Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pharynx and larynx

After a certain period of frustration, and some tedious and nerve-wracking work, I finally finished the second rendering (here rendering means adding tonal value to a line drawing or sketch) for the textbook illustration course. That parenthetical reminds me of "A Series of Unfortunate Events". "A word which here means that I put some text in parentheses."

The frustration was due to not knowing where and how to use the contour lines required for this medium, but after help from the professor, some trials and plenty of eraser (all the rendering is done in pencil first), I managed something that I'm actually quite pleased with. The nerve-wracking part was due to not being able to Ctrl+Z a shaky pen stroke. It is possible to erase the ink with a mechanical eraser (like a dentist drill) but not that easy and not many times. Luckily I didn't make any huge blunders, and I tweaked a couple things in photoshop after. Not perfect by any means, but it puts the pen and ink I did as one of my portfolio pieces to shame (I never posted it I hope). Yeah, for the portfolio piece, I don't think I did any pencil tests... anyway, best not to dwell on it. Onwards and upwards.

Then I did some labelling in Illustrator again. I cut back on the number of labels from the original labelled drawing. The major failing of this piece in my opinion is the lack of real focus. Is it supposed to be a figure of the pharynx, the oral cavity, the brain, the dural folds, the arteries of the brain? Anyway, it's not going to be used for didactic purposes, but it's still good to be mindful of what the piece is intended for and what kind of audience it has.

Any more news? Nothing major... back to Illustrator I suppose. I need to learn about opacity masks and stuff.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From brachioradialis to bezier curves

Well it's been long enough since I posted an update. On Thursday I had my second and final bellringer exam for first year med anatomy. It went well enough I suppose, but I'm so glad it's done. I was counting down the days even when I needed more time to study. But now that we are all experts on the contents of the carpal tunnel (tendons of flexor digitorum profundus, flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor pollicis longus, and the median nerve, I believe... just showing off) we get to hop on the computers and start learning some digital tools. From now until Christmas will be a crash course in Illustrator. I've dabbled in Illustrator a bit, but I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into some challenging stuff. Everything so far has been challenging and there is ZERO indication that the rest of the program will be any different.

The first mini-assignment was to get familiar with the pen tool, which always causes newcomers some headaches (I'm no exception). I traced the liver I did previously (as you can see below), as you can see above.

I finished inking (or penning, I guess... not sure what the difference is, since I used pigma pens) the sagittal section of the head. I'll label it in Illustrator and then post it here soon after. Even the traditional illustration is teaching me some handy digital techniques, including scanning different media to get the best quality for printing etc.

The other benefit to having anatomy done is now I can listen to music while I work (too hard when trying to memorize). Have been enjoying albums on Rdio from Neverending White Lights, Florence + the Machine, Evanescence, Jars of Clay, Hannah Georgas, annnd the Muppets (Green album).