Photoshop Design Development

For both my Photoshop final designs, I took a shape from a mid-century item and designed a pattern using that shape. Here you can see the development of the designs.

The first design I created in Photoshop was based on the dial of a mid-century telephone. After a one colour design was first created I played to come out with the design that includes all the colours.

The second design was based on a mid-century radio. I experimented with shapes that featured on the radio and kept it to small, simple details.

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Using Artboards in Illustrator

When creating patterns in Illustrator, I learnt how to use multiple art boards. This is really useful, because it enables me to see the development in my designs all in the same document. At the start of the project, I was opening a new document for every new design, which was a hassle because I created lots of documents within a very short space of time, making it difficult to find them. Below are some screenshots that show how I used art boards. Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 19.36.47In my earlier designs, I just used the art boards to create different designs using the same or similar devices. This definitely helps because when you have exhausted all ideas, you can compare them all in the same place and decide which works the best.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 19.36.35Later on, I started experimenting with different colour ways of the same design, or just changing one device in a design, as you can see in the screenshot above. Sometimes I still forget to create a new art board for a new idea, and the old design disappears because I change it to a new one, but luckily this is becoming a less common occurrence. I love art boards and I wish they existed in Photoshop! I struggled without them when creating my two Photoshop designs after becoming used to Illustrator.

Blending Photos

In Friday’s workshop, we learnt how to blend two photos together in photoshop. I did this by bringing a second photo (the chair) in, on a new layer, and placing it where I wanted it to blend into the first photo (the bookshelf). Then I lowered the opacity on the second photo, made a mask over the layer, and used the gradient tool on the mask to create the fading effect. I then raised the opacity back to 100% to complete it.

These were a couple of the first ones I made, where I was using photos relating to my theme, but they didn’t work so well. It just looked like a piece of furniture had been stuck on top of another, and was very obviously edited.

I feel that using landscape photos was much more successful, as it is a lot easier to blend two photos into one using natural images. I selected the images I used from Pinterest, as I didn’t have any of my own photos on my USB stick. I think the image with the houses in works very well. In the original, there is a beach at the bottom of the image, but with the greenery over the top of it, someone who hadn’t seen the original wouldn’t be able to tell. It is even less obvious in the image with the lake, as there could genuinely be greenery at the edge of the lake. The image with the sheep could be improved, because the top of her head starts to disappear, looking a bit ghost-like. Just changing the gradient and placement of the image could quite easily improve it. I am impressed with this technique, as it is so effective if you use the right images.

A Reflection on Level 4 Constellation

Throughout constellation, I have learnt many things to support my learning in my subject area. Constellation was not what I thought it was going to be, but I have enjoyed it nevertheless. At the start of the year, I thought that it would be more based towards my subject, but I have definitely enjoyed learning about more wide ranging subjects.

Term 1:

In the first term I was in a study group called The Body in Society. This was one of my first choices when deciding which study groups I wanted to take part in, so I was very pleased to be placed into the group. Having studied Sociology at A Level, I had some knowledge of a few of the terms used in the study group, which helped me to understand some of the theory and concepts faster than I might have done otherwise.

I find the way that people act and how things happen within society very interesting, and I’m always keen to learn more. I found the session we had on heteronormativity fascinating, because it made me realise that almost everything in society about love and relationships is based on heterosexual couples. For example, most sex education in schools only teaches about sex between a man and a woman. Unless it has purposely been thought about, most representations of relationships in the media are heterosexual. I would like to explore this area in more depth, as it really intrigues me. During the course of the autumn term, we went from learning about the body throughout history, to what the future of the body might be. Everything we do as human beings is based around how our bodies work, and if there were one thing that was different, many things that we know would be completely different. An example of this is cars, which relies on using all four limbs, our vision and our hearing to be able to drive safely. If we had any less limbs, or no vision, driving would likely be a completely different experience to what we are used to.

Our bodies are also controlled by those in power, with CCTV always watching, and laws and societal rules that make sure we do not ‘misbehave’. Cars are also a good example of ways in which our bodies can be controlled, because to even be able to drive one, we have to wait until we’re old enough, then pass two tests before even being allowed on the road alone. Even after the tests, there are a plethora of rules for every part of driving, but these are to primarily to help us stay safe on the roads.

This study group was very relevant to my subject area, as Textiles is based around the body, whether it is fashion, interiors, or surface pattern. Most obviously, fashion revolves around the human form, with designers using it to create new shapes and statements. Interior textiles makes our homes feel warm and homely, often being the finishing touches on a room. Cushions keep us comfortable, curtains keep the dark out to help us sleep, and blankets keep us warm. Surface pattern can go into both fashion designs and interior fabrics, as well as into paper and stationery, all of which are produced for the human body to use.

