I really enjoyed the video done by Michael Flarup, and I have to agree with a lot of points he made, especially when it comes to simplicity and memorability. I’ve done icon work before, and one of my basic rules is that color and shape share an inverse relationship in order to maintain some semblance of simplicity – the more complex the shape, the less variety of colors there are, and vice versa.
I hope that it’s obvious what the larger shape on the left is, but just in case it isn’t, it’s supposed to be a roller coaster section. The star is just a whimsical shape to fill up the white space (or purple). I chose the color gradient because I thought that it was the best contrast to the white shapes while still being lighthearted enough.
After a long week of work, people are often plagued with ennui (at least, I know I am), so I wanted to create an e-card for co-workers looking to cut loose. The GIF is a generic party invitation with the obvious phrase, but the contrast between the smiley’s initial appearance and subsequent excited face is supposed to represent a transition from slightly bored to pretty stoked. The transition from day to night translates to an end-of-day, “it’s Friday” mood. While shifting the backgrounds was a new experience for me, animating the smiley with individual frames was the most fun – I wanted the facial expression change to seem natural, after all.
The purpose of the e-card is to congratulate girl gamers – depicting Elyse as the badass was a real joy, as she’s often treated as the resident fool among her game-savvy male coworkers. The horns, beard and blood spatter are meant to symbolize action, domination, and conquest – despite their masculine nature, having Elyse in the foreground turns it into female empowerment, hopefully.
I really enjoyed this exercise. For me, the biggest challenge and most frustrating part of the project was refining a hair mask; I could never quite get the strands to remain whole, as adjusting the smart radius would cut them in the middle. I had better luck and success with warping the the texts.
For the background, I used a repeating tile with a simple shape. I highly value minimalism in conjunction with functionality, so I didn’t want to have a complicated shape plastered all across the back of the page. I purposely used a bland hexadecimal color (#635d5a) that wouldn’t sharply contrast with the background color; no one likes eye strain, but I’m especially bent on making color schemes easy on the eyes rather than eye-catching.
I used Quick Selection to cut the pieces from their respective images, then refined their edges with an emphasis on smoothing and edge shifting. I scaled the different parts down to match the size of the main body. In my opinion, my biggest success was rotating the parts to look like they grew naturally.
I used Image Adjustments to de-saturate the original colors, darken each piece, and to blend all of their hues into a dark blue. I also used Quick Selection once again to highlight some spots and increase their brightness. Blending the images together to appear believably connected was my biggest challenge, as they were all different colors and some had a sunlight sheen.
Not wanting body parts to appear out of place despite my blending, I rearranged the layers so that the ears were separated (one would be placed behind the head) and the tail looked like it came out of the rump rather than the beast’s side.
For the background, I decreased the brightness and saturation. I used Quick Selection for the area below the beast and darkened it to mimic a shadow.
For this flyer, I aimed to appeal to the wannabe hackers and gamers who strive really hard to look badass by making my photo ominously dark. The event itself, a twist on “Greek Life,” is basically a live podcast where I would rant about various aspects of nerd culture and talk about trending news in the geek world.
While I did have a hard time adjusting the colors, my biggest challenge and my best success was finding the right filter that darkened the layer enough without blotting out some parts of the background in the photo.
Geek Strife has another upcoming live event during the opening week of the Khan Theater! The flyer didn’t feel iconic enough, so this time around I used what I consider better photo to be the central focus. I cut out a portion, smoothed the edges, and then put it through several filters, most notably Posterize. I also included the same font and color scheme from the flyer. This time around, the biggest challenge and my best success (I think) was being able to modify the font sizes and alignment to fit into their spaces while still getting ample attention.