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Painting the Web by Shelley Powers

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Chapter 5. Pop Graphics

Photographs are only part of the raster graphics landscape. The other part consists of the buttons, borders, illustrations, and other graphics that originate in drawing tools rather than in cameras. In the beginning of the Web, these formed the heart and soul of web graphics, and though photographs and other newer forms of graphics are making inroads in web art, we’ll always need our buttons and bows.

We all envy the graphical artists their ability to create wonderful art on the Web. Barring a miraculous, sudden infusion of artistic skills, though, most of us create the graphics we need by following one of the many tutorials crafted by those who have more talent than we do.

What are some of these graphics? Pretty, shiny buttons for the forms on our web pages; reflections for text and logos to create nice banner looks; border or background images; shine or shadows to add a three-dimensional look to objects; and even text graphic headers, though we should try to restrict use of these items.

But not all raster graphics are art, nor drawn from scratch. For illustration, we incorporate the use of screen captures, hopefully with graphics to highlight whatever functionality we’re trying to point out. If the tools we use for screen capturing have the ability to add highlighting functionality directly, so much the better.

Before we get into the screen capturing and button drawing, though, let’s take a quick look at the building blocks for raster graphics. At the end of ...

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