Apologies for lack of updates. I’ve uploaded a few pictures from a visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It’s the David Nash exhibition at the moment, something I wasn’t that interested in until it was pointed out that chainsaws were involved. How can you not get excited by chainsaws, even if it’s not being wielded by a homicidal product-of-incest-Texan. Turned out to be pretty cool – there’s a cross-section from a 50 ton block of wood, where 4 trees had fused together. Ace.
Still cracking on with the C++ stuff. Hit a few brick walls recently, but am soldiering on (woe is me!). Going to have a go at teaching myself enough HTML/CSS to build myself a functional website over the next few months. I’ll try to keep the updates a little more frequent. It was meant to be one entry everyday – what was I thinking!
Had a look at creating brushes in Photoshop via this tutorial. Very interesting and pretty amazing what you can do with them. Going to have a play around tomorrow and attempt something original. I’d not heard the term bokeh before, but (in photography terms) it refers to the parts of an image that are rendered out of focus by the lens.
On another note, I’ve been getting too arty over the past week. I’ve let my geek slip! So, I’m going to make a bit more effort documenting the C++ stuff I’ve been going over. The fun don’t stop…
Only a short post tonight. As planned, I did some more playing around with the pixel art stuff. Tried to create a few everyday items – a book, car and turntable. I had wanted to have a go at adding simple highlights and shadows, so kept the designs simple.
While I was pixelating away, it occurred to me that this style would lend itself well to custom icon files. As I needed one for my music folder, I thought a turntable would be pretty neat (and a little easier than a ghetto blaster!).
Of course, nothing’s ever simple. Windows handles icon images as *.ico files. Photoshop, by default, doesn’t export in this format. So, after a bit of searching around, I came across this site which has a handy plug-in that enables *.ico support in Photoshop.
First things first, I really like pixel-art, but man is it frustrating to create. **Disclaimer: I am in no way calling my effort art!**
Frustration is probably the wrong word, I just had no idea how time-consuming it is. I’ve only drawn basic shapes (the space invaders on my wall) and it took me a good amount of time to produce the poster above. That’s without any highlights, textures, etc… But it is very rewarding if, like me, you grew up gazing into 8 or 16-bit wonderlands made of pixels.
As always, there are some really interesting resources for this sort of thing. There’s a good list here and contains a mixture of tutorials, artists and community sites. A couple of the highlights I found include eBoy, a company based in Germany who produce reusable pixel objects and use them to build more complex art like this. Pretty awesome.
Another site well worth checking out is Army of Trolls. Now, I’m a sucker for video games of any era but especially the 8 and 16-bit days, and Gary J. Lucken’s work is strongly influenced by this, especially this one. It’s like some kind of pixel utopia…
I’ve really enjoyed this little foray into pixel art. I’m going to take another day or two to try some different ideas and try to produce something a bit more interesting. Not sure I’ll manage a cityscape though…
Quick update for today. Spent some more time working with the techniques covered in yesterday’s Photoshop tutorial. Loving these spirograph patterns!
I thought it’d also be a good idea to try these techniques on something more suited to a website:
It’s been a while since I posted any text. That’s at least one disappointed person (and he’s my brother). Anyway, the programming course has finished and I’ve got a fuckton of stuff to get through with that. Another one of my goals (note to self: must decide what my goals are!) is to learn some html & css so I can build my own website. That’s underway too and, to compliment this, I’m teaching myself some Photoshop skills (another thing from the checklist!) so I can at least produce a site that looks nice (do not click if easily offended, or if you fear Jesus).
There really are some awesome resources out and about on the web. The image above was created using this tutorial. My approach thus far has been to, initially, recreate the tutorial to get an idea of the techniques used, then go ahead and use the knowledge gleamed to produce something more original. Over the weekend I followed this tutorial which produced the following image:
Pretty cool, no? I learnt about using textures and created a crumpled and aged texture of my own (as seen in the image above). Rather than leave it at that, I wanted to create something a little more original for my own use. So I spent some time on Sunday scanning dishcloths (it was the weekend after all) to use on the following image:
So, that’s pretty much where I’m at. Really enjoying the Photoshop stuff and looking forward to getting a site built. I’ve got a set over at my flickr containing all my efforts, good or bad. Incidentally, the tutorials are paying off. A friend of mine, who runs a studio in Manchester, asked me to produce a background for his twitter. So I did.