Shlomi Fish’s Art - HHFG Background

Written at: 02-Jun-2005

Corner of the HHFG Background Image

After I finished writing my story, The Human Hacking Field Guide, I was looking for a page layout to make it more interesting. Browsing Open Source Web Design yielded the Twin Triangles theme which I liked. However, it included other elements to the page that I did not need, and I wanted to have a simple rounded rectangular frame, without all the other decorations above and below.

After trying to create the missing elements on my own using The GIMP, I decided to create my own equivalent from scratch.

What I did was the following:

  1. Create a 800*600 image in the GIMP.
  2. Create a suitable gradient using the GIMP’s gradient editor

    The Gradient as edited by the GIMP Gradient Editor

    The gradient was created based on colours picked from the original image using the GIMP colour picker. Here is the final gradient file for download.

  3. Select a large rectangular frame in the middle.
  4. Invoke the GIMP round corners script. (“<Image> → Select → Round”)
  5. Fill the rounded frame with the colour black.
  6. Apply the “Gaussian Blur” effect with a large radius (identical in X and in Y) to the Image. This gives a nice rounded-rectangle black-to-white gradient.
  7. Invoke the GIMP Gradient Map (“<Image> → Filters → Colors → Map → Gradient Map”). This gives the final image.
  8. Afterwards, all that is left to do is to slice and dice the image appropriately. A horizontal strip from the middle which was a few pixels high was ideal as a background for most of the page. Then, I took the upper and lower parts (until the width of the inner frame stabilizes), and created separate images out of them.

The final result is not identical to the original, but it looks very crisp and I’m quite happy with it. I thought that a blur may make it better, but it only seemed to have made it worse, so I abandoned the idea.