Friday, May 9, 2014

Blender 3D Beveled Text Profile

If you have ever used a 3D modeling program you know that you can usually create 3D text objects.  You should also be able to add a bevel to your text AND add a fancy profile to the text edge simply by clicking on a button.  Not so easy in Blender.  What I mean by not so easy is you cannot simply click a button and have the profile appear onto your text.  You have to do a little more work in Blender which also means, in a good way, having a little more control over your profile.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blender Displacement Mapping

For a long time I always wondered how artists retained so much detail in their 3D renderings.  How could they get small nuances to render and display as photo realistic.  The answer is displacement mapping. Adding a grey scale image into the displacement channel will render true texture with lifelike modeling.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Working Quick and Efficiently

I'm finding that some days are better than others.  Today the creative energy was flowing smoothly and freely.  On this portrait I didn't have to struggle with how I would work that was determined before I got started.  I just had fun.  Nice ending to the day.  You can see this entire portrait series at Behance.

Stay safe, create daily and be attuned to change.

I worked on another portrait illustration inside Adobe Illustrator over the weekend. My goal is to force myself to use unfamiliar tools and practices within illustrator so that I may be better equipped in my illustrative pursuit.  Like others, I find myself using the same work flows and techniques, bypassing some of the more essential tools I should be utilizing.  

Creating daily is something I look forward to doing.  Setting a specific deadline and meeting that short deadline forces me to work fast and not over think the process.  At the end of the day I evaluate what I learned and what I could have done better and move on.  Tomorrow brings a new challenge, new skill set and new problems to overcome.

I have found over the years being an illustrator you need to develop skills which are pertinent to your specific style.  You should also experiment and push your style beyond your imagination at times.  By taking time off I feel I can now take a new approach, a different perspective to my work.  I can try new things.

Be safe, create daily and be attuned to change.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Create Daily

I'm trying to adhere to my motto Stay safe, create daily and be attuned to change.  I am safe today unlike many others around the world.  I am certainly attuned to change, or I would not be posting weekly to this blog.  Creating daily is often challenging but quite liberating.  I don't set out to create anything specific I just go with the flow and work until I run out of time.  Today I spent some time in Adobe Illustrator playing around with a self portrait and forcing myself to utilize tools unfamiliar to me.  I tried to work fast and free of any guidelines trying only to complete the illustration by the end of the day.  Mission accomplished.

Let me know what you think!

Stay safe, create daily and be attuned to change.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Screencast Text Effects

Today I wanted to share a video with you about animating text within Screenflow, Telestream's application for capturing video, audio and screen activity on your desktop.  If you have ever watched a video tutorial on YouTube chances are it was created using Screenflow or one of the many other screen capture applications.  All of my YouTube video tutorials on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator  are created using Screenflow.

I chose Screenflow because it was built for the Mac from the ground up.  Easy to use, Screenflow allows you to capture, add audio, images, and edit everything from your screen to tell your story.

In this video tutorial I will show how to create text effects inside Screenflow to make your animated video tutorial dynamic and entertaining as well as instructional.  If you have ever wanted to create a "How To" video, I would strongly suggest checking out Screenflow from Telestream.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Community Guidelines

Behance site

Ok, today I spent some time looking at sites to promote my work.  I have been bookmarking sites along the way so I had a good start.  I looked into Flickr and got pretty excited about the layout and display of images.  I had seen another artist's page on Flickr and loved how his imagery was all displayed in a common place.  I wanted this for me.  Next step, set up an account and start propagating the site with all my stellar imagery.  After about  two hours of looking around, uploading, training myself and browsing around I began to question my decision.  It didn't feel right. 

No one in my household knew anything about Flickr I was on my own.  My wife asked why I would want everyone to have access to my images.  I couldn't answer her concerns.  After digging a bit deeper I found the link to their COMMUNITY GUIDELINES.  Turns out Flickr is not a site for self promotion and illustrative luster.  It's not a site for self promotion unless you are a photographer. Flickr is a site to share and exchange photographic imagery with a global community with a stealthy approach to promotion.  Flickr does not want your animation or illustration.  They just want images you have taken, have ownership to and want to share with the world.  Why you would want to share actual images with the world, I will never know.  

If only I had written this blog before wasting all of that time! I would actualy be ahead right now.  Hindsight truly is 20/20.   Lesson learned. Google your site guidelines  AND read them before looking at the site and getting inspired.

Did I learn anything from this lesson in promotion 101?  Sort of.  My next stop was Behance. Jack Pot!  Behance is a site dedicated soley to creative artists like you and me.  A site for showing the world what you do and how you do it.  Art directors yes.  Creative directors yes.  Photographers I guess they can be included as well.  Even illustrators like us can upload work and have it displayed to the global, creative community.  Sign me up!

Bottom line is:  know what you are signing up for before you get overly involved and entrenched in the process.  Just because someone else is showing work on a site does not mean he or she has read the COMMUNITY GUIDELINES.

Be safe, create daily and be attuned to change.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

YouTube Introduction

Today I worked on getting an introduction to my YouTube Channel.  It's not the best, but certainly better than I had.  I'll have to work on draft two after looking at what others are doing.  

