Setting Up Our Illustrator Files for Our Vector Self-Portraits

If you have not already done so, you must sketch your layout for your poster design, color it with marker, photograph it, and publish it to your blog. Here are some of my favorite concept sketches so far:

Today we will begin creating our vector self-portraits in Adobe Illustrator. Make a folder (Right-click on the desktop, New-> Folder) drag your reference photo into this folder, and save your Illustrator document to this folder. You must keep your Illustrator file and your reference photo in the same folder, or the photo will disappear the next time you open the Illustrator document and you will have nothing to trace!

Part 1: Crop the image to the correct dimensions in Photoshop

  1. Open the image in Photoshop
  2. Select the crop tool crop_tool
  3. At the top of the screen, set the dimensions to 12×18″ (or 18×12″ if you want a landscape poster)
    crop_dimensions
  4. Drag the edges of the crop tool to select just the poster
  5. Hit the “Enter” key
  6. Save your image as a new file (File -> Save as -> Newfilename)

Part 2: Create the vector self portrait Illustrator file

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator
  2. Create a new file. File -> New.
    Set the dimensions as follows (flip the height and the width if you want a landscape orientation):
    file_settings
  3. Place your reference photo. File -> Place. It may not fit the dimensions of the paper exactly.
    That is ok. You can scale the image to fit by holding down the shift key and scaling from the corner. Make sure you do this or you will distort your proportions! Also, pay attention to the box with the black border – the black border defines the edges of your paper, and anything that extends beyond the border will be cut off.
  4. In the layers palette, double-click to rename Layer 1 “Reference.”
    Then click the space to the left of the layer to lock it:
    layers_reference
  5. Now press the new layer button new_layer to make a new layer, and name it whatever you plan on tracing over (ex. Hair, hair highlights, etc)
    You may also want to create and name a new layer for each image you plan to vectorize. You can group sub-layers within layers, and close and expand these layers like folders to organize your file.
    layers_folders
    Start naming and organizing your layers right away, or your project will become a mess with hundreds of layers. If you can’t figure out what layer you are on, the teacher will not be able to help you, either!
  6. Use the eyedropper tool eyedropper to select and match a color from your reference photo.
    Use the pen tool pen_tool to trace create vector illustrations.
  7. Use the rectangle tool rectangle_tool to create boxes. (To color your background, you will draw a box over the entire page.)
  8. At the end of class, save your file as a PDF (File -> Save as -> PDF) and upload the PDF to your blog.
    save_as_pdf
    Also, create a new folder with your project PDF file and any images you are using, and back it up to your Google Drive or USB drive.

Today we will:

  • create a new 12×18 or 18×12 file in Adobe Illustrator
  • place our layout sketch in this file
  • begin vectorizing our layout sketch
  • save our file as a PDF and upload the PDF of our progress to our blog

Featured Artist: Olly Moss

The British artist Olly Moss does a great job creating simple, yet visually interesting vector movie posters. He also has represented copyrighted intellectual property in a way that uses all original artwork.

Here are some examples of Olly Moss’s work:

How might you create unique, original vector artwork for an existing band, musician, movie, or book?

Today we will:

  • Finish our sketches (colored in with marker) of our vector poster project design
  • Photograph our sketch
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • a photograph of our vector poster project design
    • a few sentences describing the concept

 

Project Guidelines: Vector Poster Design

Today we will begin working on our Vector Poster Project. You will brainstorm project concepts and then post a sketch of your poster design and brief write up of your concept to your blog.

You may choose to create a poster in Adobe Illustrator for one of the following:

  • Band or Musician of your choice
  • Movie of your choice (as long as your poster does not contain copyrighted characters)
  • Upcoming SOTA Art Show (11th Grade or Senior Show)

Here is an example of what I am looking for in the sketch:

lauryl_who_sketch_small

Credit: Lauryl, Class of 2015

Here is what the sketch looked like as a final vector poster:

lauryl-who-poster

Credit: Lauryl, Class of 2015

Project Requirements:

  • create a 12×18 vector poster in Adobe Illustrator
  • all artwork used in the poster must be original
  • poster must show an understanding of the principals of design and visual hierarchy
  • poster must contain at least one word or phrase
  • words should be part of the design and drawn with the pen tool

Today we will:

  • brainstorm ideas for our project
  • create a new blog post with the following:
  • project concept (what is your poster advertising? write a few sentences about it)
  • a description of the style you are going for
  • any images you are inspired by
  • a sketch of your poster design (it is ok if you do not finish it today, but you should photograph and post what you do complete). Keep in mind that you will be using the pen tool to trace over your design in Illustrator.

