Friday, March 19, 2010

Kuler - a sweat online "color ruler"

It can be a challenge to create a color scheme. Often times, people add color as they create their images. Some people have great success with this. Others benefit from planning ahead. Adobe has a website which is really fantastic for this purpose. It is name Kuler. You can select from thousands of color schemes that other users have created or create your own. You can create your own following suggested rules, or just wing it. You can even create your own color scheme by uploading and image or selecting and image from Flickr. It is really awesome to create a color scheme from your own image! You can save your color schemes as well using and account. If you have ever downloaded a trial version of an Adobe product, you probably already have an account. The numerical data for the colors is provided in five different color models; RGB, CMYK, HSB/HSV, hex, and even LAB. Kuler is really one of the truly great design tools on the web.

How to take a screen grab

A screen grab or screen capture is a recording of what appears on your computer screen. There are innumerous uses for screen grabs. For example, my students are working on a project in which they need to pull a screen grab of a map into Illustrator for use as a template. I use them to record purchase receipts and to take images for use in tutorials and handouts. Depending on your operating system, the means of creating screen grabs varies widely. Below are links on how to take screen grabs with the most popular operating systems.

How to take a screen grab on a Mac

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vector Maps...What's your Vector, Victor?

This is a rough write-up of your assignment. I will refine it ASAP. 

Vector Maps...What's your Vector, Victor?
UT, Spring 2010, ART 2150
This assignment is meant to introduce you to vector graphics. You will be creating a personal map by creating a vector map and combining raster images with it.
Over break, record the routes that you go. Take photos along the way and at your destinations. Photos can be of anything that you want. Make them interesting though.
When you get back from break, you will use Map Quest, Google Maps, or Bing Maps to trace your route/routes. You will take a screen grab of the maps. You will bring that screen grab into Illustrator. You will then Trace parts of it depending on your grand vision. You will add in your photos to create a person map.
Assign names to memorable roads. Rather than name a street “Maple Street,” you can name it “Bumpiest Road in Toledo” or whatever.
Ultimately, prints of 16x20 or larger will made from your images. This requires a lot of detail to remain interesting at that scale.
On the first day back after break, I expect you to bring in enough work to spend the entire class period working on your map. If you are failing to come up with anything, look up maps and mappae mundi. Also consider going to the library and looking at the books on maps and actual maps they have there.

Maps are due in digital form ?. Due as prints on Monday the ?.
Below are a number of links. They also describe and illustrate some unconventional maps which may serve to inspire you.

Ohio maps from the department of transportation, you need a plug in to view some of them

Mental Map,M1

Raster versus Vector

Excellent tutorials by Ken Hulsey, a real technical master of Illustrator

Awesome use of blend tool to make backgrounds
Fancy vector techniques
Tutorial on creating a roadmap- class tutorial was based on this

Different take on maps:
The ones I showed you (world map of internet) ( square map of internet ) (space)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Night Photographers

Excellent Aperture web feature on Gregory Crewdson. His work is amazing. I thought my process of shooting my Three Minute Series was complex, but his process makes me feel inadequate.

Equally fantastic is the night series by Jan Staller. Check out the Frontier New York series. Like Crewdson, they make images as opposed to taking them. Unlike Crewdson, he doesn't phsically construct the scene. Rather, he explored the familiar areas around him and photographed them in a manner which makes them seem simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. One of the significant things about Staller is the seeming insignificance of what he photographs. He doesn't seek out the most obvious chooses. There are no photos of the Statute of Liberty or Times Square. In most of his photos, there aren't people. This adds to the otherworldliness of his photos. The color is amazing. Most of his images contain large elements of neutrality to which the colors offer a counter point.

Here is a link to a guy who blogs about night photography. There are some links to some really good work from here.