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other learning resources on this site & this instructor's other classes:
Intro to Computer Graphics |
Intro to 3D Graphics |
Survey of Graphics Software |
Intro to Art |
Web Media |
Students in this class focus on artwork fine-tuned for reproduction--in print and on the web. They learn how to solve the
specific issues that arise when addressing a wide audience. These issues are
unlike the ones involved in crafting works for individual exhibition, and require an understanding of contemporary illustration practices and visual narrative.
This is a 3-units class that runs for 9 weeks (2nd half of the semester), beginning October 23 and ending December 20, 2006.
- Class goals:
- Evaluate graphics programs as illustration tools.
- Demonstrate operative skills in the use of graphics software.
- Produce illustrations on the computer for various media.
- Understand illustration practices, implement a sound workflow.
- The final course grade will be based on the student's performance in class and in completing assignments. Grade weight will be specified for each project.
- Required textbook
- The complete guide to digital illustration
- by Steve Caplin and Adam Banks
- Watson-Guptill, 2003
- ISBN 0-8230-0784-7
- Optional texts
- Learn about professional practices and opportunities:
- Inside the Business of Illustration by Steven Heller and Marshall Arisman. Allworth Press, 2004. ISBN 1-58115-386-4.
- A number of printed manuals are available in the lab: ask the lab aide for them, with your student ID in hand.
- Several relevant magazines are available in the Graphics lab. These are especially useful because of their timeliness.
- Program reference manuals:
- A variety of books are available providing step-by-step instruction and reference information. Make sure that any books you choose match the versions of the software you use.
- The programs available in the lab usually come with electronic manuals and/or online help, which you can view directly on the computer.
- First raster practice project 10/23 lab
- Precise simplicity. In your textbook: pixel art, p. 38.
- Isometric pixel art is a style inspired by the look of old computer display graphics. It is used to impart a "retro" feel to contemporary artwork, as in this game.
- On the Web: OC pixorama.
- In this cover illustration for OC Weekly by international pixel artists EbOY, several Orange County icons are depicted as, well... icons (the computer desktop kind). Look for the big A, Crystal Cathedral, Richard Nixon, Disneyland and Mickey Mouse references, freeways (sort of--we don't drive on the left, do we?), beaches, surfboards, truckloads of flip-flops, etc. Obviously there's much more that's missing.
- Your task: add that one uniquely OC item that Berlin/NYC-based folks would never think of. Your challenge: make your addition seamless, by creating raster art in the exact same style as the original.
- Second raster practice project 10/25 lab
- Visual complexity. In your textbook: Painter, p. 36.
- After the simplified look of pixel art, we'll careen towards the opposite extreme: densely layered images using the image hose feature of some painting programs.
- On the Web:
- Your task: Choose your objects and composition based on the concept you wish to express: information overload, affluence, disposable society, emotional baggage, mental clutter...
- First vector practice project 10/30 lab
- Information graphics. A key application of drawing programs, as shown in your textbook on p. 22.
- Infographics are a combination of illustration and graph. The illustration part invites the viewer to look at the data, and enhances comprehension. An example is the illustration on p. 17 of the textbook, which is a disguised bar graph.
- Your task: using Illustrator's chart tools, create a striking pictorial representation of a statistical fact.
- Second vector practice project 11/1 lab
- Vector brushwork. In your textbook: Drawing Techniques, p. 82.
- We switch gears once again. After focusing on facts and figures, we look at the fast and loose side of Illustrator.
- On the Web:
- Your task: using Illustrator's brush tools, create a greeting card design for your choice of occasion.
- Animation practice project 11/6 lab
- Attract loop. This is a standard feature of most interactive projects: DVD menus, ATM kiosks, web site homepages, and many more. It amounts to one or more animations (often triggered when there is no user activity) designed to encourage viewers to interact with the program.
- Each delivery format will have specific constraints. In the case of a web page, small files to minimize download times are essential. A key technique is to come up with a looping motion (i.e. the end connects back to the beginning) so that very short animations can play indefinitely.
- Your task: create one or more small animations that could be used to enliven your portfolio pages on the web.
