Thursday, June 07, 2007

Women in art

Follow this link to a very trippy, beautiful video made by morphing between portraits of women going back to the Middle Ages.

Thanks to Al Gordon for the link.

I did something much less ambitious but similar a while ago when I was trying out a demo version of a morphing program. Recognize the beauty with the ghostly teeth in the illo at left? "She" is a morph between Adriana Lima and Salma Hayek, than whom Nature has provided no greater known exemplar of feminine beauty, IMHO. Click below to see this as a very short movie. I'm not sure how much educational value this has, so please don't watch it more than 7 or 8 times.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

That's MISTER Doctor Wizard, if you don't mind.

So I got all scientific this morning on the question of what constitutes non-photo blue. I decided to find out how dark a blue I could print out for inking over. I printed a "bluescale" on a slightly grubby piece of bristol and scanned it as lineart/bitmap to see what was the highest concentration of blue I could have on a page without risking it scanning as black. The grainy black in the image is the bluescale turned into a bitmap. As you see, the answer is: a little over 60% cyan is the darkest blue you should print on the page. The more purely cyan the blue is, the better, except a little bit of yellow doesn't hurt. A little bit of black naturally would present a problem--too likely to scan as dirt.

So from now on when I convert a grayscale scan of pencils into blue for inking, I use Photoshop to convert it to CMYK, then select Image> Adjustments> Hue/Saturation. In that dialog box, check the box called "Colorize." Then set the Hue to 178-180, Saturation to 100. If you leave the Info palette on top, you get a continuous readout of the concentration of colors where your cursor is, even when you are in the Hue/Sat dialog. Just put the Lightness slider to where the darkest area in your art is a little over 60% cyan. Then hit OK and git ta printin'.

(Don't forget: always scan your inked art as lineart/bitmap, with a high resolution: 800ppi or more.)

It's the optimum combo of "readability" and scannability!! You'll thank me in your heart. It's really helped me in inking Tony Talbert's incredible pages on this pitch we're doing. If you're real nice, I'll show you one of these times!


P.S.: Read DRAW! Magazine Editor Mike's alternate method in the comment below. Thanks, Mike)

Sring Show, Lollipops and Rainbows

A shockingly upbeat roundup of recent newbits:

I hope you all get to visit the Spring Show (on through the third week of June), which is housed for the first time in a single building. It's at 601 Brannan at Sixth, in a slick Academy Building with an atrium. On the ceiling of the atrium is a meandering track and a little mini-crane that runs along it-- a vestige, presumably, of whatever function the place formerly had.

Tyliea's, Celeste's and Rahsan's work all made the cut. On the opening night, Department's Director Chuck gave his remarks, announcing the awards. Our guy Rahsan won second prize in the Comics category. Chuck mentioned proudly that Rahsan was already working. The word "superstar" may have been used. First prize went to a talented guy in Dan Cooney's class, Ron Anderson, though I of course felt it should have gone to Rahsan. The painted cover of Celeste's book-in-progress book was on exhibit too, huge and great-looking.

The Illustration Department as a whole came off wonderfully again.

My buddy Eric, who was one of the judges, recently showed me a booklet of Student Contest winners from the Society of illustrators. I saw a lot of work I recognized -- because it was from Academy students! The Academy appeared to me to be more represented than any other single school, including Pratt, Parsons, and SVA.


I went to Super-Con in San Jose this weekend. Former ILL193 students Tony and Corey came by to say hi. Corey won the art contest. I think I talked the talented and super-affable Mick Gray into doing an inking seminar for ILL193!

On Saturday night I went out for dinner with a big group of people including our pal Steve Leialoha and Groo writer Mark Evanier, who was an assistant to Jack Kirby long ago, and is a terrific storyteller with an encyclopedic knowledge of comics history. Mark knows everybody in showbiz and comics and has a story about most of them. I was sorry when we broke out and went back to the hotel.

Mark's blog is highly recommended: Look for the mention of your dutiful teacher and a nice plug for Dan Cooney's Valentine!


Next entry:
Maximizing your results when printing out pages to ink!