The Mac Lab

Tag: illustrator

Go Pro (Week 29)

by on Apr.11, 2011, under Blog

Your blog looks very clean, and has great content. Your tutorials have always gone above and beyond. In fact, the format of how you taught is vastly superior to any class I have taken at the university. The systems you embedded in us not only taught us how to use the applications, but also how to use our creative process to generate new ideas. In turn this has given us the ability to apply our creative processes to our fundamental methods of learning. I don’t just know how to use Photoshop, Photoshop has become a well tuned mechanism of my conscious and subconscious mind.

You should be proud; the fundamental skills I acquired in your classroom have put me leaps and bounds ahead of my peers. Whenever anyone asks how I got started with my profession, I tell them I came out of one of the best multimedia high schools programs anywhere.
— Brian Sweat / CSU Chico Senior

As self-serving as it is for me to use Brian’s kind words to open this week’s post, he does illustrate a point I’ve been trying to drive in all year:

The systems you embedded in us not only taught us how to use the applications, but also how to use our creative process to generate new ideas. In turn this has given us the ability to apply our creative processes to our fundamental methods of learning.

(continue reading…)

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Forward Looking (Week 14)

by on Dec.13, 2010, under Blog

mark_l_sp_02_smThat men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Aldous Huxley

We spoke last week about the relationship between time invested and skills acquired. We spoke about how that formula not only applies to the Mac Lab but how it spills over into each of our lives. A highly competitive world awaits you. Be a hero in your own life and invest your time wisely.

Required Reading: Please read this post (to the dots •••••) before moving on to the required viewing.

Required Viewing: Please watch this video and this video before moving on so you’ll know what I’m expecting this week.

Required Warning: Tomorrow will be Groundhog Day if you or your peers skip the required reading and/or viewing. You might want to encourage one another to follow instructions today. WordPress delivers accurate counts and I’d rather not run everyone through the same assignment tomorrow. But the choice is yours.

Kudos: Freshman Mark L threatens to become an illustrator extraordinaire and a Mac Lab legend in his first year. The sky’s the limit if he keeps acquiring skills like these. Wow! I wonder where he learned to enhance his Illustrator file like that?

Guilty Pleasure: Yes, the impending release of Tron Legacy (blocked at school) influenced the choice of Mark’s brilliant illustration.

Gallery Slots: Is your work in the Galleries yet? These images have made the cut so far: FLOAT | Self Portraits | Logos | Posters (coming soon)

Final Words: Your past is not your potential. (Marilyn Ferguson) So get cracking on your future!
😛

1214: The stats show that virtually everyone hit the post and videos one and two yesterday but my observations after the fact leave me wondering if some of you paid attention to what you were reading and watching. There are a few more logos in the gallery to help you understand what I’m looking for. Keep it simple and elegant and check the Logo Motion page for additional guidance. I will continually refer you to these pages for ideas: Inspiration Logos: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | By looking once again you’re immersing yourself in Stage Two: Saturation.

The unconscious, though one cannot force it, will not produce new ideas unless it has been painstakingly stuffed full of facts, impressions, concepts, and an endless series of conscious ruminations and attempted solutions. On this we have the testimony of many creative people.
— Morton Hunt / The Universe Within

Repetition is part of the process. Rock and roll with it!

TOTD: Today’s Tip of the Day is a continuation of Saturday’s Tip in which we explore the power of Smart Objects when working on Illustrator files in Photoshop. Starter File.

1215: Please watch this video and follow the instructions. Examples from video: I’m NOT lovin’ it and make up your mind. NEVER use two design tricks in one logo. The galleries I was speaking of in the video are these: Inspiration Logos: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 |

1216: Please watch this video and try to use the advice in your own logo design. I’ll be in early but will be leaving before 2nd period. Follow the advice and guidance I’ve given you when designing your own logo. Can’t wait to add more to the gallery!

1217: Please watch today’s Tip of the Day because it’s about you. If you want to play with the SWF, it’s right here.

One Word: TRON! (Can’t wait to see it Monday. I have homework all weekend.)

Wanted: Fifty-eight images in the Self Portrait Gallery. Ten images in the Logo Gallery. Where’s yours? And what about FLOAT? Pretty sad how few entries we have.

Coming Up Next: Posters! 0910 Gallery | 0910 Jobs Page | 0809: 01 | 02 and some of these. See Inspiration for additional ideas.

Parting Words: Have a safe and happy holiday. For those of you who want to continue to play (it’s not work if you enjoy it), Adobe offers free 30-day trials. I’ll continue to tweet and publish and maybe—Maybe!—even post during the break.

As always, remember to do something to make the world a little better place.

1218: Extreme Make Over for today’s Tip of the Day.

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Making Time (Week 11+)

by on Nov.15, 2010, under Blog

philip_b_fall_concert_smEvery creative act… involves a new innocence of perception liberated from the cataract of accepted belief.
Arthur Koestler

You know how it is. Each of us faces our own collection of daily deadlines. For the past two months I’ve simply accepted the fact that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to record all the new tutorials I wanted to make for my students. The online Masters course I’m taking from Full Sail University eats at least 20 hours per week. After school meetings aren’t helping either. This week it’s: Tech Council, Monday (off campus, 3:30-5:30), ROP/CTE, Tuesday (off campus, 3:30-5:30), and Team Leaders, Thursday (on campus, 3:00-5:00). Add a little family time and the obligatory household chores and there’s not much left over unless I cut back even more on sleep. (And that’s a sure-fire recipe for disaster.)

So, what to do?

Surrender is so boring. Instead of accepting the “fact” that there wasn’t enough time, I decided to try something new. Last Monday I told you that I’d be making a Mac Lab Tip of the Day every day. On that same day I posted this on Adobe’ Education Exchange (an educator-only community):

Full Sail University is eating all my time (I’m getting my Masters) and I need a kick in the pants to get moving again on the video tutorial front. I figure the best way to fix the problem is to commit to something crazy, like declaring to my students and the AEE community that I’ll be uploading at least one new video tutorial every day for the foreseeable future.

Posting it on the blog was a serious step. Declaring the same to Adobe and my peers on the Exchange raised the stakes considerably. It reminded me of a quote from The Hunt for Red October:

When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result his men were well motivated.

Yeah, you might say that I’m well motivated too. Nothing like putting one’s reputation on the line. I’m also seriously thrilled at the prospect of how this will help all of you the rest of the year. I don’t have time to make dozens of tutorials every weekend any more but one a day will add up quickly… so long as I don’t relent.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

What “facts” are holding you back? Re-examine Koestler’s quote at the top of the page. What cataract of accepted belief are you suffering from? Instead of surrendering, why not try something crazy too? Engage in your own creative act.

Turn impossible into I’m possible.

They can because they think they can.
Publius Vergilius Maro

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

This Week: Need a break from the self portrait? There’s a number of typographic tutorials in the Tip of the Day archive. Work through the videos in order: Creating a Logotype | Cycling Through Typefaces | Typography Shortcuts | OpenType Options | Customizing Type and Logo Motions. Starter files may be found on the TOTD archive and the individual video pages. When it comes time to design your own identity, check out last year’s gallery and the year before that. Spend some time looking at logos on the Inspiration Page: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 (and watch the video there).

Kudos: Thanks to Philip Behnam for this week’s image featuring some typographic excellence.

1116: I’m curious. Have any of you considered initiating your own creative act? And because I’m not sure you all understood what I meant yesterday, please read this one more time:

What “facts” are holding you back? Re-examine Koestler’s quote at the top of the page. What cataract of accepted belief are you suffering from? Instead of surrendering, why not try something crazy too? Engage in your own creative act.

Turn impossible into I’m possible.

They can because they think they can.
Publius Vergilius Maro

You don’t have to reveal your creative act but leave a comment if you’ve decided to be daring enough to try to liberate yourself from one of your own of accepted beliefs.

Working on Your Logotype? Here’s a page with instructions. Also linked off the To Do Page.

Alignment Strategies: I’d be willing to bet that today’s Tip of the Day contains something useful that you didn’t know.

1117: Typography Tips from FontShop. Scroll down and look for the link that says: Download all Educational materials. (Thanks Judy!)

Mac Lab Fail: Tried twice so far in trying to communicate the following:

What “facts” are holding you back? Re-examine Koestler’s quote at the top of the page. What cataract of accepted belief are you suffering from? Instead of surrendering, why not try something crazy too? Engage in your own creative act.

Turn impossible into I’m possible.

They can because they think they can.
Publius Vergilius Maro

Note: As it says right here, engaging in a creative act — as outlined in this post — is far different than doing something creative in class. I’m still interested in hearing from any of you who are daring enough to try to liberate yourself from one of your own of accepted beliefs. Are you a daring and imaginative individual? Let us know. Leave a comment.

Stroke a Dope: Yes, today’s Tip of the Day will help you claim typographic victory. (Starter File)

1118: Still looking to add your self portrait to the gallery.

Twist and Shout: That’s what I’ll do if you misuse and abuse these special effects in today’s Tip of the Day. (File)

1119: Last chance (before the Turkey Break) to add your self-portrait to the gallery.

Saved by Symbols: Today’s Tip of the Day empowers you flex your symbolic muscles. (Starter File)

An Adobe Shout Out: Kind words from an Adobe Senior Solutions Engineer.

Good Tidings: Have a safe and happy holiday. Be good to one another. If you get lonely for the Mac Lab, don’t fret. I’ll be blogging and adding to The Mac Lab Video Tip of the Day each and every day!
😛

1120: As promised.

1121: And now for something completely different.

1122: Get your head in the game.

1123: A funny thing happened on the way to this week’s post. I had (have) the idea and the image ready to go but yesterday… well, let’s just say the day was rather eventful. On top of that, guess what my first assignment for this month’s Masters class is? Before I tell you, I have to tell you…

Don’t Follow of Comment: We had to start a blog (due tomorrow). Look, I know you can find it on your own so I’ll share the link but I need you to understand that some of the others in the program might not like the idea of students wandering about. But heck, it’s on the Internet so it’s all public information as far as I’m concerned. Just to be polite and to maintain the illusion of privacy for the others, please do NOT follow or comment on my Blogger blog. Okay? Okay. Oh, and the first post had to be titled: BP1_Welcome to My Blog (the other 18 posts this month have similarly thrilling, oh-so-engaging, required titles). Click.

The New Plan: I’ll just use this post for the rest of this week.

Raster to Vector: Today’s Tip of the Day is just a click away.

1124 Whitening Warning: Don’t overdo this Tip of the Day or you’ll howl at the moon.

1125 Prezi Project: Today’s Happy Thanksgiving Tip of the Day is built around Photoshop workflow and leads to a separate project page with additional videos.

1126: Today’s Tip of the Day features navigating about a large PSD plus a preview of tips to come. Fonts | File

1127: Make a Photoshop Resolution for today’s Tip of the Day.

Speaking of Printers: Our old all in one printer finally kicked the bucket so we needed to order a new one. If you’re in the market for one check the Epson WorkForce 610 All-in-One Printer on Epson’s site. Only $60 with $140 instant rebate. After tax and shipping the cost was only $76. Amazing price for a nice piece of technology!

1128: The unthinkable. Skocko shows you how to upsample in today’s Tip of the Day. Starter file.

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Gallery 022 — 0910 Poster Designs

by on Nov.07, 2009, under Galleries

christina_p_01_smWho will create the featured art for this initial 0910 Poster Gallery? John C would have except his first poster is gracing this week’s blog post. Our answer is right here. Christina P stepped up and delivered! Who’s next?

When creating your poster, remember Einstein’s Three Rules. Hey! I bet that quote would look good on a poster. (Hint, hint.)

0910 Poster Designs

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Gallery 021 — 0910 Logo/Identity Designs

by on Oct.19, 2009, under Galleries

cl_design_wip_smWho will earn the right to anchor the second gallery this year? Here are our initial winning logo/identity designs.

The students are getting rolling now. Fadi landed the feature art in Week 8’s blog post. The next home run was slammed by another Mac Lab heavy hitter, Christian L. If you read this post you’ll see that Christian successfully simplified CML Illustration and Design. That solution is pure genius! Other designs are starting to take shape and the gallery will begin to fill later this week.

Twenty-five logos in first eight days. Who’s going to step up next?

0910 Logo/Identity Designs

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