thegrav.com


Unemployment sucks, well kinda.  I have been able to begin to make the contacts I may be able to use to become self-employed again, and I have had time to look into going back to school.  Actually with the help of my lovely girl, I have a plan in place now for school stuff.  I have also managed to spend a lot of time sketching, playing video games, and writing.

However I have also kept an eye out for potential employment opportunities, and as such I have had to re-evaluate my resumes.   Conventional wisdom suggest I keep a standard up -to-date resume, detailing at least the last 6 years of employment, design standards suggest that I also keep a design resume… and the fact that at least the last 2-3 years of my life have been spent working on websites and web-development, I should have a website myself.  This last one, I don’t “really” have.

In reality I have a few.  I host a website for myself, as well as one for an old client, plus I own 3 or 4 that are sitting here and there for pet projects, and of course I also own City7themovie.com.  For most of the past 10 years I have used ravenhorde.com to house most of my work, however a few months ago I purchased thegrav.com, and I have decided to make this, at least temporarily, the home of my Website Portfolio and Design Resume.

I have a massive attraction to Science Fiction, I read it, I write it, I would love to do screenplays for it… so naturally I have seemed to gravitate towards a science fiction theme for my website.  I am hoping to display an advanced example of my skills in Graphics and Digital Painting, as well as use my knowledge in jquer, javascript, php, css and html through the use of this site concept and design.  Seeing as how I try to blog some of my art projects, here is a glimpse at my work.

thegrav.com, Screenshot

Here is the start.  I code by hand, I don’t use Dreamweaver or Flash, if there is an effect I want to use I learn how to do it right, the old fashioned way.  Now I do this for a good reason, I am sure most of you have at least heard of SEO, its really important and it is a lot easier to do when a website is not bogged down under garbage code.

Some of you might ask why a Graphic Designer and painter knows how to code by hand, the answer is simple, I design websites.  10 years ago I designed them with the help of Dreamweaver, 9 year ago I reached the limit of what Dreamweaver could do for me, and 8 years ago I started to learn to code right.  It may take a little longer, or seem too(Honestly I think I code about as fast as most people can use a visual design system like Dreamweaver), but its done once, and done right.  Plus a lot of the same concepts apply, and if you know how to code, you can do a lot more complex effects.

Most of the time I use a few sheets of notebook paper to design out my entire site in pen or pencil.  I detail where I want images and elements, and then breakdown how I will need to build the css and html code.  I do this to make sure the idea will even work, before I spend anytime doing art work.

This layout all set, and tested, I have moved to creating the art bits!  One of these days I might actually blog a bit into the fundamentals of writing code, but eh its my job, not my hobby!  This is all about the art!

Warp Gate, thegrav.com

Back to the design bits, my idea is to have a warp gate floating through space as the main image of my website.  The “Navigation” links becoming either planets, or objects that float around the gate.   Using Photoshop I have laid down the basic shape of my warp gate.  I used the marque tools to create the shapes I wanted, and working in layer arranged them into the above composition.

I also positioned the gate in the “frame” so it would be cropped into the final design.  When working on an image that will become a background to a website, it is important to work at the highest targeted resolution, or even larger, so when and if the website or image is viewed full screen, you don’t have “empty space” around the images.  In this case I am working at 1920 x 1080, sure some people may have a bigger screen, or multiple screen display, but I am counting on a HD widescreen monitor being my upper limit.

My websites are normally built to have a “liquid layout“, meaning that I want my elements to shrink, expand and conform to many different screen resolutions without losing to much in the process.  1024 x 768 – 1920 x 1080 is a very healthy range of commonly used screen resolutions, so I will focus on making the site work within that range.

I know some people still used 800 x 600, but I have made a decision to not cater to that small percentage of the web-going public, or order to focus more on HD style images and design.  Now I will move with this basic compassion into Painter, in order to finish the warp gate.

Follow along with the development over the next few days.

-TheGrav

 

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