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FIVE PHOTOSHOP FILTERS PLUS: We talk to DS.Emotion about the power of PR and meet Sean Rodwell, the man behind the Aero ad

START YOUR OWN STUDIO From choosing a name to landing your first client, find out what you need to get your design business off the ground

TeAM YYePG Digitally signed by TeAM YYePG DN: cn=TeAM YYePG, c=US, o=TeAM YYePG, ou=TeAM YYePG, email=yyepg@msn.com Reason: I attest to the accuracy and integrity of this document Date: 2005.07.09 17:17:28 +08'00'

Printed in the UK

£6 COVER: JOHNNY CHEUK

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AUGUST 2005 C$19.95

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ART NY CHEUK COVENR N ER: JOH G

g and G KON DESIG plashin N: HON d.com of ink s t c to e LOCATIO : www.acidbir s ff g e in ke CT like the ary line draw and ma CONTA r trations ator se arbit s u tr lu s il lu y il n.” ize m r and ed in human cold perfectio tion (left) designe and rais e tra Graphic euk was born d in various th s r lu fo il p d u Ch ke secon our Johnny g and has wor uated from Cheuk’s for the Start Y ays ad on d ed te s a e Hong K uses having gr 1. It was e h r T was c 00 ature. “ io given ho 2 n fe in e r ig io e s lo s d e r p d x Own Stu set up a stud ment in edia cou him to e to ce a multim e that allowed design it’s easy ological advan e says. e s r th u f o this c chn n,” h spects o him now? te o a ti e t a n th tr e r s such as and illu the diffe t what inspires d culture in design rated elements sors, u te B o . o r ld r ue ep cis po wo “I incor atercolours, s papers and ck of de ut to be a uniq “The la ity is cils, ned o ils, w c r c n e n e tu h e p T g p d “ n ntly e . o , colour em are freque Hong K ,” says Cheuk ith different cutters e w th g f le ta o b n ll ti a .” pa le s. A adv l, printer easily affordab ing to and com aditiona eal versatile modern or tr e try id , yet h d e s e th s a look u w is – s t look ver the culture r western. This vity.” So wha d to deli Sometimes te o ti n l a a e ta r w n c I te . ?“ s” my rea orie achieve f “split matter ny spark,” ned to c nurture place to was commissio Arts: “My by a ti feel o d d e n it a n r copic k Cheu mpute ork is ig aleidos t s for Co adients cover , an artw k. “To make k e os g a m e im r eu d th two the g orld” says Ch , you don’t nee All you need ative w tion for s t. n inspira signer in a cre biggest n o e uipm creati by the e de ated eq panied was “a I believe that th mes from ophistic ic tools accom nd, most s “ o . c s r y e a n s .A ba he s esig let are the astering them concept e for a d . I try to pleasur f imagination ces that of m ative e ls r il c k a s o , la l.” nt of all freedom in my life, the p and the importa your work sou ia lling to that I e s v e the triv a iv tr g f t tha tters amt o ING I’ve dre significant ma .” OUT US WORK ORE AB ut ign R M b s U e T ll O d p U a Y o y O E m s sh em TO FIND S TO ENHANC se Photo ter driv T N encoun does Cheuk u ? “I like to IE D GRA 56… So how his own work O PAGE all, TURN T k. After o ts in r n o ie w d y a r m g als dients to ation. I add gra means varieg n o gradati

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EDITORIAL |

ILLUSTRATION | AUGUST 2005 Computer Arts prides itself on the quality of its contributing digital artists, designers, illustrators and photographers. If you like what you see, why not check out more of their work online?

JOHNNY CHEUK Hong Kong Johnny Cheuk has been pretty busy this month. Not only has he created this issue’s stunning cover image but also the illustration for the Start Your Own Studio feature on page 32. What’s more, he’s even willing to reveal some trade secrets. Turn to page 56 and find out how adding gradients to your Photoshop work will give 2D images an exciting third dimension. www.acidbird.com

DS.EMOTION

DEREK LEA

UK Rob Scott captures Chris Hassell of DS.Emotion – the London-based design agency with something to shout about. rob.scott@futurenet.co.uk

Canada Derek rounds up his three-part 3D Illustrator series with this well-lit introduction to lighting and mapping. www.dereklea.com

ROD STEELE

MATTHEW DESMON

UK Transmission Central’s Rod Steele uses a tired stock photo and a little Photoshop to create this attention-grabbing image. rod.steele@mac.com

USA Font designer Matthew Desmon breaks the mould with this new take on an old-fashioned font style. www.weworkforthem. com

DEREK LEA

GR/DD

Canada Derek illustrates this month’s CD tutorial with an age distressed image created using five Machine Wash filters. www.dereklea.com

UK GR/DD uses muted tones and an abstract composition to illustrate the current demand for mobile design. www.grdd.co.uk

LINDA BERGKVIST

TWELVE:TEN

UK In the first of a threepart series, Swedish illustrator Linda Bergkvist demonstrates the skills needed to create life-like photorealistic eyes in Photoshop. www.furiae.com

UK This abstract piece illustrates the news that UK designers are at last dominating the global design scene. www.twelveten.co.uk

WELCOME Picture this. You’re a student, just finishing up your design course, hanging out in the student union bar and chatting to your friends about life, the universe and how the hell you’re going to make some money when you leave university. But do you really dream of the day when you’re working your butt off for some nameless company in the metropolis? Hope and pray that your boss will give you the easy, dull jobs that don’t stretch your creativity and excitedly anticipate how many of your clients will ask you to make your work “more crunchy”? Of course not. Most of us dream of bursting onto the design scene, wowing everyone with our unique style of creativity, waltzing straight into a star-studded career and earning loads of money in the process. The heady heights of owning our own studio will no doubt follow. For many it remains a dream, but if you have real passion and drive there’s no reason why it can’t become reality. The first thing you need is advice, so before you start out, gather as much information as you can about the pros and cons of owning your own studio. Ask successful designers what they like and dislike about running their own show, how they deal with the business-side of things (it’s one thing being a designer, but can you be a salesman, too?) and how much time they spend actually “working”. You’ll be surprised by the answers. Then, once you’ve decided that being your own boss really is for you, turn to our special feature starting on page 32. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.

GILLIAN CARSON SENIOR EDITOR gillian.carson@futurenet.co.uk

CONTACT Computer Arts, Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW PHONE: 01225 442 244 EMAIL: ca.mail@futurenet.co.uk SUBSCRIPTIONS: 0870 837 4722 OVERSEAS: +44 1858 438 794

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| READER SURVEY

WIN AN iPOD Take part in this year’s reader survey and tell us what you think of Computer Arts • What do you think of our new look cover? • Which sections of the magazine do you enjoy? • What creative tools do you want to hear more about? Whatever your opinion, let us know by completing our five minute online survey

ISSUE 112 EDITORIAL 01225 442244

MANAGEMENT

GILLIAN CARSON SENIOR EDITOR gillian.carson@futurenet.co.uk DOM HALL DEPUTY EDITOR dom.hall@futurenet.co.uk JOSEPH RUSS SECTION EDITOR joseph.russ@futurenet.co.uk RODDY LLEWELLYN SENIOR ART EDITOR richard.llewellyn@futurenet.co.uk TINA GLENCROSS DESIGNER SOPHIE EMBLEY PRODUCTION EDITOR sophie.embley@futurenet.co.uk DAN GOODLEFF PRODUCTION ASSISTANT dan.goodleff@futurenet.co.uk MATT GALLIMORE SENIOR CD EDITOR matt.gallimore@futurenet.co.uk SIMON HOLLAND CD EDITOR simon.holland@futurenet.co.uk

KELLEY CORTEN publisher DOM BEAVEN publishing director FIONA TULLY marketing manager CLARE TOVEY production manager PAUL MCINTYRE group art editor SARAH WILLIAMS software copyright co-ordinator

PRODUCTION NOLA COKELY ad production co-ordinator KATTY PIGOTT production co-ordinator MICHELLE ROGERS operational purchasing manager

CIRCULATION & LICENSING JASON COMBER circulation manager PETE STOTHARD head of international licensing SIMON WEAR overseas licensing director Computer Arts has licences in China, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain

CD PROBLEMS 01225 822743 ca.support@futurenet.co.uk

DISTRIBUTED BY

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM Scott Bedford, Linda Bergkvist, Michael Burns, Rob Carney, Johnny Cheuk, Craig Grannell, Chris Gregory, Kai Heuser, Karl Hodge, Simon Holland, Derek Lea, Mark Ramshaw, Chris Schmidt, Rod Steele, Richard Wentk and Jon Wozencroft PHOTOGRAPHY Rob Scott PRINT William Gibbons

SUBSCRIPTIONS Computer Arts Subscriptions, Future Publishing, FREEPOST RLSC-SXSE-SKKT, Unit 4 Tower House, Sovereign Park, Market Harborough, Leicester LE16 9EF SUBSCRIPTION QUERIES 0870 837 4722 OVERSEAS SUBSCRIPTIONS +44 1858 438794 EMAIL computerarts@subscribe.co.uk

ADVERTISING 01225 442244 ROSA SMITH senior advertising manager rosa.smith@futurenet.co.uk GEORGE LUCAS senior sales executive george.lucas@futurenet.co.uk REBECCA BELL-ROBINSON classified sales executive rebecca.bellrobinson@futurenet.co.uk BEN PEARSON display sales executive ben.pearson@futurenet.co.uk

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FUTURE ROGER PARRY non-executive chairman GREG INGHAM chief executive ROB PRICE managing director UK JOHN BOWMAN group finance director T: +44 (0)1225 442 244 URL: www.futureplc.com Computer Arts is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations Jan-Dec 2004: 20,904 Computer Arts is the registered trademark of Future Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and copyrights in this issue are recognised, and are acknowledged where possible. If we have failed to credit your copyright, please contact us – we’re happy to correct any oversight. Material submitted is accepted on the basis of a worldwide right to publish in printed or electronic form. All contents © Future Publishing 2005. Future Publishing Ltd is part of Future plc. Future produces carefully targeted special-interest magazines for people who share a passion. We aim to satisfy that passion by creating titles offering value for money, reliable information, smart buying advice and which are a pleasure to read. Today we publish more than 100 magazines in the UK, US, France and Italy. Over 100 international editions of our magazines are also published in 30 other countries across the world. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR).

Around the world with

Whether you’re a regular or occasional reader we’d love to hear your views. And to say thanks, we’ll automatically enter you into a superb prize draw to win a fantastic 20GB iPod. •

POLAND

KOREA

FRANCE

ITALY

WE’VE GONE GLOBAL! Did you know that we print domestic language versions of Computer Arts in several countries across Europe and the Far East?

To have your say visit www.computerarts.co.uk/readerssurvey and enter the password ca2 before 31 August.

We look forward to hearing from you!

CHINA


REVIEWS

TUTORIALS

WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?

LEARN THESE GREAT TECHNIQUES

P80 FINAL CUT STUDIO

P52 MODEL PHOTOGRAPHY

An incredibly rich and versatile HD-ready solution for filmmakers everywhere

Turn a drab stock photo into a sci-fi image

P82 LACIE 321 LCD MONITOR

Adding depth and texture in Photoshop

One of the largest, most beautiful displays we’ve ever seen – but it comes at a price

P83 EPSON STYLUSPRO 4800

P59 CREATE TILED EFFECTS Reinvigorate your website with our top tips

Its outstanding colour accuracy and swift performance will really impress

P60 LIGHTING AND MAPPING

P84 CARRARA BASICS 2

P62 DRAWING EYES

This streamlined take on Eovia’s Carrara Pro includes 900 pre-configured models

Create the best digital peepers in town

P84 HEXAGON

Use Photoshop filters to add great textures

This stand-alone 3D modeller enjoys a healthy toolset and is quick to pick up

P85 SWIFT3D 4.5 New tools ensure eRain’s tool will appeal to the ambitious Flash designer

P85 PANOWEAVER 4 Create accurate Java-driven panoramas from wide-angle shots with ease

052

P56 USE COLOUR GRADIENTS

Part three of our 3D-in-Illustrator tutorial

P66 DISTRESSED EFFECTS

FEATURES WHAT’S HAPPENING ACROSS YOUR INDUSTRY?

038

010

P86 DESIGNED FOR LIFE Great gadgets and techno-freakery ahoy!

P89 BOOKS: (A BOOK) DESIGNED TO HELP

056

Our reviews-list winner is a charity case

GROUP TEST EXPECT TEARS AS OUR FIVE CONTENDERS TAKE UP ARMS

P32 START YOUR OWN STUDIO Starting up on your own? Avoid the pitfalls and make it big with our hands-on guide

P38 DS.EMOTION “We’re not idiots – we charge money – but you have to be honest,” says Chris Hassell on the secrets of DS.Emotion’s success

P48 THE PENGUIN BRANDING We take a look at the striking branding of one of the UK’s largest book publishers

P72 GET STARTED WITH DESIGN FOR MOBILES P91 INDESIGN PLUG-INS Which plug-ins will improve workflow? And why? We rate ALAP InEffects and InTools, Gluon ProScale ID, WoodWing Smart Styles and History for InDesign CS.

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Demand for mobile content is high, so why not use your design skills to tap into the market? Karl Hodge explains all

P107 WILL BARRAS “The computer is a tool and I try to keep it that way,” says this month’s CV star

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE

SOUTHAMPTON INSTITUTE P104 Three students respond to a challenging creative brief set by their tutor, and we get an expert in to assess the results…


AUGUST ISSUE 112

062 ON THE CD THIS ISSUE’S CD SOFTWARE MACHINE WASH FILTERS (MAC+PC)

LIGHTING AND MAPPING Derek Lea uses innovative lighting tricks to bring images to life in the final part of his Illustrator series

Five sample Photoshop plug-ins from Mister Retro’s full filter set

HEXAGON (MAC+PC)

Eovia’s brilliant alternative to high-end 3D modelling apps

IMAGE © DIMENS ION FILMS 2005

ÁPAGE 60

SWIFT3D 4.5 (MAC+PC)

Create impressive Flash animations with a minimum of Flash know-how

TWO PHOTOSPIN FONTS (MAC+PC) Two inspiring fonts – Duality and Echelon – worth almost $100

CYBIA PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES (MAC+PC) With this set of 1,100 Photoshop brushes you’ll cover every eventuality

MOTIONISM DVD GRAPHICS (MAC+PC) Superb graphical DVD resources including menus, labels and lower thirds

PAGE 28 Ë

THE AERO ADS

Find out how talented designers on both sides of the Atlantic created this beautiful “bubble girl” cross-media campaign

See page 102 for more details...

SUBSCRIBE NOW! Turn to page 46 for full details of great savings >>> August 2005

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EXPOSURE

Send your work to Computer Arts and be seen by thousands!

SAHATARCH PITTARONG LOCATION Thailand JOB Freelance illustrator CONTACT saha_pitta@yahoo.com SOFTWARE Photoshop, Illustrator Thai native Sahatarch Pittarong lives in Bangkok and studied Visual Communication at Assumption University (ABAC) in Thailand. “I like Thai traditional, culture, history and Thai literature,” he says, “so I always bring them to my work in whatever way I can.” For Sahatarch, inspiration is everywhere, in nature, books – even in contemporary music, such as hip-hop. “I draw on everything around me,” he says. “Inspiration and imagination are key.” He is eager to inform others about his country, using his startling imagery as a springboard, and believes that ideas are the most important thing about any work of art. “Even the most beautiful pictures, using the most amazing techniques, are nothing unless inspired by good ideas.” THE MASTER OF THAI-HOP (ALL IMAGES) “With these images, I tried to make a connection between hip-hop and Thai literature, portraying each hip-hop musician as a Master of Thai-Hop, and I think it works well. Here you can see hiphop stars The Spyda Hanuman (DJ), The Garuda (B-BOY) and The Serpent (hype man).”

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LEE STADLER LOCATION Kansas, USA JOB Digital artist CONTACT lee@opus-finearts.com SOFTWARE Photoshop, Bryce 1. The Palindrome Crescendo “I rendered each “panel” here separately in Bryce – the right and left ones are a different view of the same scene, with altered lighting and repositioned characters. The shadows helped to glue the two end pieces to the middle section. I added the trees and grass and tweaked lighting in Photoshop. 2. The Clockroom “I created and rendered this particular work in Bryce. I used Photoshop for the trees, and to tweak colour and lighting.” 3. Brick and Ball 2 “This is an exercise in realism using HDRI spheres. Aside from the decent yet simple textures, lighting proved the most important aspect of the piece. I made colour adjustments in Photoshop.”

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EXPOSURE |

To find out more about this section, please go to www.computerarts.co.uk/gallery/ 1

NUZMA BEGUM LOCATION Bedford, UK JOB Graphic designer and illustrator CONTACT leema28@talk21.com SOFTWARE Photoshop 7.0 1. Newrock “The idea for this piece stemmed from my perception of how where we live has become vicious and dangerous... I used images from my travels in Barcelona and Amsterdam – and existing materials from the UK.” 2. The Environment “I created this while working in an office. I was angry, being stuck there. All I could think about was getting out and finding things to do.” 3. Stranger “This is a deliberately gloomy illustration about society’s outsiders. It does not point a finger at a specific group, although one interpretation of the man could be that he is a paedophile or a rapist.” 4. Invisible Affliction “This work explores the invisible pain of migraine. The brain connotes the mind and the graph paper the sufferer’s sense of being confined.”

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GET EXPOSED Send your work to us, along with an explanation of your techniques and software, the titles of each piece, your website details and email address. Images should be sent as PC or Mac TIFF or JPEG files, on CD or DVD. A hard copy is also a great help. We will endeavour to return all entries that provide an SAE. All contributions are submitted on the basis of a non-exclusive worldwide licence to publish, both in print and electronically. Post hi-res files for print to: Exposure, Computer Arts, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW. August 2005

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STAR LETTER: HELL-VETICA

LIST OF COLLEGES?

I have just read the opinion piece entitled “Hell-veticaâ€? by Jason Arber in issue 108 of Computer Arts. In the piece he states that Helvetica was created by a Swiss >[bb#l[j_YW gentleman (I don’t have the article at hand, sorry), and that it appears on the PC ÆHVYan!=ZakZi^XVCZjZ^h Vcdi]Zg[dciadd`^c\dkZgi]Z as Arial. However, I egZX^e^XZd[dkZg"[Vb^a^Vg^inÇ have always believed that Neville Brody created Arial during his time at The Face. I wondered if you could you please explain this discrepancy as it is causing too many office + Neville Brody certainly debates. Unfortunately I do used Arial in The Face, but he not have access to both didn’t design the font – typefaces to compare them. Monotype’s Robin Nicholas On another note, I do feel did. As for Helvetica being the need for some new diverse Arial on the PC, that’s not typefaces for use in body strictly true. If a document type. Garamond, bah. Times, that contains Helvetica is eek. Franklin Gothic, oh opened on a PC, the font will automatically be substituted please! My current favourites with Arial. The fonts we use are Tahoma and Californian, but may I ask what is used in for Computer Arts Projects and Computer Arts are Computer Arts Projects? Kerry Rowberry, Univers and Din. We hope Font fanatic that settles the debate! DE>C>DC

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PRIZE: Rookledgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Classic International Typefinder As the Star Letter winner this month, Kerry Rowberry has won a copy of Rookledgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Classic International TypeďŹ nder, by Christopher Perfect and Gordon Rookledge. Highlighting the essential characteristics of over 700 typefaces, this book helps designers to identify many of the most popular fonts currently in use across the globe. Rookledgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Classic International TypeďŹ nder is published by Laurence King and costs ÂŁ24.95.

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FORUM THREAD THIS MONTH ON THE COMPUTER ARTS FORUM INKWORM ASKED WHETHER WEB DESIGNERS SHOULD BE REGULATED LIKE EVERYONE ELSE FORUM QUESTION: Web regulation Should web designers be regulated? You wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect an amateur plumber, electrician or policeman to help you if you had a problem, so would it be a good idea to have a guild or body so we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get all these design cowboys producing rubbish and making a bad name for everyone else? inkworm POSTS: Never! It would change the very essence of what the internet is all about! We need those rinky dink little wannabe web designers, or the last vestige of grass roots anti-corporate (and might I add political activists) would go down with the ship! corvus_ďŹ&#x201A;ies Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not saying every single site, just those in the business sector. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have nothing to laugh at otherwise. inkworm I like the openness of the sector. There are a heck of a lot of chancers out there, but I ďŹ nd (particularly in Ireland) that if you regulate anything the ďŹ rst thing that happens is the inevitable split into two factions! Web designers have a sort of roguish presence, and I like that. But with new accessibility laws I think we might start to see a few â&#x20AC;&#x153;biggerâ&#x20AC;? businesses and services facing prosecution and this in itself will lead to a kind of self regulation. No business is going to risk being publicly labelled as discriminatory to any group. Perhaps the legal teams will regulate the web in an unofďŹ cial way. Odog Have your say on our forum at http://forum computerarts.co.uk.

I was just browsing through Computer Arts magazine and wondered if you ever run a list of organisations or schools where one can take 2D/3D courses. I am looking to take a 3D course, but would prefer to attend a training centre rather than a university or college. Can you help? Adewale Jones, via email

+ Jim Thacker, editor of 3D World: If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a UK reader the main commercial training facilities are Escape Studios and Metro New Media, which are both based in London. Neither is cheap, but Escape in particular has very good contacts with the industry. Outside of the UK, try www.aidb.com for a searchable database of companies. For full-time courses, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d recommend the NCCA (Bournemouth University), Teesside, Swansea Institute, Glamorgan, UWE or any of the big London art colleges (Goldsmiths, LCP, or CSM).

AGEING TECHNIQUES Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just finished reading issue 108 of Computer Arts and must say that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the strongest issues to date. I loved it all, but particularly brilliant was the bit about digital ageing. The piece was super and, following the steps described, I managed to turn out quite a nice image (though nothing like that of the expert!). Thanks very much for introducing me to this method, and also to the work of Don Sparrow. My family and I are now addicted to his website (www.donsparrow.com) and we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have heard of him if it werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for your magazine. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d certainly love to see more tutorials like this one from such an innovative artist. John, via email

+ Thanks for the kind words, John. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great to hear that you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and your family â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are enjoying the magazine. We are always on the look out for new and innovative artists and illustrators to create images and write tutorials for us. We may even ask Don Sparrow to do another one soon.


MAIL |

FREELANCE WRITERS WANTED! Future, the publisher of Computer Arts, has a number of opportunities for freelance writers on its technology, games and PC magazines. If you’re a technology, computing or games enthusiast, love to write, know your stuff, can explain things clearly and concisely and would like to see your name in print, get in touch.

Experience is not necessary – just a love for your subject and a desire to engage people. Contact group editor Nick Merritt by emailing nick.merritt@futurenet.co.uk and include a 400-word article about an item you’ve bought this year. If we like your style, we’ll get in touch. URL: www.futurenet.com

SPANISH EDITION?

CA DOWN UNDER

I subscribe to a magazine called Arte y Diseño, which I think is the Spanish version of Computer Arts. If so, do I have access to the free tutorials online with my subscription to this magazine or do I have to subscribe to the UK version? Ramon Delgado Gomez, E-Factory

I love your magazine, but in Australia it seems very expensive, a lot more than £56 a year. Do you know how much I would save if you sent them to me instead? Would the the magazine be much cheaper or would it be the same price? Yvonne Bales, by email

+ Computer Arts has licensed its content to Arte + You don’t mention which payment plan you y Diseño in the past, but that relationship has now ended. However the publisher, MC Ediciones, has continued to publish the title using its own material. Therefore, your subscription to Arte y Diseño magazine does not entitle you to free access to Computer Arts tutorials. At the moment the free tutorials download offer is only available to subscribers of the UK print version and electronic versions of Computer Arts, but we are looking into the possibility of offering the same deal to subscribers of our international editions.

Commissioned by Kino Design (www.kinodesign.com) Illustrated by Mick Marston (www.mikiluv.com)

THE TRUTH ABOUT DESIGN

MORE SHORTS...

are on, but we can show you how the shipping costs would compare. If you chose to have your copies shipped by air freight, which would get there much earlier, we’d charge $24.50. But shipped by sea, each issue would cost you $19.95. So, 13 issues at $24.50 would work out at $318.50 for the year (approx £132.70), or alternatively 13 issues at $19.95 would cost you $259.35 for the year (approx £108.10). So that’s £10 per issue for air freight and £8.30 for sea. We hope that helps.

IS THAT WAYNE ROONEY? I was delighted to see Wayne Rooney making an appearance in the Sin City feature in Computer Arts 111 (page 35, step 7). It just goes to show that even world-class footballers are into DV effects these days! Robert Sharp, via email

+

It wasn’t Wayne Rooney, sadly, but well spotted Robert! We’re sure he’d love to know how to merge his picture into a Sin City style background. Who wouldn’t?

STITCHER 3.1 I received the Stitcher 3.1 full product free with the August 2004 issue (99) of Computer Arts. I followed all the instructions and installed the program, but when I tried to log-on to the website I got an error message. Is there a problem with the registration process? Dave, DaveLab Motion

+

The covermount offer for Stitcher 3.1 has expired I’m afraid, that issue is a year old now. We get quite a few enquiries regarding full software that has featured on our cover discs in the past. It’s always best to install the software as soon as you buy the magazine as we can only guarantee that the owner of the software will support the registration process and keep the registration site page live for six months after publication. After that, the registration can only be offered at the discretion of the company.

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ONLINE HEAVEN THIS MONTH’S ROUND-UP OF THE GREAT AND GOOD ONLINE SYECA

www.syeca.com Syeca is the home of 26-year-old Ukranian motion graphics artist Sergiy Melmyk, who has worked on numerous animations, identities and graphics for, among others, MTV Russia, Motorola, Gilette, Nescafé, McDonald’s and Nike. NO STRINGS COMIC

www.nostringscomic.com The official website for the imminent comic title No Strings – a cynical take on the story of Pinocchio from comic book artist Tom Blackford. The project also includes a few “special” pages by well-known graffiti artists and the acclaimed animator Oscar Grillo. COMBUSTION

www.combustion.ws Marcelo Petriaggi is a talented sound and graphic designer who resides in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has a hugely varied portfolio and has designed sound effects for Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance site as well as the new Hummer H3 website. LEFTCHANNEL

www.leftchannel.com “No effects are used simply for their own sake,” says Leftchannel, which specialises in creating mad motion graphics. Its impressive portfolio features work ranging from corporate videos for Canon to a music video for leftfield turntablist RJD2. JG4B (JASPER GOODALL 4 BIKINI)

www.jg4b.com What better way to look good by the pool this summer than with these fresh bikini designs from swimwear designer Louise Middleton and Big Active illustrator (and Computer Arts 105 cover artist) Jasper Goodall. Our favourites? The Deep and Purple Haze. DUCTYPE

www.ductype.com If you’re a designer working with web and screen graphics and want to use fonts that look crisp even at small sizes, Ductype has a cool selection of teeny pixelfonts just for you. Expect to pay between 9.95 euros and 29.95 euros for your favourite set.

