Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 6A

Today in class we started talking about InDesign and Photoshop. We took notes and went over how they are different from Illustrator. For example, they both work with Raster based images, so what you see is made out of thousands of pixels, this is why when a Raster based image is scaled up, it starts to look fuzzy around the edges.

We started a new assignment which got us working with Photoshop and InDesign. For this assignment we have to recreate an image using Photoshop. This is what we must create using our own image that we scanned from a book/magazine:

We had to make sure our image had enough color in it so each individual image would be noticeably different from the original. This is the image I chose:

I chose this image because it has plenty of color in it and it is not a design layout. Creating all the different colored images was pretty easy but when it came time to trace I did have a difficult time. I wish I would have chosen a bit more simple image but only because of the tracing I had to do.

This is my finished product:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 5B

Today in class we had our critique.

When it came time to go over mine. everyone (that talked at least) did like it but also gave me some good feed back.

Critique on Calendar:

  • One person felt a lot was going on in my calendar and their eyes were constantly moving until they got to the top, right corner where there is not a lot going on.
  • Another commented on the font of my calendar, how it is not as crisp as everything else (possibly the outlining?)
  • Pannafino suggested placing a marshmallow on fire running away in the background along the horizon just so it isn't so flat.
  • Someone else suggested having the stick holding the marshmallow above the fire coming in from the right side so it is not so empty.
All of these comments were very helpful and I will make sure to remember these the next time I work in Illustrator.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 5A

Today in class we finished up our desktop calendars for Smashing Mouth Magazine. Before making anymore changes we spilt off into groups of three and did a mini critique. This is what my calendar looked like while we critique:

My members suggested lightening the font of the calendar and having all the marshmallows have the same shaped legs. I also added some tuffs of grass in the background and around the marshmallows and logs of the fire just to add a little bit more detail and depth. When Professor Pannafino came around to talk to everyone individually, he suggested I work on the faces of the marshmallows a little more and give them more of a detailed cartoony look. He also suggested I move my calendar and logo in a bit more so they do not get cut off or seem too close to the edge of the desktop screen and add a few more stars but make them smaller as they move down the page.

After my critique with my classmates and Professor Pannafino, this is what my calendar looks like now:

I still have a few more thing I would like to edit but I believe it is just about done and I am very proud of my very first creation using Adobe Illustrator.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 4B

Today in class we spent almost the whole time working on our calendar projects. In the beginning of class my calendar looked like this:

In the previous class I focused on getting the basic shapes and colors I wanted. As you can see, there is no depth and a very small amount of detailing. In today's class I focused on adding more detailing to my calendar and putting the actual calendar and Smashing Magazine logo in if I had time. To add some depth to my artwork, I used gradient scales to mimic light and shadow. I also changed the shapes of a few things and had time to add the calendar into my work. About three-quarters of the way through class, this is what I had done:

To see if my calendar looked good as a desktop, I went to file, export, then saved it onto my desktop as a PNG file. I then went to Select Preferences on my desktop, went to Backgrounds and chose my calendar. Once it was set as the background I got a really good look at what to change. The stars were hidden along the top and "October," was also very close to the top. I went back into Illustrator and moved the stars and the entire calendar down a bit so that none of it was hidden. Here is what my calendar looks like now:

As you can see I made small changes. I also had time to add the Smashing Magazine logo. To add that i downloaded the image of the logo, placed it onto my Image Layer, and then traced over it on my Tracing layer.  In the image below, the original logo is on the bottom my my tracing is on top:

As of now I feel really good about my calendar but I do think a few more things need to be adjusted such as the placing of the marshmallows on the ground.

Week 4: Outside the Classroom

For homework we had to watch two more tutorial videos, "Using the Type Panels," and "Basic Text Editing."

"Using the Type Panels," was a tutorial on more in-depth settings for text. In order to get to these panels go to Window, Type, then choose Character and Character Style. With these panels you can change the font and style of text, such as the letting, which is the space between lines, the kerning, which is the space between characters, and the tracking which is the spacing between each letter. You can also create new Paragraph and Character styles. Under Paragraph settings in the panel, click the new style icon at the bottom of the panel and this allows you to change the name and settings of this new paragraph style. The directions are the same with the Character styles. Doing this makes it much easier when creating more than one item that requires the same paragraph and character styles, all you have to do is go back and choose which ones you would like.

The second video, "Basic Text Editing," was just a simple tutorial on changing the text in your artwork. Most of the editing can be done through the control panel, like changing the font and its size and whether it needs to be bold, italic, etc. When choosing a color for your text just go over to the color panel and choose from the swatches. If you need your text to be a specific color that you already have on your board, just click "i" to get the eye-dropper and choose what color you wish your text to be, just make sure it is selected.

All of this is pretty easy stuff that can really enhance your artwork and make it more professional and eye-catching.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 4A

Today in class we went over a few notes regarding our Calendar project and then used the rest of class time working in Adobe Illustrator.

First we went over basic Typographic rules. We talked about what serifs are, making your type readable, using scale to emphasize, how to mix typefaces (and make it look good), what rags, widows, and orphans are in type, tracking, and stacking. These notes will help us when it comes time to add type to our calendars.

After taking those notes we had the rest of the  class to work on tracing our sketches and photos for this project. It was tricky for me at first but I am slowly getting the hang of things. I believe with more practice and possibly a little help I should be able to come up with great images for my calendar from both my photos and sketches.
Today I traced one photo and one sketch. As of now I only have the outline from the photo but I finished the entire sketch, added fills to the shapes and even a background. The sketch tracing is still very flat but I plan to go back in to add more detail.

Here is my original photo, tracing over the photo, and just the tracing:

I do plan on going back into the tracing of my image to add much more detail. I wanted to first get the hang of tracing before getting too into the detail and this image had some pretty simple shapes.

Now, here is the sketch I traced and added some color to:

As you can see, it still needs a lot of work. Today I mainly wanted to get the hang of tracing over different images and not worry so much about detailing until I was completely comfortable with recreating my images. I do plan on going back into this one as well to fix things up and add more detailing to the background, fire, wood, and the marshmallows.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week 3 Outside the Classroom

For homework we were assigned three videos to watch and were required to create 5-10 sketches and take 5-10 staging photos for our calendar. The three videos were, "Using the Layers Panel," Applying Multiple Strokes," and "Tracing Artwork With the Pen Tool."

The first video, "Using the Layers Panel," talks about how important the layers panel really is. The layers panel has a menu layer which has all the options for the different attributes you can change. One of the nice things about this menu is that if you delete a layer via the menu instead of dragging the layer to the trashcan, it gives you a confirmation message.

The second video, "Applying Multiple Strokes," talks about how to apply multiple strokes to your artwork. In order to add more than one layer, you go to the appearance layer and choose the part of your artwork you want to add more strokes to. Make sure to isolate it if it is in a group. After that go to strokes and in the bottom left corner of the panel is the option to add a new stroke. When you do this, the new stroke is place in the same area as the original stroke. In order to move this stroke, go to the stroke menu and you will see the option to move your new stroke. This make it a lot easier to create some interesting artwork without having to go through the trouble of creating multiple different shapes and layering them just right.

The final video, "Tracing Artwork With the Pen Tool," shows how to trace artwork in Illustrator. In order to do this, create a new layer over whatever artwork you are trying to recreate, then take the pen tool and trace along the different shapes. The nice thing about tracing is that as you are tracing each shape, guide lines will appear and help you out. Just make sure you take your time as you trace the image you are recreating.

All of these videos will help us when it comes time to create our calendars on Illustrator.

So far I have five sketched ideas for my calendar but I would like to come up with a few more. Here are the ones I have so far:

My favorite one so far is the top right, I believe it is strong even with its asymmetrical layout.

Since most of my ideas involve smores, I took photos of smores ingredients. I also wanted to take pictures of an actual bonfire but because of all the rain, the wood I was going to use was too moist to use for a fire so I create a mini one using matches and paper. I at least am able to get the general shape of a bonfire from these photos so I think they will be useful for this project, as soon as I can though I will get some photos of an actual bonfire. Here are the photos I have so far:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 3B

Today in class we started out by watching a video that explained what Creative Commons licenses are. Creative Commons licenses are used by artists who want to share their work but can also put limitations on their pieces if they so wish. Anyone who uses an image with a Creative Commons license must acknowledge the artist but the artist can also limit whether or not this product can be sold, shared with like terms, and/or whether it can or cannot be manipulated.

