Archive | September, 2011

The Next Haul of Uni Work Coming Right Up!

28 Sep

I have just started my second year of university, and there’s quite a bit to do already. Should have gathered that but my mindset is still not up to scratch. Hopefully it will be once everything has properly started.

So my modules for the first semester is:

  1. Typography (Stage 2)
  2. Research & Reference
  3. Advanced Digital Communication

We done Stage 1 of Typography and Digital Communication back in the first year (which I never put up as this blog was set up in the second semester), but it’s more full-on this year.

For our first assignment, Typography (Stage 2) is to make a Punk Fanzine based on a contemporary Punk band. Now, I couldn’t find any contemporary bands with that genre by itself, so I’ve picked a Punk Rock band I liked back when I was a teenager: Green Day. Still have some of their CDs and listening to it last night and singing to some of the songs, I obviously still like them deep down. Gonna plan out the layout and what to put in there. But since I’ve picked a band I’ve brightened up a bit. I hope it will be something I’ll enjoy.

Research & Reference is basically what the name says. The assignment for this is called Alphabet Soup. Out of many tasks, we have to pick a minimum of three to do. So far I have picked one that I will be doing, which is:

How would you illustrate these lines from a poem by Seamus Heaney:

The letters of the alphabet were trees,

The capitals were orchards in full bloom,

The lines of script like briars coiled in ditches

For this I have done research on Heaney himself, and where this poem has come from and what it was inspired by. It is from a collection of poems written by Heaney called The Haw Lantern (1987).  It is meant to be one of his most abstract collections and has the theme of dealing with loss and the death of his mother, who died in 1984.

The title for the collection, The Haw Lantern, is based on the berry-type plant, the haw fruit. The berry itself is a symbol to the Northern Irish of opposing against winter, and the dignity of the people when there is trouble and violence, and light and hope is seen in the midst of that darkness. The lantern is based on the Greek myth of Diogenes. In the myth, Diogenes was carrying a lantern in the streets in search of an honest man in the light. The meaning behind it is that there is little hope in finding an honest man.

The poem above is from Part II of the collection, and is the third stanza in this section. It describes the point of Heaney’s life where he was fascinated by words. It uses the imagery of natural beauty to describe the formed letters and their shapes and sounds.

Back to the assignment itself and choosing two more tasks, I’m not too sure what to do. I am swaying a bit to one where you have to look at the surfaces that letters appear on, and producing symbols for three words, as well as doing anagrams where the word and its meaning changes when you take away a single letter (like ‘cow‘, take away the ‘c‘, and you’ve got ‘ow‘). So I may just as well do them.

Now, as for the last new module, Advanced Digital Communication, we are being taught programs I have been wanting to know more about, InDesign and Dreamweaver. They’re being taught 5 or 6 weeks at a time (so first InDesign then the other program) and I’m finally learning something from it after almost a year of obtaining the Adobe Design Suite.

Anyways, it’s time to go back to work, so I’m off.

Stars & Anime

20 Sep

So my 4-month break from university is almost at an end, and really looking, I haven’t actually done much stuff than I said I would…

But! I have done a drawing, using only Illustrator and Photoshop (so no hand drawings before hand which is the first) and I feel really chuffed with it. It is, however, another anime girl style picture – pretty boring that it’s mainly the only thing I do drawing-wise in my spare time….

Anyways, this is what it is:

And these are the steps I took to produce it:

On Illustrator, I used the Calligraphic Brush tool to draw out the figure. It took quite a while as I couldn’t get the desired look – hair/posture. I really wanted the hair where the forehead is to be sort of swayed from “wind”. Eventually, I was happy with this. Almost each section of the figure is done in separate layers (head, hair, body).

I tidied up the lines, removing the ones I don’t need, then added a new layer, skin colour, and used the Blob Brush to colour in the desired colour of skin with added tones.

Another layer is added, facial features, which I coloured in the hair (shading and highlights as seen) and the eyes. When you take a closer look at the eyes, there are two different shades, one dark blue and one light blue.

Another layer, clothes and accessories,  I coloured in the dress and hair pieces in blue to match the colour of the eyes. The hair pieces has rounded shading and circular highlights reflecting light to indicate the roundness of the object. The necklace and belt are coloured in a similar way but in shades of grey, representing a sort of metallic material.

For the background layer, I added star shapes, and arranged them in a way I was happy with. I then saved the star shapes background and girl as two separate files.

I opened both files in Photoshop and combined them. For the stars layer, I wanted them to stand out a bit more as I felt the purple made it too plain, so I went into Blending Options and did the Stroke line in a fuchsia pink colour similar to the hair colour. I also did the Drop Shadow and Outer Glow in the same colour. The inside part of the stars is done by using an Inner Glow and a lighter purple colour.

The Outer Glow of the girl is done in the same colour pink with an Inner Shadow to form the curves of the figure and unify it with the style of the background.

And that’s how I did it. Here is the finalised piece again:

Flash It Up

2 Sep

So this evening I’ve been looking up on Adobe Flash CS5 and how to use it since I have no experience on this program and have a feeling we might need to use it in our second year of university.

I read a tutorial explaining how to produce a simple animation using symbols and tweaking the timeline etc etc. I followed every step carefully and I got it right within an hour or so *go me* I then thought why don’t I try doing one using a bit more movement… So I decided to do a little adorable yellow creature from one of my favourite anime/mangas, Card Captor Sakura, called Kero Beros, flying from one end to another. It was quite simple to draw and produce the character’s movement of its wings, but it was time-consuming doing the tweaking of the time frames for each section.

As an ending piece, it’s not fantastic. But for something I have done for the first time, I think I have earned myself a gold star ^___^

Click image below to see animation: