Sunday, November 17, 2013

October & November in Digital Arts 1

We made some crazy kaleidoscope designs, by using a polygon selection tool, the copy-and-paste commands, the transform tool "rotate", and copying and merging layers.

Creating spooky, surreal landscapes in Photoshop with layers of photographic images we "appropriated" from the web, we learned how to find the size of an image file before downloading it, and we learned to select and transform images, adjusting the light and color, to make it "blend-in" realistically with our base image. Adjusting opacity was also helpful, especially on the eraser tool, for cleaning up some of our cut-&-paste edges.

Then we learned to use masks, and how precise we can get in a selection, even using the "Refine Edges" options to feather and expand the edges. Adjustment Layers helped us create a slide-show of options for a make-believe "client" - we changed the color and even the pattern of the surface of an object in a photo, and saved at least 4 options as a PDF slide-show. As designers, we might use this to help someone decide what color, or pattern to color their car, their house, or their product. Here are some of the zanier options students came-up with:

We began using the Intuos 3 pen-tablets! They are NOT as easy as you might think - suddenly we're all drawing and writing like kindergartners again! Once we recovered from this frustration, though, it was fun to practice this new hand-eye coordination skill and work our way toward even finer control in digital arts media.

Now, we're ready to move on to Illustrator! Guest Artist Alison Krein, UAS Communication Specialist and Graphics Designer, came to our Digital Arts class and shared her work, and how important vector-work is in graphic design. She will help us use the vector tools of Illustrator to trace some basic Northwest Coast Native Design elements, like ovoids and u-forms. Then we'll create our own "logo" using some of these elements, combined with text.  Northwest Coast Design is a style of art that carries especially strong issues of identity and ownership. We'll learn to recognize how some of the stylized shapes are used, and can be arranged  

Connect the Dots: Expressing personal identity with Northwest Coast Native Design elements using a digital pen-tool and vector imagery.
Students will develop skills with the pen-tool, drawing with Bezier curves in vector format.
Students will recognize the specific curves and proportions that make up ovoid and u-form shapes by tracing master work.
They will recognize these shapes carry specific identity and can be arranged for meaning in Northwest Coast Form-line design.
Students will manipulate these shapes, curves and colors to assemble a unique personal logo or crest with Northwest coast design influences.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall 2013

Ms. Ridgway's Digital Art students spent a month studying basic photography.  Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO work together to capture a record of light. Understanding adjustments to these settings allows us to control things like  depth of focus and motion-blur, and achieve specific effects, like a pan, or sharp focus over a blurry background.

We spent a week in a "Light Lab" setting up a key-light, a fill-light, and a rim-light, on objects and human models. We played with diffused light, and colored light filters.  By the end of the week, we understood how to account for low-light situations and take pictures with less "noise." 

After learning a few tools through tutorials, We put our pictures into Photoshop.

Last week, we used our new Photoshop skills to put our faces on objects, working toward the most believable representation of this impossible photo-merge.

We started October with the brief study of the animation principle of "Stretch-&-Squash." Cartoons amplify the dynamics of physical contact - as a ball bounces off the floor, it first stretches toward the floor with gravity, then squash at the impact, and stretch as they bounce away from the floor.

Students were allowed to work in the medium of their choice.  Here are a few of our explorations with Photoshop GIF animations, expressing this principle. Click on the image if it is not looped for infinite animation: