Chugga – The Little Engine That Couldn’t

overworked engine gif

This was an illustration for a PowerPoint presentation. A simple drawing from Illustrator; exported through Photoshop as multi-layered as an animation. It had to do with machine maintenance and was in the instructional training portion of a manual on compressors, proper use and part upgrade. Somewhere around 2003.

A matter of trying to make technical manuals a little more interesting.

An example of easy blends in Illustrator and a little blur in Photoshop. It started off more “cartoony” but it distracted from the content too much so colour for the motor was changed from red, the implied face was taken out and the animation simplified. Can’t be too fun, right?

Photoshop allows for simple Gif amimations but cycling through layers; with time setting and looping or repeat/stop settings.

Flying an Object along a Path in Illustrator

Lord of the Flies

Here is another school project using Illustrator’s follow path. We were to design a book cover for one of five famous books. My choice was “The Lord of the Flies”. After choosing and placing the text font, converting to outlines and creating some swashes, I made an outline using the offset path on the group of outlined text. I then drew just one fly, made it a library object and had it randomly space and spin around the path. One larger fly at the end of the R’s swash and I was done.

I should have left the assignment there, but I overdid it and did an illustration in Photoshop of the the boar’s head from the story. The digital painting wasn’t bad, it was just too much, now that I look back.

Lord of the Flies Boar''s Head

As you can see the mockup cover was too busy and too dark. It would have been far better to just rely on the strength of the typography.

LOTF cover

The ABC’s of Illustrating [Coconut] Soup

This illustration is back from a food related project around 2005-6, when I went back to school; to bump up my digital skills. I had a number of years with both hand-drawing and digital-drawing, but upgrading my toolbox was neccessary to stay current.

The final was completely done in Illustrator. It was the only 1 of 20 or so drawings needed for the project, so I wasn’t able to do more than one before figuring I wasn’t going to be able to finish and we had to use ‘position only’ images.

The work was done over an image I found online from a restaurant and quickened by the Wacom Cintiq tablet I used to have. These tablets are amazing and output is so much faster. If you’re going to make a living at illustration or say, animation, they are indispensable.

Sometimes, if I was in a hurry I would use the trace tool in Illustrator, but it often creates too many bad points and in the long run it’s faster to do by vector pen and sometimes the imperfections are more perfect.

There are such a number of textures and pattern tools you can find to accentuate any details in Illustrator. The background glass is one of those filters. The light graduations in the bowl and spoon are done with a gradiant mapping tool with transparency alllowing multiple layers and buildup of tones and direction.