For this task I created a social media banner to accompany a podcast for ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi. This illustration was one that is inspired by the book cover.
I took inspiration from the flowers going up each side of the cover. They looked like simple enough shapes to recreate and an integral part of the design which would create a good link between my social banner design and the book cover. I used the pencil tool to draw the stem and then used the circular tool to create a smooth circle. I then added many smaller circles around the edge and merged the shapes together. This allowed me to create the cloud-like effect of the flowers. For the petals I again used the pencil tool to draw the outline and duplicated the shape for multiple petals. Once I had 1-2 different flowers I just duplicated them to give me multiple flowers across the front of the banner.
I then moved onto the background. I wanted to use the same colours as the book cover to keep them closely related but I used different shapes. I decided to use a series of wave-like shapes to create a background that was completely original.
After creating the background I added ‘Homegoing’ in the font Futura. I picked this font as it resembled the one used on the book cover but instead of red I chose black to keep it from blending into the background. This font is thick and heavy which makes the text stand out.
The task provided me with software tutorials I was able to use and watch prior to starting this task. The first tutorial I watched taught me about using the pencil tool to draw shapes and adjusting the smoothness setting to prevent getting rough lines. This is what allowed me to draw the stems of the flowers I used above. The tutorial also showed how you can edit paths you made by using the pen tool to allow you to achieve the exact shape.
The second tutorial went more in-depth about the pencil tool and shortcuts to draw straight lines. It then talked about the curvature tool where you can set anchor points a long a straight line and make it curved.
Another tutorial allowed me to learn about creating shapes and combining many smaller shapes to create a more detailed shape. This is the technique I used to create the ‘petals’ of the flowers above.
Along with these tutorials I found some of my own online that helped me better understand the tools I needed to use for this task.
Here are a few I found and used to help me with this task.
Design resources and articles
I also found some other resources online that went through creating, combining and cutting shapes to achieve the final shape I wanted. This was the main skill I needed for this task as this allowed me to create the main focus point of the banner, the flowers. It is also the skill I used to create the different coloured waves for my background.
Across the whole module I have learned a variety of new skills on multiple softwares, some of which I have never used before. I have learned the basics of After Effects to create animated text and shapes along a timeline to produce a GIF. I have developed my InDesign skills which has also helped me across other modules. I have also been able to learn more about tools in Photoshop, cutting out images cleanly and precisely, editing images, and being able to make different images work together.
I am now used to saving files in different formats that allow me to use them across different softwares. Many problems can arise from not saving files properly and using the wrong formats which prevent you from opening them in certain softwares. I have gained good experience in saving files correctly which immediately prevents problems from occurring.
Photoshop is arguably one of the most popular pieces of design software, used by over 90% of professionals. In the industry, photoshop is primarily used for small clean-ups and corrections, but what can we do with it when unrestrained and opened up to a new plane of imagination?
Design ideas and design process
For the first edit I wanted to make sure I had a good grasp on the tools I learned from the ‘Editing Images’ task. I decided to make a collage style image so that I could focus on each of the individual elements, and then putting them together. To begin, I created a new fill layer on the document, and set the colour to a dull yellow colour. Then I needed to create the arch shape, in order to do so, I used the shape tool to draw a rectangle and circle then combined them to create the arch. Next, I created a new layer and made the fill a light sky blue and used a downloaded brush to paint clouds, effectively making a sky background. To apply this only to the arch, I masked it by selecting the blue layer and holding down option (alt), which gives the option to create a mask that only applies to the layer below it, in this case the arch shape. Now that the background was complete, I inserted the main subject. I did this by using the select subject feature on the original image, then copying the selection into my main document. To get his elbow outside of the arch, I created a layer mask and used the brush tool to erase the corresponding mask area. For the flowers, I decided to go with pink and white as they provide a nice contrast to the background while also complementing the subject’s shirt. I places the flowers in and arranged them in a way that frames the subject. To create some depth, I repeated the same steps as before the bring the areas of some of the flowers forward. As a finishing touch I added some text as there was a lot of lank space, as the subject is a member of a group I like, I added some text relevant to that aspect.
