insight digital

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10 ways to grow your social media followers

The competition to gain followers on social has never been fiercer as the majority of brands adopt social media as a fundamental part of their digital strategy. With social metrics used increasingly to gauge the value of a brand it’s vital that you have an active audience.


In our 10 Ways to Grow your Social Media Followers infographic we show you how posting quality content, identifying key influencers in your market and digging deep into your insights can get you those all important new followers and keep you current followers engaged.

How it was for me, working on FINAL FANTASY KINGSGLAIVE

How it was to work on Final Fantasy KINGSGLAIVE.
careful…it’s a long read.

You must wondering why I’m writing a note about “how it was to work with”…for a freelance guy…but you will understand what I’m trying to say if you keep reading. It is odd, even for me, but whats happened to me during my work on FF made me want to do it, and to give a big big up to team behind FF Kingsglaive.
let’s start…

———–

Well I must admit when I saw the email the first time from square enix I was like, what the hell is happening, it must be a mistake.
It was like : “hey hello, we liked you art and we would know if you’d be interested in working on a final fantasy thing related, let me now.”

WHAT THE?…

Of course I was interested, even if at that time I was not aware of what it was.
So I had a skype session with a part of the team, maybe one week later. They were very friendly, they talked a lot about my works and how the works I did on Remember Me led them to me. It was maybe 6 a.m for me (because of the different time zone) and I was a bit sleepy, even I was hiding it well because my webcam was not working at this time. I see you but you can not see me…you know the thing.
Then we talked about the project, and this is when it all happened, they told me that it was for a CGI movie, a side story of FFXV, I was literally shaking.

ou have to understand, final fantasy is for a lot of us, what ignited the flame of drawings or the will to put 100+ hours in a video game and most of it ,to work on this kind of video game. For me, my love of the video game really started with FFVII.

We kept talking and I eventually ended by saying that “YES” , I wanted to be a part of this project and that I still have the DVD of advent children on my desk with the artbook.
At this moment they revealed to me that the team behind this project was the same team behind FF Advent Children.

Try to picture me, jumping on my couch, yes…no i’m not overreacting!

the deal was settled, I will be working on some crowd people.Yes it’s not the shiny boss of the movie or the lead character, but man, it’s Final Fantasy!
Ho and for the record I still have a day job at dontnod entertainment, working on life is strange at this time, so every work I had to do for FF was on my spare times and nights. They were okay about that.

So I started, working days and nights with every spare minutes I could get. It was freaking awesome and trust me a lot scary, because, you know the level of details they want, and you are like, ok, it’s not enough, and you push harder and harder, but in the end I delivered almost 60+ differents character concept for the crowd in five weeks.
I have to say also, the collaboration with the guys at square enix, with the producers and the art director was the smoothest collaboration I had, EVER! The guys were always answering in the row, even when it was 4am for them, they always gave me the right direction for the feedback and retakes, they knew what they wanted but they were really open minded and they gave me a lot of freedom on a lot of differents things that they ended by liking, and in the end, be approved… and with people like that, the job is faaaaaar more easy.

So when I finished my first assignment I thought it was it, but no…they really liked my work and the way I was working with them, so they asked me to go on several others characters, but this time, more important characters.
Me I was like, “no it’s not happening, really?” okay go, round two!

And it lasted like that for 7-8 months of freelance with them, with a lot of concepts, from crowd people to…well…I can’t say, but when they asked me for my last gig to do, one design in particular, I was shocked…
this is not the kind of design you ask to a freelance guy, it’s more a design that the art director or the lead concept want to keep in intern, but no…they offered me this (no don’t insist, i will not say).
So for me I was brought in to design some people that you will not notice in the final product, to ended up by designing some guys/gals you will see a lot!

WHAT A RIDE! WHAT A LOVELY RIDE…sorry…wrong franchise

Now I want to explain to you why it was one of the most fulfilling and kind adventure I had in term of remote/freelance work.
They were HUMAN! yeah I know, but I mean, truly human! Rui, Kenji, Shinya, Yuri, they were the four persons who I worked with during this ride, the producers and the art director.
They were nice, kind, always trying to do their best in Japan with a guy in France. The way they worked with me was the smoothest I knew and know so far.
 The Art Director always made some long feedbacks about my designs to not let me with some grey areas about what I have to do, and the producers always reported feedbacks when kenji was not able to do it.
it was smooth!

Some of you may know or not know, but during this ride, I ended up in hospital, I had some bad things in my stomach plus a rupture of some abdominal muscles…it ended with a lot of pain.I was already struggling with pain to finish some work for them.
So I told them that I had to finish in a hurry my last design (yeah you know…the BIG ONE) because I will be in the hospital the next week for a stomach surgery who will end up by two month in bed…yeah imagine…

In the freelance area, you deal a lot of time with people who want what they paid for, not excuses, it’s okay, it’s like that sometimes, but sometimes people forget that we are in fact, all human, with up and down, for my case at this time I was in a big down.

