University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Exploring Filters and the Brush Tool in Photoshop
3/25/2021 6:22 PM

Design Ideas

For my week 3 task, I continued my software skill development by creating three creative images in Photoshop. This task aimed to help me to explore further and expand my creativity. From the last term, I demonstrated my design skill on the topic of a podcast cover. Therefore, I decided to accomplish another topic choice for this time. I always wanted to create artworks for my cat, but I never had a chance. This task was an opportunity for me to achieve it. In my last term, I watched a bunch of videos to help with my skill development. Nevertheless, I nearly forgot all of them that make me realised the balance of quality and quantity. Instead of watching numerous tutorial videos, I decided to focus on one skill topic and practise in-depth.  The first two design are both oil painting portraits of my cat. I watched the same tutorial video but with different authors to compare their approach towards this topic. For my last design, I made it a review practice of what I have learnt in Photoshop so far. I combined all the skill and created the final piece.

Design Process

Design 1 I first used the lasso tool to select the head area and applied a content-aware fill to replace it with the background colour. After that, I cropped the head part of my cat by using the lasso selection tool again. I copied and pasted the head on the painting. I then applied a layer mask onto it and started using the brush tool to erase the unwanted edges. Before applying the oil paint stylisation, I added one more layer of unsharpen mask. It can bring back the details of the image. I further adjusted the level values and colour balance to match with the painting itself. Design 2 For my second design, I repeated the same procedure as the first one. Dispiratively, I used the stamp tool to copy the collar pattern as one of the clone sources after using the content-aware fill. The shadow underneath adds depth to the head part and creates dimension to the painting. Design 3 After I decided to use the painting 'Summer is icumen in', I then inserted my cat image and started resizing and adjusting its perspective. Apply the oil paint filter to make the image look like having painting strokes on it. It was different from the last two design. I altered the levels of stylisation to match with the original painting at the back. The cat looks like it is floating in the air, so I used the brush tool to draw a shadow and blend the colours. I additionally used the eyedropper to help me get the exact shade in the painting to prevent colour differences.

Software Tutorial

This video is a tutorial on how to create an oil painting portrait for your pet. The author applies different layers of filters to edit the image from a digital form to an oil painting. I followed his instruction of stylising the pet image with an oil paint filter. This filter can add a brushstroke texture to the image and creates harmony with the original painting. Apart from using filter layers, he makes level and colour adjustments to the image to achieve a more satisfying result. The level adjustment depends on the original value of the photo. It is impossible to copy all of his value changes because we were using different pictures. Therefore, I had to adjust to other value levels to see if it works in my case. This tutorial video has a similar process as the previous one. However, one point that is worthy of drawing attention to is the use of the stamp tool. Although the content-aware fill can approximately cover up the head, the texture near the neck will get blurred out. As a result, the author finishes its touch up by using the stamp tool. He uses the stamp to copy the pattern of the collar and starts pasting them around the neck. For my second design, I followed his way of creating an oil painting portrait. Compared with the first tutorial video, his method can keep the detail part of the collar and makes the whole piece look more well-finished. Overall, I prefer this tutorial more. The following tutorial is an introduction video of the brush tool. The brush is the core tool that I used in my third design, so it is essential to learn about its functionality. This video talks about the importance of adjusting different brush hardness levels. A softer brush can build up layers and create smooth edges. It usually uses to blend colours. A soft brush can also embellish an image easier. On the other hand, a higher brush level can draw out a sharp line, so it generally uses for outlining. Therefore, I adjusted the brush hardness to 0% when I was blending. After finishing this task, I am interested in exploring further with the brush tool, especially experiment with different types of brushes. I have experience in drawing in Illustrator but never tried to draw in Photoshop. Accordingly, I will start to develop my drawing skill by practising with the brush tool or watch some drawing time-lapse videos to observe how people utilise the brush tool in Photoshop.

Resources for Research and Inspiration My main inspiration for this task is the series of oil paintings named 'Dogs Playing Poker'. General artists usually express an image by painting a human as the character, but Coolidge used personification to paint dogs playing poker. This surreal approach is interesting to investigate and discover. Therefore, I put this idea into my first two designs, editing my cat head onto a human portrait. All of my designs focus on the style of an oil painting. When I was searching for the image option, I chose portraits that painted during the Renaissance. I found out they usually had a bulky collar that covers their neck. This clothing decoration can make the process of editing easier because it avoids extra works. Recently, oil paintings with a soft pastel colour scheme have become a famous aesthetic. I have an album on Pinterest where I collect this kind of oil paintings. It is also the inspiration for my third design in this task. To conclude the topics I have done so far in Photoshop, I tended to research vintage and retro themes. In the last term, I designed a series of vintage podcast covers. For this week 3 task, I used renaissance paintings as my inspiration. It might be a good idea for me to explore other kinds of approaches, such as combining neon colours and glowing effect to create a futuristic style.

formatting a flyer in indesign
3/25/2021 5:41 PM

Design ideas

My chosen discussion task will be formatting a flyer in InDesign. This was the task I struggled with the most, but also, I think, benefited from the most. Although I do have experience with formatting text in InDesign, it is something I find difficult, so I wanted to explore this task fully so that I could build up this skill a little more, as I believe it is an important one to have as a designer, especially as a designer interested primarily in typographic design. Initially for my design I wanted to create something that mirrored the aesthetic of other promotion used for the podcast. After looking at the podcast website, as well as the promotional material online, I came up with a first design idea. [caption id="attachment_17563" align="alignnone" width="211"]first design draft sketch first design draft sketch[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17570" align="alignnone" width="290"] first tester vector graph shape[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17571" align="alignnone" width="236"] second vector sketch to have a good idea of the outline, here i realised i didn't want to develop it further[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17572" align="alignnone" width="300"] initial full colour background before text[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17573" align="alignnone" width="300"] font tests including testing typing along a line[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17574" align="alignnone" width="300"] initial final design used white headers, i later changed this to yellow[/caption]

Design process

I wanted to keep a similar colour scheme, yellow and blue, to match the official promotional material, as well as some of the key imagery. One design in particular caught my eye, which was one featuring a silhouette of a head with the title “rethink’ where the brain would be. I used this as inspiration, creating a forward-facing silhouette in blue with an open eye in yellow. While experimenting with this, I decided that I simply didn’t like how the shapes and colours worked together and decided to move on to a second idea. This time I planned to use a different silhouette, more like the one in my original inspiration. Again,  although I had used a similar design, I found it looked slightly wrong, and decided it would be best to move away from this idea. Eventually I settled on a new, somewhat simpler idea, using an image of the presenter, still using the gradient blue hues I liked originally, and combining two fonts that I felt worked well with the tone and image. Page 1 of my final flyerpage 2 of my final flyer

Software tutorials

Although I already knew the basics of formatting text in InDesign, it was definitely helpful to have access to and have the opportunity to find tutorials to make the process more simple and more effective. Looking at the tutorials for formatting text to refresh my knowledge really helped me get a better understanding of how I might bring my knowledge of formatting text for book design into formatting text and image for a flyer or magazine. Although the two processes were somewhat different, with the help of the provided tutorials I was able to use a combination of fonts, weights and sizes relatively easily in the setting of a flyer alongside image. While I have never had experience with using hyperlinks in text before, I found it to be easy to understand and incredibly useful for other projects, especially for its usefulness in designing for screen or in web design. I also found it useful to be able to format a hyperlink directly into text without disturbing the layout and being able to apply paragraph styles to it. I was unsure how to use certain text formats that I wanted to try, so I looked at some simple software tutorials to help me further my understanding. I wanted to learn how to type around an ellipse, so I looked at some software tutorials that advised on how to  type around a pre drawn shape or line. This tutorial ( on creating text along a path. This was a simple tutorial, but I feel it will be incredibly useful in the future with other projects. I would like to further develop my skills in using typography on indesign following along with the more complex provided tutorials.  

Resources for research and inspiration

When beginning research for this task I wanted to consider first what the current promotional material for this podcast might look like, and how I could incorporate that into my design.  I went to the page for the podcast itself, noting colour scheme, font, image and layout. Again, this was a combination of blue and yellow colours, which I really liked and tried my best to incorporate into my final design, specifically keeping the blue gradient colours, matching them to the image used, in complementary contrast with the orange/yellow tone for some of the headers, and an off white for the main body. Once I had landed on my third and final design idea in the process, I wanted to do some research outside of the provided software tutorials and design tips on how flyers and magazines are designed. I first looked at some sites on magazine design, such as this one ( I also looked at Pinterest for inspiration and ideas surrounding magazine, leaflet or flyer design. I decided I liked the use of a large image with an abstract shape being used for the title text, with the key text around or underneath. I also liked abstract, bold fonts in combination with simple, clean ones, using bold colour combinations to create a contemporary yet welcoming effect that draws the eye. I looked at further image and design for media collections for inspiration, this time specifically centred around podcast or video promotion or informational design. Again, these often use an eye-catching logo or the presenter or creator in an image to draw attention, using large or bright yet simple lettering and phrases combined with smaller, slightly less visible from afar text to draw the audience into reading further about the media. I attempted to achieve a similar technique through my design, while trying to maintain a simple decorative aspect.  

Creative Images – Photoshop
3/25/2021 5:13 PM

This term, we have undertaken various tasks that have allowed me to improve my skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and AfterEffects. The task that I enjoyed the most during this term was the Photoshop Creative Images task. I created three images that I am happy with. DESIGN IDEAS AND DESIGN PROCESS DESIGN 1 - FLOATING THROUGH SPACE For my first idea, I wanted to create an image that altered reality so I chose to manipulate an image of a man floating through space. To start to design process, I browsed for stock images on Pixabey and found one of a man that looked like he is 'floating', and one of the stars that I could use as the background. I removed the man from the background of the original image by using the pen tool to create an outline around the figure. By selecting a new layer via cut, I removed him from the background and deleted the layer that i didn't need. I then brought the images of the stars into photoshop and placed this layer underneath the figure. I then adjusted the brightness, contrast, and saturation of the images to make them look more authentic, and work in harmony with each other.     DESIGN 2 - FLOWER MASK The second image I chose was of a woman's face submerged by water and flowers. The effect that I wanted to achieve was flowers covering one-half of her face. To achieve this effect, I used layer masks and the brush tool to make a 'shadow'. Firstly, I created a new layer mask and selected the part of her face that I wanted to remove. I then imported a picture of flowers and placed it underneath the existing layer so that you could see the flowers through her face. I used the selection tool to scale and position the flowers to fit the image and adjusted the existing layer mask, using the black and white brushes. I wanted to manipulate the image to make it look like the flowers were on top of the water and her lips were overlapping the flowers. I found it difficult at first but managed to get the hang of it after some time (and some tutorials). When I got to a point where I was happy with the mask, I tried to make the flowers look more realistic by adding a shadow. To achieve this,  I used the black brush tool at a large size and 0% hardness to recreate a shadow around the flowers.     DESIGN 3 This design was my favourite that I created during the task. My idea for this image was to create a feeling of movement within an image. This was heavily influenced by Şakir Yildirim's image called 'crawler'. However, I did not follow the exact technique he uses to create his images. To make this image, I found a picture of a boy walking from a side-on perspective and imported it into photoshop. I then used the direct selection tool to copy his figure into a new layer and duplicate this layer many times and positioned them in such a way to look like the boy is walking from one position to the other. I kept one of these separate and placed it in the middle, and grouped the rest of them together. I merged these layers together and used the 'motion blur' filter to blur the figures, and did the same thing with the figure in the middle but made him less blurred to make it look like he was coming 'back to life', or transforming from one figure to another. the final figure on the far left and right I kept as normal but used the blur tool to blur the edges. This made the figure blend in more with the background ensuring that it didn't look cut out of the image.   SOFTWARE TUTORIALS I found the tutorials provided to us helpful to get started with this task. They refreshed my memory and I found it useful to focus on layer masks and using nondestructive techniques in my work.  Using these techniques made it so much easier to go back on my design choices, and saved me from having to start all over again if I changed my mind. I often find that watching tutorials before taking on a task actually helps with my idea generation itself, and inspires me to get started. I found the following tutorials particularly useful when working in Photoshop for this task. When using the tutorials, I tried not to follow them exactly but used them to get a rough idea of how to achieve an effect, and tried to find my own way of working. Each of these tutorials provided me with a better understanding of how tools within Photoshop work and inspired me to use Photoshop in different ways. CREATING SHADOWS IN PHOTOSHOP This tutorial on creating shadows in Photoshop came in helpful for my second design with the flowers to replicate the effect of a shadow. I used this in an attempt to make my image look more 'real' so  I tried to follow the way light would naturally behave in real life. This tutorial inspired me to think about the perspective of light, and the depth of the image while I was editing. The tutorial covers how to create shadows on different surfaces. he uses the brush tool at 0 hardness, which is the technique is the technique I used in my own work. He also goes over how to create shadows for a curved surface, and more complex objects, which I didn't need for this task in particular but will come in helpful in the future. PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL - FLOWER FACE EFFECTS This tutorial helped me to grasp a better understanding of layer masks in photoshop and how to work with two images, one on top of the other. During the tutorial, she used the pen tool to create a stroke to select the parts of the original image that she wanted to remove, and uses the bevel and emboss layer style to make the cut outs look more 3D. she uses a layer mask to remove parts of the existing image to make the flowers appear on top of the face, giving a realistic effect. This tutorial was helpful to figure out how to make the flowers in my own design overlap with the face of the image. MOTION BLUR EFFECT IN PHOTOSHOP   This tutorial introduced me to the motion blur effect in photoshop, one that I wasn't already familiar with. I found that it was a really simple and easy way to introduce a sense of speed/ movement in my own image which was precisely the effect that I wanted to achieve. It also helped me with using layer masks, cutting out objects with the quick selection tool. SOURCES OF INSPIRATION The second image that I worked on for this task was inspired by the album art for Shawn Mendes' album cover. I really love this album cover and wanted to create an image with the same sort of feeling. I wanted to edit an image that inspired by, but not a direct copy of the original. I used an image of a woman rather than a man, and only including half of her face instead of placing one half on top of the flowers. There is a collage artist called Marcelo Monreal who also creates similar portraits, of people and flowers which also heavily influenced this design. I find that his work very appealing aesthetically but also in the way it makes me feel. His portrait creates this feeling of contentedness that implies the subject is at one with nature, which is how I would like to think my image would create too.  You can find some of Monreal's work here My third design was inspired by the work of Şakir Yildirim. In particular, the portraits created using the liquify tool in Photoshop. Looking at his work inspired me to introduce a sense of movement, or duplication into my design. Yildirim's work, specifically in 'crawler', creates a sense of motion, or almost a sense of transformation depending on how you interpret it. I find it fascinating that you can capture, or manipulate this very real sensation within a 2D image, which is the idea behind my third and final design for this task. You can have a look at Yildirim's work here and find out how he uses Photoshop to achieve his portraits here Overall, I really enjoyed this task. I have been able to improve both my skills and confidence with using Photoshop while creating some fun images that I am quite proud of.        