- Connect to the file server in the lab, and find the animation samples in the class folder (ACG_FILE/CORSI/ACG112/Animation). Drag the StartHere.html file to your web browser to read the directions. Read through the tutorials listed on the right of the page, and choose the one(s) that can be customized to your needs.
- Each tutorial will result in a number of animation frames on separate layers in a Photoshop document. Since the tutorials predate CS2, they do not mention that you can now convert to an animated GIF directly inside Photoshop (this process is similar to ImageReady's workflow, p.148 in your textbook, which you can also use). The steps in Photoshop CS2 are:
- In the Layers palette, hide all the layers except the ones that belong to frame one.
- Use the Window menu to open the Animation palette. Check that frame one has the correct appearance, otherwise make changes to the layers visibility.
- In the Animation palette's fly-out menu, choose New Frame. In the Layers palette, hide all the layers except the ones that belong to frame two.
- Repeat until all the frames are sequenced in the Animation palette. Use the small pop-up menus beneath each frame to set their durations. Use the playback controls at the bottom of the Animation palette to preview the animation.
- Use Save for Web in the File menu. Choose one of the GIF presets and save. Drag the GIF file to your web browser to test the animation.
- 3D practice project 11/13 lab
- Previsualization. Advanced storyboarding for the film industry, integrating 3d and illustration.
- Previz assists movie directors in planning complex shots before committing to expensive set construction and/or digital effects.
- In your textbook: a variety of easy-to-use 3d programs are described in pages 106-113.
- These programs are available in the 'Additional Software' folder on the server volume 'ACG_DEMO'.
- Your task: using the cinematography principles described on p. 118 of the textbook, previz a two-character interaction.
- This includes positioning of figures and props, lighting, and camera placement.
- You can find additional models of props at various sites on the web, such as Creative-3d. Ultimate 3D Links has a fairly comprehensive list.
- Factual illustrations: assembly instructions 11/15 to 11/27 labs
- Illustrators as solution providers. Pictures alone won't cut it (they're a dime a dozen on the Web). You have to solve a client's visual communications problems.
- Read the 2nd section (Design principles for assembly instructions) of Designing effective step-by-step assembly instructions. Browsing the rest of the paper may also be useful--particularly fig. 5.
- Look at the explanation of building brick drawing on p. 86 of your book. Reading Exploded drawing on p. 80 will probably help as well.
- Select among the landmarks described at the Great Buildings Collection. In addition to photos, downloadable 3D files are available, improving your understanding of these complex shapes (the program to view the 3D files is on our file server).
- Your task: create wordless, multi-image directions to assemble a building bricks model of the architectural landmark of your choice.
- Make sure to plan before you start to draw. You have more time for this project, make it portfolio-quality.
- Use the ideas in the Stanford paper. How many steps are needed? Do you need action diagrams or structure diagrams? What is the best vantage point?
- Which one of the digital illustration techniques reviewed so far would work best? The textbook on p. 86 deals with vector programs--you may come up with a different solution instead.
- Showcase: your final project 11/29 to 12/20 labs
- final artwork
- Technical orientation.
- System software user interface.
- Recommended workflow practices.
- Digital illustration gear.
- Digital illustration orientation.
- Historical overview of illustration.
- Variety of digital illustration techniques.
- Impact of digital techniques on publishing.
- Requirements and constraints of common publication formats.
- Raster graphics (digital painting).
- Raster programs.
- Common raster features and techniques.
- Raster illustration uses and visual styles.
- Vector graphics (digital drawing).
- Vector programs.
- Common vector features and techniques.
- Vector illustration uses and visual styles.
- Digital 3D graphics.
- 3D programs.
- Common 3D features and techniques.
- 3D illustration uses and visual styles.
- Digital animated graphics.
- Animation programs.
- Common animation features and techniques.
- Animation uses and visual styles.
- Visual resources research.
- Scanning and vectorizing.
- Working files vs. delivery files.
- Standards and compatibility.
- Print media case studies.
- Electronic media case studies.
- Illustration as authorship.
- Narrative and documentary pictures.
- Typology of text/image interplay.
- Visual conventions: iconography, symbolism, typecasting.
- The business of digital illustration.
- Professional illustration practices and job descriptions.
- Impact of digital techniques on promotion.
- Intellectual property issues.
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