The Envato marketplaces, including FlashDen, ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, AudioJungle, and VideoHive, just started a Free File of the month program. The files they’re giving away are built by pros and reviewed by pros just like everything they sell at Envato. Unlike most “free” things, there are no strings attached. You don’t even need to sign up if you don’t want to. All the files are great, but the FlashDen and VideoHive files are truely amazing. These will be great to have just in case the right project pops up.
Thanks Envato and thanks to all the hard working authors who are giving their files away for free!
The free files include:
FlashDen – Simple and elegant Flash image gallery with source and instructions included. Download
ThemeForest – Clean business template built in HTML. Download
GraphicRiver – Button and dropdown graphics. Download
AudioJungle – Audio logo pack. Download
VideoHive – I don’t know how to describe it. You just need to check it out and download it.
I just found a fantastic post by Scott Wills on FlashDen’s blog talking about the reasons why a person buys stock. The article talks specifically about Flash, but it applies to all stock. He says “Perhaps a customer is a Flash-savvy Web designer who knows very little about coding at all, or perhaps there’s a customer who is simply tight on time and would rather invest a little money into an existing file on FlashDen in order to save time and avoid re-inventing the wheel.” Regardless of your specific reasoning for buying stock, you’re more than likely a design professional.
As professionals, you need to stay on top of your game. You need to be the best of the best and know how to use the latest and greatest technology. Scott wrote specifically about the hesitation most Flash developers are having about switching from as2 to as3. They’ll give a lot of reasons, but in short it’s because it’s hard to learn new things. I hate to be harsh, but if you don’t get on the train, you’re going to miss it. This applies to all of you designers! Those of you who are already on the train, don’t think this is the end of your journey.
So, you know you have to learn, but where do you start? I’ve seen a thousand tutorials and there aren’t too many I’d suggest you use. Just because it shows you how to make something work doesn’t mean you should do it that way. I would really suggest using sites that are considered authorities on the subject. If you’re willing to spend some money, I’d suggest lynda.com for just about any design related subject. Their books and video tutorials are, in my opinion, some of the best out there. AdobeTV isn’t the easiest site in the word to navigate, but there are some fantastic tutorials over there. Another excellent option is the TutsPlus series of sites that includes FlashTuts, AETuts, PSDTuts, and several others. Here are some really great tutorials for each subject:
Learning as3 Part 1
Learning as3 Part 2
Learning as3 Part 3
Learning as3 Part 4
Characters with character
Creating dark, surreal illustrations
Light painting effect
A better login system
5 ways to write better css
Every week iStockPhoto gives away a free image. Don’t worry if you accidentally forget and miss one week, they also let you download the previous two free images. These aren’t tiny images only useful on the web. You can download full-size, high-res images that you can use in commercial designs. The only thing you can’t use for free is the extended license. In addition to the free weekly image, they give away one vector and one video each month. Thanks iStock! Here is this weeks free image: