Covering up

Students are working with layer masks in Photoshop to conceal areas of an image and create subtle effects – like reflections and trailing shadows.

This project started with collecting this stunning piece of plastic dress-up jewelry from an instructor’s child, then shooting a couple quick photos in the studio with the students.

After downloading the images, the students worked as a group, with the instructor, to remove the background and create the reflection. Most of the work was accomplished with simple layer masks. Plastic jewelry has never looked so good.

With the right Photoshop techniques, this 25-cent ring looks like it could easily be worth one dollar.

With the right Photoshop techniques, this 25-cent ring looks like it could easily be worth a dollar.

Mice can draw too

dsc_0046

Freshmen in the Digital Illustration class took the leap from pencil and pen on paper or illustration board to using the mouse to create work digitally.

The Graphic Design and Communications program, formerly known as Commercial Art, once focused heavily on hand-rendered artwork. As times and technology changed, the methods of the program did too. Today many assignments utilize both hand-drawn and digital elements to create the desired effect.

End of the week

Friday, the freshmen had quizzes in two of the three Graphic Design and Communications classes.

To lighten the mood and help students learn about each other, Sean Thorenson introduced a simple creative exercise.

Each of the three panels on the sheet in the picture is filled in by separate people – one draws the head, another the torso and someone else the legs and feet. The catch is that the paper is folded so each artist is drawing without the knowledge of what is on the rest of the sheet.

At the end of a long week it gave everyone a chance for a laugh and to work as a group.

One of the drawings created by the BSC Graphic Design and Communications Freshmen.

One of the drawings created by the BSC Graphic Design and Communications Freshmen.

Illustrating with Style

This exercise proves that there is more than one way to draw ANYthing.

This exercise proves that there is more than one way to draw ANYthing.

The designer’s ability to work creatively with style can greatly change the personality and message of a piece. In this illustration project students selected an object and drew it in nine different ways while varying their style each time. The end product, if done correctly, looks like the work of nine individual designers.

Drawing… analog style

A collection of drawing quartets show the importance of contrast and bold lines in graphic illustration.

A collection of drawing quartets shows the importance of contrast and bold lines in graphic illustration.

Freshmen students in Digital Illustration went old school with this assignment. The goal was to illustrate a quartet of images using the creative process and traditional means. Students learned the importance of establishing an accurate and technical grid using tools of the designosaur… T-squares and triangles. The quality time with the ruler will benefit them later when they translate these same illustrations to the vector environment of Illustrator.

A new take on weather

The National Weather Service provides excellent forecast and weather information. Their biggest asset is also a bit of a hinderance as well – too much information cluttering the NWS Web site.
To test Photoshop as a design tool, the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students created designs of how they thought the site should look. This was a totally independent project, no tie to the National Weather Service. Some designs are very clean and could be put into production, others would need more polishing. The assignment included improving the design and simplifying the look of the site. Nearly every design provides an interesting and new idea.

Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign
Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign
Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign
Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign Site redesign
Site redesign

Going wireless

The freshmen Graphic Design and Communications students are gaining confidence with Photoshop. They have been working on color correcting and sharpening images. Photo repair is the newest skill, and a fun skill to learn.
The photo below is from a recent assignment. The instructions included color correcting and sharpening the image and removing the wire running through it. The diagonal line splits the photo between the original (top) and the modified photo.
wireblog

Campus Read logos

Sophomore students in the Graphic Design and Communications Advanced Design class had a great opportunity to create a logo for the Bismarck State College Campus Read program. One of the logos will be selected to represent the program. Stop by the Technical Center to see all of the logos displayed outside the GDC area. The display case is outside the classroom, so you can view them anytime.

wall1

cutting

wide

Putting it all together

The sophomore students have been working with Dreamweaver since the beginning of the school year. They put together some basic html pages and are ready to start work on their own sites.
The 203 Current Imaging curriculum has been working with Web graphics to help prepare the students for work on their sites. A couple weeks ago they learned to make glass-look buttons and now are assembling the buttons into a fully functional menu with interactivity.
The process involves many steps and will take a couple classes to master, but the students are making excellent progress. Below is a screen-shot (not functioning) of the menus students are building.
buttons