After watching the video we quickly went over Visual Syntax and what it is along with a visual representation as seen here in my notes:

When we finished that, Professor Pannifino showed us different layouts for our calendars.
He showed us Center Layouts:

Symmetrical Layouts:
and Layouts with Repetition:

After finishing that up, we split into groups to help each other come up with ideas for our calendar. I was in a group with Summer and Alaysia.

Summer's theme for her calendar is the color scheme of fall. It was a little tricky to come up with ideas but I came up with two different ones. The first (left one in image) is a layout consisting of repetition, alternating apples and leaves that on the far left start out green and as they move to the right, fade into yellow, orange, red, and finally brown. The second idea (right one in image), is an image of a pumpkin patch with a scarecrow and trees with changing leaves in the background.

Alaysia's theme centers around skeletons but she wants it to be a fun, cute theme rather than dark and scary. My two ideas for her  both have figures in them but the first one has two trick-or-treaters, one in a skeleton costume, the other in a Death costume walking down a sidewalk. The second one only has one figure, a little skeleton.

The theme for my calendar is hanging out with friends on a cold night around a bonfire. Summer and Alaysia both came up with good ideas for my calendar, at first I was very unsure what to do. Summer came up with a sketch of a close up image of a marshmallow over a campfire which I really liked and we both agreed to possibly making the marshmallow the calendar. Alaysia came up with two different sketches. The one was more cartoony, it was two marshmallows around a campfire. The other one was of two figures embracing, possibly during a starry night.

So far I have three sketches myself:

The top left is another version of the one Summer came up with, with the marshmallow being the calendar. The top right is one I came  up with on my own with a starry, night-time background, two marshmallows over the fire on the left and the calendar placed on the right. The bottom left is another version of the one Alaysia came up with involving the two marshmallows, in my version there is one on fire over the bonfire and two more below screaming and running away.

I have a few more ideas I still need to sketch out but after meeting with a group I definitely have a better idea of what I would like my calendar to look like.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 2B

Today in class we started working on our first big assignment, creating a desktop calendar for the month of October. In order to prepare for this, we first started out by creating a Mind Map. The purpose of a mind map is to come up with as many different thoughts and ideas about one subject as possible, just write whatever comes to mind. As seen below, you start out with on central topic and work your way out, connected and relating different ideas. For this assignment our Mind Map had to be on the topic of October so we could start coming up with ideas for the desktop calendar.

After creating the Mind Map, we then talked about creating a Mood Board using Illustrator. A Mood Board is, "a technique used to organize ideas and inspiration in early stages of production. Mood Boards will help pin down visual feelings and direction of your work..." There are many benefits of creating a mood board such as jump starting creativity by using it as a quick reference guide. Not everything on your Mood Board will be used in the final product. For our Mood Board we need photos (close ups and long shots), color swatches, illustrations, and different texts/fonts.

The dimension for our Mood Board in Illustrator must be 17x11 with the Tabloid size. We then needed to find all the items listed above to place onto our mood board. Color swatches are easy, just create a box then choose a certain color for the fill. Text is easy as well, type out certain words that go with your theme then choose a font you think will go well with it. In order to place photos onto your mood board you must first save them to a specific folder, then go to File -> Place -> go to the folder with your images ->Place on board.

I may add more but so far this is my Mood Board:

Week 2: Outside the Classroom

Our out of class assignment for Digital Theory was to watch three more videos on Illustrator. These three videos were, "What is Illustrator," "Understanding Paths," and "Understanding Anchor Points." While watching each video I made sure to take notes so I had a good amount of accurate information for each videos' summary.