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Microsoft flexes creative muscle

VECTOR DRAWING The software behemoth is preparing to take on Corel and Adobe with the beta version of Acrylic, its new design and illustration package

Microsoft seems ready to enter the creative graphics software market in earnest after it recently posted a beta version of Acrylic, a new application aimed squarely at professional designers and artists. The package, which is free to download from Microsoft’s website between now and 1 October, combines pixel-based painting with raster and vector graphic editing features and is described by Microsoft as an “innovative illustration, painting and graphics tool that provides exciting creative capabilities for designers working in print, web, video and interactive media.” The new app is an updated version of Expression 3, which Microsoft acquired from Hong Kong-based developer Creature House in 2003. Microsoft itself is currently saying nothing about Acrylic but some in the industry have suggested the beta could be followed by a full release towards the end of the year. This new product, it seems, is acting as a precursor to more Microsoft activity in the graphics space. Alpha tester David Blatner said Acrylic had some useful tools, such as a red-eye brush and a cloning feature, but said it

complemented packages such as Photoshop rather than competed with them. The move, following shortly behind the release of Metro, Microsoft’s attack on the PDF space, is being seen by many as a flexing of the software giant’s muscles leading up to a serious assault on the creative software space. Analysts have long believed that the boom in digital imaging and growing popularity of apps such as Photoshop and Painter would eventually lead Microsoft to take a closer look at the creative market. UK-based analyst Tony Lock from Bloor Research told Computer Arts it would be easy for Microsoft to make the leap into the graphics space given the growth of the market and the company’s financial muscle. Online reviews already present a mixed picture, with Softpedia.com claiming it would take another five or six betas for Acrylic to pose any threat to Photoshop or Painter. A poster on the Acrylic public forum wrote that the application was a “glorified version of Microsoft Paint”. Computer Arts’ own review of the Acrylic beta will appear in issue 113. INFO www.microsoft.com/products/ expression/faq.aspx


NEWS |

Here comes MacIntel CHIPS Apple’s shock switch to Intel chips will have serious repercussions for Mac users Apple’s decision to end its 14-year relationship with IBM and jump ship to the Intel platform has sent shockwaves through the IT world – and at the same time posed some interesting questions for the Mac faithful. Confirming rumours circulating in the run-up to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, company CEO Steve Jobs announced plans to deliver Macs with Intel chips by the end of 2007. “Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far,” said Jobs. “It’s been ten years since our transition to the

PowerPC, and Intel’s technology will help us to create the best personal computers for the next ten years.” While the shocked and disgruntled Mac development community has questioned the usual migration issues, the creative industry could be facing a broader set of problems – namely the curtailment of the Classic mode option on Macs running OS X. The option to run apps written for OS 9 isn’t currently supported by Max OS X for Intel. While this won’t concern most users, design and publishing companies – especially those running older versions of QuarkXPress – will feel the effects. INFO www.apple.com/hotnews

Shark Boy and Lava Girl FILM: CaféFX adds visual flourish to forthcoming Robert Rodriguez film, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl Fresh from work on last month’s Sin City, US special effects house CaféFX has woven its stunning magic through the latest flick from Spy Kids creator Robert Rodriguez – The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, due for UK release this autumn. Telling the tale of a boy whose favourite superhero character comes to life and takes him on a series of epic adventures, Shark Boy is an effects-drenched film with stacks of 3D and some amazing background work. One highlight includes Mt. Neverest – an amusement park on steroids. “Real-world parks have roller coasters

that go 100mph, Mt. Neverest has one that goes 1,000mph, and never stops,” says CaféFX digital effects supervisor Everett Burrell. “We created a coaster that not only goes around, but into the mountain itself, as well as the other rides in the park.” Other locations include a dream graveyard and the enticing Land of Milk and Chocolate. All were created in Digital Fusion, LightWave, XSI and Maya. INFO www.miramax.com, www.CafeFX.com

QUARK SAYS HELLO TO XPRESS 7 AND GOODBYE TO ITS BOSS LAYOUT AND DESIGN More features of upcoming QuarkXPress 7 revealed as company parts ways with CEO Quark has revealed a raft of new features to be included in version 7 of XPress, due out later in the year. According to the company, the app will be easier to use, boast quicker on-screen redraw and show improved text visualisation at low resolutions. Many of these changes show Quark’s commitment to improving what it sees as

the three core problem areas in creative publishing: collaboration, error-free workflow and multi-channel publishing. “Currently only 40 per cent of files are delivered in PDF format, and of those over half require… intervention,” says Jurgen Kurz, Quark’s senior vice president of product development. “This is not ideal and XPress 7 will include a

number of pre-flight and collaboration tools that will help to address this specific problem.” Meanwhile, the unexpected departure of CEO Kamar Aulakh has stunned many. Quark remains tight-lipped about the situation. He will be temporarily replaced by vice president Linda Chase. INFO http://euro.quark.com/en

LETTER FROM…

Germany GLOBAL UPDATE Kai Heuser of Ductype and LOUNGE72 fame reflects on the recent advances in German design Start thinking about German design and names such as Kurt Weidemann, Walter Gropios, Erik Spiekermann and Otl Aicher – or companies such as MetaDesign – will certainly spring to mind. But these names aside, there’s plenty more going on. In May, the first Konformat design conference took place in the unconventional surroundings of the biggest red-light district in the heart of Hamburg. The conference was aimed at young designers looking to take design in new directions, and speakers such as Hort, Viagrafik and Fork Unstable Media showed off their work. All were far away from current conventions and traditions. In the field of education, an interesting trend has emerged. More and more younger lecturers with experimental or highly diverse backgrounds – Tomato Interactive’s Joel Baumann at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and David Lindermann, creative director of Fork Unstable Media at the HFG Offenbach, for example – are gaining higher profiles and becoming broadly more important. In terms of German agencies, well-known names such as Jung van Matt, Scholz & Friends and Saatchi & Saatchi are still in a leading position. But all have come under increasing fire during the last few years from smaller, innovative design agencies and bureaus such as WM Team (Hannover), Fork Unstable Media (Berlin, Hamburg) or Clan3 (Kassel) – all of which have won quite a few big accounts thanks to their new ways in design and improved customer relations. INFO To find out more about Kai’s work, visit his website at www.lounge72.com.

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| NEWS

SOFTWARE

Cut it out

WEB DESIGN

EXHIBITION Public art up for grabs – just keep your eyes peeled if you’re in London this month

Cutting-edge templates Xara has released a fourth template pack for its Webstyle 4 web graphics software package. The template-driven program is designed to keep users at the cutting edge of website design with the introduction of new templates that reflect constantly changing trends. The pack contains five new web-page design sets, each with up to eight different layouts. It’s available now for $19.95. www.xara.com TYPE

Fontasy types Digital typography group Fontlab has released Sigmaker 2 – an updated version of its tool for placing signatures into fonts, which now runs on Mac OS X. The new program enables you to quickly add your signature to a TrueType font in a number of easy steps. The software is available now for around £15. www.fontlab.com WEB

Summer breeze Macromedia has just released a licensed version of BreezeT 5, its high-impact online conferencing and collaborative web communications solution. This complements the hosted solution, launched on 2 May, and is aimed at large corporations, enabling them to install a complete web communications solution behind their firewalls. www.macromedia.com 3D

Easy 3D models UK-based developer 3Dsom has updated its product for producing simple 3D models from photographs. 3Dsom Pro features surface generation tools, shrink-wrapping and automatic text map creation. Available soon for a price yet to be announced. www.3dsom.com WEB

Cutting corners Media Lab has released WellRounded 1.0, a Dreamweaver extension that enables you to add rounded corner rectangles to your HTML documents without leaving Dreamweaver. The app also creates HTML and CSS that fits nicely into the Dreamweaver layout view and works in all popular browsers. Yours for $39. www.medialab.com

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Computer Arts readers hitting the streets of London this month could be lucky enough to walk away with one of 500 pieces of graphic design-focused public art, 50 of which will be signed by design legend Peter Saville. The artwork, which will be displayed at locations across London between 21 July and 1 August, has been designed by Saville himself and a host of hotly tipped newcomers such as Neville Brody protégé Ben Reece, photographer Annie Collinge and graffiti artist Danny Sangra. The exhibition sponsor – Sony PSP – says it’s urging the public to “pick up the designs and take them home”. Saville’s own contribution is a silhouette of a 6ft high electric guitar. “The guitar is the defining icon of electric pop culture,” he says. “It has a magical form that alters your sense of reality. I wanted to design a supersized cut out for custom colouring and anarchic pantomime – I wanted to inspire people to feel like a child feeling grown-up.”

Adobe Live EVENT Creative Suite 2 takes centre-stage at Adobe training and demonstration show Giving users a chance to get to grips with the recently launched Creative Suite 2, Adobe Live 2005 saw users and industry employees from around the UK head to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, for two days of training, seminars and showcases. Alongside partner exhibits from the likes of HP, Epson and Esko Graphics, Adobe sought to underline its recent “create once, publish anywhere” mantra and to show off the major new features in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and GoLive. Speaking to Computer Arts at the show, Adobe’s senior vice president of digital imaging and digital video business Bryan Lamkin said the initial reaction among the company’s user-base had been “extremely positive” and that the expectation was for many users to upgrade to new versions. However, Lamkin remained tightlipped about the current status of the Macromedia acquisition and refused to be drawn on details of future releases. INFO www.adobe.co.uk

INFO www.savilleassociates.com

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Creative winners and losers, plus how not to get ahead in the design industry…

› GOOD MONTH

fi BAD MONTH

‹ AND FINALLY

From last month’s assault on Adobe’s PDF technology through Metro to the re-invigoration of its Expression product via the newly posted beta of Acrylic – the Seattle software monster looks set to get stuck into the creative software space over the coming months. Good for Microsoft – after all, its deep pockets and tight grip on the popular imagination usually mean it can march into any market that takes its fancy – but what about everyone else? INFO www.microsoft.com/ products/expression/faq.aspx

One of the UK’s largest distributors of Epson compatible printer cartridges has stopped importing and supplying cartridges, having settled out of court with the global printer manufacturer over a number of patent infringement issues. As a result, Environmental Business Products had to pick up Epson’s court costs and make a “substantial payment” in damages. It looks like we’ll have to buy our ink refills from a recognised supplier in future then. INFO www.epson.com

Presumably fed up with current fees for freelance graphic design jobs, Manchester-based Anatasios Arnaouti – a “skilled graphic designer” according to newspaper reports – put his talents to work scanning £10 and £20 notes into a computer to perfect watermarking techniques for a £10m counterfeiting operation. For his efforts – the notes were some of the best Manchester police had ever seen – Arnaouti got eight years. INFO http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/ hi/england/manchester/ 4087404.stm

Microsoft hurls itself into creative space with gusto

Environmental Business Products has knuckles wrapped by Epson

Use your graphic design skills to make some real money


NEWS |

HARDWARE

Game for a laugh

PERIPHERALS

Wonder mouse

COMPETITION Channel 4 wants your Flash games Got a Flash game that you’re ready to unleash on the world? Now could be a good time to make the step forward as the design teams over at Channel 4 launch their Games Guru competition. Designed to attract entries from amateur games developers, the Games Guru competition is offering a top prize of a PC worth £1,000 and will give budding games designers the chance to have work hosted on the Channel 4 website for the next six months. Catherine Jackson, site editor at channel4.com/games, said: “The games site provides endless entertainment for our users, with hundreds of fun and quirky games in the

chart. We commission games from established agencies and want to showcase talent from new sources, too. “Developing a game is not something you can do in an afternoon. Given that these games will most likely be written in people’s spare time or by students, we’re not expecting advanced graphics or complex storylines. What we’re looking for is evidence of the writer’s creativity and originality of concept.” Games must be less than 250kb in size and must be written in Flash, Director, Shockwave or Java applets. The winner will be announced in November. INFO www.channel4.com/gameguru

Logitech has developed a wireless mouse that promises to run for a whole year with power from a single charge. The Logitech V2000 Cordless Notebook Mouse features a battery light indicator and a mini USB wireless receiver. Available now for £24.99.

www.logitech.co.uk CAMERAS

Smart photography HP has upped its presence in the low-end digital camera market by launching the Photosmart R817 (£299) and R818 (£399). Both have a Pentax 5x optical lens, 5.1 megapixel resolution, a 5.1cm screen and come with docking stations.

www.hp.co.uk

INTO THE MAELSTROM

KEYBOARDS

WEB DESIGN Macromedia moves on Flash with new player and unified platform Macromedia is looking to develop its all-conquering Flash technology by launching a multifunction Flash platform that will offer developers content creation tools and allow for easy publishing of content on mobile devices. At the same time, the company has unveiled its next-generation Flash Player, codenamed Maelstrom, which is due out later this summer. The Flash Platform is a collection of Macromedia apps, many of them previously available, but brought together here for the first time. It contains the Flash Player, Flex, Flash MX 2004 (for

Amazing gadgetry

content creation), the Flash Communication Server (for two-way audio and video streaming), and FlashCast and Flash Lite for mobile content creation. “Flash has grown up into today’s Flash Platform, delivering a next-generation experience to customers who develop interactive content, applications and communications for use across multiple browsers, operating systems and devices,” said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect at Macromedia. INFO www.macromedia.com/platform

I.Tech Dynamic’s latest amazing gizmo works by projecting an infrared laser image of a full sized QWERTY keyboard onto any surface and recognises keystrokes using optical recognition technology. Designed to work with PDAs and mobile phones, this is sure to impress people on the train. Quite pricey at £245, but really has the wow factor.

www.virtual-laser-keyboard.com HD CAMCORDERS

Quality images

GLOBAL EVENTS Our round-up of design events across the world EUROPEAN DESIGN SHOW Design Museum, London, UK Until 4 September From fashion to furniture – and all points in-between – the Design Museum’s biennial survey of the most exciting and cutting-edge innovations in design is always a winner. www.designmuseum.org RUSHES SOHO SHORTS FESTIVAL London, UK 30 July-5 Aug Eighth annual outing for the ever-popular short film festival that bills itself as the cool and relaxed event where the work of established filmmakers and newcomers is judged on a level platform. Free daily screenings and star-studded seminars have been promised. www.sohoshorts.com

OPTRONICA FESTIVAL London, UK 20-24 July A new five-day event focusing on the convergence of the visual arts and music – a hybrid of film festival and music festival, featuring live audio-visual performances, cinema screenings and talks. The event will be organised by Addictive TV and Cinefeel in collaboration with the National Film Theatre. www.optronica.org AIGA DESIGN CONFERENCE Boston, USA 15-18 September The biennial AIGA Design Conference is the largest design conference in the world, bringing together around 2,500 designers from all disciplines of design. www.designconference.aiga.org

SIGGRAPH Los Angeles, USA 31 July-4 August The big daddy of animation and 3D exhibitions features a packed five days of exciting training, discussions, showcases, competitions, parties and even a keynote speech by George Lucas. www.siggraph.org/s2005

Sony has released two new HD camcorders in a bid to woo new users to high-definition imaging: the HVR-A1E and the HDR-HC1E. The former is the more professional of the two, offering the same quality as the older HDV-1080i but in a smaller package. The A1E will be available during the summer, with the HC1E following in the autumn. Prices have yet to be confirmed.

www.sony-europe.com NOTEBOOKS

Power and speed on the go Assembler Rockdirect has released a new notebook aimed at designers needing processing power and speed with the Xtreme 64 – a machine the company says is the first to offer AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor and ATI’s Mobility Radeon X800 XT graphics chips. Available now from £1,526.

www.rockdirect.co.uk

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| NEWS

OPINION

Musical revolution Print has lost its power, says Jon Wozencroft. But what has stolen its crown? Music, it seems, is having a negative effect on design Ten years ago the nation’s computers were full to bursting with new and exciting typefaces, in complete contrast to an earlier period where you would have been fortunate to gain access to just one. To have a typewriter was once a luxury few could afford, and the world of typesetting was as distant an option as a weekend in Prague. These days, people discuss the ins and outs of the Microsoft operating system and the Comic Sans font but rarely speak about how our perception of the words has been modified. Sadly, the power of print is not what it used to be, and we tend to blame journalists for that. But what about design? The design world isn’t all that bothered about new typefaces nowadays, although they still keep coming. The new trend is to collect mp3 files. In today’s computer matrix it is music that is getting a hammering. This damage was done a long time ago – when, within a short period in the mid-eighties, the ground-breaking CD format was introduced. The independent distribution network selfcombusted, and corporate sponsorship took over. And now even mobile phones are sold alongside music downloads. Thank God our hard disks can take it. Summoning-up typefaces, JPEGs, music and movies on DVD is an extremely slow 22

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August 2005

and frustrating process. The noise a DVD player makes when it is loading is a louder and more definite scream than the fax machine made when it first arrived on our

“The personal computer was an opportunity to take a progressive turn, and it never happened” desks. And just think, the Apollo 11 spacecraft only required an on-board computer with 36k of memory. Are we moving backwards instead of forwards? Use hearing protection Just ten years ago it was possible to look at all the qualities and dilemmas of the design world – its vital connection to advertising, print production and commercial art – and see clearly how it pivoted between progressive action (the art and craft of the medium) and short-term gain (advertising and corporate patronage). The fact that the personal computer impacted first on graphic designers throws this into deep relief, because here was a major opportunity to take a progressive turn, and it never happened.

Software, desktops and manuals all fall back on graphic design for their common language, almost always with lamentable results. Graphic design interfacing with music is not a good idea either. The triumph of the iPod has been to upgrade graphic design minimalism, but it is matched with the worst effects of the digital upon music – compression codes, endless versions of the same tune and piss-poor headphone quality. “Use Hearing Protection”, an early Peter Saville poster for Factory recommended. This ain’t the half of it. So where is the way forward in all this? These extreme conditions and an obvious overload should be a catalyst for refusal and regeneration. Stop to imagine the possibilities, a world at once conscious of what it is hearing – rejecting the “deaf, dumb and blind kid” direction. Stand around a Tube exit for any length of time and you will observe a number of passengers streaming out, giving the outside world a miss in favour of wearing headphones and fingering mobile phones with nervous hands. It is all there, somewhere, on CCTV, an excellent endpoint to the first Lumière film in 1896 where the train arrives at the station, and the public are astonished. This time everyone is leaving the station, and they seem oblivious to what is going on around them.

FORUMS Has print lost its power, or can it make a come back? Tell us on our forum at http://forum. computerarts.co.uk.

Jon Wozencroft is editor of Touch (music publishers) and FUSE magazine. He also teaches in the Dept. of Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Visit www.touchmusic.org.uk.


ILLUSTRATION: twelve:ten

| NEWS ANALYSIS

IN DEPTH

Britannia rules the waves After cleaning up at the recent D&AD Awards, it looks like UK-based companies in the global design industry are once again taking centre stage. But how long can this last? WORDS BY DOM HALL Although members of the design, creative and advertising industries aren’t exactly hard done by when it comes to awards ceremonies, the D&AD bash and coveted award ceremony in London is widely thought of as the top ticket of the year . The D&AD (Design and Art Direction) organisation – an educational charity established in 1962 to work on behalf of the international design and advertising communities – splits its annual awards up into two main categories: Gold and Silver. While Silver Awards are given out to a fair number of entrants, the Gold Awards are reserved only for work that, according to the organisation, “breaks the mould or sets a new standard of creative excellence”. So when this year three of the four top awards were scooped by UK talent – two by advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy and one by Channel 4’s 4creative group – beating off entries from across the globe, the UK’s current top spot in the global arena seemed to be set in stone. 24

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August 2005

But that hasn’t always been the case. While the UK advertising industry, led by the likes of Saatchi and Saatchi, enjoyed a golden age during the money-driven, consumer frenzy of the eighties, the recession of the early nineties saw many large global accounts fall into the laps of US-based agencies and creative teams. The UK licked its wounds and waited for the tide of favour and the economy to turn. A UK design renaissance Over the past few years, though, the British creative industry has seen something of a renaissance – after the winnowing effect of the dot.com crash, a number of cutting-edge creative talents have been busy living and working in, or flocking to, the UK. Steve Davis, chief executive of the UKbased trade body the Advertising Producers Association, says that there’s a real buzz about the UK right now. “At the moment there’s nowhere better to work in the creative industry than in the UK. If you’re

FORUMS Visit http://forum. computerarts.co.uk to share your views on this topic and more with other CA readers.

a top creative person and want to establish yourself in the industry, the best place to do it is here,” he says. Davis adds that there’s been a shift in recent years towards using UK creative companies in areas previously the domain of deeper-pocketed US players. “If you look at something like films, a lot of the special effects for big Hollywood releases are being completed in London – the UK has a lot of cutting-edge creative talent,” he says. At the UK Design Council, director of design and innovation Richard Eisermann believes the UK is currently riding high because of cross-fertilisation between design mediums and sectors. “There are people crossing over from advertising to product design, from interactive media to gaming... The UK and London has an openness to other cultures, which is making it a creative hub and pushing things forward,” he says. In terms of competition with other countries, Eisermann believes the US comes


NEWS ANALYSIS |

Maxine Horn, chief executive of trade body the British Design Initiative, says the UK’s leading position on the international stage has, ironically, had a negative economic impact. “This has generally sent fees down because British design is so popular. A price war has started as demand for our services has risen,” she says.

hub is tricky, but many think it could be the growing economic power, influence and unique culture of China that produces the next generation of cutting-edge design. The Design Council’s Eisermann believes China will indeed become more significant in global design, but it will take a long time to surpass the UK’s position. For Maxine Horn, China, with its massive economic growth and booming consumer spending will provide both an opportunity and a threat. “In areas such as product design, China is really excelling,” she says, “but, at the same time, the fact that it’s doing well in this area is taking business away from other people. On the positive side, there’s a lot of business design coming to the UK from China.” Eisermann believes that there’s an element of the “planets aligning” over the UK at the moment, and while design companies working here should exploit the situation for all its worth, it’s also clear that design is very much a trend-driven business. Ideas, techniques and skills can fall from favour as easily as they arise. While the UK is enjoying its time in the spotlight, many eyes are already looking to the East.

Changing times While the UK is currently basking in its own glory, many believe it’s important not to become complacent as the balance of power could easily shift. Predicting the next creative

INFO www.britishdesign.co.uk www.a-p-a.net www.designcouncil.org.uk www.dandad.org

nearest to the UK at present, but suggests that America has a “general feeling of inferiority” about its position in comparison with the European design industry. “There’s an understanding and respect for European and UK design – for example, for someone like [Apple product design guru] Jonathan Ive. But where the US still leads the UK is in a better understanding of how good design can improve your business. In the UK, that’s still a hard sell,” he says.

“The UK has an openness to other cultures, which is making it a creative hub and pushing things forward”

VOX POP IS THE UK REALLY RUNNING THINGS IN GLOBAL DESIGN? • “The UK is one of the best creative places because there is a fusion of different cultures and a productive ground for new projects and ideas. Many of the best creative agencies come from the UK because there is a great expression of quality engagement and an open-minded attitude.” Mauro Gatti, Brainbox, Italy • “The UK has always strived to be the “best” at most creative things but each country has its own taste and traditional style. What is Brit cool may be perceived differently abroad. When I view my home country from here in Japan I am proud of the endeavour shown in the creative arts, but also aware of he never-ending, competitive nature of the fashion trail.” Simon Oxley, Idokungfoo, Japan • “D&AD is located in London. I guess there are more entries from Britain than from abroad, so maybe that’s why the Brits won so many awards...” Der_Kaiser, Holland (Posted on the Computer Arts Forum)

August 2005

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| NEWS

DESIGNER TALK – KARBORN

John Leigh John Leigh won a prestigious place at the Vancouver Film School, courtesy of Computer Arts, last summer when he was just 19. We talk to the VFS alumnus about his recently completed piece for Nike’s digital art site, Nikelab.com Computer Arts: How did you get to work on the Nikelab project? John Leigh: I was working at home late when I received an email from [marketing agency] RG/A, who produce the Nikelab projects. They asked me if I’d like to work with them on a project for the new site. My work for that project fell into two areas really: writing documents describing and directing how the environment should feel, work and function, then creating and collecting bits of the art and illustrations that would go towards the final output. I artdirected the project and developed ideas. CA: How would you describe your style? JL: My style is very organic, changing with

JL: It was a mixed experience – great in many ways and strangling in others. I missed the UK a lot; the music and the art from here are close to my heart. But it certainly changed me, and for the better. It’s an intense and challenging course, and, although I didn’t finish it, I certainly won’t forget any of it.

MAIN IMAGES: Leigh collaborated on the Nikelab project with marketing agency RG/A, Karen Ingram, Kevin Hulsey and Meikyo-Shisui.

CA: Your Loretta Lynn e-card was done in just 24 hours. Have you got any advice for people working under pressure? JL: I don’t like working under pressure. It makes you narrow-minded and close down any thoughts about taking things in new directions. The e-card was murder; I was exhausted by the end of it. It was a horrible

“Try not to get into a situation where you have a tight deadline. If you do, be calm and work through it. Getting all hyped up won’t help” the weather, mood, times and even fashions. I like to sample and mix a lot of what I see around me, like a visual DJ. I’m interested in street art and the urban UK cultures that are growing and changing all the time. CA: How was your experience at the Vancouver Film School? 26

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feeling, wanting to go to bed because I’d been awake for so long. Try not to get into a situation where you have a madly tight deadline. But if you do, then be calm, eat properly, drink properly, chill, listen to some music and work through it. Getting all hyped up won’t help, especially if you want to work with other people.

ABOVE: Leigh’s Loretta Lynn e-card – produced in just 24 hours – and Elektric Flower, created at a massive A0 size.

CA: Tell us about your HillsCreativeArt commission, Elektric Flower. JL: I don’t want to tell you everything about that, but I’ll give you a good hint. I used paper, spray-paint, gold-leaf, a scanner, Illustrator, Photoshop and an idea. The original piece is massive. I made it to be printed on artist canvas at A0 (841x 1,189mm) and it reached the peak of the Photoshop 2GB file limit! Hopefully, it’ll be up in the gallery in Singapore at the end of this month. Check my website for details. CA: What else are you working on? JL: I’ve a project coming up later this year with DJ/producer Amon Tobin. It involves working on a number of visual interpretations of his music for use in the press. I’ve a lot coming together in my mind for it. I’m also working on my interactive exhibition concept. That should be out in the next few months. I’d like to get back into my VJing and making projects with some of my friends who are developing as musicians and artists in their own right. Some ideas are being thrown around for a VJ/DJ mix DVD, which would be pretty unusual. I’m also exploring ideas for a series of big prints that will be sold from my website to decorate walls, bedrooms, streets and floors. INFO To find out about Karborn, and to view more of John Leigh’s work, visit www.karborn.com.


| BEHIND THE SCENES

BEHIND THE SCENES AT...

The Aero “bubble girl” campaign The “aery” qualities of Nestlé’s popular confection provided the inspiration for this huge and highly successful cross-media campaign. Here’s how creatives from both sides of the Atlantic rose to the challenge WORDS BY JOE RUSS

ÓDETAILS: PROJECT: Aero “bubble girl” CLIENT: Nestlé AGENCY: Lowe London URLS: www.nestle.co.uk, www.psyop. tv and www.advocate-art.com DESIGNER/STUDIO: Sean Rodwell (print), PSYOP (TV) PLATFORM: TV, six and 48-sheet billboard posters SOFTWARE USED: Photoshop (print), Softimage XSI, flame and After Effects (TV)

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As far as chocolate goes, Nestlé’s Aero (formerly owned by Rowntree) is something of a perennial favourite. Introduced way back in 1935, it benefited from a unique manufacturing process that trapped air bubbles inside the chocolate to give it an exciting new kind of texture. When launched, the “new chocolate” was originally going to be called “Airways”, as much to reflect the period’s vogue for jet travel as the innovative manufacturing process, and proved a big success. 70 years on, Aero is enjoying a different branding strategy, one that’s more contemporary and sexy but still reflects the brand’s main selling point: the bubbles in the chocolate. For its most recent campaign, Nestlé hired ad agency Lowe London, who came up with a simple script based on the visual hook of a girl’s face

The new ads, targeted at young women, aim “to remind consumers how it feels when the bubbles melt,” says Heleana Greeves, the press and PR officer for Nestlé UK Ltd.

created from bubbles. This would form the basis for both a print and TV campaign, the concept being to “convey the girl’s sensual chocolate eating experience through bubbles that would form her features.” For the TV ad, Lowe London invited NYbased PSYOP, responsible for many CocaCola, Honda and Nike adverts, to pitch in. Competing against a rival agency, PSYOP was asked to produce storyboards and a motion test to show its interpretation of the script. Justin Booth Clibborn, exec producer at PSYOP, described it as “a full-on pitch”. Having convinced the ad agency it was right for the job, PSYOP set about


BEHIND THE SCENES |

flfl In the TV advert, the girl’s face is gradually revealed in the bubbles, nearly all of which were hand-animated by PSYOP.

previsualising the scene in 3D, modelling the girl’s head so that the bubbles were able to track and conform to her features. The girl was then shot on HD and selected movements edited together. Designers then positioned the 3D model of the girl’s head to track that of the actress, finally animating 3D bubbles over the scene. BUBBLE-ICIOUS! The real challenge was in the subtle revealing of the girl’s face, which had to strike a balance between the abstract bubbles and the original live-action footage. To get the right look, PSYOP generated less prominent bubbles as particles, but most had to be animated individually by hand and art directed in discrete sections. The process was long and arduous. “We couldn’t see the shots as a whole until everything was rendered and composited and then we had to go back and finesse,” says Justin Booth Clibborn. “Some features were revealed too much and others too little. It was like trying to paint with very restrictive blinkers.” Meanwhile, in London, art buyers Tom Hudson and Lee Goulding at Lowe asked Sean Rodwell of Advocate-art to create the print aspect of the campaign, which would be based on the TV ad. Sean was selected on the strength of his portfolio. “The styling for the campaign was already in place when I was approached,” says Rodwell. “It’s a style I’ve been working on and adapting over a number of years – the marriage between the bubbly illustration style and the client’s needs were perfect.” Once the costings and schedules were in place, Rodwell began to work on the first bubble illustration for use on in-store advertising. He then moved on to the “above the line” imagery for billboards (advertisers refer to mass advertising through media as “above the line”, while direct sales promotions are “below the line”). Luke Wilson, Rodwell’s agent at Advocate-art, describes how the campaign worked. “The key to the continuity is the use of the bubbles,” says Wilson. “Although the

fl· Sean Rodwell’s design for the six and 48-sheet billboard posters complement PSYOP’s work on the TV advert.

print and the TV work were done either side of the Atlantic, there’s no mistaking the flow through TV to print.” INFO For more information on artist Sean Rodwell, visit www.advocate-artcom. To see more of PSYOP’s work, check out its official website at www.psyop.tv.

