Leave a Message Now Available in Artbook Archive

photoOur newest Artbook, Leave a Message, is now available for iPad in the Artbook Archive app for only $.99!

Leave a Message was a gallery exhibit at the Morean Art Center  in St Petersburg showcasing the street art of  Tampa Bay artists.  Their graffiti, digital, 3D and other graphic works are now on display in our newest Artbook.  Along with more than 50 unique artist images, the book contains bios on each artist, as well as links to artist websites and more information about the show.

We have big plans for new Artbooks in 2013, so keep checking our blog or stay updated on the Artbook Archive Facebook page!


Make Your Photographs Pop

If you’re like us, you can appreciate a beautiful photograph (just check out Artbook Archive, an app we created to display awesome artwork). But appreciating and creating are two very different things. Whether you’re making memories with your family or capturing a funny moment, it’s hard to get that perfect shot, especially if you’re not a professional with professional equipment.  Luckily, our design guru, James, has a great Photoshop tip to help you!

“Adding some pow to your photos is a snap using levels in Photoshop. It’s great for correcting images that are a little too dark or washed out.

“First, open your photo in Photoshop and open levels by going to Images > Adjustments >Levels or just clicking command L. We’ll start by adjusting the triangular sliders below the Input Levels data. The black area of this graphic is image data representing the distribution of pixels in your image from dark to light (from left to right). Pull the black triangular slider to the left edge of the data represented and the white triangle to right edge of the data represented. Doing this will deepen the shadows in your image and brighten the highlights.


“Next, grab the central gray triangle and scoot it just a bit to the left to open up the midtones. This is a great method for adding punch to quick snapshots that might not be the best exposures. Enjoy!”

James recommends playing around with the Levels feature in Photoshop to create more dramatic photos.  Below is a before-and-after of a photo we did, and it came out great! Try it and let us know how your photos come out in the comments or share them on our Facebook page!


Happy Thanksgiving!

With the holiday season upon us, I am getting in the spirit and feeling truly thankful for all 2012 has brought!  It’s been another great year for HD Interactive, for me, and for my family, and I have a lot to be thankful for!

I’m thankful for my job, for our awesome clients, and for how far HD Interactive has come since I started the business more than 10 years ago. I love waking up every day to new, exciting challenges and I love helping people see their dream projects come to life.  I’m also thankful for all the hardworking HD Interactive employees who help me accomplish this!

I’m thankful for my wonderful, supportive wife and my three healthy children who entertain me every day! Being a dad is probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, and as they continue to grow, I appreciate them more and more.

No matter how you feel about the election outcome, I’m sure you join me in being thankful for our country.  We are so lucky to live in a place where we are free to start our own businesses, speak our minds, and live our lives.  And to the troops who sacrifice for us, who may not get to see their families this Thanksgiving, THANK YOU!

What are you thankful for this holiday season?  Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page!


Stand Up For Your Health

If your job requires sitting at a desk most of the day, you probably know how hard it can be on your body, especially your back. A quick Google search will tell you all the horrible things sitting for 8+ hours a day can do to your overall health.  As a species, we originally evolved to hunt and gather, walking long distances in search of food or standing at the ready to spear our dinner. But as the information age has developed, we rely more on our brains than our braun, thus requiring hours upon hours seated at a desk. And it’s slowly killing us (well, our backs at least).

I love my job; I love meeting clients, working on new projects, I even like checking my email.  And I love my high res Mac. But even the most comfortable office chair has left something to be desired, and now I find myself, after 20 years of sitting, looking for an alternative way to work. Ideally, I want something that not only can keep my muscles, posture, and joints from deteriorating, but could actually IMPROVE my health. I’m leaning towards building a Treadmill Desk in 2013 as a way to stay active even while I work.

Photo credit: treadmill-desk.com

If you also realize the benefits of standing while at work, a good low budget option for you might be our Project Manager Trae Regan’s homemade stand up desk.  He wrote about it on his blog, and it’s a cheap way to change your working lifestyle.  His shelf-mounted-to-the-wall technique will certainly work for those of us who work from a home office, but if you live in the corporate world, your boss might not be on board.  There are some alternatives out there, though.

A good friend of mine has been doing some research on motorized stand up desks.  These are great because you can set the height and adjust it day by day, if you wish. Versatables has a wide variety at different price ranges. There are also some great hand adjustable desks and tables at MultiTable. Talk to your boss, maybe you could start an office revolution!

So, would you consider a stand up desk? Do you have any more ideas for people who want to stand or move while they work?  Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!

ROFL With Dance Video App

Dance Video App, a recent client project we have just finished, is one of the funniest apps we’ve seen.  And it’s one of only two apps like it in the app store!  With the app, users can add dancing characters like Santa, grandma, or a banana, to any video taken with an iPhone, iPod, or iPad.  The results are hilarious.

First, choose your dancing character.  The app comes with three free characters and more can be purchased cheaply.  Then, take a video of your friend, dog, whatever, and your dancer is added to the scene.  Laugh out loud as you share your masterpiece with friends.  Dance Video App is fun for all ages!

To create the app, dancing characters are placed on a green screen, then merged with any video you take.  This project is exciting to us because, not only is it fun, we can see the huge potential with viral media. We are already talking with the client about creating more apps using the same technology.

Dance Video App is available for free on iTunes.  And make sure to check out their Facebook page.

