Saturday, 17 January 2009

Photoshop Explosion Tute

I found this pretty neat photoshop explosion tutorial by Arindam Baruah (FrnkCrnk) on PSDTUTES which goes through the many elements it took to generate the complex space explosion shown below. I didnt need such a thing for The Frocks (yet) but it was a fun read, and if I can find a bit of time I will have a bash and see if I can throw my own spin on things as I go.

[final image from the photoshop tutorial on PSDtutes]

New Frockandments

Following from yesterday, I did a bit of work on another banner for The Frocks today. This was a little simpler, but still took a while - everything seems to take longer than one thinks. I had the most fun constructing the speaker and the girl was a relatively simple edit of an open-source pic which is a bonus. So it was all in photoshop (no Cintiq needed for this one actually)

Once again, here is the original reference pic (actual size actually) and mine (shrunk alot):

[The Frocks reference banner]

[My 10 Frockandments version]

Frocks Imagery

I have started doing a few images for The Frocks and more particularly their mighty drummer, Raelene from FBE (Go Raz). Anyhow, they have a range of imagery on their website and others that are used on banners during performances. The history of the current images means that they are small and sourceless.

Sooo I needed to generate some more for them - and last night I came up with this re-interpretation of one they had already with lights in the background and different colours and such. This version has some interesting things going on and seems to sit between their website and current banners sylistically. I will try to get the web colours, images and feel into the banners where I can, but inject something playful along the way. Anyhow - here it is - plenty more to come. Hell, I'll include the reference pic as well - just for completeness :-)

[The Frocks - reference image for top stage banner]

[my reinterpretation at a much bigger size and some new styling to match - note this is a highly shrunken version]

Friday, 16 January 2009

Mac Dock Tidy

Just a little thing really, I hadnt got around to making the dock on my mac neat and tidy until now. Using David's Let Stacks Keep Your Dock Tidy article I created a set of new folders to house all those apps that were cluttering up things or that I go delving into the Apps folder for occasionally.
I guess I would like to be able to have a custom icon for each - but this works very well as it stands. I still have a fair bunch in my main dock (which I keep on the side actually), but now it is much more manageable...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Michael Turner - Memory

[Michael Turner Wonder Woman sketch via the Comic Art Community gallery]

I remember well my jaw hitting the ground when Michael Turner arrived on the comic scene in titles like Witchblade and Velocity at the time. When I was in the city on the weekend I stumbled on a tribute book for him, I must have been under a rock to not know that he passed away from cancer mid 2008. But now that I do, I feel I should at least throw a small set of his awesome images into the blog here to remember and inspire. Just look at the style he brought to such clean visuals, stunning women and mighty heroes.

There are several Gallery sites out there with his work that should keep the drool coming, CommicArtCommunity , Comic Vine and Wizard Universe to name a few. For a quick bio - just shoot over to his Wikipedia entry.

[Michael Turner Art via the Comic Art Community gallery]

The Tale of Despereaux

I hadnt planned on seeing this little animated film actually - but off to the cinema we went to see what The Tale of Despereaux had to offer. There are perhaps too many parallels with Ratatouille and Flushed Away to allow it to live on its own, but it is a pretty and quite delightful little tale none the less.

The animation doesnt have anything particular to set it apart, though Despereaux's ears are very cute, esp when he flies. I havent seen the book, but I think the storyline is missing a few pieces to tie it all together better. The idea of the gray gloom is good, but it is tied to the King's ruling on soup and rats which doesnt seem to quite work at either end. Some of the characters have promise, but most dont reallt get to play out.

The CGSociety Feature on the film and work of Evgeni Tomov explores the aesthetic direction of the film and has some nice images from the film:

[Images from Tale of Despereaux via the CGSociety feature article]

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Blizzard Fan Art Program

Those guys at Blizard know a thing or two about keeping the community around their games strong. There are machinima tools, forums, events and a host more things to keep people involved in their worlds outside just playing the games. The Blizzard Fan Art Program is always worth a little look, to see the skills of players in a community gallery like this. Many of them are the kind of work that I like to do - cool stuff.

Here are just a couple that caught my eye for various reasons:

[some of the Blizzard Fan Art from their gallery]

Personal Lego Computing

I am a very laptop-centric person at the moment, though the idea of scratch-building something small and nifty still appeals. After seeing the LMac concept - some quick Google and Youtube searching showed that plenty of people have used Lego to create computer cases of various types. This is a super idea and could work for me - and now that you can get specific bricks from Lego - more achievable. I dont know if I could tear myself away from the laptop formats though...

Anyhow here are a few of the cool vids of people creating Lego cases:

MedusaVamp Colour

Last night I finished up a quick colouring and background for the second MedusaVamp sketch. So again this was all done on the Cintiq 12WX, from start to finish. I cant say enough good things about this little piece of hardware.

My courses at COFA coming up are Maya and ProTools, the later could make no use of such a thing at all. Maya and any 3D app could use it, perhaps more for the sculpting where something like Zbrush could be cool.

Monday, 12 January 2009

MacLife Concepts

[concept designs from MacLife]

The folk at MacLife, being inspired by Apple's design have come up with 4 conceptual pieces of hardware that they would love to see. All of them take a cool idea or two, apply some Apple-like design thinking and then gleefully present the concept for us. You can see all the fun, in all its glory, in Jon Phillips "Future Apple Hardware? Four Outrageous Prototypes Revealed!" article on the Mac Life site.

It may all be fiction, but it is fun fiction. By far my favourite is the LMac - the idea that a computer could be a piece of design for every user is great - that it could all be customised - awesome. Lego is a great expressive format that would meld very well with a build-a-pc concept - I would certainly love one. There may actually be some electrical/safety/connector issues to deal with - but even if lots of the componentry was locked safely away, having a Lego case would be very neat.

Here are some more images of the fun:

[images of fictional Apple hardware concepts via MacLife]

MBP 17 joins the stable

It did seem odd that Apple left the 17" Macbook Pro out of last years laptop upgrades - well it didnt get the new styling etc etc. Well now it has returned to the fold with the gorgeous aluminium casing and so forth. The graphics is the same as the 15" MBP though, so that is one telling reason to stay with the smaller version and they still haven't brought blu-ray to us which on this full HD screen is a real short-coming.

Either way it is a wonderful piece of design:

[image of the new MPB 17 via the Apple site]

Sunday, 11 January 2009

MedusaVamp 2 sketch

I did a few more sketches on the Cintiq before starting this one and I am really enjoying it. I can see why people use the special little gloves under their hands to help glide across the surface - no that I have one. I took a bit more time with this and though its proportions are interesting, she is some sort of creature mix between a Vampire and Medusa.

One of the funniest things was a habit that I brought across from pencil sketching. When I used the eraser (back of the pen) on the tablet I automatically sweep the tablet as if to remove the eraser bits - makes me chuckle each time...

Anyhow, here is the sketch - I will do the colouring next up: