Tuesday, October 29, 2013

GeekWire Battle of the Bands Graphic

Ready, steady GO!…
One: Up down and straight. Order from chaos.
Two: Trying to remember what I learned from watching Ward Payne and Art Chantry work things out with lettering, while at the same time keeping it loose, with an Silver Age Marvel vibe.

Three: Now we see some things to move around…

Four: Pushing thru, being quick and fast. Hopefully fast enough to keep some of the energy and not fast enough to make a ton of mistakes.

Five: Ooops, Battle is spelled with two Ts!

Six: Vector pieces building the letters.

Seven: Add a few fun things at the request of the Marketing Director…

Eight: A few more fun elements for the designer to play around with and…done!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ruston Tunnel Playing Card: The Card went beep beep.

I picked The Ruston Tunnel because it was a fun place in Tacoma, a place you could sound your horn like crazy, because you were supposed too! Driving thru a tiny dark tunnel! What could be more fun? I wanted to make sure the card illustrations worked like playing card illustrations, that you could view/read them  from both sides. No top no bottom.  The Tunnel having two identical ends really lent itself to that. …"beep, beep"

My driving idea was a car, back lit, coming into the dark tunnel sounding it's horn. The light being the center and the words/sounds, "beep, beep",  readable both ways.  I tried adding oncoming headlights. A close runner up was to show both ends of  the tunnel with the road curving  from the dark into the light opening. I thought that was an intriguing idea but a little to gimmicky, forced, "beep, beep".

I went for simplicity in my next rough. Working digitally upsized. I had a lit tunnel entrance with the words readable both ways, "beep, beep(… the car went , beep, beep")
I felt this was on the right track, but somehow lacked the kind of mystery and fun of the tunnel.

I continued on, playing with the tunnel, the light and the words, "beep, beep". Maybe more of a straight ahead signage feel? Naaah. "beep, beep"
This last rough had some of the feel I wanted, the car, backlit with headlights on coming into the dark.

In the end I decided to strip everything away, giving up what I thought would be fun stuff to draw. I think it was Alex Toth that said something about reducing elements to just what is needed to tell the story, then drawing the hell out what is left.

Originally the words were set as type, but they didn't fit with the drawn headlights. So the set type was drawn, then flipped and rotated to make the card work like a card. Both ways, coming and going thru the tunnel…"beep, beep".

Full Color Storyboards: Built for Speed

It's been a few years since this project was completed. A chunk of the frames were lost,  the team has all moved on. Now's a good time to let these surface into the light.

Working fast can have it's advantages. It's great practice and a good way to get familiar with streamlining work-flow and working methods. It frees you from getting bogged down with application tricks and techniques, forcing you to rely solely on basic illustration skills.

These images are part of a project I worked on in December. All secret and copyright protected, so forgive the lack of details, but, there were over 30 images total. Backgrounds and characters were done separately. I was able to devote attention to each. Most anyone who's done backgrounds will tell you its best to think of them as characters. What you put into the backgrounds, how you light, draw and color them, defines their personality. I've found that a well considered background helps define the other characters in the scene. Sort of like saying where they come from.

When it gets to the characters you can really go, they have a rich setting to react to, crammed, stinky cabin, hot dry desert, calm blue stratosphere. And if you've developed the characters fully from the start it's that much easier and fun.

 Technically speaking there were all done this-a-way…
I did a rough breakdown for all 30 plus images in InDesign. Set up a page format containing the frame outline and written notes/script. Then drew the rough concept with the pencil tool. This way I could easily rearrange the frames and add or remove frames and notes. Once that document was approved, each frame pasted into Sketchbook Pro and did a detailed rough for client approval. Finished line art was done in Sketch book Pro and I spit me out a psd file to color in Photoshop.

In P-Shop I set up two brushes, with opacity overrides in the toolbar, and one eraser. I worked with as few layers as possible for speed.  I remember a friend saying, " layers are for pussies." I had a separate layer acting as a palette, so I could use  the eye dropper (accessible by quick key) to swiftly change color. It also allowed me to see how the colors would look in the composition which was useful.

I had a plug-in I installed that allowed me to email directly from P-Shop. So I did that for quickly sending art to client for approval. This again was all part of my putting in place every step of  the way things that smoothed out the work-flow without compromising the quality…too much…hopefully.  In the end the client was happy and I was happy with the look of the art.