Using Trellix Web
How to use Trellix Web (the sponsors of this web site) to create a web photo journal.
Page "twtechniques" last modified: 3Dec99
Disclaimer: This section unabashedly promotes the use of Trellix Web, a product of Trellix Corporation. I founded Trellix Corporation and helped design its products. Trellix Web was designed for regular people to create web sites like this one, web photo journals, and even on-screen "documents" in the office. You can learn more about Trellix Web from the Trellix web site, www.trellix.com. If you're happy with the web authoring tool you use, and not interested in using Trellix Web, skip this page.
There are many web authoring tools you can use to create your web photo journals. The one I use is Trellix Web. For regular people, I think Trellix Web can be a real help. This section gives some hints that I've learned about Trellix Web. For more in-depth support on using Trellix Web, go to the Trellix web site (www.trellix.com) and click on Support. The parts of this page are:
Also, see my Web Journal template that makes creating a simple weblog or journal real easy with Trellix Web.
I believe that good communication is one of the main goals of a web photo album or journal. For best communication, the author should use a tool that lets them concentrate on expressing themselves and not get caught up in the techie details of making a web site. Trellix Web lets the author deal with a multi-page web site as easily as they deal with a multi-slide presentation with a presentation program like Microsoft PowerPoint or Lotus Freelance. It has the familiar feel of a word processor for writing. It posts and updates a site as easily as printing to a printer or sending email.
|Why do I recommend Trellix Web?
The ability to create a good web photo journal quickly (for example, in not much more time than it would take to write an email describing an event) is key to the growth of this genre. Trellix Web is up to this task. People are creating multi-page photo journal sites in the evening during their vacations to let relatives follow their trip. While you "could" do this with normal web authoring tools, most people don't. With Trellix Web, those same people do.
The Trellix Web features that help the most with making multi-page web photo journals are the Map and automatic linking.
The Map lets the author see their entire web site at once. Each page is represented by a little white rectangular icon. The map can contain any number of pages, as well as text, shapes and images to serve as "landmarks" for organizing the pages. The page you are currently editing is displayed as a yellow "You Are Here" icon. Pointing to a page icon with your mouse pops up the page's title. Clicking on a page icon switches to editing that page. To link to a page, you just point to it in the map and use the "Link to this page" command. The map is always available when you are editing. You can publish your web photo journal with or without the map. Even on the web, the map retains its "You Are Here" and popup titles through clever use of HTML (no Java or plug-ins).
Here is a picture of the map for one of the sample photo journals, the LCS 35th Anniversary:
||The map gives an overview of the sections of the web photo journal. You can see the use of colored areas and text to organize the pages. The horizontal lines are used to group related pages into sequences. Dragging a page icon while authoring onto a sequence line automatically adds it to the sequence. Trellix Web can automatically create links between pages on a sequence line or create lists of links to all the pages.
Click here to open the LCS 35th in another browser window
If you are not publishing the map, you can keep it very simple. For example, here is Trellix Web editing the "Weekend at the Theater" sample showing the map:
You can see the Trellix Web Map with the home page highlighted. The map here is horizontal, while the one for the LCS 35th was vertical. The words "Home" and "Sections" in the map, the pages and the design came in automatically from the template that defined the start of this web site. All that I did was type text and drop in pictures. The editing environment, as you can see, resembles a normal word processor.
Trellix Web stores all of the pages, images, map, etc., in one file on your PC. When you publish your material to the web it produces the appropriate HTML and puts all the ".htm", ".gif", ".jpg", etc., files on the web server. All you have to manage on your PC is a single file. This is just like a slide show that is stored in one file by programs like PowerPoint and Freelance.
Trellix Web can automate much of the linking in a web site like this. In the sample above, the list of links ("During the day", "Off to the play", and "Sunday") was created automatically by pointing to the sequence line with the three pages on it and issuing the "Create List from this Sequence" command. Rearranging the pages in the map automatically updates the lists of links -- Trellix Web does the housekeeping.
The other features that especially help with photos are the ability to insert pictures, and resize and crop them interactively using the mouse.
Here is how I often go about making a web photo journal. The first few steps have to do with getting the photos. The others have to do with using Trellix Web. (I don't expect everyone to be as much into the picture taking and pre-planning for the photo journal as I am.)
|How do I go about creating my web photo journals?
