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Case Study: Desktopography Valley by Jennifer Cirpici

Case Study: Desktopography Valley by Jennifer Cirpici

We've featured this beautiful wallpaper by our friend Jennifer Cirpici a little while ago. Now she's back and sharing with us a Case Study about how she made her Desktopography Valley. Enjoy! Every time you make something, you set higher values and become more precise. Remember to always set your own bar higher and higher. Never make yourself regret that you did not do enough, but that what you did, was the best you could do. 1. Starting all over again Over the past few years a lot of things have changed for me. I’m studying again and my 3 year internship takes a lot of time. It was difficult for me to find time to work on a piece for Desktopography for the past 2 years. But the thought of working on it again, never left. While I was looking on it, being 2 years older and on a new 27 inch iMac, I noticed that the sky was good enough. I was still very pleased with it. The rest? My god. The colours, the tree, everything I just couldn’t use. I decided it was time for a new concept and with that a new approach. This also helped me to get motivated again to work on it. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici It took me a couple of hours till I thought of a new concept. What if I decide to do something difficult, but to completely rstrongove the middle and focal rock and to replace it with the logo in shape of an island?I took the unedited stock again which I saved and started working on it. It was difficult and it took more than a day to get the technical stuff done. With technical stuff I mean 3 basic things that need to be absolutely as perfect as possible: Rendering, Blending and Perspective. 2. Know what motivates you to go on It maybe sounds silly, but I get very motivated when I first start to set the colours right. This always is a long progress for me, so what you are seeing now isn’t the final result.I believe everyone has this sort of routine when someone starts working on something. Some begin with a sketch and some need to have a certain kind of music. I wanted the colours to look retro, to have a VSCO feel. In the end I ditched this idea (will come back to this later). After I played a bit with the colours I started to remove the big old’ rock. Whoa and that was difficult. It took a lot of my time, because removing something isn’t really fun for me. To continue motivating myself and to give myself a clear view of how it would look, I started adding water. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici How I did that? Simple. Copy and paste water, blend those in, digital paint, perspective tool and puppet warp. The perspective tool and puppet warp are two tools I used a lot in this piece, because the perspective was crucial. It could make or break it. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici 3. Making the island During these technical phases of an illustration, it’s important to keep yourself motivated. It was high time for me to take a break and get some groceries, take a shower and look at it from fresh eyes again a couple of hours later.I did had the bad luck that I was fighting against time, because the deadline was coming soon. Which meant that I was working from 12 pm till 5 am on it, until I couldn’t see it anymore and went to bed to start working on it again the next day. My friends think that this is crazy. Maybe it is. But it gives me such an adrenaline rush when I’m able to finish a piece. Like you’re on drugs. Well, you guys know what I mean haha. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici How I made the island is the same way I made water. My photo-manipulation works are always a combination between painting and stockphoto’s (maybe sort of like a matte painting).I never just render and try to blend something in while not digital painting around it. Painting it makes things blend as well into the scenery. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici I've also decided that the island shouldn’t exactly match the logo. Nature isn’t perfect, so this shouldn’t be either. It should make you wonder. And that wonder part makes people look at your image longer and make thstrong start liking it. I’ve learned this while I was working full time as a designer and wanted to strive for perfection. But when it comes down to illustrations like these, do not aim for perfection. The imperfection makes it yours. 4. Focus on the details All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici Above is a clear example of how important perspective can be. I’ve tried the perspective tool (edit > transform > perspective) till it looked right and made these tiny little islands in the shape of the leaves of the logo. Some are fully covered with trees, some not. Like I said, nature isn’t perfect. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici Pay close attention to how things in nature look like. How edges from an island are shaped, how depth is working et cetera. If it does not look right, ask for feedback.Even a child from 10 can tell you, with no experience what so ever in Photoshop, if something looks weird or not. He or she could not point out what you could do about it, but can tell you with no-photoshop-eyes that it should look differently. Just a tip I once got as well. 5. And… flip it horizontal While I was working on it, there was something about the piece that I didn’t like. It had to do how we like to look towards a viewpoint. You see, now the rock at the left asked for my attention, not the logo in the middle. That needed to change, because I wanted the logo to grab the attention. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici I often fix everything that takes the viewers away from the concept/focal point I want them to lay their eyes first one. And with this I mean blurred leaves in front, an eagle (coming back to this later) or in this case a rock.I’ve also asked two opinions about this decision: to my aunt, who is a photographer and to Mark Vogelaar, also a contributor at OtherFocus. Both of them agreed that it looked more pleasing for them when it was flipped. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici 6. Adding my 2012 Sky and starting to change the colours All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici I’ve added the sky in it, changed the colours a bit and noticed that my piece was getting darker and darker again.Sure, it should be dramatic, but I felt it became lifeless due to the colours. Around this time my pet became very sick so I had to go to the vet. This reflected in how I was working on the piece.The moment he became a bit better and so that I looked at it with fresh eyes again, the moment the piece started to become better. I added more colours to it: made the trees/plants more green and the water and sky more blue. Remember that before I mentioned an eagle? I bought a, let’s say not very cheap, stock photo of an eagle. It’s absolutely stunning.Full of detail and it’s crispy sharp. Exactly how you want a stock photo to be, because that makes rendering easier. I started rendering it (I do this with calculations > channels and personally find this the best way to do complex rendering) and trying to see where the eagle could ‘fly’. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici But no matter where I paste the eagle, no matter how small or big I made it or how well I tried to blend it in within the colour schstronge, it just took away the attention. Remember where I wanted the attention to be? I wanted the eagle to be an addition, not that the viewers see something that looks like an eagle (maybe even wonder if it really is an eagle!) and then see the logo. Get rid of everything that does not make sense huh… Decision time again. I got rid of it. 7. Know where the light comes from A difficult part. There are multiple light sources I this illustration, also because there is a ‘storm’ coming. But right now I wanted to flip the sky and make the left side darker and the right side lighter. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici Another trick that I use since I was 14, is adding a gradient with a white circle in the middle where I want the focus to be. Then I set it on soft light with an opacity of 2-5%. It makes it stand out a bit more. 8. Final touches Unfortunately it was already Tuesday and in a few hours the exhibition would go live. This is my favorite part of working on a photo manipulation: the final touches, the final details, the painting. I can go nuts on it for days. But there wasn’t much time left so I had to set down my priorities: making the water look better by adding reflections, plants, depth, waves, reflection from the sky et cetera. All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici I’ve also fixed the depth within the leaves by adding light and shadow. Doing this by digital painting it as well. Just using the standard brushes that are already in Photoshop. I vary from soft to hard brush and set the opacity and flow lower. Final result All Rights to Jennifer Cirpici This entire progress: the decisions I had to make, how my mood is reflected into the design, which music I listen to while working on it (huge fan of Bonobo), how I set my colours, how I set my focal point etc. is what I call ‘style’. So how do you find your style? In my opinion it is figuring out your working routine. Which steps do you continuously repeat? That makes your artwork yours. Thanks for following my work in progress. Hope you like it! You can download the wallpaper for your desktop at Desktopography here. Video Links More about Jennifer Cirpici and her blog: http://www.otherfocus.com Follow Jennifer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennifercirpici More about Desktopography: http://desktopography.net/ Previously seen on OtherFocus

Nike Dominator by Alexis Marcou

Nike Dominator by Alexis Marcou

Seeing the process behind compositions for me is one of the most amazing things especially in learning how designers and digital artists create certain effects. The creativity and improvisation behind some of the techniques is quite inspiring, like the light study that Alexis Marcou did for the Nike Dominator project. Below you can scope a little bit of his design process. Commissioned work by Nike in 2013. Designed a skull wearing a football helmet. Final outcome was 2 tees in black and blue colors. For more information about Alexis visit http://www.alexismarcou.com/

Brand Study: Trzech Kumpli

Brand Study: Trzech Kumpli

Another awesome brand study by the Polish designer Lukasz Ruszel. This time is an indie beer visual identity where you can see all the steps of the process, from goal to final result. Enjoy! For more from Lukasz Ruszel visit behance.net/midgar. Goal Creating visual identity for a new brand of indie beer called Trzech Kumpli (meaning "three three friends" in Polish). We have started out with a few ideas for the brand's symbolism: Three buddies having a beer together. Depicting Svetovid - a four-headed, Slavic God of war, fertility and abundance. Client was a big fan of Art Deco style, so we needed to try it out as well. Sketches Proposals First concept is a simple geometric representation of three friends sitting at a table, having a beer. Second idea refers to Svetovid, the four-headed deity. The last one is a more radical and experimental solution, inspired by alchemical symbolism (the first shape stands for the creation of the Philosopher's Stone). At this point different beer styles were supposed to have names of chemical elements, so I thought it might be an interesting approach. Development The first proposal has ben selected for further exploration, due to its simplicity and clear representation of the company name. My client rightly pointed out that the initial draft was a little too heavy, and the surface of the beer is too dark for the first (and most important) brew of the company's light beverage. While working on these elements, I have also come up with the idea of encapsulation the whole logo with a cap-like shape, that would clearly suggest some king of beverage (hopefully, beer for the target audience). At this point lettering was far from satisfactory - glyphs were just placed on a curve, not following it, and they were not "open" enough for optimal readability at small sizes. Comparison of the logo-cap before and after changes to the lettering: Final Result

Case Study: Just Around the Corner

Case Study: Just Around the Corner

Just Around the Corner is a campaign for HSBC to communicate the merging of HSBC Oman with Oman International Bank. Staudinger + Franke is a visual studio from Austria that took this project and created an amazing case study. Enjoy! For more from Staudinger + Franke visit staudinger-franke.com/. HSBC is a worldwide operating banking and financial services company. To communicate the merging of HSBC Oman with Oman International Bank we were commissioned to realise the visuals for the campaign. The Idea HSBC is operating global and connecting Oman to the rest of the world and wherever you are, you will find a branch that connects you to your home bank, just around the corner. The layout from JWT Dubai. The Realization First rough composition before we went to Oman to shoot additional elements. Shooting in and around Muscat/Oman. First rough composition after the shoot in Oman. Work in progress. Final background with rough color corrections. Most elements are from our stock library. Final Version

Case Study: Centurion Logo Design

Case Study: Centurion Logo Design

This is a great case study by Lukasz Ruszel a designer from Poland. Lucasz explain all the ideas behind the logo and shares every step of the process with us. Check it out! For more from Lukasz Ruszel visit midgar.eu. Goal My job was to design a logo for a young team of graphic designers and engineers, with a knack for creating smart and powerful visualizations of architectural and interior design projects. They wanted a symbol that would be simple, clever and modern, but at the same time connected with the name of their business. Research After having exchanged several emails with my client I decided to start my research process by looking up centurion-based symbols that had been created previously. It turned out that the archetypical Roman warrior is quite a popular theme in branding: Most of these designs depict centurion's profile, as it helps to highlight the very characteristic plume on top of the helmet. Sketches Vectorizing The first two concepts, while quite nice (especially the second one), were too complicated and not unique enough. The last one seemed very much on target and easily the best match for the company. From this point on, I have concentrated my efforts on refining it. Refinements Final result I was able to create a very minimalistic, yet easily recognizable depiction of a centurion's head. A smart design that my client was thrilled with.

