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Tag: weather

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Virtual Weather Studio

Just a quick heads up to say that I’ve added another complete multi-angle virtual set to the store over at virtualstudiosets.com

It is based on the Tricaster virtual sets I designed for the Weather Network a little while back and I’m pleased to say they’re letting me provide ‘unbranded’ versions to new customers and clients. I’ve completely updated the sets to include brand new skylines, and a number of new close-up angles. The multi-angle packs also come with a set of ‘weather variations’ on the skyline outside, showing different weather conditions from sunny, partly cloudy all the way to foggy and overcast, and also a couple of night-time versions too.

Virtual Weather Studio Set - royalty free - immediate download

You can watch a little video walkthrough of Studio 6 here (at virtualstudiosets.com)

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Surf Compass – wind and swell data visualisation for Hotswell.com

Hotswell.com is a new surfing website that I’ve been occasionally involved with over the past 2 years. The Hotswell Beta site has recently gone live and is already getting some great feedback.

I’ve created a complete set of surfing icons that appear on the spot guide page for each location (break type, wave direction, optimals, hazards etc).

I’ve also designed some little data visualisation devices like this one – the ‘Surf Compass’.

Surf Compass - surfing data visualisation

It’s basically a little graphic that sits on top of the Google map for each location. The centre dial shows wind speed and direction. The outer dial shows wave height and swell direction. The compass will show the current data for any particular surfing location and will update itself when the timeline is scrubbed on that page.

The ‘ideal’ or optimum wind and swell directions marked on the compass as feint little bands which change colour to gold/orange when the arrow enters the optimum zone.

This ties in with the warm colour scale (yellow – orange – red) used throughout the site to represent increasingly favourable surfing conditions – culminating in a ‘hot’ (red) 5-star rating.

It is actually quite easy to scan all the locations in your region at once to see where the best breaks will be over the coming days and then to check the surf compass for a particular location to see exactly when swell and wind combine (perhaps with the optimum tide) to produce the best possible chance of great surfing conditions.

I think the site really comes into its own when the marker on the main timeline on each break page is scrubbed along and every single relevant bit of data on the page updates instantly to show the conditions for that particular time. I’m told by Tim, the technical wizard behind the code, that the site’s break pages “update the html elements via jQuery and lots of javascript code. The compass and tide box are HTML5 canvas elements”.

Here’s a little montage of images showing the development of the Surf Compass from the early ‘3D’ version where I tried two separate dials with the ‘wind’ above the ‘water’, through to some versions nearer to the one that appears on the Hotswell site.

Surfing graphics development

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Weather Symbols for Boys and Girls


© boysandgirlsshop.com

I’m always interested to see how my weather symbols are being used, so I was delighted to get these cool photos from Kati at boysandgirlsshop.com featuring some familiar looking weather icons and some cute children wearing cool organic kids clothes.

I like the fact that they use (quote) “just normal kids (not models) for their marketing images to allow their individual personalities to shine through”.

Designed for Urban Living and Created with Care, Boys&Girls is a bright and brilliant combination of stylish, practical and affordable kids clothes made from fairly traded and organic cotton.

Launched in March 2011, the Boys&Girls team wanted to create a kidswear brand that was ethical, cool and accessible. Each garment is created with care using GOTS certified organic cotton and organic dying processes for extra feel-good factor and with a view to reducing the impact of manufacturing on the environment and the people that come into contact with the cotton all the way through the supply chain – not just the consumer.

Here are a few more images, but you can see more over at www.boysandgirlsshop.com
…read more

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Weather symbols for kids

UPDATE (July 2013) : I have updated a number of my symbol sets to include SVG format versions of every icon – this includes Icon Set TV-02. The updated set also includes every icon at 512×512 pixels which may print satisfactorily for some purposes. If 512×512 pixel PNGs are OK for you, or if you are familiar with the SVG format and are able to use SVG files, say, in a program like Adobe Illustrator, then you may be better off buying the full 92 icon set rather than the PDFs below.

I’ve had enough people now (mainly teachers and schools) asking about printable versions of our TV-style weather symbols that I thought it was about time I made some printable vector versions available for download.

So here is the ‘School Pack’ – designed for anyone who wants simply to print out some weather symbols for kids, or perhaps use them as illustrations for children’s weather worksheets. I figured that a set of symbols as individual PDF files might be the most versatile and useful – they can be scaled up and printed poster-size if you want, or easily embedded as illustrations in other documents. …read more

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Prince Charles’ Weather Forecast

Prince Charles Weather

'One might need an umbrella…'

It’s always nice to see my BBC weather graphics getting an outing with a new presenter.

Yes, somewhat bizarrely, that’s Prince Charles weather presenter extraordinaire during a visit to the BBC in Scotland yesterday.

Seems he did a pretty good job – you can judge his efforts for yourself over here on the BBC site. By all accounts it’s also causing quite a stir on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

BBC Weather website map colours

BBC Weather map colours

BBC Weather map colours

I’ve been puzzling over this for a couple of days now. *

I’d noticed that the new BBC Weather website was using a different colour for the sea on their maps.

I’d originally designed the weather maps with a deeper blue for the sea, so I was intrigued to see the colour had changed to a paler, less saturated, and slightly more ‘greeny’ blue (some of the more ‘greeny’ blues I’d previously reserved for light rain).

