Category: Adobe CS5

Congratulations to Diorama Winners

Dinosaur Toy Forum Winners Announced

Over the spring and summer, Everything Dinosaur sponsored a prehistoric animal modelling contest on the Dinosaur Toy Forum.  The standard of entries was extremely high and the subjects covered by the contestants varied and diverse.  There were scenes of many different types of dinosaur (the Papo Running T. rex being a particular favourite model used), Pterosaurs and some amazing marine reptiles, even some Temnospondyl amphibians entered the fray.  One of our personal favourites was “Life in the Precambrian” that used the innovative Toob of Precambrian critters made by Safari Ltd that came out last year.  It is always a pleasure to see how model makers use replicas imaginatively to recreate prehistoric scenes.

2014 Model Contest Sponsored by Everything Dinosaur

Proud to sponsor the competition.

Proud to sponsor the competition.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It was not just the excellent model making skills on display that impressed Everything Dinosaur team members.  Lots of creative use of photoshop was evident and we loved the titles that the artists had given to their exhibits.  For example, there were entries entitled “Breakfast at Tiffany” which featured the Collecta Stegosaurus corpse, “Desert Stand off”, “Heatstroke” and “Triassic Swim Lessons”.  Our congratulations to everyone who entered, it seems that model making is in fine fettle if the standard of entries in this competition are anything to go by.

As with all contests of this nature, there have to be winners and first prize goes to the forum member known as Federreptil for “Horrible Horn Horde”.

“Horrible Horn Horde” by Federreptil

Congratulations to Federreptil.

Congratulations to Federreptil.

Picture Credit: Federreptil

The detail is exquisite, we recognise a number of models and replicas in this Late Cretaceous scene, commenting on the winner a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“Clearly a great deal of work has gone into this diorama and the attention to detail is fantastic.  Although, the eye is drawn to the herd of Ceratopsians in the foreground, we loved spotting the other prehistoric replicas included in the scene, from the prehistoric plants and trees to the various Pterosaurs including Azhdarchidae”.

This is the second year in a row that Federreptil has won the contest, will anyone be able to challenge this talented model maker in 2015?

Second prize, as voted for by forum members goes to Seismosaurus of the United States for their entry called “On the Beach”.  This is a clever composition that depicts the tracks left by a Sauropod as it wanders along the sand.  The model used is the excellent Wild Safari Dinos Apatosaurus model (Safari Ltd).

Apatosaurus Goes for a Wander Along the Sand

An excellent effort with great lighting.

An excellent effort with great lighting.

Picture Credit: Seismosaurus

Commenting on this composition, Sue Judd (Finance Director at Everything Dinosaur) explained:

“Although the model used is not that large, the artist has really created an impression of scale.  The angle of shot and the clever way in which the seascape background has been incorporated into the picture gives the impression of a huge Sauropod wandering along the shoreline of a Jurassic sea.”

Third place, in what was an incredibly tight contest, went to Irimali for the composition entitled “Separated from the Herd/Storm is Coming”.  A Camarasaurus is isolated and alone, or is it?  Lurking amongst the beautifully recreated Late Jurassic flora, a Theropod waits ready to pounce.

Third Prize Went to “Separated from the Herd/Storm is Coming” by Irimali

Great atmosphere created in diorama.

Great atmosphere created in diorama.

Picture Credit: Irimali

Commenting on the diorama, Mike Walley (Everything Dinosaur) said:

“The model maker has managed to create a very realistic Jurassic forest.  The models themselves are not the “stars” in this particular diorama, for us it is the way that the flora has been depicted.  The scene has been carefully constructed and the diorama has an eerie atmosphere enhanced by the clever use of the background which represents the misty depths of the forest.”

Everything Dinosaur will be in touch with the prize winners shortly so that their prizes (a selection of prehistoric animal models from Everything Dinosaur’s huge range), can be sent out to them.

Once again our congratulations to everyone who took part, we will try and feature the “honourable mentions” in a future blog post.

Do you feel inspired by the amazing prehistoric scenes that have been created in this contest?  Check out Everything Dinosaur’s huge range of prehistoric animal models and plants: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

750,000 Views on YouTube

750,000 Video Views on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Channel

A very big thank you to everyone who has viewed our various video offerings on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.  Earlier this week we passed an amazing 750,000 video views.  We certainly don’t regard ourselves as Steven Spielberg, or for older readers a Cecil B. DeMille, but we wanted to post an article to say thank you to all those people who have taken the time to view our model reviews and other videos that we have posted.

