A recent project, “Major Change” was developed for a Canadian client looking for a cartoon character mascot for a promotional campaign. Interestingly enough although it was a Canadian client, they preferred to go with a United States military officer for the iconic quality. Kind of a bummer to think that when people think “military”, they think “United States”. I guess for some people that’s a positive thing. And before this post gets too political…
For some reason I had it in my mind from the initial discussions that somehow the character was to be a gruff bulldog chomping on a cigar, General Patton-style. The cigar remained, but I was set straight on the proper direction early on. Another reason to make sure you have plenty of dialog with your client before starting projects.
A cartoon illustration & design project for a friend’s party required the resulting art to be suitable for reproduction on a photocopy machine. After some trial, error, Google search, trial, error, Google search, trial, error I discovered the magic combo that allows you to create a halftone in Photoshop for an image and print it out on your inkjet printer so the art will be perfect for photocopying.
This technique is perfect for flyers, newsletters or any other short-run printing needs you have where the cheapness of a photocopy is desired, but so are grayscale images.
Primary, secondary, tertiary, complimentary, analagous, brightness, hue, value, saturation, tints, shades… do these words mean anything to you? They should.
A post by cartoonist Matt Glover points out ColorFAQ – very basic web guide to color theory. It got me poking around on the internet for some other sites with some more depth on the subject. Sometimes I forget how much I use color theory every single day, it’s just something that sometimes goes on autopilot and is an easy topic to forget to recommend to others.
The video is a demonstration/presentation from the annual SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) Conference. In short, the video demonstrates computer algorithms which allow an image to be resized horizontally or vertically non-proportionally, without distorting the image. Elements are “reshuffled” inside the image to keep the same basic look of the visual information.
Layer Masks are basically clipping masks that apply to the entire layer (Layer masks need to be sub-layers, and the top-most one at that). The best feature is that they can be locked, and they are not tied to one specific object, or cause an entire group of unrelated objects to become “grouped” as they are when applying a clipping mask to them. This allows you to work normally with all the other objects on other sub-layers while still getting that clipping mask effect.
The set includes keyboard shortcut cards for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator CS, Macromedia Freehand, Cinema 4D and 3D Studio Max. These are CS1 versions, but from what I can gather the shorcuts should be pretty much the same for the newer versions. Not too sure about the Macromedia apps (which are now Adobe apps) as I have never used any of them.
As anyone who has read this blog can tell, I am a huge keyboard shortcut junkie, and you should be one as well. I cannot even begin to emphasize how much knowing these will enhance not only your pleasure on using graphics software (and software in general), but how much of a marked increase in productivity you’ll see.
I cringe in geek pain when I see a fellow Photoshop or Illustrator user laboriously hauling their mouse over to the Tools palette, or even to the menubar for anything but the most arcane of Menu items.
A new sexy cartoon school girl pinup has recently been added to my slowly growing collection over at MyPSPTubes*. This one was fun to work on. I wanted to play on the classic fighter plane nose cone art where the girls were straddling a plane (or a bomb!). I thought the number two pencil was perfect. She was given glasses at one point for that sexy librarian look we all love, but it just didn’t work with the overall design. Continue reading →