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I must be crazy.  On something resembling an impulse, I've launched a webcomic adaptation of the “Cool Story, Bro!” concept from my website.  If mediocrity is your scene, check it out.

Cool Story, Bro! on Comic Fury
New computer has been acquired and installed in the bedroom.  I shall call it Tedd, and it looks really pretty with purple Aero windows, the Bubbles screen saver, and this artwork by Dan Shive as the wallpaper.

Tedd has a hyperthreaded quad-core i7 CPU at 3.4GHz, and 32GB of RAM, running Windows 7.  I look forward to exercising all this processing capability for art and entertainment.
  • Watching: Star Trek: TNG
I may begin using my 3.3 MPix* camera with renewed frequency.  Apparently, its battery contacts need periodic cleaning.  But I also acquired a 4×D-cell external battery pack for it, for long-lasting power.  Now that I don't think I'll be replacing this thing anytime soon, maybe I'll try to develop an ICC profile to take care of the corrections I always seem to be applying.  

* I don't know where they get that 3.3 megapixel figure.  The largest pictures it takes are 2048x1536.  That's 3,145,728 pixels.  Or, exactly three binary-million pixels.
  • Listening to: Magic Power, by Triumph
So deviantART rolled out this whole Llama Badge thing a couple of weeks ago.  I've now received several, mostly from people I've never heard of, who never commented or +fav'd my work.  Apparently, each deviant can give a Llama Badge to each other deviant, at most once.  Furthermore, this requires confirming one's site password.  That's a lot of pressure to think twice before awarding a Llama Badge.

And I don't even know what they're supposed to mean.

Okay, I guess it's a good thing.  But how good is it?  If they cost nothing to give, are they worth anything?  By what criteria should I decide whether to give a Llama Badge?

And then people started trading Llama Badges for other dA commodities, notably Points.  And then dA came out with this Points-for-Llamas market thingy, further complicating the matter.  I don't know if that makes Llamas more valuable or just cheapens them by taking artistic merit out of the equation.  But then, I wasn't sure if artistic merit was even part of it to begin with.

Of course, the deviantART Help & Support area has no FAQ entries regarding Llama Badges.

The whole point of this journal is to answer anyone who might be wondering to themselves, "why hasn't ~vidthekid given me a llama?"  (Yes, I'm narcissistic like that.)  Well I'm sure many of my watchers and watchees are deserving.  But until I get, in my mind, a very clear idea of what it really means to give a Llama Badge, I won't be giving any.  Because without that clear idea, I really can't decide whom to give a Llama Badge, and perhaps more crucially, whom not to give one.  I feel guilty leaving people out without a good reason, and if I just give Llama badges to everyone, then clearly they have no meaning after all.  And then, what's the point?
So, I went and filled out the form to create a Group called #roadgeeks.  My first choice would have been #roadgeek but apparently there's been a ~roadgeek for about a month now who hasn't done a single thing since creating the account.  Annoying, isn't it?  Anyway, I know there are a few highway enthusiasts out there on deviantART so there should be a group for that.  For that matter, there seems to be a fair amount of incidental roadgeek material from non-roadgeeks which will make for a well-populated Group Favorites section.  So, I await the group's birth, and I have a couple of people in mind who will receive invitations to join at that time.

Update: :iconroadgeeks: is online and accepting membership requests!
  • Watching: WCMH morning news / KOTH
I just noticed, every single item I listed for "Tools of the Trade" on my front page could be considered "obsolete" in some way.  But it's all still useful, at least enough for my purposes.

That said, I want a new camera for my birthday.

P.S. Why do all the "journal skins" options appear to be available now?  I don't have time to see if they actually work, but it's odd to see the options...
  • Watching: WCMH morning news
Does this look even?  It's not supposed to...
I just went through clearing out all the deviations, journals, notices, etc. in my Message Center.  (There were nearly 400 deviations in there...)  Some of the items I just went though were months old.  I still have to get to the Feedback section, so to all those folks who commented and +fav'd me, you'll get responses soon.

My watchlist is pretty big, but I don't think I'll be dropping anyone.  I'll just have to check dA more often.
  • Listening to: news & local ads on WCMH-DT 4.1
You know, I'm just really bad at guessing what people's genders are on deviantART.  There have been multiple times when I've assumed someone on my watchlist was a girl, and then I see something that indicates otherwise; and vice versa.  To complicate matters, there are at least a couple deviants I watch whom I believe to be transgendered.  