Pronounced Monograms
3/25/2021 4:58 PM

Produced using Adobe Illustrator.   Overview: Carrying on from my previous Illustrator task, where I initiated my exploration with mesh and pattern tools, I wanted to further develop my skills and experiment with typefaces, this time, with monograms. I was also interested in taking inspiration from past design trends, patterns and angles, primarily to help me visualise and aid me in my creation/experimentation phase.   Design Ideas and process:  Influenced from the popularity of social media apps like Instagram, a fusion of retro-kinetic (more popularly seen in Japanese Design trends) and retro-serif typefaces have taken over, paired up with minimalistic colour (like neutrals and pastels) and styling (in regards with packaging and branding).  I was also curious to see if there could be a possibility to embed a 3-dimensional element to This was something that I was really interested in carrying over, in my creation of monograms, with of course a hint of my own style and personality. Some of my initial design ideas leaned towards the more retro-serif style, with elegant and curvy serifs, paired up with smooth cursives. Something that would be considered a lot more ‘trendy.’ But I also loosely sketched out some designs with a focus on height and patterns, with an element of movement in it. I also envisioned the use of sans serif fonts, but this was something that would require a lot of experimentation and exploration. Soon enough, I was not really pleased with some of the results that were being resulted with retro-serif experimentation, so I decided to shift my focus to the retro-kinetic approach more (plus it would flow beautifully into my previous sticker-based design project). One of my first design ideas was achieved through the use of the pathfinder and envelope distort tool, where I proceeded to create an outline of the letter ‘r,’ with the typeface Base Mono Bold, before using the rectangle tool to create parallel lines until half of the page was covered. The next step was to use the pathfinder tool to ‘divide’ all of the lines created and sending them to the ‘back’ of the page. All that was left to do was to combine the outline of the letter with the pattern that I created.   Software tutorials: To assist me with my basic understanding on how the mesh tool works with typefaces, I decided to browse through a selection of videos on YouTube, just to get a glimpse of the process and understand any additional tips that could have been provided. Apart from using the mesh tool, I also wanted to develop a small portion of skills in regards with the warp and 3D tools and also generally see how different people approach the creation of monograms. Some of the mesh tutorials, especially with the combination of the pathfinder tool, took me quite a while to practise out, since despite it looking to be a fairly easily process, turns out there were small little details to focus upon, in order to have the final outcome (which was a really encouraging challenge for me).   Resources used for research and inspiration: As established previously, most of my design work has been inspired from previous/existing/upcoming design trends and to ensure that I stay true to some of those elements, I always begin by creating a mood board consisting of other designer’s work, textures, fonts, colours and shapes, before constantly referring to this visual aid. It is a great reminder about some of the elements that could have been forgotten about. In terms of researching about design trends, different websites and blog posts reminded me about some of the features that I had previously seen on social media platforms.

3/25/2021 4:39 PM

For the TY1SK module, we were allowed to choose four tasks to complete over four weeks, and one of the tasks was 'creating vector objects' in illustrator. We had to create an illustration for a social media banner, to accompany  podcast for the novel 'Homegoing', by Yaa Gyasi. I chose to complete this task because I wanted to further explore illustrator, and I wanted to increase my skillset. I was also really fascinated by the theme of this novel and that is why I chose this task for my blog post.

 Design ideas and design process

I decided to use the same colours seen on the 'Homegoing' book cover, in my banner design, which I think would allow the viewers to see the banner and immediately recognise the book cover. I also kept the hexagon element in the centre of my design to hug the African continent, while pointing to the sisters either side. The African continent immediately offers context with Ghana to the viewer, with Africa being at the centre of heartache and home-going. I kept the symmetrical layout, suggesting a mirrored image. I think portraying the half sisters in a silhouette form makes the depiction universal. I wanted to portray their cultural connection to Africa and each other, and their vulnerability. I wanted to create my own pattern, but still keep the geometric shapes found in African designs. Using the shape tool, I created a few rows of connected triangles and filled them with red and orange, similar to the book cover. Then I duplicated my triangle rows to create a pattern for the background. A useful video helped me to turn my pattern into a swatch which I could then place inside any shapes/outlines of my choice. I selected my design, trimmed it into a square shape, opened up pattern options, and  chose 'make pattern'. This turned it into a swatch. A screenshot showing the first step of creating my pattern   A screenshot showing the second step of creating my pattern   A screenshot depicting how I turned my pattern into a swatch I drew the outline of Africa, and placed it in the centre of the banner, filling the shape with my pattern. I also placed the pattern around the edges of the banner, leaving a white hexagon around the outline of Africa. I decided to incorporate flowers with a similar appearance to those seen on the cover, but gave them less visual impact so that it doesn't distract from the sisters. The flowers are also mirrored symmetrically, and lean in towards the centre, guiding the focus of the viewer to the place of home-going. A screenshot depicting the flowers that I drew and included in my illustration To depict the spiritual side of the novel, the belief of death allowing a slaves spirit to return home, I decided to fade Esi by reducing the capacity. I think it shows the distance between her and Ghana, but also her soul. I kept Effia's opacity 100%, and I tilted her head downwards to show her shame and sadness for being married to a slave trader. I experimented with a gradient background, however it  did not compliment the other elements of my design, so I removed it. I still incorporated the gradient effect on my Africa outline, fading it in from the left. I think this depicts the lost cultural connection and identity of the displaced slaves. A screenshot displaying the outline of Africa fading in, and the two half sisters, Esi (faded) and Effia (head tilted downwards)   A screenshot displaying the attempted gradient background To emphasise the complexity of 'love' and brokenness of slavery, injustice, greed, and racism, I placed a broken heart on the African continent, where Ghana is located. The typeface 'Avenir' is a geometric typeface which fits with my geometric design, but it also has a human touch which relates to the circumstances depicted in the novel. It is very clear and easy to read.

