Friday, May 9, 2014


Don't forget to meet up in the parking lot of the Art Building at 11:30am tomorrow to grab a ride. I'll check in by phone with the drivers.

See you all that the planetarium tomorrow, at about 12:30. We'll start the screening at 1, but meeting up at 12:30 will allow me to gather any files you may have tweaked, and we can check out some of the planetarium exhibits.

Again, the render specs for the planetarium file, if you are making changes/tweaks from the ones you handed in to me on Tuesday, are as follows:

Export as a Quicktime File (.mov)
With H264 Compression
Remember to check the audio box, and export the audio with AAC compression

If you can bring your exported .mov on a flash drive, I can collect it before the screening.

Here are directions to the planetarium, for those of you who are driving:

View Larger Map

Alternately, here are local directions from the planetarium's website:

And lastly - I have a copy of the classes' Lulu book in  hand - it came out well, I think. I'll bring a copy to the planetarium so you can check it out, and if you want to order a copy for yourself, it's a little over $20, and can be ordered here:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

List of final project files

Here are the projects so far – I want to collect them on saturday on my external drive.


1. Public Domain Art Collage

(I have these on SNCFA's flickr, so if you've lost your copy, don't worry)

2. Photoshop mixing brush painting


3 & 4. App Icons (iOS6 and iOS7)


5. Infographic


6. Six-page story adaptation


7. Planetarium animation


Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Dimensions for Planetarium

Adjust this in "Composition > Composition Settings"

Size: Custom
1024x1024 Pixels
30 fps

And the newly-sized ping of the circular "porthole" is here:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

After Effects Resources

The tutorials that I am basing this assignment on are here:

Click here to download the psd file you can use as a mask or screen to see what will show up on the planetarium dome:

And here are a few tips, for easier reference:

Settings for the project:
1920x1080 pixels (remember, only a center circle of 1050 pixels will be projected)
Open AE, select "New Composition," make sure it's set to HDTV 1080 29.97

Making a layer a 3D layer:
Clicking the cube in the layer allows it to be 3d

Opening the Position, Orientation and Rotation  parameters:
Select the layer you want to adjust, and –
Hit "P" to get Position, and
SHIFT + R to get Orientation and Rotation

Setting keyframes:
open up the layers with the triangle - to set keyframes, click on the stopwatch. You'll get a keyframe setter between the two
arrows on the left of the layer.

Looping a video clip:
Select in properties window, then File / Interpret Footage / Main will give you access to a looping parameter

Particle system - the system used in the tutorial is under:
Effects and presets
CC particle world

Layer > New > solid

Creating a camera:
Layer > New > camera

Create a null object:
Layer > New > Null Object

To right of camera layer, select "Null 1" where "None" is displayed, to "parent: the null object."

To copy and paste properties:
Shift or command select the properties in the layer, then command-c to copy - click the layer where you wish to paste the properties, and command-v. By giving the null object the position properties of your layers, you can direct the camera to point directly at those layers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I want to collect Thursday (12/14)

Here are the projects so far – I want to collect them on thursday on my external drive.

1. Public Domain Art Collage

(I have these on SNCFA's flickr, so if you've lost your copy, don't worry)

2. Photoshop mixing brush painting


3 & 4. App Icons (iOS6 and iOS7)


5. Infographic


The six page story adaptation (the InDesign project) isn't due until after break, so it won't be part of your midterm grade.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

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: .125 in

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tuesday homework

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.

1. Pick your story or poem (see below for more details)
2. Bring in a page from a magazine, newspaper, or picture book that you think balances the imagery and text very effectively. I want you to bring the book/page into class, to show to the class as an example of a good text/image balance.

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

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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Due Thurs, 2/13

Two things are due this Thursday. The first is your app icon - 2 versions, one in iOS6 style and one in iOS7 style. This is due at the beginning of class. Please format them using the template linked in the below blog post, and flatten a jpeg version to turn in.

The other thing due is: DATA.

For our next project, we're making an infographic. I want your infographic to be data-driven - meaning, it should be built from actual numbers. It could take, as its subject, something as trivial as the number of swear words in Hollywood blockbusters over time, or something as serious as locations and scope of genocides in the past decade. But whatever you're making the infographic about, it should map to some actual, verifiable numbers. So part two of your homework is to bring the data (or a link to the data) you'll be illustrating.

Here are a few infographic resource links, if you're looking for some inspiration/ideas to riff on:

50 Great Examples of Infographics

Vision in the 3rd World

Use this template for your final versions

Here's the template you'll need:

Just make the largest size, and the two iPhone sizes (in the black box).

Monday, February 3, 2014

App Icon Design – Some References

Here are a bunch of references for our next project – designing an App Icon and interface. We'll go over these in class.

The iOS Design Cheat Sheet - by Ivo Mynttinen:

Some examples of Icons that were re-designed for iOS7:

Photoshop App Icon Template, by Michael Flarup (download this one):

A GUI template from Applidium:

More OS7 GUI Templates:

And here, download an AI app icon shape template:

Using the Mixer Brush in Photoshop

If you ever need a refresher on the mixer brush, here are two good resources:

From Adobe TV:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Welcome – Spring 2014 Class

Welcome to the blog for Intermediate/Advanced Digital Darkroom, for Spring 2014.

Here's a link we'll be using today:

And a little bit of context for the link:

Example of a british library remix:

Next class, we'll be starting a "composite drawing" at poster size. This will build on your knowledge of brushes in Photoshop – 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, 600dpi -- 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.

If you'd like to download a copy of the syllabus, follow the below links.

This is the "Advanced" version:

This is the "Intermediate" version: