Matt's Macs

On the Web: Take One

- 2001.05.17 - Tip Jar

This column was first published in the MUGOO Newsletter in May 2001.

What you see is what you get

Honey can you make a card? Dad can you get that picture and show me how to put the picture in my paper? What a nice photo album of the kids on the Web. Photoshop. Flash. QuickTime. Photoflash. Progressive JPEGs. TIFF. PNG.

Remember, what you see is what you get!

What does all this have to do with using software? Plenty. Asking what you want to see and what you want to get and where you want to see it are questions I ask myself before using imaging software on my Performa.

For example, what you want (such as resized or altered images, standalone, for an album or inserted into a document), what kind of results you want to get (such as a large or small file, Instamatic™ or 35mm picture quality, digital versus scanned pictures), and where you want to see the image (whether desktop, Web, or print) are all good questions to ask before starting a project.

There are several projects that were done on my Performa that I will go over to illustrate my point. One is a Web page, another creation of several animated GIF files and images for a book report.

The first example is images created for a PTA Web site I maintain, Journey to Mars, showing students hands-on experience using simulation software during class. The images were created using imaging software on my Performa, as well as applications used as tools to retrieve and/or set up the images.

The applications used as tools were BBEdit Lite, Fetch, and ColorSync. Imaging software used was Photoflash, Adobe Photo Deluxe, and JPEGView. Files types used were TIFFs and PICTs, which were all converted to standard JPEGs. The file creator, that is the application used to display the images, is JPEGView. Note that none of the imaging software listed above is as powerful for altering images as Adobe Photoshop; nonetheless much can be accomplished with patience and creativity.

What I wanted to see were pictures of students' hands-on experience with Marslink simulation software in the classroom. The desired results were to display high quality pictures, have a Martian presence, small image file sizes that would display rapidly, be read by a Mac or a PC (by anyone using any imaging program), and look great. Where I wanted to display and view these pictures was, of course, on the Web. Tall order? Nope, not with my Performa!

The pictures used came to me from several sources. The student pictures were digital pictures taken by a digital camera and emailed to me. The background images on the Web page were downloaded from the Mars Global Surveyor mission photo collection linked to the NASA home page. One image was created from several images. In other words, multiple images from several sources, different file formats, sizes, and shapes. In order to create the display I wanted, the pictures would have to be resized, cropped, lightened and layered.

Next time: Finishing the images for the Web page and creating images for a term paper.

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