Apple has released an update for MacOS, and it’s now available in the App Store. I’ll be holding off on this update for now. I’m already on iOS12 for my mobile devices, but until nVidia releases new Pascal drivers for my Hackintosh, I’m outta luck! Additionally, I prefer to wait until at least x.3 before updating my operating system. I’m currently rocking High Sierra 10.13.6, so I’m not that far behind.
Just dived into this software and I’m already excited by what it can do! I didn’t get a chance to play around much with CAD when I was getting my BA. I’ve always wanted to learn, and finally have a chance after all - thanks, PCC!
It will probably take some time before I take on any meaningful projects, but so far I’m enjoying myself! :-D
“1) Use the selection tools + refine edge to isolate objects from the Culture Catalogue image, then copy and paste them into a New Document, so that each is on a new layer. Rename the layers, save as: lastname-isolated-objects.psd”
Click here to download a copy.
“2) Use Retouch and Repair tools to modify radically alter the castle while maintaining a ‘realist’ aesthetic. Save as lastname-weird-castle.psd”
Click here to download a copy.
“3) Recombine objects from the Culture Catalogue within the Castle image, using refine-edge to integrate the objects more seamlessly. Save as lastname-weird-castle-2.psd”
Week 3 – Day 2
First, make sure you change three defaults:
Auto-select/Layers/Show Transform Controls
Modify Selections by holding down SHIFT to add to a selection or Option to subtract from a selection.
Note: By default, when copy/pasting, it is added to a new layer
Checkerboard pattern indicates a transparent background
When selecting an object on a white background, you may get a white edge.
Use Refine Edge:
Option under selection tool.
Brush based retouch and repair tools
I started with this image:
I then decided it was time to “patch” this castle to its former glory…
I expanded the vertical dimensions by more than 400%, and then proceeded to “build” more layers of bricks, up into the sky. I used the lens distortion tools to create an illusion of perspective. Finally, I decided to add a “window” by cloning and inverting one of the smaller doors. Overall, I am pleased with how convincing this image is, but there are a few “bugs” in the picture (redundant, duplicate patterns) that detract from the overall realism. Still, I think I’ve done a better job than North Korea, and their use of Photoshop.
The first day of the week and we’ve hit the ground running on this first project. It’s almost the end of class and I’m just now getting to the 2nd (of three) portraits. I asked for help on my first iteration, because it seemed like something was missing. I had followed the basic draft pretty closely, but it felt bare and uninteresting.
After talking with the professor, it was clear that I needed to express a greater range of tools. This was my second iteration:
Better, but not great. I added an organic shape and used the gradient tool to create a shadow effect. Still, the image felt a little too flat. One more tweak:
This simple vertical offset creates a bit more motion and surprise. I’m not sure what more I could add or subtract at this point. On to my second portrait…
In order to create a three-dimensional “floor” I used the perspective grid tool:
It isn’t really easy to see what I’m experimenting with just by looking at the image, but I have several elements that are grouped into logical objects. The “wand tips”are made using the rectangle Shape Tool, arranged above the Text and then individually grouped with their respective “T”s. Same for the “shirt buttons” on the “M”, as well as the top-hat. I’m not sure if this one would benefit from color or not. Perhaps I can use the gradient tool to give the “wand” more of a cylindrical appearance?
Over the weekend I had a chance to sit down and read over the first two chapters of Adobe Illustrator guide. I think I may have just confused myself. One of the key challenges is the fact that I have very little experience with Adobe’s Creative Suite. It’s like a whole new language. Furthermore, I do not have this software at home, and thus cannot easily relate to these new sets of terms. It is hard to apply knowledge when everything about it is purely theoretical. Last but not least: this was just a ton of new information.
At least there were pictures.
llustrator is a massive heap of skeuomorphisms, and this only makes sense for those who began their careers in print making prior to the advent of computers in Graphics Design. This can be a huge challenge for newcomers, but this challenge is hardly unique to Illustrator. True story: a seventeen-year-old in one of my freshmen courses once described the save button in MS Word as a “purple truck”.
See, the thing was, she’d never even seen a floppy disk before. This graphic held no contextual meaning for her. She never experienced the joy of inserting a 3.5-inch piece of plastic into a clunky (yet essential) device to save her document. By the time she was old enough for K-12, the iMac was standard, and those computers (controversially) never shipped with a floppy drive.
he accepted the function (saving her document was important, after all), but couldn’t make the connection between function and form. I’m not telling this story because it is funny (I still laugh when I think about her), but because I can now relate to her better after reading about Adobe Illustrator’s Tool Bar and Control Panel. Some of the symbols are easy to recognize, despite the fact that I’ve never actually used them in real life:
I’ve never used a fountain pen. I’ve had a classmate spatter ink on me accidentally with one, but that’s really about it. Generically speaking I “get” pens. I’m fond of needlepoint over ballpoint, but that’s not the graphic here. What if I’d never seen a fountain pen before? How’d I ever hope to recognize the function?
I’m sure I’ll catch up, and with enough practice become proficient with this tool set. I just wonder how many “purple truck” moments I’ll have along the way.
