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Ravanel Sees Stars
Ravanel and I were talking in the comments to Avatar Blogger Month Finish, and I said that the stars I provided could be remixed. That’s half true. The stars are Creative Commons Attribution. You have permission to remix them. But they’re not really open source, so you don’t have the best tools for remixing. In software open source means that you get the source code so you can look at it, understand it, mod it. A .png with transparency is nice, but you can’t do much to a single layer file. The “source code” for a graphic image would be a layered file where you could actually take it apart and do new things. Open Source Photoshop Files to the rescue!
Open Source Photoshop Files
I’m not saying anyone actually needs to remix my crappy stars! But I should put my graphics where my mouth is. So, Open Source Photoshop Files! The Adobe .psd format is a proprietary format, not an open format. Even so, .psd is still probably the multi-layer format that is the most portable and has the widest reach. And it can be opened with software other than Adobe software, for example free and open Gimp software.
Even though .psd files are “image files,” they are also “executable code” and so our iRez web host WP Engine won’t let us upload them for security reasons. That also means you should exercise a drop more care opening a .psd than a .jpg or .png since they could be malicious.
PSD Sharing Sites, WTF?
Where to put our Open Source Photoshop Files? I wanted to post them in 2 places: an Open Source repository like SourceForge, and a .PSD sharing site. Here’s the cool badge at “Official PSD’s” that we almost got to use:
Unfortunately all 3 .PSD sharing sites I tried had issues! 🙁
• Official PSD’s – only allows single layer files. Wut? I thought multi-layers was the point of PSD?
• DesignMoo – It keeps saying “successful upload” and then “nothing” in my library. 😛
• LittlePSD’s – Tries to make an account via Twitter and then generates a page of error messages.
Is anyone successfully using these or any other .psd sharing sites?
Anyway, the great news is, the Open Source Avatars repository on Source Forge is alive and well!
As you’ll see there are a few different repositories at Open Source Avatars. The layered PSD’s are in Open Source Blogger Stars. There’s 4 preview .jpg images and 4 multi-layer .psd’s for you. Adjust a little. Remix in a totally different app. Or just open them to see what “bevel” settings I used.
Someone once asked Eric Raymond if Open Source software was Communism, and he replied,
Karl Marx did not invent sharing with your neighbor.