Adobe Illustrator: A Cat called Steve

Cartoon Cat drawn in Adobe Illustrator
This is a fellow of my acquaintance called Steve. Steve is remarkable. I’ve known cats who seemed very intelligent, I’ve known cats who were quite dumb, but I’ve never met one who is both to such a high degree. Yes, Steve is the smartest and dumbest cat I’ve ever encountered.

These peaks and valleys of Steve’s intellect make him the perfect subject for a cartoon/comic strip (think Sylvester). That doesn’t mean I’m going to produce one, since that would involve going through a ton of tutorials and re-learning Flash, but I can hone and practice my Adobe Illustrator skills designing a caricature. This drawing is my first go at creating a cartoon cat, and to be honest, I don’t think I’m there yet. It’s not “cartoony” enough and lacks a certain fluidity. The paws should be bigger and the face is too realistic. For my next drawing I will leave out the colour all together and focus entirely on the design and dimensions.

As for Steve, he has a bad case of cabin fever waiting for this interminable winter to end so he can chase mice and birds to his heart’s content.

UPDATE

Cartoon Cat drawn in Adobe Photoshop
I traced the vector illustration in Photoshop and came up with this black and white drawing. While it still needs refinement I find this drawing has more life and dynamism then the vector illustration. The next step will be changing the pose of the cat to be more natural.

UPDATE 2

Here is the tracing filled with colour. I’m pretty happy with how it looks, so the next goal is creating new sketches from different angles and positions using the same style.

Cartoon Cat drawn in Adobe Photoshop

3D Alternate USS Enterprise – Video and Final Images

Here is a collection of animations featuring my alternate USS Enterprise. I’m pretty happy with the 3D mesh at this point and don’t see myself making any changes in the future. It was a fun exercise and I enjoyed experimenting with an iconic Sci-Fi design. If I have any regrets it’s that the ship is not as detailed as I would like, but since I don’t have a whole bank of computers and RAM at my disposal, this is the best the model will look if I want render times to remain reasonable. (more…)

Attempt at Artistic Photography

photo of wheelbarrow covered in snow
I am not a professional photographer. I have never worked in a studio with a proper light setup, I’ve never worked with models, I’ve never sold a photo, etc. I am a strict amateur who at best has taken some acceptable pictures of flowers and birds. Tonight I decided to add a new subject to my portfolio: a wheelbarrow.

Why a wheelbarrow? This afternoon there was a fresh snowfall which nicely covered the backyard, including the aforementioned. When I went outside with an insane cat who wanted enjoy the great, freezing, unbearable outdoors, I noticed that the snow-covered wheelbarrow was nicely illuminated by the outdoor and kitchen lights. I decided then and there I would take a picture of the scene.

Since it was dark out I knew the exposure setting would be lengthy and I would need a tripod to keep the camera (a mid-range Canon DSLR) steady. After some taking pictures at different settings I settled on an exposure of 3.2 seconds, F-stop at f/20, and an ISO of 1600. Here is the raw image of the wheelbarrow.

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Tutorial: Simulating Global Illumination in Cinema 4D v.11

Comparing Cinema 4D 11 Global Illumination against Lighting Rig that mimics the effect

Real Global Illumination vs. Simulated Global Illumination

For the purposes of this tutorial all we need to know about Global Illumination is that it’s a lighting effect that makes your 3D models look great while massively increasing render times. This is fine when you’re rendering a single frame but aggravating when you need a lengthier animation. I am using an older version of Cinema 4D (version 11), in which animations that use global illumination have an annoying flicker effect, which compounds the issue. I believe the flickering effect has been fixed in newer versions of Cinema 4D but that is not applicable to my situation (3D software is very expensive except for Blender, which I am currently teaching myself).

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