Friday, September 25, 2015

Week 6_Intro to Photoshop

Image from Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a book. 

The Photoshop work area appears as shown in the following illustration.

A. Menu bar
B. Options bar
C. Tools panel
D. Mini Bridge tab
E. Timeline tab
F. Workspaces menu
G. Panels

The Photoshop user interface is very similar to the one in Adobe Illustrator®, Adobe InDesign®, and Adobe Flash®—so learning how to use the tools and panels in one application means that you’ll be familiar with them when you work in the others.  (Photoshop Classroom CC)

The following is an introductory overview of photoshop CC produced by Adobe TV.   You can refer back to this if you miss something in my classroom presentation. 

One of the things to be aware of (especially if you become a photographer) is the rule of thirds.

Straightening and cropping.

Download the picture above to your machine.

In class exercise.   Straightening and touching up a photo. 

1. In the Tools panel, select the Crop tool (Image).
2. In the options bar, choose W x H x Resolution from the Preset Aspect Ratio menu. (Ratio is its default value.)
3. In the options bar, type 7 in for the width, 7 in for the height, and 200 px/in for the resolution.
4. Click Straighten in the options bar. The pointer changes to the Straighten tool.
5. Click at the top corner of the photo, and drag a straight line across the top edge of the photo.

        Adjusting the color and tone

You’ll use Curves and Levels adjustment layers to remove the color cast and adjust the color and tone in the image.
1. Click Curves in the Adjustments panel to add a Curves adjustment layer.
2. Select the White Point tool on the left side of the Properties panel.
Specifying a white point changes all the colors in the image. To set an accurate white point, select a white area in the image.
3. Click a white stripe on the girl’s dress.

The color tone of the image changes dramatically
4. Click Levels in the Adjustments panel to add a Levels adjustment layer.
The Levels histogram in the Properties panel displays the range of dark and light values in the image. You’ll learn more about working with levels in Lesson 5. Right now, you just need to know that the left triangle represents the black point, the right triangle represents the white point, and the middle triangle represents the midtones.
5. Drag the left triangle (blacks) under the histogram to the right, where the blacks are more pronounced. somewhere around .15? 
6. Drag the middle triangle a little to the right to adjust the midtones. The value should be about .90.

Creating a still life using Photoshop
Assets to create a still life are located on the server in our classroom folder.  using the images you will create a still life.


Outside Assignment:

Create your own still life in photoshop.   Format is up to you.  Can be in landscape or portrait mode. 

You must:

- use at least five sources--two of which are "authored" by you--meaning you will use your camera, a friend's camera, or take photos using a good quality cell phone camera (6 megapixels or better is highly recommended) 

- have at least one reflective surface.  Remember using the warp, distort, or skew tools under "edit" and adjusting  opacity of these layers to create a visually convincing reflection. 

You will be turning in your still life from the "In Class" assignment,  your Outside still life, AND the assets (images) you used to composite your final still life.  

*pay attention to shadows, light contrast/values, and overall composition. Do you need to repeat objects, colors, shapes to have better unity/harmony? Is there enough variety to keep the composition interesting?  How is the relationship between positive/negative space.  Does the composition seem empty, or is it engaging? 

NOTE:  When downloading images from the internet, look for higher quality, larger pixel dimensions in the photos.    This will prevent any pixellation in your final file. Remember back to week one and two when we discussed how to use "search tools" to find higher resolution images.   See image below. 



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week 5_Text in Illustrator

Adding type

Type features are some of the most powerful tools in Illustrator. You can add a single line of type to your artwork, create columns and rows of text, flow text into a shape or along a path, and work with letterforms as graphic objects. In Illustrator, you can create text in three different ways: as point type, area type, and type on a path. 


The first step to perfecting any new font is adjusting the leading, kerning and tracking, which affect the line spacing, letter spacing and text to create a smoother flow between letters and lines of a paragraph

LEADING-named because of typesetting printing of the past, leading refers to the vertical spacing between line of a paragraph.   In old print methods, small bars of lead were placed horizontally between the lines to create a distance between text.

KERNING: Kerning refers to adjustments made to horizontal spacing between select letters.  In Illustrator you don't actually select a set of two letters, but place your text selector between the two letters, then adjust.

TRACKING-Tracking refers to the spacing between all letters of particular selected area of text.  Very similar to Kerning, but the effect is applied globally to all the letters of the text area.


Type tool (point)
Type tool (area)
Placing Text
Linking text areas to one another.
Using envelops to warp text;  make selection, envelope (top right of control panel)


On your own time:  If you are interested in more text effects and unique ways to work with text and text effects,  here is a list of 50 text tutorials with images that might interest you.   This is only placed here as a reference for you after the class.   You might want to research these for your poster design.


Other tools:
Blending modes
Magic Wand Tool

scale, sheer, re-shape tool
-width, warp, pucker, etc.... tools
-free transform tool
-live paint, live paint selection (object>livepaint>make) -blend tool
-symbol sprayer tool 

In Class Assignment: Calligrams


noun.  a word or piece of text in which the design and layout of the letters creates a visual image related to the meaning of the words themselves.

-Illustrate six of the following words into a Calligram.  You must create shapes and edit beyond normal type. 



Here are some sample Calligrams

Outside assignment:

You will choose from one of the following:

Create your own favorite movie design,  18x24


Create a poster for a current call for submissions.




