8 great business cards for marketing professionals

8 great business cards for marketing professionals

To work in marketing, you must be able to market yourself. So for marketing executives and agencies, a business card design has to work even harder than usual, as it acts very much like a shop window for their services.  

In this post, we round up some of our favourite business card designs for marketing pros, to give you a few ideas and to inspire your own business card projects.

01. Casta

Beautifully surreal business cards for marketing firm Casta

Who said business cards have to be geometrically perfect? These monochrome cards designed in-house at Portguese marketing company Casta come with a beautifully unique design on textured paper. There's no chance of these striking designs getting lost in the pile!

02. Hoofd&Letters

This letterpress for a Dutch marketing company shows the two sides to its personality

Hoofd&Letters is a Dutch marketing and communication company whose name is Dutch for ‘Head and Letters’. The name symbolises the balance between emotion and reason, and this concept is echoed in the design of its business cards, which combine hand-drawn typography with a sleek sans-serif typeface. Designed by Rens Dekker, these letterpress cards were printed on custom triplex mounted Colorplan paper from GF Smith, by Dutch printing firm Exclusieve Visitekaartjes.

03. LongGrass Marketing

We love this letterpress card for Canadian marketing consultancy LongGrass

These stunning letterpress business cards for Canadian firm LongGrass Marketing Inc were printed double-sided in two ink colours on duplex white cotton stock. They were designed by Aileen Fretz at Livework Media and printed by We Do Printing.

04. Tactic Marketing

Clever halftone designs give a unique look to Tactic Marketing’s business cards

Indianapolis agency Tactic Marketing wanted a unique look for its letterpress business cards, and it certainly found it with this loose halftone style. The coarse dot pattern means its employees’ headshots just look like an abstract pattern up close, while at a distance they come into focus as a crisp headshot. It just goes to show how effective and memorable business cards can be when you go out of your way to make your designs stand out.

05. Bazooka

There’s an eye-catching look to Bazooka’s war-themed business cards

Bazooka is a Portuguese agency involved in what it calls “guerilla marketing”. Created in-house for a self-promo, these eye-catching business cards play on that concept, by featuring a ‘war game’ on the flipside: a navy-themed battle puzzle.

06. Ivelin Brachev

Upbeat colours and a fun design make these business cards ones you’ll want to keep

Ivelin Brachev is a Bulgarian business and marketing consultant, and while that might not be the sexiest job title on the planet, these cool business cards make up for it. The clever paper envelope-style designs were created by Kristina Miletieva.

07. Context MG

Dots represent noise in this subtly clever design for Context MG

Context MG was a small marketing company based in Michigan faced with a tough question: there is so much noise out there, how do you stand out? These cool cards, designed by Kate Disbro, took that idea and ran with it. With a Domtar 120lb cover and dull varnish, they were printed at Holland Litho in Zeeland, Michigan.

08. Latona

A business card that folds into a bouquet – genius!

Latona Marketing is a company based in Shizuoka, Japan. Designed in-house, these clever business cards fold into the shape of a bouquet. It’s a simple idea, beautifully executed, and draws nicely on the Japanese love of paper folding. 

Source: creativebloq

Draw a figure in under five minutes

Draw a figure in under five minutes

Sketching a five-minute pose is a lot of fun because it offers just enough time to capture a strong sense of the pose, but not enough time to overwork (or overthink) the drawing. Keeping things simple and being economical is a recurring theme throughout the five-minute process.

The main thing to remember for a successful quick pose is to keep the gist of the subject, so we'll build it up bit by bit, adding tone right at the end. Let's get started!

01. Construct the torso

Use simple forms to sketch out the torso

Once the gesture is established, separate the torso into rib cage, abdomen and hips. Then, indicate the openings for the limbs. Next, group the muscles using simple forms. Finally, suggest planes to give the torso structure.

02. Define the limbs

Cross-sections and ovals add form to your limbs

Start the limbs as long, tapering rectangular shapes that flow from the torso down to the fingers or toes. Next, add cross-sections to indicate their position and direction of movement. Finally, use simple ovals to add muscles and indicate kneecaps and elbows.

03. Simplify the anatomy

Group the upper-back muscles into simple forms

Starting with the torso, group the upper-back muscles (which surround the shoulder) into simple forms. Where visible, emphasise hip bones, knees and elbows. Finally, emphasise the parts where muscles overlap, as this creates the illusion of more detail and brings the drawing to life.

