CoolNotions.com - F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

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FAQ Index

  1. When did Coolnotions.com get started?
  2. Why are there three sizes of background tiles on Coolnotions.com?
  3. Many of the early background tiles are in jpeg format. The more recent ones seem to all be in gif format - Why?
  4. What are these "zip" files and what does one do with them?
  5. Why are some of the public domain images in the clipart section instead of the public domain section?
  6. What tools do you use to make animated gifs?

When Did Coolnotions.com get started?

Coolnotions.com began in 1997. [return to top]

Why are there three sizes of background tiles on Coolnotions.com?

Initially, I went with one size, the regular 150x150 tiles in the "free webpage backgrounds" section. 150x150 was a somewhat arbitrary choice on my part. It seemed about right in terms of striking a balance between being able to make something that looked decent and keeping the file size within reasonable limits. Later, in order to allow for larger and/or fancier tiles, I added the 256x256 "deluxe" size. Most recently, I added the smaller 64x64 tiles to allow for more compact files in cases where the larger sizes really were not necessary. There is actually a fourth size in that some of the early files in the 150x150 section are actually 128x128. This was accidental. I don't intend to create any more in that size, but I don't see any great reason to go back and change the ones that are there. [return to top]

Some background tiles are in jpeg format. Others are in gif format - Why?

Initially it seemed to me that the jpeg format offered the best tradeoff in terms of compression vs visual quality. Later, however, I revised my opinion. While the jpeg format still seems to have the advantage in being able to produce the smallest possible file size, it now seems to me that the tiles in the gif format tend to be cleaner and crisper, while still having an acceptable file size. It is my intension to go with the gif format for all future background tiles. [return to top]

What are these "zip" files and what does one do with them?

The "zip" format is a compressed file format. The gif and jpeg files of my background collections are stored in zip format to save space. To extract the contents of a zip file in Windows XP, locate the file using the "My Computer" icon, right click on the file and select "Extract All" or "Extract Files" (which will bring up dialogue boxes to guide you through the extraction process and allow you to change the target folder if you wish) or "Extract Here" (which will immediately extract the contents of the zip file into the same folder in which the zip file is located). Operating systems other than Windows XP may have a different process or in some cases you may need to obtain additional software to extract the contents of a zip file. You may want to search on Google (or whatever happens to be your favorite search engine) if you need more information on extraction from a zip file. [return to top]

Why are some of the public domain images in the clipart section instead of the public domain section?

In general, I have placed public domain images in the public domain section. In cases where the pictures are relatively small and appropriate to a "clipart topic", however, I have sometimes placed them in the clipart section as, for example, in this page of public domain fish clipart. One could, of course, use images from the public domain images section of coolnotions as clipart even if they are not in the clipart section. Placing images in the clipart section is just something I do when I think the images will be particularly useful to people looking for clip art. [return to top]

What tools do you use to make animated gifs?

Most often, I create animations in Corel Photopaint (part of Corel Draw) which I save as AVI files and then import into Paint Shop Pro's "Animation Shop" which I use to export the animated gif. Typically I will experiment with a variety of settings in Animation Shop to try to come up with a finished gif that is an acceptable tradeoff in terms of appearance and file size. Both Corel Photopaint and Paint Shop Pro are currently products of Corel Corporation. (Paint Shop Pro used to be owned by Jasc Software, but Corel Corporation bought Jasc Software). I've also recently begun using the Persistance of Vision Raytracer (or POV-Ray as it is commonly known) to create still images which I then import into Animation Shop (sometimes exporting to AVI format for editing in Corel Photopaint when I want to use some of the tools there). [return to top]

 

F.A.Q. Index maintained by Ted Kuik, webmaster of Coolnotions.com

Last updated 08/25/2006