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Channel Passes 750,000 Video Views

Thank you!

Thank you!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our most popular video is the review we posted up of the Prehistoric Sharks Toob, a set of beautifully made prehistoric shark models manufactured by Safari Ltd.  This video has had something like 95,000 video reviews, which we are so chuffed about.

Everything Dinosaur’s Most Popular Video (So Far)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see our comments on the prehistoric shark models when they were first introduced: Prehistoric Sharks Swim into View

We are all genuinely humbled by all the comments we have received, we do try and respond to each and every one of them and to answer any questions that get raised by viewers.  In total, we have eighty-nine videos uploaded with our ninetieth due to go up today (a review of the 1:40 Deluxe Collecta Therzinosaurus dinosaur model).  Thank you for all the “likes” and feedback and a special mention to those customers of Everything Dinosaur who put up reviews of the models and other items that they have purchased from us.  It is always a pleasure to see such videos and we really enjoy watching them.

Our Safari Ltd Megalodon (C. megalodon) video review is also popular along with a number of our video reviews on various Tyrannosaurus rex models.

We shall continue to make and post up model reviews, aiming to have over one hundred posted by the end of the year, a special thanks to all our subscribers.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

A Jurassic Christmas Tree

It was the Night before Christmas… Conifers Used as Christmas Trees Have a Long Evolutionary Heritage

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a Mussaurus!

Our apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, but as we are about to close the offices on this Christmas Eve, one final posting on the web log before the big day – a prehistoric themed Christmas tree.

A Jurassic Tree Ready to be Decorated for the Holidays
Prehistoric Plants get ready for Christmas

Prehistoric plants get ready for Christmas

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is worth noting that most modern families of conifers (including those that contain the ones that are used as Christmas trees), evolved in the Mesozoic, during the age of dinosaurs.  Although a number of ancient types of conifer did go extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous Period.  However, the origin of the conifers goes back a lot further.  It is thought that the first conifers, as a type of gymnosperm, evolved in the Carboniferous Period.  Next time you look at a Christmas tree, consider how the first trees of that type probably evolved more than 330 million years ago.

C. megalodon and Maths

Using Shark Fossils to Help Primary School Children with Maths

Another day and another free download for teachers and educationalists.   Everything Dinosaur team members had been approached by a number of primary school teachers and HLTAs (Higher Learning Teaching Assistants), to help key stage 1 pupils get to grips with some of the symbols used in mathematics that they will encounter as they progress to key stage 2.  In particular, we were asked to come up with novel ways of helping young children from five years of age to recognise and remember what certain symbols used in mathematics stand for.

Much of the emphasis of the mathematics part of the national curriculum in the United Kingdom is based around young learners making connections between numbers, shapes and symbols.  During key stage 1, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activity, exploration and discussion.  Many children are keen on dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures so if team members at Everything Dinosaur could build in a prehistoric theme, then all the better to help with the learning.  Children at key stage 1 learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond.   They develop a range of mental calculation skills and should be able to use these skills confidently in different settings.  Children learn about shape and space through practical activity which builds on their understanding of their immediate environment.  They begin to grasp mathematical language, using it to talk about their methods and explain their reasoning when solving problems.  It is developing a familiarity with mathematical symbols where Everything Dinosaur comes in, why not use some images of fossilised shark teeth to help children learn about the “greater than” > and the “less than” < signs.

Using Fossils to Help Children Learn About Mathematics

Greater than and less than thanks to C. megalodon.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur team members used pictures of the huge, fossilised teeth of a giant prehistoric shark called Carcharodon megalodon to create the mathematical symbols.  As children move onto key stage 2, they are expected to be able to recognise that the position of a digit gives its value and to use correctly the <> symbols.

To request a free download of the fossilised sharks symbols: Email Everything Dinosaur

The teeth are part of Everything Dinosaur’s fossil collection.  Some of these fossils are brought into schools to help pupils learn about animals that lived in the past.  The shark teeth are particularly spectacular and these specimens are bigger than the typical hand of an nine year old child.  Such objects always intrigue and fascinate the children and they get a great deal out of the dinosaur workshops in schools that the staff conduct, so why not use some of the fossils to help children with other aspects of their education.

