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Creating Your Own Screensaver
Screensaver design motto: if you can dream it, there is a program to help you create it. This really would’ve been a farfetched idea not too long ago when all screensavers had the same title, “The Black Hole.”
As in other realms of technology, screensaver design has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past decade or so. For many years, creating screensavers was left up to the professionals, but now, with new screensaver design programs, you can create a custom screensaver in just minutes.
Why Create a Screensaver?
People create screensavers for a variety of different reasons—for gifts, for business purposes, to sell or just for fun. Imagine seeing pictures of your children, pets, spouse or even your latest vacation gliding across your monitor to your favorite tune. Or put a 3-D image you’ve designed into motion. The options are endless and only require your creativity and the right program. The right program can be bought—creativity, that’s something you’ll have to discover in yourself.
Seven Ideas to Enhance Screensaver Creativity
Although today’s computer monitors are built with technology preventing the possibility of burn-in, we still use screensavers for a variety of reasons, here are just a few:
- Listen to Music- Let the music you love inspire your screensaver creation.
- Brain Storm- Take three minutes and write down any and all ideas that come to mind. One of those ideas could lead you to your next screensaver masterpiece.
- Carry a Notebook- Bring a notebook with you wherever you go to write down out-of-the-blue screensaver design inspirations.
- Take the Random Approach- When you come up with a screensaver idea, randomly choose a word from a dictionary. Incorporate this word into your idea. Contrary to popular belief, restrictions spawn creativity and imagination.
- Let it Rest- If you hit the screensaver design big brick wall, put your project on the backburner and do something else for a while.
- Don't Watch Television- Too much TV may cause your brain cells to slow and sluggish brain cells can’t create ingenious screensavers.
- Read- Reading enhances brain activity. With more brain activity comes more creativity for producing ingenious screensavers.
Screensaver Designing Programs
There are countless screensaver design programs varying from free trial downloads, to $699 professional versions. The right screensaver program will make the creation process trouble free; maybe even enjoyable. Some questions to consider when choosing a screensaver design program are:
- How much money do I want to spend?Many companies offer only one screensaver program, but will provide more features for the program if you’re willing spend more money.
- What features do I want the program to have?Look for programs that offer a large library of images, templates, and sound effects. Technical support is also an important factor to consider when buying software. In addition you’ll want to make sure the program works with the formats you want to use (i.e. MPEG, MOOV, AVI, Macromedia Flash, JPEG, BMP and more).
- What do I want to accomplish with the program?Are you creating screensavers for personal use, for friends and family or are you creating them for commercial use or to sell? Many professional versions give you the ability to make screen savers that display your customized licensee name, as well as the authority to sell your screen savers or promote a business royalty free. You’ll also want to keep in mind different programs offer different templates, graphics, sounds, animations, and icons.
- What kind of hardware do I have?Take into consideration if you are going to use a PC, a Mac or both when designing screensavers. Some companies offer programs that are both PC and Mac compatible.
Media for Screensavers
There are two ways to acquire media for your screensavers. Make it yourself, or get it from somebody else. You can always use your own photographs, voiceovers and sound effects to make your screensaver more personal. There are also tons of websites that offer pictures, sounds, animations, and icons above and beyond those that come with your screensaver design program. One example is Freefoto.com, which offers a variety of professional grade photographs for download.
Baumgartner, Jeffrey, http://graphicdesign.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=graphicdesign&zu= http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jpb.com%2Fcreative%2Fcreative.html: Ten Steps for Boosting Creativity. 2005
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