It’s a Relief that I can AME for the sky. Speakr-ing of China…
Starting off, I’ve got new equipment since my last update for those who don’t already know. I’ve been enjoying the luxuries of the newest Macbook Pro model (15″ intel core i7 :D), a birthday gift from my parents. Now being a digital artist, it would be absolutely silly to have such a computer without any Adobe programs, so in addition I also got CS5 the Master Collection. A beautiful collection indeed, only problem is I don’t know how to use half the programs. Which brings me to the next topic.
After I registered CS5, I got a “complimentary-benefit-gift.” Four options available, only two mattered to me. A $170 font package from Adobe, or a 30 day trial to Lynda with the ability to access their complete library of video tutorials. Normally I would have got the fonts, but 30 days to pretty much learn all the programs I have available in a nutshell? Yes please. I can’t even consider how much my work will improve.
Now, the biggest part that matters is what new work have I finished since my last update.
First, I’ve grabbed and completed a few jobs on the jobs page. Starting off-
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Disaster Relief Benefit Concert
I was hanging around after school in the Mac Lab trying to kill time, when a group of ladies came in. They were in need of tickets for their benefit concert that they were working on, and it turns out it’s rather expensive to order tickets online. Skocko put the job up for grabs on the spot, and I took it.
Fadi said he would work on it too, so after a day I gave up and basically gave it to him. But it turns out he didn’t want to do it anymore, so I was sort of obligated to finish the job right there. Thus, I got to work and came up with an initial design.
I let Skocko take a look at it, and after he quickly played around in Camera Raw with it, the results more a huge improvement over the original.
But life is never that simple, as the title for the ticket was supposed to be “Disaster Benefit Relief Concert” as opposed to “A Benefit Relief Concert.” Not cool. So I had to go back to change it, and of course I ran into another problem. I didn’t do the Camera Raw work, Skocko did. So I basically went back and forth trying to achieve results similar to how Skocko had it since it looked fantastic the first time. But I couldn’t get it, until Chris dropped by and mentioned the adjustment brush. Everything clicked in my head, and I nailed it pretty close. Excellent. I got a killer design to incorporate into my portfolio, the organizers had a unique, and better ticket design than the ones on Ticketmaster, and I got a poster size print (Poster size prints were also thrown up around school for advertisement).
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AME Brochure design
My design was picked, and it was a matter of filling the text. Or so I thought. Turns out it was more than that. I had to find some way to make the text flow with the design without looking bad. I eventually had it nailed down and thought I was done. Until I made the absolutely silly mistake of having huge pictures on the Illustrator file. I literally dragged pictures from Camera Raw into Illustrator, and combining that with the drop shadow effects I used, the document ended up being almost 500 MB, which is huge for an Illustrator file. After fixing everything, Skocko made a print and showed admin. Of course admin loved it… except for the dark grey I had. They wanted school colors (Orange, White, and Blue). Way to go, this design will be used next year for all the kids to see and I have to use a blue background instead of a dark grey.
This was the one that Skocko tried to push for, but admin didn’t like it.
This is the edited one with “school colors.”
Part of working with clients is listening to what they want. Reminds me of what Michael Werner told me,being “I [Michael Werner] learned common sense was not very common and that the fundamentals of design are not something everyone has.” Oh admin, you silly geese.
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Steven Moyer was commissioned to make a video by the same people who had him work on Livespeakr/China Wokery pictures.
I originally intended on be a part of the actual recording and work on post-production, but I had family business I had to attend to on the day of the video recording. So unfortunately all that was left was audio work. I went to Steven’s house and basically looked for audio, put audio in, and got a better look at understanding how making a video worked. It was actually pretty interesting. No need to restate everything, the full story is at his blog.
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China Wokery pictures (Mark II)
Finally, Steven was also commissioned to take more pictures at China Wokery on Mother’s Day weekend. I was going to come along to take pictures, and Steven wanted someone who wasn’t a senior (Last time, Zack and I both went). Originally Nikki was supposed to come since she was picked by Skocko, but she was busy, so I had to find someone. If I wasn’t able to find someone, by default the spot would have went to Chris or Kyle since they weren’t seniors and haven’t got in on the action yet. While hanging around the Mac Lab during nutrition break, I overheard someone talking with Skocko about pictures they took. After asking, it turns out he (Dean) was both interested and wasn’t a senior! He just needed to check to see if it was fine, so I had to wait a day for confirmation. (Wednesday)
Well, turns out the next day (Thursday) Dean couldn’t come. How unfortunate, as Chris was handed the spot. The following day (Friday), it turns out Dean was able to come. It was too bad that Steven could only bring two students, which was supposed to be Chris and I at that point. I was supposed to break the news. Well lucky for Dean, right at the end of the day I was informed that Chris couldn’t come. Dean both lost, and got back his spot for photographer without even knowing.
Saturday we went to San Marcos to take pictures, this time grabbing some reflectors that recently came in with all the other cool and nifty video equipment. Basically tested out the new equipment, and it worked like a charm. This time also, I made sure I wasn’t going to go through the same post-production pain by trying to clean up as much as I could before the shoot (Wiping off the table every now and then, and trying to wipe off crumbs/sauces on the plate beforehand.) Afterwards came the post production. We reversed the process compared to last time, basically cleaning up and then color correcting when the pictures were patched up. Instead of doing all the post production clean up by myself, I had five other people who wanted in. I distributed out a few pictures amongst Chris, Kyle, Philip, Zack and Fadi. We finished all fairly quickly, and Steven then had his fun color adjusting. They look good and tasted good.
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So that was a bit of what I’ve done. Now, I’m working on my own personal projects because time is quickly running out for me in the Mac Lab unfortunately.
I’ve started my papercraft tiki-thingy-ma-bobby project a while back, but it got buried with other things I’ve had to do. I’ve made considerable progress compared to before. I wanted to have it done by Monday but I realized I needed a lot more time with it. Something so simple is so frustrating and it’s driving me crazy.
So far, I’m actually satisfied with the overall mask portion. I thought the hair would look awkward, but when I did a test print at home it looked fine with me. My biggest issues lie with grabbing a physical balance with it. Glue sticks don’t provide enough adhesive, and there are parts that are rather difficult to put together because of the dimensions of everything. Tape makes it all look bad. I’m considering changing the overall shape, while keeping the design as much as possible. Sounds like a solid game plan to me.
In addition, I was also asked by a few family members to make portraits of them. They claimed they were more than willing to pay for it, which is terrific for me. I need to just finish it all in one sitting because putting everything off is starting to bug me. Might I point out there’s only a little over a month left! Three-Four portraits + other things to do. Yikes.
As far as future projects go, I would be strongly disappointed if I don’t end the school year strong. I’m skeptical on getting the stop motion video finished before school ends. It may be something for the summer to do, but at this moment I don’t even know. I also got hit with a flurry of ideas and colors in my head during class today. If I pull it off, nothing short of brilliant and elegant should be coming from me in the near future.
Word Count: 1584
Ball’s in your court now Chris. Enjoy beating it.