Tag Archives: FA3000

Superincomprehensiblehallucinations

And this is just about exactly how I feel after six hours of nonstop Dreamweaver homework. Wheee!!!

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Oh, Oh, Dreeeeeeamweaver….

That line is — of course! — a reference to Gary Wright’s super-groovy 1975 song of the same name. However, it also represents the fact that I am currently trying to make up a week and a half of homework in one night on using Adobe’s Dreamweaver for my Web Design class. You’d think that a professor would be better able to stay on top of things. Ay yi yi… But it IS amazing stuff and I’m very glad to be working with it. I just wish I could spread out all that educational goodness over more than one night.

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Edward Tufte, My Guinea Pig

Well, we had to try making an actual, working web site for my Web Design (FA3000) class. The assigned topic was a favorite artist. Because I do statistics and data visualization, and because he actually is an artist, I chose statistician/author/artist Edward Tufte. Here’s a still shot of the home page:

Not much, but not too bad for a first try. (And I’ve definitely seen worse!) For the time being, this site is on the school’s server and you can see it by clicking here. (By the way, as a partial excuse for the elementary nature of the site, it was all hand-coded in TextMate; we don’t get to use Dreamweaver until later in the semester.)

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Adobe and Me

We’re getting started with Photoshop (and the Adobe Creative Suite in general) in FA2000: Computers and the Arts. Very exciting! It’s an overwhelming program; so many choices, so many buttons. Ay yi yi . . . But I’m thrilled to have put the lettuce and beans on their own layers in the salad photo! Very cool to move things around so easily.

To quote the theme from The Love Boat: “So exciting and new!” (Well, new to me, anyhow.)

Also, in FA3000: Design for the Net I, we’re doing some manual HTML coding to create very, VERY simple websites (at least, local pages that open in browsers). Kind of tedious to do it manually, but I think it makes things much clearer. And I’m finally learned about putting the pages in a folder with relative references . . . if only this simple fact had been made clearer to me a few years ago. But I’m looking forward to working on our next assignment, which is to create a web page for a favorite artist. I may cheat and do mine on Edward Tufte, who IS an artist but is known much, much better for his work on data visualization. Here’s the man himself:

For reference, here are his major publications, all of which are gorgeous and should be required reading for all designers and data people:

Anyhow, it should be fun.

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My Old Friend, Design

Today in FA3000, Design for the Web, we talked about general principles of design. It was nice to see references to research – know your audience, what they want, how they use computers and the web – and to functionalism – know the purpose of your web site and work to meet it for your intended audience. Both very refreshing. But what was really nice was having a quick (about 10 minutes each) overview of design, especially color theory and typography.

I took a color theory class back when I was an undergraduate Industrial Design student at BYU back in 1985. (That coincided with the time when I generally didn’t go to my classes, so things didn’t go quite as well as one would have hoped. Oops.) Nevertheless, I had my color cards and I could talk harmonies at least for a little while. I may not have my Pantone stack anymore, but I did have an interesting déjà vu experience last year while attending a conference on computer science, of all things. Actually, it wasn’t so shocking because it was VisWeek, the data visualization conference (which was, conveniently, in Salt Lake City last year) and so there was, in fact, a big turn out for the talk on color theory. I learned all about the differences between RGB and CMYK color systems (basically, screens vs. print) and the incompatibilities that exist between them. The speaker… oh, wait! I took the notes on my computer! Let me look them up… Ah, the speaker was Theresa-Marie Rhyne and her personal web page is called Theresa-Marie Rhyne’s Viewpoint (and it’s at http://web.me.com/tmrhyne/Theresa-Marie_Rhynes_Viewpoint/Welcome.html, at least until Apple shuts down MobileMe next year). She talked about RGB and CMYK, as well as the Munsell system (which I believe is the basis of the HSB – Hue, Saturation, and Brightness – model, although Munsell used the terms Hue, Value, and Chroma; and in which the color orange did not exist, just “red-yellow”), and the Pantone system. (I also just looked up Munsell in Wikipedia and found a huge number of color systems; more systematic coverage is at the article “List of color spaces and their uses“.)

Okay, so lots of color theory available. Here are several online color tools mentioned by Martin (my FA2000 and FA3000 teacher – Hi, Martin!), Theresa-Marie, or things I found on my own:

I also have some nifty color apps on my iPod Touch:

And there’s a lot to say about fonts, too, but it’s late and I’m getting tired. For right now, I’ll just mention a few other apps I have that are wonderful:

Lovely stuff. By the way, I just found out that Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple (although he IS staying on as Chairman). Who knows what that will mean for the Apple faithful like me. We’ll see.

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First Day of School

It’s the first day of school for my 26th full year of formal education. Whee! My first class is FA3000: Design for the Net 1, taught by Martin Novak. (I’m going to see a lot of Martin this year.) One of the things that we’re going to spend a lot of time on this semester is in creating a couple of web pages, which will be set up on the Fine Arts server for the semester. One will be a personal web page; that is, a page about us. The other will be on something else. Rather conveniently, I recently bought two domains: BartonPoulson.com and DataLiteracy.Info. I haven’t done anything with either one yet, so this class will give me an ideal opportunity to work on them. Very nice.

I was also scheduled to take FA3400: Digital Visual Effects later today with Rosi Hayes, but it looks like I’ll need to skip that course so I can work on some other things that came up (specifically, the opportunity to create a new course for lynda.com and the possibility of working with CIDAT).

Update: I have a draft version of BartonPoulson.com that is temporarily housed on the Fine Arts server here at the U of U. Also, while I still own the domain DataLiteracy.Info, I also purchased Data-Literacy.com for another WordPress blog; I’m actually making posts on that site.

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