Week 1 – Day 2
Introduction to Adobe Illustrator and Vector Graphics
Illustrator is part of Adobe’s Creative software suite (now “Creative Cloud”). The primary focus of Illustrator is the use of and creation of vector graphics. Most graphics are rasterized (a grid of pixels with assigned values); vectors are “drawn” by software (or hardware, if supported) and are not limited by resolution. At our university’s Mac lab, we have preloaded versions of Illustrator, here’s a quick run-through:
There are lots of ways to launch the program. My preferred method is to use Spotlight search.
This will open a search box (this is like Google for your computer), just start typing “illustrator” and you’ll get an auto-complete before you finish typing it. Just hit Enter when it fills in the remaining characters. BAM! You’re in.
Next, we need to create a new project:
File -> New ->
Name: Lastname-Intro [Geiger-Intro ART119]
Size: 960 x 560
After creating this new document, save it.
File -> Save ->
Save as: Lastname-Intro.ai [Geiger-Intro-ART119.ai]
Default settings -> OK
Used to create a vector object
Vector Objects are defined with Paths and Points
Defines the thickness of lines (vectors)
Defines the “filling” of an object (like Twinkies)
Illustrator “stacks” objects in the order they were created. To change this order, go to the top menu:
Object -> Arrange -> Send to…(back/front) Bring to (back/front)
Like with a text editor, aligns an object to different orientations (objects, Artboard, etc.)
Drag to new area to create a duplicate
Bounding box selects multiple items
Save current progress
In-class exercise: practice drawing your name. I wrote mine in cyrillic:
The letter “а” is tricky, and I didn’t quite get it right on the first try (“Матвей Гайгер” The first “a” looks like an “o”). This was all done with the pen tool, but switching back and forth between the curve and straight pen.
Project 1: Typographic Portraits
Mar 30: Project Intro, sketch ideas for next class (blog)
Apr 05: Work time in class following demonstrations
Apr 07: Work Time in class, following demonstrations
Apr 11: Review Typographic Portraits
Example: “Eruption” “Tilt-A-Whirl” “Balloon Darts” “Roller Bowler” “Cock Clock” “Exit” “Copernicus”.
Choose 3 of 6 provided character prompts. Use your name, first and/or last or nickname. Along with typographic and design…
“Hello my name is______ and I’m…”
Sketches and ideas for project
Reflection on Open House (Blog)
Reflection on reading (Adobe Illustrator (Blog))
Time Design relies on a few key elements: recurrence, subjectivity, intensity, and scope.
Scope: The range of actions or viewpoints within a given moment, and, conceptually, the range of ideas one’s mind can grasp.
his single-panel sketch compacts an efficient narrative: We see a toaster oven, still plugged in, and a grave site next to the counter where toast never materialized.
Subjectivity: Depicting a subject experiencing the passage of time through emotion, action, or movement.
In this three-panel sketch, we see Subjectivity at work, with intensification. The subject is seen waiting in the first pane, and then a stylization of toast as a clock signifies a passage of time (to reinforce/intensify the wristwatch from the first pane), and then in the final panel, we see a skull with attached cobwebs. This peak intensity, coupled with a toaster that still hasn’t produced toast, exaggerates the feeling of waiting – literally forever.
Intensity: Sequential exaggeration of particular attributes within a series of images.
n this final sequence, a four-panel sketch, we see a similar use of intensification. The subject ages, and dies. The toast materializes only after the subject has passed.
I went to the Apple store today to check out their latest and greatest. I found that both are too big for my taste. I feel like a phone should be something that I can easily use one-handed. Two hands, and I'm calling it a tablet.
Here's the reason I'm going to complain about this: People drop their phones. Even if your phone doesn't break, it can be pretty embarrassing. If someone cannot firmly grip the sides of their phone while using it, then it is an invitation for drop-tastic disaster.
I'm not a big guy. I'm under six feet tall, and for me, the iPhone 4 and 4s are the perfect size, and the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s are really pushing the limit. I'm honestly wondering if a product like the iPad Mini can survive in a world with five and a half inch iPhones. Neither product fits in my pocket, both require two hands to use (safely), and with a two year contract, the iPhone 6 Plus is one-hundred dollars less expensive.
Lastly, the iPhone 6 feels too slippery and curvy. My iPhone 4s has nice, crisp edges. I feel like I have a good grip on it. Same goes for my iPhone 5 (which was stolen over a year ago, but I digress), and this matters; I've rarely dropped something that I had a good grip on. The light, smoothness of the new iPhone is a turn-off, and I think that getting one would absolutely necessitate the purchase of a protective case. I'm not against getting a case, but this means adding additional volume to a device that is already too big for pockets or single-hand use.
I'm hoping that in another year, Apple releases the iPhone 6s (sounds like, "success") and a smaller iPhone 6c (sounds like, "Sexy"). Give me the features of the Plus (Apple Pay, TouchID, and Optical Image Stabilization), with the dimensions of an iPhone 5, and I'll be waiting in line for one.
Otherwise, you'll have to pry my iPhone 4s from my cold, dead hand -- because that's all I need to hold it when I'm sending a text, browsing the web, checking email, listening to music and podcasts, or looking up directions on Maps.