It’s starting to look like an anime blog around here

This is a pretty long and self-aggrandizing post, so I don’t know if anyone besides me is going to find this interesting, but whatever. If you like reading about people’s thought processes, it should be interesting. And if not, go to the next post to see Mariya in a nurse uniform.

I finally took the time to change a couple little things that (I think) make this blog look a lot better. For a creative person with Photoshop proficiency, it probably wouldn’t have taken more than a couple hours. For a non-creative person like me, with only the bare minimum Photoshop skills, it took… well, it only took a few hours, but it was chances I had to concede and the two months of thinking I had to do in advance that made it a struggle.

The banners:

So if you’ve visited before, the first thing you might’ve noticed is that gone are the pictures of plant leaves and in its place are actual anime-themed images. Now looks a lot less like a blog for a flower show and more like the anime-focused blog it really is. Hooray.

The three images I picked, I picked because these are three of my favorite shows.


I got these images from Sankaku’s image section. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the original authors are, which I wish I knew so I could a.) get their permission to use the pics and b.) give proper credit. So failing that, here’s the links to the original images:

  1. Gurren Lagann
  2. Higurashi
  3. Code Geass

The part that took the most time was finding the right images. It was especially difficult, because the banner I use has such extreme proportions (1300×200). The original plant themed images were even more extreme at 1300×150, but I found that it was almost impossible to squeeze in enough of the picture to make it look good. At the same time, I didn’t want the banner to be so tall that someone on a 1024×768 monitor couldn’t see a good chunk of the first post. As it is, I can also view the top of the first post on my 1024×600 netbook so I’m pretty happy with it. But once 1024×768 monitors stop being the most prevalent screen resolutions, the first thing I’m going to do is fatten the banner to 250px, so I can get to a more normal 4:1 ratio.

The images

On its own, I like the Gurren Lagann image the best. I think it’s the most powerful, artistically bold image. Lucky for me the original artist used a solid background, so it was easy for me to stretch it to get the proper proportions. The downside is, I think the black background is too heavy a contrast for my mostly white-colored site. So it almost feels like it doesn’t fit. I tried reversing the colors, but doing so ruined the big bold strokes, and sucked the power from the image. But I don’t think it’s a bad fit, so I’m content.

I was originally looking for an image of Lelouch looking more sinister. Or an image where Kallen was in it too. Alas, the proportions issue squashed that. But I like the image I ended up with. I did the least amount of work on this, just a straight crop, but I think this image is the best fit of the three. The white background helps it blend in, and I like there’s a bit of motion/action present in the image.

The Higurashi image was also pretty simple fix. The original colors seemed to be a bit too vivid for the site though, so I ended up desaturating everything but the eyes. A hatchet somewhere in the background would’ve been nice.

Site logo

That’s the little snow bunny next to the blog title in the header. Before it used to be a tetris-block thingy. This was created from a screenshot I took from the Kanon scene with Mai and the snow bunnies. For the longest time, I couldn’t think of what I’d put there, then I remembered that scene and thought it’d be perfect. The bunny from the original image ended up looking a bit too gray and washed out. So I ended up bumping up the contrast and putting a crosshatch effect on it. I actually like how it came out. It has a nice 3-D feel to it now and sort of jumps off the page.

The favicon

I used the same image as the logo for the favicon (this is the little icon on the tab of your browser), replacing the picture of Mesousa I had previously. On the plus side, it’s better than what I had previously. On the downside, I think I have to go back to the drawing board. Heavy white/gray images as favicons don’t work out well, because the display areas on most browsers are also grayish-white, so the favicon blends in with it. Lesson learned. One day I’ll change this.

Final thoughts

I don’t know how many times I cursed myself for being so sucky at Photoshop, But all things considered, I think everything came out pretty well. One day I may ask someone creative to make everything look awesome. But in the meanwhile, this is a step in the right direction.

If you’ve read this far, you really deserve a reward or something. Leave a comment, and maybe I’ll hook you up with something nice (does good karma count?) 😉

4 Replies to “It’s starting to look like an anime blog around here”

  1. You’ll have to excuse me if I’m distracted for a second there by the Marya nurse cosplay. It seems rather tempting. *goes to check* Okay, I’m back.

    Hehe, I was wondering why you didn’t change the banners. I figured you liked the old one a lot so I didn’t say anything.

    Wow, they really came out really nice. It’s looking rather professional now. Awesome. The first image that I saw was the TTGL and Rena. It immediately thought to myself looking pretty epic here, RP. Also the LL x CC let’s be friendly theme isn’t that bad but I agree that an evil Lelouch would work better than any other. Anyhow, now we’re on business.

    It was hard to find a proper banner even for my wp blog. I spent plenty of time myself looking for an image that would actually embody what I was trying to convey what this blog was about (and also fit). Luckily, I found the one you see now but I wish that I could somehow put some Higurashi in it too. If I only I could get an pic of Haruhi with the power of the Geass AND dressed up as Rena with a killerloli aura going on I’d sold in a split second.

    So do the banners appear randomly on each post or how does it work? *intrigued*

    keikakudoori’s last blog post..Rena’s dub ruins the moment

    1. thanks man! well, i did like the plant pictures, but not that much. 😉 yeah, the part that took the most time was the image search. first finding the right style of image, then checking to see if the size fit. there were some haruhi and lucky star pics I wanted to include too, but unfortunately they didn’t fit well.

      yep, the banners appear randomly. i like this theme quite a bit. you can dive into the code if need be, but it has a lot of automated options, like the random header image.

      i think you just need a hatchet in the background for the killerloli aura. i think hatchets make everything better 😛

    1. i was also looking at possible type treatments, like a “RP” monogram, but they ended up looking pretty terrible. thanks for the compliment though, very much appreciated!

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