I'd like to briefly speak about some stuff related to my website in this section.

It's something like The Mental Room's 'Frequently Asked Questions'... actually I decided to set it up like that... questions and answers. Things I'm sometimes asked about the site, things I ask myself about it, curiosities, tools I used to make it, and all that kind of things... things that probably nobody doesn't even care...

...nobody but you, of course. And that's why this section is exclusively dedicated to you ;)



Q: What a cool website! When did you learn to make websites?

A: Ehmm... I wonder that same question once in a while. And if I have to be sincere, and I guess that's why I'm here, I really can't make websites. I've never done a programming course nor have I attended such thing as website design classes.

But since the creation of the Internet a few years ago I have always had the little great obsession of creating my own website, of having my own domain. There was only one question holding me back... a website about what?

So on the fall of 2008 and after finishing my first Maya work, I decided I already had the perfect excuse to start building my own site... and The Mental Room is the result.



Q: So... is it complicated?

A: Making a website is not really that hard, you just have to be patient and read a lot about how to do it. There are even some applications and pieces of software that set a website up almost instantly...

In this case it has not been such an easy task though, but I've managed to learn some CSS language, just enough to being able to work with it, set the web site structure up and manually add some codes later (some of them previously automatically generated) so that they fit each section of the site nicely...



Q: But... weren't you a vet?

A: Hehehe... that's a funny one. Yep, I was. Well, actually I am... but curiously enough my passion for graphic design, computers and technology in general is bigger than my love for animals. And although I've yet a long way to go, this website is a small proof of this.



Q: Why that name? And why in English?

A: Well... so why not?
Truth is that choosing a name for your site can be hard, especially if you want to pick the perfect name... I'm not saying mine is, but still, it's difficult :)
The reason I chose the word 'Room' is probably because my first Maya work was a room, as simple as that. As far as 'Mental' is concerned, all of the works showing here are made with 'Mental Ray', a highly widespread production-quality rendering application.

The English name is quite easy to understand and recall (even for those who can't speak English) and I thought it would reach quite a wider audience out there.



Q: I typed 'The mental room' in Google and it shows first place!! How did you do that?!

A: Well... even though this is not a perfect website as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned, I'm quite happy with the results.
There are even companies whose only job is to position your website on the first places of a search engine according to several key words!

Some of the tips I could give about it are:

-making a list of keywords and using them across your website (especially on tags h1, h2 and bold)
-naming all the elements (files and folders) clearly and nicely
-not creating too many sublevels (subfolders)
-naming all the pages on your website using your keywords
-using the 'meta keywords' and Google sitemaps
-including your URL in Google and dmoz

There are many tutorials on the net about how to position your website on the first places of a search engine, it's only a matter of reading and using them... and also, of being really patient!



Q: So... what are you selling here?

A: Nothing. The Mental Room is just a place where I'd like to show some of my 3D works and my (hopefully) improving skills in 3D modeling and rendering, aiming to do it for a living in the next future.



Q: What tools did you use to make the Mental Room?

A: Adobe Dreamweaver to create the website. Adobe Photohop for the graphic stuff (thumbnails and banners). And of course Maya to create all the 3D images across the site.



Q: And what about the web hosting? Is it complicated? Where is the Mental Room hosted at?

A: It can be quite a bit difficult to configure at first, especially if you have no experience on the subject, but once the server is set up and the connection with your host established, Dreamweaver handles the whole thing.

The Mental Room is hosted at Config Box servers. After looking for and considering several options I chose this web hosting company as they were offering excellent prices. And until now I've gladly seen that their service quality is great.



Q: It's snowing in the Mental Room! But... but...

A: Hehe, you're probably browsing the site during the coldest months of the year on the Northern Hemisphere (November to February). It's just a small but powerful script or utility to create a snowfall effect... You can better notice it if you choose the dark color scheme (Ninth Underworld).
This incredible script has been created by Jason Brown, a talented web developer from Bellevue, Nebraska. He even took the time to look into some problems I was having with the script in my own site. Thanks a lot, Jason!



Q: Ah! Now that you mention it, what's all this I see about the color schemes and why those names?

A: Not everybody wants to browse a website the same way. Some people like bright colors, others get annoyed by too much brightness... that's why I set the color schemes up. You can change the color scheme choosing it on the drop down menu (left bottom corner of the screen). You can also do it on the main page, right on the tiny squares in the middle of the screen just below the site name.
Given the difficulty (at least for me) of implementing many color schemes I've just set up two of them, one bright (Alien surgery) and one dark (Ninth Underworld). I named the first one 'Alien Surgery' because of the bright 'operating room' white color and the fluorescent 'extraterrestrial blood' green shade. As for 'Ninth Underworld', it's just a reference to the fantastic graphic adventure 'Grim Fandango', created by the great Tim Schafer and released by Lucas Arts.



Q: My question is not on the list... I wanna know more about The Mental Room!

A: In that case you probably suffer from some severe emotional disorder, check with your doctor as soon as possible... or you can also contact me to satisfy your curiosity, I'll try to answer honestly and quickly, and I may even add your question to this section :)



Thanks a bunch for getting so far and now... JUST BROWSE THE SITE FOR A WHILE!





~~~



JUST A QUICK NOTE FOR THE NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER...

I'm doing my best here trying to translate the Spanish version of the Mental Room, but there are probably lots of mistakes around the site so... if you feel like it, (and I hope you do), please contact me when noticing any of these mistakes on the translation... be it huge or small I will really appreciate that! ;)