Saturday, May 26, 2012

Master Collection

I just got myself Adobe CS6 Master Collection. Master means you have to be very good to use it. No not really, it just includes everything and the kitchen sink. Except for some things. Like Lightroom 4.
After opening each program once, here are my initial impressions.

Some pros:
- The splash screens are cool! Very trippy.
- Photoshop doesn't turn off my mouse wheel settings
- The apps finally work with Aero snap
- Illustrator is 64-bit... hopefully that will solve an export memory issue I was having
- Finally have access to InDesign, Acrobat, and umm... SpeedGrade?

Some neutral, literally:
- Photoshop is dark!
- Illustrator is black!
- Flash is still pale grey.

Some cons:
- Photoshop said it would import all my "presets"... but my preferences did not get imported.
- The apps still don't look cohesive... quite diverse in fact.

This time Adobe won't come out with a new version immediately after I buy it. Ha, take that Adobe. I'll post an image next time... maybe something I created with CS6!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Promotional page

For our business practice class, we are required to design a promotional "tearsheet" for something like the AMI source book that circulates. A full page advertisement is something around 1500 bucks for a year, so I'm unlikely to be doing that very soon, but it's a good thing to work on.

Instead of using 2D illustrations that I've created for the program so far, I wanted to make a new, single image page that highlights the animation process. So far I've blocked out the design, but there's lots of work to do to get the kind of rendering styles I have in my head. I still need to come up with a sleek logo too. Comments are appreciated.

Incidentally, the process of a bacteriophage injecting DNA into a bacterium was the first (very simple) scientific animation I ever created as far as I can remember, using Macromedia Flash in about 2003 maybe?

The tank is in progress, albeit slowly.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer projects

I thought it would be good to update with semester end notes and my plans for the summer.

I officially finished spring courses last week with an 'Evolution of Medical Illustration' presentation and critique where I presented my artwork to faculty. My evolution presentation was on software use in the biomedical animation industry, and I think it went well. The critique was helpful and I got several ideas and solutions for improving my pieces from this semester. The good thing about digital media (although it's a double-edged sword) is that it is comparatively easy to go back in and correct problems, work up certain areas, and generally polish pieces for my portfolio.

This summer I've got a couple courses: Business Practice and Research Methods. I'll be creating promotional and administrative materials for myself (tearsheets, invoices, business cards, logos, cover letters, CVs - actually just one of each most likely). And I'll be doing background research for my master's research project (MRP), which I will elaborate on in the future.

A lot of my time will also be dedicated to self-directed learning in the software that I will be using for my MRP. Maya, Unity, Photoshop, and maybe some ZBrush just for kicks.

For Maya, I've started modelling a German WWII tank, the Panzer IV (Ausf.F2 to be precise).

For Unity, I've started going through this learning path:

For Photoshop, I'd like to work on a series of sketches and digital paintings to improve my wacom skills and painting technique.

For ZBrush, well I'd like to at least get through this course: and then we'll see what happens. Hopefully some quick sculpts on a semi-regular basis to get my hand in.

It's always a risk publishing my goals, especially with so much going on. I know that the reality is that I won't get as far as I want in each of these areas, but maybe with some encouragement from my readers, I'll be able to keep all the balls in the air.