Space Dogs

Space Dogs

Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favor of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th century, influencing major trends such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements. Its influence is still vivid today and the work that Steve Simpsons created for a short story titled Space Dogs is a great example of that. For a Roddy Doyle short story, Space Dogs about Dezik and Tysgan were the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight on the 22nd of July 1951. All proceeds going to Roddy Doyle's 'Fighting Words' charity - published by Harper Collins Book blurb: A short story taken from the Fighting Words charity collection, BEYOND THE STARS, written and illustrated by two of the most outstanding talents in children's fiction today Told from the perspective of the Russian dog Tsygan, this is the story of the first living creatures to be sent into space - the 'star dogs' of the title. Roddy Doyle's typically accessible voice is complemented by the illuminating illustrations of Steve Simpson, together immersing a new generation of young readers in the incredible true story of the Soviet space dogs, one of the twentieth century's true feats of science. Research is a hugely important part of the process for me. In January of this year I was given the brief for this short story by Roddy Doyle, part of the Beyond the Stars collection of short stories. A week later I was in Moscow teaching workshops. The timing of the trip was purely coincidental but a research trip to the Museum of Cosmonautics was an oppourtunity not to be missed. For more information about Steve check out his website at http://www.stevesimpson.com/

Harmful Nature Case Study

Harmful Nature Case Study

There's no limit to our imagination and with the right tools and drive we can translate our most creative ideas into beautiful artwork. For this week's case study we feature a project titled 'Harmful Nature' from our friends over at Lightfarm Studios. We featured this image for the wallpaper of the week and on this post we've decided to give you a little sneak peek behind the scenes, enjoy. Harmful Nature is the new promo video from Lightfarm Studios. Conceptually the image brings a dark and tragic metaphor about the impossible love with the classic tale of the Diver and the Mermaid. Along one month we used the latest 3D technology in cloth simulation on this piece where everything was modelled, from the ship wreck to the corals. The model was shot in a diving pool for the best realistic results as possible to seamlessly blend photography and 3D. From the underwater shooting session to post production we blended all of our knowledge in 3D and post production into a piece that is as real as dark, always aiming at breaking our own limits as artists. Video Harmful Nature - Making of from Lightfarm Studios on Vimeo. For more information visit http://www.lightfarmbrasil.com/

Case Study: Messenger Bag by Ugmonk

Case Study: Messenger Bag by Ugmonk

2 years in the making, Ugmonk by Jeff Sheldon recently introduced a Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag to his shop. Based in Philadelphia USA, Jeff has being making truly beautiful products for our lifestyle. With the Messenger Bag, Jeff is sharing his whole creative process, from the concept sketches to the final product. Very impressive and totally inspiring, please enjoy! Ugmonk has always been about making products that I wanted to exist. Yes, there are thousands of different bags on the market to choose from, but I wanted to design a bag completely from scratch based around my wants while incorporating the Ugmonk aesthetic. The original idea for the bag started over 2 years ago but it was a long process to finally see the finished product through. Each new product is a learning process and brings on new challenges, but in the end it’s worth the work. In Jeff's Words All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk Digital Mockup I don’t have any sewing or pattern-making experience, but I knew it would be helpful to draw the bag digitally to get a more precise mockup to send to manufacturers. This also helped me figure out the dimensions and proportions for each part of the bag. Though some parts of the bag were altered during the actual prototyping process, this gave me a solid idea to work from. All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk Early Prototypes It’s hard to know exactly how the sketches will translate until creating the first physical prototype. After I had the first prototype bag in hand I noticed a number of things that needed to be modified and improved. For example, the original canvas that I chose was too thin and didn’t have enough structure making the bag feel too flimsy. Since I only had a sample swatch of the canvas it was hard to know that it wouldn’t work well for a whole bag, but that’s why it’s important to build out the whole product before proceeding with the full run. We also tweaked a number of other things like the length of the front flap, extending the back leather strip to help cinch the sides closed, and using more streamlined hardware. All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk Product Photography It was an amazing feeling to finally have the finished bags in hand. The bags looked and felt incredible in person but I wanted to make sure that the same quality and detail really came through in the product photography. Too many people overlook this part when selling online and skimp on photography. This is the only interaction a potential customer will have with the bag and it’s vital that the photos reflect the quality of the product. I spent several days shooting the bags and designing the product page layout and flow. All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk All Rights to Ugmonk Links More info about Ugmonk and his shop: http://shop.ugmonk.com Follow Ugmonk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ugmonk Follow Ugmonk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ugmonk Read more about the Messenger Bag Process: http://www.ugmonk.com/2014/07/06/messenger-bag-processfrom-sketch-to-fi…