 

Last Day: My View of Rochester + College Art Majors Extra Credit

art_major_meme

Hopefully the RIT Field Trip has opened your eyes to several art majors that will make you highly employable after college. Really.

Today we will finish editing our best photos and create a new blog post with 10-12 of our best, edited photos and a 250-word artist statement about our photo essay.

We will then finish and submit any missing or incomplete assignments.

Finally, if time allows, we will complete an extra credit assignment where we research a college art major of our choice that has a high job placement rate. (You may also complete this assignment outside of class if you do not have time  to finish it during today’s class.) It will only count if you have completed all other outstanding assignments.

Links on How to Edit Photos in Photoshop

Artist Statement Brainstorming Questions

Use these questions to get ideas for your artist statement, but make sure your final artist statement is written in paragraph form with proper English grammar (appropriate use of punctuation, capitalization, etc.)

Begin by finishing the following sentence:
My view of Rochester is…

Ask yourself what you’re photographing
What does your photo essay express?
What makes your photo essay unique?

Ask yourself why you’re photographing it
What motivates you to create this photo essay?
What emotions or feelings are you trying to convey?
What does this photo essay mean to you?

Ask yourself how you’re doing it
What do you draw inspiration from?
What tools and materials do you use? (What type of camera? Are you using color or black and white? What type of lighting?)
How does your equipment and color mode choice affect the end product?

Consider your influences
What influences you (ex. Art, music, literature, politics, the environment)?
How have these influences made an impression on you?
How do these influences manifest themselves in your photo essay?
Try to be as specific as possible.

Determine what you want people to understand
What do you want people to take away from your photo essay?
What message or emotion are you trying to convey?

Employable College Art Majors Extra Credit Assignment

Part 1: Research

The RIT majors listed below all involve art, have excellent job placement rates, and pay a living wage. Explore the links below to learn more about each major. (Tip: Anything with a BFA is going to be more art-centered, anything with a BS is going to be more technical.) I have placed an asterisk* next to the majors we learned about during the field trip.

I have also listed the minimum, median, and high salary ranges for majors where RIT has collected data. Why do you think I focused the field trip on New Media Design, New Media Interactive Development, and Game Design and Development? Why is Fine Art not listed (even though RIT offers it as a major)?

Art & Design
  • 3D Digital Design (BFA) – create digital 3D models
    $35,000.00 $50,000.00 $81,000.00
  • Industrial Design (BFA) – design projects such as cars, phones, toys, furniture
    $24,000.00 $45,000.00 $60,000.00
  • Graphic Design (BFA) – branding and advertising design (logos, posters, websites)
    $38,000.00 $47,638.00 $70,000.00
  • Interior Design (BFA) – design interior spaces (interior designers are the reason coffee shops look so nice)
    $25,534.00 $42,176.00 $49,412.00
  • New Media Design (BFA) * – design for interaction (apps, online games, websites; combines graphic design, animation, and programming)
    $50,000.00 $64,300.00 $120,000.00
  • Medical Illustration (BFA) – like drawing, science, and money? (you need to be able to draw photorealistically)
    $50,000-$100,000
  • Visual Media (BFA) – hybrid major that combines photography and graphic design (salary range is similar to graphic design)
Game & App Development
Part 2: Blog Post

Pick 2 majors that interest you and create a new blog post with the following (for each major):

  • Name of the major
  • Description of the major (ok to copy and paste from the RIT website)
  • What are some courses that students in this major would take? Why are they interesting to you? You can find this info by clicking on the “View Curriculum” button.
  • What are some jobs that students in this major do after graduation? What are some companies that hire graduates of this major?
  • Post 5 images of work created by students in this major.
  • Why do you think this major would be a good fit for your talents and interests?

