All U need is...
Well, you need probably a lot in order to make an impressive graphics. I mean, hardware and software.

How it was done (and what had been used)

The tools

My hardware setup as of this time (March 2002): dual Pentium III 866 Mhz, 1280 MB RAM, Matrox Millenium dual-head G400 16Mb SDRAM video, 2 Quantum Fireball hard disks (total of 29 GB space), LS120 diskette drive, 32x12x10 PlexWriter CD-R-RW drive, two Iiyama Vision Master 17" monitors, Wacom ArtZ II 6"x8" drawing tablet, Logitech Optical MouseMan Cordless, Epson Stylus 600 printer, Olympus C-3000 3,34 MPixel digital camera, UMAX Astra 2100U scanner, Turtle Beach Montego sound card. This setup is a result of a 8-years-long evolution during which many older pieces of equipment were replaced.

OS: Windows XP Professional.

Software used, starting from 1994: (Note: the programs are marked by my personal 1-to-10 score)

The techniques

In the scope of this page, it's not possible, of course, to describe all the techniques I used during making of the images and animations represented on the Synth Art site. It's really a very big topic. In short, I can only mention that my composition tool of choice during creation of most of the works was Corel's Photo-paint, under which I used its objects and masking facilities very extensively. One should know such composition techniques and masking tools the most thorough way and use them very inventively, in order to create those Synth Art-style collages, which are so characteristical for their seamless integration of such diversified 'input elements' as fragments of real-life photos and pieces of synthetical imagery like fractals and other computer-generated textures and scenes.

Another thing I want to emphasize here is that the use of all those fancy Photoshop plug-ins and effects listed above should not be considered as the main ingredient of such works, - they are merely a digital 'spice' thrown in for a better visual impact.

Web site's design

The current R. 3 version of the site is a result of the recent (April 2000 - March 2002) major structural and visual re-design, a change that finally gave SynthArt a distinct look and made it easily browsable and highly enjoyable, according the visitors' reactions. Finally, I decided to employ the most advanced web-development techniques of this time, namely frames, layers, Cascaded Style Sheets, javascript and cgi scripts and some other, in order to make the site most visitors-friendly, useful and attractively-looking. The main key to success in that was my discovery of the fabulous Dreamweaver web design tool (from Macromedia), which - at last - allowed me to avoid manual html coding and generally was (and is) fun to use. Of course, besides Dreamweaver, a lot of other graphical and animation tools were used (and manual work is still a considerable part of the development time), but only after I saw all the advantages of this program and became proficient with it, I could venture myself into such drastic re-design of this site.

The books on computer graphics, - recommended and not very

   TITLE                       ISBN        AUTHOR      PRICE,$  my score
  • Inside Adobe Photoshop 3.0 1562053566 Bouton 45.00 5
  • Photoshop 3 Filters 1562054481 Bouton 45.00 5 and Effects
  • Photoshop Filters Finesse 0679753249 Niffenegger 45.00 8
  • Photoshop IQ 1883403251 Frobish et. 29.95 8
  • Professional Photoshop 0471018732 Margulis 49.95 8
  • Fractal Design Painter 3.1 0672307073 Tyler 49.99 4 Unleashed
  • Painter WOW! 1566091470 Threinen, 39.95 9 Pendarvis
  • Waite Group's Fractals for 1878739255 Wegner 34.95 8 Windows
  • Fractal Creations, 2/e 1878739344 Wegner 34.95 8
  • trueSpace 2 Bible 1568848412 Plantec 39.99 8
  • Inside 3D Studio Max, Vol.I 1562054279 Elliott,... 59.99 8
  • 3D Studio Max Plugins Guide 1576101347 Reese 49.99 7
  • Real World Bryce 2: The Art 0201694190 Kitchens 49.95 9 of Digital Landscape
  • 3D Studio MAX 2 Effects 1562058835 DeLise, 49.95 6 Reference Carbonaro
  • Truespace 3 and 4 Creature 1886801800 Dobbs, 49.95 7 Creations Fleming
  • 3D Photorealism Toolkit 0471253464 Fleming 49.99 7
  • Real World After Effects 0201688395 Reinfeld, 49.99 5 London
  • Lingo in a nutshell 1565924932 Epstein 49.99 8
  • All of the books above can be found or ordered on-line, in the Computer Literacy Bookshop (now called FatBrain). Equally stuffed (but not necessarily equally good) place is Softpro Books. But, like everybody knows now, the strore called Amazon.com is yet the biggest and best place to buy books online. I tried them all!

     

    On-line news

    (those which grabbed my attention recently, that is) :

  • The Many Faces of MPEG-4 May 2001, 3D Gate magazine
  • ZBrush 1.20: **** May 2001, In Depth magazine
  • Corel Bryce 5 Preview June 2001, Computer Arts magazine
  • Painter 7 Preview July-August 2001, Computer Arts magazine
  • Corel To Acquire Micrografx July 16th 2001, Corel Corp.
  • Pandromeda Launches MojoWorld Transporter™ August 24th, 2001
  • Adobe Systems Photoshop 7.0 - BETA March 2002

     

    Textures Madness

    Unique textures/backgrounds, buttons, rulers and more: click here to get the stuff I designed while working on these WWW pages. No royalties!

    
    
    
    
    
    

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    page last modified: March 5th, 2002