Case Study: 3D Oasis by Justin Maller

Case Study: 3D Oasis by Justin Maller

"A 3D Oasis Where Beauty Meeds Danger" is one the latest pieces by Justin Maller for Shutterstock Designer Passport Project where different designers create amazing pieces using shutterstock photos and break down the process for us. Check it out! Justin Maller is a graphic designer from Australia who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. His portfolio boasts a varied and impressive selection of illustrations, and for this edition of Designer Passport, we asked him to apply some of his unique techniques to our collection of images."

Surf Bottle - Case Study

Surf Bottle - Case Study

It's been a minute since we've featured a case study on illustration here at Abduzeedo so we felt the need to showcase something special. We're excited to share the work of Anna Kočová via the illustration entitled Surf Bottle. Anna shares with us the process behind the illustration from the basic sketches to the final result. For more information about Anna check out her Behance profile at https://www.behance.net/annakocova

Urban Cloud by Orlando Arocena

Urban Cloud by Orlando Arocena

Adobe is celebrating its first year anniversary of the Creative Cloud system and to celebrate they are announcing some new amazing features tomorrow in a special event. They also have commissioned some illustrators and designers to contribute by way of beautiful pieces created using Adobe's software. A particular work we're excited to feature, Orlando Arocena's incredible illustration titled Urban Cloud. Check it out. For more information about Orlando, check out his Behance profile at https://www.behance.net/orlandoarocena - his work is simply amazing!

Case Study 'Fresh Milk' by Timothy Reynolds

Case Study 'Fresh Milk' by Timothy Reynolds

I really enjoy seeing the making of cool projects, from conceptual drawings to the final product. Timothy Reynolds has recently published his work for a large Asian dairy company. Here you can see all his creative process. "I had the amazing opportunity to work with Alchemy Asia on a large site refresh for Kowloon Dairy, one of Hong Kong's largest dairy companies. Was tasked with incorporating the "fresh milk" messaging into five panoramic landscape illustrations. Entire project took around 12 weeks, from start to finish." - Timothy J. Reynolds We're showing you the process of one of his pieces. For the whole set, please visit his portfolio at Behance! It's totally worth it. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Cheers! ;) Details

Turn Me On - Case Study

Turn Me On - Case Study

Our friend Craig Shields found a one of his artworks in his hard drive and as he mentioned, it's his take on the "extremely over done" extrude 3D text effect. We don't care if it's common practice or not, the artwork is very cool and it's a good reference for those trying to learn how to use Photoshop and Cinema 4D for this type of effect. It totally deserves to be featured here on Abduzeedo. If you don't know Craig, he is a Lincoln University Undergraduate and proud member of Depthcore, he has dedicated himself to the digital arts, often combining traditional and digital techniques to create some truly unique illustrations. For more information visit http://www.craigshields.co.uk/ Process This has been on my hard drive for months and I realise that it's outdated but would like to share. My take on the extremely over done and common practice of EXTRUDED 3D TYPE. Enjoy. Final result

Death Side Series: Darth Vader & Shadow Stormtrooper by Charles AP

Death Side Series: Darth Vader & Shadow Stormtrooper by Charles AP

It's fascinating to see the step by step process behind illustrations and design in general. The project titled Death Side Series: Darth Vader & Shadow Stormtrooper by Charles AP is an incredible example. The level of detail in the sketches and the very stylized final outcome is inspiring and the perfect reason to be featured here on Abduzeedo. Finally!! After a long time i'm working on this project since the "Skull Trooper" illustration i've done, this second or third project Done.. As you can see bellow on the Skulltrooper illustration i did back then, i wrote " Vader, You're next !". Some guys comented on this illustration and they guess what was the words means. They said that i gave a clue about what illustration I'll do next. and they are RIGHT. That's exactly the meaning of the Words, not just some messages to scared the Darth Vader. Hahaha. Charles AP is a freelancer graphic designer and illustrator from Surabaya, Indonesia. For more information visit http://www.blackoutbrother.com/

