How I did my Home Page

This is my first attempt at web publishing. I'm sure a few HTML rules were broken. I wanted to take advantage of Netscape's graphics capabilities, as well as, keep the page viewable on other viewers. To best do this I designed two home pages, one for Netscape and Windows95 viewers, and one for Mosaic and AOL. The Slide Show can only be viewed with Netscape. The portfolio page has a few features viewable only on the Windows95 browser (version 2.0). The links from both pages are identical.
The Slide Show preview page utilizes a new HTML feature called an "animation push." Most pages that use this feature use it to simulate full motion video. Basically what happens is the video frames are converted to very small GIF files. When the first one finishes drawing to the screen, the next GIF "pushes" it off the screen, then the third frame pushes the previous frame, an so on. To give the appearence of motion, the GIFs must be VERY small so the the next frame writes to the screen quickly, thus giving a sense of motion. To see a great "animation push" that simulates motion, see Steve Banks' X-Files page. I had the luxury of not needing a full-motion effect. This worked out well in two ways. First, I could use a greater color depth so that the GIFs look like full color photos. Believe it or not, each "slide" consists of only 32 different colors. Photoshop does a great job of dithering the colors in GIFs to give the best possible results. Second, for my needs, the files must be larger than the full-motion files so that they stay on the screen for a few seconds. This gives the effect of a slide show since the previous photo does not go away until the next photo "pushes" it off the screen. The problem with this type of effect is trying to make it viewable to everyone. I use a 28.8 modem and each photo stays on the screen for about 5 seconds. I think that is about the right amount of time. People using 14.4 modems will see each photo for a bit longer. People with really fast connections, like ISDN or universities, will probably not enjoy the show as much since the slides will go by so fast. As more people get 28.8 and faster connections, I will increase the color depth of the GIFs, thus creating a larger file that will take longer to be "pushed" off the screen.
As for my portfolio page, the logo graphic is my business card. It was created a very long time ago using Corel 3.0. The word "Photo" was wrapped around the film using the "envelope" tool in Corel. The back ground graphic was created by importing the logo into Photoshop and using the emboss filter. The graphic was also lightened so that it would not interfere with any text placed on top.
The "button" bar was a bit more complicated. The blue background was created in Corel 5.0 using the texture fill command. I used one of the presets and modified the depth of the texture and the colors. I then imported the texture into Photoshop. To create the bevel effect, I masked off a small portion of each edge. I darkened two of the sides and lightened the other two. Of the lighter sides, one is slightly lighter than the other. The same is true for the dark sides. This gives a very nice 3-D effect, adding depth to the button. The photo parts of the button are elements from photos on the linked pages. Each one was cut from the original photo and grouped in threes. Each group was duplicated and pasted as a new layer. The new layer was filled with solid black and the gaussian blur filter was applied. The drop shadow and the photos were then grouped and pasted on to the button bar. This process was repeated for each category. The text and text drop shadows were added last. Whew!! Pretty complicated, but I think the button bar is the element that really makes the page work.
The backgrounds on all the linked pages were created using Corel 5.0 and Photoshop. The same embossing and lightening techniques used on the home page background were used.
I must thank my good friend Steve Banks for his assistance on my page. Steve is an HTML expert. He made me learn this stuff the hard way. He wouldn't actually do the mark up for me, but he was there to direct me when I went astray.
That's it! Please E-mail. me if you have any questions about my home page.