Tangled Synthesis

Updates & Other Site Info

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Raison d'Être

In the past few years I've become rather a computer junky, and I love being creative with my new found technical skills. Hence my choice of "synthesis" (combining a bunch of things - images, sounds, thoughts, etc - to make something new) as the word to build the site around. ("Tangled" just reflects what a mess my mind is <wink> ) Right now that creativity seems to be centering around Buffy so most of the work on this site probably will too. But I reserve the right to tackle anything else that inspires me, which is why I've kept BtVS references out of the title and general site design. This site was started in late Feb/ early March 2002.

Links

For more info about BtVS, and other (smaller) episode collages, please see the Buffy Dialogue Database. I've joined the Yahoo group ImagingBuffy (6/7/2002) which hosts frequent challenges (most of which I intend to post to this site). Join us if you've an interested in creating Buffy-verse art...

Site Design

The designs for this site rotate randomly from page to page. If you want to be sure you've seen them all and/or want to read a few comments about each, please visit the site design gallery.

Technical Collage Stuff

I used Adobe Photoshop 5.0 for all my collages. Some day I hope to upgrade to a newer version, but meanwhile PS5 still has plenty of features I haven't learned to use yet, so I'm not complaining (too much!) I'm mostly self-taught, from tutorials available on the web, and with the help of the wonderful people who've taken the time to answer my "howdidyadothat?" questions. I dabbled for a few years, but didn't really seriously start trying to learn how to do digital art until June 2001. If you compare some of the earlier collages to my newer stuff, I hope you'll notice some improvement (in theory I can't get any worse than where I started, right? hopefully?) The "read notes" links next to each thumbnail will explain any new technique I used, as well as give dates, info about inspirations, links to brushes or other resources I used and sometimes feedback people have sent me. Feel free to ask any PS questions that aren't covered in notes, and/or to join ImagingBuffy for BtVS/AtS fanart help/feedback/challenges/etc. I also have some tutorial info available in the "projects" section.

Technical Site Stuff

This site started out as a "local Cold Fusion/ Access DB -> export to static on server" system, but I've decided to convert it to a real live dynamic site using PHP and mySQL. Because (1) I wanted an excuse to learn PHP and (2) I want to make maintenance as easy as possible so that I can spend more time on the art! I'm not new to making complicated database-driven sites, but I am new to PHP/mySQL and I did port everything over from the old version in great haste, so if you notice any strangeness, please call it to my attention!

Unlike the old version, where code to display each piece of art was added manually to the site, this one has a new and improved database system. Basically I have a table in my database that has a record for each piece of art, with fields to store information about the filename, title, date, width & height, gallery, etc. To add a new piece I just fill in a form, and once I click "submit", the new file is uploaded and the the information added to the database. Once the info's in the db and the image file's on the the server, the gallery page just uses the info to display the image as specified. It's *so* much easier than the old system.

On the downside, this new server seems to hiccup every once in a while. But during the week I've been working here, the down time hasn't been more than a couple of minutes at a time, so if you ever get "server not found" messages and a blank white page, try again in a little bit and it should be fine.

Note also that I have another script that sends the newest piece of art back over to my old tripod account so you can always go see it there. That site will remain up as a back-up - holding old pieces, the newest piece and links to some recent pieces - but otherwise, I don't intend to update it anymore. I'll probably eventually add more sites to this domain, so an occassional visit to the top-level vrya.net will keep you current on that.

Link Banners & Buttons

If you'd like to link to my site, you may use any of these buttons/banners; please repost the image on your server.

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Contact Info

Please send your comments, questions, etc to me by filling out the Contact Form. No return e-mail address is required, but if you're looking for an answer, you're going to have to tell me where to send it! If you'd like to receive e-mailed notification when I add a new piece to the site, join the mailing list (I send really short messages, just a URL and title/subject). If you have a LJ and add me to your friends list, this will accomplish more or less the same thing. Being a member of ImagingBuffy will get you updates when I do a new challenge piece, but I don't post everything I do over there.

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