Does it matter?  Absolutely not.  I don't mind the occasional amusing surprise.  

Oh yes, and in case it's not already blindingly obvious, I'm a guy inside and out.
  • Listening to: "Hey 19" Steely Dan
As a birthday present, and compensation for being his wedding photographer, my dad got me a new Dell PC.  It has dual 2.4GHz processors, 3GB of RAM, and a cool Realtek sound card.  I'll probably have to get a nice GeForce graphics card later -- I want to be able to play Flight Simulator X -- though it will be interesting to see how well FS 2004 works with the built-in Intel graphics card.  Anyway, the new computer runs Windows XP Pro, and I've named it Dexter.  I'm still in the process of installing software and customizing the settings, and when I finish expanding the home network, I can copy my old documents over from Niklas, my 2002-built 721Mhz P3 running Windows 98SE.
  • Listening to: MST3K my boyfriend is watching
It's been done before.  A million times.  Mostly by people who show up in various Popular categories, and those who wish they did.

I've more or less given up on showing up on the front page or the today screen, but my curiosity gives me reason enough to do this.  And if it somehow improves my visibility, what's the downside?  

The questionnaire with my answers in italics

1. How did you find my dA gallery?
I created it, duh!

2. Why am I on your watchlist?  What kind of art do you most want to see from me?
...

3. What's your main reason for having a dA account?  What's your art specialty?
Digital Art of various forms

4. Do you own a High-Definition TV, or at least one of those DTV converter boxes?
One of each, plus I'm waiting for two government coupons for more converters.

5. Do you consider cheese one of your favorite foods?
YES!

6. Where do you live?  (Be as vague or specific as you want.)
Columbus area.  If you have to ask which one, it's the biggest one (by a fairly wide margin).

7. Are you more attracted to males or females?  (Or is it about the same for both?)
A larger number of guys are attractive to me than girls.  And for some reason it's a lot easier to find guys who are interested in me, rather than girls who like me.

8. Do you spend any time on the dAmn chat?  Do you chat on IRC?
dAmn, sometimes; IRC, sometimes.  Look for me in #digitalmedia or on the Nightstar IRC network.

9. Do you usually wear clothes, even when you don't have to?
Sometimes.  I often go half-dressed in my spare time.

10. Are you a fan of Naruto?  What's your favorite anime?  (If you dislike anime in general, just say so.)
Somewhat.  I'm more of a Death Note fan at the moment, more than anything else.

11. What's your computer skill level?
I have intermediate skills in a variety of computer programming languages, though I'm out of practice with many of them.  I'm an experienced Windows user, and of the applications I use, I tend to deeply explore their capabilities.

12. Do you have any specific art requests for me?  (Make a request and I'll see what I can do...)
See the To-Do List.

13. What's your lucky number(s)?
Powers of 2.
  • Listening to: Naruto DVDs my boyfriend is watching
  • Drinking: I had some chocolate milk a few minutes ago..
OK, so back in December, we got our first HDTV in the house.  Mom paid for most of it, though Ed and I chipped in one third of the cost, as incentive to go digital.  (The old TV in the living room had pretty much died.)  We got a pretty good deal on it -- a 26-inch for like $350.  Anyway, I've come to enjoy the high-definition programming that we get for free.  Not to mention, two channels we simply couldn't get before, even over satellite: NBC Weather Plus on 4-2, and MyTV on 6-2.  WOSU (Columbus' PBS station) has a couple of sub-channels too, The Ohio Channel on 34-2, and WOSU Plus on 34-3, but the main TV antenna in the attic doesn't pick up the 34-x channel too well, or The CW on 53-1, for that matter; but we get 34(-1) and 53 on the satellite in standard-def.  

So anyway, lately I've been considering getting one of those DTV converters for analog TVs.  See, in my bedroom, we have a nice enough SD TV, but it's not connected to the satellite or the attic antenna.  I'd rigged up a mangled coat hanger and a paper clip to pick up the terrestrial signals from Columbus.  Not the best picture, especially on VHF.  (UHF does as well or better than the attic antenna, though...)  So last night I headed to HH Gregg, and picked up a Zenith converter box for like $50, and a nice antenna for like $15.  

Granted, we're still only seeing standard-def picture in our bedroom, but it's now absolutely static-free!  Plus, we now get more channels: 4-2 and 6-2 like downstairs, plus 53-1 and all three WOSU subchannels!  And there's even a program guide feature to tell us what's on, and what's next!  This is a lot of exclamation points!  

OK, so some people (cable and satellite customers) won't need converters.  And for those people who do watch over-the-air local TV, they still have almost a year before they need converters.  But the benefits of DTV (clear picture and sound, more free channels, parental controls) are affordable and available now.  Does $50 sound like a bit much?  It shouldn't, if you realize that it's a one-time cost for equipment (the signal is free) that will be useful until your analog TV or VCR dies.  Plus, the US Government is handing out $40-off coupons -- so it could cost as little as $10, or about a quarter tank of gas.  

I know this sounds a lot like a commercial, but I'm really excited about this.  I've heard some people gripe about how the government is forcing this on us.  But here's how I see it: if you transition now because you want to, rather than later because you have to, you'll be much happier!
  • Listening to: the muzak on NBC Weather Plus (Ch. 4-2)
  • Watching: NBC Weather Plus (Ch. 4-2)
I've recently conducted some experiments to examine how my camera translates actual brightness values into the RGB numbers for digital representation.  It's not linear.  It's not what the sRGB standard defines.  It's an odd curve that tends to expand the midtones.  I don't know if Olympus did this on purpose, but of course I want to have my images in a color space with a known function relating numerical representation to actual intensity.  So I've developed a curve-adjust preset in Paint Shop Pro which transforms my camera images into standard RGB.  I may go back and re-process some of my old photos using this new curve.  

Still unknown is whether my camera's RGB output relates to the correct sRGB primaries or not.  I find that I often feel the need to apply a minor color boost to my photos, so I would guess not.  In the interest of thoroughness, I suppose I should devise and carry out some experiments in order to develop a proper color transformation.  
I'd like to design a new intersection or interchange to submit to my gallery.  The problem is, I can't come up with a context.  That is, I need a place or situation in which to design something.  And I really want something I haven't really looked at before.  So I'm asking the community what they want to see.

Is there an area you know of that you'd like to see improved road-wise?  Show me on Google Maps or something and I'll come up with a new interchange or intersection configuration to better serve the traffic (or your request, if you have something specific in mind).  I can also do fictional locations, but I'd like some description of the surrounding area and its existing roads.  

Even a half-formed idea could be a starting point for me.  

Thanks.
  • Watching: Late Night with Conan O'Brian
Yes, I'm getting near the "magic" 1000 pageview milestone.  But I reject the concept that there's anything special about base 10, so therefore the number 1000 isn't particularly special.  

On the other hand, if anyone manages to catch me at N pageviews, where N=ab, a is prime, and b is any integer greater than 1, then I'll feature some deviation of my choosing belonging to that person in my journal.  Take a screenshot of the PVcount on my userpage, and then note me or comment here with a link to that screenshot.  I've recently passed 961=312 so the next few numbers that match my pattern are 1024=210, 1331=113 and 1369=372.  
  • Listening to: "Lover Come Back To Me" by Dead Or Alive
...well, it does when you've been on 28k dialup for the last three years.  Anyway, this will make using dA so much more satisfying!
  • Drinking: Chocolate Milk
The following was posted to the Help Desk under the category "General Help".  I re-post it here for public archive purposes.  A specific question has been asked of the administrators.  In the event that question is not answered, I'll have a public record of such.  

The text of my Help Desk ticket follows below:

This is in response to one of my deviations being moved:
> From: ^devart
Date: Aug 2, 2007, 3:03:33 AM

An administrator has relocated one of your deviations from digitalart > vector > abstract to scraps.

The adminstrator also said the following:
This deviation was moved because it does not appear to be a vector, please read: [link] for more information.

---

The deviation in question is this: www.deviantart.com/deviation/6…
The description of the deviation contains: "Basically what you're seeing is several different gradients on numerous layers, structured and blended in such a way to give the result I want."  Perhaps I neglected to specify that those gradients are applied to large vector objects.  Granted, you can't see the edges of these objects, and their shapes don't define the final appearance, but their placement does.  

The vector objects are scalable.  The gradients applied to them are scalable.  The blend modes and adjustment layers don't have any scale to begin with.  The entire image can be reproduced at any size without pixellation or blurriness.  Does this not define vector artwork?