But, they were very supportive, in fact they told me to stop working and to rest before my surgery, that I will resume my work with them after, when I will be okay, with no more pain, that I had to listen the doctors and not pushing it to far…
I was like, “yeah but your design…”
and they were like, “nevermind, it’s not so hurry, just REST”. 

Okayyy…So I went to the hospital, the surgery went well, but i had a lot of of postoperative complications. I had to go back to the hospital 3 times in the first 3 weeks because of it…it was a living nightmare…I could only stay in bed, not up, no sit, just lying on the bed.
During this two months, the guys at Square enix sent me a lot of mails, not to know if I could resume my works, but only supportive mails, letting me know that they were thinking about me and they wanted to know if I was ok.
Only this…they never asked or talked about works, only took health update from me…HOW COOL and HUMAN is that? right!

So after my month and half of rest, I started to draw again, a bit, and started to resume my work on this big design, little by little. I was super late I guess, but I wanted to finish it to not put them in trouble. And they still keep telling me, “no rest, don’t push it.”
Finally, we resumed our way of working, kenji made some important feedbacks and I made the numerous retakes, and the design was approved. This ended my work with them, with a big virtual shaking hand session.

Why am I telling you this…It is because we often listen how bad this freelance gig was, how late this guy or this studio paid you, and all and all (ho by the way they never paid me late, never, sometimes even one week before the approval), we, as freelance, have to deal with a lot of people, different kinds, sometime it is same shit/different day…but sometimes it also good and necessary I guess, to tell to others, “HEY it was a blast, everything was fine with them”.

Well in this case it was for me! so thanks again Rui, Kenji, Shinya and Yuri, it was a blast working with you guys and I hope to work again with you one day.

that is all for me.
hope my little experience could bring you something and know you understand with I made this post.

Gary.

————

ps : here is a screenshot of some of the many guys I designed for the movie. It is just INSANE, the amount of details they put on it! it’s like…my design, but moving.
We are all used to see our models, moving in a video game, but we always have to deal with video games limitation, consoles, production pipeline and all…so seeing this designs, fully CGI rendered, with all this details and shaders…I don’t even want to know the polycount on it haha congrat guys! awesome works!!

Question on self publish

I’m planning on doing this later in the year and I’m in the research stage where I’m looking at sites and platforms. If you have or know anyone with insight into this field I’d appreciate really anything at this stage.
Even just reader preference insight would be helpful: digital or physical, standalone or series, new stuff or reinvented stuff? What would you be willing to invest in as a reader?

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I thought I’d do a little tutorial outlining how I used Photoshop CS3 to paint up my most recent batch of sketchbook monsters. My workflow involves quite a few layers and masks because I want to be able to quickly and easily refine any element at any point in the process. This process will likely change as I continue to mess around with it. In fact, I came up with a couple of ideas for potential changes while I was putting this tutorial together. What I have now is fast and comfortable for me though, and I hope someone will find this information insightful.

Introducing the new Yahoo Advertising

Today we are announcing a unified approach to digital advertising that only Yahoo can deliver – across premium and audience-focused display, native and search advertising.

The online advertising world today is fragmented, difficult to navigate, and not always customer-friendly. For advertisers to get the reach, targeting, and ad effectiveness they want, they have to work with multiple publishers, ad networks and exchanges, demand-side platforms, and analytics vendors, among others. And still, advertisers are left with limited ability to measure and optimize the performance of their campaigns.

We think there is a better way. The new Yahoo Advertising includes a comprehensive suite of web, mobile, and video ad products across native, audience, and premium display, which are accessible through a new buying platform. These products are supported by Yahoo’s data and analytical tools, with insights into the daily digital habits of more than 800 million people worldwide.

What’s New:

  • Tumblr Sponsored Posts now powered by Yahoo Advertising
  • Yahoo Audience Ads – a better way to buy ads targeted to specific audiences
  • Yahoo Ad Manager and Ad Manager Plus – a new buying platform that gives advertisers direct, hands-on access to Yahoo’s advertising products
  • Yahoo Ad Exchange – a new global ad marketplace that provides premium publishers with more visibility and control over advertising on their sites.

Native Advertising

Yahoo Stream Ads and Yahoo Image Ads offer native ads that are organic and as engaging as the stories around them. Today, we are excited to announce that Tumblr Sponsored Posts are now powered by Yahoo Advertising. The ads are a more natural, seamless part of the reader’s experience, leading to higher impact for advertisers.

Display Advertising

We’re introducing the new Yahoo Audience Ads, a better way to buy ads targeted to specific audiences. Yahoo Audience Ads deliver the right messages to the right users across Yahoo and other high-quality sites with the scale and targeting precision of real-time programmatic buying. Expanding the services previously available as Genome, Yahoo Audience Ads offer optimized, data-driven ad buying with enhanced analytics. Advertisers have access to a comprehensive set of audience data, combining Yahoo data with advertiser data and third-party data, all usable on an extended pool of high-quality inventory.