Software tutorials

The essential and recommended videos that were provided, were very insightful and useful.  Watching the videos reminded me of how to use the pen tool, shape tool, direct selection tool, and the shape builder tool in my designs. The 'Combine shapes' video taught me how to combine shapes, by selecting the objects you want to combine, and using the shape builder tool, drag across the shapes to combine them into one shape. I did not use this skill in my banner design either, however it is something I could use in future designs. I was unfamiliar with the Image Trace command, so that tutorial was insightful and I will definitely be using that skill in more of my designs in future, especially if I hand draw an image that I want to bring into illustrator. I was not sure how to turn my triangles pattern into a swatch which I could then place as a fill into any shape/outline, so I found a useful video to help me, called ' How to Create Patterns in Illustrator Tutorial', . Dansky showed two ways of turning a pattern design into a swatch/pattern. I trimmed my design into a square shape, selected the whole shape, went to window, pattern options, and at the drop down menu I just selected 'make pattern'.

Resources for research and inspiration

To help me with my illustration for the banner, I read a summary of the novel on  It helped me to understand what the novel is about, and to gather my ideas of how to portray the two  sisters.  The summary gave me insights into the existing book cover design choices. It gave me ideas about how I could portray the two women in ways that depict their similarity, differences and connections. It made me aware of their lost identities and also a sense of disconnect, because they are not even aware of each others existence. Reading the summary made me realise that there is a much deeper meaning behind the novel 'Homegoing'. It is not just about the two sisters, it is also about so many other women and men, and slavery, greed, racism, and injustice. However there is also hope for reunion and home-going. I found a very inspiring video tutorial called 'Illustrator Tutorial | Web Banner Design (Shopping)', Graphic designer, Kaukab Yaseen explained a variety of different skills and techniques to use, and showed how to create gradients, as well as blending an image into the side of his banner design and making the image to appear like it was fading into the rest of the banner. Although the gradient background did not work with my illustration, I did still take inspiration from this video, by fading in my drawing of Africa. It also further inspired the idea of fading away Esi's body by reducing the opacity, which I did to depict the idea of death allowing a slave's spirit to return home. I researched for appropriate typefaces for banner designs, and found useful information in a blog called 'Most appealing Banner Fonts to use in 2021' ,and from this blog I found the typeface 'Avenir' which I found  very suitable for my banner design.

Liquid Letters – AfterEffects
3/25/2021 3:49 PM

BRIEF Design 3 different animations for the Typography & Graphic Communication course.
    • include the text Typography & Graphic Communication
    • include a background (colour/image)
    • explore different ways to animate the text
  •  For my Classic design I wanted to demonstrate the process I have learnt throughout this task of applying text effects to my text. My intention for this design was to display those skills as clearly as possible. Therefore, I have chosen just two typefaces on three different layers, with one text effect on layer two and one on layer three. I went for a muted, natural colour pallet to reflect the simplicity of this design and so as not to distract from the applied text effects I applied.
  • Each layer makes sense on their own and could be observed in isolation, and the style of the text effect reflects the connotation of the words themselves. The text effect on the word ‘Typography’ is a nod towards kerning, as the space between each letter gently increases. The effect on ‘Graphic Communication’ plays more with more with the graphic element of text effects, bringing one letter in at a time in a jumbled way to eventually reveal the words.
[caption id="attachment_17583" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Classic, Adobe After Effects Text Effect[/caption]   Glitch
  • This idea was inspired by my podcast work earlier on in this module. I really enjoyed exploring designs which had an urban, messy edged style which experimented with different ways of layering elements, playing with colour, and embracing imperfections.
  • In urban environments there is often a lot of movement and bustle played in and around stationary objects. I continued to explore the impact of adding effects to all layers, one layer, or some layers. In this design all of my layers are animated, but I found having the ‘&’ as my stationary object once it arrives brought a solidarity and grounding to this design, enabling the chaos around it.
  • I then wanted to explore how text interacts with the background. I experimented with colour, texture, and image.Here I applied an effect to an image for the background as well as applying effects to the text which sit on top of it using Adobe Bridge.
  • This design was really fun to develop the use of bold text and unpredictable movements and it really portrays the style I was aiming for.
[caption id="attachment_17584" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Glitch, Adobe After Effects Text Effect[/caption]   Water
  • Having made many explorations with the different text effects supplied by Adobe, I wanted to push myself to explore other ways to utilise the tools in After Effects, to bring movement and interest to my text through developing my understanding of the other tools available. This design really challenged me and grew my skills and understanding of After Effects and was the most technically difficult idea I produced. I am really pleased with the outcome and think the effect works well.
  • My favourite idea  explores the use of external movements of shapes, to simulate the movement of my text. I watched a few Youtube videos of water effects in AfterEffects and found one that explained the software really well and was easy to follow. This design creates the effect that the text is filling with water, and then it disappears in the same manner. I first followed along with the video using the text 'liquid' and then reproduced it again with the text 'typography and graphic communication' to meet the brief.
  • To create this design I first opened  a new project and created a new composition at 1200 x 695, 1080p, 25 frames rate.
  • I then went to 'Layer' and created a new solid layer and set the colour to dark blue and locked the layer by clicking the lock icon.
[caption id="attachment_17598" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Creating a new document, Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • In the Layer menu again, I created a new text layer and entered my text. Using the select tool I moved it to the centre of the frame and pressed 'y' to adjust the anchor tool to the centre also. Adjusting the text to the font and size that I desired was rather simple as it echoed the same process as in other Adobe software.
  • Once I was confident the text was in the middle of the frame, I created a shape layer and using the pen tool I drew a rough rectangle shape around the text and filled it in with a lighter blue thank my background. It was important that this blue was markably lighter than my background so that it could be easily visible, but still dark enough that I had room for two further increases in tint for the desired effect.
[caption id="attachment_17599" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Drawing a rough rectangle with the pen tool, Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • With the rough rectangle shape selected, I went to the effects panel at the right of the screen and searched for 'wave warp'. To apply this to my shape I clicked and dragged it from the results bar onto the shape layer in the timeline. I then adjusted the default settings, such as wave height and wave width, until it had the effect I desired.
  • Through pressing 'p' on the keyboard, I could click the position stopwatch and create my first keyframe. To get the progression correct, I first set the keyframe for the wave at its highest, then moved to the start of the timeline and set the wave to being under the text, I then set another keyframe. I set a third keyframe in the middle of the timeline, at around the middle of the height of the text.
[caption id="attachment_17601" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Adjusting the path of the animation of my shape, Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • To enhance the wave effect as we play along the timeline, I adjusted the 's path' of the shape. This meant it could weave up the screen like a snake, adding to the effect of water filling the text. To do this I moved the handles on the path line that was created from moving the shape downward from the last position to the starting point of the water.
  • For a smooth transition from one keyframe to the next, I selected all the keyframes at once and hit F9. This activated 'easy-ease', creating seamless transition. I further added to the realism of the water effect by rotating the shape slightly with the rotate tool. With the shape selected, I clicked on the rotate tool and could click and drag anywhere on the shape to rotate it around the anchor point.
[caption id="attachment_17594" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Applying 'alpha matte' to my design, Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • Once I was happy with the shape, I turned it to 'Alpha Matte', this made it a mask over the text layer meaning the waves only appeared within the shapes made by the text. I could then copy and paste the text and shape layers on top of the existing layers (using command+c followed by command+v).
  • With my two new layers, I selected the shape layer and adjusted the settings of the shape. I changed the colour to a lighter shade of blue, increased the wave height and increased the wave width. So that my first layer could still be visible, I then moved these two copied layers down along the timeline. I also adjusted the keyframe positions to see how this impacted the effect. It took a bit of experimentation to find the position that worked nicely in unity with the first layer but once I found a position I liked I could repeat this process again to create a third layer with a lighter colour.
  • It was important that I didn't move the text layer each time I copied the layers, otherwise the shape of the letters would be distorted and lose form and clarity. For this project, it was not something I wanted to push the boundaries with.
[caption id="attachment_17603" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Testing the positioning of my three water layers, Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • Having all three shape and text layers in a position I liked, I selected them all (excluding the background layer), right clicked and created a pre-compose layer and gave it the name 'text'. This brought all the layers into one, though when I double clicked on it I could still access all the layers within it. I copy and pated the third shape layer back into the composition menu and move it to the top.
  • This layer is going to become a mask layer to the entire animation. Firstly I was to change the colour of the layer to something really obviously not part of the design. I chose bright green. This was so I was clear that it was a mask layer and not part of the design. Once the colour was changed I could see clearly where it was and I positioned it towards the end of the timeline, roughly where the shape of the text is just filled up.
[caption id="attachment_17600" align="aligncenter" width="300"] 'pre-composing' my layers, Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • This bright green shape layer doesn't need any further detail adjustments, though if I wanted to do something different I could have done. Because it was in a different place along the timeline (and so out of sync to the previous shape) I didn't see the need to make any adjustments.
  • Making sure the text layer was selected, I made it an 'inverted alpha matte', meaning that it will work out the previous animation as it rises up the screen.
  • I then selected both layers and pre-composed them again.
[caption id="attachment_17602" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Repeating the process with the text 'typography & graphic communication', Adobe After Effects[/caption]
  • A nice additional detail to the design was the effect of rising bubbles inside the letters. To achieve this I added a new adjustment layer, and in the effects menu I searches for bubbles and click and dragged 'CC bubbles' onto my adjustment layer. I was able to change the setting to produce the size and shading that I liked, through pressing 't' for opacity, I reduced the opacity of the bubbles as well.
  • Using the 'bubble amount clock', I added keyframes along the timeline. Starting with an amount of bubbles, letting then increase in number, and then decrease to zero as the word disappears. This was the most challenging part for me, to get the right number of bubbles at each keyframe. The same as I did to the keyframes on the wave shape layer, I selected all the keyframes on the bubbles and pressed F9, for easy-ease, ensuring a smooth transition between bubble quantities.
  • Finally, I duplicated the final text composition layer above the adjustment layer and turned the adjustment layer to 'alpha matte'. This kept the bubbles within the text shape, like a clipping mask in Illustrator,  and had a really nice overall effect.

