The video card determines the quality of the video image that is displayed on the monitor such as whether or not colour is displayed, how many colours and the number of pixels per inch. These days a Super VGA card is the standard. So, my computer uses a Super VGA card from Matrox: the Mystique model with the Rainbow Runner Studio option for video capture.
For the project my aim was to create graphics which enhanced the mood of the story, assisted with a sense of continuity for the audience, and yet were small and quickly deliverable over a network. Therefore when creating my images I chose to emulate the Attic Black pottery style from the Aristocratic Era of ancient Greek society circa 600 BCE, which uses black figures, usually in silhouette, on a red background. Flat black and transparent images would of course compress easily and deliver quickly. The difficulties arose when I started to choose colours for the backgrounds. Rather than using red as a background colour, which would be rather difficult from which to read black text, I chose several muted colours that could also represent particular narrative streams.
To give the main text screen background a sort of painted-on-pottery or parchment look, I created a small graphic with a pattern involving a range of shades within a certain colour. This would only need to be loaded once by the audience's Web browser, then wallpapered repeatedly on a series of pages. The navigation bar on the lefthand side of each page was to be a complementary colour generated directly by the browser, since for a single colour it seemed hardly necessary to create a graphic swatch. However, once I created the graphic design for Odysseus, She to my satisfaction on my own machine, I discovered these problems:
My best solution was to go ahead and make a matching colour swatch for the navigation bar that would be wallpapered behind the text. As long as the colours in general were sufficiently muted, at least the work would continue to be readable, even if it was not always as aesthetically pleasing as it might be.
Copyright © 1999 Katherine Phelps