Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 3

It seemed to work pretty well last week, so I think I'll just copy over my preliminary notes.

Absolute v relative links:

  • Absolute links include the full website address. Relative links usually only include the final bit and are dependent on the directory structure of the website. They can be viewed locally on the computer (offline) as well as online. They can be just about any type of file, though only some of them can be opened in a browser. Other types of files will be downloaded

An IMG tag is the most common way to add graphics to an html page. Web standard for graphics is 72 dpi.

There are 2 main types of files used.

  • JPEG – joint photographic experts group. Compression is “lossy”, which means that it throws away subtle colour differences. The larger a file size, the better the quality, and vice versa. It’s important to find a balance between quality and size, but you have to remember that once an image has been compressed (and saved), the compression can’t be reversed.
  • GIF – graphic interchange format. It uses a compression algorithm and it is a lossless compression. It’s better for type, vector, flat or hard-edged images. It can also handle animation.
  • PNG is less standardized, but is becoming more common. They’re larger than GIF files and do not always display properly in older browsers. This means you have to create 2 different files to substitute an alternative.

I have an article and a book chapter to summarize, which I post separately.

We’re also getting started with Fireworks this week. Fireworks is something I knew absolutely nothing about, but it’s really cool. You can work with both vector images and bitmaps in the same program. That’s just crazy talk there.

Fireworks CS4 can import Photoshop files and still maintain all of the information, including layer hierarchy. I’m stunned. This is going to take a little while to process.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week 2

This week I took notes while I watched some of the tutorial videos on By the way, if you have a need to learn just about any type of technical or creative software on the market, check them out. There are some free videos available or you can subscribe to their service. Considering the cost of purchasing training videos or taking an actual class, the cost is quite reasonable.

Anyway, back to my notes. I've decided to just post them as I wrote them, with some slight editing for spelling errors that happened due to the speed at which I was typing.

  • When you put an image on a page, or link to another file, Dreamweaver puts code on the page which then tells the browser where it can find the file or image. If you move things around outside of Dreamweaver, you would have to make any changes manually. If you do it via the file panel, Dreamweaver updates all the links automatically. It also updates the links on other pages that link to that page.
  • You can create new files and folders through the Files panel. If you create a new file, always remember to add the extension, such as .html.
  • It’s possible to change the Document Type Declaration if you mess up or if you bring in a page from an old website. Dreamweaver will change the coding so that the page will then have the correct standards for the new DTD.

This is really just the tip of the iceburg. I had yet another root canal, making me a bit fuzzy headed again this week. I'm still on penicillin for the abscessed tooth, but even so, I think everything is really starting to sink in. I may enjoy this class yet. My main hope is that I will no longer fear coding, and so far, it's looking a little less scary each day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 1 Summary

I'm starting off at a slight disadvantage. I'd forgotten just how much it hurts to have a root canal - and I had two of them on Thursday. I'm not exactly sure how much I'll retain from the readings this week. It's a good thing I read quickly, as I'm sure I'll have to reread everything.

Speaking of reading, here are two of the articles we read. The first is a review of 25 coding editors, including Dreamweaver. The second explains FTP software.

I still need to build my first webpage that isn't a blog.

As part of our class requirements, we needed a subscription to This is a site that Deke McLelland is always recommending, and I've taken advantage of several of the free tutorials on the site before. I definitely suggest checking them out. There is an enormous amount of information there on everything from the Adobe suite of products to basics like Excel and Word.

One of our tutorials suggested that we check out W3C - the World Wide Web Consortium. On this site, you can find out exactly what xHTML is and why it's better than HTML. Under W3C A to Z are most of the topics that one would need for this or any other web design course.

Oh, and before I sign off, remember, the internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. The Internet is basically a whole bunch of networks. The Web is the documents, or pages, contained on those networks.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CAT 274

Hey guys! It's a new semester and I'm back with two new classes. For one of my classes, I am required to blog. This makes me happy, since blogging is fun.

This semester, I am taking CAT 274, which is actually Web Design, and Art 120, Digital Photography. I'm guessing this blog and my main blog will both go through some changes over the next several months as I learn how to accomplish things beyond the templates available.

I may be required to move this blog over to Wordpress. I do hope not, but if I do, I will link any new blog back to this one.

We are supposed to post a photo of ourselves. I am in the process of having a lot of dental work done, so I don't smile in photos yet. This pic is of myself (on the left) and my friend Anne. It was taken at the Borders in Chapel Hill, NC, the day after Christmas.

Monday, September 21, 2009

CAT 118 - Potato Heads

I just started a new class. CAT 118 is called Vector Illustration and Design. Basically it's all about Adobe Illustrator. Our first project was to play with Mr. Potato Head. I'm still having a little trouble controlling the mouse, courtesy of wrist tendinitis, but it was still a fun, if goofy, project.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CAT 113: Game Project

Here are the beginnings of the game project for CAT 113 - Graphic Design 1: Fundamentals. We had to first find a photo, draw it, refine the drawing, and then convert it into an Illustrator file. This is as far as I've gotten.

Once I got the first 4 done, I got some feed back from both the class and my professor. I went back and redid the drawing to incorporate more of the original photo. I also further refined it. As you can see, it came out much better.

Once I placed the file into Adobe Illustrator, I used Live Trace to come up with a vector art piece.
I'll post again once the project is completed, but the most difficult part, for me, is done.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Art Nouveau Project

To view this full-size, there is a toggle screen button on the upper right of the pdf window.
Art Nouveau