Finally, why on Earth did you move it to SCRAPS???   Nobody will see it there, and nobody can buy prints of it there.  And it's definitely NOT an unfinished work or of low quality.  I'm on 28k dialup which resets and times out often.  I don't upload 1.4 megabytes lightly.  This is supposed to be available for PRINT.  

Please read my description of how the artwork was composed, and re-evaluate whether or not it belongs in the Vector gallery.  If not, does it belong in Vexel or somewhere else?  The FAQ articles do not address the usage of blend modes and adjustment layers.  If I receive a stock response telling me to read some FAQ article that does not answer the above question, I'll simply move the deviation back to the Vector gallery and everyone's time will have been wasted.  Also, if you're really paying attention to this, I would appreciate it if your FAQ articles which define vector artwork could be elaborated to address inclusion or exclusion of these advanced layering techniques.  

---
The following came in response a few days later from &y2jenn:

Thank you for your inquiry. I have sent your case up to the appropriate parties for review, you should be hearing from them as soon as possible.

---
That was followed the next day with this from ^Einion:

Hi, thanks for your enquiry.

"Perhaps I neglected to specify that those gradients are applied to large vector objects."
This piece was moved because looked like it was done in Photoshop, simple as that; it's the foreground objects and how they're treated that most strongly give this impression. Without detailed information on what software was used (in your entire note here you've neglected to mention what program you used, as was the case in the Artist's Comments that accompany the image) as well as what methods were employed.

For work of an atypical appearance both of these are vital since we can only go on how finished work appears to us in a fairly small on-screen image, judging it in the context of what vector software like Illustrator, FreeHand and CorelDRAW are capable of doing with the vector tools at their disposal.

"Finally, why on Earth did you move it to SCRAPS??? Nobody will see it there, and nobody can buy prints of it there."
As I believe is mentioned in a link within the move notice this is standard practice since the Scraps are a hold-all location without any specifics as to medium or style. It is just a temporary measure until a new location is selected by the submitter.

Most GDs use Scraps for relocations instead of moving something to another gallery as 1, that other gallery may not suit the deviant and 2, sometimes we don't know what other gallery would be suitable, not knowing exactly how the piece was done.

Einion

---
To that I replied:

The software I use is Paint Shop Pro (version 8 to be precise). I suggest you familiarize yourself with it, considering it provides quite a bit of vector-object-based functionality as well as raster operations, and its low price makes it relatively common. Your FAQs regarding vector art seem to be written from a viewpoint that there is no overlap between vector graphics and raster imaging software. Paint Shop Pro allows one to create vector layers, which contain vector objects. Granted, when you zoom in on such an image in PSP, it appears pixellated, because the program rasterizes everything for viewing at the image's nominal pixel size; however, one can easily resize the image to a greater nominal pixel size, and the vector objects are enlarged and re-rasterized at that new size. The pixels are merely cosmetic. Furthermore, Paint Shop Pro allows the use of many layers and even nestable layer groups, allowing a complex hierarchial composition using different blend modes. Add to that good-old raster layers, adjustment layers, and mask layers (which unfortunately cannot be vector-based) and you can see that Paint Shop Pro offers some complex possibilities.

Personally, I would consider an image composed entirely of vector layers and adjustment layers to be a vector artwork. Your FAQs don't address the use of adjustment layers. Some clarification on that point would be helpful.

If you would like, for educational purposes, I can post a detailed description of the structure and composition of "Bright and Shiny Something".

P.S. I'm not entirely sure this will be read by anybody, as the last time I replied to a help desk response, no further messages came back to me. Also, I would like to point out that you said "For work of an atypical appearance both of these are vital since we can only go on how finished work appears to us in a fairly small on-screen image..." while the deviation in this case is 2400 by 2400 pixels; I would certainly not call that "small". But I got the general point.

--

A couple days later, from Einion:

Hello again,

"The software I use is Paint Shop Pro (version 8 to be precise). I suggest you familiarize yourself with it, considering it provides quite a bit of vector-object-based functionality as well as raster operations..."
As I said, it looked like it was done in Photoshop; the same basic principles apply to all software whose core is raster-based work with added vector functionality.

"Your FAQs regarding vector art seem to be written from a viewpoint that there is no overlap between vector graphics and raster imaging software..."
The issue is that, as far as the Vector gallery here on dA is concerned, there's no overlap in terms of the artwork itself, rather than the software used to create it. As a basic rule, NO raster elements are allowed in work posted to the Vector gallery here.

