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John Stanko Creates the Cover for Imagine FX issue 96

John Stanko recorded this screen cast while he created the cover for issue 96 of Imagine FX. Created in Corel Painter, this cover was inspired by Frank Frazetta and so it’s of a classic fantasy heroine and some tigers just for fun. John Stanko is an Assistant Professor of Visual Communications at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He has also created artwork for Legends of Norrath, Dungeons & Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering. “John trained as an oil painter and uses a similar workflow in his digital art, making him the perfect choice to adapt Frazetta’s theories” says Imagine FX post about this cover.

This video is a long one, with a run time of about 53 minutes. It’s nice that Imagine FX finally put out a tutorial video with commentary. Most of their videos are just speed paintings with no voiceover from the artist. I found it very interesting with a lot of good insight. Just the overlays of bright colors he uses is pretty amazing to see. Let us know what you think of this video in the comments. Below are a few process images and the final cover for issue 96.

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Inking and coloring artwork in Adobe Illustrator

When I first started doing the Once Upon a Sketch Screen Casts I created a series of two videos about how I ink and color my drawings in Adobe Illustrator. Well, it’s been over a year since I created this set of videos so I thought I would share them again for those who haven’t seen them yet and even if you have seen them you might like a refresher. I just watched these videos again and learned things from myself that I had forgotten (which is really funny).

Some might ask why you would want to create inked looking vector lines in Illustrator when you could use another tool like Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro or Manga studio to get the same look. My answer to them would be, even though the two lines might look the same on the surface they are two very different things. The main difference between the two would be that vector lines are infinitely scalable and raster images are not. Example, a company hired me to design mascots to promote one of their programs, I created these characters using the same techniques shown in these videos and most were created at around 8.5in x 11in. With these images being created in a vector format it was no problem when the company asked me to create a billboard using the same artwork with no loss in quality when the images were blown up to about 600 times the size that they were created at. This would not have been the case if the images were created in the other programs. Now that you know why you would want to create this type of drawing, here are the two videos. The first is how to create inked looking lines in Illustrator and the second is how I fill in those lines using the Live Paint Tool.

The first video is about how I set up my brush tools in illustrator to get and inked looking vector line. I also use the blob brush tool to show you how to create a different type of line and describe the difference between the two tools. Continue reading

Guest Post-Will Terry-What to include in your Children’s Book Portfolio

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Will Terry drops in again to give his advice on what should be in your portfolio. Check it out and enjoy!

In this video I give a list of items I feel every children’s book illustrator should have in their portfolio. Art Directors and Editors are afraid to hire the wrong artist so make sure you’re covering all the most important items. If you can think like an editor you’ll be much more equipped to show them what they want to see.

Original post here.

Color Theory with Marc Brunet

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I love watching tutorials and seeing how other artists approach their work. It’s always eye opening to see or hear another artists thoughts on how they approach composition, character design, color theory and any number of art principles. So I was happy to find a new series of posts from Marc Brunet on Color Theory. He’s done about three videos at this point and plans on doing more. His technique is very different from mine and I’m anxious to apply some of his process to my work.

Watch along and enjoy! I’ll be presenting the rest of his videos on the blog at later dates!

9 Animation Directors Talk About Their Careers

On Monday the SIGGRAPH Keynote was held and it featured nine distinguished animation directors Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up), Eric Goldberg (Pocahontas, Fantasia/2000), Kevin Lima (Tarzan), Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked), Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon), Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline), David Silverman (The Simpsons Movie), Kirk Wise (Beauty and the Beast, Atlantis: The Lost Empire) and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin). The panel was moderated by Randy Haberkamp of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

If you were unable to attend the SIGGRAPH Keynote panel, you’re in for a treat. The whole 92-minute discussion is posted online for all to see. The Marc Davis Lecture Series presented this panel, entitled “Giants’ First Steps”, which explored the student works and early careers of the participating directors. They discussed how they got started in the industry how they work through creative blocks and some discussed their challenges with drawing. They also talked about what they look for in artists’ portfolios. The more I hear working professionals talk about portfolios the more I hear “it doesn’t matter how good you draw it’s all about telling” a story and they reiterated this in their discussion.

I found their discussion very interesting and since I’m a fan of most of these movies, some even lead me to become an artist, I was really interested to get their insight. Very inspiring.

Speed Painting of Wildlife Illustration and Full Tutorial From Psdtuts+

When creating a new illustration there’s certainly a lot of things to think about. First you have to figure out what’s the story behind your image. Then there are many other things to consider to bring the illustration together like Lighting, depth of field, and color. I came across this tutorial video on TutsPlus and felt this tutorial did a great job of bringing all of these factors together. In this video, Therese Larsson speed paints his way through a heart-warming wildlife illustration using a lot of different digital illustration techniques. After you watch this video, if you found it helpful you can head on over to TutsPlus and read his step-by-step instructions on how he created this illustration. Here’s the link to the step-by-step post.

Source: http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/heart-warming-wildlife-illustration/

Sony Pictures Animation Talks Visual Development Portfolio Tips


So you want to develop for children’s movies, but what are companies looking for when reviewing portfolios? Sony Pictures Animation put up a great video of what production designers Michael Kurinsky and Marcelo Vignali are looking for when reviewing portfolios and making hiring decisions. It’s a nice glimpse into what this studio is looking for and they include some good suggestions for your portfolio.

Great Sketchbook Pro Demo Videos

When I’m not working in Photoshop I spend my time with Sketchbook Pro. As I was trying to figure something out with a tool in Sketchbook Pro I came across their YouTube page and found some great videos of artists using Sketchbook and as can easily happen when searching for one thing on the Internet you find something you never intended.

The first video I got side tracked by is from Asuka111 and this demo is called Bike Craft. Asuka111 starts with Sketchbook on the iPad and then brings the drawing onto Sketchbook Pro on their PC to finish it up.

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