I don’t usually paint on 3D objects…but when I do it’s usually for a gift. This is a Zelda-themed repaint for my friend Jeremy who has a whole black/white/red setup for his motorcycle & gear. The helmet was pure white with black accents, so I took a few photos and went through a couple of rounds of mockups to figure out the look.
Visualizing on a curved surface is tricky! I considered taking some reference photos and mapping them onto a 3D object so I could spin it around, but (as I often do) opted for the quicker visualization figuring that I’d work out the fine details as I went. These Photoshop mockups just overlay vector masks onto the photo, and I eyeballed the curvature to fit the viewing angle.
Photoshop Test #1 was about establishing the overall placement for the classic Hyrulian crest with a little decoration on the sides. Jeremy wanted to incorporate “It’s dangerous to go alone” on it so he found the phrase in a glyph system designed for the latest game, Breath of the Wild. He also wanted more black along the sides and front, so for Photoshop Test #2 I figured out how to extend it without interfering with the letters (or vents).
Once I was ready to start painting, I knew I wouldn’t be able to mask the fine detail for the glyphs. Instead, I measured the front and printed them out to fit that length. Since it’s a curved surface, I also needed to work out how they would wrap evenly. To get this look, I cut vertical lines between each glyph so I could carefully bend the paper. I taped it over the area to paint them to use as a visual guide, and that worked out pretty well.
The rest I’d masked carefully though I ended up doing a lot of cleanup on the edges. Since I painted it (rather than spraying it) the paint didn’t leave a clean edge on the first pass. I wasn’t ready to invest in the kind of system (and masking, and ventilation) I’d need to do a proper spray, so it’s a good thing this worked! I used Testor’s Paint which seemed to grip pretty well. A final gloss coat by a professional painter helped seal it in. Ready to go!
This is the last batch of sketches from a sketchbook I carried with me (theme: Undefined Variables).
I’ve got two more tiny leather-bound sketchbooks like these but I may take a break from this style of book for a bit. I’ll pick it up again when I think of another programming concept that I can translate into a sketch style.
I also need to get the proper pen(s) again. I’ve been using the “soft” variant pen for these last ones for a change, and it’s much more like a brush pen. This paper is heavily textured which makes the soft nib catch more easily.
Just scanned a bunch of the sketches from the little notebook I carry with me (theme: Undefined Variables). Much like my first notebook (Object Oriented) I started running out of ink at about the 3/4 mark, right near the end of these. I remembered that a drying-out brush pen is still pretty useful for shading, so now I’m carrying both it and a fresh one.
I put my Bookbinding I skills to work to create an accordion book for a quickstart manual for a used camera we recently picked up, the Canon EOS 50D.
I found the PDF online, but unfortunately it had a bunch of watermarks across it. Or did it..? Yes, I have Photoshop skills. No, I won’t use them to remove watermarks from legitimately-for-sale imagery. But to make password-protected-for-no-good-reason old product manuals look better? Sure.
I arranged the corrected pages so each page ended up 2.5″ x 3.5″, and I was able to get about half onto one standard letter-sized sheet of paper. I set them up so they would create a nice, thick two-paper-width page once folded. My measurements were perfect, and they lined up nicely. Attempting to glue them…not so clean. I really need to get the “50/50″ glue we used at the class since it’s more forgiving for repositioning. The basic school glue I used was not, so my perfect alignment ended up not-so-perfect…oh well.
In the true spirit of a first attempt from memory of something done in a class, I also mis-measured the paper for the cover. I forgot to take into account the thickness of the davey board used for the cover, so I realized the paper wouldn’t wrap far enough (~.25”) to cover the edges so the inner paper would be approximately the same size as the paper. Yes, these are the things I’m now aware of after a class about this. To “fix” this, I chopped of 3/16″ of the davey board for the covers. This would definitely not fly if I were making this to particular specs, but since I was making this just to work on its own, it’ll do! The rest came together a bit better: the glue didn’t warp the paper as much as I feared, the glue held, and I decided to favor cover alignment (so the front and back lined up) rather than paper alignment (since that was a bit off-kilter anyway).