The Verge - Making of

The Verge - Making of

I love all things outerspace and artworks inspired by this particular subject. Perhaps because of growing up watching NASA's mission on TV and all that imagination about the future with spaceships and the conquering of space. So the guys from Lightfarm Studios put together a really cool piece and an even more awe-inspiring case study showing the process behind it. Check it out. Description Inspired by the book "Rendezvous with Rama" of Arthur C. Clarke, our computer generated astronaut meets the world's ending in a highly detailed vortex. By seamlessly matte painting over 100 aerial pictures of giant proportions, our artists worked hard to bring this surreal idea to life. Our CGI team used the latest technology for cloth simulation which made the unique astronaut's suit possible. In this making-of video you can follow the whole process from the sketch to the final model. Hundreds of gigs of video capture were carefully selected and beautifully edited with the deep beats by the Russian musician Vitaly Ghost, Lightfarm Studios proudly presents this poetic trip through the making of "The Verge" Lightfarm Studios celebrate the launch of their 3rd Studio - Lightfarm Brasil, based in Rio, with "The Verge” a look behind the scenes at the creation of an epic sci-fi image! Original artowork by Andre Freitas aka.Raqsonu - http://raqsonu.deviantart.com/ Track by Vitaliy Ghost - Monsoon , AWJ recordings - http://soundcloud.com/awjrec Video Making of The Verge - Making of from Lightfarm Studios on Vimeo.

Case Study - Ego Ripping Illustration

Case Study - Ego Ripping Illustration

Ego Ripping is a piece done by the German Martin Grohs for the Cosmosys art Exhibition. Here you can see the process from pencil drawing to digital colors. Enjoy! Ego ripping - is about selfish/egoistical people, people who have a overdose of self-love and on the second side about the "alter ego" (second ego), which some people have at the same time.. schizophrenia is a really interesting area and I think everyone has not only one side. There are always different ego's. Few can hide it better or the ego's are better fused together. Details Original Drawing Process Final Piece

Positive Thinking Wallpaper in Illustrator

Positive Thinking Wallpaper in Illustrator

I am always change the wallpaper of my computer, not so much on my mobile devices, I don't know why. The only think I know is that I look at my wallpaper quite a lot because of the second monitor. In order to get some inspiration I decided to start a series of wallpapers with positive thinking quotes. The first one is from Mark Twain and the theme is inspired by an ad from the 80s, my favorite decade for sure. In terms of tools, for this one I will use Illustrator and Photoshop but my goal is to use Sketch and other apps as well. This is not a tutorial per se, it's just a little case study or behind the scene of how I create this wallpaper and the future ones. There won't be a lot of details, but it's an opportunity for me to explore more Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketch or any tool that comes to my mind. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. For wallpapers I used 2880x1800 pixels. After that with the Line Segment Tool (\) create 2 lines. I am using the same angle of the Abduzeedo logo. Step 2 With the Blend Tool create 8 steps from the two lines. Step 3 Now using the color spectrum, change the colors of the lines going from yellow to green. Step 4 The idea for this future wallpapers is to use a positive thinking quote. The first one is from Mark Twain, and it says "I've had a lot of horries in my life, most of which never happened". Step 5 With the Direct Selection Tool (A) edit the text box to have the same angle of the lines. Step 6 To finish this first wallpaper I just placed the Abduzeedo logo in the center. Conclusion I am not fan of pure vectors, I don't know why but I always like to add a little texture. So in Photoshop I added a simple paper texture to make it less "vector". The whole idea of this first wallpaper was to explore my favorite theme, 80s with a simple and elegant wallpaper. I hope you had fun and let's see what comes next week. Download Photoshop Download Photoshop file