New b2evolution Skin: December

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Web Development, b2evolution 1.10.x, b2evolution blog skins
Published on 12/01/07 @ 05:23:00 pm using 403 words, and has 243737 views

Custom b2evolution template design called DecemberI found the high-resolution photograph which is used in this b2evolution template while browsing some stock photography websites. The original image is a very high resolution photo of a leafless branch encrusted with icy crystals. I reduced the scale of the original image to fit a portion of the branches within the header area.

The blurred depth of field in the original photograph makes for a perfect area in which to display the blog name and description, and the overall color-scheme flowed well into the blog’s content area.

The December template for b2evolution blogs is another release in the ‘Smoothe’ series of templates. Like the previous releases in the ‘Smoothe’ series, the December skin is 100% compliant with the XHTML Transitional specification and uses valid CSS 2.0 stylesheets. It has been designed with a static layout for 1024x768 monitor resolutions.

This skin contains the following:

  1. This b2evolution skin contains a revised _lastcomments.php file and accompanying CSS styles for smoother display of most recent comments.
  2. The skin contains customized icons for delete, edit, and permalink
  3. It contains pre-built styles for the Search Cloud plugin for b2evolution
  4. It contains a custom icon and styles for blockquotes

b2evolution template December released for download

This b2evo skin is being released for download under a Creative Commons License 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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New b2evolution Skin: Lush

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Web Development, b2evolution 1.10.x, b2evolution blog skins
Published on 12/01/07 @ 04:49:00 pm using 411 words, and has 58700 views

Custom b2evolution template design called LushFeeling winter coming on and living in a semi-urban area, I got to thinking about lush green landscapes and warm waters, and set about building a new b2evolution template which reflected my mood and my longing for a warmer, greener climate.

I found a beautiful stock photograph of a sprawling beach and, quite by accident, covered the partly completed design with a green hued overlay which I was using for a photo-manipulation project in another open Photoshop document. The coloration gave the photo a uniquely living feel, and I set about finalizing the overall color scheme of the blog template.

The Lush b2evolution template is another release in the ‘Smoothe’ series of templates. Like the previous releases in the ‘Smoothe’ series, this b2evolution skin is 100% compliant with the XHTML Transitional specification and uses valid CSS 2.0 stylesheets. It has been designed with a static layout for 1024x768 monitor resolutions.

This skin contains the following:

  1. This b2evolution skin contains a revised _lastcomments.php file and accompanying CSS styles for smoother display of most recent comments.
  2. The skin contains customized icons for delete, edit, and permalink
  3. It contains pre-built styles for the Search Cloud plugin for b2evolution
  4. It contains a custom icon and styles for blockquotes

b2evolution template Lush released for download

This b2evo skin is being released for download under a Creative Commons License 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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New b2evolution Skin: Wheelz

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Web Development, b2evolution 1.10.x, b2evolution blog skins
Published on 11/30/07 @ 05:54:00 pm using 433 words, and has 75250 views

b2evo skin: WheelzGot a car modding or auto enthusiast blog? You might like the new template for b2evolution blogs called Wheelz… I was going to use this b2evo layout for my own Acura ITX project journal, but decided it would be more fun to release it to the public instead. Check it out!

The header of this b2evo skin was designed to show what might be the one most commonly customized part of any vehicle… the wheels… rims… dubs… whatever you want to call them, they’re a popular customization amongst vehicle modders.

The Wheelz skin for b2evolution is another release in the ‘Smoothe’ series of templates. Like its predecessors, this skin is 100% compliant with the XHTML Transitional specification and uses valid CSS 2.0 stylesheets. As with previous ‘Smoothe’ releases, this b2evolution skin has been designed with a static layout for 1024x768 monitor resolutions.

This skin contains the following:

  1. This b2evolution skin contains a revised _lastcomments.php file and accompanying CSS styles for smoother display of most recent comments.
  2. The skin contains customized icons for delete, edit, and permalink
  3. It contains pre-built styles for the Search Cloud plugin for b2evolution
  4. It contains a custom icon and styles for blockquotes

b2evo skin Wheelz released for download

This b2evo skin is being released for download under a Creative Commons License 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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Tiled Skin Switcher for b2evolution

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Web Development, b2evolution 1.10.x, CSS, PHP
Published on 11/23/07 @ 06:31:00 pm using 1142 words, and has 52183 views

Replacing skin switcher list with tiled thumbnail listI’ve been using b2evolution as my blogging platform for several years now, and have always found the default template switcher located in the sidebar to be, well, boring. It’s a text-based list that shows the various skins available on a b2evo blog from which that blog’s readers can select to customize their reading experience. The operative words here are “text based list". Clever skin names aside, it does little to show the reader what a template actually looks like before being selected, and eye-candy is always welcome, right? With this in mind, I set about putting together a more visually intuitive way of displaying to the user what b2evo skins look like, without that user actually having to switch to that skin in order to see it.

What I came up with is a small piece of PHP code which renders a tiled list to display thumbnails of each b2evo skin, replacing the boring, and uninformative, text list. At the time of this writing, the tiled list can be seen in action in the sidebar of each skin on this blog.

