Friday, September 30, 2011

Left 4 Ideas...

I've been busy lately, not a lot of designing going on.
Between helping a buddy of mine refinish his basement and sorting out things at school / taking classes there, I haven't had a chance to sit down and come up with anything new.

Classes! Yes! So far I've taken some Dreamweaver, some Fireworks, and will be starting Flash soon enough. That's the tricky one to me. I was a little concerned about Fireworks, as I hadn't really used it at all, but it seems to be a collection of elements from other programs I am very familiar with, so that's cool.

What I have been kicking around is an idea to make a Left4Dead board game. I want yo use cards, but I'm trying to lean away from using an actual board. I hear WOW released something along those lines, I'm doing some research.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not Paying Attention In Class

That is to say I AM paying attention in class, but due to not a lot of people here having knowledge of DreamWeaver, the teacher is sort of starting off at ground zero.

Class? What are you talking about, Rob?

Well I'm glad you asked! As of about 2pm today I am now enrolled in the Conestoga College Digital Media class! So far I'm down to take the current DreamWeaver class, a class in Flash and a class in Fireworks. I'm hoping that my previous classes at Georgian College plus my 4+ years of experience in the field will allow me to opt out of the actually design related classes. We'll find out soon I hope, the college strike that just ended delayed me a bit (I actually missed my first Fireworks class on Monday without even realizing!) Oh well...

That's all for me, I should start paying attention. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Let's see how many of these blog posts I can get away with without having to post any kind of title!

I had a job interview on Friday for a company in Elmira. Wish me luck!
No current ideas for any new artistic projects... wonder if I should create a Facebook specific to my graphic design life. Would this really be any different than my website? That was what we call a shameless plug...

I'm still working on the script for my webcomic. That's sort of what's on my plate right now, that and trying to hear back about some leather. More on that later.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Project - Skelanimals Birthday Card

In case I haven't mentioned, a lot of my projects are the combination of two needs - my need to create something kinda fun and unique, and someone else's need to have something kinda fun and unique made for them! Everyone loves this, this individual piece that is theirs alone: something that even if they don't hold on to forever, they can still know that they owned that and nobody else did. That's why I created the Skelanimal birthday card for a friend of mine. As I said before, I love working with greeting cards, so when I told her "give me a theme and if I have time I'll make you a fancy card", this is the result!

I started off by looking around for something I could create as a papercraft, but hadn't worked before. At the time I was still working on the Hot Fuzz Birthday Card and had sort of exhausted my need for pop-ups. After a few Google searches for things like "creative card" or "fun papercraft" I came across this. It looked amazing and I gave it a try right away.

I started by printing a cheaper smaller version of it to be able to map out the proper areas where images would be created when put together:
As it turns out, there is a double spread in the design that worked perfectly to have a nice splash message. From there, I designed some Skelanimal themed images and broke them down into squares to be inserted into the overall template.
Once I was happy with the mock-up, I went out and chose a nice 12pt card stock paper and had it professionally printed. From there I took the sheets home, cut them out and taped the whole thing together and was really happy with the final output:

That's all for this project. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Project - Hot Fuzz Birthday Card

This project has lived in a little bit of infamy here, with a short story before I get into the actual design blog...

Most of my projects begin with wanting to do something special for someone I love. I've designed jewellery for my fiance, tattoos for friends and co-workers, but what I really love doing is birthday cards. These often start off with me saying "ok, give me a theme and I'll make you a card". This is how the Hot Fuzz birthday card began, with me wanting to try something new, and my sister choosing Hot Fuzz as the theme. The trick was that this happened sometime in August 2010, intended to be a card for her birthday early the next month, with me eventually finishing the project about two weeks ago! The delays were a combination of losing my job shortly after I started, deciding how I wanted the card to look, and eventually having to learn all the techniques to create the card that I wanted. I'm happy with the results though, and I hope my sister will be to!

So the initial concept of the card was extremely simple: have a basic pop-up mechanism of the cathedral with the character of Tim Messenger in the foreground, his head crushed in by the falling spire. Right off, I thought this was way too simple, even fancying it up with an image on the inside and outside. Then I had the idea of adding a pull tab of Const. Angel and Const. Butterman chasing the missing swan, taken right from the movie:
I sat on this concept for the longest time, because I didn't know what else to add to it. I opted at one point to add a flip panel of the dead bodies found in the caravan, but now the project was a number of disjointed movealbe paper gimmicks, and this made me sit on it for a bit while I dealt with other concerns.
Eventually, I had the inspiration of giving the overall card the theme of illustrating all the deaths caused by the Neighbourhood Watch Association. I already had the idea of Tim at the cathedral and the dead bodies, all I needed to do was build on that and organize my ideas.
Needing to learn more about pop-up books, I went to Chapters and took some ideas from The Harry Potter Pop-Up Book and The Pop-Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns for some more interesting pop-up ideas (this was after weeks of reading library books and just not finding the right applications).

In the end, I decided to have Tim Messenger spin his head to reveal the crushing spire (pop-up with spinning image), Martin and Eve becoming decapitated from the welcome sign (combination pop-up and pull-tab), Leslie being stabbed with her shears (a sliding French window), and the central piece of George's house exploding (combination pop-up and some pull tabs for effect).
Here are some images of the works in progress (a special thanks to the images of the characters, likenesses, and all that, but in general all final designs were created by me using Illustrator and Photoshop):

In the end, they all came together to form this:

The doors and pieces of brick on the house expand out, and pull tabs raise flames in the house windows. The car is pulled out under the sign (which pops-up) and underneath reveals the severed heads. Leslie's French window changes scenes in the movie. Overall a success! I really really wanted to include some music playing when you opened the card, like the movie theme, but I couldn't find a small enough playable electronic device (I did find a recordable Hallmark card, but it played a short music clip after that I couldn't get rid of).

That's all for this project. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shout Out To The Ether

Good evening everyone!

First, a welcome to my blog. I'm hoping to post up some of the personal design projects that I work on in my spare time here in sort of a step-by-step process to maybe give other designers some ideas, or to act as sort of a living portfolio to enhance my other website (shameless plug!)

Funny side note: I'm generally branding myself as Intelligent Designs, but I had one heck of a time trying to start up a blog under that name! I guess I should have jumped on this boat sooner, but I'm unfortunately only branching out into as many social media outlets as I can lately.

Anyway, thanks for coming out. I'll post up some of my more recent projects shortly, and I always welcome feedback and will try to respond to any comments in a timely and only semi-sarcastic manner.