04. Begin the head

Get the head’s tilt and rotation right

For quick head sketches, begin with the gesture and outer shape, making sure the tilt and rotation is correct. Next, add the major planes, such as the side of the head and brow. Finally, add in the features and define the neck muscles.

05. Sketch the hands

Start hands off as a simple shape, then refine them

Hands can be complex, so start with either a box or oval shape, depending on how the fingers are arranged. Next, refine the shape, but keep the fingers grouped. To finish, separate the forefinger and thumb, or any finger necessary to make the hand come to life.

06. Sketch the feet

Again, simplify the feet and build up shape

The feet are fairly easily to simplify since the toes are short and clustered together. Start with a triangle shape to capture the gesture, making sure to emphasise the contact point. Next, refine the ankle and shape of the grouped toes. Finally, separate the big toe, or any other toes as needed.

07. Exaggerate overlaps in side view poses

Limbs are great for creating overlaps

In a side view, much of the figure is hidden. To make the drawing work, emphasise and exaggerate overlaps. When available, the limbs are also great tools for creating overlaps at the torso. For more depth, exaggerate the top layers of anatomy, such as the shoulder muscles and hip bones.

08. Use overlaps in foreshortened poses

Emphasise overlaps for foreshortened poses

Similar to a side view, emphasise overlaps for foreshortened poses. If the torso is moving away, emphasise the overlap of the hips and abdomen. If the torso is coming toward you, use the rib cage and anatomy to create overlaps. If visible, the limbs drawn with good cross-sections can also create depth.

09. Focus on contact points in reclining poses

Make reclining poses look natural by emphasising contact points

For reclining and seated poses, you can exaggerate the anatomy that makes contact with the surface. When visible, emphasise the hands making contact by adding more detail at the fingers and wrist.

10. Add tone

Smart toning will bring your figure drawing to life

If the lighting is good, finish your sketch with tone. One way to do this is by blocking in the shadow and filling in the shape with a suitable tone.

This article originally appeared in Paint & Draw issue 6; buy it here!

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Source: creativebloq

5 ways type can define brands

5 ways type can define brands

Choosing the right typeface is a crucial part of the logo design process, but when it comes to defining the unique characteristics of a brand, it can also play a much more subtle role in shaping its personality and tone of voice.

For smaller brands, this tends to be as simple as selecting an existing typeface that’s best suited for their particular needs. But the ultimate solution, for those with the time and budget to do so, is a bespoke font tweaked to perfection.

Studios such as Dalton Maag, Commercial Type, Fontsmith and Hoefler & Co haver extensive experience in developing bespoke typefaces for brands, and many of their clients have honed their personality across many different platforms as a result.

Read on to discover how bespoke typography has enhanced brands across five different sectors…

01. Motion-friendly type for broadcasters

On-screen branding provides a particular challenge for bespoke typefaces, as motion graphics come into play alongside all manner of other uses, from billboards to corporate stationery.

Brody Associates’ highly distinctive typeface for Channel 4 is a great example of the versatility required to convey personality in this field. Within the same family, it combines a functional text face (Chadwick) with a highly expressive display version (Horseferry).

Channel 4 can choose between text face Chadwick and display face Horseferry

Horseferry incorporates elements from Channel 4’s logo into the letterforms, with highly unconventional, striking results that can only function at large sizes, such as for advertising. Chadwick follows the same basic structure, but calms things down to help with legibility, particularly when used to communicate information on screen.

The curves of the ITV logotype are echoed in its typeface

For ITV, Fontsmith was given the task of translating the smooth, flowing curves of the broadcaster’s logotype into a whole typeface family to be used across the brand, including TV, online and on-demand applications.

The resulting typeface is detailed and wide proportioned, with a subtle calligraphic feel. According to Fontsmith: “When you take a pen off the page when writing, you get the sense of a rounded ending to the stroke or line creating a subtle, modern and bouncy script tone of voice.”

02. Standout typography for packaging

When it comes to brands that express themselves on packaging, on-shelf standout becomes a critical factor to consider in a typeface. And where global brands are concerned, different language support also comes into play as that packaging needs to cater to different markets.

Colgate Ready was translated into a range of different scripts

Another Fontsmith case study is Colgate, in collaboration with The Partners and Red Fuse Communications. The brief was to reflect the “emotional and tonal dimensions” of the brand through a Roman/Latin typeface in three different weights, and ‘Colgate Ready’ was the result.

Colgate Ready was translated into Cyrillic, Eastern European, Devanagari and Thai, with a consistent stroke weight, x-height, cap height, width proportions and terminals.

