are thrilled that Meredith, an alumna of our department and of the University of Michigan, has returned to Boulder. Meredith also happens to have been a graduate assistant in the VRC during her studies at CU, so we can personally vouch for her intelligence and dedication to the field. We know that she is going to continue with the tradition of excellence left by her predecessor, Jennifer Parker.

Meredith's position began yesterday (September 1st), and already she is busy with faculty requests for instruction. I asked Meredith to share a few words about her philosophy of reference and instruction, as well as what services and resources she offers to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students:

"My philosophy of reference and instruction... I see myself as a partner with students and faculty, helping to teach skills that can be adapted to a variety of research needs. I want to empower you so that you feel comfortable approaching both resources you're familiar with and things you've never used before. I also want you to feel comfortable asking for help. I'm here to help you, and I love doing it.

What can I do for...

--Faculty: help you with finding books, articles, and other resources; purchasing books for the collection to support teaching and research; providing in-class instruction to teach your students how to use all of the research resources available to them here at CU;

--Graduate students: helping you find books, articles, and other resources for your coursework, thesis, or project; discussing your research topics to help you find appropriate resources and focus your search for materials; purchasing books for the collection to support teaching and research; providing in-class instruction to teach your students how to use all of the research resources available to them here at CU;

--Undergraduate students: providing an overview of what's available to you here at CU (books, journals, electronic resources, etc.); teaching you how to use these resources effectively to improve your papers and projects; teaching you how to properly cite materials; helping you determine which resources will be most useful for your needs; showing you tips and tricks to save you time and energy.

In a nutshell, if there's something you need, I can help you find it. If we don't already own it, I can buy it. If there's something you don't know how to do, I can teach you. If you've got an idea for a paper or project, but don't know where to start, I'm happy to help.

You can always contact me via email (meredith.kahn@colorado.edu) or phone (303-492-3966, or 2-3966 on campus). Once I get settled in, I hope to start holding regular office hours. Also, I'll eventually be available via IM."

Meredith is going to be a fantastic resource to all members of our department. We are very fortunate that she is here, and the Visual Resources Center looks forward to further exploring the collaborative possibilities that exist between ourselves and the Libraries.

Welcome, Meredith!