‡ Sean Rodwell’s earlier work reveals the bubbly style that secured him the pitch for the Aero print campaign. August 2005

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| FONT SHOWCASE

FONT DESIGNER NAME: MATTHEW DESMON LOCATION: MINNEAPOLIS, USA CONTACT: INFO@YOUWORKFORTHEM.COM

THE STORY BEHIND BRAUHAUS Designed by Matthew Desmon, Brauhaus is inspired by an assortment of Textura Blackletter designs and breaks the standard Blackletter mould that older designs are notorious for. Unusually, the uppercase characters are legible when used together and the font’s angles are set at a perfect 45 degrees – many Blackletters are not. The resulting typeface is not only unusual and interesting, but usable too. Setting type with this face is as fun as it is beautiful and could give your work a sense of authority that demands attention. Brauhaus is available as a three-style family – Regular, Bold and Alternate – and can be downloaded via the youworkforthem.com website in either PostScript or TrueType format. PRICE: $79 URL: www.youworkforthem.com

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| FEATURE

Illustration by Johnny Cheuk

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START YOUR OWN STUDIO So you’ve got the artistic talent, but have you got what it takes to successfully start your own design studio? Mark Ramshaw takes a closer look at the pitfalls involved in turning your dreams into reality From graduates preparing for life in the world of the wage to up-and-coming professionals who feel restricted or unappreciated, almost every artist dreams of running their own studio. Little wonder. The idea of maintaining creative control and reaping all the benefits of a studio’s success is enormously compelling. And for the elite few who really make it in the world of design, fame and small fortunes are there for the taking. But what does it take to turn that dream into reality, to start up and run a profitable design business? The most obvious requirement is talent. But turning art into money requires more than artistic ability, not least ambition and drive. Business expertise, or at least a willingness and ability to learn, is also a must. And an awareness of the pros, cons and risks associated with running a design studio

“Starting up any business will require funding – even a oneman operation has overheads” not only minimizes start-up disasters, but also increases your chance of long-term success. Starting up any business will require funding to some degree. Even a humble one-man operation has overheads. Some designers are able to invest their own money – in fact, all of the studios profiled here were founded without the aid of a loan. Hillman Curtis, principal and chief creative officer of New York-based hillmancurtis, inc, relied on stock options from his previous employer, Macromedia: “It wasn’t very much and so I quickly blew through it,” he says. “My wife and I then simply had to live cheap for a few months, until I started making a profit.” But many designers have no choice but to rely on borrowed cash. There are several ways to obtain funding (see Getting Started, p34), but most involve an element

PROFILE 1: RESEARCH STUDIOS HISTORY: “Neville Brody, together with business partner Fwa Richards, opened the very first Research Studios in London during 1994,” says senior designer Jeff Knowles. “Since then studios have opened in both Paris and Berlin. The name was originally going to be Research and Development, but was shortened to Research Studios. At one point, Neville operated as a freelancer with assistants under the name Neville Brody Studio, but ironically the success of two books and an exhibition at the V&A made it difficult to get new work. The change was also to avoid clients coming in and asking for an off-theshelf Brody design, and to even out the hierarchy within the studio. We originally had 15 designers, but at the moment there are eight of us, plus seven in Paris and two in Berlin.” FIRST PROJECT: “This was for the Hamburg Schauspielhaus, one of Germany’s largest theatre and opera houses. Developed in close collaboration with the theatre, the design fixed on the concept of the point where chaos finally becomes structure. This was exemplified by the dislocated and disjointed use of OCR, the typeface normally used for the digital transfer of information. Pictograms were extensively used for their theatrical connotations, to achieve a sense of visual mime.” LAST PROJECT: “We’ve worked with the Royal Court Theatre for the past year, producing seasonal programmes and all related materials. The core direction of each issue is to create a

ABOVE: The need to attract more clients prompted designer Neville Brody to rename his famous design firm Research Studios. LEFT: Research Studios’ first major commission was for the Hamburg Schauspielhaus, a large theatre and opera house. The team was asked to fashion programmes that captured its spirit, with its rich theatrical and operatic history.

strong, bold, visual feast. Heavy type is displayed in a bold, confident composition, working with rich, high-contrast imagery to create the desired impact. We create ideas for images to suit each play, rather than working with supplied imagery.” URL: www.researchstudios.com

August July 2005

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| FEATURE

GETTING STARTED

PROFILE 2: HILLMANCURTIS, INC

ESSENTIAL FUNDING IDEAS HISTORY: “I started the company shortly after moving to New York City,” recalls Hillman Curtis. “I was still art director at Macromedia in San Francisco at the time, and continued working for them for another six months long distance. But it clearly wasn’t working, so I gathered my courage, quit and started up hillmancurtis, inc. I spent the first four or five months making very little money, but pouring myself into every little job I got. Back then, I was designing mainly small Flash ads, which led to bigger campaigns, and after eight months of hard work I had my first employee. I now usually have between two and seven.”

For many designers, a loan is the only way of funding the start-up phase. Around 70 per cent of new businesses obtain the money from a high-street bank, but not all are technology-aware, so it pays to talk to several. You’ll need to show costings and profit forecasts, as well as provide security. This may mean putting your house up as collateral.

BANK LOAN GUARANTEE FIRST PROJECT: “I can’t quite remember… I think it was designing ads for Intel, to be played in an online radio called SonicNet. They were 200 pixel square ads. I still like them as they are very basic and minimal – they had to work on a 28.8 modem connection.”

Some banks support the Small Firms Loans Guarantee from the Government’s Small Business Service. This can guarantee 75 per cent of a loan for businesses with a “stable” business model. Loans of between £5,000 and £100,000 are available.

LAST PROJECT: “My most recent job was redesigning Yahoo.com. We relocated to San Francisco and worked with their team for three months, redesigning the home page. It looks similar to the old version, which was exactly the point and the biggest challenge. In fact, the information on the page is very different and the clutter is almost cut in half. It was an amazing experience.”

OUTSIDE INVESTMENT Alternatively, you could try getting venture capitalists to invest in your business (although they only tend to be interested in big returns, running into the millions). For a more modest investment, try the National Business Angels Network or Innovation centres.

GRANTS Company founders under the age of 30 may be eligible for money and extra support from both The Prince’s Trust and Shell’s LiveWIRE project. NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology And The Arts) makes use of lottery money for similar purposes, while the DTI’s Phoenix Fund will help businesses set up in deprived areas.

ABOVE: Hillman Curtis spent his first five months making little money while he built up his client base.

of risk. It’s sensible to keep initial costs at a minimum by building your design studio in a gradual, cautious manner. It may even be best to seek work as a freelancer first. “It’s better to build up a supply of clients and then, when you feel you have enough, including a few longer term ones, think about starting a studio,” says Jeff Knowles, senior designer at Research Studios. And that’s when business management becomes an issue: “You need to consider office location, space, health and safety, insurance, and employing people – including how they’ll get to the studio and whether they’ll want to work there,” says Dan Moore, a founding partner at Studio Output. Hired help The need to bring others into the equation causes the most headaches

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URL: www.hillmancurtis.com

for many new business owners. Even for a thriving studio, it can be difficult to judge whether to take on extra employees, how to balance the books with extra staff, and how to deal with

whether it’s to handle tasks they don’t have the skills or time to deal with, or to increase the amount of work that can be taken on to boost the company turnover. You may have all artistic

“It’s better to build up a supply of clients [freelance] and then, when you feel you have enough, think about starting a studio” the complications the hierarchy and reliance on other creatives can cause. “I’m very controlling, so I have a hard time growing my company,” Curtis admits. “It’s a blessing and a curse, because I’ll never build a giant company or make a giant sum of money, but I will remain involved in the hands-on design and creative.” It’s rare to find a designer who doesn’t require an extra pair of hands,

bases covered, but there’s also the business side of things to consider. “If I was to start again, I’d bring a business person on board from the start,” says Florian Schmitt, cofounder of Hi-ReS! “You need to get paid and paid well if you are good, but creatives are usually the worst people to negotiate financial matters.” One option is to enter into a partnership. Shared ownership


FEATURE |

PROFILE 3: MUTADO LEFT: Mutado’s directors Mauro Gatti (left) and Lorenzo Manfredi regularly use freelancers to help them realise their projects.

ABOVE: “Word of mouth from satisfied clients is the best and cheapest way to get new clients,” says Mauro Gatti, creative director at Mutado. “Most of our work is done for the web, so there’s no better form of promotion than to send clients to our recent projects. In a few months we also intend to advertise using business cards, cool print presentations, stickers and gadgets.”

ABOVE: This still from a documentary about designer Milton Glaser, was created by Hillman Curtis for the Adobe Designer Series: “Every year it’s a challenge to make a reasonable profit,” says Curtis. “In the beginning, I never had a fancy office, but I always had good gear.”

necessitates some loss of control, increases studio running costs, and can pave the way for power struggles, but it does mean the risks are shared. “Setting up as a team helped us,” says Moore. “We were able to spread the load and each concentrate on what we were good at – and split the less popular responsibilities.” Alternatively, you could rely on freelancers. This is a more costeffective solution, not least because there are no salaries, holiday entitlements or even maternity leave worries to deal with. But always remember that the buck stops with the studio if the freelancer

FIRST PROJECT: “This was a website made for the launch of a new Aquafresh product. It had to explain in detail all the new features of the product and present it in an interesting way – using a funny Flash-based monthly “sitcom” about two people: Bianca and Candido. The site was made with the aid of Delicatessen Studio.”

HISTORY: “Mutado was founded last year with Lorenzo Manfredi as technology director and myself as creative director,” says Mauro Gatti. “We have worked together as freelancers for six years now, but grew bored and so decided to start our own business. The idea was simple: to keep the investment down, so that we’d be free to work on the projects we liked. The name Mutado is a mixture of Latin and Spanish and means Mutation – exactly the process that we had in mind for our new adventure. We usually make the brief and work on the creative and technology start-up, then we have a big list of web, motion and print freelancers that can fit into each project.”

LAST PROJECT: “Gioco del Lotto – I Lottambuli was made for the Italian Lotto company. In one area, visitors can play a different game every month and earn virtual money, which they bet to win real prizes. The second section is a trading card area, where players try to complete an album of cards to win. It’s one of the biggest projects we’ve done, and it offers a really good mix of design, technology and fun.” URL: www.mutado.com

PROFILE 4: HI-RES! LEFT: “We have a hard time defining its age,” say Florian Schmitt and Alexandra Jugovic, founders of design studio Hi-ReS!

FIRST PROJECT: “The Requiem for a Dream site for the film by Darren Aronofsky. It was a milestone for us. It helped to define what we wanted to do, how we wanted to treat the medium – and defined what Hi-ReS! should be about.”

HISTORY: “Hi-ReS! was born when Alexandra Jugovic, my partner, and I moved to London from Germany, initially to work as filmmakers, artists and musicians,” says Florian Schmitt. “We discovered Flash, which allowed us to combine all of the things we were doing in one medium. We never really wanted to have a company. It just sort of grew once we started doing commercial work.”

LATEST PROJECT: “A site for the premium vodka Grey Goose, using photography by Miles Aldridge. It’s high class when compared to the gritty aesthetic of Requiem. But there are similarities between the projects, most of all in the way they reflect our desire for a narrative quality.” URL: www.hi-res.net

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| FEATURE

ESSENTIAL LINKS

PROFILE 5: STUDIO OUTPUT

ADVICE • Useful advice for start-ups www.bizhelp24.com/business_start_ up/business_start_up_portal.htm • The Department of Trade And Industry homepage www.dti.gov.uk • Excellent guide to starting up and running your own business www.startups.co.uk • Federation of Small Businesses homepage www.fsb.org.uk

LEFT: Dan Moore, Ian Hambleton and Rob Coke, the boys behind Studio Output, recently set up new offices in London.

about a dozen clients, and there are now eight of us. Funding came from investment from each partner plus a bank loan, which was repaid within six months.” FIRST PROJECT: “The first project was sale publicity for an upmarket women’s clothes boutique called Milli. It consisted of stripped back graphical elements that took their look from architectural features within the shop itself, an old bank building.”

GRANTS • The Prince’s Trust www.princes-trust.org.uk • Shell LiveWIRE www.shell-livewire.org • NESTA homepage www.nesta.org.uk/index.html

BUSINESS LOANS & FUNDING • Small Business Service www.sbs.gov.uk • National Business Angels Network homepage www.nationalbusangels.co.uk • British Venture Capital Association www.bvca.co.uk

ACCOUNTANTS AND TAX SPECIALISTS • Institute of Chartered Accountants www.icaew.co.uk • Accountancy and tax help for small businesses www.taxassistforsmallbusiness.co.uk • Advice and tax help for those in need www.taxaid.org.uk

MARKETING AND STATIONERY • Marketing advice from the Government’s Business Link www.businesslink.gov.uk • Stationery and printing services www.vistapapers.co.uk www.vistaprint.co.uk

HISTORY: “We set up as a partnership in August 2002,” says Studio Output co-founder Dan Moore. “Rob Coke and I worked at another Nottingham agency and Ian Hambleton was a client working in event management. The three of us felt setting up and going it alone was a natural progression. Ian had a strong background in organisation and management and he did pretty much all the non-design work for the first year. We started out as a trio, working with

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URL: www.studio-output.com

RIGHT: A typical screenshot from Gluebalize Magazine, an online project created for the Biennale of Venice two years ago by Mauro Gatti. Gatti has since co-founded the much lauded Mutado (see page 35).

proves unreliable with deadlines or turns in substandard work. When it comes to attracting new clients, be aware that young studios can’t afford to be picky: “At first you may find yourself taking on work that doesn’t fulfil your artistic ideals,” says Moore. “But you have to be realistic.” In the long term, you’ll need to offer something different. “Don’t start your own studio unless you’re strong on design and have something unique to offer,” says Philip Hunt, co-founder of Studio AKA. And Knowles agrees: “The real key is to mix individuality with professionalism.” Online opportunities Because there are few effective ways to attract clients through advertising (though a good website helps), design studios tend to rely on reputation to keep the work rolling in. “We get the

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LAST PROJECT: “Our latest project is art direction for high street retailer USC, including window dressing and graphics, advertising and point of sale. The latest season’s campaign uses model shots mixed with over-the-top stock backgrounds to create a “cut-out-and keep” hyper-reality. This tongue-In-cheek treatment is set off with collegiatestyle type which references the season’s trend influences.”

majority of our work from people who’ve recommended us,” says Knowles, who admits that press coverage does offer some benefits. “It doesn’t bring in new work directly, but it can filter through to clients who are happy to know that the studio they’re using is praised in the design world.” The continued success of the studios featured here bares testament to what can be achieved. The general

public has never been so appreciative of good art and inventive marketing, which in turn is driving advertisers and other clients to value the skills of creative, talented designers. And, of course, new media opportunities continue to grow, not least online. “Thanks to better connections and better technologies the web is a media to believe in again,” says Mutado Studio’s Mauro Gatti. “After years of


FEATURE |

PROFILE 6: STUDIO AKA

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Five studios on creating a successful moniker SHYNOLA “Shinola used to be a brand of brown shoe polish. There was a saying about not knowing shit from Shinola (we stole it from Steve Martin in The Jerk). We changed the spelling because we were worried somebody might sue us.” Chris Harding, Shynola URL: www.shynola.com

SECOND STORY

HISTORY: “Originally founded in 1984, the studio was re-established in 2001 as Studio AKA by the current owner/partners: Pam Dennis, Sue Goffe and myself,” explains Philip Hunt. “We’re a London-based animation studio with countless accolades, including a BAFTA for Marc Craste’s Jo Jo In The Stars, which was financed by the studio. We now represent a talent base of 30 directors, artists, technical and production staff engaged in creating original animation in both 2D and 3D for commercial, broadcast and online media. Milestone projects include our work for NatWest, Vodafone and Compaq, but the work that marked the reinvention of the studio was probably the campaign created for Orange. The company name, literally a “Studio Also Known As”, simply reflects our creative diversity.” FIRST PROJECT: “A key first project came in 1998, just prior to our becoming Studio

speculation, it now offers incredible opportunities for experimentation.” For those with the skillsets and determination, the current outlook for design studios is remarkably positive. “Many are looking to take on staff,” Moore enthuses. “Prospects are good for designers who show effort and have a real passion for the industry.” Any new business venture carries risks, and those specialising in the creative fields are particularly difficult to guide to success. But for those with the talent and determination to set up their own studio, there’s rarely been a better time to take the plunge.

ABOVE: Pam Dennis, Sue Goffe and Philip Hunt cite the Orange campaign as a key turning point for the studio.

AKA. The campaign was for Orange, and was brought to us by WCRS with a brief to create eight commercials linked only by colour palette. Five AKA directors worked on the campaign, setting the bar for creative diversity.” LAST PROJECT: “WCRS asked us to create an unsettling BMW one-minute film, based around an idea they had for a “road chasing a car” – brute intimidation versus quiet confidence. I worked as director on this. Inspired by stark, 2D cut collage sketches, it interprets the concepts into 3D and a brutal yet beautiful narrative that bridges both illustrative and dimensional space.” URL: www.studioaka.co.uk

“The evolution of interactive media means the story no longer flows in one direction, from the one to the many. The narrative is only visible in hindsight when we piece together the visitor’s path through our work – this is the Second Story” Brad Johnson, Second Story URL: www.secondstory.com

THE RONIN “The Ronin name is Japanese in origin, where the Ronin were masterless samurai. It comes from a time when there were bands of samurai being led by a master samurai. I adopted the phrase to relate to me being my own boss, although it can either be taken seriously or tongue in cheek.” Rob Chiu, The Ronin URL: www.theronin.co.uk

PSYOP “Psychological Operations is a branch of the military that deals with demoralizing the enemy by causing dissension and unrest, and boosting support of friendly troops. With slogans like “Capture their minds and their hearts and souls will follow”, we have adopted the name to represent an awareness of the power of advertising and the importance of targeted communications.” Sandy Sellinger, Psyop URL: www.psyop.tv

STYLOROUGE “I started out working alone, but rather than use my own name I wanted one that would allow room to grow. The work was aimed at the music business, so I took inspiration from the wordplay of the New Romantics. The name sounded angry and political, though I’m still not sure what it means!” Rob O’Conner, Stylorouge URL: www.stylorouge.co.uk ABOVE: Direct advertising can be a costly and ineffective option for design studios, but a well maintained website featuring a strong portfolio can provide a good reference point for potential clients. Traffic can be increased by trading links with other designers.

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PROFILE |

Although the dot.com bubble burst some time ago, now and again a major player still emerges – seemingly out of nowhere. Craig Grannell meets Chris Hassell of DS.Emotion and finds out what happens when a bunch of normal design bods start to “shout a bit” WORDS: CRAIG GRANNELL PHOTOGRAPHY: ROB SCOTT July 2005

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| PROFILE

DS.EMOTION

“We’re a bunch of people who won’t blind you with bullshit and try to get one over on you,” says company director Chris Hassell. This is DS.Emotion in a nutshell. But you might be forgiven for thinking “DS.Who?” DS.Emotion is the design agency behind the brilliant Franz Ferdinand website, but the team also boasts an eclectic client list that includes Nickelodeon, Orange, Fox’s Biscuits, Remington, and many more. The company’s history dates back to the nineties: “We were very much a Leedsbased agency at the time, and were just beginning to creep into new media,” Hassell explains. “Before 1999, the company was primarily a design and marketing agency for property development, but the web side of things soon took off.” As Emotion Inc, the company won a pitch for a BT Cellnet

ABOVE: By maintaining an open and honest relationship with Nickelodeon, the DS.Emotion team is now trusted to “crack on” with projects with little “interference” from the client. 40

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project that evolved into phonefactory.com – BT’s first foray into selling pre-pay mobile phones online. “It was a fantastic project,” says Hassell. “We were involved in the branding and development of the site, right through to fulfilment processes, as well as designing all of the packaging and stationery.” But Hassell isn’t one to blow his own trumpet: “One reason we haven’t done much PR is because we just crack on with things. Most work comes in via word of mouth.” Hassell is aware that being personable is proving increasingly important in the current market. “You read about some companies, and they come across as quite arrogant,” he says. “I think one of the things people like about us is that we’re down to earth.” So they’re just normal blokes doing design, then? “Very much so,” Hassell admits. “Actually, we just won a pitch with a government-funded body, and the final presentation was more like an informal chat – very much a team chemistry meeting, to see if we all got on.” According to Hassell, the company’s open, relaxed and honest approach has paid dividends with all of the company’s clients. Telling it like it is “If a client asks for something and it’s not rocket science, we won’t say, “Oh, that’s complicated and will cost you thousands”. We’ll say, “That’s fairly easy: only a slight tweak”,” says Hassell. “We’re not idiots – we charge money – but you have to be honest. If a client thinks something will take a few minutes and you have to say, “Actually, it’s a bit more involved than that and will take a day”, they’re more likely to take this well and trust you if you’ve been honest and up-front right from the start.” So does this way of working mean that clients give the team more space? “I think they do,” Hassell agrees. “Clients always

ABOVE: All you need to know about Carnaby, London W1, courtesy of the infopacked site designed by DS.Emotion (www.carnaby.co.uk).

want to feel that they’ve added something to the project – and more often than not, they do – but often we’ll have a client, Nickelodeon, for example, who’ll ask us to do something for a promotion. We’ll send some concepts, they’ll pick one, and then we’ll pretty much finish the job. Typically, we only ever have to make a few minor tweaks – and that’s it!” Hassell is surprised at what he hears some people say to clients: “Sometimes you think, “Well, maybe they’re earning


PROFILE |

PROJECT FOCUS: LYNX/AXE MANSION DS.EMOTION FOUNDER CHRIS HASSELL TELLS US HOW THE TEAM KICKED UP A (SWEET SMELLING) STINK ONLINE – BY CREATING THIS SITE FOR LYNX

LEFT: After creating the Fox’s Biscuits website, DS.Emotion won the pitch to create a brand site – along with several games – for the company’s Rocky R chocolate bar. Check it out at www.rockyr.co.uk.

way more than we are”, but I don’t think that’s true. Clients are becoming more aware of the industry.” And that, presumably, makes the “no bullshit” approach even more important. “Initially, only a few people understood the internet. Clients thought it was complex, so there was a lot of bullshit flying around – and huge costs for everything,” says Hassell. “Now, everyone’s more computer and internet literate and clients have been through website projects a number of times. They understand more about what’s involved and appreciate an honest approach.” But what about the few that still don’t understand the business? “Well, they’re never going to go away entirely,” says Hassell. “You get clients that, for some reason, want to design everything themselves, omitting you from the equation, or those that complain that they’ve paid you loads of money, yet there’s space around the edge of the website when the browser’s full screen. And we’re like, “We could

Ever an agency for a challenge, DS.Emotion (in tandem with Cake) took on the task of creating an interactive digital penthouse apartment for Lynx deodorant (known as Axe in Europe) all in under a month. As with the brand’s other marketing, the site required an aspirational feel – and plenty of girls. “Iain Barrington-Light art directed the models at a photo shoot that was specifically commissioned for the website,” says Hassell. “This gave us freedom regarding poses for the models and the layout of the rooms.” As with many DS.Emotion projects, the site’s genesis began devoid of technology: “The entire site was sketched out by hand in order for us to be able to do a “dry run” with the client,” Hassell explains. The site was

then brought to life. The backgrounds were illustrated from scratch directly in Flash, and the model images optimised in Photoshop and animated in Flash. Hassell likens the company’s approach on this project to movie storyboarding and production: “The process enabled us to edit out certain sections, in order to keep the project on time and on budget,” he says. And to encourage return visits, DS.Emotion developed a Spray Points system, which conceptually links with the “Spray more, get more” campaign. The more you interact with the site and the models, the more you get – from different reactions from the models to points that provide the ability to unlock quality prizes from the mansion’s vault. URL: www.spraymoregetmore.com

Points make prizes at DS.Emotion’s Axe Mansion website – the more you interact with the environment and the models, the more you get to see.

August 2005

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| PROFILE

DS.EMOTION RIGHT: “I bet you can’t imagine where we were sat with the band when we came up with this idea,” jokes Hassell, who admits that the www.10000things. tv site is hardly highconcept, but that it nonetheless fits the band’s image perfectly. “The band is ecstatic with the site, and it’s getting great feedback from loyal fans.”

ABOVE: Created for Nickelodeon, one of DS.Emotion’s favourite clients, Danny Phantom: Portal Peril initially worried Nickelodeon, who thought its shoot’em-up game mechanic was too simple. “We assured them that the graphics would make it worthwhile, and they do,” says Hassell. “When the background spins around, people turn their heads, which was the effect we wanted to achieve.”

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design it so it flowed to a 23-inch screen, but the design won’t work as well”. It’s not like we charge by the size of the design that we do – we don’t charge by the pixel!” Luckily, few clients work like that. In fact, DS.Emotion has found that some clients impact on the business in a positive way. “We did some music sites for Universal a couple of years ago, and then Franz Ferdinand happened. We did the website and then everything snowballed,” says Hassell. The team enjoys creating music websites because people want to visit such sites and the feedback is immediate. “The fans are straight up about everything, but to generate that kind of feedback around a brand website is much harder to do,” Hassell explains. Starting to shout The Franz Ferdinand site marked something of a turning point for DS.Emotion, not only in terms of recognition, but also because the company started dabbling in a little PR. “We met Harry at Hot Cherry, and he got incredibly excited about the fact that we were doing the Franz Ferdinand site,” Hassell explains. “So we thought maybe we should just start shouting a bit now.” With the business effectively looking after itself, how did “shouting” change the business and its relationship with clients? “Well, I’ve noticed that people know our name a lot more,” Hassell admits. “We’re

ABOVE: DS.Emotion’s websites often feel fresh and contemporary, but the company is keen to avoid any kind of “house style”. Individual personality is important, not only to enhance each client’s brand, but also to keep the in-house team at the top of their game.

not into egos, but the recognition certainly builds confidence in the team, and we’ve also noticed that our existing clients have even more faith in us now. Someone sees us being asked for opinions in the press and it somehow reaffirms for them that we know what we’re talking about!” So what does it take to work at DS.Emotion? “Personality is a big draw for us. It’s more your passion for what you do than the degree you’ve got,” says Hassell. Having been burned a little by the “dot bomb” fall-out, the company has focused on staying small, but there are plenty of diverse personalities: “This works well for us – we don’t want to be an agency with a “house style”. We want the flexibility to put the relevant people on the briefs we get in.” Hassell says it’s essential that each member of his multi-talented team has skills


PROFILE |

WHAT INSPIRES THE DS.EMOTION TEAM? DAVID ELLIS – SENIOR CREATIVE Ellis’s current designer favourites include Saul Bass, Stefan Sagmeister, Ian Anderson, Jonathan Ive, Mark Farrow, Pete Fowler, Ralph Steadman, Baseman, Nathan Jurevicius, and “far too many others to mention”! The list changes daily… LEFT: Hassell says that DS.Emotion’s music industry projects are the most rewarding, thanks to the instant feedback they get from fans. The Franz Ferdinand site has just gained a video diary, which has been so successful that it’s becoming a regular feature of the site.

in the development process. Although most have some agency experience, others were recruited from school. Hassell joined straight after taking his A-Levels and rapidly learned how to deal with clients and run the digital side of the business. All the indications are that DS.Emotion will continue to flourish. Hassell believes that digital marketing spend is on the up, and that this will only increase in the future. “We believe that digital will soon be leading campaigns, rather than being something of an afterthought,” he says. “We see the company working on bigger projects, and getting increasingly involved in the strategic side of a client’s marketing.” But the company will never move away from production, because “that’s what keeps us all going”. And, presumably, the company’s approach will continue in much the same way as it always has? “Absolutely,” says Hassell. “Although the work itself is a massive part of your success, a lot of clients contact us via word of mouth, so the relationships you build with stakeholders – employees, clients and suppliers – count for a lot. After all, the sooner a client “gets” what you’re trying to do, the more smoothly the rest of a project should run.”

COMPANY INFO To find out more about DS.Emotion and it’s impressive client list, visit www.dsemotion.com, call 020 7970 5670 or email info@dsemotion.com.

JAY ARMITAGE – FOUNDING PARTNER Hailing from Leeds, Armitage cites Hillman Curtis as an influence, and states: “The company has a great ethos and way of working”. He also praises the talents of Stefan Sagmeister. Online, newstoday.com grabs his interest. GARETH JONES – DEVELOPER Jones likes sites that look fantastic and make use of existing technology in interesting ways – like www.macromedia.com/software/ flash/flashpro/video/gallery/?trackingid=BGYP. “Pixel art and any use of clean design is also an inspiration,” he says. MATT PINDER – AUDIO/VISUAL PRODUCER “I’ve been reading 2000AD every week for over 20 years now and I’m still finding it a source of inspiration,” says Pinder. Other key influences include Shigeru Miyamoto – the creator behind Nintendo’s Super Mario and Zelda – and Steve Jobs. NICOLA CAMPBELL – ACCOUNT MANAGER Campbell is inspired by “a desire to be a part of something really good – something that really works”. She cites Quentin Blake as a favourite creative person: “His style is unique and it brought the Roald Dahl characters to life.” PAUL CROFT – FLASH DEVELOPER Croft cites videogames as a key influence. He’s a big fan of Nintendo: “The company constantly comes up with new ideas, always ensuring its games are fun and easy to play.” On the web, experimental Flash site www.bit-101.com is a favourite. IAIN BARRINGTON-LIGHT - SENIOR CREATIVE Barrington-Light is inspired by fashion and music – and, oddly, “the eighties revival and neckerchiefs”. He revels in classic art: “Miro was the original innovator.” He also finds time for modern creatives, such as Paul Davis.

ABOVE: DS.Emotion’s Hooked on You, a SpongeBob Squarepants game, is based on an episode where Bob’s best pal Patrick keeps getting caught by hooks. This enabled the team to integrate soundbites from the show itself.

CHRIS HASSELL – FOUNDING PARTNER Hassell, the main voice of our interview, responds with “the new” when asked what inspires him. Regarding favoured illustrators, he mentions Ralph McQuarrie’s Star Wars concept art: “I poured over those paintings for hours as a kid!” RAJ GORSIA – WEB APPLICATION DEVELOPER “Viewing other sites enables me to learn new concepts and come up with ideas about how to do the same,” says Gorsia. With the claim, “I don’t have the right-hand side of my brain”, he declines to mention any favourite designers. August 2005

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COMPETITION |

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Now you’ve found out everything there is to know about starting your own design studio from our feature on page 32, you’ll need some eye-catching stationery and promotional material to really start making your mark. So to get you started, Computer Arts has teamed up with printing.com to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a fantastic full colour Corporate Stationery Pack, plus 1,000 full colour Gloss Leaflets and a file checking service worth about £500, just by answering one simple question. printing.com offers low cost, fast full colour print and creative design services throughout all its high street locations in the UK and Ireland. With a new outlet opening on average every five working days, this dynamic retail printing chain has thrived since its first outlet opened in 1998. There is no printing equipment in a printing.com outlet, each print order is instantly transferred to its ultra efficient £10 million Production Hub in Manchester – a 30,000 sq ft. facility where orders from the UK and Ireland are grouped together on a daily basis, resulting in massive economies of scale. printing.com makes full colour affordable to all. But even if you don’t win our main competition prize, you could still get your hands on one of five copies of Business Cards: The Art of Saying Hello from publisher Laurence King. According to our review in issue 106: “Business Cards makes an absorbing browse and essential sourcebook.”

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Terms and conditions: This prize is based upon the winner supplying their own artwork. There will be additional charges for design and creative services if required. Any extras not included within the prize’s product specifications will incur additional charges (e.g. delivery or creasing). Prize redemption restrictions based upon location may apply. For a full list of printing.com locations visit www.printing.com. The prize spec: Letterheads/Compliment Slips 115gsm smooth white Fedrigoni Splendorgel, full colour one side. Business Cards 400gsm silk artboard, full colour one side. Gloss Leaflets 150gsm gloss art paper, full colour both sides. The rules: The closing date for this competition is 4 August 2005. Employees of printing.com and Future, their agents and families are not permitted to enter. Multiple entries are not accepted. The editor’s decision is final and there are no cash alternatives. No other correspondence will be entered into. If you are entering by post and do not wish any of the companies involved in this competition to contact you with further offers, please indicate on your entry. We will not pass your details on to third parties.

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| DESIGN ICON

DESIGN ICON

PENGUIN BRANDING Michael Burns charts the evolution of Penguin, the publishing giant and design icon that proves you really should judge a book by its cover

The story of Penguin’s famous cover designs dates back as far as 1887 when pioneering UK publishing house The Bodley Head was established by John Lane and Elkin Mathews, firstly as an antiquarian bookseller and later as a publisher of works by the likes of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. As the imprint grew, John Lane appointed his cousin Allen Lane as managing director and eventually a new imprint was launched. In response to that imprint’s new name – Penguin – Edward Young, a 21-year old office junior, made sketches of the birds at London Zoo. Young used one of these as a basis for the first Penguin logo and also came up with what would become the first distinctive design for Penguin books. Young’s two horizontal coloured stripes bounding a white centre, or tripartite division, defined the classic look of the Penguin paperback. Young, who became Penguin’s first production manager, made another distinctive choice when it came to the typeface – Bodoni Ultra Bold, a popular face of the mid-thirties. Gill Sans, a typeface developed just a decade before, was used in two weights for the rest of the cover information. Considered fresh and modern, this original cover design had a huge impact on the success of the new imprint. Phil Baines, author of Penguin by Design, says that it was a reaction by Young to the decoration and illustrative whimsy found in other books of the period. Astonishingly, by the time the new company was a year old, it had sold over three million paperbacks. As time went on, the cover design changed slightly, but the unity of the Penguin look remained. Illustrations were used

ÓTIMELINE | 70 YEARS ON, THE WORLD FAMOUS BOOK PUBLISHER CONTINUES TO SET NEW STANDARDS The first Penguins Ariel, 1935 Edward Young’s first horizontal grid used Gill Sans and colour coding for different genres: orange for fiction, green for crime, dark blue for biography, cerise for travel and adventure, and red for plays. “Penguin Books helped to popularise the now widely used Gill Sans font,” says Jim Boulton, BD of Large Design. “Elegant and legible, Gill Sans is the default corporate font. It’s even used by The Church of England.”

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Jan Tschichold’s refined Horizontal Grid The Day of the Triffids, 1954 Jan Tschichold refined Edward Young’s original grid, increased the use of Gill Sans and dictated that all text must be optically letter spaced. “It was the book jackets of Jan Tschichold that iconised Penguin for me,” says Mike Nash, brand designer and consultant at Geometry. “Tschichold understood words, their power and their beauty. It was this that gave the book jackets their unique look.”

Schmoller’s Vertical Grid Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 1960 Hans Schmoller’s grid had a central white area flanked by colour-coded bands, with more room for text and illustrations. “Designed to be “flippant yet dignified”, the Penguin brand is a fascinating dichotomy,” says Gus MacKinnon, creative director at NWYH. “Despite their homely associations, Penguin paperbacks were a revolutionary concept that never shied away from taking on the establishment.”


DESIGN ICON |

sparingly and the logo redesigned several times, but the typeface remained true to Young’s original. The beginning of the war years saw the departure of Edward Young and another development of the standard cover in a varying striped design used for the journalistic Penguin Specials. This almost dispensed with typographical controls to fit lengthy cover lines and blurbs between the coloured borders. Bold weights of Gill Sans were combined with Rockwell Shadow and Bodoni Extra Bold, while symbols such as fists and stars were used to catch the eye. Post-war minimalism After the war, minimalism keenly reasserted itself on the covers of some of the Penguin Periodicals series, which included the almost plain grey Science News. Another notable series was the Classics – Homer’s The Odyssey was the first release. Designed by production manager John Overton in 1946, the layout featured a plain coloured background with a white panel for text (Perpetua, Eric Gill’s other typeface success) and a circular illustration. To compete with other paperback publishers, Lane needed to bring in a heavyweight designer to make his titles stand out once again. Jan Tschichold, already famous for his “New Typography” (asymmetric, sans serif and modern), took over typography and production at Penguin in 1947. He quickly introduced a regime of consistency, laying down his rigorous typesetting dictums through in-house Penguin Composition Rules. Tschichold refined rather than reinvented Young’s designs. For the standard tripartite cover, there was a more consistent use of Gill Sans, designated positions for the title and author name, with a line between the two, and a unified design for the front, spine and back covers. Young’s Penguin logo was also redrawn in eight variations. When Tschichold left in 1949, his successor Hans Schmoller built on his work, notably refining the vertical grid style. This grid would be used for fiction paperbacks for years to come. But it wasn’t long before illustrations and even photographs invaded those famous orange borders

– until, eventually, Monsarrat’s The Cruel Sea (1956) featured a full cover image. By the sixties, Italian art director Germano Facetti had arrived as head of design and the covers had lost all sense of distinction. Facetti used traditional colours to reassert the brand, but combined this with illustration, collage and photography. Under Facetti, the designer Romek Marber produced a new grid that provided an area for a large image or illustration that evoked the story inside, but also a set of horizontal rules to highlight the series name, title and author. The text was set in Intertype Standard with a dominant colour for the cover dictated by the series. When Alan Aldridge was taken on as fiction art director (1965-67), he gave the whole cover over to designers to work with, including their own choice of typography. David Pelham’s time as fiction art director (1968-79) saw him refine the use of Aldridge’s full cover, but reintroduce consistent branding on the spine and back covers to create his “non-grid”. RECOMMENDED With Pelham, Facetti and Schmoller in READING the artistic driving seat, Penguin produced PENGUIN BY DESIGN: many individual designs that affected A COVER STORY 1935-2005 both British publishing and the wider Author: Phil Baines world of graphic design. “Penguin Publisher: Allen Lane brought contemporary typography Price: £16.99 and cover design to a mass audience,” ISBN: 0-71399-839-3 says John Knight, director of the UserPacked with stunning illustrations and Lab design centre in Birmingham. published to coincide with Penguin’s 70th “Part of the success is that the brand anniversary, Baines’s in-depth look at Penguin evolved to meet different tastes and design charts the development of the special audiences since the 1930s.” look of the UK’s favourite paperback imprint “The penguin itself has moved from 1935 to the present day. From the early with the times,” says Marc Peter, covers to Pelicans, Modern Classics, fiction and reference, this book explains how Penguin has creative director at on-IDLE. “It consistently reinforced its identity through its retains a mysterious personality, and covers while simultaneously influencing wider is instantly recognisable, no matter trends in graphic design and typography. what the font, colours, title, layout or era of the book itself.”

LINKS

Free expression Island, 1966

Radical design Medium is the Massage, 1967

Alan Aldridge allowed his team of designers to concentrate on the title of the book. “Penguin has had inspirational designs for over 70 years,” says Marc Peter, creative director at on-IDLE. “It has made it possible to literally “see” a book’s content by the single one-page covers. That’s quite a feat – to not only stay contemporary, but also to be a leader in book design.”

The cover and internal combination of integrated text and photography for The Medium is the Massage by Marshal McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore departed from the Penguin norm but is still highly regarded by designers today. The fact that the title contained a typesetting error, which was consequently backed by McLuhan, only adds to the appeal.

All book covers © Penguin Books. All images are taken from Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005, published by Allen Lane.

• Penguin Books www.penguin.com • Large Design www.largedesign.com • Geometry www.brandgeometry.com • NWYH www.nowwashyourhands.com • on-IDLE www.on-idle.com • User-Lab www.user-lab.com

VISIT The V&A is marking the 70th anniversary of Penguin Books with a display of some 500 of Penguin’s iconic book covers. For more information, visit the museum website at www.vam.ac.uk or call 020 7942 2000.

August 2005

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TUTORIALS Top tips and tricks from the experts MODEL PHOTOGRAPHY P52 Photoshop expert Rod Steele transforms a tired stock photograph into a striking digital image using disparate graphic elements, clever lighting – and a dash of Illustrator. TUTORIAL FILES ON THE CD

USE COLOUR GRADIENTS P56 Want to master Photoshop’s colour gradient tools so you too can add convincing depth and texture to your work? This month’s cover illustrator Johnny Cheuk shows you how. TUTORIAL FILES ON THE CD

HOW TO... CREATE TILED EFFECTS P59 Adding a tiled background can provide a suitably retro theme to your website – and it isn’t that hard to do. Agency.com’s Scott Bedford gets his hands dirty.

LIGHTING AND MAPPING P60 In the third and final part of our Illustrator 3D tips guide, Computer Arts regular Derek Lea checks out the app’s powerful lighting and surface-mapping features, and reveals how symbols can add real character to your work.

DRAWING EYES P62 Linda Bergkvist kicks off her threepart facial makeover tips with some practical Photoshop advice on creating amazing photo-realistic eyes. TUTORIAL FILES ON THE CD

CD TUTORIAL MACHINE WASH FILTERS P66 Derek Lea reveals how best to exploit Mister Retro’s image-distressing Photoshop filterset, provided free on this month’s CD. TUTORIAL FILES & SOFTWARE ON THE CD

TUTORIALS ONLINE

Premium tutorials are now free to all Computer Arts subscribers or you can buy them online from just 99p. Just visit www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials for details


TUTORIAL |

PHOTOSHOP • ILLUSTRATOR

MODEL PHOTOGRAPHY Transmission Central’s Rod Steele uses Photoshop and Illustrator to add interesting light effects and original graphic elements to a tired stock image. The results, as you can see, are pretty impressive

DOWNLOAD

TIME LENGTH

5 hours INFO

Rod Steele is a freelance designer and art director who works from a studio in North London. Most of his work is for the entertainment, videogames and publishing industries and his recent projects include contributing images to Adobe Stock Photos, identity and site design for Jeff Minters’ Llamasoft, and branding and print design for Control, a new videogames retail outlet, due to be launched in 2005. Visit his blog at http://dalis moustache.blogspot.com

This tutorial aims to demonstrate some of the effects we regularly use at Transmission Central and in the Infinity stock image collections. Chances are, you’ve seen our work before – on the back cover of this magazine or on Apple’s iTunes music store. The focus here is on lighting and integrating graphic elements with model photography. Of course the success of images like this is entirely dependent on the photography, but a lot can be added using Photoshop and Illustrator. Providing you have a strong model shot as a base for the composition you can use these effects anywhere, so the next time you’re choosing a stock image or art directing your own shoot, consider how these effects might enhance your next project. Once you’ve mastered the techniques used here you can revisit your existing collection of model photography, images that you thought were past their sell by date, and bring them bang up to date with a fresh new look. All you need is a bit of thought and a little clever Photoshop manipulation. The second aim is demonstrate the benefits of reusing layers and other elements. A lot of the graphics here can be modified and re-used for other projects, the colours and lighting are mostly controlled by Layer Styles and Adjustment Layers so you can always modify them to suit other images and photography. Experiment with the techniques, design your own interface and try using alternative photography. If you’re a 3D artist, look into the possibility of designing your own figures to compliment the graphics. If you don’t have access to models or a photographer to shoot them for you, why not fire up Adobe CS2 and have a browse through the Adobe Stock Photos section before sketching your ideas on a lowres comping image. Illustration and tutorial by Rod Steele rod.steele@mac.com

1

Start by setting up a canvas in Photoshop that measures 250mm wide by 220mm high at 300dpi. The effects that you’ll be creating here are most effective against a dark background, so fill the background layer with a solid black as a base for the composition. You’ll use gradients to add depth and colour to the background later.

3

This model was shot against a black background, but to minimise the need for retouching, you’ll need to delete the spotlight. Add a Layer Mask to the Model layer by clicking the Layer Mask icon in Layers palette. Isolate the model using a combination on the Pen and Airbrush tools and make a backup of the masked layer by copying it behind the background layer.

4

2

Next prepare the model for the illustration using Photoshop’s colour correction and masking tools. Open the model.jpg image, provided on the cover CD, drag her into place on the blank canvas and name the layer Model. If you’re using OS X, try to get into the habit of using Exposé for dragging and dropping between canvases.

Make the background and model layers visible and select the model layer. To bring the detail out on the model’s outfit, go to Image>Adjustments>Shadow/Highlight. Adjust the Shadow slider until the detail on her clothes becomes more visible, but be careful not to desaturate or bleach the colours.

5

Duplicate the model layer, set the Layer Apply mode to Colour and apply a Gaussian blur at 15 per cent. Place the blurred layer above the Model layer. Make a copy of the blurred layer, set the Apply mode to Screen and the Opacity at 50 per cent. Drop the screen layer above the blurred layer.

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| TUTORIAL

PHOTOSHOP • ILLUSTRATOR

6

You should now have four layers – a black background layer and three instances of the model, two of them blurred. Activate all four layers and see how they look. Now use a small, feathered brush at 80 per cent to smooth the mask edges. To edit any fine details, hit Q to enter Quickmask mode and work on the mask from there.

7 SKETCH FIRST Before shooting your model, it’s important to sketch your ideas first. Make a rough of the positioning of the interface and lighting, and also decide which colours you’d like to use. You’ll need to explain to the model what you’re trying to achieve and a sketch is much more effective than trying to explain in words. Think ahead – for this shoot we used a black backdrop to cut down on any masking and post work – and try to get your lighting as close as possible to your final image.

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Hide the Model layers, open the colour picker and create a green (R= 141, G=198, B=63). Open the gradient editor and design the gradient using the green you have created. The Transparent Strip preset is a useful starting point. Slide the Opacity markers until you have areas of solid green and transparency, and then apply it to an empty layer. Name this layer Gradient and move it below the Model.

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Now for the interface elements and focal point. This can be done in Photoshop or Illustrator, depending on which you’re more comfortable with. You’ll only need to use the basic drawing tools and fills, and once you’ve designed some of the parts you’ll be able to re-use them throughout the illustration. Start by using the Circle tool to create a focal point.

If you’re using Photoshop, draw basic shapes with the Shape and Marquee tools and stroke their selections. Draw a circle with the Circular Marquee tool and go to Edit>Stroke. This is basic but effective and fast way to build up the elements. Use separate layers for each major element, which will give you more options for colour effects later on.

For the wider circles, simply create a wider stroke around a Circular Marquee selection. Keep the wider strokes on their own layers so that you can adjust their Opacity independently. Experiment with the Line tool and the alternative Marquee options. As ever with techniques such as this, there are many ways to approach it.

Link all of the elements together by placing them into a layer set. Select New Set from the Layers Palette and name it Focal Point. Select any of the layers in the set and select Layer>LayerStyle>Outer Glow. Set the Layer Apply mode to Screen, 25 per cent Opacity and choose a clean yellow for the glow itself. Add 2 per cent noise to reduce banding, Copy the style to the other layers in the set and vary the effect.

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Create a new layer, name it Gradient 2 and move it to the top of the layer stack. Select the Brush tool and choose a 400 pixels-wide brush with soft edges. Set the opacity to 40 per cent, hold down Shift to constrain brush movement to a straight line, and paint a vertical stripe from top to bottom of the canvas.

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Select any of the layers. Press Command+T to transform the contents of the layer set and select Perspective from the Contextual menu. Manipulate the handles until the perspective and angle of the focal point looks correct and then apply the transformation.


TUTORIAL |

ADJUSTMENT LAYERS AND LAYER STYLES When possible, rely on Layer Styles and Adjustment Layers for your effects. You never know when you’ll have to revert back to a previous version and using Layer Styles and Adjustment Layers will make this process quick and clean.

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Select the Model layer and go to Layer >NewAdjustmentLayer>Curves. It’s always worth using Adjustment Layers rather than applying effects directly to the layer as then you have the option of finetuning your settings. Drag the RGB curve into the light output area to add light to the image. Too much light will bleach the image so be aware of any light patches that appear.

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To balance the colours, add a Colour Balance adjustment layer above the Focal Point layer by selecting Layer>New AdjustmentLayer>ColourBalance. With Preserve Luminosity checked, boost the green values in the Shadows and Highlights sliders. If some areas become too saturated, add a layer mask and mask out the affected areas with a soft brush.

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Now isolate some elements of the interface you have created on their own layers. This will allow you to apply fills and colours to them at a later stage. You can easily load the layers’ mask by Command+clicking it in the Layers palette – Command+Backspace will fill your chosen area with the foreground colour and Option+Backspace will use the background colour instead.

Once you’ve created a layer of interface elements, drag them into position against the model and use the Transform tool to add perspective. Create a copy of the layer, apply a Gaussian blur of 10 per cent and add a Layer Mask to the blurred layer. Draw a simple black and white gradient across the layer to makes areas of the blurred layer fade away.

At this stage you can experiment with the effects by applying Layer Styles to all of the interface elements. Try playing around with variations of colour overlay, gradient overlay and outer glow. If you create an effect that you like, save it as a Custom Layer Style and use it in other projects. This is also good practice for maintaining consistency.

Now add a new layer, drag it to the top of the layer stack and fill it with a light green sampled from the main image. Drop the Opacity down to 10 per cent to help bind all the elements together and give a consistent colour. Try dragging this layer behind the model or masking sections of her out using a wide, soft brush.

GOING FURTHER

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You can now start building up the interface elements with the same techniques that you used to create the focal point. Again, use the tools that feel right to you, I find using the Shape and Marquee tools in Photoshop to be most effective for this type of work. Make the grid visible to assist with alignment and balance, and keep Snap to Grid checked.

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Create floating elements on separate layers with the Polygonal Lasso tool – holding down Shift to constrain it to straight lines – and identify sections that will look convincing in front of the model. Don’t overdo it, one or two sections is enough to emphasise the effect and illusion. Fill the selections by sampling a green from the main image, and then reduce their Opacity until the model is only partially visible.

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Activate all the layers and check the perspective. If you’d like to alter the perspective at this stage, link all of the interface layers together and Transform them. Examine the position of the layers to ensure that the composition hangs together well, and tweak any of the layer effects if the colour and glows need refining.

Most of the techniques covered here can be used in After Effects, so consider the possibility of shooting some moving footage to add to your graphic effects. You can experiment with perspective and depth to add real life and punch to your work. Once you’re familiar with the Photoshop techniques, animating them is the next logical step.

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PHOTOSHOP • ILLUSTRATOR

DOWNLOAD

USE COLOUR GRADIENTS TIME LENGTH

2.5 hours Johnny Cheuk is a HongKongbased designer and illustrator whose online and printbased work has been featured in Katalogue, scene360, Smooch magazine, State of Affairs, Pagesonline and Jet. For more information, visit www.acidbird.com.

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Like many designers, I am a colour-gradient fanatic. I like to create artwork in Illustrator and Freehand, mainly because their tools are convenient and easy to use, but applying gradients in Photoshop is quick and easy and the results are much more versatile. Coloured gradients are one of the most popular ways to add rich texture and make illustrations more threedimensional. For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use a few such techniques to enrich the texture of a simple 2D photograph. By adding gradients to the top artwork layer and then using Photoshop’s blending modes, the

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INFO

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Creating coloured gradients is one of the most popular ways to add depth and texture to your illustration work. This month’s cover illustrator Johnny Cheuk uses Photoshop to add complex gradients to a simple 2D image

August 2005

integrity and visual impact of your work will be much strengthened. It’s possible to add coloured gradients to complicated visuals – a tree with exuberant foliage, for example – simply by photographing the object, amplifying the contrast and selecting the desired elements to be worked on. In this way, the visuals you deliver have the look and feel of vector graphics, but you’ll cut down on tracing time. The applications of gradients are multi-faceted, so feel free to explore and reinvent these techniques as you go. Illustration and tutorial by Johnny Cheuk

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First, trace a flat image like this in Illustrator, or use the model image provided on the cover CD, and place the image so that it becomes the focal point of your illustration. At this stage, it may look too flat, so add a Gradient and increase Contrast to make the model more three-dimensional.


TUTORIAL |

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Before you start working in Photoshop, prepare a few graphic elements in Illustrator, the kind of shapes and patterns that will add interest to your illustration. Add a little contrast to add dimension to the shapes, but don’t overdo it as a strong contrast will make the overall look and feel of the illustration too dizzy to look at.

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Open a new top layer. Now select the Gradient Editor and then select Foreground to Transparent. Pick a yellow colour and then draw a gradient from the top left corner to the middle. Set Blending Mode to Linear Burn and arbitrarily apply the same effect to other areas.

SNAP YOURS Marry your illustration idea with your photos by using pictures with clean, striking backgrounds. The tree. jpg image, for example, is effective because it contrasts well with the background. Use the wrong image and steps seven and eight won’t work as well.

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Open a new Photoshop document that measures 23.2cm wide by 14cm high at 72dpi (or 300dpi if you want to work at hi-res). Select the CMYK colour mode, locate the Gradient Editor and use it to fill the document with your favourite colour. For this image, I used 00AAB4/E0F3F9/ 00B8B4/FFFFFF.

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Open the ink.jpg file on the cover CD which I created and scanned in myself. Repeat steps six and seven with the ink splash graphic to create a gradation effect. Try duplicating a few more layers filled with different colours and you’ll soon see the whole thing become richer in texture.

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Now open the flower.psd from the cover CD and Copy and Paste it into your Photoshop document. Open a new layer at the top and create a red-to-yellow gradient. Choose Layer>CreateClippingMask and set their Blending Modes to Screen.

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Open the tree.jpg file from the cover CD. Fill the unnecessary portions – the blue sky at the top left-hand corner, for example – with white colour. Choose Image>Mode >Grayscale before selecting Image> Adjustments>Levels. Move the slider until you achieve a higher black and white contrast you are happy with. INK SPLASHING

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Copy the model illustration and the graphic elements you have created, and paste them into your document, paying attention to your composition. Ensure that each individual graphic sits on its own layer, as this will allow for flexibility in relocation at a later stage.

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Hold down Control/Command, click and select the grey layer in Channel thumbnail, then do an inversion by clicking Control/Command+Shift+I. Copy the image into your .psd file and lock the Transparent pixels. Use the techniques outlined earlier to add a gradient to the tree.

If you don’t mind staining your fingertips, flipping some ink onto a piece of paper and scanning it into Photoshop will guarantee a really natural ink splash effect that can be used over and over again in a range of illustrations. If you fancy a less messy approach, try using the brushes in Illustrator to achieve the same effect. You will, however, find that the effect appears much stiffer and flatter.

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Now that you’ve finished the bulk of your illustration, why not try some different effects? Add an overexposed look or a little calligraphy, or try brushing other colours onto the background. Now select Layer>NewAdjustmentLayer>Hue/ Saturation and fine-tune the Contrast and Saturation. Once you are happy with your fine-tuning, your artwork is complete.

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HOW TO...

CREATE TILED EFFECTS Why not give your site some retro impact by creating an exciting and engaging tiled background effect? Scott Bedford shows you how

Open a new Photoshop document. Make a new layer and use the Marquee tool to create a Fixed Size selection 21 pixels square. Click on the canvas and fill the selection with black. Go to Select>Modify and contract the selection by 1 pixel, hit delete. Duplicate the layer and move it 7 pixels to the right and 7 pixels down. Use the Line tool (set to 1 pixel) to join the corners of the squares to form a box.

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SCOTT BEDFORD is a creative head at Agency.com, a top UK interactive agency. He has a background in traditional advertising and has worked at the Cape Town offices of FCB and Publicis. Visit www.scottbedford.co.uk.