Yahoo Audience Ads complement our existing premium display offering, Yahoo Premium Ads. Yahoo Premium Ads offer the largest digital advertising canvas for brand and performance advertisers on the web. Run a brand campaign on the Yahoo homepage, sponsor March Madness on Yahoo Sports, or run premium video ads on Yahoo Screen. Yahoo Premium Ads ensure the right audiences are reached on brand-safe and contextually relevant sites.  

A Simplified Platform

These new native and display ads are now available to large and small advertisers through a new simplified platform, Yahoo Ad Manager. Yahoo Ad Manager gives advertisers direct, hands-on access to Yahoo’s advertising products. Yahoo Stream Ads, Yahoo Image Ads and Tumblr Sponsored Posts powered by Yahoo Advertising are available today through a simple user interface that helps advertisers get ads online in a matter of minutes, with insights and analytics built in.

Yahoo Ad Manager Plus is an extension of Yahoo Ad Manager for larger advertisers to plan, execute and optimize complex display ad campaigns directly, giving them greater control over the performance of their ads on Yahoo and third-party programmatic inventory. Many features of Yahoo Audience Ads and Premium Ads can be accessed through Yahoo Ad Manager Plus, available later in Q1. Yahoo offers managed services through Yahoo Audience Ads and Yahoo Premium Ads for advertisers who want custom audience definition, richer campaign measurement and insights, access to exclusive inventory, varied pricing options, and full-service optimization.

Yahoo Ad Exchange is a new global ad marketplace launching in Q1 that provides premium publishers with more visibility and control over advertising on their sites. Continuing the evolution of programmatic advertising, the Yahoo Ad Exchange upgrades the powerful services that our partners know from Right Media with a higher-quality marketplace and an enhanced platform featuring payment clearing, advanced inventory and demand controls, and flexible private marketplaces.

The Importance of Insights

These new Yahoo Advertising products offer brands and advertisers the most comprehensive ways in the market to accurately target campaigns, utilize data and insights from Yahoo, advertisers, and third parties. Because Yahoo is at the center of people’s daily habits across search, communications, media, and video, we can offer uniquely powerful insights on consumer behavior.

We are committed to driving innovation in ad technology across the industry. Yahoo Advertising is our investment in building better advertising tools to create engaging experiences that users enjoy and advertisers embrace.

youtube
The ability to draw is paramount when it comes to creating comics.

That said it’s easy to forget that the pencils alone will never be seen in the end product. Ultimately, it’s the Inked contours of that drawing and rendered Colors that are combined to create a finished comic book illustration.

In this video you’ll discover the true and tried, digital inking insights I’ve gained throughout my experience in comic book illustration. Inking over the pencils drawn up for Mikey in last weeks demo ( http://youtu.be/MqbB7toVq4c ), I’ll show you exactly how to apply these techniques so that you too can give your penciled comic art some slick, streamlined, color ready lines.

I’ve also taken the time to create an in depth narration for the video, so that as you watch you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the process and the thinking that goes behind it.

If you like the video, show your support by commenting, sharing or subscribing.

Enjoy,
-Clayton
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A carved poem from the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco, California, which reads: 

Detained in this wooden house for several tens of days,
It is all because of the Mexican exclusion law which implicates me.
It’s a pity heroes have no way of exercising their prowess.
I can only await the word so that I can snap Zu’s whip.

From now on, I am departing far from this building
All of my fellow villagers are rejoicing with me.
Don’t say that everything within is Western styled.
Even if it is built of jade, it has turned into a cage.

Yahoo on Tuesday answered the question about what the company intends to do with Tumblr.

CEO Marissa Mayer announced at the company’s CES event on Tuesday the introduction of Yahoo Advertising, a united platform for that will simplify the purchase of ads on Yahoo’s various properties including Tumblr.

“The new Yahoo Advertising includes a comprehensive suite of web, mobile, and video ad products across native, audience, and premium display, which are accessible through a new buying platform. These products are supported by Yahoo’s data and analytical tools, with insights into the daily digital habits of more than 800 million people worldwide,” Yahoo wrote in a blog post.

Analytics had been a sore point for Tumblr. Until now, marketers haven’t had the ability to buy by gender or location. In addition, advertisers will only have to pay when their Tumblr ad is reblogged, liked or followed or if there’s a direct click to the ad.

David Karp, who founded Tumblr and is now working under Mayer, also made an appearance where he noted that Tumblr’s sponsored posts, which have shown early success since their introduction in 2012, will be under the umbrella of the new ad platform.

— 

Mashable, “Marissa Mayer Reveals The Future of Yahoo Advertising.”

So I guess Mazda won’t be paying me for posts like this.