In the video, "What is Illustrator," the speaker quickly talks about use uses Illustrator and why. Illustrator is mainly used by artists and graphic designers but almost anyone can use Illustrator for anything they need. Illustrator is used to create Vector images that are scale-able that will be printed or used on the web, this includes freehand drawings, tracing and recoloring images, creating wire-frames for digital paintings, designing logos and icons, and even website mock-ups. Illustrator can also integrate with other Adobe applications such as InDesign, Photoshop, Flash, and Aftereffects. Anyone, from a professional artist to someone looking to create a business card can use Illustrator.

The second video, "Understanding Paths," simply talks about how all the Vector artwork created in Illustrator is made up of paths, this does not include what is on the inside (such as the stroke and fill) but the "skeleton" of the image. For example, a rectangle created in Illustrator is made up of four different paths connected at the corner by anchors (the subject of the next video summary). In order to see these paths, click "control y" and you will be able to see the underlying structure of the image in Illustrator, to go back to the actual appearance, just click "control y" again.

The third video, "Understanding Anchor Points," then talks about the "joints" of each path and what they are for and how they work. The anchor points in a path control the direction, position, and behavior in relation to other paths inside the artwork. When an anchor point is selected it will appear blue, then all you need to do in order to manipulate the path this anchor is connected to is click and drag the anchor point selected. Curves in a path have anchor points has well that are accompanied by control handles. You can used these handles to change how the path is curved when selected.

Paths and anchors are what make up everything you see and create in Illustrator, they are the backbone of every image. Once you get the hang of creating paths and changing them by using different anchor points, you can create almost anything.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 2A

Today in class Professor Pannafino went over a few more tools in Illustrator. He talked about and demonstrated how to use the Pen tool, the Knife tool, Type tool, and how to work with Layers, Pathfinder, how to align objects, and even how to change type into shape. Then we worked on an assignment in class where we had to recreate different logos.

The Pen tool can be used to create lines and shapes. When making a shape with the pen tool, the first point created is the "point of origin" and in order to close the shape, you must click the point of origin at the end. In order to create curves in the path or shape that is being created, you can either hold down the pen tool and drag or take the Anchor Point tool, click and hold down on a point, and drag. This will curve both sides of the point but if you only want to manipulate one side, just hold down option when you click and drag. It is difficult at first but after working with the Pen tool for a little bit you start to get the hang of it.

The Knife tool is pretty simple to work with. It is located under the eraser tool in the drop-down list. When using the Knife tool, all you have to do is click and drag ( to make the perfect line, hold option), this creates the division but does not break the shape. In order to separate the two pieces created with the Knife tool, choose the direct select tool (the white arrow) to separate the pieces.

The Type tool is one of the easiest tools to work with. You can either click once to simply create one line, in order to create another line just click enter. Another way to use the Type tool is to click and drag to create a text box, then the text you are typing stays within the box.

Everything being created with these tools is being done on either one or multiple layers. To see these Layers,  go to Windows then Layers and a box will pop up on the screen showing the different layers. Layer 1 is the default layer but you can add multiple layers.

When you want to manipulate different shapes you've created, you can use Pathfinder. To find Pathfinder, go to Window then Pathfinder, this will bring up a box that has two different categories, Shapemodes and Pathfinder. In order to use this, two or more shapes must be overlapping. You can choose different options from Shapemodes, such as unite which combines the shapes and changes the color to that of the shape on the top, or you have options from Pathfinders, such as separating the pieces.

To align multiple shapes, go to Window and Align, this brings up different alignment options and distribution options.

One can also change text into type by going to the type menu and choosing "create outlines." After doing this, you can no longer change the letter but can manipulate it like a shape.

After using seeing how to use these tools we put them to the test. Our in-class assignment (and homework) was to recreate different logos such as the WWF logo and the NFL logo. At first, it was a bit difficult but once I got the hang of how to use each tool, it did not take too long to finish the logos.
This is what the end product looks like:

My logos are the ones off to the side of the page.
The easiest logo to recreate was the Texaco logo while the hardest one for me was probably the WWF logo. With that one I had to take my time and work carefully with the pen tool to create each little curve within the panda.
During class my assignment was to finish recreating the logos on the right side. I finished those up by the end of class and decided to stay late in order to finish the other four which were our homework.
My recreation of the logos are not perfect but the more I worked with the pen tool, the more comfortable I got with it and the easier it was to create each path, shape, and curve.