To view this animation right click and open in a new window:

[caption id="attachment_17566" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Final design, Liquid Letters, Adobe After Effects[/caption]  
  • Exporting my designs to a GIF was at first a much more fiddly process than I had thought and so I used a few websites to help me understand the process. First from Adobe Effects into Adobe Media Encoder, then export from Adobe Media Encoder as an mp4, import into photoshop, then export as a GIF at an appropriate size. This was a big learning curve for me as it was not something that I had done before but once I got the hang of it it became rather simple.
  • Other challenges in this task were getting to grips with a new set of keyboard shortcuts. I also found myself trying to use keyboard shortcuts familiar to me on other pieces of software, however quickly found that almost every key seems to have a different but useful function in AfterEffects, once you know what they are. Becoming familiar with these shortcuts will be both useful, and important if I am to learn to work at a professional standard, which includes working accurately at an efficient speed. Shortcuts also help you to have greater control over your project.
  • I also found adjusting keyframes and their default settings tricky to figure out at first as some of the ways of doing this changed with each effect, but I eventually enjoyed the process of combining multiple effects and learning how and where to position the keyframes.
    SOFTWARE TUTORIALS  This was my first time using After Effects and so all of the tutorials this week were extremely helpful in building my basic understanding of this software and developing some core skills to begin experimenting with different design ideas and the tools available. I found focusing on text and the available text effects a great place to start and it inspired me to try more advanced design ideas, such as the liquid effect I have presented here. I most appreciated the explanation of keyboard shortcuts as I didn't find them as intuitive as other Adobe software and so it was really good to have my notes to refer back to to know the most efficient way of achieving each tool/command. I found Juan Villanueva's work really inspiring as an example of what is possible in After Effects and text animation. It is great to see real life examples of how the skills can be used and it encouraged me to consider how and where these ideas might be applied. Considering the application of my designs inspired me to think of potential audiences, and that inspired new ideas that pushed me to develop my skills further. Something I very much want to strengthen is my control of keyframes and effects, this is something i'm sure will come as I spend more time on the software and understand how it works better. It will also take me a little while to figure out the shortcuts and discover all the tools and effects on offer but I was really encouraged by how quickly I picked up what I did this week and I look forward to using After Effects more in the upcoming weeks. This was a really enjoyable week for me. Having started the week with no clue how to work this software, I am now really excited to continue projects that further develop and strengthen my skills and understanding of Adobe After Effects.     RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH AND INSPIRATION  My inspiration this week started with thinking about and looking at examples of text effects in movies and music videos, as well as GIFs. This, along with the work of Villanueva inspired me to consider the context and use of my designs. I also wanted to explore text effects that I have noticed recently and found appealing, this ultimately led me to my final design of liquid type. The two main videos I used to develop my final idea and learn how to export to GIF properly were and As I was searching on YouTube for a liquid effect tutorial I was amazed at the number of diverse and interesting design tutorials that there were and this inspired me to challenge myself to develop my skills further in my own time. Some of these tutorials I watched but felt my skills needed improving before I attempted and I am looking forward to going through some of them in the future, as each showcased a variety of ways in which After Effects can be mastered and help to strengthen my skills. Much of my research this week, however, was about learning a new piece of software and trying to get to grips with its basic functions within the context of the application of text effects. Working my way through the supplied tutorials enabled me to have a rudimentary understanding of what the software could do, and watching a variety of design ideas on YouTube inspired me to push my creativity and skills further.  