My recent Journal entry here covers most of the specifics, if you need me to clarify the dividing line please feel free to ask.

"Personally, I would consider an image composed entirely of vector layers and adjustment layers to be a vector artwork."
As I alluded to the vector makeup (or not) of the 'specular rays' of your piece is the element that most concerned me. But now that the software is known the remainder of the image is also important - the gradients, were they done in Illustrator, would present no problem but gradients in raster-based software are raster elements, as you know. The principle is about how the artwork is created, irrespective of how close the finished appearance might be for certain pieces.

"Your FAQs don't address the use of adjustment layers. Some clarification on that point would be helpful."
I agree in principle but unfortunately there are so many possible variations/permutations that it's hard to address everything in advance. Instead the basic policy of no raster elements covers the issue of the makeup of the finished artwork itself, rather than trying to cover the possible means to create the artwork in exhaustive detail.

"Also, I would like to point out that you said "For work of an atypical appearance both of these are vital since we can only go on how finished work appears to us in a fairly small on-screen image..." while the deviation in this case is 2400 by 2400 pixels; I would certainly not call that "small". But I got the general point."
The image you see on dA when you full-view the artwork is what I'm viewing (800x800); I can't, and won't, download images to see them at the maximum size if that's greater than the on-screen view as it's just not feasible in terms of the time available to do policing of our galleries.

"I'm not entirely sure this will be read by anybody, as the last time I replied to a help desk response, no further messages came back to me."
To let you know, it's policy that once the issue is considered closed by the staff member or volunteer handling the case they won't reply further. This is to help prevent drawn-out discussions/debates and allow them to deal with the maximum number of cases in the available time.

Einion

--

My reply:

>"Personally, I would consider an image composed entirely of vector layers and adjustment layers to be a vector artwork."
>As I alluded to the vector makeup (or not) of the 'specular rays' of your piece is the element that most concerned me. But now that the software is known the remainder of the image is also important - the gradients, were they done in Illustrator, would present no problem but gradients in raster-based software are raster elements, as you know.

If PSP counts as a "raster-based software" for the purposes of that last sentence, I would dispute that. I said that there are only vector (and adjustment) layers; that means there are no raster layers and therefore no raster elements. In order to use a gradient in a vector layer, that gradient must be used as a fill (or stroke) style on a vector object. The only think raster about it is the way it's displayed, but that's generally true of *ALL* vector artwork, unless it's traced directly by a plotter on paper or by an oscilloscope-type CRT device.

I think we agree in principal on these details, but I just can't overlook categorical assertions, even if they were made unintentionally. I tend to take things literally, and I don't think it would hurt people to word things more precisely.

>"I'm not entirely sure this will be read by anybody, as the last time I replied to a help desk response, no further messages came back to me."
>To let you know, it's policy that once the issue is considered closed by the staff member or volunteer handling the case they won't reply further. This is to help prevent drawn-out discussions/debates and allow them to deal with the maximum number of cases in the available time.

That doesn't seem particularly helpful when the person asking for help does not believe the issue is closed and/or requires further clarification. You didn't say one way or the other, but I would hope that even when you consider an issue "closed" you at least read replies and are willing to "re-open" the case if the person needs more information. (Considering how your FAQs don't generally cover every imaginable detail, I really don't think a help-desk response saying "go read such-and-such FAQ article" should constitute closure; yes, I've gotten one of those and it didn't answer my question...) However, aside from that suggestion (which you may or may not already be doing) I can't really think of a way to improve the situation. On the other hand, if this case has been considered "closed" (it doesn't appear to be your policy to say so) and if replies in such cases are not read at all (you said the staff doesn't continue to reply, but you didn't say if they read responses) then this whole thing is pointless anyway. I don't have enough information to assume either way. If you are in fact still reading my end of the conversation, I now personally consider the vector/raster issue essentially closed, and this tangent about help desk policies has little relevance to that original issue. So I won't particularly mind if no reply comes back to me.

--

Einion promptly replied to assert a rather surprising (and false) assumption:

"In order to use a gradient in a vector layer, that gradient must be used as a fill (or stroke) style on a vector object. The only think raster about it is the way it's displayed..."
Let me clarify something for you: gradient fills in raster-based software - the GIMP, PSP, Photoshop - are raster elements. They are not the same as gradient fills in dedicated vector software like Illy, FreeHand and Flash which are regenerated (flawlessly) when being resized, rather than pixels being re-rendered which is what happens in PS, PSP etc.