Dinosaurs Help Inspire Anti-Bullying Posters for Schools

Everything Dinosaur Team Members Provide Anti-Bullying Posters for Primary Schools

Week commencing November 18th is the official anti-bullying week in the United Kingdom.  A number of nationwide events and activities are planned to help raise awareness over the issues of bullying and the consequences of having been bullied and Everything Dinosaur team members have been doing their bit to help primary school teachers get the anti-bullying message across.  With all the dinosaur illustrations and other resources available, staff were challenged to create an anti-bullying poster for use in schools.  A number of designs were suggested and three have been prepared and made available as downloads that can be emailed to schools and other organisations to help support their anti-bullying strategy.

One of the Anti-Bullying Posters Created by Everything Dinosaur

Stop the Bullies!

Stop the Bullies!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Each of the posters can be printed onto an A4 sized (297mm x 210mm) piece of paper and the posters can be laminated so that they can become a permanent part of the anti-bullying message within any school.  As children seem fascinated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, it seems sensible to utilise these long extinct creatures to help make bullies extinct too.

A spokes person from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is important to get the message across to school children that bullying is not to be tolerated.  We see the concerted efforts of teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff  with regards to anti-bullying strategies when we visit schools and we wanted to do our bit to help stop the bullies.”

To request an anti-bullying poster for your school, simply email the staff at Everything Dinosaur and they will ensure that a poster is emailed out.

Contact Everything Dinosaur: Email Everything Dinosaur

Happy Halloween from Everything Dinosaur

Horrible, Scary Triceratops

October 31st is “All Hallows Eve” a time for spooky goings on, pumpkin lanterns and trick or treats.  From a palaeontologist’s perspective it always surprising when one considers the scary and frightening monsters that are conjured up from the imagination when the fossil record is full of evidence of strange, bizarre and monstrous animals that really existed.  A psychologist friend waxes lyrical on our fear of dark places and something “lurking in the woods”.  To our ancestors, forested areas harboured predators such as bears, wolves and things much worse, these were places to avoid and our primeval fear of dark, poorly lit, potentially dangerous places still persists in many of us today.

Most mammals lack colour vision, unlike the birds and as most scientists agree, the Dinosauria.  The widely accepted theory is that mammals evolved in the shadow of the dinosaurs who were mostly diurnal (active during the day).  Our ancient mammalian ancestors, scurried about in the undergrowth or were nocturnal.  This was a strategy for survival, being small and furry made you fair game for a large number of predators so it was best to hide during the day.  As a result, most mammals have eyesight still suited to this way of life, we primates are an exception not the rule.

To celebrate October 31st, we have created a little spooky Halloween picture of our own.  Everything Dinosaur team members have hidden some prehistoric animals in the picture, as well as the Everything Dinosaur logo.  Can you spot them all with your colour vision?

Happy Halloween from Everything Dinosaur

Can you spot the prehistoric animals?

Can you spot the prehistoric animals?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The fossil record demonstrates the great variation in vertebrate forms that have evolved.  There are a number of candidates for the title of “scary creature”.  Of course there are the fearsome Theropod dinosaurs along with a huge number of other predators.  Take the Gorgonopsids for example.  Named after the terrible Gorgon of Greek myth, some of these Therapsid predators with their monstrous teeth and jaws were apex predators during the Permian.  Not capable of chewing, these reptiles probably bit off chunks of flesh and swallowed them hole.

A Typical Gorgonopsid (Inostrancevia)

Scary monster from the Permian

Scary monster from the Permian

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

There were also plenty of frightening mammals and birds around in prehistory, the aptly named “Terror Birds” or the mighty, nobbly-faced Uintatherium, a genus of huge, herbivorous mammal from the Eocene.  The largest species of Triceratops currently recognised is called Triceratops horridus (horrible three-horned face).  When the huge skull with its three horns was first studied, academics thought this was a dinosaur that would have looked horrible, but to us when viewing a reconstructed Triceratops skeleton we think it is rather beautiful.

A Triceratops Skeleton – Horrible or Beautiful?

Three Horned Face on Display

Three Horned Face on Display

Happy Halloween.

