It’s been awhile since I posted anything but I have a good excuse – I’ve been learning Maya the last two semesters at Middlesex County College in their new Gaming and Animation program which was started by Richard Thompson.
In the past, I’ve taken single classes in Maya at the School of Visual Arts and Mercer County Community College but I wasn’t able to continue any further for various reasons and as a result the knowledge that I acquired didn’t “stick” with me after the classes were over because I wasn’t using the program day-to-day. Over a year ago, I found out that there was an affordable 3D Animation program near where I lived so I decided that this was a good opportunity for me expand my skill sets by learning Maya again from the beginning and then sticking with the program so that I could continue beyond the simple 3D modeling and animation that I had learned in the two prior Maya classes I had taken. Now that I’m on summer break, I plan on updating and tweaking some of the class projects that I’ve worked and posting them for all to see.
The first project that I worked on was a 3D model based on a logo for our 3D Design class created by one of the students in the class (the class voted on their favorite after seeing all the students’ sketches). It was fun getting familiar with the interface again and then walking through the initial steps of working on the 3D model in class with the teacher. The interesting thing was later working at home along with the prepared Vimeo tutorials created specifically for the class. This was a new teaching approach for me and quite helpful since I could play the video over and over again until I got the model the way I wanted it.
In the end, the most interesting thing for me was taking the 3D model that I had created in Maya, converting it to a file format that that the 3D printer could read, and then printing the model. I’ve never had anything 3D printed before and I would be really interested in doing it again.
With school starting up I figured I’d post a picture of what I did last semester in my Silkscreen for Illustrators class at the School of Visual Arts. There was a bit of a struggle with one of the prints which turned into another print but in the end I figured out what I was doing wrong and decided to attempt that “problem” print another time. I’m pretty happy with what I ended up with by the end of the semester and I hope to do more which I’ll probably be doing at home (I’m in the process of setting up a silk screen studio). Maybe sometime soon I’ll have a show?
One of the best parts of creating prints is signing the prints but you know what’s even better? Having your artwork hanging in someone’s home.
I added a third color to what originally was going to be a two-color print. I think that the third color makes a difference. The only thing that I wish I had done was make the yellow a little darker. Other than that I’m pretty pleased with the results of my first silkscreen print in about 7 years.
Below is a print that I did after seeing an ad on a website that reminded me of a 3D comic. I thought it might be kind of cool to emulate that look. Wonder if it really works? Does anyone have a pair of red and blue lensed 3D glasses sitting around?
I thought that for my first print I would do a variation of a drawing that I’ve done a few times since I went to Parsons School of Design. It was based on a postcard that I bought of Oscar Wilde. Anyway, this first print was going to be an easy one – a two-color print that could be done fairly quickly and get me back into the printing groove. Alas, after looking at the print for a few days, I think it needs a third color. I’ll probably add that color in 2 weeks. Until then, my next print will be based on this drawing I did a few years ago and it’s going to be a little more ambitious – I’m going to try and do all three colors in one day. The SVA Print Shop opens at 10 am and I plan to be there soon afterwards. I hope it works out.
I’m taking my first silkscreen class in seven years! It’s been too long. I almost forgot how much fun it was. Above is a photo of the vellum separations that I made based on a drawing that I did a while ago. I didn’t want to worry to much about precise registration so this version of the drawing is looser and the print will be done in two colors.
In future classes, I hope to create a lot of prints. I was thinking of printing a version of this drawing that I did of my friend’s father’s 1963 Brown University Math Department class picture, a visual interpretation of one of my friend Lorraine Doran’s poems from her new book, Phrasebook for the Pleiades (maybe on Plexiglass?), a tshirt, and a mini-comic.
I didn’t get a lot of time during the second class to finish my first print but I did complete the first color. Once I’m done with the print after the next class I’ll post the final result.
I’m sorry for not posting in such a long while but I’ve taken on a full-time job and it takes up a lot of my time along with the freelance assignments I’ve been picking up along the way. I do promise to post more in the future as I am continuing to teach myself Cinema 4D and I’ll be starting a silk screen printing class at the School of Visual Arts in NYC taught by Sara Varon. In the meantime, I figured I’d write a little about a project that I’ve been working on with my friend, Morgan Chen, and the owner of Network Makers, Nikola Stojsin. We’ve been working on the rebranding/redesign of Network Makers with the end result being not only a new look but new collateral packaging and new promotional items for Nik to give to prospective clients.
The first thing that I started with was the Network Makers logo. I just wasn’t a fan of what Nik had had before but I did think that it did have the beginnings of a better logo. The old logo looked like it was an “N” and “X” instead of an “N” and an “M”. It also looked kind of flimsy. I ended up sliding the “X” bar over to the right so that the “N” and “M” became one shape, I then went with a lighter blue, and added a second color – grey. I also made the “N” a little more dynamic. I think that it works better than the prior logo. What do you think? To see another logo treatment please check out the Network Makers logo page in the logos section of the M+PBG website.
Below is a sample of one of Network Makers’ employees’ cards. I intend to play off of the angles of N/M logo by utilizing slanted lines, shapes, and die cuts in the design of the letterhead and the other collateral packaging.
I’ve had this mesmerizing (for me at least) video clip of three minutes in the life of a seagull on my computer for a few years now and I wasn’t sure what to do with it for the longest time. Then I realized that there really wasn’t anything that should be done to it. I just needed to add some non-intrusive intro graphics, some nice, serene music and let the video play. What is it about this video that I like? The sounds of the ocean breaking on the beach, the plane flying above, the other seagulls flying around, the people on their wave riders coming on screen as the seagull walks off, and, quite simply, life at the shore. I hope you like it.
This video was created using a Flip HD Video Camera, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe After Effects.
The song “The High Heat” can be found in The Wilco Book which can be purchased at Amazon.com and other fine stores.
Okay, I’m not famous but I did have my first custom TV graphic put on the air for Fox Business Network not too long ago and I’m sure at least one million people saw it. The graphic aired during the Lou Dobbs Tonight show for a story about methamphetamine use in North Korea. How anyone in the U.S. knows about meth use in North Korea when the North Koreans don’t know what’s going on in North Korea themselves is an interesting question but it was talked about very convincingly on Lou’s show.
I must say that I was very nervous starting at FBN but the graphics staff there have been nothing but super nice, professional, incredibly patient, and supportive. The whole system in which a graphics order is made and passed over to the designers and then passed back to the producers so the graphics can be plugged into VizRT (not too sure how to explain this program but it seems to me to be the program that controls all the graphics that you see on TV) and put on the air is pretty cool. I never gave much thought to how the graphics system worked, I just remember saying to myself that I could do that, especially when I looked at the over the shoulder graphics made for the local New York City news. How hard could it be to do that? Well, it’s harder than you think but FBN, and I’m sure other networks have a similar system, has an incredible “bank” of templates for pretty much every type of still graphic that they air. What kind of templates do they have? Generic fullscreens, custom full screens, logos, baseball cards, head shots, cyber images, maps, promos, graphs (line and bar!!), and a ton more. Phew!! Below is the file that I handed off to the producer and the image below that is the way the graphic appeared on my TV on FBN. So, I guess I’m a tiny bit famous…
Wow! It’s been more than a month since I last updated my blog. I’ve been pretty busy freelancing at Fox Business Network creating on air graphics and teaching myself Cinema 4D. Now back to Cinema 4D! In the process of learning about extruding, lighting, texturing, and animating I figured that I was far enough along where I could actually apply what I’ve learned so far. So I decided to “update” the Brooklyn Nets Promo that I created in After Effects awhile ago. In the original version of the video the Brooklyn Nets logo is flat and there’s no real movement to it. In the new version, I replaced the flat Brooklyn Nets logo with a 3D version and there’s a lot of movement to it (basketball spinning and shield swinging from left to right).
The whole process was a very good learning experience, especially when it came to the integration of Cinema 4D with After Effects CC. I’m a big fan of how you can make changes in Cinema 4D, save the changes, and once you move over to After Effects the changes from C4D are almost instantly reflected. The only issue that I ended up having though was with the “in-box” shaders (textures) that came with C4D showing up in AE. For some reason AE doesn’t recognize the shaders and as a result you get a flat, dark C4D object in AE. I did a little research on the interwebs and this issue appears to be a bug between the 2 programs. The work around was outputting an animation sequence from C4D and importing the sequence into AE for final output. Below is a screen shot from the original video showing the flat 2D Brooklyn Nets logo. Hope you like the update. Let me know.