I used ScreenFlow from Telestream to handle the video work and screencast which it handled without any problems.  Not a large video just 30 seconds, but I chose to play around with text effects.  It is all new territory for me.

Stay safe, create daily and be attuned to change! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Checking In With The Past

So as I was researching how to get new clients a thought came to mind.  Why not touch base with past clients and see if they are in need of any illustration work. Such a no-brainer for most, but not for me.  My first email went out to BE Publishing which I have done work for in the past.  Great company to work for!  They publish educational titles for which they need cover art. The company has a great story behind how it all started, and the owner is great to work with.  The images are samples of work I created for their annual catalog.  I'll let you know if my lightbulb moment generates any work.

It is hard for me to make the contacts.  I would rather be creating the art, and I think many artists feel the same as I do.  I am going to have to get over that and step out of my comfort zone.  If anyone out there has any tips I would greatly appreciate some guidance.

Stay safe, create daily, and be attuned to change.

For Lease March 1, 2014

Layout of Space 1800sq.ft.

main room 1
I have spent the whole morning taking care of the artistic side of my brain, and now I have to take care of the business side.  We currently have office space for lease available beginning March 1.  It is a spacious 1800 sq. ft. urban escape, located about 1 mile west of downtown Indianapolis and just a quick 5 minutes to the campus of IUPUI.  It's ideal for a design studio, web firm or any creatively inspired start up.

main room 2
It offers hardwood floors, exposed brick, glass block, kitchenette, storage, T1 line and low utility costs. The current tenant is an interior design studio which has called this space home for the past 6+ years. They have an opportunity to move downtown and we wish them well with their new location.

     Past tenants have included: web design

     Here is the link to see what it is we are offering:
     Creative Space For Lease

     I would appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide
through social media to help us connect with a new creative soul to
occupy the space.

LinkedIn Updates

Catalog Cover Illustration BE Publishing
Cover Illustration Pearson Education

This morning I spent time updating my LinkedIn account and trying to educate myself on LinkedIn's best practices.  It is quite intimidating to be operating within all of this social media and not knowing what is proper etiquette for each and every site.  I have fears of irritating someone and tarnishing any reputation I may have established. 

My first impression is that you need to use caution when utilizing blatant self promotion. What I have found is that LinkedIn is more for stealth marketing and promotion(?)  You are better off by participating in discussions and making people aware of you through that forum than contacting members directly. I'm still trying to figure it all out, however, I do know that today's vast landscape of digital media allows one to connect in ways beyond comprehension.

Stay safe, create daily and be attuned to change!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Change Is Good!

I have waited a long time to get this first render out.  It seems like life and keeping the building rented is a full time distraction.  Not that I can claim ownership to the couch model; I am excited I got everything to work together as planned. Thanks goes to Andrew Price's course on Architectural Visualization. I am learning at an accelerated pace and enjoying it very much.  It has taken me a few days to get reacclimated with the blender UI but I'm picking it up much quicker than last year at this time.

The other aspect of this journey is getting all of the social networking in place.  I am entering back into the field with a renewed spirit and an open mind to change.  This transformation has come to me slowly while spending the past few years adapting to a teaching environment.  With the down turn in the economy, and the obliteration of the graphic design community, I've had to rethink my chosen path and alter its direction.  I think I am finally pointed in the right direction and crossing my fingers that the world can stabilize itself and behave like a normal world should.  Wishful thinking!

Stay safe, create daily, and be attuned to change.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Taking Control

Today is a new start.  After many years being idle I am beginning my journey back into freelance illustration and I'm excited to begin this adventure.  Setting up this blog and stumbling through the typing aspect is a big deal for me.  It is the age of social media and I have much to learn and grasp about this new technology.  Now if I could just grasp what the fuss is about Twitter, I would be happy.

Can anyone tell me what a permalink is?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blender Architecture Academy by Andrew Price

Today I am beginning to review the content in Andrew Price's Architecture Academy for Blender.  I signed up for this online course in March of 2013 and then never had time to work on it.  Life just gets in the way sometimes.  Architectural illustration is something I have been wanting to explore for some time now.  I have always been interested in old structures and the renovation of all items old and discarded.  I studied architecture in college for a while but was never smart enough to keep up.  With this realization of my limitations, I opted out for a career in illustration and design.  I'm certainly not complaining.  I have been very fortunate to withstand all of the ups and downs associated with my career path.

This course looks to be very robust and filled with free assets to help anyone get started.  Everything from free furniture models to materials and HDR backgrounds.  The course is well worth the expense just for the included assets.  The course is closed at the moment getting updates and revisions but will be available again in the spring of 2014. If you are working in Blender or want to get started in Blender, Andrew is certainly a very seasoned artist to follow.

Blender is a free, 3D, open source application used to build models, scenes and conceptual illustrations.  The best part of Blender is it's FREE, but don't let that scare you away from this powerful program.  It has a huge community of users and is constantly being refined and updated to keep up with 3D demands.  I started using Blender about a year ago after the program I was using just lost focus.  I also taught a 3D visualization course at Ivy Tech Community College which utilized Blender for its course content.