Einion

--

I'll admit the challenge to what I know about PSP made me a bit angry, but that's what's great about debating in this way: I can thoughtfully compose a response.  And here it is:

You are clearly not familiar with Paint Shop Pro.

Let's say you draw a circle on a vector layer in an image that's 100x100 pixels. Give that circle a simple solid black stroke, and some kind of gradient fill (by setting the circle's properties, not by using the "paint bucket"). Make it some crazy radial gradient if you want; it'll help illustrate my point.

Then go to Image / Resize and set the new dimensions at 5000 by 5000 pixels. Take a look at the circle. Does the edge have blockiness due to the 50x enlargement? No. Does the gradient filling the circle have blockiness? NO!

Vector objects in Paint Shop Pro are truly vector objects. Granted, they look pixellated at *zoom* levels greater than 100%, but that's purely cosmetic; PSP uses (for display) a merged, rasterized representation of your image at the nominal pixel size, rather than re-drawing it every time you zoom in or out. I'm sure that's a performance-based decision, partly due to the possibility of including true raster elements. If you want finer detail, you only need to increase the image's pixel size, and behold, the vector objects are in fact re-drawn at the new size, crisp and clean.

Do I wish I could simply zoom in on my vector artwork and see finer detail without using the "resize" feature? Definitely. Is it still vector artwork? In my opinion, yes. And I don't see why gradient fills are any different from solid fills or strokes or any other kind of vector object.

I don't know a whole lot about PhotoShop, but from what I've seen, it doesn't provide real vector tools. Paint Shop Pro, however, does -- in addition to layer options that are quite comparable to those in PhotoShop. As far as I can tell, that's a combination that isn't quite available with any other software product. (Most PSP users, by the way, are woefully unaware of the possibilities of such a combination, or even of the vector tools altogether.)

If you discredit gradients (as fills of vector objects) in PSP as "true" vector art, then you would have to discredit PSP-generated vector objects altogether, because the gradients that fill the objects are just as scalable (and re-scalable) as the bezier curves that define the objects' edges.

I know I'm not in any position to dictate policy or tell you what to do, but I think it's a big mistake to say that something is or is not vector artwork based on assumptions regarding the capabilities of a product you are not familiar with.

--
Nearly two weeks later, Einion replied:

"Vector objects in Paint Shop Pro are truly vector objects."
I never made any mention that they were not. For exactly the same reason that Photoshop-drawn work is permitted in the Vector gallery the same kind of work done in PSP is; but both have the same restrictions - no raster elements of any kind, which includes filtering, brushwork and gradient fills.

"...but I think it's a big mistake to say that something is or is not vector artwork based on assumptions regarding the capabilities of a product you are not familiar with."
What I've said is based on nearly the maximum possible experience using digital software - 25 years' - from before raster programs had any vector tools continuously through the transitional period and up to today.

Just to let you know I corrected the NAPP online Photoshop quiz, which had a number of errors in it that those who set it hadn't spotted, a number of whom are certified Adobe Experts. One of the answers is still wrong but we've agreed to disagree on that point ;)

Einion

--
I took a few hours to prepare that anatomy of "Bright and Colorful Something", and then another hour or so composing this response:

> "Vector objects in Paint Shop Pro are truly vector objects."
> I never made any mention that they were not. For exactly the same reason that Photoshop-drawn work is permitted in the Vector gallery the same kind of work done in PSP is; but both have the same restrictions - no raster elements of any kind, which includes filtering, brushwork and gradient fills.

You have asserted that "gradient fills" are "raster elements".  From previous correspondence, your reasoning behind that is as follows:  When the user makes a gradient fill, some amount of pixel data is created to represent that gradient.  If the image is later resized, that pixel data is re-sampled to fit the new size.  This is not in agreement with the concepts of vector design.  (If you have some other reason for saying that gradient fills are not vector objects, please tell me...)

But that's not always the case.  Sure, that's what happens when you use the "paint bucket" tool, which has been around probably since before even you have been using computer graphics software.  But I don't use the paint bucket.  I create vector objects, and assign fills to them which may be solid, or they may be gradients.  Just like you would do in Illustrator.  Whenever the object is resized or modified in any way, that gradient is re-calculated -- from scratch, from the gradient's original definition, *not* from re-sampling the pixels that are already there.  I have demonstrated this here.  If you care to spend the extra time to examine it, I've also completed a description of the structure of "Bright and Colorful Something" here.  

