Vector Silhouettes: Day 2

thinking_silhouetteToday we will continue working on our vector silhouette project. You should be finalizing your sketches today. Still working out a concept? Check out these proposals created by other Media 2&3 students:

Infinit – Cyber Bullying

McKenzie: Societal Treatment of Transgender Individuals

Taylor: Suicide

Lily: Discrimination Based on Identity (body types, LBGT representation, bullying)

Exzavier: Crime & Drugs

Yoly: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

Narionna: Treatment of Native Americans

Make sure you post your work to your blog at the end of EVERY CLASS in order to receive credit. Many people are losing points due to lack of blog posts.

Very few people have submitted a project proposal that meets all the requirements. Remember, this is a 10 point homework grade and needs to be completed before starting the actual project.

Today we will:

  • Continue sketching our silhouettes
  • Create a new blog post with today’s progress
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New Project: Conceptual Vector Silhouette Inspired by Kara Walker

Today we will introduce our next project, Conceptual Vector Silhouettes Inspired by Kara Walker.
We will use Adobe Illustrator to communicate a message about a social issue of our choice.

hero_walker-subtlety-still-038-1400x788

Kara Walker is best known for exploring the raw intersection of race, gender, and sexuality through her iconic, silhouetted figures. Walker unleashes the traditionally proper Victorian medium of the silhouette directly onto the walls of the gallery, creating a theatrical space in which her unruly cut-paper characters fornicate and inflict violence on one another. (PBS’s Art 21). More background information on Kara Walker is available through TheArtStory.

Read about Kara Walker’s recent statements regarding the current political climate in the NY Times and Quartz.

Here are some examples of Kara Walker’s artwork:

Project Requirements:

  • Vector black and white silhouette imagery created in Adobe Illustrator
  • 11×14, 14×11, or 12×18 (depending on desired dimensions)
  • Illustrates the complexity of a social issue of your choice
  • Balance of positive and negative space
  • Choice of one of the following:
    • One detailed scene with figures and an environment
    • Triptych (three artworks that should be displayed together) of simpler silhouettes

Today we will:

  • Brainstorm project ideas for our conceptual vector silhouette project
  • Create a new blog post with the following (this will count as a 10 point homework grade, so be sure to fulfill all requirements):
    • A written description of your concept. Not sure what to write? Start by answering these questions, but make sure your final blog post is written in paragraph form:
      • What social issue will you illustrate?
      • If this is currently a contentious issue, what side/argument of this issue will your artwork portray?
      • What imagery (figures, environment, props/accessories) will your artwork contain?
      • What will be happening in your artwork?
    • A sketch of your planned design (you will later trace over this in Illustrator, so be sure to add the appropriate amount of detail)

If you do not finish all the elements of your planning blog post this class, post what you have in order to receive a participation grade for the day.

Creating Vector Art with the Pen Tool

Interested in majoring in art in college? Consider attending National Portfolio Day on Sunday, November 5th at RIT to gain valuable insight on your portfolio. It is free and open to the public.

Today’s essential question: How can I use the pen tool to create vector imagery in Adobe Illustrator?

Remember how scaling a raster image larger will pixelate the image (as in the example below)?
pixelated_escher_screen_shot

Today we will learn about a different type of image called a vector. Vector images can be scaled infinitely and will never get blurry. Logos are usually vector images so they can be printed on everything from buttons to billboards without becoming blurry.

Here are some examples of vector art:

air-jordan-logo-brand-1000x500   OVO OWL1-B-LOGO-JPG

We will use the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator to create our Kara Walker inspired silhouettes for our next project. Keep this in mind as you complete today’s pen tool tutorial. Your comfort level with the pen tool will determine how simple or complex you should make your silhouette project concept.

Vector Practice Tutorial

We will view a demo at the Smart Board and then follow these steps:

Part 1: Setting Up the File
  1. Right-click to save the image below:
    vector_practice
  2. Open Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Select “New Print Document” from the pop up screen.
  4. Create a new file in Adobe Illustrator with the following guidelines:
    1_file_setup
  5. Place the image you just downloaded from this blog post. (File -> place)
    DO NOT try to open your downloaded image in Illustrator! This will cause strange things to happen.
Part 2: Using the Pen Tool to Draw Straight Lines
  1. Create a new layer by clicking on the “new layer” button at the bottom of the layers palette on the right side of the screen. new_layer_button
  2. Select the pen tool. pen_tool
  3. You can change the color by clicking on the square at the bottom of the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen: 2_color_change
  4. Trace over your first shape (the star). Click once to add the first anchor point. Move your mouse to the next position and click again to create the second point. The two anchor points will be connected together.3_star1
  5. Continue clicking points around the star IN ORDER until you reach the starting point.
    4_star2
    5_star3
    (You may need to decrease the opacity of the star you are drawing so you can see what you are tracing. You can do this by clicking on the transparency icon on the right side of the screen and decreasing the opacity so it is below 100. transparency_window)
    6_star4
  6. Close the path by clicking on the starting point a second time. Bring the opacity back 100% and adjust the color if necessary.
    7_star5
Part 3: Using the Pen Tool to Draw Curves
  1. Click to create your first point.
  2. Click where you would like your next point to be, but do not let go of the mouse until you have dragged the point to adjust the curve:
    heart1
  3. Click on the middle dot. This should make the second half of the tangent line, or handle, disappear:
    heart2
  4. Click where you would like your next point to be, but do not let go of the mouse until you have dragged the point to adjust the curve:
    heart3
  5. Once again, click on the middle dot. This should make the second half of the tangent line, or handle, disappear:
    heart4
  6. Continue adding points around the heart in order. Close the path by clicking on the starting point a second time.
    heart5
  7. Follow the same steps to outline the apple.
  8. Follow the same steps to outline the dog.
Part 4: Saving your file and posting to the blog
  1. Save your file as a .pdf (File -> Save As -> PDF)
  2. Create a new blog post with the PDF of your progress.

Today we will:

  • Complete the pen tool mini lesson in Adobe Illustrator
  • Save our file as a PDF
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • the PDF file of our completed mini lesson
    • a few sentences describing any challenges you faced, how you worked through them, and how you feel about the pen tool

Storytelling through Portrait Photography: Last Day

letter-writing-week-dog-1_0.jpg

Today is our last class day for our “Storytelling through Portrait Photography” project. We will finish editing our photos and write an artist statement about our project.

Today we will:

  • Finish editing our photos
  • Create a new blog post with the following
    • Our best 10 edited photos
    • An artist statement (minimum 150 words) about our project. Not sure what to write? Start by answering the following questions:
      • Describe your artwork
        • What does your artwork look like?
        • What is the subject matter? What character(s) or story did you portray with your project?
        • How did the environment contribute to the imagery?
        • How did the costumes or props contribute to the imagery?
        • How does the subject’s body language contribute to the imagery?
        • What art elements or principles are most obvious in your work?
      • How did you create your art?
        • What media is your artwork made from?
        • Describe the process or steps you took to create your artwork.
      • What is the big idea behind your artwork?
        • Who or what inspired your artwork?
        • What is your artwork about?
        • How do you want people to feel when they view your artwork?
      • Overall thoughts
        • What did you learn from creating this artwork?
        • Is the final piece what you imagined? How so?
        • What did you do well? What could you have done better?

Editing in Photoshop #1: Cropping and Levels

This blog post contains a guide to some basic photo editing techniques in Adobe Photoshop. First and foremost, remember that not all photos need editing. If a photo looks great, leave it alone!

Straightening a crooked image

In general, try to hold your camera straight, and when possible, steady it by leaning it on a sturdy surface. If you have accidentally taken a crooked photo however, you can straighten it in Photoshop. Here are some examples: Photo credit: Betty Photo credit: Lizzy

How to Straighten a Crooked Image in Photoshop

  1. In your layers palette on the lower right side of the screen, double click the background layer. Rename it.
  2. View -> Rulers
    view_rulers
  3. Rulers will show up on the top and left side of the screen.
    Click anywhere in the ruler area and drag toward the photo to create a guide.
    guide_Adding_instructions
  4. Adjust the guide so it is next to an object with a straight edge that is currently slanted.
    You will use this guide as your reference. (In the example below, I have added a vertical guide to compare to the street light, and a horizontal guide to compare to the horizon line.)
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.26.01 PM
  5. Edit -> Transform -> Rotate
  6. Rotate the image until the edge of your object is parallel to your guide. Then press the “enter” key. Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.26.48 PM
  7. Select the crop tool from the tools palette on the left side of the screen. crop_tool
  8. Drag your crop tool to select the area you want to keep.
    Press the “enter” key once you have successfully evened out the edges of your image.
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.27.11 PM

Cropping Distracting Objects Out of an Image

You can also use the crop tool to cut out distracting objects in the background and make the focal point stand out more. Notice how much stronger the image on the right is, because I have focused the attention on Robert by cropping out the distracting elements around him:
IMG_2444_bw IMG_2444edited

Important Note #1: Whenever you edit an image, save a version of the image with a new name by going to the top of the screen and selecting File -> Save As, and naming it something that makes sense. For example, if the original image was named “Flower123,” and you cropped the image, name the edited version “Flower123_cropped.”

Important Note #2: Not every image needs to be cropped! If an image looks great already, leave it alone.

How to Increase Contrast by Adjusting Levels

  1. Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
  2. Look at the image that pops up. If your image has sufficient contrast, the “mountain range” will extend to the edge of the window. If your image looks similar to this, you do not need to adjust the levels, and can close out of the window:
    levels_no_adjustment

    If your “mountain range” of values does not extend to the edges of the window (such as the example below), you will click on the left cursor and drag it to the beginning of the left side of the mountain. You will then click on the right cursor and drag it to the beginning of the right side of the mountain. You will be able to preview what you are doing as long as the “preview” box is checked. levels_before_and_after
    When you have adjusted your levels, click ok.

Today we will:

  • Edit our favorite photos.
  • Create a new blog post with before and after images of any photos we edited today.
    Michele’s blog post has a great example of how to show before and after images side by side.
  • If you are not sure if an image can be improved with editing, but want to include it in your final collection of 10 photos, post it to your blog today with a note asking whether it would be best to edit it or leave it alone.

Editing in Photoshop #1: Cropping and Levels

 

 

This blog post contains a guide to some basic photo editing techniques in Adobe Photoshop. First and foremost, remember that not all photos need editing. If a photo looks great, leave it alone!

Straightening a crooked image

In general, try to hold your camera straight, and when possible, steady it by leaning it on a sturdy surface. If you have accidentally taken a crooked photo however, you can straighten it in Photoshop. Here are some examples: Photo credit: Betty Photo credit: Lizzy

How to Straighten a Crooked Image in Photoshop

  1. In your layers palette on the lower right side of the screen, double click the background layer. Rename it.
  2. View -> Rulers
    view_rulers
  3. Rulers will show up on the top and left side of the screen.
    Click anywhere in the ruler area and drag toward the photo to create a guide.
    guide_Adding_instructions
  4. Adjust the guide so it is next to an object with a straight edge that is currently slanted.
    You will use this guide as your reference. (In the example below, I have added a vertical guide to compare to the street light, and a horizontal guide to compare to the horizon line.)
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.26.01 PM
  5. Edit -> Transform -> Rotate
  6. Rotate the image until the edge of your object is parallel to your guide. Then press the “enter” key. Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.26.48 PM
  7. Select the crop tool from the tools palette on the left side of the screen. crop_tool
  8. Drag your crop tool to select the area you want to keep.
    Press the “enter” key once you have successfully evened out the edges of your image.
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.27.11 PM

Cropping Distracting Objects Out of an Image

You can also use the crop tool to cut out distracting objects in the background and make the focal point stand out more. Notice how much stronger the image on the right is, because I have focused the attention on Robert by cropping out the distracting elements around him:
IMG_2444_bw IMG_2444edited

Important Note #1: Whenever you edit an image, save a version of the image with a new name by going to the top of the screen and selecting File -> Save As, and naming it something that makes sense. For example, if the original image was named “Flower123,” and you cropped the image, name the edited version “Flower123_cropped.”

Important Note #2: Not every image needs to be cropped! If an image looks great already, leave it alone.

How to Increase Contrast by Adjusting Levels

  1. Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
  2. Look at the image that pops up. If your image has sufficient contrast, the “mountain range” will extend to the edge of the window. If your image looks similar to this, you do not need to adjust the levels, and can close out of the window:
    levels_no_adjustment

    If your “mountain range” of values does not extend to the edges of the window (such as the example below), you will click on the left cursor and drag it to the beginning of the left side of the mountain. You will then click on the right cursor and drag it to the beginning of the right side of the mountain. You will be able to preview what you are doing as long as the “preview” box is checked. levels_before_and_after
    When you have adjusted your levels, click ok.

Today we will:

  • Edit our favorite photos.
  • Create a new blog post with before and after images of any photos we edited today.
    Michele’s blog post has a great example of how to show before and after images side by side.
  • If you are not sure if an image can be improved with editing, but want to include it in your final collection of 10 photos, post it to your blog today with a note asking whether it would be best to edit it or leave it alone.

Photographic Storytelling Project Checkpoint

dogs_bookWe will wrap up this project by the end of the week. Today we will stay inside, inventory the photos we have taken for our project, refine our project concept (if necessary), and plan the photos we will need to take during the next two classes to finish our project. Since this class struggled with the project proposal assignment, today’s blog post will replace that grade, so make sure you complete all the required part of today’s assignment and post them to the blog. Check your folders to make sure you have been getting credit for each class, and read the comments from Ms. Lawson.

Today’s Assignment:

Part 1: Gathering your best photos. Post the best 20 you have taken for this project to your blog. Then ask your classmates and Ms. Lawson for feedback.

Part 2: Analyzing how your photos tell a story and relate to a particular theme. Answer the following questions:

  • What story or character(s) will you portray with your project?
  • How will the environment contribute to the image? Where will you need to go?
  • What props or costumes will you use?
  • Who will you photograph? What will their body language portray?
  • How do the photos you have taken so far work with this theme?
  • What are some photos you need to take to finish your collection? Where should we go to take these photos?

Here are some Media 3 Projects that are well on their way to success:

No idea where you’re going with this project? Follow Fran’s lead, post what you’ve got, be honest, and we’ll come up with a plan.

Today we will:

  • Post our best 20 photos we have taken for this project to our blog
  • Get feedback on these photos from our classmates and Ms. Lawson
  • Answer the questions in this blog post to analyze how well your photos relate to your intended theme, adjust your project concept if necessary, and brainstorm any remaining photos you will need to take during the next two classes (include models, props, and location)