Thursday, February 23, 2012

Specs for InDesign Project

To set up your InDesign project, do the following:

Create new:

Click on "more options" so you can set a bleed

Number of pages: 6
Start page #2

Size: 8.5"x8.5" (21.59cm x 21.59cm)

Set custom page size (call it Lulu 8.5 Square):

51p X 51p
(1 inch = 6 picas)

Columns: optional (depends on your visual ideas)
Margins: optional (ditto)

Bleed: 1.5 p (or 1p5)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Assignment for Tuesday (2/21)

We'll start on our "book illustration" project next class. For this project, you'll have six pages in a book (set us as three two-page spreads), in which to lay out and illustrate a short story or a poem.

For the story/poem, you have the choice of:

1. Choosing something you've written, or that a friend of your has written (as long as the friend gives you permission)
2. Choosing something written by an SNC student who has submitted the story for this purpose (see link below)
3. Choosing something in the public domain

Since we are more or less "publishing" this story through, I want to the content (and the images) to be legit – no pilfering copyrighted material.

In terms of illustrating the story, you are free to use drawings you make, photographs you take, or any stock imagery you are able to download for free or pay for.

By Tuesday's class, I want you to have a story or poem chosen, with some ideas of how you'll illustrate it. I want you to be adventurous in your layout, but legibility of the content itself will be key.

I also want you to talk about a layout strategy you like in one of the books I provided for the class to look through – and also, I want you to bring in a book or magazine that has some interesting layout strategies, for you to present to the class on Tuesday. I just want us to pool our resources so that we have a lot of approaches/strategies to riff on.

Here are links to a variety of public domain resources. If the story you'd like will take longer than six pages to tell, feel free to use an excerpt of the story.

Philip K. Dick stories (science fiction from the 50s and 60s)
Classic Short Stories
Short Stories from the Internet Archive
Literary Stories
Horror stories:
H. P. Lovecraft
Algernon Blackwood
Edgar Allen Poe
Public Domain Poetry

If you'd like to take a crack at SNC student Kenny Stoneman's ghost story, download it here:

Ghosts of Humanity

Just make sure you claim it in the comments to this blog post, so we don't have a bunch of people illustrating the same story. In fact, ONCE YOU'VE CHOSEN THE STORY YOU WANT TO ILLUSTRATE, WRITE THE NAME OF THE STORY IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG POST, checking that no one else has taken it first, so that we don't have any repeats in terms of story/poem selections.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Assignment for Tuesday (2/14)

For Tuesday, I want you to come prepared with images for our next project – a "composite drawing."

This project will be a tracing/drawing project, in which you'll composite two photos, and then use the composite as a basis to trace out an illustration. You won't have to composite the two photos perfectly -- since you're ultimately making a drawing, you can correct discrepancies of lighting at the drawing stage, and a lot of the tell-tale details that you need to painstakingly correct when making two photos seem like one realistic photo can just be omitted at the drawing stage.

The theme for the drawing will be to take some figure or object and put it somewhere it doesn't belong. It could be a godzilla-size dog stomping through a skyline, a bird perched in an aquarium, someone practicing yoga at the top of a flagpole. The more impossible the better. The final drawing should be 11 inches by 17 inches, 300dpi -- it doesn't matter if it's in portrait or landscape format. Please come prepared with your photographic images at the beginning of next class -- if you want to shoot your own photos for this project, feel free.

The Sierra Nevada Review is also looking for images for their front cover, and as it happens, the aspect ratio for the front cover is the same (the dimensions are 5.5"x8.5", which is an 11x17 aspect ratio – adding a 1/8" bleed would be ideal). We'll be printing out stand-alone posters, but leave room to place the title of the Sierra Nevada Review ("Sierra Nevada Review 2012") on the image as a cover treatment – which we'll submit to the magazine.

To look at Jessica's cover for the Review last year, click here (note that she did a wrap-around cover, which you don't have to do – you can just worry about the front cover image).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DART class canceled this afternoon (2/7)

Apologies to everyone – I have to call class off tonight. My daughter's under the weather, while my wife's out of town, and the babysitting fell through. If you'd like to use the lab to work on any of your homework, find Sheri or Rick on the first floor of David Hall, and they can let you in. See you all on Thursday – we got some good feedback on the sigs, with notes for tweaks, so hopefully we should be able to finish up that project, with the aproved sigs running in the next ish of the Eagle's Eye.