It’s amazing how the tiled background image has undergone something of a renaissance. Once a feasting ground for dodgy marble effects, a new wave of designers have reinvigorated this most basic of web design elements. Even diagonal lines, given the designers touch, can punch above their weight when it comes to impact. Similarly, illustrations that sit within a simple grid-iron structure, especially when angled at 45 degrees, can make dynamic patterns. But both of these are pretty easy to figure out. In this tutorial you’ll create a pattern that repeats every three rows, which, apart from successfully hiding the seams, creates a more unusual mix of angles. In addition, you’ll be basing the repeating pattern on

an open box, seemingly a simple geometric shape, but one that when repeated plays with depth and perception. Hopefully this will whet your appetite and have you creating dynamic combinations of your own. Illustration and tutorial by Scott Bedford, www.scottbedford.co.uk

TOP TIP: CHANGING STYLES If you’re going to use a background effect on your website, tiled images, for example, it is very likely it will be used on more than just one page. In these cases it’s best to link each web page to an external style sheet. By doing this you can alter the Body tag attributes (background-image, backgroundrepeat and background-color, for example) across all the pages at once. To learn more check out www.w3.org/Style/CSS/learning.

On a new layer use the Paint Bucket tool, with the All Layers options selected, to fill each side of the box with shades of red. Group all of these layers into a Layer Set. Duplicate the set (the box), offsetting each duplicate by 28 pixels until you have created a small pattern. To test the pattern, make a Fixed Size selection of 84 by 42 pixels, place it anywhere over the centre of the boxes and select Edit>DefinePattern.

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Make a new document (800 pixels square) and fill a new layer with the pattern you have just defined. Now, as a final touch, create a gradient fill on the layer below. Copy an 84 by 800 pixel selection, from any position, into a new document and then save it as a GIF. This is the final tile. You can now use some basic CSS to adjust the Body tag attributes – the type of repeat (X or Y) and the background colour, for example. See Top Tip, left.

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ILLUSTRATOR TOOL TIPS

LIGHTING AND MAPPING In the final instalment of our popular Illustrator 3D series, Derek Lea explains how to use symbols as eye-catching surface maps and enliven your 3D objects by applying innovative lighting techniques

INFO

Derek Lea is an awardwinning illustrator and published author based in Toronto, Canada. His work includes disciplines as varied as traditional illustration, photography, 3D modelling, Photoshop work and vector art. To view more of his work, visit www.dereklea.com.

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No 3D app is complete without a tool that enables you to simulate lighting and shadow on the surface of your objects. In Illustrator’s 3D effect dialog box, the Surface Options pulldown menu provides a list of basic presets. But go beyond the basics and you’ll need to click on the More Options button at the upper right to reveal a more extensive range of lighting controls. In addition to buttons that enable you to move lights behind your objects, create additional lights or delete them, you’ll also find a number of sliders that provide even more control over size, intensity and shading.

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The Map Art button opens up a separate dialog box, which enables you apply artwork to any surface of your 3D object. It may seem a little limiting at first, because you can only use symbols stored within the Symbols palette, but don’t forget that you can create your own symbols from any 2D shape before you launch the 3D effect filter. Illustration and tutorial by Derek Lea

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Clicking on the More Options button extends the bottom of the 3D effect dialog box. The thumbnail preview affords you the allimportant ability to position the light, as well as add or delete others and place them behind objects. By using this small area, you can dramatically alter the look of basic 3D shapes.


TOOL TIPS |

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Clicking on a light within the thumbnail selects it, enabling you to edit that particular light’s intensity via the slider to the right. The rest of the sliders affect all lights globally. Increasing the blend steps slider produces a smoother shade, because more paths are added within that blend.

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Choose from black shading, none or a custom colour via the Shading Colour menu. Select the custom option to launch the colour picker. Here you can specify any possible colour for use as shadow. Altering the shading colour can produce interesting effects, but when using the rotate 3D effect, you’ll have considerably less control.

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You can resize and distort the symbol map by clicking and dragging one of the bounding box handles – a standard Adobe transformation method. Alternatively, you can drag the artwork off the edge of the surface in the dialog box so that it only appears partially on the 3D object.

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Clicking on the Map Art button opens up a new dialog box, which offers all the symbols from the main Symbols palette. The surfaces of the 3D object will be calculated and made available via controls at the top of the box. Because this shape is a cylinder, you could choose either the top, bottom or side.

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Here, we’ve selected an eye symbol and the bottom surface, auto-fitting the eye by clicking the Scale to Fit button. When you drag the mouse pointer outside the bounding box, it’ll change to indicate rotation. Click-and-drag to rotate the symbol on the surface.

When mapping art onto a 3D Revolve shape, the preview of the surface in the dialog box can seem a little confusing. But don’t panic. As soon as you start to drag the shape around on the surface, you’ll develop a feel for which way is up, down, left and right.

By enabling the Shade Artwork checkbox, you can force the mapped artwork to exhibit the same lighting and shading effects applied to the 3D surface. This is an excellent feature for making the results appear more realistic. When it’s unchecked, the mapped artwork will look as if it’s glowing independent of the object.

CREATING SYMBOLS Experienced users may scoff at the use of symbols as artwork maps on their 3D objects, saying that they are just bits of clip art included within Illustrator. Clip art, like pre-fab filter effects, is detrimental to original artwork on so many levels that it hardly requires an explanation. However, just because you can only map symbols onto your 3D objects, that doesn’t mean you can’t fashion your own. Simply create them in Illustrator, then select and drag them directly into the Symbols Palette. Alternatively, you can press the New Symbol button at the bottom of the Symbols palette to add them to the Symbols library.

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The Invisible Geometry option enables you to hide the actual 3D shape, showing only the mapped artwork. This can be an interesting effect, especially when you map your artwork so that it wraps around the back of the shape. The Shade Artwork option enables you to preserve shading even when the geometry is hidden.

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The Invisible Geometry option can help you to create cool effects by mapping different symbols onto multi-sided objects, such as cubes. Here, we’ve done just that and altered the shading colour. You can also remove a symbol from your current surface by clicking the Clear button, or remove the symbols from every surface by hitting Clear All.

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DOWNLOAD

PHOTOSHOP • PART 1 OF 3

HOW TO DRAW GREAT EYES TIME LENGTH

3 hours INFO

Linda Bergkvist was one of four authors who contributed to D’artiste – a digital painting title which also showcased the work of John Wallin, Philip Straub and Robert Chang. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories entitled Furiae, which will be published by Ballistic Publishing later this year. Visit www.furiae. com to find out more. 62

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In the first of her three expert tutorials, Swedish artist and designer Linda Bergkvist demonstrates the skills involved in painting lifelike portraits – taking a step-by-step look at creating detailed eyes, noses and mouths When I first started painting eyes, I had little to guide me but my own obsession. To me, the eyes have always been the most fascinating part of the human face. As a designer, if you paint lovely features but fail to capture life in the eyes, the face will always look like a doll rather than a human being. Figuring out how to capture this vital spark of life took me many years. The fact that eyelashes do not start right under the eyeball, for instance, proved to be a very important discovery. As did understanding the workings of the “lower eyelid”. With the help of this tutorial, I hope to help you eliminate this trial-and-

error process and to avoid the mistakes that I made, so that you start creating great eyes sooner rather than later. Painting a realistic eye isn’t necessarily everyone’s goal in life, but even when painting a more stylised or even a cartoony eye, knowing the basics gives you a wonderful advantage. I paint using Adobe Photoshop 7.0, but the process can easily be followed in any other paint application. Oh, and it helps (a lot) if you use a pen tablet rather than just a mouse. Illustration and tutorial by Linda Bergkvist www.furiae.com

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First off, remember that, measuring from the top of the eye to the chin, the eyes are situated halfway down the face. You’ll also notice that there is room for five eyes side by side across the width of the face. At this point, sketch in the eyes, keeping the sketch on a separate layer.


TUTORIAL |

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Now set up a swatch of colours to use while painting; this makes the process much easier. Swiftly sketch out the basic shapes around the eyes, keeping in mind the shadow from the eyebrows. Use a spackled or soft-edged brush with light pressure.

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Depending on the kind of light affecting your subject, the eyeball will be made up of a range of different colours. Note that, whatever the lighting conditions, the eyeball will never be pure white. Here, it appears as a faint blue-grey, for instance. Also remember that the eyeball isn’t the shape that shows; it’s a round ball, half-concealed by the lids. Shade accordingly.

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To make understanding the surrounding shapes easier, sketch out imagined lines running over the eye, brow and cheek. This helps when trying to figure out how to bring shapes forward without the help of lines.

USE A PEN TABLET

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Using a spackled brush, find the hidden details of the eyes. Brush around the lower lid and upper lid – both in shadow in this case – and don’t forget to bring out the corner of the eye. It’s very easy to paint in only the upper lid and, as a result, create an eye with a very flat, unreal appearance.

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When painting the eyebrow, first use a dark colour and a small round brush to draw clumsy, scattered lines. Next, use the Smudge tool and very gently go back over the lines with an uneven brush. This will bring out a very natural look to the hairs.

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The best way to start painitng the iris and pupil is by creating a round ring on a separate layer. Delete the section of the circle that will be hidden underneath the eyelid, and then click the Lock setting within the layer functions.

Instead of painting with a mouse, buy a digital pen of some kind. Even the cheapest variant will serve you better than a mouse. A good pen is pressuresensitive, and holding a pen and “painting” with it is far more natural than using either a mouse or a keyboard, particularly when it comes to curves, lines and gradients.

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Using soft brushes, shade the edges of the iris, as well as where the shadow of the eyelid would fall. This is important, as it gives a depth to the gaze of the eye. Quickly block-in the pupil, even though it will be mostly hidden beneath the highlights.

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In extreme close up, additional depth will need to be added by touching up the last texture and breaking up the highlight to achieve a more realistic effect. Flatten it down and gently smudge and paint over and over until the desired look is achieved.

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Lashes can be extremely easy. On a separate layer, paint in quick strokes to resemble lashes. In real life, lashes are rarely uniform in shape and size, so make sure that some cling together and others point in different directions. Smudge lightly in areas you feel require more depth.

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The iris should be heavily textured. To accomplish the layered effect, ensure that you use multiple colours and a soft brush, and then simply layer blotches of colour over and over each other until the illusion of depth is created.

ZOOM IN AND ZOOM OUT!

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The highlight in the eye is ultimately what gives it the last touch of life. Ensure that you paint it on a separate layer, as this will make breaking it up easier when required. The highlight always looks best if it’s vaguely the same colour as the eyeball – but much brighter. 64

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Work at a higher resolution than you need to, and zoom in and out of the image to get a better view of it as a whole. The details you will add that might not be seen easily in a smaller version are still there, and add greatly to the realism of the final picture. Small colour variations in the iris of an eye, for instance, might not be visible from afar but they still add depth.

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Finally, use the handy Eraser tool to smudge and thin the lashes out before you flatten the layer down. Next, use a light ruddy colour to add the last details needed for realism. Most of the time, the topmost lashes are angled more forwards than upwards – a detail often overlooked.


CD TUTORIAL |

PHOTOSHOP

DISTRESSED EFFECTS Machine Wash, the flexible filter set free on the cover CD, makes aging your images quick and easy. Derek Lea reveals exactly how creating a distressed effect can give your retro images an authentic look

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E ON THE C AR D TW

• SOFTW AR CD E

THE CD • SO F ON

FTWARE ON SO T

ON THE CD

You’ll find all the files you need to complete this tutorial in the folder marked Tutorial/CD on the cover CD. TIME LENGTH

45 minutes INFO

Derek Lea is an awardwinning illustrator and published author based in Toronto, Canada. His work includes disciplines as varied as traditional illustration, photography, 3D modelling, Photoshop work and vector art. To view more of his work, visit www.dereklea.com

Mister Retro’s unique Machine Wash filter set provides a plethora of distressed effects. We’ve included five filters on the cover disc and we’ll use them here to add a rough appearance to this retro illustration. In the past, more often than not, filters have created prefab effects with a signature appearance. No serious artist wants an effect that looks like everyone else’s. After all, today’s digital artist has come to expect flexibility and control from all of their digital tools. Like a breath of fresh air, the Machine Wash filter set delivers just that. So the moral of the story is don’t let the word filter cloud your judgment. Mister Retro has delivered a powerful set of Photoshop actions that produce results that are editable during application as well as afterwards. The Machine Wash filters actually reside within the Actions palette and offer two options – Regular Cycle or Heavy Cycle. Each option enables you to access each of the filters, but only one offers rust. While both cycles create a layer mask that hides areas of your layer, the heavy cycle creates a layer of rust under your affected layer and lets it show through in the resulting distressed areas. When you play one of the actions, Machine Wash starts to mask your active layer before running through a series of steps and pausing to allow you to decide upon the size, rotation, shape and coverage of your effect. You’re then presented with a free-transform bounding box, which clearly displays the effect. Just edit it like any ordinary transformation, press Enter and the effect will resume. You can then mask your layer accordingly. Feel free to use the layered Photoshop file provided on the cover CD to create the desired effect.

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Once you have installed the filters from the cover CD, take a look at the Actions palette and the filters should be waiting for you there. Open up the layered tutorial file and select the Metal layer in the Layers palette. Back in the Actions palette, expand the Machine Wash set to show the two available cycles.

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A black and white image surrounded by a bounding box will appear on the screen. Click on one of the box’s corner handles and drag it outwards. Hold down Alt/Option+Shift while increasing the size and the image will scale proportionately from a central point. Press Enter to apply the transformation.

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The action will continue and, when it finishes, a dialog box appears stating that it’s complete. Press Stop. Your layer will be masked by the greyscale image you’ve just transformed and there’ll be a layer underneath called Rust. The rust underneath shows through your masked areas.

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Disable the visibility of the other layers for now. Click on the Heavy Cycle option and then click on the Play Selection button at the bottom of the Actions palette. Once the Place window opens, navigate to the Machine Wash folder called Filters. Click on MW_Scoured.pdf and click the Place button.

Illustration and tutorial by Derek Lea www.dereklea.com

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Enable the visibility of the next layer, called Blue. Now select and enable the visibility of the Lines layer lying directly above it. This time, click on the Regular Cycle option in the Actions palette and play it. Navigate to the Filters folder again if necessary. Select the Oxidation option.

Reduce the Layer Opacity to 49 per cent and then select and make visible the Cream layer. In the Actions palette, select and play the Regular Cycle action. Now navigate to the Filters folder and choose the Corkboard option from the list presented. Click the Place button and then adjust the size to cover the layer contents.

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Select the Gradient tool, specify the Foreground to Transparent preset and the Radial option. Set the opacity to 50 per cent. Use a black foreground colour and create gradients within the mask to gently fade the layer contents in the areas where the two figures overlap the ruby red area.

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VIEWING TRANSFORM It’s a good idea to think about your viewing mode before you begin working with the Machine Wash filters in earnest. You may wish to extend the bounding box beyond your canvas area and you cannot toggle between different viewing modes when the transformation box containing the greyscale image appears. We recommend working in full screen mode or full screen mode with a Menu bar before you play any Machine Wash action.

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Click the Place button. When the bounding box appears, perform a uniform scale operation out from the centre, press Enter when you’re finished to apply the transformation, and watch the action continue until your layer is masked. Because you selected the Regular Cycle, no rust layer will be created.

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Hold down the Control/Command key and click on the New Layer Mask icon to generate a selection from its contents. With the selection active, select the Metal layer in the Layers palette. Now choose Layer> New>LayerViaCopy from the menu and drag this new layer up above the Lines layer.

Once the action has finished, select and make visible the Ruby layer. Again, choose the Regular Cycle action from within the Actions palette and play it. Navigate to the Filters folder and choose the Roadwear option this time around. Click the Place button and wait for the Transformation bounding box to appear.

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You don’t need to resize the box this time. Instead, simply drag the effect downwards to cover the layer contents and then press Enter to apply the transformation and complete the action, masking the layer. Select your new layer mask in the Layers palette. Keep the mask selected and make visible the Outlines layer.

Make visible and select the Red layer. Play the Regular Cycle action and again choose the Roadwear option from inside the Filters folder. Once the image appears in the bounding box, you can simply press Enter, because it already covers the area sufficiently. Once the action has finished doing its stuff, press Stop.

Select and make visible the Skin layer and run the Regular Cycle action again. This time, from the list in the Filters folder, choose the Scoured option and press Place. When the greyscale image appears in the bounding box, first reduce it and then rotate it by about 45 degrees. Press Enter when you’re satisfied with the positioning.


CD TUTORIAL |

EDITING EFFECTS

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By now this repetitive process should be second nature. It really is the same thing over and over again, done a little differently or with a different filter each time you apply it. Make visible the Details layer and select it. Choose the Regular Cycle action and hit Play.

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Make visible the Green layer and select it in the Layers palette. Run the Regular Cycle action again, but this time select the Paper Jam option from the Filter folder. This time, when the Transformation bounding box appears, reduce its size and rotate it a little before pressing Enter.

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With the Outlines layer selected, choose the Regular Cycle action from the Actions palette and play it. Now choose Scoured from the list of options in the Filters folder. When the bounding box appears this time, don’t worry about the Alt/Option and Shift keys. Scale it unconstrained so that it distorts a little.

One thing that makes Machine Wash filters appealing is that they create Layer Masks and do not directly alter your layer contents. The effects can be enhanced or reduced simply by selecting the Layer Mask that Machine Wash created and performing a tonal adjustment. Tools such as Curves, Levels, and Brightness/Contrast will enable you to edit the greyscale data in your masks. Increasing or decreasing the dark areas and amount of contrast in your Layer Masks will enhance or reduce the filter effect.

20

Press Enter and allow the action to finish. When the Layer Mask appears, drag it to the Trashcan icon in the Layers palette to delete it. A dialog box will appear, asking if you wish to apply the mask before deleting it. Click on the Apply button.

15

Select the Corkboard option from within the Filters folder. When the grey image and bounding box appear, simply press Enter as the default size and positioning are fine as they are. Allow the action to run its course and press the Stop button as soon as it’s finished.

18

Allow the action to complete and then press the Stop button. Next, select the Outlines layer in the Layers palette. There’s no need to enable the visibility this time around, because the layer should already be visible.

21

When your Layer Mask is applied, duplicate the layer by dragging it onto the Create a New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette. With the duplicate layer selected, play the Regular Cycle action again. Select the Paper Jam option from the list in the Filters folder.

22 16

Now select the Box layer and enable its visibility within the Layers palette. Select the Regular Cycle action in the Actions palette and play it. This time around, though, choose the Oxidation option from the Filters folder. Again, just press Enter when the bounding box appears, as its size and position are fine as they stand.

The default positioning and size will cover the contents of this layer, so all you need to do is press Enter. Let the action complete and press the Stop button when prompted. Once you’re finished, enable the visibility of the three remaining layers and your image is complete.

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| TEN TIPS

Ó Whether you’re an established designer keen to break into the international design scene or an eager graduate who wants to show the world what you’ve got, winning a recognised competition could give you the exposure you crave. Here are the ten you should consider

01

D&AD AWARDS

02

BAFTA INTERACTIVE

03

FLASHFORWARD

04

WEBBY AWARDS

05

DESIGN WEEK AWARDS

The D&AD is a UK-based educational charity that works on behalf of the international design and advertising communities. Most famous for its annual awards, the Yellow Pencils, the D&AD Awards showcase the very best of creative design. This year’s winners have already been announced, so why not take a look at the kind of work you’d need to produce to win in 2006. The competition attracts over 23,000 entries each year and competition is tough, so you’ll earn respect even if you’re shortlisted. URL: www.dandad.org Estimated entry date: February 2006

BAFTA activities expand much further than the well-known film and television awards and now include both the BAFTA Games Awards and the BAFTA Interactive Awards. The latter, now in its seventh year, focuses on the new media industry and offers awards in categories such as Online Entertainment, Interactive TV, Film, DVD and Design. The panel is currently deliberating over the current entries, so check out the site and see what you’d be up against. URL: www.bafta.org/interactive Estimated entry date: October 2005

Created by Lynda.com and United Digital Artists, Flashforward is aimed at Macromedia Flash designers and aims to provide valuable exposure for the most innovative, compelling and original examples of Flash-based websites. Fifteen categories cover everything from programming, design, animation and sound editing, so take a look at the current listings and start planning your entry for next year. Judges include Jeff Faulkner, Shannon Darrough, Craig Swann and Eric Wiese. URL: www.flashforwardconference.com Estimated entry date: May 2006

The Webby Award is probably the ultimate mark of recognition for a website. Established in 1996 by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (www.iadas.net) in New York, the 500 member body of web experts, business figures and creatives get together each year to decide on winning sites in over 60 categories. Sites are judged on content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall impact. A People’s Voice Award is put to the public vote. URL: www.webbyawards.com Estimated entry date: October 2005

The 2005 awards for the design industry’s trade journal were announced at the beginning of March, with an extravagant ceremony and dinner for those shortlisted in such categories as Letterheads & Logos, Furniture Design, Editorial Design, Branded Packaging, TV/Film/Video graphics and even Workplace Environments and Retail Interiors. Current judges include Sebastien Conran, Michael Johnson and Tom Roope. The deadline dates for the 2006 awards have yet to be announced. URL: www.designweek.co.uk Estimated entry date: October 2005

IMAGES THIS PAGE: 01 Mooch.info – Winner, Interactive & Digital Media category 2005 02 Alexander McQueen – Winner, Design category 2005 03 Zefrank.com – Winner, Experimental category 2005 04 WordCount.org – People’s Voice Winner, Arts category 2005 05 Moon website by Unit 9 – Winner, Interactive Media category 2005

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TEN TIPS |

A

designer’s job is tricky. You spend hours devising a cutting-edge solution to your client’s brief, they reap the fruits of your labour, and then your sole reward is to get paid. Money’s great, but for any future clients to appreciate your skills and hard work, you must sell yourself further in a bid to win them over. An alternative approach might be to enter the occasional design competition and give yourself a little more exposure. This way you can impress

both your peers and the industry. But where do you start? A quick Google search will reveal any number of design competitions all claiming to be the industry’s equivalent to the Oscars. So we’ve saved you the job of whittling them down. The following should give you a good starting point, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for the all the new competition announcements, too. Before you know it, you’ll have reversed the roles and have clients hunting you down.

06

ADOBE DESIGN ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

07

COMMUNICATION ARTS: INTERACTIVE

08

COMPUTER ARTS GRADUATE SHOWCASE

This year sees the graphics software giant running its fifth annual event, which acts as a showcase for the most talented and promising student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers and computer artists. For 2005, the number of categories has been increased to nine, with animation and broadcast design broadening the video submissions. The ADAA is one of the few competitions where the kudos of winning is complemented by a cash prize of $5,000. URL: www.adobe.com/education/adaa Estimated entry date: April 2006 Additional prize: $5,000

The Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual has been running since 1997 and offers awards across such broad categories as Advertising, Business, Entertainment, Information Design and Self Promotion. The closing date for Interactive Annual 10 has already been announced as the 13 January 2006, so you’ve got plenty of time to start planning your interactive project – as long as it’s been created for the web, CD-ROM, interactive kiosk or handheld device. URL: www.commarts.com/ca/interactive Next entry date: 13 January 2006

We’re not biased, honest, but if you only enter one competition, make it this one. Our own Graduate Showcase has helped many a design graduate earn that precious mark of early respect. Successful candidates are showcased in a large format supplement, which is distributed globally alongside Computer Arts. Applications for this year’s Best of British showcase were restricted to UK graduates only, but if you think you’ve got what it takes, keep an eye on our news pages. URL: www.computerarts.co.uk Next entry date: March 2006

09

MACROMEDIA INNOVATION AWARD FOR STUDENTS

10

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

The Macromedia Innovation Award for Students is a bi-annual event that offers some additional tempting prizes. Two winners are selected from the four categories of Digital Communication, Interactive Media, Art Projects & Portfolios and Video. In addition, four People’s Choice winners from each category receive an iPod and four Editorial Award winners each receive $1,000 cash. How the award will be affected by the proposed Adobe/Macromedia merger only time will tell. URL: www.macromedia.com Next entry date: September 2005 Additional prizes: iPod/$1,000

Gaining recognition from your peers is satisfying, but avert your gaze from the navel of the design community and you’ll find a host of competitions run by organisations such as the BBC, national press and other media sources. One of the most prestigious must be the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year award. Note, however, that nominations are by invitation only. To be in with a chance of getting hold of that £25,000 prize fund, you may need to work on increasing your profile. URL: www.designmuseum.org Next entry date: n/a Additional prize: £25,000

IMAGES THIS PAGE: 06 My Secret Diary, Junghwa Moon – Third prize, Illustration category 2004 07 MrPicassoHead.com – Interactive Annual 10 winner, Entertainment category 08 Computer Arts Graduate Showcase 2005 09 Jared Coles, People’s Choice winner – Fall 2003 10 Design Museum’s Designer of the Year

August 2005

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Illustration by GR/DD

| FEATURE

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FEATURE |

GET STARTED WITH...

DESIGN FOR MOBILES

With 1.7 billion mobile phone subscribers around the world, the market for mobile content is huge, says Karl Hodge. Mobile data services need designers, so isn’t it about time you got to grips with the latest information revolution?

2005 may well go down as the year the future began. The information revolution has been a long one, beginning with the popularisation of desktop computers, continuing with the birth of the web and coming to full fruition with the mobile explosion of the 21st century. Current statistics suggest that there are now more mobile phones in the UK than there are people – around 80 per cent of us use them. These numbers may be impressive, but what’s really happening to mobile technology? Mobile phones are no longer just phones (in truth, they never were). The analysts missed out on this at first, not realising that the killer app wouldn’t be voice-to-voice, but data services. This phenomenon took phone manufacturers and networks by surprise. In early 2000, text messaging was considered a marginal feature

and provided for free, but the popularity and impact on systems became so great that the networks soon had to start charging. A wise decision considering that, in the UK alone, we now send around 50 million text messages a day. But why is SMS so significant? It’s a gateway technology that enables networks to deliver other types of content. The system the networks predicted would be the standard was the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) – a mobile technology based on internet standards. WAP is still significant, and becoming more important as mobile connection speeds get faster, but SMS enables networks to charge for content in ways that users find easy and familiar. While SMS is essential for payment structures, the key delivery technologies have only recently entered the mainstream, following a successful

bidding war for “3G” bandwidth in 2004. 3G is much like broadband for mobile phones – a way of connecting to data services alongside voice traffic. 3G services are “always on” connections with typical data rates of 384Kbits per second – although they’re capable of up to 1920Kbits/s. More widely used 2.5G or GPRS services connect at a more sedate 56Kbits per second. The devices themselves are becoming more like mobile media centres than phones. They’re MP3 players, PDAs, game consoles, cameras, animation players and video clip viewers. And these applications are going to need designers like you to provide exciting new content. DESIGNS ON MOBILE There’s so much that’s needed, from basic mobile site layouts to graphics, animation, August 2005

Ë | 73


| FEATURE

3D and video, and not all of it requires specialist programming or layout skills. At the bottom rung of the ladder are mobile phone themes, background images and wallpaper. This type of content is easy to create for designers used to working with standard illustration and photo-editing tools and, alongside ring tones, accounts for a large proportion of the ubiquitously advertised mobile content market. With most handsets now capable of displaying colour images in standard GIF, PNG or JPEG formats, you don’t need specialist programs to do the job – though there are tools for specific handsets. You may only be able to charge £1.50 a time, but hit the right market and you could soon find yourself in the money. The same holds true for animated screensavers. They may sound complex, but they’re simply animated GIF files – you know, those things that used to annoy everyone on the web a few years back – and frame-by-frame GIF animation capabilities are built into Photoshop CS2, ImageReady and Macromedia Fireworks. With the latest handsets, and PDA hybrid “smart phones” in particular, things get a bit more sophisticated. The mobile games market is going through something of a renaissance, and last year’s Nokia n-Gage now faces a number of challengers. You don’t need a dedicated handset to play games, though – the most popular downloads on the mobile platform have been simple classics like Tetris (which last year spent eight months in the industry’s download charts). In the same way, a clever blend of imaginative graphics and straightforward game play sealed the recent success of Yetisports (www. yetisports.org). This time, you’re a yeti batting around penguins with a baseball bat. Relying on simple interaction – you compete to beat your RIGHT: Flash Lite is a cut-down version of Macromedia’s world-famous animation package Flash MX. The app’s core rendering engine can cope with SVG-T, bitmap images, vectors, embedded text and gradients.

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CASE STUDY #1

SVG-TINY vs FLASH LITE WE PIT THE TWO ANIMATION STANDARDS HEAD TO HEAD Two competing animation standards have emerged on the mobile platform. The first, SVG-Tiny, is backed by the W3C. A cut-down version of the XML-based Scalable Vector Graphics format – which has so far failed to set the web alight – SVG-Tiny is well supported, with over 40 handsets shipping with built-in players from developers such as Ikivo and BitFlash.Flash Lite 1.1 is Macromedia’s version of Flash for mobile phones. But which will succeed? Right now, it’s hard to say. The latest Flash Lite player, deployed in over 40 handsets, also supports SVG-Tiny – taking the format’s total to over 80 handsets. But Flash Lite is massive in Japan, boasts more powerful interaction, and has widespread recognition. Our advice? Hedge your bets for now, use Flash for games and wait for SVG-Tiny export in the next version of the Flash authoring tool. RIGHT: SVG-Tiny, used to create this image, is a less powerful programming platform than Flash Lite, but is more widely deployed. The jury’s out on who will win the final battle.

previous score and the scores of others – the design boasts a viral element that keeps you coming back for more. The Yetisports games are among many that run on Java-enabled phones, but as more handsets ship with vector animation players, we’re likely to see an increase in made-formobile movies and viral cartoons. 3G networks such as Vodafone Live and the 3 Network are making much of the market for streamed video clips. How much designers will be able to contribute remains to be seen, but some lucrative deals have already been struck. The Grand National was recently delivered to 3 Network customers on demand, while NTL is trialling mobile TV services. But it’s not all animation. WAP services are still breathing and as phones become more sophisticated it’s getting easier to design for mobile devices, too. The current standard is a cut-down version of XHTML for


FEATURE |

START CREATING MOBILE CONTENT

mobile platforms, though many smart phones can now browse “normal” websites – providing they’re W3C compliant. Award-winning apps such as the Live Departure Board system at www.nationalrail.co.uk lead the way with simple design and straightforward functionality. LEARNING CURVE As you can see, there are plenty of routes into the mobile content market. Not all of them are difficult to get into – but some, like games development and information site creation, require additional expertise. We wouldn’t advise you to jump headfirst into games creation without some hefty programming know-how. The design problems are, in some ways, a little more mundane. You’ll be creating content that you hope will display gracefully on multiple handsets and at unpredictable resolutions. While 240x320 pixels seems to be default at the higher-end

If you already own Macromedia Flash MX 2004, you can already create animation for a growing number of mobile platforms. Flash Lite export is built into the package. Your first step should be to make sure you’re running the latest version of the software.

1

2

worked on a little Flash Lite (1.0) project, a small animation created from an imported sequence of alpha transparent PNG files,” he explains. “But the transparency in the animation wouldn’t work on the mobile platform

“Performance on old devices may be bad, but they still need to be supported. Games have to be highly optimised” of the market, screen real estate can be much smaller. This means making a decision early on whether you want to target high-end phones, stick with the mid-range median of 180x220 or aim for a more generic 120x120. Naturally, mobile phones are far less powerful than computers: “You need to consider that performance on old devices may be bad, but they still need to be supported,” says Chris Hilgert, the brains behind Yetisports. “Games have to be highly optimised,” he says. Such advice applies to bitmap and vector based animation, too. As with any “new” development medium, there’s a learning curve to climb, as Kris Honeycutt of cuttingedge mobile and web design company Solid Thinking admits: “I recently

I was porting it to.” Honeycutt discovered that the solution was to export the files from Macromedia Fireworks at 32bits instead of Photoshop at 24. It’s trial and error situations like this that underline the youth of the medium. PLATFORM PROTOCOLS There are further issues of compatibility to consider, too – but as this is an area that’s still developing, there’s no broad agreement. Curiously, the situation on mobile platforms is virtually the reverse of the web. The predominant mobile technology for running interactive content such as games is a version of Java – J2ME. While Flash has saturated the web, Java’s cross-platform, C-like

ABOVE: Ikivo Animator, formerly Zoomon Animator, integrates with Adobe Creative Suite and enables you to author SVG-Tiny content in a familiar environment.

BELOW: You can port Flash games to Flash Lite 1.1 as long as they conform to Flash 4 ActionScript restrictions.

Go to Help>AboutFlash. If you’re running any version other than 7.2, you’ll need to download an update from www. macromedia.com/software/flash/ special/7_2updater/. While you’re at it, grab the Flash Lite CDK (Content Development Kit) from www.macromedia.com/cfusion/ entitlement/index.cfm?e=flashcdk.

3

Just about any animation can be repurposed for Flash, or you can develop new content from scratch. The program is bundled with a batch of templates to get you started. Check out File>New>Templates.

4

Once you’ve opened your chosen template, you can safely delete the top layer. Any content you add should be placed on the Content layer, or on layers below the Device layer. Alternatively, you could design at a generic size of around 120x120 pixels.

5

Optimisation is key when designing for mobile platforms. Jettison all unnecessary elements, optimise vector images by reducing the number of curves, and forget about gradient fills. Convert all elements into symbols, too.

6

Once you’re ready to publish, go to File>PublishSettings and choose Flash Lite from the dropdown menu that appears. Choosing version 1.0 will give you less interactive capability, but will ensure the widest compatibility.

August 2005

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| FEATURE

CASE STUDY #1

CHOOSE YOUR SOFTWARE NAME: IKIVO ANIMATOR URL: www.ikivo.com Price: £248.75 Platform: Windows 2000, XP What does it do? SVG-Tiny animation tool that integrates with Adobe CS.

NAME: INKSCAPE URL: www.inkscape.org Price: Free Platform: Linux, Windows What does it do? Open source vector illustration tool with SVG output.

NAME: MACROMEDIA FLASH MX 2004 URL: www.macromedia.com/flash Price: £448.99 Platform: Windows, Mac OS X What does it do? Create animations in the mobile Flash Lite format.

NAME: ADOBE GOLIVE CS2 URL: www.adobe.com/golive Price: £362.99 Platform: Windows, Mac OS X What does it do? WAP authoring in WML and XHTML-MP, plus SVG-Tiny authoring. NAME: QUICKTIME PRO 7 URL: www.apple.com/quicktime Price: £19.99 Platform: Mac OS X, Windows What does it do? Converts video clips to 3GPP format for mobile platforms.

structure has made it an ideal technology for writing games and mini-apps. This has made it hard for lone designers to make inroads into the market, but that’s set to change. Flash Lite, now available on around 40 handsets, is Macromedia’s cutdown version of Shockwave Flash for mobile phones. Exceedingly popular in Japan on the NTTDoCoMo network, it boasts ActionScript capabilities comparable to Flash 4, is adequate for delivering games and is an excellent method for creating animation. It has a rival, though. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) has made little impact on the web, but the World Wide Web Consortium-

ABOVE: Along with Ikivo, BitFlash SVG-T Player leads the market in mobile media players. The company contributed to the W3C specs for the SVG format. RIGHT: Own Flash MX 2004? Then you can already repurpose content for your mobile phone – see page 75.

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endorsed format is well represented on many mobile platforms. There are several Mobile SVG players in circulation – including the Flash Lite Player – but the tools for content creation lack the sophistication of Flash so far. However, given Adobe’s recent acquisition of Macromedia, this problem could soon be rectified. There’s already an impressive, if overpriced, production tool called Ikivo Animator, which looks like an early version of Flash and integrates well with the Mobile SVG support already included with Adobe GoLive CS2 and Illustrator. The mobile market is now ripe for computer literate designers to get in at ground level. With so much happening so quickly, demonstrating that you can create content for these platforms is a must. It’s like the birth of the web all over again, except that this time there’s money to be made.

ABOVE: Winning the prize for Best Animation in the recent Flash Lite Content Contest, www.smashingideas.com squeezed two minutes of full animation into the format with their entry entitled 2001.

CASE STUDY #1

SELLING YOUR WORK The most direct way to make money from mobile content is to sell it yourself. With Open Source software such as Kannel, a free WAP and SMS server, you can easily serve content from your own website. Find out more by visiting www.kannel.org. The alternative is to approach existing content providers – particularly those who syndicate content – www.mpush.com and www.mms3.com, for example.


REVIEWS All the latest kit, put to the test SOFTWARE FINAL CUT STUDIO P80 CARRARA BASICS 2 P84 HEXAGON P84 SWIFT3D 4.5 P85 PANOWEAVER 4 P85

HARDWARE LACIE 321 LCD MONITOR P82 EPSON STYLUSPRO 4800 P83

DESIGNED FOR LIFE EPSON P2000 MULTIMEDIA VIEWER P86 MINISTRY OF SOUND STIKAX P86 FROGPAD P86 PINNACLE LIQUID EDITION 6 PRO P86 CABLEYOYO P87 CANON PIXMA IP2000 BUBBLEJET P87 IOMEGA REV DRIVE P87

BOOKS DESIGNED TO HELP P89 CREATIVE TYPE: A SOURCEBOOK OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY LETTERFORMS P89 THE CINEMA 4D 9/9.1 HANDBOOK P89 FUNKSTORUNG: TRIPLE MEDIA P89

GROUP TEST INDESIGN PLUG-INS ALAP INEFFECTS P92 ALAP INTOOLS P92 GLUON PROSCALE ID P93 WOODWING SMART STYLES P93 HISTORY FOR INDESIGN CS P94

REVIEWS

All our products go through rigorous testing and only truly outstanding and essential pieces of kit receive the coveted five-star rating.

★★★★★

RECOMMENDED


| REVIEW

MAC Yes

PC No

PRICE

£899 CONTACT

Apple 0800 039 1010 www.apple.com/ukstore ABOVE: Motion 2 includes Replicator – a feature that enables you to duplicate and animate graphics in style.

FEATURES

• Non-linear editing • Motion graphics/ compositing • DVD authoring • Audio editing/composing • Real-time editing • HD support • DVDSP H.264 support • Title creation (LiveType) • Telecine database (Cinema Tools) • Roundtrip integration throughout studio

LEFT: Final Cut Pro 5’s Multicam tools are superb.

SYSTEM

MAC: PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) or G5 (HD features require 1GHz or faster single or dual processor; authoring/ playback of HD DVDs requires a G5), 512MB RAM (HD features require 1GB RAM), 4GB HD space (41GB to install templates, loops and tutorials), QuickTime 7, DVD drive, Mac OS X 10.3.9 or Mac OS X 10.4 FOR

• Superb multicam tools • Full HD support • Superbly integrated AGAINST

• Massive installation

VERDICT Final Cut Studio is a truly awesome suite of video apps that any small production studio or aspiring filmmaker would be mad to miss out on. Great value for money, superb integration and four real quality apps make this one of the best creative releases of the year.

★★★★★ 80

|

August 2005

Final Cut Studio

RECOMMENDED

A SUITE OF PROFESSIONAL HD-READY VIDEO APPS AT A GREAT PRICE. APPLE’S DONE IT AGAIN

n recent years, Final Cut Pro has taken the professional editing world by storm, playing its part in movie blockbusters and many a documentary and drama. It’s an application that has really grown up since its first release in 1999. Final Cut Studio, the latest suite of tools from Apple, puts the Emmy Award-winning FCP, DVD Studio Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro and a whole load of other goodies in one low-cost package. £899 may seem a lot, but when you think that on its own Final Cut Pro costs £699, you’ll soon realise that there’s great value in this suite of tools. Bear in mind, though, that you’ll need some serious storage – installing all content and apps will take up 40GB of HD space (although you can install all extra content – stock animations, tutorials, etc – on an external disk). This suite screams quality before you even open the box. It’s a hefty package that’s sublimely designed and, shock horror, comes with goodquality printed manuals. You get the whole lot digitally, too. The last version of Final Cut Pro introduced HD support – as a free

I

RESOURCE A website bursting with great features, advice and a forum with a population the size of China, 2Pop is a fantastic resource for any new filmmaker using Final Cut Pro (www. uemedia.com/ CPC/2-pop).

update, no less – but now the app supports pretty much all video formats going, including HD, SD, DV and DVCPRO HD. The main addition to FCP 5 is something that documentary makers all over the world have been waiting for – real-time multicam editing. This feature simply enables you to piece together footage from multiple camera angles in real time – think live music video and extreme sports. FCP handles this with typical ease. Of course, to do everything properly you’ll need a pro multicam setup when filming, but why else would you use this feature? After capturing clips from each camera in the normal way, you can combine them into one “multiclip” using the Modify>MakeMulticlip command. Then, it’s simply a matter of using the intuitive dialog that appears to sync your clips using in or out points or timecode. Once this is done, you bring the multiclip onto the timeline, making sure RT is on Unlimited RT, and play the clip before selecting which angle you want to appear at what time using the Multiclip viewer. It really is a

cinch to use, but you’ll need a superfast Mac to make the most of it. That said, editing on a PowerBook or lower spec Mac is possible, by taking advantage of the next “killer” feature – Dynamic RT. If you’re familiar with FCP’s scalable realtime architecture, you’ll know that the user can specify at what quality the footage plays back on the timeline. This makes it possible to view more and more effects and video tracks in real-time, depending on the speed of your system. Dynamic RT does it all for you – adjusting the image quality and frame rate as your footage plays, taking into account your system speed and the amount of effects, transitions and tracks you’re trying to view in real-time. Of course, you can still change playback quality to High, Medium or Low by means of a small dropdown at the top-right of the timeline. FCP 5 is well integrated with the rest of the suite. Now, for instance, you can export part of the timeline to Shake, with a file out node ready to bring it back in. You can also import Motion projects and


REVIEWS |

1

4 ABOVE: DVD Studio Pro 4 fully supports HD video and provides a range of new themes and transitions for authoring your DVDs.

3 2 5 ABOVE: FCP’s integration with the suite – and Apple Shake – is second to none. You can even import native Motion projects.

Soundtrack Pro projects directly into the timeline, and export parts of the timeline to these formats. There’s also better integration with Cinema Tools and support for Logic or Mackie control surfaces and minor interface enhancements. DVD Studio Pro is the best it’s ever been. The major addition is support for HDV and H.264. Using the latter, you can fit HD content onto existing DVDs, although you’ll need a suitable player to see the results. Another interesting addition is the ability to swap SD content for HD content while retaining all connections, buttons, etc. In addition, there’s now an integrated Dolby Encoder (replacing A-Pack) and distributed encoding (via Compressor), so you can harness the power of multiple computers when encoding heavy HD content. Motion 2 may never have enjoyed the kudos of After Effects, nor its feature-set, but Apple has here tried to compensate. Round-trip After Effects support is the most obvious and much needed enhancement. Now motion graphics artists can use the excellent Motion animations and

A BRAND NEW AUDIO TOOL

Soundtrack Pro is a new app, but does bear obvious similarities to Soundtrack, its now defunct predecessor. Like Soundtrack, it comes with a plentiful array of loops – 5,000 in total – so you can easily compose a royaltyfree music track from scratch, using the GarageBand-esque browser. More dedicated audiophiles, however, will love the non-destructive waveform editor (a new feature), which enables you to quickly analyse and fix various audio problems such as clicks and pops. You can also shorten or lengthen tracks without it affecting pitch. It’s a nice addition to the Studio bundle.

effects and plonk them into an AE comp without rendering. Nice. The app is still rather slow if you have anything but the quickest G5, but if you’re producing broadcast graphics you should be using a topspec machine anyway. Rendering has been given a huge boost with the addition of GPU-accelerated 16- and 32-bit float rendering, which means you can achieve film-quality output. It is, according to Apple, the only app in the world to include this feature. Creative additions include Replicator, a pattern generator that enables you to turn graphics into animated fancy patterns. It’s easy to use, and great for adding some fitinducing graphics to footage. Added filters and effects are a bonus, as is the MIDI behaviour, which enables you to generate cool real-time graphics from MIDI input devices. Add to this the Soundtrack Pro (see boxout, left), LiveType (a rather nifty timeline and keyframe-based titling tool), Cinema Tools (for Telecine conversion) and a handy QuickTime Pro key, and you have an essential suite for any serious editor or filmmaker.

THE INTERFACE (ABOVE) 1 Multicam The new Multiclip viewer enables you to quickly cut together sequences from multiple camera setups in real-time. 2 Dynamic RT Dynamic RT assesses your Mac’s CPU and how many effects and video tracks you’ve got on your timeline before adjusting the quality and frame-rate so that you can see everything in real time. 3 Timeline Final Cut Pro’s timeline remains one of the simplest and easy to use incarnations of non-linear editing we’ve seen. 4 Integration Superb integration with Apple Shake and other excellent tools in the suite makes Final Cut Pro a real team player. 5 MIDI control New audio support enables you to control the Audio Mixer using industry standard Mackie control surfaces.

August 2005

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| REVIEW

MAC Yes

PC Yes

PRICE

£1,242 CONTACT

LaCie 020 7233 8338 www.lacie.com/uk FEATURES

• SA Superfine TFT panel • 21.3-inch (54cm) view area • 0.27mm dot pitch • 1,600x1,200 max resolution • 20ms response time • 500:1 contrast ratio • 176-degree viewing angle (horizontally and vertically) • 90-degree screen rotation • VGA, D-Sub, DVI-D and DVI-I connectivity • Measures 467x391x200mm SYSTEM

Simply plugs into any Mac or PC with appropriate ports

The LaCie 321’s metal hood effectively reduces ambient glare and minimises reflection for optimum colour output.

LaCie 321 LCD monitor ONE OF THE LARGEST LCD MONITORS YOU’LL FIND – BUT IT COMES AT A PRICE

FOR

• Excellent colour handling • Generous resolution and viewing area • Comprehensive gamma correction AGAINST

• Expensive • Cable ports make rotation a little awkward

VERDICT The LCD monitor has become a serious professional tool with the release of the LaCie 321, although the steep price will dissuade all but the most serious of users. Don’t let that put you off, though – shop around online and you could pick one up for considerably less.

★★★★★ 82

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August 2005

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he LCD or TFT screen may beat the traditional CRT monitor hands down when it comes to sheer size and elegance, but the older format is still giving the young technology a run for its money when it comes to resolution, refresh rates – and, of course, price. But now 17inch and 19-inch LCD screens are being increasingly mass-produced, the older format’s days are well and truly numbered. Take this slimline marvel from LaCie, for instance. It may cost over a grand, but just look at what you get for your cash. The contrast range couldn’t be stronger with a ratio of 500:1. Whites shine and blacks never look grey or washed out. Indeed colours emerge that would knock your average ageing CRT desktop into a cocked hat. Although the moderate refresh rate of 20ms may seem a little disappointing, you only need to remind yourself of that vast 21.3inch viewable area. Running at a maximum resolution of 1,600x1,200, it’s big enough to view a couple of browsers side by side, and more than enough to work effectively with the likes of Photoshop, etc. Aesthetically, the stand and screen have a functional rather than

attractive appearance, but then this is a professional tool, not a piece of furniture. The metal hood helps to reduce ambient glare and minimise reflection for optimum colour output

THE 321 LCD OFFERS MUCH MORE THAN EXTRA DESKTOP SPACE RESOURCE If you’re still unsure whether you’re ready to make the jump to an LCD monitor, check out TechDOT.com’s comparison at www.techdot.com/ doc/00169.html, which will address any concerns you may still have about the LCD vs CRT issue.

and, handily, VGA and DVI cables are also provided, so there’s no need to trek out to Maplins just to get your system up and running. All the software you’ll need to use the monitor in Portrait mode is provided on the bundled CD, but although rotating the monitor 90 degrees on its base is easy enough, you’ll need to remember to remove the hood. You’ll also need to consider stress to the cables attached directly beneath the monitor – if only these had been integrated into the rear of the base, out of harm’s way… The On Screen Display (OSD) is clear and easily accessible, and offers a series of buttons running along the foot of the panel. These enable the monitor to recognise

any differences between analog and digital signals. All the commonly used features are easily available: full control over RGB and Kelvin temperature settings, along with 10bit gamma correction for optimum screen calibration, which ensures that the colours you see on screen are the colours you print – an important consideration for anyone working in a pro environment. If these controls don’t go far enough, you could always take a look at the optional LaCie blue eye pro monitor calibration tool – which is designed to get the best out of the 321. Reviewed in Computer Arts 109, the blue eye pro gives you the option of white point or gamma calibration in easy to follow steps, and comes with a calibration reporting tool that inspects and reports on the current state of the monitor and compares the results with a target setting. If ever an LCD monitor were built to tempt the graphics professional away from the CRT screen, this is it. The price may be an issue for some, but once you’ve seen the colour, detail and depth possible on the 321, you’ll realise that this LCD monitor offers much more than a little extra desktop space.


REVIEWS |

MAC Yes

PC Yes

PRICE

£1,757 CONTACT

Epson 08702 416900 www.epson.co.uk FEATURES

• Accepts up to A2 size paper • Edge-to-edge printing • Roll paper printing • Will print on paper up to 1.5mm thick • Takes advantage of new eight-ink K3 Ultrachrome pigment process • Improved black and white output • Supports Adobe RGB colour mode • Estimated print life of up to 200 years • FireWire connector with optional Ethernet • USB 2.0 connector SYSTEM

MAC: Any recent Mac running OS 9.1 or later PC: Any recent PC, running Windows 98 or later FOR

• Excellent performance • Gallery-standard print longevity • Good print speed AGAINST

• Matte and photo black inks still need to be swapped manually • Awkward set-up process • Expensive ink replacements

VERDICT A thoroughly professional printer that delivers superb results every time – even if it takes two to set up. Default colour accuracy is outstanding – although you’ll need good quality paper/card to take advantage of that impressive new ink system.

★★★★★

LEFT: You may find this printer’s size a little intimidating – set up is definitely a two-man job.

Epson StylusPro 4800

RECOMMENDED

EPSON TRAILBLAZES ITS K3 INK SYSTEM WITH THIS WIDE-FORMAT PROFESSIONAL PRINTER

chance of setting it up on your own – it’s definitely a two-person job. Installation itself is rather fiddly, too, requiring you to remove countless strips of plastic tape, unscrew

E

pson’s older large-format printers have long been a favourite with professionals. But news of the latest upgrades has caused more of a stir than usual, thanks to the introduction of K3, an exciting new ink formulation, which aims to tackle some of the problems affecting the original inkset. Annoying artefacts such as metamerism and bronzing, which left prints with an annoying “shimmer”, have now been eliminated. The old Epson black is now also joined by two shades of grey – called light black and lightlight black. These help fill in subtle shadings and provide smoother midrange tones for both colour and black and white images. The 4800 lies at the low end of the new professional range handling these inks. All three models, up to the £5,500 9800, are distinguished from prosumer printers like the 2400 by a final factory calibration process for better colour accuracy. First off, if you’ve never used an A2 printer before, the size of the 4800 is a little intimidating. Unless you’re a weightlifter, you’ll have no

COLOUR ACCURACY AND OUTPUT QUALITY ARE EXCELLENT RESOURCE For details about the K3 process, visit www.epson. com/cgi-bin/ Store/Landing/ UltraChromeK3. jsp. Cartridges aren’t cheap, but the actual cost is lower per ml than what you’d pay for the smaller prosumer carts.

transport locks and move various tabs and levers. Ink charging takes about ten minutes and involves yet more lever waggling. Thankfully, software installation isn’t such a chore. The CD includes a driver, a status monitor and a set of ICC profiles. A useful remote control panel is supplied on another CD. As for print quality, default colour accuracy and output quality are excellent. There was only the barest hint of bronzing on our test prints and both photo gloss and fine art matte output were up to professional standards. Photographers will be particularly impressed by the superb

black and white output. Never mind proofing – the 4800 gives C-type and other photo print processes a good run for their money, and for some images produces much better results, too. It’s a similar story for fine art output. There are caveats. High quality paper is vital – and, unsurprisingly, the default profiles are for Epson’s own stock. If you want to print on something more exotic – the paper path can handle good card – then profiling is essential. Support for the Adobe RGB colour space is a nice touch, but there’s no colourmanagement built into the machine, so if you need absolute accuracy for proofing you’ll either be restricted to papers you can get profiles for, or you’ll need to add a third-party colour management system. The biggest disappointment is that you still have to swap photo gloss and fine art matte cartridges by hand. People who use both may be in a minority, but it’s still a pain. Otherwise, this is a thoroughly professional printer capable of exceptional results for both proofing and final print production. August 2005

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| REVIEWS

Carrara Basics 2 offers a clean interface with toolbars neatly tucked away, sees improvements to the terrain editor and adds sky simulators and a plant editor, too.

Models in Hexagon can look a little too soft and cuddly – detailed control of subdivision surfaces is limited – but every change is recorded in the dynamic construction window.

Carrara Basics 2

Hexagon

3D MODELLING, ANIMATION AND RENDERING MADE QUICK, EASY AND CHEAP

MAC Yes

PC Yes

PRICE

99 euros (£65) CONTACT

Eovia +33 (0) 556 13 40 06 www.eovia.com FOR

• Quick lighting setup • Lots of free 3D models • Low cost AGAINST

• Lacks modelling tools • No dynamics or cloth simulation • Limited IK functions

VERDICT Basics offers 3D newbies instant lighting set-ups and drag and drop objects and materials. But to work really effectively you’ll need a separate modelling package.

★★★★★ 84

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arrara Basics is, as its name suggests, a cut-down version of Carrara Pro, Eovia’s mid-range 3D package. As such, it cherry picks features and workflows from Carrara Pro, but also adds its own selection of tools tuned to the needs of the casual 3D user. Basics offers both spline and metaball modelling. Spline modelling builds objects from lines and flat shapes by extruding, lathing, and lofting them, and metaball modelling offers objects made from “soft” shapes, which meld together to form organic curves. Both methods are powerful and well implemented, but they don’t really perform as well as a full modelling package without subdivision surface modelling, which is Carrara Basic’s main weakness. The primary reason for this omission appears to be to allow Eovia to sell Hexagon. There’s also a formula modelling tool, which is fun to play with, but not likely to interest most users. More impressive are the 900 or so preloaded models that come bundled with the package. Grouped into logical folders, each model is ready to drop straight into any scene directly from the program’s simple interface. Carrara Basics 2 boasts an improved landscape generator, and new sky and plant simulators have also been added. There’s also a new scene wizard, which lets you set up realistic lighting conditions with just a couple of clicks.

C

A STAND-ALONE MODELLING PACKAGE WITH A HANDS-ON FEEL

MAC Yes

PC Yes

PRICE

249 euros (£165) CONTACT

Eovia +33 (0) 556 13 40 06 www.eovia.com FOR

• Intuitive modelling tools • Quick to pick up • Good range of functions AGAINST

• Unsophisticated materials • Difficult to refine angles on subdivision surfaces • Limited UV tools

VERDICT If your 3D package already has a comprehensive set of modelling tools, Hexagon will add little. But for Poser or Carrara users, it’ll definitely be a useful addition.

★★★★★

ut simply, Hexagon is what’s missing from Carrara Basics. This 3D modelling package works with the points, surfaces and splines of an object using a simple interface that makes even complex tasks easy. Modelling in Hexagon feels a little like modelling with plasticine. Tactile controls allow you to stretch and mould your shape, controlling and refining it with intuitive mouse movements. The models, too, look a little clay-like – soft edges and gentle curves predominate. Sharp corners, edges and flat surfaces are a little harder to achieve than with many subdivision surface modellers. Hexagon’s object creation and editing tools include the ability to lathe or loft from 2D shapes or text, Boolean operations, duplication of objects, and collision detection. Whatever you do to an object is stored in its construction history so it’s easy to go back if you get something wrong. You’ll also find modifiers, which you can add to your object to taper, bend or twist it. These modifiers can also be applied to groups of polygons or points, rather than the whole object, and there’s a responsive soft selection tool that graduates changes over your object’s surface. With the software’s collision detection you can place objects onto the surface of other objects without intersecting them, and UV tools help to texture your objects – although these aren’t as comprehensive as they could be.

P


REVIEWS |

Swift3D may take a little time to master, but once you’ve grasped the basics you’ll soon realise there is no better tool for creating impressive 3D Flash content.

Swift 3D 4.5 SWIFT 3D USES NEW TOOLS TO STEP OUTSIDE ITS ORIGINAL FLASH MARKET

MAC Yes

PC Yes

PRICE

$229 (£125) Upgrade from $79 (£43) CONTACT

eRain 00 1 888 613 1500 www.erain.com FOR

• Easy to use • Flash-like controls • Extended format support adds versatility AGAINST

• Expensive upgrade from v3 or lower ($139)

VERDICT With the addition of some muchneeded 3D vector rendering options and support for a range of output formats, Swift 3D might just extend its potential.