As well as the study groups in term 1, we also had keynote lectures every two weeks, one from each study group tutor, and they were interesting to listen to, to hear something about a subject that wasn’t from the study group.

Term 2:

In the spring term, I was again put into a study group that was one of my first choices; Smells Like Teen Spirit: Subcultures and Street Style. Once more I was excited to learn more about this subject, as I had learnt a small amount about subcultures at A Level. By analysing photos, we learnt about a different subculture from the 20th Century each week. I think the subcultures that I found most interesting were the ones, I’d never heard of before, for example the zoot suitors. Their style interested me because of the bright colours, which stood out from the normality of others. This is the point of all subcultures, to be different from the normal style of dressing, to make a statement. In almost all subcultures, pieces of clothing are taken from another era or setting and customised into the subculture’s own style, for example the goth subculture took Victorian dresses and added dramatic make up and different jewellery. More modern subcultures even take features from previous subcultures and change them, and have access to shops like Blue Banana to help them create a look more easily.

During this study group I have learnt about a range of different subcultures, and I now have a method of analysing photos which I think will really help me in the future. In my own subject area, I think it has helped me to stop and think about each detail of my work, because every tiny thing can have a meaning, whether you intend it to or not. This has been reinforced in a recent lecture I attended in my subject about colour theory, where we were taught that every colour means something, and colour is to be considered before anything is created. It can mean the difference between being mediocre and amazing, just from that one extra thought at the start of the creative process. I think constellation as a whole has helped me realise this, despite being unsure of the module at the beginning of the year. Although I do find academic writing challenging, I am looking forward to continuing to learn more about areas other than textiles in second year, to help me improve my way of thinking and working.

Mood Board and Colour Board

Here is my completed mood board and colour board for Re-E-val-U-8:

I created both boards in Photoshop, which I had had previous experience of, so had no problem getting started. After my original mood board got too busy with too many items on it, I decided to start a completely new document. My second and final mood board is a big improvement on the first one, and I really like how I’ve arranged it to look like a room, with the objects on the drawers and lights ‘hanging’. I put the pattern in the background halfway across because when it was completely covering the background, it was too overwhelming and took over the whole board.

For my colour board, I chose items that featured colours that I wanted to use in my work. I then used the eyedropper tool to select each colour and inserted it into a square across the top. Then I compared each colour I had selected to Pantone colours and choose the one that was the most similar. I wrote both the Pantone and CMYK references across the top of each colour box. I really like both of the boards, and was impressed that I remembered so much about Photoshop, as I had not used it for a couple of years.

Drawing myself on Photoshop and Illustrator

In another workshop with Steve, we learnt how to draw over a photo of ourselves in Photoshop, using the pen tool to draw the shapes, each on a separate layer, and the eyedropper tool to add accurate colour to each feature. I added in some more detail on my hair after all the basic shapes were completed as one block of colour for my hair did not show the variation in colour within my hair. For my glasses, I used the gradient tool to make them as accurate as possible, because they are almost transparent at the bottom.cartoon beth

I really like this image, as it is a really simple but effective technique, and I enjoyed the process of creating it. I may go back and add more detail to some parts of it, because apart from the hair, everything is one block of colour. I hope to use this technique in the future, as I enjoyed doing it, and think it works very well.

We also worked over the same image in Illustrator, using the brush tool, with a calligraphy brush stroke to create the thick lines. I really like how the technique is so simple but it turns into a very nice image. I tried multiple brush strokes but I decided that this was the best for the image.

callig beth

I decided that I wanted to add colour to the image, and did so by still using the brush tool. I changed the brush stroke to a charcoal one, and used the eyedropper tool to get a good colour match on each part of the image. I did one line of colour in each part of the image, which I really like the effect of. It is very simplistic but works well. I think if it was blocks of colour filling the whole image it would be too much for the style of the drawing. callig beth colourI like the Illustrator images more than the Photoshop one, because the lines are more flowing and like a drawing, and it was easy to do once I got used to the speed of the mouse. I also prefer the lines of colour rather than the blocks of colour, because it just gives an idea of what the original image was, rather than quite an accurate representation.

Editing a photo on Photoshop

Today in the workshop we learnt a few editing techniques, and I used a photo of myself to work on.

On the left is the original photo, and the edited version is on the right. The most obvious change is the eye colour, from blue to brown. I also removed any blemishes on my face and smoothed out the surface of my skin. I like how my skin now looks very even in colour, but I do not like the change in eye colour, as it looks unnatural. I think that I need more practice with these techniques, because when zoomed in, you are able to see a blue around the edge of my eyes.