Creative Images on Photoshop
3/25/2021 3:47 PM

THE FINAL CREATIVE IMAGES: DESIGN IDEAS & PROCESS: POST 1: New Background. For the 'New Background' image, I was aiming for a bright, bold background and a dark coloured foreground. I wanted the background to be obvious that it had been replaced but also blend with the foreground picture so it looks as though it still belongs there. To achieve this effect, I used an image of purple and blue lightning, I wanted the image to still be realistic but also slightly altered. To create this image I removed the original background from my own picture using a clipping mask. I then added in the lightning background and added a 'hard vivid' filter on both of the images so the background would blend with the picture. When applying the filter 'Hard light' to the photos, It changed the opacity of the hoodie on the foreground photo so it was slightly see through, although this was unintentional I still quite like the outcome of the effect. I am proud of the final outcome and think the neon blue and purple create a striking visual. [caption id="attachment_17388" align="alignnone" width="267"] Original lightning picture from Pixaby[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17075" align="alignnone" width="265"] Original photo - Taken of me[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17076" align="alignnone" width="262"] Using the clipping mask[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17078" align="alignnone" width="264"] Clipping mask applied[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17079" align="alignnone" width="267"] Background inserted[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17074" align="alignnone" width="272"] Hard light filter applied[/caption] POST 2: Black and white with colour. For this image design I wanted to create a striking and eye-catching effect using a bright colour and a contrasting  black and white background. To create this effect using photoshop; I created two layers and applied a black and white filter. I erased parts of the second layer (the black and white layer) where I wanted the colour to show through. I think the outcome of the final design is strong and bold; the colours work well together to create this effect. I like how the orange colour of the lanterns 'pop' against the background. [caption id="attachment_17080" align="alignnone" width="300"] Original image - Taken by me[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17081" align="alignnone" width="300"] Layers[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17082" align="alignnone" width="300"] Black and white cut out[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17073" align="alignnone" width="300"] Final design[/caption]   POST 3: Altered reality. For this design I wanted to create a 3D, altered reality effect. I wanted it to look as though the clouds were coming in through the window, I also wanted to create 'dream like' connotations. I achieved this by using soft colours such as light pink and white. To create this altered reality effect, I used a clipping mask on the window image cutting out the window background and replacing it with a pink cloud background. I then added in cloud images in a random order around the border of the photo to create the illusion that the clouds were escaping out of the window and into the room. I added a colour balance to the window image so it matches the soft pink tones in the background. Overall I am happy with the final outcome as it creates the desired dream like effect. Original window sill image from google [caption id="attachment_17088" align="alignnone" width="307"] Cloud background image from google[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17089" align="alignnone" width="300"] Border cloud image from google[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17090" align="alignnone" width="224"] Window sill image with pink tint and clipping mask  applied[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17091" align="alignnone" width="300"] Pink tint[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17092" align="alignnone" width="224"] Pink cloud image replacing background[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17072" align="alignnone" width="224"] Final image outcome[/caption]   SOFTWARE TUTORIALS: To help me create all three of these image designs on photoshop, I used tutorials recommended to us from Adobe and videos from YouTube. I have a basic understanding of the tools on photoshop but I am not that confident on how to use a majority of the tools. These videos helped me build my confidence when using photoshop tools used to create the three creative images. When creating the ‘New background’ and ‘Altered world’ images I used the below clipping mask tutorial to help guide me and I have learned a lot about this process as a result. I now know that using a clipping mask helps control the visibility of a layer, It allows parts of the layer to be shown whilst other parts are see through. It also allows for better visibility accuracy, helping to create a polished finish. I will use a clipping mask in future projects. I would also like to use this tool on more complex images which will  help me develop my skills further. Creating these images also helped me develop my erasing skills, this was especially relevant when creating the 'black and white with colour' photos and has helped me focus on practicing my accuracy. During the creation of these images, I enjoyed learning new skills on photoshop. The task allowed me to experiment with different colour filters and colour balance as is shown in all three of the images. I enjoyed creating these images and hopefully I will continue to develop on my creative images skills and use my new skills in future projects. I would especially like to practice more 'altered reality' and 'new background' styled images.   RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH AND INSPIRATION: I took inspiration, especially with colour, for the designs from pictures I found on instagram and Pinterest. I also used images from Pixaby, Google images and my own images to create these designs. POST 1: I took colour inspiration for the first post (first created image below) from galaxy themed pictures I found on Pinterest and instagram. I originally wanted to replace the sky with a galaxy background but came across a picture of lightning on pixaby which I decided to use instead as I thought It would look more striking. The three images below were my main inspirations for the first design, I liked the mix of dark and light colours used in all three of the photos which I wanted incorporate  in my design. I was also aiming to create similar  'outer space' and 'mystical' connotations that these images convey. The last photo also inspired the third post that I created. [caption id="attachment_17074" align="alignnone" width="272"] first created image[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17126" align="alignnone" width="266"] Inspiration 1[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17127" align="alignnone" width="248"] Inspiration 2[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17128" align="alignnone" width="242"] Inspiration 3[/caption]   POST 2: Before creating the image below (second created image), I looked at a few of my peers work and images from google for inspiration. I chose one of my own images with bright colours so when turned to black and white the colour would standout and 'pop' creating a similar effect that the images below convey. I chose to use these images as inspiration as they have bold connotations and use simple yet eye-catching colours. Overall, I think any colour in contrast with a black and white background would stand out but I choose to use a photo with orange as It doesn't blend in as easily with the background. I would like to explore this technique further using more complex images. [caption id="attachment_17073" align="alignnone" width="300"] second created image[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17129" align="alignnone" width="300"] Inspiration 1[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17130" align="alignnone" width="314"] Inspiration 2[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17131" align="alignnone" width="304"] Inspiration 3[/caption]   POST 3: I took inspiration for the third post (Image created below) from the pictures below that I found on Instagram. I wanted to create a dream like altered reality, I achieved this by using soft colours like the colours used in the pictures below. Originally I wanted to create an image similar to the first picture below, however I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could make a 3D illusion (see inspiration 3). The clouds in the pictures below were a big inspiration for my piece, I wanted them to have a pink soft tint to add emphasis that it is an altered reality image. [caption id="attachment_17072" align="alignnone" width="288"] Third image created[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17132" align="alignnone" width="287"] Inspiration 1[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17133" align="alignnone" width="295"] Inspiration 2[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17135" align="alignnone" width="247"] Inspiration 3[/caption]  

