Yikes. I haven’t posted in a couple days. I have been stuck in Design H3LL. But, I know GIMP a LOT better than I did. And it is a skill that is worth having.
So using the mighty GIMPShop I was able to go from this:
Which is something that I threw together using some clip art and MSPaint,
And even though I am not a design guy at all, I think this isn’t too bad of a job. and better than the 20 bucks i spent on a logo mill logo.
I took the one image and recolorized it as seperate layers in gimp. I then copied each colored layer, darkened it and placed it slightly offcenter to get a shadow effect. I then used a free font I found, made the two sections of text their own layers and added a black layer behind each, offcenter to get the shadow. exported this as a PNG and added it to the header of my site, where it allows the background to come through nicely. Maybe not the best but not bad for a dork like me! 😉
I don’t like graphic design. Mainly because I am not good at it and it is hard. But there are a few things that you probably need to be able to do in GIMP. Don’t get me wrong; it (GIMP) is a great program. Complicated though. Like Drupal
Being able to take an image with a white background and isolate it so that it
sits on your background unobtrusively is a great thing to be able to do. Here are a few hints how to do this in GIMP to go from this on the right to the image below. And because I have integrated images using the linking feature (look it up in the earlier post, it is under LinkImage module) it is also a link to the sponsor’s site. Very nice.
This is not a step by step for GIMP; these are the highlights.
- In Gimp create a background layer that is transparent.
- add the JPG or whatever it is as a layer above that.
- Use the Magic wand to isolate all the white part of the top layer, the white being what you don’t want to see in the final image.
- as you delete it, you will see the transparency layer show through as the checkerboard. it will begin to look like the image at the bottom
- when you have removed all the extraneous white, export the image to a png. it will now show as a float over the background that you have and will appear as seen on the left. this is a great thing to be able to do to process images. and the wand tool will work with other colors if you play with it a bit.
well, i have made some progress. I believe that using an Omega based theme (omega subtheme) is a good way to go. there are a few things to look for in your choice.
- “responsive” theme, meaning it will work well with mobile and tablet. a must these days, if not the first requirement
- three column layout – google the “rule of threes” to see some cool design tips on what your eye wants
- 960 degrees. this will give you a lot of flexibility
since you are learning drupal, i believe that you have to accept the learning curve that goes with it. that means making a choice based on flexibility and not “out of the box” features. if you want “out of the box” go with some other CMS: Wordpress or Joomla.
Learn CSS. If you are pretty good at IT anyway, you can learn CSS. i think this is the most important part that you can do.
Learn some Jscript and specifically learn some jquery and look for some free sites that will instruct you on how to integrate jquery with drupal. here is a good link – http://drupal.org/node/1043920
Komodoedit is a good code editor for any of this stuff. and free.
Learn GIMP. it is tough. it’s a pain but it is free and it is worth it. look to youtube for some tutorials on how to use it.
Well, my slacking is going to end. by that i mean that i am going to actually get superfish to work on my drupal site tonight. and by slacking, i mean that i have been spending all my time working on the js and css stuff. which has been really fun and cool. here is a really good web site for css aspiritors.
20 Websites To Help You Learn and Master CSS
I hope that the link on this comes through ok. otherwise i am going to have to redo it. but. all things considered, the slog through the nexus of design>programming>form>function appears to be moving. even if it is moving in sort of strange spurts. ok. on to superfish. and i have been using komodoedit a lot. and that seems to be a pretty good program for something that is free. and even gimp is coming along although that one is really tough.
well, i am focusing on three main areas right now.
- theming – specifically as it applies to docresource.org – css in particular.
- gimp – all the sites that i look at that i like have good graphics; they fit the theme
so what is the hardest? i think that Gimp and the theming parts are at this point. so, i think that i have to learn gimp. and i have to have a mock up of the web site as an image in gimp. so i am going to spend a minimum of one hour per day on each area.
well, i’m learning gimp. at least, i’m trying. like any sophisticated program, there is a significant learning curve. and because mspaint is all i know, the curve is steep. plus, i’m an idiot. not exactly but it feels that way some times.
i have a confession. i have a really bad habit. i use mspaint. a lot. i have used it for about 20 years and it has made me insufferably lazy because when it comes down to it, it sucks. you can’t do much with it at all. so, i am learning GIMP as a part of this ongoing learning process. unless you have the money for photoshop, get a copy of free GIMP and start learning. being a competent drupal developer means being able to do at least some image manipulation. so learn GIMP and do yourself a favor.