Media Systems

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Graphics, if they don't get in the way, can enliven a web site by creating a mood and making difficult concepts easier to understand. The best web sites use original art, not clip art -- the skills of a real artist, rather than photoshop filters. It's important that graphics load fast, and that you use simple, accessable technology rather than complicating your site with plug-ins. By understanding the strengths and limitations of file formats such as GIF and JPEG, it's possible to create Immersive sites and incredible animations that work great on broadband and dialup connections alike.

Staff artist Olivia Direnzo is a specialist in freehand illustration. Olivia's work starts on paper, which results in a unique, organic style based on large areas of flat color that compress well and look good on the web. Olivia is a published botanical illustrator. Her toolbox includes a box of colored pencils, GIMP graphics editor, a Wacom Graphire tablet and a 35mm camera.

Web programmer Paul Houle is the developer of Freedom VR a system for presenting photographic panoramas and VR objects on the web. In the process of writing his PhD thesis, he developed software for making 3-dimensional visualizations of 4-dimensional objects and learned how to create effective information graphics. He's familiar with image processing tools such as gd, ImageMagick and JpGraph and he's particularly interested in developing sites that generate graphics interactively.