HUGO HIDALGO, A GIFTED ARTIST and innovative Web designer working with Boxtop Interactive, built the graphics for the Lenny Kravitz Web site for client Virgin Records. The site features many exciting screens that work together in a unified design. Hidalgo used tiled patterns built from images he had captured from video. He opened each video clip in Painter as a frame stack, and saved single frames by choosing File, Save As, Save Current Frame As Image. He also used the video grabs and photos supplied by the client to build button graphics in Painter.
To make it more inviting to enter the site, Hidalgo created an animated color button for the Main Hub (top). He put together a simple low-memory color animation for the button by making different color versions, saving the series as numbered files, and animating them in GIF Builder, a nifty freeware program that animates GIF 89a files, written by Yves Piquet (firstname.lastname@example.org). First, Hidalgo applied a red color to the button with Effects, Color Overlay, using Image Luminance and Dye Concentration and saved the le as "01." He cloned the file and used Effects, Tonal Control, Adjust Color to change the Hue from red to purple. He saved the second file as a numbered file ("02"), and repeated the process to save the other files, moving around the color wheel.
For the Videos screen (right), Hidalgo drew a vertical, irregular shape with the Pen tool in a separate source file that included a pattern made from a montage he had built from video grabs. He converted the shape path to a selection and used the selection to capture a section of the montage that he could paste into the final Videos screen image. The vertical pattern also appears on several other screens within the site.
He designed the Videos screen to take advantage of Netscape 2.0's ability to play movies with sound in response to clicking a button on a Web page. Hidalgo programmed the buttons to link to small video clips stored in a folder. He used Adobe Premiere to compress the clips using Cinepak compression to about 1MB in size. When the user clicks on a button linked to a video clip, Netscape boots Simple Player and saves a movie to the user's hard disk. To play the movie, the user clicks the Simple Player forward arrow button. You can visit the Kravitz site at www.underground.net.