Hoefler & Co’s bespoke typeface is used sparingly on Tiffany & Co’s packaging

At the other end of the scale, in the luxury market, Tiffany & Co’s unique typeface, created by Hoefler & Co, is used sparingly on the jeweller’s minimalist packaging, making those iconic duck-egg-blue boxes even more desirable.

03. Flexible typography for retail

Another fascinating application of bespoke type is in the retail space, where applications range from signage and wayfinding, to point-of-sale displays, to own-brand packaging.

Dalton Maag was commissioned to create a bespoke font for Lush, translating the boutique cosmetics brand’s distinctive chalkboard-style handwritten signage into a more neutral and contemporary typeface.

“Every letter had two alternate versions, while the most-used letters had three alternates,” explains designer Riccardo de Franceschi. “On top of these we created ligatures, and selected them according to not only frequency of use, but also the way the Lush handwriters write.” 

For Lush’s typeface, each character needed two or three alternative versions

Lush’s typeface helps develop its boutique, artisan brand voice, but larger stores need to tread a finer line between personality and functionality – such as Fontsmith’s bespoke typeface for Sainsbury’s, which uses the foundry’s own FS Lola as a starting point.

“The new font needed to successfully stretch across a wide range of channels including above the line marketing, online, publications, packaging, in-store services, in-store navigation and in-store pricing,” reveals the agency. “It had to work from 400pt, all the way down to 6pt.”

Sainsbury’s’ font needed to stretch across a wide range of uses

FS Lola’s distinctive slab serifs were softened, while regularly used brand words – particularly those that featured in wayfinding and signage – were adjusted on a case by case basis to improve legibility while conveying the supermarket’s personality.

04. Scalable typography for mobile

When it comes to mobile use, the need for functionality and legibility at tiny sizes on small screens can all too easily overwhelm brand personality. But it’s not impossible.

For Nokia, Dalton Maag faced a massive, multi-platform, multi-language project

Bespoke type projects don’t get much more in-depth than Dalton Maag’s breakthrough project for global giant Nokia, which saw the agency expand massively to handle the demands of the multi-platform, multi-language project – including Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, Greek and Russian.

“This was all about going back to Finnish design roots – clean, simple, pure – and functionality was the primary objective,” explains Bruno Maag. “There was a big discussion about whether the brand fonts should have more personality or not. While the UI fonts need to be functional and readable, the display fonts have to do something else for their job.”

Fontsmith created this bespoke semi-slab serif typeface for Movistar

Fontsmith collaborated with Interbrand on a bespoke semi-slab serif typeface for Movistar, Telefónica’s Spanish and Latin American mobile operator. According to the agency: “We needed to be mindful that the slab wasn’t too static, that it had rhythm, progression, an approachable nature, and was authentic.”

05. Apt typography for editorial

One of the most varied uses for a bespoke typeface is in a newspaper or magazine, purely because there are so many sizes, weights and styles involved in different capacities.

Commercial Type designed this multi-weight typeface for The Guardian in 2005

A particularly high-profile example of this is Commercial Type’s multi-weight typeface for The Guardian, which coincided with the newspaper's transition to the Berliner format in 2005. It has served the newspaper well ever since, although the recent announcement that it’ll shrink to tabloid size in 2018 may prompt another refresh.

The extensive family incorporates several interrelated families: an Egyptian for headlines; a Text Egyptian; four different widths of Sans for headlines; and finally an Agate Sans. Between them, they can handle everything from hard-hitting headlines to tiny financial listings.

Wired is synonymous with innovative typography

One magazine that's synonymous with innovative use of type is Condé Nast’s Wired – and again, Hoefler & Co rose to the challenge with Forza, an adaptable sans serif based on a rounded rectangle structure that, like Guardian Collection, is available commercially.

“Wired commissioned us to design a square sans as its editorial workhorse – one that could handle everything from philosophical essays to down-to-earth service pieces,” reports Hoefler & Co. “Forza’s sophisticated visual vocabulary makes it alert and engaging, and its broad palette of weights ensures it can meet the needs of the most demanding designer.”

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Source: creativebloq

7 tips for driving traffic to your portfolio website

7 tips for driving traffic to your portfolio website

7 tips for driving traffic to your portfolio website

If you want people to notice your site you’ll have to get down and dirty with a bit of SEO

So, you’ve found one of the best WordPress themes and built yourself an amazing design portfolio website using the latest responsive web design tricks, but unless people actually see it then you’ll have wasted your time. This means that you’re going to have to use a bit of SEO.

Don’t worry, though; it’s not as hard as you might think. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be well on the way towards increasing your Google ranking, making your site more visible and ensuring that potential clients can find it easily.