Illustrator: Creating letter logos
3/24/2021 9:01 PM

Design ideas and design process For this task, I  created three different letter logos made of my initials. I wanted to create three that were very distinct and unique, and to do this, I did a lot of sketches and rough drawings to help me brainstorm. I also played around with different ways of arranging the letters, as well as asking my family for their opinions, before settling on an official idea. [caption id="attachment_17682" align="alignright" width="300"] Initial sketches[/caption] Logo 1: From the beginning, I knew I wanted one of the logos to look classy and traditional, so when I sketches rough arrangements for my initials, I kept in mind that I wanted the letters to be a serif typeface. I first sketched a variety of different letter combinations for my initials, and the whole time I imagined them as having serifs and looking old and traditional. After this, I began to use illustrator to play around with my initials. I kept them in black and white however so that I was not distracted by colour. I then combined all of my experiments to decide which I liked most. After deciding on my favourite combination, I began to warp the text and explore different ways of presenting the thickness and length of parts of the letter. Eventually I found a shape I liked and stuck with it. I began to explore different colours and strokes, but stuck with a simple white fill and black background (final logo seen here Final logo 1) [caption id="attachment_17689" align="alignleft" width="300"] Illustrator letter arrangement experiments[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17703" align="alignright" width="279"] Logo 1 editing process[/caption]                   Logo 2: The process of creating me second logo was fairly similar to the first, where I simply continued to rearrange two letters on my screen. I also used my initial sketches for logo 1 as inspiration. Much like before, I combined all of my favourite arrangements on a page to help me decide which I liked the most (initial combinations left).  After deciding which was my favourite, I warped the text and thickened and thinned it in certain areas until I found a style which I liked. Once I decided on a shapes, I began experimenting with colour. After finally deciding on a colour combination, my logo was complete (final logo here logo 2) [caption id="attachment_17693" align="alignright" width="300"] Colour experiments[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17692" align="alignleft" width="259"] Arrangement experiments[/caption]           Logo 3: For my third and final logo, I wanted to create a more soft and delicate logo which looked almost hand written. Partially inspired by the coke logo, I chose to make this logo using the pen tool so that I could add on lots of different twirls at the end of lines. After I decided on a rough shape for my letter lines to follow, I started exploring different colours and thicknesses. Finally, I ended up settling on a simple black design with thick and thin lines (final outcome here logo 3). [caption id="attachment_17698" align="alignnone" width="241"] Logo 3 sketches[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17704" align="alignright" width="300"] Logo 3 colour experiments[/caption]           Software tutorials As I am fairly new to illustrator, especially text related features on it, I found myself looking at quite a few tutorials to help me create my letter logos. I used the tutorials for a variety of reasons including to help me warp and edit letters, to help me add multiple strokes to letters, and to help me understand shortcuts and other basic functions such as how to create and delete anchor points. The first tutorial I looked at was an adobe article about how to edit and warp text available here, this helped me a lot and once I figured out how to warp my text, the rest of the task was far easier as I understood the basics. The article also helped me understand more about how the text tool in illustrator works and how I can use the features available. Another extremely helpful tutorial I looked at was an article about how to remove part of a shapes outer stroke without the stroke rearranging itself (available here). The article was immensely helpful as I have always struggled with combining shapes and not being able to remove parts of the stroke. This was especially helpful with my first logo and I was struggling to combine the two letters to make them look like one shape as there was a stroke line connected to the R which separated the two letters. As you can see in ''logo 1 editing process' above, the removal of a small amount of stroke made a huge difference in the look and authentic flow of my logo. This is an issue I have struggled with before as well, including during my week 5 task where I had to make a podcast cover for home going. Finally, an article about different text styles available on illustrator helped inspire me to explore a varsity/high-school football colour scheme and style in my second logo. The article also showed me how to add layers of stroke to one letter. Available here.   Resources for research and inspiration To help with my idea generation at the beginning of my logo designing, I briefly looked online at examples of letter logos. I wanted to look more at how the letters were arranged and their shape than their colour and texture. Later on when I had designed the shape of my second logo, I looked at different ways of filling and decorating text (link here). I also looked at company logos which looked hand drawn such as Coca Cola to help me get an idea on how to draw my third logo as I wanted it to look hand written. I really liked the free stroke style of Coca Cola as well as Unilever, Cadburys, and Disney. Serif based logos such as Gap, Rolex, and Vogue are what inspired me to create my traditional styled logo 1.

Developing a Brand Logo
3/24/2021 7:42 PM

Design ideas, process and inspiration

I saw this task as a fantastic opportunity to build my very own logo for my art Instagram page. I have experimented and learned how to the different tools on Illustrator; some which were completely new to me like the scissor tool.  The design you see above is actually a continuation from the first experiment I did in this task. After I had completed the task, I went ahead and explored the composition further and came up with a logo for my own social media design page. I added a square to the continuous line/path which acted like a border/bearer shape for the letters to sit in. I then took the brush tool and experimented with different styles until I found the perfect one which completed the logo design. I finished the logo by stating my social media handle at the bottom using a clear capitalised san-serif.



[caption id="attachment_17179" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Design 1[/caption] Firstly, I began with creating 2 separate text boxes and typing each letter in each of the text box. I chose to use Minion Pro as my typeface as a serif is the perfect example to do it on due to having well defined descenders and serifs at the end which can easily be cut off. To manipulate and distort the actual letters, we need to make a path around the letterforms. To do this, I expanded both the letters by going onto the object menu which gave me a path around the letterforms. Now that both text boxes were essentially converted to a smart object (due to the paths around them), I was able to use the scissor and line segment tool to draw out the lines where I wanted to break the letter in order for the 2 letters to connect in the end. After I was happy of where I wanted to create these marks, I divided the object using the pathfinder tool – this sliced where I had originally made the marks and to make sure they had separated I edited the object by ungrouping all that was selected. Screenshot 1 shows the top end part of the 'E' been cut off. This is where I planned to join the 'R' to after extending the line so that there was a reasonable amount of space between both the letterforms. I then did the same thing to the 'R' making sure I cut the correct areas out. I joined both of the objects by using the shape tool and drew a rectangle which connected the two letters together (screenshot 2) By using the cutting method I learned from the tutorial I watched and using the direct selection tool also, I cleaned up the edges where the lines overlapped. The before and after stages of this action is shown in. To finish the edit, I rasterised the 2 elements as a whole which converted it into one single object rather than 2 separate ones. [caption id="attachment_17182" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 1: pathfinder, divide and then ungroup from the object[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17183" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 2: joining the letters together[/caption]


Software tutorials and inspiration 

My inspiration for this design is the logo for Louis Vuitton. I like the way they have combined both of the letterforms as a whole. However, I wanted to put my own spin on this, therefore I removed parts which I thought were not essential, but kept the parts which were needed to ensure the letter did in fact look like it was meant to be. To do this, I used 2 video tutorials which helped me. I understood that I needed to outline the text and the video provided in the brief helped me to do so. In terms of cutting parts of the letter out, I found a tutorial on YouTube which helped me remove the parts I did not need. I learned how the scissor tool can be used together with the line segment tool to cut out parts of an object and how the direct selection tool can come in handy to line up the corners of the object and deleting points if necessary. Helpful tutorial: (cutting shapes in Illustrator) Helpful tutorial: (outlining shapes) [caption id="attachment_17195" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Inspiration for design 1:[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_17180" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Design 2[/caption] I started off this design by choosing the typeface. I wanted to make my second design more abstract which is why I picked sans-serif typefaces like Baloo Bhaina and Chalkboard; I chose Chalkboard to be part of my final outcome. The thick strokes of the letter forms is perfect for the effect I was going for as it does not hold back. It stands out and it’s out there and fun. I then drew out the first shape I was going to experiment with – an ellipse. I then created an outline for the text box which essentially converted it into a smart object (with a path) For the text to warp into the shape, with both elements chosen, I applied the ‘Envelope Distort’ option and I made it with the top option. This gave me the finish I was looking for (screenshot 3) I was not a massive fan of this though, so I went ahead and experimented with a different typeface and shape – this time a rectangle. After adding 2 more points onto the rectangle using the pen tool, I grabbed the direct selection arrow and distorted the rectangle to the shape. Like I previously did, I warped the text using the same technique, however this time remembering to group the rectangle before I did so as I added 2 additional points to the rectangle which had broken the single path. To stylise the warped text, I added a shape around the text as well changing up the colours using different layers to get the final outcome (screenshot 4) [caption id="attachment_17188" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 3: using ellipse as the shape for the text to warp into[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17189" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 4: adding colour[/caption]