★★★★★

wift 3D is now established as the 3D tool of choice for the more ambitious Flash designer. And, although it cuts some corners when placed head to head against some of the more industry strength 3D apps from the likes of Alias, there’s no denying that the software is the more efficient choice when developing content specifically for online delivery. As a half-generational upgrade, there are no immediately noticeable changes to the software interface. Instead, the primary improvements have been made to the 3D vector rendering options with the introduction of pen style outlines, which allow tablet artists to create more realistic variable width strokes. Shadow density and colour controls add some realism and depth and help your images pop from the screen, and outlines at intersections will help place objects in their 3D relative perspective. Transparent objects are now rendered with outlines and a new hidden transparent edges option allows you to render edges that would normally be obscured. In addition, it is now possible to render vector style animations to video with new-found support for the Flash Video .FLV format for import into Flash, and export to .AVI and QuickTime video formats. Swift can also export vector gradient shading styles and shadows to .EPS and .SVG, which all helps to extend the potential of your Swift 3D output within design projects external to Macromedia Flash.

S

PanoWeaver’s revised interface provides easier access to the tools available for matching points and determining your output configuration with pin-point accuracy.

PanoWeaver 4 GET IN THE PICTURE WITH THIS NICHE 360-DEGREE PHOTOGRAPHIC UTILITY

MAC No

PC Yes

PRICE

$599.95 (£327) Upgrade from $300 (£163) CONTACT

EasyPano +86 21 5080 0745 www.easypano.com FOR

• Powerful and easy to use • Pinpoint accurate controls • Java-based output AGAINST

• Expensive • Requires additional hardware to capture images

VERDICT This dedicated app does a great job of stitching together 360degree images with a minimum of fuss, although the price may limit its audience a little.

★★★★★

A

s digital photography becomes more popular and digital SLR’s seem more affordable, it’s little wonder that this is one of the biggest technological growth markets. Panoramic stitching of multiple images has been available for some time now, and QuickTime VR has enabled more ambitious users to create more immersive media, but without the right equipment such attempts can look distorted and unnatural. Enter PanoWeaver, a dedicated application for creating such immersive images by seamlessly stitching together two or more extreme wide-angle shots. The software places you right in the centre of an image that can be freely rotated, courtesy of Java, around a 360-degree angle in all directions. The new version boasts a dramatically improved interface – which includes a number of clearly identifiable panels for editing the final output and matching points of your images – and takes much of the guesswork out of the process. The end results are certainly impressive, although the price may dissuade many from experimenting any further than the trial download version. You’ll also need to bear in mind the hardware required – dedicated lenses, tripods and heads will soon stretch your budget – but for certain sectors, real estate and travel agents looking to show off their products, for example, such an application will definitely have its attractions. August 2005

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01

02

05

06

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03

04

07

Designed for life... Gadgets and gizmos with that little extra something 01 FROGPAD Although there are apparently converts to the charms of this one-handed keyboard – at least when it comes to those who regularly use other mobile devices – it took the entire Computer Arts team most of the day to work out that there was no way we’d ever get the hang of it. Nuff said. PRICE: £79.95 CONTACT: www.frogpad.com 02 PINNACLE LIQUID EDITION PRO 6 Be a movie whizz with the breakout box. It’s part of the Pinnacle video-editing package and one of the most powerful and accessible video products currently available. Features USB 2 connectivity, thousands of standard and high-definition real-time effects and DVD authoring facilities. PRICE: $999.99 (£549) CONTACT: www.pinnaclesys.com

03 CANON PIXMA IP2000 BUBBLEJET This cute, cheerful and cheapto-run photo bubblejet printer presses all the right buttons. It prints images direct from your camera right up to A4 size, is easy to use and, at 14 pages per minute in colour, reasonably fast. PRICE: £69.99 CONTACT: www.canon.co.uk 04 IOMEGA REV DRIVE Highly portable, sleek and easyto-use storage device from those masters of the game Iomega. Comes in a choice of moody black or Mac-friendly matt white. Works with FireWire. PRICE: £169 CONTACT: www.iomegaeurope.com/eu/en/index_ en.aspx 05 STIKAX Extremely groovy and fantastically styled gizmo designed for mixing PC music and video at the touch of a

button. Extremely addictive and great fun to use. PRICE: £49.99 CONTACT: www.stikax.com/ pages/producttour.html 06 EPSON P2000 MULTIMEDIA STORAGE VIEWER Lightweight, beautifully designed and highly desirable, the Epson P2000 is a photo, music and movie player condensed into one chunky, curvy package. The 3.8inch PhotoFine display is terrific and the battery lasts an age. PRICE: £349 CONTACT: www.epson.co.uk 07 CABLEYOYO A cross between the latest nifty iPod accessory and one of those things you get from DIY shops to keep all your TV and video cables neat and tidy. As the company itself says, this is “ultra-thin cord management” – and you can’t say fairer than that. PRICE: $4.99 (£2.70) CONTACT: www.cableyoyo.com

August 2005

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THE WORLD’S BEST–SELLING CREATIVE MAGAZINE

• Get the digital version of the world’s best-selling creative magazine sent straight to your desktop • Receive 13 digital issues for just $75 (around £42) • Subscribe online now! ALL TUTORIAL FILES INCLUDED*

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL EDITION NOW

www.computerarts.co.uk/zinio *Due to licensing restrictions we cannot include CD software

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BOOKS |

BOOKS

BOOKS

Get your hands on these great design reads

BOOK OF THE MONTH (A BOOK) DESIGNED TO HELP AUTHOR: ilovedust PRICE: £27.99 PUBLISHER: Die Gestalten Verlag ISBN: 3-89955-077-3 Back in January, in the wake of the catastrophic devastation caused by the Asian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004, UK design team ilovedust put down its pencils and tried to figure out a way that its team could do something to help the millions of people affected by the disaster. Within weeks, they had conceived and implemented a bold fund-raising plan – to get the cream of global graphic design talent to contribute artwork for a book that would be sold to raise money for charities working to help the affected areas. With support from publishers Die Gestalten Verlag, printers Engelhardt and Bauer, paper manufacturer Scheufelen and bookbinder Spinner, the ilovedust boys quickly put together an impressive list of contributors and got the book into the shops as soon as they could. A couple of months down the line, the book is now widely available and has so far raised over £31,000. This money is being used by worldwide charity organisation CARE to help the poorest communities crippled by the disaster. In terms of content, (A Book) Designed to Help offers an interesting snapshot of global graphic design in 2005, with contributions from a virtual Who’s Who of the design world. At just over 300 pages and featuring over 1,000 eye-catching illustrations, this is a tome that will take even the casual browser days to fully absorb. With standout pieces from Furi Furi, Richard May, Swak, Tado, Jon Burgerman, Tokyoplastic and a host of others, Designed to Help offers page after page of stunning visuals laid out in a clear, concise and easy-to-navigate manner. As a testament to just what can be done if a group of people put their heads together, Designed to Help is a significant piece of work – one which, even for those not interested in design, proves a worthwhile purchase.

ALSO RECOMMENDED CREATIVE TYPE AUTHORS: Cees W .de Jong and Alston Purvis PRICE: £29.95 PUBLISHER: Thames and Hudson ISBN: 0-50051-229-9 An easy-to-read overview of font and type design, taking in the development of typography over the last 100 years and how the recent digital revolution has influenced the font designer’s craft. Beautifully laid out, this is a must have for anyone with an interest in the field.

THE CINEMA 4D 9/9.1 HANDBOOK AUTHORS: Adam Watkins and Anson Call PRICE: £29.95 PUBLISHER: Charles River Media ISBN: 1-58450-402-1 Although Maxon’s powerful package remains one of the easiest 3D modelling apps around to use, The Cinema 4D 9/9.1 Handbook is still a worthwhile buy, offering users plenty of insightful tips and techniques. Projects are divided into concise and easy-to-follow tutorials.

FUNKSTÖRUNG: TRIPLE MEDIA AUTHORS: Mark McPherson and Funkstörung PRICE: £21.46 PUBLISHER: Die Gestalten Verlag ISBN: 3-89955-107-9 A collaboration between the German lowfi electro duo Funkstörung, Die Gestalten Verlag and several European designers, Triple Media packages Funkstörung’s album Disconnected as a neat CD/DVD/design book hybrid, packed with music, new visuals, moving images and more.

August 2005

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GROUP TEST |

GROUP TEST

INDESIGN PLUG-INS

Whether you’re looking to apply effects, resize documents, create a history or format tables/styles, there’s bound to be an InDesign plug-in that can help. We discover what’s worth shelling out for…

ake a look at Adobe InDesign’s underlying technology and you’ll soon see where the software’s major strengths lie. From the outset, InDesign has been developed as a series of plug-ins rather than a monolithic lump of code, so it seems logical that there should be a steady growth of thirdparty plug-ins to complement the core program. But why would such a feature-rich application need the kind of bolt-ons required by its competitors to function effectively as a design tool? There’s a whole range of innovative plug-ins out there, but how many of them add enough to InDesign to make buying them genuinely worthwhile?

T

ALAP INEFFECTS P92

ALAP INTOOLS P92

GLUON PROSCALE ID P93

In a word, plenty. The plug-ins featured in our Group Test this month are all relevant to creative professionals and layout designers, but rather than choosing a batch of similar products, we’ve gone for five plug-ins with distinctively different features and benefits – some have just a single application, while others offer a range of options to explore. Of course with such a diverse range of topics this will make choosing an overall winner that bit trickier, since we consider all the products to be winners in some way, but, hey, we’ll give it a go! Turn the page to find out how our five top InDesign plug-ins fared in our gruelling tests.

SMARTSTYLES P93

HISTORY FOR INDESIGN P94

August 2005

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| GROUP TEST

ALAP InEffects

ALAP InTools

A FUNCTIONAL BUT FEATURE-HEAVY PROGRAM THAT MIGHT JUST SURPRISE YOU MAC Yes PC Yes PRICE £59 CONTACT

ALAP, Inc 888-818-5790 www.alap.com

I

n a nutshell, this plug-in enables you to apply a range of effects in InDesign that you’d otherwise have to leave the application to perform in Illustrator or Photoshop. You access these effects via the InEffects command in the Object menu. A dialog box, akin to a pareddown version of Photoshop’s Layer Styles, provides five options: Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, and Bevel and Emboss. The Drop Shadow option adds to InDesign’s own “home-grown” command but, with the addition of Intensity, Noise and Angle, can also be used to add interesting effects to InDesign’s basic feature-set. Inner Shadow creates a recessed look, while Inner and Outer Glow features behave as their name suggests. Bevel and Emboss offers a variety of shadows and highlights to add depth to page objects and text – just take a look at the Pillow Emboss effect to see what we mean.

VERDICT

Once you’ve created an effect to be used elsewhere in the document, or in future documents, InEffects also provides a Styles palette, which will save you time on future layouts. Here, groups of effects can be added, modified and applied in much the same way as the Paragraph Styles feature. The palette also provides a way to quickly remove effects by Altclicking a No Style option. InEffects can easily be created from existing objects and quickly applied by dragging and dropping onto elements, as and when required. As long as different users all have the plug-in installed, standard InDesign Libraries provide a simple way to share effects between different users. To enable users without the plug-in to view or output the document, ALAP additionally provides users with the InEffects Viewer plug-in, which comes in the form of an installer.

★ ★★ ★ ★

While this well-constructed plug-in certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, heavy effects users will find it a definite time-saver. Occasional users will appreciate the creative flexibility it offers, too.

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MAC Yes

PC Yes

CONTACT

ALAP, Inc 888-818-5790 www.alap.com

nTools contains not just the one, but an entire suite of plug-ins that will help to speed up a number of commonly performed tasks. The first of these – InStarburst – provides the means to quickly create attention-grabbing starbursts that are more impressive than the star shapes provided by InDesign’s own Polygon tools. The Starburst dialog box also enables you to preview starbursts and, usefully, generate Starburst styles to ensure consistent shapes. It also allows you to create curls, hooks, splashes and more. InItemMarks enables you to add custom crop, registration marks, colour bars and more to individual objects and pages. Using InPrint, you can select a portion of an InDesign page, and print or export it as a GIF or TIFF (among other options). A dialog box provides a preview, so that you can fine-tune the selection. InNudge takes the form of a palette so that you can perform fine

I

RESOURCE Still unable to achieve what you want in InDesign? Then ask for help from other users at www.adobe. com/products/ indesign/main. html, where you’ll also find info on plug-in developers, as well as tutorials and demos.

PRICE £59

VERDICT

adjustments when moving and rotating objects. Unlike InDesign’s own Move tool, these options are much more accessible from a floating palette as opposed to a dialog box, particularly for those tricky diagonal nudges. InPathfinder works in a similar way to the standard Pathfinder palette, but offers additional options such as Stamp Out Front/Back Items and Erase Covered Areas. The palette also provides a quick way to create and release compound paths. Finally, InModify combines a number of palettes in a single dialog box. This enables options such as origin, size, placement, stroke, corner effects, angle, fill and text wrap to be adjusted together, rather than independently. If nothing else, the sheer range of tools available here is impressive; for many, the combination of features provided by InModify could be worth the price of admission alone.

★★★★★

There’s likely to be something in this package to appeal to most users, but we particularly liked the extra options available with the Starburst Tool and the tidy combined interface offered by InModify.


GROUP TEST |

ProScale ID MAC Yes

PC Yes

CONTACT

GLUON, Inc 973-763-9494 www.gluon.com

PRICE £75

luon’s ProScale ID adds a new dimension to controlling scaled elements in InDesign, whether resizing documents between US and European A4 sizes, or elements within pages. Furthermore, it will allow you to scale entire multiplepage documents. The plug-in consists of two main parts – the Gluon menu, which brings up a comprehensive dialog box, and the Scaling Tool, which is added to the Tools palette for manual scaling of a selection. The dialog box is divided into tabbed sections covering three separate areas: Scale, Options and Presets. Scale determines whether the scaling is allied to a selection, page range, or the whole document and features a Fit To section option with a pop-up menu for standard settings, such as half-page horizontal, vertical, page and spread. Scale From determines the point of origin for the transformation and

G

VERDICT

Smart Styles

three further settings – Step and Repeat, Repeat Count and Step Amount – can be used for repeating values and special effects. Options determines the Items to Scale, using a comprehensive list that even includes Style Sheets and Guides. It’s here that the true power of the plug-in becomes apparent – you can scale groups of text and images non-proportionately without distorting the text, for example. The third section, Presets, allows you to save and recall combinations of settings from the previous two tabs. The Scaling Tool works with the current settings from the ProScale dialog box and is simple to use – just select the requisite elements and drag to scale, then hit Return. If you’re in the business of working with multiple repeated document sizes – ads, for example – the power of ProScale ID to resize individual elements or entire pages could be really helpful.

★★★★★

Gluon ProScale ID does its clearly defined task simply and efficiently and, as a result, is well worth considering by any designer who needs to adapt elements between more than one document.

MAC Yes

PC Yes

CONTACT

WoodWing +31 75 61 43 400 www.woodwing.com

mart Styles is a useful plug-in that essentially adds powerful formatting capabilities to InDesign. Combinations of all standard page items can be formatted using dragand-drop, including Stroke and Fill properties, colours, transparency effects, corner effects, sequential paragraph and character styles. This efficiency means that you can format large amounts of a single document much faster than usual – up to five times faster, according to WoodWing. Smart Styles are easy to define – simply drag a formatted page item into the desired Style Library and your combined formats will be added to a single listing that you can then rename. Applying a Smart Style is just as easy: simply drag-anddrop a style from the Library onto the page items or text selection. For many, this plug-in will come into its own when formatting tables. Whereas InDesign’s own feature has

S

RESOURCE Xchange (www. xchangeuk.com) is a leading distributor of InDesign, Photoshop and PDF plug-ins and DTP utilities. All the plug-ins featured in this Group Test are available for download from the site.

PRICE £99

VERDICT

no problem with creating one-off tables, it has no way to save the format for use elsewhere. With Smart Styles, you can re-use single tables and complete text frames. One of the best things about Smart Styles is that you don’t require a “reader” to open or output the InDesign document. Once applied, it simply uses standard InDesign features to format the document – albeit at a greater speed. For even more sophisticated layouts, Smart Styles works in conjunction with another WoodWing product, Smart Layout, to allow multiple elements such as headlines, standfirsts and body copy to be formatted at once. Smart Styles is a powerful plug-in that could dramatically improve the experience of any user regularly formatting similar objects and documents, and while some of its thunder looks to have been stolen by InDesign CS2, it’s still worth a look.

★★★★★

This is an invaluable plug-in for anyone regularly formatting similar page items in InDesign. The speed at which you can reformat tables is particularly impressive. Definitely worth experimenting with.

August 2005

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| GROUP TEST

ABOVE AND RIGHT: A single History palette provides all the info you need to unpick mistakes and revisit creative detours.

MAC Yes

PC Yes

PRICE

£22

FOR

• Simple, intuitive interface • Inexpensive • Safe and creative AGAINST

• Large Snapshot thumbnails

VERDICT

August 2005

WHICH PRODUCT IS BEST FOR YOU? PLUG-IN

MANUFACTURER

PRICE

MAC/PC

URL

SCORE

INTOOLS

ALAP

£59

Mac and PC

www.alap.com

4

HISTORY

DTP Tools

£22

Mac and PC

www.dtptools.com

4.5

PROSCALE ID

GLUON

£75

Mac and PC

www.gluon.com

4

IN EFFECTS

ALAP

£59

Mac and PC

www.alap.com

4

SMART STYLES

WoodWing

£99

Mac and PC

www.woodwing.com

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★★★★★

Photoshop’s Create New Snapshot button, this adds an additional thumbnail at the top of the palette that enables you to revert to a specific stage. Our only criticism is that, compared to Photoshop, the

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History for InDesign CS provides an impressive combination of speed and safety for InDesign users, which should make it worth the consideration of any design professional. It’s a shame you can’t resize the thumbnails, though.

“Affordable, elegant, safe to use and creative with it, History is a worthy winner”

thumbnails are enormous – and, sadly, you can’t adjust their size. These thumbnails can be renamed to help reflect their status – magazine cover options, for example – and once you have determined which, if any, of the screenshots are worth saving, you simply click on the appropriate button to create a new document. Further palette menu options enable you to Automatically Create First Snapshot, Automatically Create Snapshot When Saving, and the grammatically challenging Open Every Snapshots in New Document. Affordable, elegant, safe to use and creative with it, History for InDesign CS is a worthy winner.

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• See an accessible list of the changes made to a document • Create Snapshots to save different document states • Automatically create a Snapshot when saving

that it takes to transport you back to the previous step. But the best thing about this plugin is its screenshot feature. As with

WINNER NER • WIN WIN NE R

FEATURES

ne of InDesign’s most notable strengths has always been its attention to detail. Its multiple Undo feature is a lifesaver, for instance. But tracking through a lengthy string of Undos and Redos is not the most efficient way to recall a document’s build-up, and while Adobe’s Versions is a powerful way to track iterations of a document, many would prefer a simpler way to track changes. Enter, stage right, History for InDesign CS, a plug-in that does just that – with the help of its History palette, you’ll be able to switch between layouts in complete safety. As long as the document is open and changes are made, each new addition will be listed. One click is all

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DTP Tools www.dtptools.com

|

RECOMMENDED

IF YOU’RE STILL WAITING FOR ADOBE TO PROVIDE A HISTORY PALETTE, THIS COULD BE THE PLUG-IN FOR YOU

CONTACT

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History for InDesign CS


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BUYER’S GUIDE What sort of designer are you? MOTION GRAPHICS DIGITAL VIDEO SOFTWARE P98 + P100 MONITORS P99 + P100 DIGITAL CAMERAS P99 + P100 HARD DRIVES P99

WEB DESIGNER

ILLUSTRATOR

WEB ANIMATION SOFTWARE P98 EXTERNAL STORAGE P99 PORTABLE WORKSTATIONS P99 MONITORS P99 + P100

Today’s digital illustrator requires a rack of great software, a powerful yet portable machine, good tools (a graphics tablet is essential) and a printer that delivers fine-quality print-outs at a decent price.

3D ANIMATOR 3D SOFTWARE P98 + P100 MONITORS P99 + P100 GRAPHICS TABLETS P99 + P100 EXTRA MEMORY P100

GRAPHICS SOFTWARE P98 + P100

POWERFUL COMPUTER P99

PRINTER P99 + P100 GRAPHICS TABLET P99 + P100


THREE OF THE BEST LCD MONITORS

EIZO COLOREDGE CG21

NEC LCD2180UX

SONY SDM-P234

PRICE: £1,514

PRICE: £1,291

PRICE: £1,621

You always get what you pay for, and with the ColorEdge CG21 you get a technical masterpiece. www.eizo.com

It has a gorgeous display, itʼs compact, and it gives you precise control over the way your images are displayed. www.nec.com

This looks great, is very reasonably priced – and offers multiple sound and graphics inputs. www.sonystyle.com

SOFTWARE PRODUCT

TAKE TWO 3D ANIMATION APPLICATIONS

PLATFORM

PRICE

CONTACT

ISSUE

VERDICT

Photoshop CS2 Mac/PC £516 www.adobe.co.uk 110 ★★★★ Digital photographers will love the ability to batch process RAW images and combine exposures in 32-bit HDR mode. Designers, too, are spoilt for choice with the new features and improved functionality. This time, you can believe the hype. Illustrator CS2 Mac/PC £511 www.adobe.co.uk 110 ★★★★ Illustrator CS2 brings some killer features to the digital artist, including a magnificent bitmap tracing feature, an intuitive Live Paint function, an InDesign-like control palette and an exciting batch of new filters and effects. Eye Candy 5 Nature Mac/PC £79.99 www.alienskin.com 107 ★★★ ★ Used sparingly and sensibly, Eye Candy 5 Nature can add some amazing effects to your imagery – Snow Drift, in particular, is outstanding. Everything is so easy to apply and at £80, it’s pretty good value, too. If you’re into effects, this is great. InDesign CS2 Mac/PC £715 www.adobe.co.uk 110 ★★★★★ InDesign CS2 is a cracking good package for designers and editors alike, cleverly mixing powerful design features and nifty automated layout functions with advanced editorial controls over typography and text.

Cinema 4D Release 9 Studio bundle PRICE £2,199 URL www.maxon.net An excellent all-purpose 3D system that can tackle most 3D scenarios without making you jump through hoops. FOR

Easy to use and powerful.

QuarkXPress 6.5 Mac/PC £1,169 euro.quark.com/en 104 ★★★ ★ This 6.5 upgrade doesn’t transform QuarkXPress into an InDesign-killer, but it goes a long way towards rebuilding customer goodwill and hints at what may be a radical overhaul of the program for version 7.0. We wait with baited breath... GoLive CS2 Mac/PC £335 www.adobe.co.uk 110 ★★★ ★ GoLive provides a range of new features with improved CSS/CSS-P support and mobile media options that will be greatly appreciated by existing users. Integration with related CS2 titles will help to provide web options to designers in all disciplines. Motion 1.0 Mac £199 www.apple.com/uk/motion 102 ★★★★★ For a 1.0 product, we couldn’t be happier with Motion. It introduces a simpler, much more intuitive way to create fancy animations quickly, and brings plenty of other advanced features along for the ride.

AGAINST

Rendering quality could be less CG-like and there are currently no third-party alternatives.

Toon Boom Studio 2.5 Mac/PC £276 www.toonboom.com 98 ★★★★★ Although it’s aimed at studios and professional animators, and offers a range of tools to suit them, Toon Boom is a fantastic all-rounder for anyone interested in 2D animation. With few competing products in the price range, it could clean up in this area. Stitcher 4 Mac/PC £396 www.realviz.com 95 ★★★★★ Stitcher is one of those rare apps: a program that does its job exceedingly well, provides all the tools you need and doesn’t take two days to learn. Now it comes with Photoshop support, there really isn’t much more that REALVIZ can add. Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite 12 Mac/PC £540 www.corel.co.uk 109 ★★★★★ A niche app that provides the kind of control over technical illustration that the likes of Illustrator cannot match without time and effort. Bitmap and screen capture makes this ideal for illustrators eager to retain creative control.

Maya 6 Complete PRICE £1,470 URL www.alias-systems.de This is the standard package in the high-end visual effects and post-production markets and the yardstick by which all other 3D apps are measured.

ZBrush 2 PC £258 www.pixologic.com 98 ★★★★★ The new tools are so impressive that ZBrush could look and feel like Bryce and still be a zillion times quicker at modelling complex 3D organic forms than any other 3D app currently out there. Cinema 4D 9 Mac/PC £2,199 www.maxon.net 105 ★★★★ An excellent all-purpose 3D system that can tackle most 3D scenarios without making you jump through hoops. The program has been well designed from the inside out, is stable and has growing support from third-party developers. 3ds max 7 PC £2,695 www.autodesk.com 105 ★★★★★ A feature-rich system that’s been built on a less-than-ideal foundation, but it’s still capable of good results. Unlike competitors such as XSI and Maya, 3ds max is expensive, but still remains a popular choice.

FOR

Modelling and rendering are both very good. NURBS and Polygon modelling well catered for. AGAINST

Tough to learn. Not artist-centric.

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Maya 6 Mac/PC £1,470 www.alias.com 105 ★★★★★ This great 3D app for the die-hard character animator or effects artist features some phenomenal technology. It’s less inviting for digital content creation and general-purpose 3D work, though. LightWave 8 Mac/PC £1,056 www.newtek.com 105 ★★★★★ LightWave 8 is a great all-rounder with a relatively easy learning curve and excellent rendering quality. But the lack of modelling history can be a pain, and character tools still a little weak.


BUYER’S GUIDE

FEATURED NEXT ISSUE GROUP TEST: OPEN SOURCE CREATIVE APPS ON SALE : THURSDAY 4 AUGUST HARDWARE PRODUCT

QUICK-SEARCH CONTACTS PLATFORM

PRICE

CONTACT

ISSUE

VERDICT

PowerMac Mac £2,199 www.apple.com/uk 103 ★★★★★ If you never run high-end software, you might get by with a lesser-specced iMac G5. But if you run video software, music-editing applications or work regularly in 3D, the G5 genuinely reduces frustration and saves you time. PowerBook G4 17-inch Mac £1,049 www.apple.com/uk 92 ★★★★ As raw performance goes, this PowerBook holds up pretty well, but the limitations of its hard drive and the slightly antiquated SuperDrive let it down somewhat. Never the less, there’s no doubt that this machine’s processing power is present in spades. iBook G4 1GHz Mac £699 www.apple.com/uk 94 ★★★★★ This iBook looks and feels great. The casing is now solid white rather than translucent, and the inner casing surrounding the keyboard is a subtle matte grey. The whole thing feels as though it will last for years, no matter what you chuck at it. RM Workstation Mac/PC £4,130 www.rm.com/rmt 107 ★★★★ The RM system is exactly what you want from a workstation – it’s equally adept at real-time graphics as it is at rendering. As 64-bit apps appear to take advantage of its forward-looking architecture, it’s going to become far more powerful. Deskjet 6540 Mac/PC £118 www.hp.com/uk 103 ★★★★★ The HP 6540 Deskjet may not be as packed with features as some printers in its league, but it delivers good results both in core colour and black and white printing, and can be customised via a number of optional extras. FP23W Mac/PC £1,275 www.benq.co.uk 102 ★★★★★ An impressive widescreen LCD monitor that delivers in terms of resolution and picture quality. Ideal if you’re in the market for an effective creative monitor, but less useful if you need a dual-purpose professional unit and HDTV screen for domestic viewing. Colour LJ 2550N Mac/PC £459 www.hp.com/uk 105 ★★★★★ The 2550N is a lovely, compact and supremely elegant printer, but it desperately needs more memory and an easier-to-understand error reporting system. It produces great prints quickly, but with a limited gamut and limited drivers... Perfection 4870 Photo Mac/PC £349 www.epson.co.uk 98 ★★★★ This is a highly proficient scanner with Digital ICE image-cleaning technology for the ultimate reproduction quality. This model is so slick it wouldn’t look out of place in a professional environment, let alone a home studio or small office. iMac G5 Mac £919 www.apple.com/uk 104 ★★★★★ As a design accessory, the iMac G5 looks a joy. Still, the aesthetics won’t please everyone and the spec is certainly on the skimpy side. If you’re after a powerful computer for heavy use, look at the more expandable and flexible G5 PowerMac (above). 30-inch HD Monitor Mac/PC £2,549 www.apple.com/uk 106 ★★★★ A beautifully engineered display with the kind of pedigree that makes it ideal for the creative professional with a visually demanding workload. Its only weakness is its cost, at a time when the market for LCD displays is about to pass into surplus. Graphire3 Classic XL Mac/PC £90 www.wacom.com 99 ★★★★★ A USB-friendly A5 tablet with an active area of 209x159mm. A great all-round performer from Wacom, which will certainly do the job for a range of graphics professionals – although it lacks the quality of the Intuos range. Intuos3 Mac/PC £130-£306 www.wacom.com 102 ★★★★★ The Intuos3 Pen Tablet System is a step forwards from previous models. Thanks to the addition of scroll and Express Key functions to the tablet and changeable nib options to the pen, these tablets are easier to use and produce better results. EOS10D Mac/PC £1,400 www.canon.co.uk 97 ★★★★★ This critically acclaimed and well put-together digital SLR, featuring a superb magnesium alloy body and a number of fantastic features, is capable of producing first-class images. Don’t be put off by its age; this one’s still got what counts. Nikon D70 Mac/PC £800 www.nikon.co.uk 97 ★★★★ An upgraded version of Nikon’s D100, but at half the price. The D70 is fantastic value for money and superbly kitted out with great specifications. It’s also exceptionally well built, tough and reliable. What more could you ask for? 40GB USB 2.0 Mobile HD Mac/PC £103 www.lacie.com/uk 105 ★★★ ★ The LaCie Mobile Hard Drive isn’t the fastest or cheapest portable storage product on the market, but it is durable, hard-working, effective and very easy to use. In addition, the sleek and minimalist Porsche design makes it just that little bit different.