One of the first effects I noticed was that the actual colour on screen for certain levels of light rain over the sea was virtually identical to that of light cloud.

I suppose it’s just a small point really. It’s still fairly obvious where the rain is – but I was just a bit puzzled as to why a (presumably) cosmetic change to the sea colour should have made the rain data in particular so much more ambiguous and obfuscated.

Anyway – I think I’ve figured out why the new maps don’t look quite right to me. …read more

Friday, October 28th, 2011

BBC Weather Symbols – The Return

BBC Weather beta site

BBC Weather beta site

I was pleased to get contacted a little while back by the guy in charge of the BBC Weather website – among other things he wondered if I’d seen the new beta site, and the fact that the BBC Weather Symbols were making a return. For some reason it feels like the symbols have been gone for ages, but they’ve really only had about 3 years in the wilderness (they’d lingered on the BBC website for a few years after the 2005 relaunch, and only got replaced on the 2008 beta site).

And there they are – back again, just like an old friend!

By the looks of things they’ve had to be tweaked a bit to cope with appearing on white backgrounds, so they have made two sets depending on the background colour. Consequently white clouds appear as grey clouds from time to time, depending on where they sit. I’ll be honest – I think that’s a bit of a shame, and particularly problematic over that map, but hey – they’re such classic icons that it’s just nice to see them back. And it is a beta site after all, so I’m assuming it’s still very much ‘work in progress’.

For the true weather symbol fans, it looks like there’s a new icon for ‘drizzle’ that didn’t appear in the original set (it always used to be single raindrop, same as ‘light rain’ – now it’s a sprinkling of tiny dots). Other weather types like ‘fog’ and ‘mist’ look like they’re staying as plain text.

weather symbols (night)

weather symbols (night)

Also, and a bigger departure from any of the previous symbol ‘relaunches’, they seem to have introduced a complete night-time set with a crescent moon. Funnily enough, I did exactly the same when I designed the first of my own new royalty free weather icons a few years back, and the BBC team seem to have chosen an almost identical moon phase to mine.

Nice one!

Anyway, there they are. And a very welcome development too.

As always, I’m sure the BBC Weather symbols remain the property of the BBC and they would be unlikely to allow their use elsewhere (although I’ve come across several places where they are being used fairly indiscriminately for profit).

But if you are looking for similar ‘classic’ TV-style weather icons maybe for iPhone or iPad apps, or websites of your own, and you don’t want to risk copyright infringement, then I have an ever growing range of royalty free symbol sets available for download. The ideal guilt-free alternative to ‘borrowing’ the BBC ones.

Oh, and if you’re looking for the ideal Weather Gifts for Christmas – why not check out the range of classic weather symbol t-shirts and hoodies – there’s something for men, women and kids over at the ‘Classic Weather Icons’ Spreadshirt store. You can choose from a range of symbols and also choose the colour of your t-shirt or hoodie. Great fun!

weather gifts

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Seamless looping weather symbol animation using Trapcode Particular, jQuery, and Spritely

A few weeks ago I had to produce a set of bespoke animations based on my ‘old-school’ weather symbols for use in an app – each as a single sheet of individual frames that could be cycled through within the app.

Anyway – it got me thinking about the (‘new’) BBC weather icons I designed back in 2005 and whether I could produce a similar set of my own with more realistic weather effects using proper particles and then animate them somehow on a web page without resorting to animated GIFs…

With any luck you’ll be able to see a little ‘light snow showers’ icon looping away on the left there.

For anyone interested, I’ll quickly explain how it’s done… …read more

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Latest Weather Symbols

UPDATE (July 2013):

Since writing this the ‘Window on the Weather’ set has been discontinued, and some of the other icon sets have been renamed and updated. Symbol Set 6 is now Weather Icon Set RE-01 and now comes as a complete set including FOUR different sizes of every image. I’ve also replaced the preview image in the original post below to reflect the new name.

Get the updated set here : Realistic Weather Icons

Original Post (September 2011):

I recently had a request for a special version of the ‘Window on the Weather’ icon set – basically the whole set, but without the window frame, and at a larger size. So it made sense to adapt the original artwork for Set 4 to produce a brand new weather collection (Set 6!).

Weather Symbol Set 6 comes as a full set of 42 icons, plus 10 bonus alternative icons (more on that later).

They are saved as PNG images at two sizes. Firstly there’s a set at 64×64 pixels which makes them useable from the word go. But for the first time I’ve also included a complete set at the original size (512×512 pixels) – these can be used as backgrounds, or scaled down to whatever size might be needed.

They cover the usual types of weather, and I’ve also included 10 alternate ‘night-time’ symbols without the crescent moon showing, just in case these need to be used in conjunction with real moon-phase data.

Incidentally, the clouds featured in this set are 100% Irish! (The clouds that I used for the current BBC Weather icons when I was working back in London at the Weather Centre were from photos I took in Surrey..)

Anyway. These new weather icons are available to download now. Enjoy!

realistic weather symbols

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Hand drawn weather icons

Hand drawn weather icons

Hand drawn weather icons

Latest icon set available now from the store. The perfect accompaniment for hand-drawn fonts like ‘Pointy’, ‘Handvetica’, ‘Grutch Shaded’, ‘Sketch Block’ etc – these hand-sketched weather icons come in 4 different sizes, in coloured and outline versions, all in PNG format with transparency.

…read more