Promoting Fossil Finds – Pocket Sized Dinosaur Dig Sets

Fossil Finds Ever Popular and Great for Schools

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy fulfilling orders for schools and other educational institutions as the autumn term gets under way.  A popular item with teachers and young dinosaur fans is the Fossil Find dig kit.  Young palaeontologists can excavate a prehistoric animal skeleton out of a gypsum block using the digging tools provided in the kit.  These tools, consisting of a small brush and a wooden pick are identical to the tools used by real palaeontologists when they are excavating material that surrounds fossil bone.  Once the pieces of skeleton have been excavated then they can be assembled to form a skeleton of a dinosaur. 

Photoshop is Used to Build to Build a Fossil Finds Banner

Everything Dinosaur creates a banner to promote Fossil Finds.

Everything Dinosaur creates a banner to promote Fossil Finds.

 Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture above, a flock of Velociraptor skeletons are confronting a T. rex skeleton, with the T. rex taking shelter behind a pile of rubble that has been excavated.

There are several different dinosaurs to collect in this series, hours of fun for any budding palaeontologist.  Assemble the pieces and construct your own dinosaur skeleton model you can even build your own mini dinosaur museum.

To view the range of Fossil Find kits available from Everything Dinosaur: Fossil Finds and Dinosaur Themed Excavation Kits

Preparing an “Everything Dinosaur” Signature

Icon Required for Everything Dinosaur Signature Image

Team members at Everything Dinosaur were asked to produce a signature image the other day, something that would be instantly recognisable as to what we do and what we represent.  Fortunately, we are getting a little better at managing Photoshop and we have built up a very large database of images to choose from.

A number of ideas were put forward, all of them featuring dinosaurs with members of our small team.  From this list, three templates were moved on from the “drawing board” stage and we began to work on them using Photoshop.  Once these three had been prepared as “psd” documents, no mean feat, and a task that took one of our team members a couple of hours to complete, a vote was taken as to which one we should use as a signature.

The Winning Image/Signature

Presenting an image to the world.

Presenting an image to the world.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The image had to feature a dinosaur and we chose Tyrannosaurus rex.  T. rex has come out as number one every year in our annual poll of the most popular prehistoric animals, so it was quite an easy choice.  Our logo and website had to be included and after this it was simply a case of creating the right sized logo and combining all the elements together.  Once we were happy, the image/signature was converted to jpg format and it could go live.

Then it was simply a question of putting the link code into the signature so that it could direct visitors to the appropriate part of our web presence and that was that.  Not to sure about the toothy grin though [not referring to the T. rex either].

Working on the Logo – Go Go Logos

Preparing an Everything Dinosaur Logo for use on a Forum

Having registered as a member of a forum concerning dinosaur models and model collecting a logo is required to enable comments, photos and pictures that are posted up to be associated with Everything Dinosaur.  Time to return to the Adobe CS5 and to get working on a suitable image.  Having used various logos and representations on other social media sites one such logo has been modified and prepared for use on this new site.

Going to Get a New Logo for the Social Media Pages

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Of the range of images that was prepared this one got the most votes.  With most of the major platforms such as Youtube, Yahoo, Google plus etc all asking for much more detailed profile information including images, (we suspect this has more to do with selling data than making specific pages look more corporate), team members at Everything Dinosaur are going to be busy modifying their existing profiles and home pages to keep everything up to date.  Adobe CS5 is a powerful tool, none of us are particularly expert but hopefully we can just about make do and create new images to use on these sites.

Happy New Year

Wishing Everyone a Peaceful and Prosperous 2013

So another year begins in the geological epoch referred to as the Holocene.  To mark the beginning of the new year and the start of another 365 blog articles or so, team members have designed a banner for the homepage of the Everything Dinosaur website: Our Everything Dinosaur Home Page

Using our nascent photoshop skills, we have put together a little “Happy New Year” banner to place on the home page of our website.  It will stay up just a short while before we move onto the next banner, a showcase of some of the soft toys of prehistoric animals that we supply, but more about that later.

Everything Dinosaur’s New Year Banner

Happy New Year from the team at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It looks like 2013 is going to be another big year for the company staffed by parents, teachers and real dinosaur experts. We expect to stock even more prehistoric animal themed products and we already have a number of exciting projects planned.  Our warehouse is going to be even more full of dinosaur models and toys.

In the meantime, we take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful and prosperous 2013.

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