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End of Class

In this day and age, producing art through digital means is a necessity, which is why I initially decided to take this digital processing class. And I’m glad I did, because I came out knowing the fundamentals of commonly used designing softwares and how to apply this knowledge into creating art. The two essential softwares we worked with throughout this class were Photoshop and Illustrator, both crucial to graphic designing and digital illustration. Through the completion of the various projects, I learned how to compile and edit various images to work as a whole, and begin to comprehend the basics of typography and critical elements of graphic designing. Certainly, I only got a glimpse of the majestic world that is digital imaging and have much more to learn. I’ll continue working this way and try to pick up some new designing softwares over the holidays.

Education Poster

This project I’m working on now is designing education posters targeting middle school students, regarding the subject of massive star formation. During the mock-up production stage, three different ideas were developed.
The first one, considering the targeted audience, is passing on information through the form of a comic. The sketching, line art and coloring were all done digitally using Paint Tool Sai and Adobe Photoshop. QQ截图20141211194957

Dialogue bubbles were left temporarily blank for further discussion and organization of text.

Another option is a series of three; while the images could remain independent from each other, combined they would make up an entire image as well. The drawing used was done with Photoshop and Illustrator combined. QQ截图20141211195509

In the middle image, the quote “each frame is a hundred years” is highlighted, after the viewing of these mock-ups; an idea was brought up that every image could contain their own provocative statement.

Lastly, a series of small posters presented as a sequence. The concept was inspired by the model simulation of massive star formation, a 25 second video clip demonstrating the process of formation. Three screenshots of the beginning, middle and end of the clip were taken and the colors were edited through photoshop.

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With Illustrator, typography mixed with rectangular shapes produced a design when the entire series put together would resemble a roll of film, coinciding with the center idea of being sequential.
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The Final design:

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Calling Cards

The idea behind my design for this project is simple, due to the fact that it’s a card with myself as the main subject, I try to represent how I and others see myself. The image I drew on my sketchbook was inspired by gothic style fonts. To me, gothic in either font or architecture style is mysterious, intimidating and oppressing in the most beautiful way. Almost all my close friends tell me later on that when they first met me, they thought I seemed intimidating, distant, mysterious, hard to impress, in other words overall terrifying. True as that might be, I’m quite comfortable with representing myself like that, that way people can focus more on what I do(the image) instead of who I truly am(the text). As with any individual in this world we cross paths with, we have to observe real carefully to figure out who they really are. Since I’m not exactly loquacious during the first stage of my relationship with people, the text is simple as well: my name and my statement “Find me.” with its double meaning.

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Design Prduction was divided into three steps, drawing directly on paper, transferring and making adjustments in Photoshop and adding text in Illustrator. After sketching out my design with pencil and then tracing it with a marker, I scanned the image onto my computer to obtain a digital version of it. Some adjustments of color were done through PS, also I played around with the filters and made an image with colors reversed in order to combine different effects together just to make things more interesting.

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After creating a mask and selecting the areas I deemed intriguing enough composition wise in , I cropped and combined the different pieces together and ended up with 5 versions of the image.

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The next step is to create the backside of the card and insert my name as subtly as possible into the five images. What I wish to achieve with the color and font of the text is that, without careful observation, my name would act as part of the image and not steal any attention, and if you look closely enough, that’s a little surprise for you.

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Project: Strange World

Title of work: untitled

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Finding interesting patterns in life could be really overwhelming, due to the fact that almost everything around me offers something that could be exploited. To narrow it down and eventually pick out the most suitable one, it works for me to consider many numbers of things regarding the object: the color palate, how light bounces off the surface, the material and how it could be manipulated, would its texture coincide with what that certain part of my image is trying to express. Colors could be adjusted later in the process, so I concentrated on the selection of pattern and texture on the found objects. I realize that taking pictures and experimenting with them to get a glimpse of the eventual effect is vital, even failed experiments offer something in return. Playing around with the translucency also helps.

The initial idea of my project was to recreate a study, a simple little pencil drawing, I did in my sketchbook with objects taken from real life. Because most of my works nowadays are abstract, the space I would eventually create would be somewhat bizarre. Abstract work can sometimes be too personal for others to get a hold of the meaning. But in my opinion they’re still constructed by pieces of reality, only in a more distorted, subtle or subconscious level that could be more challenging to rationalize or articulate. Through this project, it takes that notion of idea into a literal sense, since the image is actually made of scraps of multiple real objects found in my “reality”. The idea could be disturbing or alarming to the logical side of our brain, so I hope the space I create could be both visually harmonious and potentially unsettling.

From this point on, I will probably put more thought into interpreting what my initial images represent to me. When I drew the sketch, it was merely a simple study for composition and space. I really enjoyed everyone else’s interpretation of it, especially how most interpretations surround a dark and angst theme, apparently that’s my thing now.

Project I-Part I

Title of work: Translucent Seas (still thinking)

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For the last couple of weeks I’ve really come to get to know photoshop as a useful tool, before the first project, I have never actually used this software despite its popularity amongst artists. Through information shared within the class by Nell and other classmates or individually exploring it, I’ve begin to understand why it’s such a helpful and commonly used tool. Color and texture rendering, scale and perspective modification, warping, altering light sources are only a few of the countless techniques I find incredibly fascinating.

The idea behind this project is sparked by my love of the underwater tunnel aquariums. While I was preparing photographs for the project, I incidentally stumbled upon the pictures I took during the summer when I visited several aquariums back in China and in Chicago. Fortunately, many of the stunning creations of nature go with the oval/spherical theme. I thought about standing in the tunnel, this confined space, with all these beautiful whilst deadly sea-creatures swimming nearby. Marveling at the beauty of them, I imaginged that all of a sudden, everything around me tumbles down. Glass breaking, water pouring in. I would suffocate. It’s interesting how something so beautiful could destroy you in a mere second. The setting of my project is outer space, while it is romantic to think of living in a planet where you look up towards the sky and see dancing jellyfish; it’s also terrifying to think about the distorted proportion of them. This time, there’s no glass-that last layer of protection between them and us. What I wanted to express is that concept of false sense of security. Alike most things in life, everything you love could disappear in the blink of an eye, I could cease to exist the next minute, entire relationships between others in my life could be destroyed with a single sentence. This concept is as if I’ve been given power when being trapped in the most vulnerable position, and beauty is offered as something so distracting I don’t even realize how anxious or bewildered I should have been.

After receiving some helpful feedbacks and comments, I would alter or get rid of the objects that seemed displaced in the image. The best way for me is to put aside the image and not look at it for a while, then when I get back to it, I would have a clearer sense of what doesn’t belong and what needs changing.

Note to self

Consider the light source to add a sense of space and reality, research on images of space for reference.

Option+shift+drag=make circle start from center

Command+D=deselect

+shift=proportional

command+T=free transform

command+R=reverse

command+Q=quit

RGB(light) v. CMYK(pigment)

Consider feather or refine edge in addition to sharp edge in image.