Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Semi-Off Topic: Art 101

Ok, this has nothing to do with my Photoshop class (GRC 183), but it DOES relate to Photoshop itself, since I "dressed up" some of the photos I'm about to share. when I came into this semester, I did so with the firm belief that I couldn't draw to save my life, and at the time there was ample evidence to support this belief. However, over the course of my time in ART 101, this has changed a little. I'm not going to claim that I'm some sort of virtuoso with pencil and paper, because I'm most certainly not, but I picked up a few things, and feel that I have some technique... though not much skill. Here are three works that I've done in the class that I'm not embarrassed to share. :)

This first drawing came about when the instructor was telling us to explore "value" (how light or dark a color is). While I was trying to think of a subject to draw, I saw this wine bottle, and it looked interesting, so I chose to draw it. It proved to be an extremely enjoyable (though somewhat frustrating, at the time) challenge, and I think it turned out VERY well, all things considered. Just kindly ignore the lines. I made the mistake in putting them in in ink, so couldn't erase them as I went along. Oops?

This next one is obviously a self portrait, and while it's not great, it at least LOOKS like me. Overall, I'm at least "content" with this one, though I know that there is a lot of room for improvement. I think I NAILED the hat though. :D

The final piece that I'm sharing needs a bit of explanation, I think. My instructor classifies it as a "drawing", though I would have to disagree. there are drawn elements to it, but overall, it's more diorama than drawing. Anyway, have a look and decide for yourself:

Basically, this is... it's... Well, I don't know WHAT it is, but it turned out the way it was supposed to, so here you go. While I'm at it, here are two more photos of it, taken from different angles:

You know, I'm going to miss art class. I'll have another class next semester, so I'll be blogging about it when the new semester starts, but probably in a different blog. I'm really enjoying blogging about my progress in school, so I think I'll make more of a habit of it in the future. this is probably my last post in this blog for a while, but be on the lookout for other blogs and posts. I'm sure I'll have more to say, later.

Till then, have fun!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Final Project - Mock-up Web Page

For our final project we wee to create a "mock-up" web page in Photoshop, utilizing a number of the skills learned throughout the semester. I had planned on an elaborate design that used a rather detailed 3D model that was based on the ridge equipment originally found on the starship Voyager from the Star Trek franchise. I had several dozen hours put into the project, and was nearing completion when a sudden glitch in PS caused me to have to abandon that project or risk not having a finished product to turn in. What I ended up making instead took me all of an hour and a half, and it was clearly not what I had originally intendd, but it turned out well enough, so I thought I would share it here.

The project rules were simple. We were to first "storyboard" the intended design, then do a layout mock-up, add text, then put together two separate "pages" from within the intended site. Here, in that order, is what I came up with:

First, the storyboard. I decided to keep this as simple as possible, since when I "pitch" a site I provide the visual details during the presentation. This is a simple 2-column layout with a header and footer. All elements of the page are completely static except for the main content panel (as you will see in a moment). This saves on bandwidth, making the page load faster and perform more smoothly for people with slower internet connections or mobile devices with metered bandwidth. though this layout is in desktop/laptop format (1366x768 pixels), the site would be making use of a responsive layout, meaning that mobile or tablet users wouldn't miss out on any functionality or presentation.

Next comes the page background. Through the use of CSS Media Queries, this image will be selected to match the screen size of the device accessing it (or the closest match, in cases of non-standard displays), thus allowing for improved user experience on smaller devices.

this scene depicts the various "panels" that will be used in the page. Though it's not immediately obvious, there are colors applied to the header and footer panels that serve to improve readability of the text contained in each. Here's what those panels look like without the background image:

As you can see, the coloring is VERY subtle, but it makes the text within them a LOT easier to read.

Here's what the News page is meant to look like. You'll notice that you have to look very hard to see the coloring in the header and footer, but it's still there, and it helps the text to stand out, making it easier to read. This, incidentally, is why the left navigation and main content panels are white, with only a small amount of transparency added. You can still see the background image, but the text isn't getting lost in the background.

And finally, the blog page. As mentioned earlier, only the main content of the page changes when a link is clicked. Not only does this save on bandwidth, it also takes advantage of "repetition" to make the site feel more uniform and professional.

while this was the most "quick & dirty" project I've made this semester, it's also one of the most fun to do (my favorite is still the movie poster, though). This has been an incredible class, and I've learned a lot.I hope that the rest of my time at WNC is this enjoyable. I'm going to make one more post, probably tomorrow, showing off a few of the things I've made in my Art 101 drawing class. Infinite kudos and humble thanks to my instructor, Lee Stokes, and to my fellow classmates, especially Dowain, Suzanne and Denise, who were a joy to be around, and have inspired me to push even harder to create some quality works. May you all enjoy great success in the future.

Ok, enough rambling. Till next time!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Blog Post 14: Water Fruit

this is my last "official" blog post for this semester. I'll probably post more things over time, but this post marks the end of my sojourn in GRC183. I've had a lot of fun, and have posted some things that I'm very proud of, so all in all it's been a good experience for me, and I hope for you, as well.

this week is all about building an "aquarium" for my two new best buds, Sparky and Iona. I didn't have much in the way of building materials, so I made due with what I had on hand. They're probably asking each other, "does this apartment smell funny?" :P

now, I'm off to finish my final project for the class; a mockup web page that I intend to use as a new design for Geek Cave Creations. I'll probably post something about it here when I'm happy with it. Till then, have fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Week 14: 3D Text

Ok, this week is all about exploring the possibilities of 3D in Photoshop. As most of you know, I've already been doing this for several weeks, so there isn't much new here (that's coming, though, so stay tuned!), but given what today is, I thought I would do something that fits the theme:

Yeah, I know. It's a little irreverent. Those who know me well more or less expect that from me. :P

Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!