I’ll just pretend there are no mistakes. Isn’t it lovely?
Here’s the full set of vinyl toys & musician portraits I made for the Hues/Muse artist takeover at Chromatic Coffee last month. A few sold, so for the ones that didn’t I’m looking into either potential retail spots in SJ or online (possibly Etsy?) to hang a shingle & sell the rest. If you see any you’re interested in or if you’d like something in a similar style, let me know!
Next batch of the sketches in the Undefined Variables sketchbook I carry around. Enjoy!
This year, instead of spending my creative energies on a holiday card (doh) I focused on creating a “thank you” gift for Make It Legit. What started out as a theme for my blog became my business name when I decided to strike out on my own this last year. Though there are many people to thank for their kinds words and support, there were a handful of people (okay, maybe two handfuls) that were pivotal in making this a success. These are the people who alerted me to opportunities, stood by me as references, and/or were my key client contacts that made it happen. I wanted to thank them properly at the end of the year.
This was one of those ideas that popped into my head nearly fully formed. I think it may have been my subconscious harking back to the first assignment I had at my first post-college job: creating stamp graphics to use to indicate spec states (draft, final, etc.). I tracked down that file so you can bear witness to the folly of those unnecessary drop shadows…I will only say in my defense that the team liked and used them, and they looked pretty reasonable at the time.
I wanted to make some kind of physical good that would be interesting-looking and potentially useful. An old style wood-handled rubber stamp fit the bill. I got these made at Simon’s Stamps where I also bought simple stamp pads. Gotta make ’em usable right out of the package! I hadn’t ever thought of a brand color for Make It Legit since my logo is black and white, so I picked the “Grasshopper” ink because it was a cheery shade of green. It’s natural, it’s positive, it’s “go”. Why not?
The card is designed in Illustrator, and after a few fruitless attempt to make my printer work with cardstock I took it down to Kinkos instead. I mostly eyeballed the size to leave a reasonable amount of room for the LEGIT stamp. The mat cutter makes clean lines very easy, and a bone folder gave it the proper folded-card edge. The actual stamping was more challenging than I expected to uniformly land ’em centered and at a reasonably jaunty angle.
Originally I was going to send these in bubble-wrap envelopes, but I wasn’t happy with the different ways I found to bundle the stamp, pad, and card. At one point I had cut cardboard squares and pseudo-shrinkwrapped them. I took a stamp and pad out for one last attempt to find the right-sized box. With the actual pieces in hand, I realized they’d fit perfectly in CD/DVD mailers. Plus: the way they fold means there’s a lid to open for a nice reveal of what’s inside. Double plus: by sheer coincidence, the cards I’d made fit perfectly in the opening to be seen first before discovering the rest of the contents.
It was pretty involved but well worth it. I’m grateful for the people that made this happen, and am happy to already have a few folks on my 2015 list!
**bonus: I got motivated enough to write up some career-ish thoughts about this project and the motivation behind it on LinkedIn. Go check it out!
This is the latest little sketchbook I’m carrying around for the occasional moment to draw. The theme of the last one was Object Oriented, and it was a little brown book with sketches of objects drawn in brown ink. For this little black book I wanted a different theme, ideally playing off of another computer science term. Hence: Undefined Variables.
I’m trying out a more elaborate ruleset on this one. I didn’t really know whether it was working until I’d gotten four or five of these done. The ruleset is this:
1. Draw a scene of the objects in front of me and pick one object to cut out, leaving only the outline of the space where it would be.
2. Instead of drawing the true background, fill it with a nearby pattern.
Here’s the first quarter or so of the book.
A brief update: here are the rest of the sketches from my little Object Oriented sketchbook (the rest are here, here, and here). I’ve got another sketchbook going now that’s a different take on objects, so I’ll catch up to that soon.
I’m about three-quarters of the way through my Object Oriented sketchbook–the earlier sketches are here and here. My pen began to run dry, so I switched to a new one partway through this batch. In hindsight, I should have kept the original pen for shading, as it’s been challenging to do detail work with the ink-laden new pen.