Software tutorials and inspiration 

Through this design, I have learned a new technique. I was always intrigued to know how people do this and now I finally got around to finding out as well as making my own thanks to this task. It's quite simple too. Not only do the tools do amazing things but after exploring a couple of the options on the top menu bars allowed me to see that most of the interesting stuff lives up there. I used my previous knowledge on manipulating shapes to change and enhance the background to make the logo the best it can be. Helpful tutorial and inspiration: (warp text into the custom shape)



  [caption id="attachment_17178" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Design 3[/caption] To begin this design, I decided that I was going to use a sans-serif as I hadn’t played around with them as much (like I did in my first design) I realised that creating them as outlines was always the first step to do as it makes a path along the actual letter forms making it easier for us to manipulate the letters. So, after I had done this, I remembered to ungroup the whole letter and began to add lines using the pen tool to see where I would have the cut outs (screenshot 5) After I was happy where I wanted to place these, I used the pathfinder tool and divided the shape so that it make a cut in the letter where I had drawn (screenshot 6) Now, it was time to wing the ends out – I did this by adding a couple more anchor points and using the direct selection tool to expand these where appropriate to create the desired effect (screenshot 7) I then manipulated the ends of the E to make sure the style was consistent throughout as it looked odd without doing so I then did the same to the R, as well as beginning to experiment with colour. I made the cut in the R even more distinctive compared to the E, to use the new technique I had learned. I felt as though by adding more drama to the R would bring the logo together. Lastly, I positioned them so that they created sort of a journey from one letter to the other (starting at the top and slowly changing direction as you move your eye down to the R) I experimented with the line width of the framing of the circle as well as switching up the colours to create an altered ending finish. [caption id="attachment_17190" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 5: pen tool + "create outlines" function[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17191" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 6: pathfinder tool to divide the letter[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17192" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Screenshot 7: using the anchor point and the direct selection tool/white arrow to extend the ends of the paths[/caption]


Software tutorials and inspiration

I found a very useful tutorial to help me with changing up the letter form differently. Although the video showed tools and elements I already was aware of, it showed me how to do things differently. I can now use the pen tool better to by knowing where to add different anchor points which I can then pull out or draw in to curve the edges or extend the corners out. I was inspired by the Nespresso logo, more specifically the 'N' in it. It follows the same idea I have dealt with through this design. I think by adding this to the starting letter like the brand has done adds an excellent degree of style, whilst also being legible to users. Helpful tutorial: (letter logo in Illustrator)

[caption id="attachment_17197" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Inspiration for design 3:[/caption]



Throughout this task, I gained a better understanding on how the pathfinder tool works – how I am able to use it to divide sections, overlay, combine as well as group together too. The 'create outline' function is extremely useful as it converts the text box into letters which have paths around themsleves. Working with this is easier, as you can take any point on the letter/shape and change it to whatever you feel suits the design and style. Doing this has improved my practice using the pen tool. I am now able to know where to put additional anchor points if I need them and where to remove them to get a softer curve. An area to improve is to explore the materiality of the letterforms (e.g. adding texture within the letterforms for a greater impact) I think experimenting with different letters of the alphabet can also be useful as by pairing different letters together you can use the shapes of them differently and intertwine them with one another.              

Creative Images on Photoshop task – TY1SK
3/24/2021 7:20 PM

Design ideas and design process: All photoshop designs here included my own photography, the first 2 being of my dogs. In the first one, I isolated him from the background and used a series of brushes to create an ink splatter effect to show off his colours well. Using the eyedropper tool, I could select the same colour as his fur and would create brush strokes behind him. To get rid of any solid outlines I then applied a layer over the top of him, less intense so that all his details could still be seen, yet he is absorbed into all the ink. This made use of his natural colour tones and exaggerated them as much as I could. Alternately for my second design, and other dog, I went for a more cartoony feel, with a pop art aesthetic, steering away from the more complicated aesthetic from the former and favouring bright vibrancy. It feels blockier and more fun, yet I favoured the image resembling more of the original photo, the first design. Therefore, for the final design, I took what worked best in the former two and applied it to my photo of people this time. Using ink splatter to exaggerate the colours of hair, skin and clothes, with a pop art overlay. I feel the transition between realism worked more seamlessly here than in the second design as it blends with colour more effectively due to how intense the presence of the ink is. The focus on the people aids this greatly as the colour and ink flow around the image in a natural way for the audience to follow with their eyes.    Designs 1-3   The first image shows the underlying layers of ink brushes and the second shows how awkward the image looked awkward when there was no overlaying ink , as to why i added this later on.   The first image shows the early design process when i realised that the pop art effect didn't work so well on its ownand the second is where I attempted to add no detail to add to a comic tone but decided against it. The first image shows all the underlying ink layers without the figures with the second showing the figures with just the smoke which  inspired me to consume them in it as it flowed well.   Software tutorials The main assets I used here on Photoshop are the brush and eyedropper tool. This allowed me to colour pick the exact colours of elements of the photos so when painted on top of or behind there is a seamless transition. This also worked for colouring the brush the same colour as the background so there were no harsh lines or clear transitions, it all blends into one. This worked for both the first and final designs to great success. This was especially amplified by increasing the vibrancy of the images so that the colours really popped out and became the main features of the original photos; This is the tutorial I watched by Hass Hasib as the main tutorial in my design, showing how he used brushes in creative ways, something I then wanted to emulate in my own work with my own images.  In the second and third design I also made the images look cartoony by altering layer styles, filters and colour to my advantage as well as learning about colour halftone on Photoshop with Blue Lightning TV Photoshops tutorial; These 2 major stylistic choices are not usually presented simultaneously, therefore, that Is more of a reason why I wanted to combine the two, taking what worked and abusing it to extreme effects with very harsh outlines and thick strokes as well as vibrant and loud colour brush effects that amplify and flood the image. These skills I had never dabbled in before and by revisiting both of them in the final design worked as a kind of test to me to see how to apply what I had learnt in the tutorials without external assistance the second time around, to, what I think, was a success.   Resources for research and inspiration After seeing the first tutorial mentioned above by Hass Hasib, I searched for similar looking final designs using the splash dispersion ink effect such as this one; Although I did not watch the technical elements of this video, I liked how the final image uses colour so violently, in the audience’s face, bringing so much character and excitement. This is a photo where the figure Is moving so it inspired to see if I could bring so much diversity to a stationary image of my dog who has very neutral colours, brown, blacks and whites as opposed to the red and blues present here to see what works well and do the opposite despite the fact to see if I could achieve just as effective results. It became more inspiring when designing the 3rd creative image as here there was much more colour on show I could exploit, make sharper and channel this concept more thoroughly in a playful way as opposed to the more mature and reserved approach I took with the first dog design. For the second design, although not looking very similar, one of my main influences after watching the tutorial was the loading screens for the video game Grand Theft Auto V which present the main characters in a comic pop art version of themselves, still realistic but with more pronunciation on strokes. This Is an approach I took with my second dog, to keep the details but reduce the image to a comic from with bold pronunciation; I decided to stray away from the more realistic GTA V aesthetic, applying colour halftone pixels with 6 pixel radius creating marks as if the image is printed on old printers like classic comics and 80s pop art.