After refining my skills with my first edit, I decided that I wanted to try and create something more complex and more diverse in terms of the tools that need to be used. Whilst looking for tutorials I came across one on how to make a flower face cut out image and chose to follow this one. I started by importing the photo into photoshop and using the pen tool to draw paths around the areas that I wanted to cut out. Then I right clicked on the path and chose ‘make selection’ then pressed M for the marquee tool make the path into a selection, after this I right clicked again and chose ‘copy via cut’ to separate the selection from the main photo. I also created a solid black layer under the original photo to serve as a background for the cut out areas. Next I used a bevel & emboss effect in the cut out areas to give them more depth. I then placed in the flowers I wanted to use and changed the hue and saturation of them so that the colours and brightness would match well with the purples and blues in the photo. I arranged the flowers as I wanted them to appear in the edit, then went to the main photo layer, held down control and clicked on it to create a selection, then went to my flower layer and created a mask on it and pressed control + I to invert it. This allowed me to then use the brush tool to paint over parts of the flower that I wanted to appear i front if the photo, to create the effect that the flowers are growing outwards. To finish it off, I reselected in the visibility for the cut out parts and readjusted them in a way that was distinguishable from the rest of the face, but not too isolated.
This edit is far simpler in comparison to the first two, however I thought it was important to not only focus on changing the main subject if the image, but also pay attention to the background and how it can alter the impression a photo makes on us. I started this edit by cropping the original image and placing it into photoshop as well as the new background on another layer. I then went to Select > Select and mask, then pressed select subject, this selected the person in the image, I could then use the sliders to refine the selection if I wanted to. This then created a mask which isolated the subject and brought it in front of the new background. Now I had to change the lighting of the subject to match the background. I did this by going to Filter > Neural filters > harmonisation, which analyses the two images and adjusts them to match. However after applying the filter I wasn’t satisfied, so went back and adjusted the saturation and CMYK sliders until I was happy.
As I have no prior experience with photoshop, I mainly used lengthier Youtube tutorials that went into more depth and explained each tool. I had no confidence with the tools, however after watching and following the tutorials, I feel that my skills have made a significant improvement.
As the first edit built practised knowledge I learned from a different task, I did not use a tutorial so that I could make sure I actually understood what I was doing.
This tutorial on how to make a flower face image guided me through the second edit. It mainly utilises creating masks from specific selections so that they can be added to or subtracted from, for example when choosing how much f the flowers I wanted to have ‘outside’ of the face. The tutorial was very clear and showed the progression through each step well, so it was easy to follow along and see the effect of each step which was a major aid in learning about what he use of each step was.
Changing a background of an image was much easier than expected thanks to Adobe’s analysis software, Adobe Sensei. This has made things such as selecting the main subject or the background of an image much easier, and needing less fine tuning from the designer themselves. This also applies to matching the lighting of the subject to the new background using the neural filters. Even though this technology is making these editing process much easier, it is still important that we implement our own flair and opinion, for example when using the harmonisation filter, I did not think Adobe’s result worked, so had to make adjustments myself.
In future projects, I would like to begin using tools that I have not used in this task, and explore further into the full range of photoshop’s abilities.
Design resources and articles
My sources of inspiration for these edits were these projects that I found on Behance while looking through the ‘Photoshop’ tag. I really liked the first two images as they caught my eye straight away with the bold colour palette and layering of the different layers. This helped inform my decision to implement this effect in my own design, as well as the the bevel and emboss feature that is used on the skin cut-outs.
The second two photos are my inspiration for my third edit. I found the one with the mushroom was so fun and really tells a story just from one picture. On the other hand, the cloud edit is dramatic in a way that leaves you to think, and the way the lighting matches both the person and the background made me want to try and achieve that effect in my own work.
Learning across the module
As a whole, this module has immensely improved my design skills and sparked new interests in different softwares. The first part of the module began to develop our understanding of each piece of software, and now we have developed our skills and are practicing them as professional designers would. I think this development is really shown throughout my work, not only in the final piece but especially in the process, the steps that I am taking to reach the end goal have become more refined. This shows me that I have achieved one of the goals I set for myself at the end of the first submission: “I feel that I need to improve my efficiency in using the program by learning more keyboard shortcuts past the realm of basic ones like the selection arrows and the pen tools”. The other goal for myself, “I would also like to improve on the way I view my own work, because at times I find myself being caught up in details that don’t end up being necessary, and trying to overcomplicate designs to make them look more complex when they don’t need to be.”, I think I have improved on this, but have yet to fully conquer it, though this only means I have more opportunities to learn.
For the photoshop task, I decided to choose creative images. This caught my eye as it would teach me how to alter an image in 3 ways. The process started with choosing a photo. This was an important step as I wanted a photo versatile enough so that I would have lots of options on how to alter the photo. Initially I wanted to use a flower as the contrasting colours could be used to make an interesting effect. However, most flower images had little backgrounds with not much going on. In the end I settled on a flower field that had a big sky and lots of colours and shapes.
The first task was to combine colour and monochrome. I had so many ideas for example, I wanted to make the sky the only thing monochrome to make a nice bold contrast between the sky and the clouds. However, I didn’t think it was very powerful and didn’t really say anything. Instead, I selected most, but not all, of the field of multi coloured flowers and kept them in colour whereas everything else was turned into black and white. This gave the image power with the impression of there’s a silver lining under every dark cloud. I was very happy with the end result.
For the next task we had to alter the image in some way. I chose to change the colour of the sky; this was hard due to the blue of the sky peeking through the trees. This inspired my next task to change the reality of the image. So, I downloaded some images of dinosaurs and made them into Png’s using photoshop. I then added them to my image giving the illusion the 2 dinosaurs are looking at the flying dinosaur.
For this task I had to use many tutorials and articles to assist me in creating these images as I have little knowledge on photoshop. There were 3 main sources I used.
This was another video I used to teach me how to use the monochrome effect. Even though it technically only taught me how to create black and white images, along the way I saw where the other effects lived and how they worked.
Design recourses and articles
Over this task I had to gather inspiration I did this via creating a mood board on BeHance. This helped me gather inspiration and adjust / improve my work as I went. An example of this is, when I was creating my black and white task I struggled to put some emotion into my image. By consulting my mood board and adding to it, I gathered an idea of what I wanted it to say.
Learning across the module
Over the course of this module I have gathered many new skills. Such as, after effects. Learning After effects was extremely hard. The videos on how to use the program were very uninformative and made me more confused. This was certainly the hardest task I had to do. However, by the end I knew how to use key parts of this program effectively. Another key part I learnt was premier pro. This was challenging as it was another program I had never used before. However, there was a lot more Resorces to teach me how to use it. By the end of the screen casting task I moderately understood the software and could use it confidently.
This task was asked to cut out part of the image and my original image that I have used to make this is a scenery of the mountains. I used the magnetic lasso tool to outline the part that I wanted removed and edited it out with the tools. This part may have been the most challenging and required a few trials before getting it correctly.
This task is where we were asked to produce part of the image into black and white. I chose to only leave the mountains in colour so that it stands out more in comparison to the rest of the image. In order to create this I used the magnetic lasso effect to chose what I did not want in black and white and added it to a new layer, to make the image black and white the tool was found in adjustments.
This is the task where I developed the most on photoshop. In order to create this image I cut out the background and added a new layer to remove the sky out from the image and added and image of the galaxy to replace the sky. For it to look better, I went to image and changed the brightness and contrast. For the rest of the image I used colour balance to improve the image and make it have more vibrant colours.
The software tutorials were very useful for the photoshop tasks as I have never produced either of those before so they were of great help. The first tutorial was about how to cut out part of an image from the whole image. There it showed how to use the magnetic lasso tool properly for when in need to remove some properties from the background. At first I found it quite complicated but with the use and understanding of the tutorial it made it easier for me. The second tutorial was on how to make the background black and white which was also something I had not tried as a tool before therefore it was interesting to find out how. However, I feel that I still have room for improvement for cutting out an image and could look much more accurate in some areas for the next task. The tutorials did help me learn two new skills which was very interesting.
learning across the module
In this module I have learnt several skills mostly ones using the magnetic lasso tool where I used them to cut out images and make images in black and white. These tools were found to be of great use in the tasks and for tasks to come along afterwards. Furthermore, I have never created a table using indesign before therefore this was a new skill I learnt too. One of my favourite skills during the module that I learnt to use was creating a 3 dimensional effect for my logo- initials on illustrator which was fun and fascinating to create.
With my early and brief experience with manipulating text in illustrator last submission during term A, and with the quick mini project that happened during DP1 last term exploring letter logos, I was excited to have the chance to return to creating further concepts of logo designs using illustrator. To start off the design process, I began drawing many different sketches in my sketch book to gage a quick understanding of what worked and what didn’t. This was further explored through my exploration of places like Pinterest, Instagram, and other various image searching locations online. My initial experiments during my sketching period helped me to design initial ideas in my notebook in order to render and test my ideas visually. The tutorials I found on how to use the pen tool and pathfinder tool really came in handy when connecting two letters and overlaying one on top of the other as one vector.
As shown in these initial drawings above, elements of my final designs can be found in these sketches. From experiments with geometric type to more calligraphic type, and with unique merging of terminals in the lettering, I found that the logos I rendered onto illustrator gave a good balance between professionalism and creativeness.
The screen shot above shows the journey that took me from the original text – typed out into their individual text boxes – to the use of the object+expand tool to turn the text into vector paths and shaped – where I began to edit them individually – to the final edit merging the vectors to create one connected logo. One technique that I did not know of before, that became very handy in the creation of editing of vectors was the tutorial that I found to split vectors into two shapes in order to edit one area of a vector and merge them back together – this was done by the use of the ‘divide’ tool. As stated, this technique became very useful in the creating and editing of my logos, and even became and integral part of other designs I made following this discovery in other modules.
Even though I am relatively new to the use of Adobe programs such as illustrator, apart from photoshop that I dabbled with in the past, I feel like I was able to pick most of the techniques up quickly and without outside sources. I believe this came down to my knowledge in photoshop as they sometimes use similar tools and methods to get the job done – such as the pen tool to create paths. Still being new to the program itself however, I still had to use an array or resources to guide my way through the program when I faced problems that I couldn’t figure out on my own. Examples of this can be seen in my use of the ‘divide’ tool techniques found in the pathfinding area of illustrator. Another area that I was not well versed in where the pathfinding tools in general.
From my research I was able to find many different ways in which to do different tasks, for example the overlapping of the letters in design 3 I found could be done in many different ways from the use of the stroke lines of the text and the knife tool to cut away areas, to the way in which letters could be edited by using the typeset tool instead of the expand tool. This knowledge gave me an understanding of the complexity of illustrator as I experiment with different techniques to get similar results.
Skills I improved upon:
A skill that I felt I may have improved upon were the development of my designs through the research and initial drawings I made before starting on illustrator. As I developed through this course, I have come to understand how important planning out rough ideas can be in the development process of my designs as I originally would jump straight into the program. To improve this however, I believe I still need to do more prior development into my designs – such as photoshop tasks – as I still sometimes fall into the trap of experimenting in the program before knowing my idea. Another skill I felt that I improved upon was the creation of vector and logo designs, and my ability to visualise the logo that I was trying to make on paper, and actually be able to render it onto illustrator. Previously, I would have gotten to a speed bump in the creation process on illustrator – usually down to my lack of knowledge in the program – and moved onto a more simple design instead of pushes through. To improve further in this, I feel that I should take on more complex design ideas and attempt to develop them into complete rendered designs.
Overall, I believe that I have improved my skills and knowledge in the use of adobe illustrator through my newly acquired knowledge of editing vectors, using tools such as a variation of pathfinder tools and pen tools, and through my design process beginning with drawings and research rather than going straight into the program.
While turning website on BBC Art ‘Rule Breakers: Ten novels that broke the mould’ into effective magazine layouts, I manily structure the spreads in a formal layout, and play around with hierarchy in colour and typography in my magazine designs. The final magazine spread (see Final spread 1,2 ) and design process demonstrate in below shown how I make use of the same grid system and a consistence design system generate within the spreads.
Although an unusual and unique layouts seems not suitable due to the theme and amount of context. The huge context that need to put within two spreads has limited my layout options in the design process while leading me to create an informative design in a right track.
Final spread 1
Final spread 2
Magazine Spread 1
By starting off the design process of the first spread, I created a master grid system with six column that will be used within the two spreads. By setting the baseline grid, guide rules and guidelines for column and margins (see screenshot 1-3), it allow me to stick with these layout during the whole design process.
Before visualising the layout, I made use of rectangle frame tool (see screenshot 4) to orgainise the text and image , so it gain me an impression on how the final output will look like. With the typography, I have experiemented with text scale and colours to create hierarchy, leading readers to focus on the book title and image in the first piority by attracting them on the content. The title text was also in a large scale in order to create a striking effect. For the colour choices, I have chosen a simular colour palette with a combination of pink and black that have similar use in the website, which make the magazine more engaging and bright-looking (see screenshot 5 & Resources 2).
Screenshot 1: Baseline grid and guidelines
Screenshot 2: Baseline grid, Margins and Columns setup
In the second spread, I adapt the same grid system to show an alternative way to layout the image and text. By seperating them into three columns (see screenshot 6-7), also experiment with text allignment such as centered text, It features each promoted book with a clear and readable description in a formal while attractive way.
I continued using different font size, as well as pink and black to create hierarchy among text. Pink rectangles are used to decorate and highlight the images of book (see screenshot 8).
At last, I futher adjust the typography by adding intent to group the text with better legibility , and end up as my final design (see Final spread 1-2) by switching pages between spreads of the second and fouth page as to prevent mountain of texts.
Screenshot 6: Alternative layout
Screenshot 7: structuring last page
Screenshot 8: designing spread 2
The software tutorials that I make use was mainly from Adobe website and Youtube. In previous project, I have some experiences using Indesign in struturing text by paragrapg style and master page, while lack of knowledge about structuring both image and text.
In the initial stage of struturing the text and image with layout grid, I watched Dansky and Stephen Kelman’s Youtube tutorials , which I learnt to use guidelines and rules with margin and columns setting to create a grid system and organise content properly. Stephen futher demonstrated about how to use the three column grid systems that I used to created for my magazine spread. In Adobe tutorial: Align content with guides, I then learn to use the snap to guide to easily making text allign with the grid system that I created. Another adobe tutorial about wrap text around objects, it helps me to create equal margins to seperate the image from text by using the text wrap tool.
Futhermore, The youtube streaming: Erik Kirtley streaming the design of magazine spreads was also useful on helping me with the baseline grids and guides that align the context properly. The streaming also shows tools to change colour of the image within Indesign, which I haven’t used this tool in my design but found it quite helpful in creating interesting visual effects within magazine spreads.
Resources for research and inspiration
By planning magazine layouts, I mainly found inspiration from Pinterest, which provide loads of layout ideas with their composition of text and images. Creative market website involve professional magazines designs spread, which I was inspired by one of an example (see Resources 1) that create an effective and simple layout using basic visual elements with colour and shapes. The original website (see Resources 2) for the design task also inspired me to make uses of a simular colour pallete of pink and black.
For articles that help me across, 10 Tips for Designing High-Impact Magazines shared few tips that inspired my magazine spreads, such as tips like ‘stick with few colours to make the magazine spread looks balanced and stylish.’ and ‘A single pop of color shouts the loudest’. Some of the most effective magazine designs used color very sparingly, proving a simple pop of bold color can be more striking than a palette of rainbow brights. It encourages me to experiment with the technique sticking with two to three colour and making a poping colour to the text.
Resources 1: Inspiration of magazine spread
Resources 2: website: Rule Breakers: Ten novels that broke the mould
Learning across the module
From the quiz result, I can see tiny improvement in the knowledge of the software, which reflect I still have space to improve my software skills. I have lack of knowledge about exporting image and chosing to work on a right software in some case. However, I thought I have learnt quite lots of techniques and gain some experiences with the software across the module.
In Autumn term, I mainly focus on generating ideas through task include podcast cover, postcard and stickers. As I would like to practice using in Adobe indesign in the spring term, I have spent more time and was more confident in using adobe indesign working on timetable and magazine spreads design.
To further develop my software skill in future, I will start from using photoshop, as to improve my photography editting skills in more professional.
For this, I wanted to learn something completely new that I haven’t attempted before as I had experience with using illustrator for the film poster project and the pictogram project as well as some other things. I chose the creating a letter logo task because I felt this would be a good opportunity to enhance my typography skills whilst also improving my knowledge and illustrator.
Design ideas and design process
I started by drawing out a lot of sketches and rough drawings to help me brainstorm. I also played around with different ways of arranging the letters, before settling on the main idea.
Initially I was really interested in a monogram inspired logo design and I tried this out in illustrator. I wanted a traditional logo and for that I used a serif typeface to achieve the look I wanted. I originally used the font Bressay Devanagari. I tried a solid version with this font, but it felt too cluttered. I changed the font to Superclarendon and recreated the design thought this was successful but when I showed this design to others, the ‘G’ wasn’t easily identifiable to them. Because of this I tried a completely different design.
I felt the hexagon was somewhat successful, but I kept working on it as I didn’t feel having the ‘A’ facing the wrong way was any good, but I couldn’t work out how to turn the ‘A’ around and have it still look legible, so I changed to a circle. I followed a tutorial on setting letters within a shape and also learnt how to use the shape builder tool in illustrator. I made some sketches as well to work out how my particular letters would look within the shape. I chose to do a hexagon shape to better follow the tutorial.
The circle was very successful but I felt the hexagon looked better so I experimented with the guidelines from the video so that the ‘A’ would fit in better.
I was somewhat new to using illustrator for text related designs, so I used tutorials to help me understand how to warp and edit letters, add multiple strokes to letters. for this task I learn how to shape letters into an actual shape and how to use the shape builder tool with guidelines. I followed a YouTube tutorial as well as many articles. The YouTube tutorial was very helpful as a visual guide helped me to understand exactly what I had to do to create the logo that I needed. Due to a visual guide, I was then able to adapt the skill I had learned to fit my own logo and create different shapes as well as different styles of letters which allowed me to have a variety of options that I could choose from as my final design.
Another tutorial that was very helpful for me was on how to reshape a path using the direct selection tool. This tutorial was very helpful for me the monogram letter logos I had to create smooth lines for the ‘S’ and ‘G’ and then fit the two letters together in a smooth manner.
The additional resources that I found were the YouTube tutorial on creating Latin logo within a shape and the Adobe articles on using the direct selection tool as well as on puppet warp. these tutorials help me develop my design ideas as they allowed me to bring my design ideas to life as I originally wasn’t sure how to fit letters smoothly within a shape as well as how to fit letters within each other and not make them look like they’ve just been placed on but instead drawn as one.
I would still like to improve on my use of the shape builder tool because I’ve only used it in one way instead of experimenting with different ideas. Although, I was able to create a successful and legible design, I wish that I took the time to experiment and explore with the shape builder tool more as I feel it would have allowed me to create a more creative and unique design.
The software skills and design skills I’ve learned across the module in Photoshop are how to transform images by using layers, the adjustment panel, removing backgrounds in Photoshop and moving them into new/separate layers as well as learning to use the magnetic lasso tool.
The software skills and design skills I’ve learned across the module in Illustrator are how to use the pathfinder tool and warping tools, in particular, how to use the puppet warp tool as well as the direct selection tool. Furthermore, I have also learnt how to use the shape builder tool.
The software skills and design skills I’ve learned across the module in Indesign are how to use the table function and table styles and use of paragraph rules and tabs.
For my first logo design, I wanted to experiment with using shapes and practise using the path finder tool. As i wanted to create a simplistic first design, i started by choosing a thin typeface. This worked really well in the end because it meant that the logo didn’t look too cluttered. I then used the path finder tool which gave the logo its circular shape, i created this by first drawing the circle using the ‘shape’ tool then i used the ‘type on the path tool’ type tool. This was good for adding further information it didn’t take the attention away from the letter initials. The use of a more decorative serif font for the text within the path tool worked for the same reason and by mixing it with a simpler font help convey the different elements of design.
In contrast to my first design, i wanted to create a more flamboyant logo that reflects the creativity of the brand. Even though the ‘L’ comes after the ‘N’ i decided to place the ‘N’ almost inside the other letter as it made the logo come together and it worked well with the shape that each letter provides. I then experimented with colour and filling in the initials. To go along side with the positioning of the initials, i filled the ‘N’ because it is the first initial of my name so it stands out more. I then tried to figure out where to out the word ‘design’, i started by placing it above the ‘N’ and below the ‘L’ but i thought that it it fit the logo well by going into the ‘L’.
For my final design, in some ways i’ve combined elements from both of the previous designs. I mixed two different typefaces for the main initials, the ‘N’ matching my first design and the ‘L’ from my second design to again visually present the creativity of the brand. As well as to make the logo more visually interesting for viewers. I gave the ‘L’ the letter the font with the most curves because it create a mirror between the ‘N’ and ‘DESIGNS’.
I approached this task with the goal of learning how to use more tools in the software. So, after some research, I had ideas to develop, tools to learn and skills to master.
Figure 1 – Final edit 1
Like many others, there are countless photos I have taken that include an object or person that just ruins it, the original photo from this design being one of them. In instances like this, once you remove the item that feels like it doesn’t belong, it gives off a much more peaceful feel. So, my aim for this edit was to seamlessly remove the sign from the image.
figure 2 – final edit 2
As someone who loves flowers, I have seen lots of different types and colours, but very rarely do I see blue ones. The fact that Photoshop has the ability to edit the colour of specific sections of images is fascinating to me, so after some research I developed the skills of how to do this.
figure 3 – final edit 3
This idea stemmed from visiting a Mini car dealership. Their cars can be seen as if they’re driving up the walls and I wanted to replicate this in my work. To develop the idea, I selected an image of a skyscraper to give a much more dramatic feeling and to ensure this was the sole focus of the design.
Figure 4 – Original image
Figure 5 – Close up of edit
figure 6 – retouching layer
The use of the clone stamp tool is how my design went from the original image (Figure 4) to the edited version (Figure 1). I used a portion with similar pixels as my sample area and covered the sign with duplicates. Different brush sizes really helped me achieve the result as they allowed me to be precise with my placing. With the background not being consistent, I had to take multiple sample areas to conceal the sign. This raised some challenges as this was not covered in tutorials I watched, but I solved them by using great attention to detail. I would like to develop this skill further in terms of accuracy as the tree trunk is not completely straight and there is some obvious repetition.
After following tutorials, I learnt that the first step was to add a hue to certain colours using the eyedropper tool (Figure 8). Then, to erase the unwanted colour changes, I used the brush tool in black and white. As seen above, I paid close attention of the finer details of the flower outline to create a realistic result (Figure 9). Once I was happy with these refinements, I experimented with a curves layer to add some depth to the image (Figure 10). Although I was careful with editing around the flower, a skill I would like to further develop is ensuring no original colour comes through. I will experiment with different brush types as I think ones with soft edges don’t help this matter.
The efficient way I did this was using the object selection tool. This selected the car and once I added a layer mask, the car had been cut out of the image. I had to research further about how to refine the cut as it was not as smooth as I had desired. After this edit, I placed it on top of the background image and that was my edit completed. Technically, this edit is not the strongest I created as the image cut is not perfect, meaning this is a skill I would like to improve on in the future.
After looking into lots of tutorials and articles, this one stood out to me. I came away with multiple ways to approach the task of removing a defect from an image. This really helped develop my idea generation as I knew the capabilities of the software, and therefore could select an appropriate image.
My inspiration for this design was the idea of colour psychology. This refers to the emotions that certain colours convey. I researched into what each colour could represent but made the choice to use blue as it has connotations with calmness, an emotion also related to flowers. It is also a contrasting colour to the warmer colours like yellow and pink in the image, meaning it stands out effectively.
figure 14 – Mini car dealership in inverness, Scotland
Linked below is an article that explains some of the advertising choices behind placing MINIs on the walls of their buildings. This reading really emphasises the lengths the brand has gone to so I decided to reflect that in my work by selecting the type of building that is taller than everything, a skyscraper.
Personally, I would say my knowledge in which software to use for certain tasks has improved tremendously, along with combining softwares for desired outputs.
For InDesign, the design skill I developed most was how to use grid systems for even layouts.
For Photoshop, my overall skill in manipulating images to look a certain way has improved, but in particular my ability to edit positioning of pixels to give off a different impression.
For Illustrator, I have a wider skill set thanks to this module, especially when it comes to the amount of tools I know how to use and what situations to use them in.
In regards to my quiz results, a skill I gained over the course of the module is the ability to set up documents correctly for both digital and print purposes. I still need to develop my skills in file and font formatting as I have not come across these a lot. Also, I need to further revise settings for importing and scanning images.
For this task, I wanted to solely remove people from images. I wanted to get a feel of home, so wanted to retouch images of Cornish beaches. The image above is the final result from St Ives (a notoriously busy holiday spot). Often, my family will hand me photos to edit so this task was useful for me as it was a highly transferrable skill that I can use in my day-to-day life. I started by gathering my royalty-free images from UnSplash here are the before pictures below.
As a whole, the design process was quite straightforward once I had my images and had watched some tutorials. The general process for each image was to use the spot blemish tool to remove people from the images. I started with the St Ives image, this was solely getting rid of the families in the image. Next, I wanted to challenge myself more with the Porthcurno image. For this image I removed the surfers, this was relatively straightforward, although one of the surfers was in an awkward position on the wave which meant playing around. After that, I adjusted the levels and curves in the image, this made the tones stand out more without overexposing the image. I then added a photo filter to tie it together. Lastly, I wanted to use these tools and try some other tools I was not as comfortable with, in particular, the burn tool. I followed the same process as the previous images, removing people, adjusting levels and curves. The Fistral Beach image had a lovely orange tone in the sky which I wanted to stand out more. I experimented with the burn tool to make it stand out more, and make the clouds more prominent. I used the burn tool with large brush size, low density, and decreased opacity. I then used the sharpen tool to make the lone surfer stand out and extenuate the horizon.
The main tutorials I followed were supplied which I will link at the end of this section. I found most of these tutorials useful and relevant to my task. They helped me develop my skills by using the spot blemish tool, dodge and burn tool, sharpen tool, and so on. I used some of my own knowledge to adjust levels and curves. The tutorials gave me the confidence to apply these skills within my work. The additional link below was a useful gateway to other tutorials, this gave a wider insight into retouching images, more to do with modeling i.e. removing a blemish and evening skin tone, or changing eye or hair colour. I would like to venture and try out these skills despite having a stance on retouching faces and bodies due to the harm it causes. That being said, it would be interesting to have a better understanding of the software and how to use it for other purposes.
These articles and resources were useful with the wider knowledge that was included. The second link is a gateway to more articles and resources for tips etc. This was the most useful additional resource that I found. The adobe link helped me with my designs as it showed the fundamentals that I needed to get started.
Across the module, I feel a lot more confident in using the software. I feel that I can confidently format text and utilise paragraph styles, which was my area of improvement in Autumn Term. Specifically, retouching images using particular tools is something I am now very confident in. I enjoyed creating the letter logo in Illustrator as this was one of the areas I missed in TY1DP1, it gave me the opportunity to edit letterforms in Illustrator which isn’t something I have tried before. I could improve on my time management skills and idea generation, however, I do feel that I have improved marginally from Autumn term.