Today we will:

  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • 10-12 of our best, edited photos
    • a 250-word artist statement about our photo essay
  • Finish and post to our blogs any incomplete or missing assignments (as outlined in the progress report)
  • Complete the “Employable College Art Majors” Extra Credit Assignment

Final 10 Edited Photos & Artist Statement

Today we will finish editing our best photos and create a new blog post with 10-12 of our best, edited photos and a 250-word artist statement about our photo essay.

Some of you are doing a great job developing your own style. Look at some collections of photos below. How would you describe each artist’s style?

Alyssa

Beatrice

Mckenzie

Jenna

Victoria

Links on How to Edit Photos in Photoshop

Artist Statement Brainstorming Questions

Begin by finishing the following sentence:
My view of Rochester is…

Ask yourself what you’re photographing
What does your photo essay express?
What makes your photo essay unique?

Ask yourself why you’re photographing it
What motivates you to create this photo essay?
What emotions or feelings are you trying to convey?
What does this photo essay mean to you?

Ask yourself how you’re doing it
What do you draw inspiration from?
What tools and materials do you use? (What type of camera? Are you using color or black and white? What type of lighting?)
How does your equipment and color mode choice affect the end product?

Consider your influences
What influences you (ex. Art, music, literature, politics, the environment)?
How have these influences made an impression on you?
How do these influences manifest themselves in your photo essay?
Try to be as specific as possible.

Determine what you want people to understand
What do you want people to take away from your photo essay?
What message or emotion are you trying to convey?

Today we will:

  • Finish editing our best photos
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • 10-12 of our best, edited photos
    • a 250-word artist statement about our photo essay

20 Best Photos & Peer Critique

Seniors – At 7:45, go to Ms. Rudy’s room to get your groups for the senior show.

Today we will gather our best photos for the “My View of Rochester” photo essay, get feedback via peer critique, and begin editing our best photos. You will make TWO blog posts today.

Links on How to Edit Photos in Photoshop

Part 1:

  • Publish a blog post with the 20 photos that you feel are the strongest or have the most potential.

Part 2:

  • Meet with 1-2 partners. Critique each other’s photos on the following topics:
    • Which photos do you feel are the strongest? Why?
    • Which photos have significant potential, but need to be cropped, have the levels adjusted, or be composited (part of the image lightened/darkened)?
    • Would your photo essay be strongest in black and white or color? Why?

Part 3:

  • Create a second blog post with the following:
    • The feedback you received from the peer critique
    • Before and afters of any photos you have started to edit

My View of Rochester: AC Shooting Day 3: Indoors

Today will be our last shooting day for the “My View of Rochester” photo project. If you have made arrangements ahead of time to shadow or visit the classroom of another adult, please show Ms. Lawson the written permission. If not, here are the staff members who have offered to let us photograph their classrooms and offices:

  • Ms. Harris (middle school special education)
  • Mr. Myers (theater tech)
  • Ms. Hawkins (art)
  • Ms. Phillips (dance) – 2nd half of period 1 & 1st half of period 2 in main stage theater
  • Ms. Mueller (health)
  • Mr. Wilson (social studies – he has planning periods but has offered to let you get a behind the scenes look in the life of a teacher)
  • Ms. Kasdin (guidance counselor) – period 2 senior conference
  • Ms. Fico (art center director)
  • Mr. Jones (administrator)

I will send up to two students to each location at a time. You should be able to photograph 2-3 locations today, so please let Ms. Lawson know what your top choices are, and she will arrange a schedule.

Tips for taking good photos indoors:

  • The backgrounds should add to the story by creating an interesting environment. After you take a photo, check to make sure nothing distracting is happening in the background.
  • Watch your lighting (windows count as lighting). The fluorescent lighting in the hallways is the worst and should be avoided at all costs!
  • Don’t be afraid to stage photos and use props to make the photos more interesting.

Today we will:

  • Take photos around the school for our “My View of Rochester” photo essay
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • The best photos taken today
    • What went well and any challenges you faced
    • Whether or not you think you have enough photos to submit a collection of 10 solid photos for the final project