Serious cardmaking

Kevin Hammond ups the ante on how to put a graphic on your infocard.  His reference to my card makes me blush – I just “borrowed” a graphic that had been assembled by one of the computer journals, not having any idea of how one would make it.  One day I'll find the time to play with the cool technology he is talking about.

There's a lesson here though.  When people start hand-tailor their cards, it becomes impossible for “phishing software” to successfully perform social engineering attacks that trick people into thinking a fake CardSpace interface is real.  The phisher has no idea of what kind of graphic or what kind of photo the user has created – so it just can't do a believable impersonation.  The result is that the user immediately recognizes something is very wrong.

I've been getting my feet wet with Windows CardSpace and my self-issued card. In watching Kim Cameron's demonstration of how he integrated CardSpace with WordPress, I saw his nifty looking card with his portrait on it. Right then and there I decided I too must have one. What do you think of the results? Here's how I did it.

I made a self portrait with my Canon EOS 20D and an EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.  I extracted the headshot with Photoshop CS2’s Extract filter, did some complexion touch up and resized it to what you see here, about 60×64 at the shoulder. I created a new 120×80 image according to the guidance provided by Vittorio Bertocci in his great article about how images are mapped onto cards. From here, it's all a composite. There's a layer for the black rectangle across the bottom, a layer for the gradient background, a layer for my portrait, and a layer each for the text. It took some experimenting with fonts and text transformation to arrive at the setting you see here – by far the largest part of this entire exercise. My Layers palette is reproduced here for your reference. Frankly, I'm surprised by the result because I'm by no means a Photoshop guru. But I think I now have something cool to liven up with!

Vista does one annoying little thing in the reflection it places on the top third of the card when it renders it within the Windows CardSpace UI. I can see how they're trying to be cool, but I think it detracts rather than adds to the overall experience.

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.

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