SOFTWARE ADOBE Sales: 020 7365 0733 Technical support: 0845 052 2222 ALIEN SKIN Sales and support: 001 919 832 4124 XARA Sales and support: 01442 350000 STONECUBE Sales and support: 01454 320400 COMNET NETWORK Sales and support through XChange International: 020 7588 5588 QUARK Sales and Support: 00800 1787 8275 or +41 32 720 1414

HARDWARE LEXMARK Sales: 0870 444 0044 Support: 0870 733 7100 APPLE Sales: 0800 039 1010 Support: 0870 876 0753 SAMSUNG Sales: 01932 455000 Support: 0870 242 0303 EPSON Pre-sales: 0870 241 6900 Support: 0870 443 7766 LACIE Sales and support: 020 7233 8338 HP Pre-sales: 0870 010 4320 Support: 0870 010 4320

KEEP UP TO DATE

For all the latest news, reviews and tutorials, log-on to www.computerarts.co.uk

August 2005

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PRODUCT NEWS RECENTLY ANNOUNCED NEED MORE MEMORY?

PANASONIC DP-CL22

PENTAX OPTIO S5Z

Panasonic has unveiled a new network colour laser printer. The DP-CL22 prints at speeds of up to 22ppm in colour and monochrome, while, the company claims, delivering crisp print quality with high resolution of up to 1,200x1,200dpi. Available this quarter for around £800. www.panasonic.com

One of four new compact digital cameras from Pentax, the Optio S5Z has a wide 2.5-inch LCD screen, a 3x optical zoom and 5 megapixel capability. Retaining all of the features of previous models, the Optio S5z will be available soon for £249. www.pentax.co.uk

RECENTLY REVIEWED HARDWARE PRODUCT

PLATFORM

PRICE

CONTACT

ISSUE

VERDICT

Perfection 4180 Photo Mac/PC £191 www.epson.co.uk 108 ★★★★ The 4180 boasts features that will satisfy all but the most insistent of pros, producing accurate scans quickly and reliably, irrespective of media types. Unless you have exacting needs, this machine will be a worthy addition to any studio. 32MB PRICE: £15.65 URL: onestopcomponentshop.co.uk 64MB PRICE: £14.93 URL: www.savastore.com 128MB PRICE: £86 URL: www.wehavethings.com/uk 256MB PRICE: £39.95 URL: www.offtek.co.uk 512MB PRICE: £317 URL: www.bargainbuys365.co.uk 1GB PRICE: £141 URL: www.savastore.com 2GB PRICE: £163 URL: www.technoworld.com

19-inch LG Flatron L1940B Mac/PC £298 www.lge.co.uk 110 ★★★★★ Although well constructed, this display isn’t particularly well designed, which makes it difficult to recommend. It handles colour reasonably well and is keenly priced, but isn’t a viable option for the dedicated professional. Wacom Cintiq 21UX Mac/PC £2,231 www.wacom-europe.com 109 ★★★★ Hardly wallet-friendly, but the 21UX performs stunningly as both a top-of-the-range monitor and ergonomically designed and easy-to-use graphics tablet. You may baulk at the price, but look at what you get for your cash. Nothing else comes close. Sony HDR-FX1 Mac/PC £2,600 www.sony.co.uk 109 ★★★★ HD is the future of video, and the HDR-FX1 is an astonishingly low-cost way to get your hands on this impressive technology. The camera is a pleasure to use and the image quality is stunning. The best way to upgrade from standard to high-definition. HP DesignJet 30gp Mac/PC £975 www.hp.co.uk 110 ★★★★ The full package, including software RIP, hikes up the price, but this is still an attractive machine, particularly for those working with photography. It’s capable of handling jobs from postcard size up to B+ with ease and prints are lively and subtly toned. HP DesignJet 130NR Mac/PC £1,600 www.hp.co.uk 104 ★★★★★ The DesignJet 130NR is an extremely capable A1+ proofing machine and, with the right software, makes a very attractive proposition for professional designers. The only caveat is that you’ll need to work with this to get the best results. Spyder2PRO Studio Mac/PC £223 www.colourconfidence.com 108 ★★★★ Essential kit for those who take their colour seriously, the Spyder2PRO removes the guesswork from calibrating your monitor and ensures that your designs are as accurate as possible. With the help of additional software you can send work confidently to print.

RECENTLY REVIEWED SOFTWARE GROUP TESTS: TABLETS WACOM INTUOS3 PRICE: £345.99 URL: www.wacom.com VERDICT: ★★★★ WACOM INTUOS2 PRICE: £401.99 URL: www.wacom.com VERDICT: ★★★★ SELWYN ART PAD PRICE: £35 URL: www.selwyn.co.uk VERDICT: ★★★★★ NISIS EASYPEN G5 PRICE: £49.92 URL: www.nisis.com VERDICT: ★★ ★★ TRUST 1200-V2 PRICE: £67.27 URL: www.trust.com VERDICT: ★★ ★★

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55mm 5.0 Mac/PC £115 www.digitalfilmtools.com 111 ★★★★ 55mm 5.0 is a top quality set of Photoshop filter effects for anyone wanting to recreate traditional darkroom or on-the-set effects quickly and simply. Highlights include Light!, Bleach Bypass and Defocus. It’s easy to use and superb value for money. Vue Infinite 5.0 Mac/PC £411 www.e-onsoftware.com 111 ★★★★★ When Vue works well, it works really well, and if you use a top-flight system and have access to a render farm, you can create really professional results. Stability is an issue, however, so be wary of running on minimum spec machines. Anark Studio 3 PC $3,499 www.anark.com 111 ★★★★★ Anark Studio 3 is unmatched in its range of real-time 3D technology and ease of use, so it’s a great buy, even with a staggering $2,500 price hike. The decision to jettison the Mac version, however, is disappointing. SolidThinking Design 6 Mac/PC £1,392 www.solidthinking.com 111 ★★ ★★ Although Design is by all measures an excellent solution for professional 3D artists and animators, some users may find the price tag a little too high for comfort. Feature for feature, form•Z is the better buy. Form•Z 5 Mac/PC £1,171 www.formz.com 108 ★★★★ Form•Z is to 3D visualisation for architecture, industrial and CAD design what 3ds max is to computer gaming. Despite being a little flaky, it’s definitely a must-have: a complete solution for any professional modelling task. FoldUP! 3D 1.5 Mac/PC £292 www.comnet-network.co.jp 105 ★★★★★ Comnet’s elegant software certainly works hand-in-hand with Adobe Illustrator, and extends its capabilities beyond mere 2D design and artwork. It’s fairly useful to anyone in packaging or direct mail design or artwork. Final Cut Xpress HD Mac/PC £199 www.apple.com/uk 109 ★★★★★ If you own an HDV camera, Final Cut Express HD gives you access to HD editing, without having to wait for updates to Premiere or Final Cut Pro. This is a stable, near-pro editing solution, but the HDV capture needs work.


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PDF VERSION AVAILABLE PRINT VERSION SOLD OUT Superb pixel art tutorial by Denise Wilton, plus full animation package KoolMoves Lite, Sketsa 2.1 and Flash toolkit.

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IN EVERY ISSUE, COMPUTER ARTS PROJECTS FOCUSES ON A DIFFERENT AREA OF DIGITAL DESIGN – WITH TIPS, TOP TRICKS AND EXPERT TECHNIQUES Did you know you can receive Computer Arts in electronic format? Turn to page 88.

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Tips and expert tutorials on how to add life to your motion graphics projects.

Discover how to create great-looking fantasy landscapes and characters.


AUGUST 2005

ON THE CD FIVE FULL PHOTOSHOP PLUG-INS MAC AND PC

Machine Wash filters Create distressed effects with these five sample plug-ins taken from the full filter set

WELCOME We’ve compiled a great selection of software and resources this month. Aside from five of Mister Retro’s Machine Wash Photoshop filters (use them in our CD tutorial starting on page 66), you’ll also find three exciting demos: Eovia’s 3D polygon modeller Hexagon, Artlandia’s pattern-making Illustrator plug-in SymmetryWorks and the latest version of Electric Rain’s Flash 3D modeller Swift 3D. You’ll also find layered PSDs from XChangePix, two full fonts from PhotoSpin (worth almost $100) and some superb graphical DVD resources from Motionism (inc. menus, labels and lower thirds). Finally, get your hands on Illustrator plug-ins from Abneil Software Ltd, Cybia Photoshop brushes and Macromedia’s brilliant Flash Lite Content Development Kit (CDK) MX 2004. That’ll keep you busy!

Joe Russ joseph.russ@futurenet.co.uk SECTION EDITOR

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Machine Wash filters, a great retail plug-in worth $32, enable you to create professional quality distress effects with ease. Machine Wash is a one-of-a-kind collection that contains 60 image filters to help you texturise, age and weather your layered artwork in Photoshop for high-resolution print output or screen-resolution web projects. If your illustration work could benefit from a tactile textured look, Machine Wash is the perfect solution. This flexible filter set is an excellent addition to any graphic designer’s toolkit and can cope with a live area measuring up to 18x18inches at 300dpi. You can also modify the filters once applied using any number of additional built-in Photoshop effects. The five free-to-use plug-ins provided here are Corkboard, Oxidation, Paper Jam, Roadwear and Scoured. So use them to make your design look as if it’s been through a lifetime of wear and tear in moments.

ABOVE: Use Corkboard, Oxidation, Paper Jam, Roadwear and Scoured to create an authentic distressed look in minutes.


TRIAL SOFTWARE MAC AND PC

Swift 3D 4.5 Create 3D Flash animations without any knowledge of Macromedia Flash Macromedia Flash isn’t the most efficient app around when it comes to creating 3D animations with a small file size – unlike Swift 3D. Swift 3D, a fully featured yet easy-to-use 3D modelling and animation application, not only offers the regular raster rendering options you’ll find in other 3D programs, but also includes a broad range of vector rendering options for Macromedia Flash, Adobe Illustrator, EPS and even vector style renderings to video formats. The Swift 3D toolset and interface have been meticulously designed to enable

almost anyone to quickly create 3D content while providing a full set of advanced tools for the more seasoned designer. Electric Rain has added Flash Video (FLV) export functionality to this latest iteration, which, alongside QuickTime and AVI, makes it ideal for motion design projects. It’s also possible to apply variable pen-width strokes to 3D objects to give the impression of cartoon styling. Some other useful improvements include render speeds increased by up to 50 per cent, shadow density colour controls and plenty more…

TRIAL SOFTWARE MAC AND PC

Hexagon An alternative to high-end 3D modelling apps Eovia’s powerful app focuses exclusively on modelling, not shading or textures, providing a simplified interface that will appeal to those who have little previous knowledge of 3D or 3D software. Tools include polygon primitives and Platonic shapes and curves, much like Eovia’s Carrara, so you can get sculpting straightaway. It’s this simplicity that makes Hexagon ideal for quickly creating logos, human models, robots or the kind of 3D drawings you see in science magazines. 2D workers will find it particularly easy to use – creating your shapes is similar to modelling with clay. To register your demo software, visit www.eovia.com/ offers/mag_hexa_uk.asp.

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY MAC AND PC

BigStockPhotos 20 sublime images from the BSP camp With over 65,000 high quality photos in its archives, BigStockPhoto.com provides a healthy alternative to highpriced stock photography for web and print designers. It also gives talented photographers the chance to have their work viewed (and used) by BSP customers across the globe. BigStockPhoto charges a fee for usage and photographers are paid a commission for each photo sold. The generous guys at BigStockPhoto are not only providing 20 sample images on the cover CD, but also free photo credits. Just enter the promo code CARTS-CD1 on the following sign-up page: www.bigstockphoto.com/core.php?reg=1

August 2005

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| UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE

SOUTHAMPTON INSTITUTE It’s tough being a student. So how do talented undergraduates tackle their college assignments and, more importantly, do they make the grade? We ask the experts THE TUTOR NAME: Philip Long COURSE: BA (Hons) Graphic Image Making CONTACT: www.solent.ac.uk or philip.long@solent.ac.uk TEL: 023 8031 9579

TOP OF THE CLASS

THE BRIEF

Design a title sequence for a new or existing programme from one of six categories. Each should be between 30 and 60 seconds long “TV title sequences are an essential part of a show’s identity and offer plenty of creative opportunity for the digital artist and graphic designer. With the vast array of technology available, it’s still that one great idea that makes one sequence better than another. With this is mind, the students were asked to consider the intended audience, channel and time slot in which their chosen programme would be aired and research current programmes within that genre. We expected the students to develop their ideas on paper and decide upon the look, pace and atmosphere of the piece using a detailed storyboard. They were also asked to think carefully about an audio track to be used in conjunction with their visual development. The sequences were animated mainly in Cinema 4D, but effects and editing were undertaken in After Effects and/or Premiere. Originality was the key, and we wanted a focus on good ideas – not just technical wizardry! Students needed to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the principles of motion graphics – pace, atmosphere, editing and camera control – to become confident within a virtual 3D environment.”

BEN MITCHELL SOFTWARE Cinema 4D and After Effects CONTACT blmitchelluk@yahoo.co.uk

THE EXPERT NAME: Ian Naylor OCCUPATION: Ian is a veteran new media illustrator and animator, Computer Arts contributor, lecturer and Cinema 4D fanatic. CONTACT: www.aircrew.co.uk

GOT A BRIEF? THEN TELL US ABOUT IT! Let us know about a brief you’re working on at college and get positive feedback from a professional designer. Please email suggestions for suitable briefs to: sophie.embley@futurenet.co.uk, under the header “University Challenge proposal”.

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TUTOR’S VERDICT: “Designed as the TV title sequence for a political events programme, Ben developed the theme of a pop-up style rifle range based upon the concept of politicians always being in the firing line. His 3D modelling for the Houses of Parliament has been well produced, although aspects of the texture mapping and lighting are a little unresolved. The pace is generally good with the incorporation of the live action footage maintaining interest throughout. More control of camera movement in the final scene and a better integration of the title would have made the sequence tighter.”

EXPERT’S VERDICT: “I thought Ben’s idea was very good, the choice of music excellent and the animation swung along well. However, the texture mapping let it down a little, and even if something moves you should be able to stop every frame and regard it as a picture in its own right. The introduction of the programme title was a little cumbersome, but the cutting-in of live action was very well done and brought an appropriate dimension to the piece. A good effort, and my favourite of the three.”


UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE |

VISIT

THE BEST OF THE REST

www.compute rarts. co.uk/extras to view the QuickTime file s

RYAN PILCHER

MURRAY BOSLEY

SOFTWARE Cinema 4D and After Effects CONTACT ryanpilcher@fsmall.net

SOFTWARE Cinema 4D, After Effects and Premiere CONTACT cypersounds@hotmail.com

TUTOR’S VERDICT: “I thought that Ryan’s achievements within the area of 3D modelling and his control of lighting in this TV intro for a DJ’ing programme were very impressive. His limited range of colours and close-up shots used in conjunction with the audio create a dark atmosphere. However, I felt that Ryan could have visually explored the “decks” a lot more and built up the tension before revealing the final title on the record label.”

EXPERT’S VERDICT: “I thought this submission was ponderous – the modelling of the deck was great but that alone is not enough. The lighting could have been much more dynamic. This is a high-energy environment and although the animation was heading towards moody it didn’t quite pull it off. The motion didn’t respond to a change in beat of the soundtrack and this is crucial to any animation. I really enjoyed the journey around the deck, but more dramatic perspective and pace – about three times as fast – would give it more edge.”

TUTOR’S VERDICT: “This piece has a good, lively pace and an exciting atmosphere is achieved through a good use of camera angles and dramatic lighting. Murray developed the concept for this cultural review intro through good research and a well-considered storyboard, but some aspects of the camera movement are a little confusing and his modelling and texture mapping a little basic in places. I would have liked to have seen more emphasis placed upon the “field” reaching the finishing line for a more conclusive finale. The original audio is by James Morris.”

EXPERT’S VERDICT: “This submission starts really well, but when the screen showed “Start Race” it all slowed down! I thought the idea was interesting, but I would have liked to see the actual field moving rather more than the camera. It didn’t feel like a race, more that I was simply observing a static gaming table. I did like the cutting and overlaying of the live footage, but the end title I found a little thin. This has more to do with the angle of the screen and how it filled the end space – more dots in the letters may have helped.”

August 2005

| 105


Next issue on sale Thursday 4 August www.computerarts.co.uk

© IMAGE REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM UNIVERSAL EVERYTHING

PUSH YOUR CREATIVE BOUNDARIES


CV |

CURRICULUM VITAE

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

WILL BARRAS

Send us your CV, in the format shown, to ca.mail@futurenet. co.uk, with the subject line “CV”

LOCATION: London, UK JOB: Illustrator DATE OF BIRTH: 8 June 1973 TRAINING: BA (Hons) Graphic Design from Ashton Court, Bristol SOFTWARE: Photoshop and Illustrator HARDWARE: G4 PowerBook INFLUENCES: I read books, fiction in particular, listen to music and watch

films. I also buy a lot of second-hand records, usually late sixties stuff, folk, rock and psych. I love the old covers – it must have been a really creative time, because the music and sleeve designs are usually totally off the wall! I read on the train to and from work and the last book I read was The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler. I’m not a super muso, or particularly clever, but these things definitely exercise your imagination. I should work in my sketchbook more, because that is the best way to generate ideas.

STYLE: My style is illustrative – the line is loose, but I try to be fairly precise. I draw on paper, but try to paint as much as possible and have been doing so more and more over the last couple of years. For me, the computer is a tool and I try to keep it that way. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I love working with Steff and Duncan, fellow members of the Scrawl Collective. I’ve learned a lot from them. I also like a comic artist called Moebius. I spent my formative years in Bristol, so I love the

Art that comes out of Bristol from collectives such as TCF, Kuldoosh and artists such as Dicy, Feek, Sickboy, Paris Eco and Mudwig. I also like the work of Albert Reyes and Jeremy Fish from San Fran, Bobo and Microbo in Milan, Kami and Sasu in Tokyo, TLP and Galo in Amsterdam and Raffinerie in Zurich. There’s good stuff out there, but this lot are pushing the envelope. CONTACT: To see more of Will’s work visit www.bermudashorts.com or email will@bermudashorts.com.

“This is a rework of an illustration I remember seeing when I was a kid. I just can’t remember who did it. It’s a mix of drawings created in Photoshop and Illustrator and it ended up on a T-shirt for a company in San Francisco.” “This board design for Creme Skateboards was taken from one of my own paintings. I then brought the image into Illustrator and manipulated it a little more.”

“This image was formed from a mix-up of stuff – drawings, illustrations, logos and a load of other scanned material.”

“This is one of a series of bike paintings I created in Illustrator. I made the wheels and bike components using the app, then made stencils and painted the canvases with spray-paint and acrylics.”

“This image, named Ska!, is a comped drawing that I created for a company in Osaka called Doarat. They love reggae and dub.”

August 2005

| 107


THE CREATIVE DIRECTORY CD DUPLICATION DB Masters • Short and long runs • Competitive prices • Fast turnaround • A-Grade CDR • Thermal or screen print Tel: 01795 597 755 Fax: 01795 597 766 Email: info@dbmasters.co.uk Website: www.dbmasters. co.uk

ILLUSTRATION, 3D ANIMATION & VISUALISATION Arcana Digital Animation, imaging and post production for broadcasting, interactive and print. Folio available online or call for a CD sampler. Studio 15 minutes from Victoria. Clients include: Bray Leino, Citigate.A.F, DDB, Grey, JWT, Lowe, Masius, Ogilvy, OWN&P, Proximity, Publicis, RKCRY&R, Saatchi, TBWA, WTCS, WWAV. Tel: 020 8466 0655 Email: john@arcanadigital.com Website: www.arcana digital.com Contact: John Fox

LARGE FORMAT PRINTING Display Print Services Limited (dps) It’s a big world out there and competition is fierce, so how do you create super-strong visual impact and really get yourself noticed? By thinking big. Big graphics, big messages and big pictures. As a specialist in large-format print and display, dps has all the know-how to transform your ideas into high quality reality. We can produce anything from point-of-sale items up to posters, banners,

exhibition stands or even wrap up whole buildings. Call us now and find out how we can help you make a big impression. Tel: 01737 225555 Email: info@dps.eu.com Website: www.dpu.eu.com Contact: David Wooster

RECRUITMENT Corps Business • Work with the most established and professional recruitment agency in the design, advertising and media industries. Since 1989 we have been recruiting the top freelance and permanent creatives and developers. • Our strict testing and screening procedure ensures that the people we supply can do what you want when you want. • Placement fees are only £2,000 no matter how much you choose to you pay your chosen candidate. • To view a full list of vacancies please visit www.corps.co.uk Tel: 020 7222 8484 Email: info@corps.co.uk Website: www.corps.co.uk

TRAINING SERVICE Corps Business Corps Business is the leading UK authorised training centre for the top software houses, including Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, Maxon, Media 100, Extensis and Quark Systems. You can choose either a group or a tailored course, depending on your needs and abilities. Our consultants are all very knowledgeable in the software and can advise you on which course would suit you best. Tel: 020 7222 8484 Email: train@corps.co.uk Website: www.corps.co.uk

Escape Escape offers world-class training in 3D computer animation and 2D VFX for the creative industries and serves as a centre of creative excellence for both individuals and companies alike. The course programme has been designed in consultation with leading industry professionals. Escape is the UK’s only authorised training centre for Alias’ Oscar®-winning 3D package, MayaR. Website: www.escape studios.co.uk Tel: 020 7524 7570.

Falmouth College of Arts Are you passionate about the future of digital interactivity? The MA in Interactive Art & Design at University College Falmouth, taught by renowned net artist Kate Southworth (www.gloriousninth.com), offers radical new ways of working in web design, digital sound art, net art and interactive installation art and design. Tel: 01362 211077 Fax: 01362 213880 Email: admissions@ falmouth.ac.uk Web: www.falmouth.ac.uk

Metro New Media London’s leading training centre for Web design, 3D, animation, multimedia, project management and programming • All trainers are professionals in their field • State-of-the-art studios • All levels from beginner to advanced • Specialists in customised training • Discreet accredited

Tel: 020 7729 9992 Email: training@metronew media.com Website: www.metronew media.com

Central UK training • 3ds max and all that goes with it • Discreet certified • Low client-tutor ratios (four normally) • High impact short courses • Introduction, Intermediate, Character Animation, etc • Videogames and Texture Making • We can help you select the right courses • Dedicated forum • More on the website, including student work Tel: 01926 613002 Email: info@central-uk.com Website: www.central-uk.com

XChange Training The UK’s leading training specialists for creative professionals offer expert courses tailored to your training requirements. A wide range of flexible courses are available, including Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop; Colour Management; Enfocus products for PDF workflows; FileMaker Pro; Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash and Freehand; QuarkXPress and various 3D applications. Tel: 020 7490 4455 Email: info@xchange training.co.uk Web: www.xchange training.co.uk

WEB HOSTING Dedicated Servers The UK’s leading hosting company provides: • FREE and UNLIMITED phone and email support (24/7/365) • Service level agreement • State-of-the-art data centres • Dedicated Control Panel • Partner Programme • Windows, Linux, Sun, Cobalt and Co-location available • Host up to 200 websites per server from £ 74.99 a month Tel: 0870 3339738 Fax: 0115 9195514 Email: sales@dedicatedservers.co.uk Website: www.dedicatedservers.co.uk

Netcetera Formed in 1996, Netcetera is one of Europe’s leading Web hosting service providers. Our services are biased towards Microsoft-based Internet Technologies – Microsoft Certified Partner since 1999. Netcetera provides complete solutions for Web hosting, Domain Name registration, ecommerce, e-mail, dedicated server hosting, server-based applications hosting (ASP) and .NETppliance. Tel: 01624 612948 Fax: 01624 623385 Email: sales@netcetera.co.uk Website: www.netcetera .co.uk/ca

TO FEATURE IN THE CREATIVE DIRECTORY, EMAIL CA.ADVERTISING@FUTURENET.CO.UK


ISSUE 112 AUGUST 2005

FULL LISTING MACHINE WASH FILTERS (MAC+PC)

CD ESSENTIALS There’s plenty to do right now with this month’s CD resources

FULL PRODUCT Create great effects in minutes with these five image-distressing filters

Machine Wash filters

HEXAGON (MAC+PC) TRIAL A simpler way to create 3D models by Eovia

(MAC & PC) Use these five brilliant Photoshop filters to create distressed effects with this month’s CD tutorial. Derek Lea shows you how...

SWIFT3D 4.5 (MAC+PC) TRIAL Export your 3D animations to Flash in a number of file formats

SYMMETRYWORKS (MAC+PC) TRIAL Bring your illustration work to life with these unique patterns from Artlandia TERRAGEN (MAC+PC) OPENSOURCE SOFTWARE Model professionallooking landscapes with this free application

Get your hands on a range of exciting full products, demos and resources

ON THE CD...

LAYERED IMAGES (MAC+PC) STOCK MEDIA These three layered PSD files from XChangePix are ideal for print use

066

PHOTOSPIN FONTS (MAC+PC) FONTS Two inspiring fonts from PhotoSpin: Duality and Echelon

Hexagon (MAC & PC) Find out how the latest 3D app from the makers of Amapi pro fares in our review on page 84. Then try it out for yourself.

BIGSTOCKPHOTO IMAGES (MAC+PC) STOCK IMAGES Check out this selection of 20 eye-catching examples from BigStockPhoto MOTIONISM RESOURCES (MAC+PC) DVD MATERIAL Go pro with this selection of exciting DVD material from Motionism ILLUSTRATOR RESOURCES (MAC+PC) PLUG-INS See what this array of quality plug-ins from Abneil Software can do for you

PHOTOSHOP RESOURCES (MAC+PC)

084

BRUSHES With 1,100 brushes from Cybia, you’ll have a brush effect to suit every eventuality

FLASH LITE SDK MX 2004 (MAC+PC) TRIAL Specifications and guidelines for creating Flash applications on mobile devices DINGBAT FONTS (MAC+PC) FONTS 33 fonts from DingbatDepot, the largest source of free Dingbat fonts on the net TUTORIAL FILES (MAC+PC) All the files you’ll need to complete this month’s tutorials. To find the supporting files, navigate the interface to “In The Mag” and select Tutorials

20 BigStockPhoto royalty-free images

052

These images will come in handy for any Photoshop project. Use them now to complete Rod Steele’s Photoshop tutorial.


FIND OUT MORE ON PAGE 102

IN-DEPTH IN THIS MONTHFO ON ’S CONTENT CD

Computer Arts 2005 - 8  

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