Saturday, January 7, 2012

Immunology for real this time

Okay, last post, way back last year, I intended to post some concept work for the illustrator piece I was doing on an immunology topic. I wanted to make sure the content that I was posting was published, so first I emailed the professor I was working with to make sure it was okay to post here; so that's just to say why I didn't post it last year. Enough of the convoluted explanations, on to the work and some news.

Here's one of the later stages of the concept work (pencil and paper, labels in illustrator):

Here's a color mock-up in photoshop. The color palette is based off a van Gogh, I think (so it is undeniably beyond criticism - just kidding, no doubt I've improperly represented it - I was trying to think of a polite word for bastardized). That being said, I've tweaked the colors and toned them back a lot in the illustrator piece.

Half an hour before the deadline to submit the final concept, it was suggested that I turn the presentation style into a double-page spread, like you'd see in a scientific magazine. So I added another page with some dummy text (i.e. lorem ipsum) and stuff. As you might imagine, that took place after the deadline, so I've been breaking the rules a bit and working out a few of the ideas in illustrator (big no no). I'm getting close to finished with the illustrator work. It takes way longer than you think to do anything. The amount of time I spent on those nuclear pores... good grief.

So that's the final project for the class that technically ended before Christmas. The rest of this post is a lot of text, so you can quit now. What's up this semester? Well, instead of one class, we've got 4. Actually 5 really, because one of the "courses" has two areas of focus, two profs, and two major final projects, in addition to all of the ongoing small assignments.

1. Evolution of medical illustration: This one sounds fun, similar to the History of Biology course I took in undergrad and thoroughly enjoyed. There's some overlap, looking at Vesalius' groundbreaking works, for example. But then there's other characters and trends, BrĂ–del (could only find the umlaut for the capital O on my numpad), Steven Gilbert and a bunch of other stuff I'm sure. We get to see and handle an original, first edition, only a couple hundred left in existence, 16th century, De Corporis Fabrica.

2. Surgical illustration: This one for the moment is the most daunting, cause we'll be in operating theatres, sketching and taking notes on real procedures. It's one thing to dissect a cadaver, but I get the feeling that seeing a beating heart would be a bit more awe-inspiring. I'll have to accurately and visually depict a procedure in the medium of my choosing.

3. Neuroanatomy: I actually haven't had a class for this course yet, so it remains to be seen what it's all about, but it might be similar to the immunology course; learning some content and illustrating a specific topic.

4. Communication technologies - New media: In the past, students have created websites for themselves using flash. I was relieved to hear that the profs are keeping up to date, and with the apparent decline of flash-based sites, especially with the prevalence of mobile devices that don't support it, we'll be focusing on HTML5 and CSS3 instead for our sites. I used to like flash sites, cause they can be pretty slick, but now I just want something that works everywhere, is clean, straightforward and content centered. We'll see if I can achieve that.

5. Communication technologies - 3D: Finally we're getting into 3D. It's been all too long time since I did any personal projects in Maya. For this class, we're  using Cinema4D, which is good, because it'll be beneficial to learn another 3D package. If I know two packages reasonably well, it indicates (to employers) that I could pick up a 3rd or 4th quite quickly. Learning software is definitely something to be strategic about. For example, I'm of the view that if you know Maya and zBrush, you probably already know 90% of Mudbox. So all else being equal (it's not), it's better to learn Maya and Z than Maya and Mudbox.

And... here we are at the end. 

Hey look! It's the TL;DR cat. All growed up. Aww.


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