A while ago I read that Photoshop Extended had incorporated 3D capabilities into the software. I had also read that it was created to be used in conjunction with 3D software to paint and add textures to 3D objects so I never explored it further . . . that was a mistake.
I recently did a little exploration and came up with the image below after watching a Lynda.com tutorial by Deke McClelland titled Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D Type Effects.
The image below was created using a few textures, an appropriated image of a zombie from a video game, and everything else was done directly in Photoshop Extended CS5.
I teach a beginning Photoshop class and this practice piece was inspired by students that I have caught Facebooking and texting during lectures.
3D text, shadows and light created all in Photoshop CS5 Extended.
. . . find a different software that better suits your learning style.
A couple of years ago, I purchased a copy of NewTek’s Lightwave 9. Three or four times I gave a serious runs at learning the 3D modeling and animation package but found it daunting.
I stumbled across Maxon’s Cinema 4D and was immediately drawn to the color coded icon heavy interface. Lightwave is a quality package but I found it’s text menu’s not very intuitive.
So after a glimpse of C4D’s visual interface I decided to stick my toe back into the 3D waters. I discovered that I could download a demo version of C4D. The only catch is I can’t save anything but I can learn. Whenever I choose I can activate that function for 42 days. Once that trial period is over I can continue to use the software sans the saving function.
I have yet to activate the software but the screen shots below display some of of what I have learned and also shows a visual comparison of the two interfaces.
This is one of my favorite "Japan" paintings, inspired by a procession of kindergarden children all holding bright yellow umbrellas on a snowy day
” . . . You never know what you’re gonna get.”
— Forest Gump
For three years beginning in the late 90s I worked as an assistant English teacher in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (JET Program). When I began that adventure I was sure it was going to top my college days as the best time of my life.
The experience did not disappoint, and it was wonderful to be able to savor every moment as I would savor an exceptional meal. When I left for Japan my paintings were dark and moody. When I returned home my mood was reflected in my work which was bright and full of color.
Having recently begun teaching a couple of college level computer art courses, I have begun to realize much to my astonishment that teaching is something that I enjoy far more than I ever realized, a fact that was masked from me by the plethora of experiences that went along with teaching in Japan.
I was scheduled to begin teaching a two-week course in Flash animation this week for teens, but the class was cancelled due to low enrollment. Drats!! But I’m scheduled for a second session and I created this over-the-top promo to stir up some interest and get my teaching career started.
The style of the piece is modeled after one of my favorite on-line teachers, Andrew Kramer of VideoCoPilot.net who has tons of free tutorials as well as (highly recommended) products for sale on his website (that’s where I got my music for my promo). Kramer makes the finished product so exciting that any student of motion graphics and visual effects will sweat blood to achieve the same, but rarely do they with Kramers videos on hand.
Just last week I was offered the opportunity to teach a pre-college (teen) class in Digital Animation (Adobe Flash) at Westchester Community College. I am pretty psyched about the whole deal but the big difference here from my past teaching experience as an English teacher in Japan is I won’t be an assistant. I will have the opportunity to experiment and be creative with the curriculum . . . Muuuhuuuuhahahaaaaaaaa . . . . .
I suspect I will have to be a bit less experimental than I am when I cook but I am looking forward to the experience.
As I mull over how I will approach my new role as chief experimenter, I will expect the same from my students. Meaning, I would love for them to take chances creatively.
As I look for inspiration and instruction I am drawn back to one of my favorite video lectures from TED Talks. Sir Ken Robinson’s talk, “Do schools kill creativity?”
I am having a little give away. Back in November I made a blog post where I touted how much I loved Lynda.com Online Training Library. Today I have a one month free subscription valued at $25. Be the first to follow this link back to that post and leave a comment stating that you would like to claim the free gift certificate and it is yours.
Click here to the original post and claim your prize . . . if it hasn’t been claimed.
This is the Lynda.com gift card that you could win. The card expires March 31, 2010.
In a nut shell, what this means to me (and other artists) is that perhaps if your work does not have mass appeal, you can still find your niche on the world wide web by offering your particular brand of art, and earn a living. The theory fascinated me then but was not enough to nudge me into action.
I recently read a New York Times story by Alex Williams titled, “That Hobby Looks Like a Lot of Work.”The story focuses on people, who sell things on Etsy.com, a market place for “all things handmade.” Some Etsy shop owners are successful and some are not. But the star of the article is Yokoo Gibran who quit her day job after opening a successful shop selling hand-knit scarves and accessories. The Times reports that she earns more than $140,000 a year knitting! But she also works 13 hours a day to keep up with orders.
It seems far from idea working such long hours but it still sounds pretty good to me. So inspired by the success of Gibran I opened my own Etsy shop this week, which was really easy to do. All I needed was a credit card and some photos of my work.
I resisted Etsy for quite sometime because I thought it would be expensive to get started. I was wrong, they do take a small percentage sales but it only cost 20 cents to list an item for 4 months. I figured I can’t lose with those kind of start up fees for a shop!
Who knows if I will see a fraction of the success of Ms. Gibran but I am going to have fun trying.
I resisted YouTube for years because I thought of it as a place to kill time looking at silly videos of people doing silly things. But once I opened myself up to it, I discovered that YouTube held so much more. I went through a bit of a personal Renaissance studying and learning tons of new things through what I like to call, “YouTube University.” I have watch countless lectures that if not for YouTube I would have not been privy to. I have seen clever video art, countless performances and even video tutorials from how to fix a leaky faucet to how to use the latest and greatest software.
I was spoiled by my free lectures and resisted paying for anything. But recently I discovered Lynda.com when I tried out a free promotion. And now Lynda is my new best friend!
Lynda.com has tons and tons of video tutorials for just about every software you can think of. Once I finally tried the service, which is only $25 a month, I found these little gems called Creative Inspiration. They create these short documentaries on professional artists, design firms, etc. I loved learning how a Ron Crabb started in news graphics and is now doing digital matt painting for major feature films while working out of his home on Bainbridge Island, WA. I also loved learning about the inner workings of Trigger, an interactive firm in LA and Shanghai. I thought I would only be learning the ins and outs of every piece of software out there but to my surprise I am gaining a greater insight into the business side of art. And I am being inspired all at the same time.
Below is a link to a couple of videos from “YouTube University.” The first was actually done by a Kansas State University professor, Michael Wesch that I found inspiring and informative, the second is a podcast from Lynda.com’s YouTube channel.
Since I was a child I have wanted to do movie special effects.
I used to dream of making models that would be used in movies like Star Wars or creating latex masks and prosthesis that would be used in low budget sci-fi flicks. But when I grew up I became a graphic artist and packed those dreams away.
But technology has changed the game. People no longer need a million dollar computer to make movie magic. All one needs is a Mac or PC and software, though not cheap, affordable.
For the past few days I have been immersed in a project using Adobe After Effects.
And I must give credit where credit is due. I learned everything I know about After Effects from Andrew Kramer of VideoCoPilot.net. He has some of the best tutorials on After Effects out there and most are free! He also sells some cool things for the aspiring FX guys (or gals) and Motion Graphic artists as well.
I dug up a couple of pieces that I did earlier this year. It is ironic that one of the first pieces that I did was for a friend who’s kid is living his dream at the age of 12. He races Bandoleros around a track at speeds up to 80 mph and he isn’t old enough to have a drivers license!
I also linked to my first ‘movie’ . . . I had to start somewhere. I enlisted some guys that I worked with at the time and The Bullet tutorial from Video Copilot and I was off.
Dreams do come true. For some sooner rather than later.