First I decide that I may want to make a journal of some event. I bring the digital camera with me. I make sure that the memory is all clear, with lots of room for the pictures I'm going to take, and that I have an extra set of batteries. The battery life varies. The digital camera I often use (an Olympus D-400 Zoom owned by Trellix), like many digital cameras, seems to mainly eat batteries when I use the LCD display a lot. In some situations you use the LCD display more, for example: Events where people want to see their pictures or where you use the fact that you can show others the images to "break the ice" so they won't think you're too obnoxious for taking so many pictures; times when you want to check that the pictures came out as you wanted; when you are shooting closeups and you need to use the LCD display for precise framing. I routinely take a few hundred pictures on one set of batteries.
When I first show up at the event I try to take a few pictures that "set the stage". For example, I'll take pictures of the building, the signs pointing to the event, the entrance way, the tables before people start eating, etc.
During the event I take lots of pictures, often up to the entire memory capacity of the camera. I take pictures of people close up (heads and shoulders). I take overviews. I take pictures of things that happen, like cutting the cake, speeches, dancing, etc. All along, I'm thinking a bit about what might make a story, and taking extra shots that might fill in the story. If it is a multi-day event I copy the pictures onto a PC each day, empty the memory on the camera, and take more.
After the event I take more pictures as, thinking about the shots I took, I think of what I missed and I try to find shots to fill in for them.
For all of these shots, I make a determination whether I want to use normal low resolution (640x480 pixels) or high resolution (1280x960 on the camera I've been using). I use high resolution when I think I may want to show great detail, zoom in more than the lens allows, or where I might want to produce a large paper print at some point.
When I'm all done and have some time I start to make the web photo album on a PC. This time is usually later the night of the event, while I'm still interested in it and the details are fresh in my mind, and when others first would want to see it.
I transfer the pictures from the digital camera to the PC where I'll do the editing. Lately I've been using a laptop, so I just take the memory card out of the camera, put it in an adapter, and place it in the PCMCIA slot of the laptop. The memory card shows up in the Windows Explorer listing as another hard disk drive. I copy the pictures into a new directory by dragging them from one folder to another, and name the new directory something with the date and topic (like "3-22-99 Company party").
Now, the Trellix Web part:
I start a new photo journal using a template that has a few pages on it that comes with Trellix Web -- a home page and a sequence like you see in the "Weekend" sample. For some journals, one page is enough, so I use a simpler template or delete blank pages I don't want with the click of a mouse. If I want to change the "look" of the web site, I apply a new design.
I look over all the pictures I've taken, either using a "photo gallery" viewer that came with the camera, or by previewing them in the Trellix Web "Insert Image" dialog. From that I get some idea of the logical groupings.
I then start typing some text and inserting pictures. As I insert each picture, I have Trellix Web pre-size them to no more than about 300 pixels wide. Right after I insert a picture, I crop and size it following ideas I tried to list here in the Ideas and techniques section.
At this point, I am putting together a series of narratives. I'm just typing and dropping in images. Typing and dropping in more images. Resizing and cropping.
I use cut and paste, drag and drop, etc., to rearrange the text. Some pictures I use more than once, often on the Home Page as a "masthead" image.
Each narrative, but rarely each photo, goes on its own page, e.g., "before the party", "the fun", "dancing", "cleaning up". I change the title of the page by typing in the title field (which changes it on all links that refer to the page) to best reflect the content.
If a page gets too long, I break it into two or more pages using the "Edit / Break Page" command. Trellix Web takes care of all the normal linking.
If in the text I want to refer to another page, I just click on the Link Icon and point to the page in the map. Trellix Web fills in the link text with the page's title, if I want.
If I want to link to a page on another web site, I use the "Link / Create Link to URL" command. If I want to include a page on another web site in my web site framed with my comments, I just drag the page from a browser into the Trellix Web map and a "container" page is automatically created.
When I'm happy with the site, I publish it to a subdirectory on one of my web sites. Trellix Web makes that pretty easy to set up.
Once I have it up on the web, I look it over. Invariably, I find something I want to change. Changing it is easy. I open the single Trellix Web file that contains the entire web photo journal, click on the page I want to change, make edits like in a word processor, and then use the "File / Publish Web Site" command. Trellix Web updates just the parts of the web site that have changed. I've been doing most of my personal photo journal publishing using a dial-up 28.8 modem line, so I appreciate how it minimizes uploading and saves it all for one shot so it doesn't break my train of thought while editing.
Finally, I email the friends and relatives I want to tell about the new material. Usually, I get an email back quite quickly from one who happened to just pick up their mail with comments and complements.
This whole process is pretty straightforward. To do it, I don't need to know anything about HTML or how to make web pages. In fact, knowing HTML rarely helps you with Trellix Web, just as knowing the Postscript or Hewlett-Packard PCL printer languages rarely help you when using a word processor.
For more information about Trellix, see the Trellix Web site. For more information about making web photo journals, look at the rest of this web site.