Scratch The Surface Available in Artbook Archive

Blue Lucy, a well-known St. Petersburg gallery, recently put together an interesting and diverse showing of 100 local artists. The gallery owners built 108 plain wood boxes measuring 15.5″ by 15.5″ and sold the boxes to any local artist wishing to participate in the show. There were no constricting perameters, no subject requests, no guidelines, as long as each artist used the box to create a piece of art.  If a piece sold, 100% of the sale price would go back to the artist.

The result was 100 completely different works by 100 unique artists. Some chose to paint on the wood, others drew, stenciled, sculpted, glued, and more.

Now, the hard work of these local masters is showcased in our new digital book, Scratch The Surface, available for $.99 in the free Artbook Archive app. Check it out, and be on the lookout for more Artbooks coming soon!

The Future of Augmented Reality

On Friday, June 22nd, our leader and coach, Sean Carey, gave a presentation on “The Future of Augmented Reality” at this years’ coolTECH Conference at the Tampa Convention Center. The conference, sponsored by our long-time friends and colleagues at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, was described by their site as, “… the premier showcase of new technologies and cutting-edge innovations in the region. Exhibits with some of the hottest technologies were on display in an interactive format where attendees could experiment first hand with the innovations. Over 500 decision makers, thought leaders and innovators from the technology and business community attended the event”.  And that it was!

We spent the morning sessions exploring all of the great exhibitors. We saw 3D printers, robots, new medical machines, new software, and a bunch of really great companies. After the awards luncheon, Sean gave a well-recieved presentation on Augmented Reality (AR).

The first part of the presentation was about the history of AR and HD Interactive’s early experiences with AR projects. From 3D AR cards to the Martha Stewart & Valpak promotion, Sean covered the evolution of AR and our place in it. The presentation ended with a glimpse of AR’s future including the Google Project Glass and Corning’s innovative uses of glass products augmented with future technologies.

We were so honored and excited to be a part of the great event and can’t wait until next year!

Artbook Tampa Bay 2 Now Available

Artbook Tampa Bay Volume 2, the second of many digital art collections, is now LIVE in the iTunes store and we want to celebrate! Join us May 25th for a HUGE launch party! Starting at 7pm at Jonny Renos on the St. Pete Pier, there will be live music, great drink and food specials, and 70 pieces of art created by 70 local artistic masters.

HD Interactive’s newest endeavor, Artbook Archive, is an iPad app hosting a collection of wonderful digital coffee table books of beautiful art. The books showcase multiple mediums, hundreds of artists, and museums and galleries from different areas. To date, we’ve completed two volumes of art from Tampa Bay artisans and we are working on many more books showcasing the talents of artists from all over the country.

Enjoying the work is easy: just download Artbook Archive for free in iTunes and then purchase each book for only $4.99. It’s a fun way to expand your artistic horizons and support the local Tampa Bay community!

Artbook Tampa Bay Launch Party a Huge Success

Last Saturday, March 17th, the Tampa Bay art community gathered with the whole team from HD Interactive to celebrate the launch of our iPad App, Artbook Tampa Bay at the Studio@620 in downtown St. Petersburg.  We had a such great time meeting all the artists and checking out their fantastic work!

We invited all 86 artists in Artbook to display and hang one piece of their work. To our delight, we had over 80 artists attendance! The show was an 80-artist, 80-piece event, transforming the parking lot next to Studio@620 into an amazing display of art, music and people. At 5pm, artists were invited to come early and enjoy beverages while hanging their work, checking out the work of others, and getting a special preview of Artbook Tampa Bay, which will be available in the iTunes store this week.  We were also proud to show off Artbook Archive Lite, available on iTunes now.  This app is a smaller, free version of Artbook Archive and is meant to give people a taste of the Artbook experience.

By 7pm, the party was in full swing! Throughout the night, more than 600 people came out to show their support and celebrate with us. Much of the art on display was for sale and we are happy to say that several pieces sold!

As the sun went down, we turned on the projectors, provided by local lighting powerhouse, Industrial Strength, to showcase all the work in Artbook on a huge scale! Art covered walls 30 feet high and 100 feet long. The display attracted dozens of downtown passers by, curious to what was happening.

It was wonderful for us to get to meet and talk with the tremendously gifted artists who were included in the book and get to see their work first hand.  We would also like to thank Nick Hinckley of Realizing Media and all the folks at Studio@620 for help in putting on this event for us. We are already working on Artbook Tampa Bay Vol. 2  and many other Artbooks that will be announced later.  To learn more, check out Artbook Archive.

Below is a video of the event, taken as artists were coming in early to set up the show.


Creative Clay Digital Coffee Table Book Live in the App Store

We are very excited to announce that our first digital coffee table book is now available for the iPad on iTunes!  This book showcases work by the amazingly talented artists at Creative Clay, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the mentally handicapped express themselves through art.

The book features high definition images of some of the fantastic folk art created in the sixteen years that Creative Clay has been servicing the St. Petersburg community.  Chief Strategy Officer at HDI, Kevin Hohl, who volunteers as a board member at Creative Clay, thought creating the iPad book would be a great way to increase awareness of the program.

We developed the Creative Clay book as a pro bono project and all proceeds go to help fund Creative Clay.  Please check it out in the app store and enjoy the beautiful work of tremendously gifted artists while supporting a great cause!  To learn more about the wonderful work Creative Clay does, visit their website www.creativeclay.org.

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