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week 4_Gradient Mesh Tool

Watch the following Tutorial.

Use this image to create the apple using the mesh tool.   remember you can use the lasso tool to select points that you wish to alter using the gradients.

In Class Assignment: Using the gradient Mesh tool,  create an volumetric image of the apple using the gradient mesh tool. 

Outside Assignment:  Using the Gradient Mesh tool, create a self portrait, based on a photograph.   

If you run into some specific problems, here is a list of tips and tutorials on using the gradient mesh tool in illustrator that might be able to help.

Remember to keep the form simple.  We are making an illustration... like an "anime" version of yourself.    Here are some examples from previous classes.   Notice how the portrait is built up from a background forward.  Use the gradient to give the head the volume.   You can then use gradient mesh to add in features (mouth, nose eyes, etc) and you can build up from there.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Week 3_Color


1.  Place homework on the server (.ai files in the week2 folder).  ALSO....Please export jpegs of your (manmade/organic/combination assignment and place in jpegs_week2 folder) for discussion

2. Look at homework.  Discuss any issues that were had with the assignment, how they were resolved or how they could be resolved? 

3.  Intro to Color

Understanding color

There are many ways to experiment with and apply color to your artwork in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. As you work with color, it’s important to keep in mind the medium in which the artwork will be published, such as a print piece or a website. The colors you create need to be described in the correct way for the medium. This usually requires that you use the correct color mode and color definitions for your colors. The first part, color modes, will be described next.

Exploring color modes

Before starting a new illustration, you should decide which color mode the artwork should use, CMYK orRGB.
 CMYK—Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are the colors used in four-color process printing. These four colors are combined and overlapped in a screen pattern to create a multitude of other colors. Select this mode for printing (in the New Document dialog box or the File > Document Color Mode menu).
 RGB—Red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to create an array of colors. Select this mode if you are using images for onscreen presentations or the Internet.

Image Tip
To learn more about color and graphics, search for “About color” in Illustrator Help (Help > Illustrator Help).

When creating a new document, you select a color mode by choosing File > New and picking the appropriate profile, such as Print, which uses CMYK for the color mode. You can change the color mode by clicking the arrow to the left of Advanced and making a selection in the Color Mode menu.

When a color mode is selected, the applicable panels open, displaying colors in the selected color mode. You can change the color mode of a document, after a file is created, by choosing File > Document Color Mode, and then selecting either CMYK Color or RGB Color in the menu.

All Color has 3 main properties.

Value-how light or dark a color is
Intensity or chroma-how prismatic or pure a color is
Hue-what color is it?   Red, Blue, Green, etc.

Color intro from Thomas Everett Green

Key Terms
Achromatic – Having no color.
Achromatic grays – Grays mixed from black and white only. Achromatic grays appear to have no coloration.
Additive color – Color as seen in light. Red, green and blue-violet are the additive color primaries. When mixed they produce white light.
Analogous colors – Closely related hues adjacent to each other on the color wheel.
Chromatic - Having color.
Chromatic grays – Grays mixed from colors rather than black and white.
Complementary colors – Colors that share no common hue and lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel.
High key – refers to colors that are light in value.
Hue – The name given to a color based on its position in the spectrum and its wavelength. The common name of a color.
Low key – Colors that are predominantly dark.
Monochromatic – One color or a color scheme based on one color.
Muted color – Colors that have lost saturation in mixing, but whose parent colors are still easily identifiable (blue-green or red-orange).
Primary triad – In subtractive color red, yellow, and blue from which (theoretically) all colors can be mixed.
Prismatic color – Pure hues that represent the spectrum colors at highest saturation.
Saturation – Intensity or chroma. Saturation refers to purity of hue.
Secondary triad – In subtractive color orange, green, and violet. The three colors equidistant from each other on the color wheel made by mixing pairs of primaries.
Shade – Mixing black with a color.
Simultaneous contrast – The tendency for complementary colors to intensify each other when juxtaposed.
Spectrum – Pure colored light as seen with a prism or in the form of a rainbow.
Subtractive color – Color seen in pigment as a result of reflected light.
Temperature – The relative warmth or coolness of a color as determined by its hue (blue is cool, orange is warm).
Tertiary colors – Intermediate colors created by combining a primary with a secondary color.
Tint – White mixed into a color.
Triad – Color scheme involving any three hues equidistant on the color wheel.

Value – The relative lightness or darkness of a color.

Tool Introductions and Reviews

Distribution tool (distribute objects evenly in Illustrator

Rotate and Reflect Tools


In Class:

Take the color challenge

Take a screenshot of your results!!!


Review the following. 

Color Schemes (Harmony)
Monochromatic Color Scheme-only one color (and shades and tints of that color are used)
Complementary Color Scheme
Analogous Color Scheme
Split Complementary Color Scheme
Tetrad Color Scheme
Square Color Scheme

Complete Exercises 1, 2, 3, and 4 from the digital foundations wiki page:

Homework:  Take a digital photo of the architecture somewhere on MCA campus.  Place and lock that file in illustrator, then recreate that image on an 11x17" artboard using the palette picker found here:, 

Or by creating your own palette based on Itten's color contrasts. 

Click to access Johanne's Itten's Color Conrasts