I don't doubt you have a lot of experience with Illustrator and Photoshop.  I have no reason not to.  But does your experience include, specifically, working with the vector tools in Paint Shop Pro from JASC (now from Corel) since version 6 came out?  Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop aren't the same thing.  Anyway, I imagine if you have regular access to Illustrator and Photoshop, then there's not much reason to use PSP.  I'm not that lucky.  I have, however, had the opportunity to work with a variety of raster imaging products since the early 90s, and Micrografx Draw 3.0 since the mid-90s.  I know the difference between raster and vector.  For the purposes of vector versus raster, there's no difference between a solid-color fill and a gradient fill in Illustrator, right?  There isn't in Micrografx Draw.  And I know for a fact that there's no difference in Paint Shop Pro; if you use the paint bucket, it's raster, but if it's the fill style of a vector object, then it's vector.  (Unless you also apply a "texture", but I never use that feature.)  

In Paint Shop Pro, you can create a vector object on a vector layer, make it look just how you want including stroke and fill, go do something else, then come back and completely change the vector object's shape and/or properties if you want.  Can you do that in Photoshop?  A quick internet search tells me yes, but almost nobody knows how to do it right.  Everybody seems to know how to make a selection with a lasso, then fill and stroke that selection.  Most people seem to know how to make an editable path, then fill and stroke it, again yielding a raster object.  I found one article that suggests there are things called "shapes", which live on "shape layers", and appear to be as capable as vector objects on vector layers in Paint Shop Pro, or (to give a true vector example) objects in Micrografx Draw.  

I'm getting slightly off-track here.  You said in earlier correspondence that "...gradient fills in raster-based software - the GIMP, PSP, Photoshop - are raster elements. They are not the same as gradient fills in dedicated vector software like Illy, FreeHand and Flash which are regenerated (flawlessly) when being resized..."  But I know for a fact, and can demonstrate, that gradient fills of vector objects in Paint Shop Pro *are* regenerated flawlessly when being resized.  If you accept this new information which I know to be true, then you must accept gradient fills (of vector objects, on vector layers, in Paint Shop Pro 6 or newer) as legitimate vector elements.  It's as simple as that.

--
A month later and no reply from Einion.  But I did find this interesting demonstration of PhotoShop's vector capabilities.  That video implies that PhotoShop cannot, in fact, apply gradient fills to vector objects.  Now I see where Einion's assumptions probably come from.  
  • Watching: Reel Talk
  • Drinking: Mt Dew Code Red
That whole help desk thing is taking up way too much space on my userpage, so I'm going to re-iterate that I don't have any firm plans to complete anything anytime soon, but random spontaneous bursts of artistic activity are possible.  Also, here's a list of things I have at one time told myself I want to do art-wise, in no particular order:

* Color another of ShaoranLee's line art
* Make animations of the other main ATHF characters
* Make a big ensemble ATHF animation
* One or two animations of roadgeek nature
* Animated renders of the Toroidal Vortex
* Top-down view of the Toroidal Vortex (already rendered, but I'm holding it out until the corresponding animation is done)
* A short comic (which may have sequels) with a nudist theme
* A longer comic based on an occasional recurring theme in my dreams
* Some 3D-rendered scenes incorporating stock photo elements
* "Screw U"
* A deviation in the same concept as Planet Manhattan, but with much more detail
* I'm sure there's more, but I can't remember anything else at the moment

In the very near future you'll probably see these:
* Various scraps relating to this "to-do" list or existing deviations
* Anything else that might spring into my mind and can be completed before my attention drifts elsewhere
OK, so I've got like a dozen things that I want to do art-wise, but I don't necessarily want to do any of them right this second.  

I'll probably do something soon.  I just don't know what.
  • Listening to: "Da Da Da" by Trio
I'd love to turn out animation after animation for a bit, but the ideas I have for that involve quite a bit of work and, in some cases, experimenting to find the methods needed to produce quality work.  So I think I'll allow myself to post other deviations while the animations are in progress.  

I've got something quite impressive planned, but it'll take a while.  In the mean time, enjoy some of my recent photos -- some of which might just happen to be animated.
  • Watching: King of the Hill