If you’d like to implement a similar list on your own b2evolution blog, you’ll need a few things first… Since I’m providing you with the code here, you’ll need the ability to copy and paste text from one file to another. Simple enough, yeah? Second, you’ll need some kind of graphics editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop or the free GIMP software, which is actually a pretty powerful piece of software. In any case, you’ll need some kind of graphics program in which to create the thumbnails to be displayed in the list…

Alright, on with the show…

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New b2evolution Template: Underground

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Web Development, b2evolution 1.10.x, b2evolution blog skins
Published on 11/21/07 @ 03:52:00 pm using 555 words, and has 194321 views

EDIT: The ‘Underground’ skin has now (read: finally!) been ported to b2evo 2.x, and is available for download at the following location: Blog Skin ‘Underground’ Released for b2evo 2.x

Custom b2evolution template design called UndergroundLately I’ve been listening to a lot of old ska music in my collection and was inspired to create another custom b2evolution skin design, this time reflecting more of a British theme. Perhaps British bloggers will find it a pleasant template design to use with their own b2evolution blogs. ;)

While searching through my favorite stock photography website I soon located a photograph of a British subway tunnel entrance sign, taken in what appears to be early evening and from an interesting angle. The color-scheme and name for this b2evolution template design became immediately clear and I set about putting it together in Photoshop. I’m calling this b2evo skin “Underground", named after the British subway system, and colored to match the deep burgundy and blue reminiscent of the British flag and the Underground sign itself.

This is another release in the ‘Smoothe’ series of template designs available on this site. This skin is a static width, and is designed for 1024x768 monitor resolutions. The template code is XHTML-Transitional compliant, and the CSS 2.0 is valid as well. This skin displays the sidebar on the right side of the content. The stylesheet contains pre-built styles for blockquotes (a blockquote icon is included with the download), and pre-built styles for the “Search Cloud” plugin available for download from the b2evolution website. Additionally, the download file contains custom icons for ‘Edit’, ‘Delete’, ‘Permalink’, and the contact email envelope icon.

b2evo skin Underground released for download

The version of the Underground skin available for download here is more current than the version available in the skin repository on b2evolution.net. This copy contains a revised _lastcomments.php file and associated stylesheet entries for smoother display of most recent comments.

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Include Currently Playing Music to b2evolution Posts

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Web Development, b2evolution 1.10.x, CSS, javascript
Published on 11/07/07 @ 10:10:00 pm using 502 words, and has 61579 views

For those of you who are avid music listeners, you may want to have the ability to easily include a text box beneath your blog posts in which to quickly list the music to which you're currently listening. This can be quickly achieved by adding a small block of CSS to your b2evo skin's stylesheet, and a small piece of javascript to the toolbar code in the b2evo core.

The CSS block shown below is the one used for the "Contemporaneous Auditory Narcotics" DIV which lives under the post body and which can be seen in most posts on this site. Add a similar block to the stylesheet in your b2evo skin and adjust the color and text to suit your b2evo skin:

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Kybernetik: Techtonik / A Photoshop Photo Manipulation Project

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Graphic Design, cyberpunk
Published on 10/10/07 @ 11:57:00 pm using 282 words, and has 16351 views

tec·ton·ic   (těk-tŏn’ĭk)
adjective
1. pertaining to the structure or movement of the earth’s crust; “tectonic plates"; “tectonic valleys”
2. of or pertaining to construction or architecture
3. Medical  term denoting plastic surgery or the restoration of lost parts by grafting.

This is the second image I designed in the Kybernetik series of cyberpunk graphic designs. This image is more closely representative of the typical elements found in cyberpunk art. It calls to mind those dark futures where meat and machine are merged in wetwired biotech, hardware implants, and the advanced grafting techniques reminiscent of the Matrix or the black clinics of Chiba City in William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer.

[click the thumbnails to view full-resolution swatches from the design]

Kybernetik: Techtonik (full image reduced to 410px width)

Full-resolution swatch: illuminated gauge, close-up

Full-resolution swatch: spinal biotech input implants

Full-resolution swatch: skin-graft layers on left shoulder

Full-resolution swatch: skin-graft layers on right shoulder

Full-resolution swatch: stamped text on back

Full-resolution swatch: right arm and secured plate covering

Full-resolution swatch: close-up of hand and scar lines

This photo-manipulation project was carried out entirely in Photoshop CS2. It makes extensive use of high-resolution stock photography which has been layered atop the background image to add the impression of organic skin-graft textures. The photograph of the model making up the background of the composite is 2657x4000 pixels. The finished graphic design has a resolution of 100dpi and prints at approx 2.25 x 3.5 feet. Total time for this project is approximately 12 hours and was developed during my spare time in the evenings over the course of a week. The .psd file for this project is 335Mb.

Other images in the Kybernetik Series:
kybernetik: interstitial

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think… all opinions are welcome!

Image from Amazon
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Contemporaneous Auditory Narcotics:
or, What my speakers are currently pumping…
Nurse With Wound - Spiral Insana

Creative Commons LicenseThis post is the creative work of Yours Truly and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.