01. Share your content

Use your content as an asset to attract traffic and links from other sites. There are plenty of graphic design blogs where you can showcase your design work – from It's Nice That to Creative Boom to this very site. You can start with a simple search like 'submit graphic design work' in Google, to find sites to submit your best content. 

02. Categorise your content


French designer and art director Leslie David lists her main areas of work down the left of her site

Think of your website as a library where content is stored in relevant categories to make it easier to find. Identify themes in your designs that tie them together, whether it's the medium, subject matter, colours or even the attitude of the piece, and use those themes as categories on your site. 

Aggregating the content in these categories will both make the site more navigable. It also has the bonus of making your site appear an authority on the subject matter.

03. Welcome critique

Getting user-generated content onto your site (moderated of course) can be a huge plus, especially if you use special code called Schema Markup to make those comments serve as reviews of your content. You can even get review stars in Google's search results, but to earn those stars, you have to open up your site by allowing comments and reviews.

04. Be unique

Every page on your site needs to have a unique title, description, URL and content. While this is a bit technical, it's important for Google to be able to determine what your page is about and know that it is worth including in its index of pages.

05. Get help


If you’re serious about SEO, you may need to enlist a professional to help

When you have a specific question, find one of the many helpful communities on the web to help you get answers. There is the Moz Community, Google Product forums, and many others that can give you specific answers to SEO questions, especially as a beginner. As things get tougher, though, you might need to get professional help. Take a look at the Moz Recommended list to find a reputable firm to help.

06. Hurry up

Google has made it clear that fast sites rank better. There are tons of techniques you can employ to speed up your site, but chances are the first step on an image-heavy site will be compression. Spend some time in your favourite image editor's compression tools, like Photoshop's Save for Web and Devices, to find an appropriate balance between quality and size. Both Google and your users will thank you. To go further, check out our article on how to optimise images for better performance.

07. Know the guidelines

Google publishes a set of webmaster guidelines to help you avoid penalties. Most of these guidelines are pretty straightforward, but if you have any questions, consult a professional. Getting penalised, or worse banned, in Google can keep you from ranking for months or years.

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 253. Buy it here.

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Source: creativebloq

How to start pastel drawing

How to start pastel drawing

Put your best pencils and doodle art to one side – it's time to delve into the art of pastel drawing. In use by artists for centuries, pastels are an especially portable medium, enabling you to create colourful art with no need for water, brushes or palettes.

But first, what exactly is a pastel? The definition isn't completely clear, and there's been some debate within art societies as to what exactly qualifies as a pastel. The Pastel Society in the UK, however, states the following media are acceptable for its exhibitions: "Pastels, including Oil pastel, Charcoal, Pencil, Conté, Sanguine, or any dry media."

Note that an artwork made using pastels is also called a pastel (or a pastel drawing or pastel painting). Pastel used as a verb means to produce an artwork with pastels. And of course, none of these terms should be confused with the use of pastel as an adjective, to mean pale in colour!

Pastel illustration

Pastel drawing lets you produce vibrant colour with the ease of drawing with pencils

The pastels themselves come in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all coloured art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation.

Getting started with pastels

Soft pastel sticks do become dusty or dirty when transporting, so carry a cloth to wipe them off before pastel drawing. It's generally easier to work on a toned surface rather than on pure white. You can buy toned paper, or tone it yourself using an acrylic or watercolour wash.

To prevent over blending and smudging when pastel drawing you can use a mist of fixative on that area. Beware: if the fixative is sprayed too heavily, it dramatically dulls and darkens the vibrancy. Do some quick trial runs spraying the fixative to experiment with the light mist approach.

With these foundations in place, let's get started with pastel drawing.

01. Pick your pastels

Pastel drawing: Tools

Use specific pastels for different techniques

Soft pastels have a rich, buttery feel and are easy to blend. Hard pastels, including pastel pencils, are great for adding detail to pastel drawing. Oil pastels have an oil binder, are less opaque than soft pastels and don’t smudge as easily. The newest water-soluble pastels create semi-transparent washes when water is brushed over them.

02. Layering and smudging with pastels

pastel drawing: pastel smudging

Building up pastel colours can create unique textures

Pastels are blended on the art surface, rather than on a palette. A variety of colours can be achieved through layering and smudging. Start with darker colours, working up to light.

Blending is done by layering the pastels with various strokes such as crosshatching, dots/pointillism or smudging with different tools, from cotton swabs or #9 brushes, to fingers.

03. Select a pastel paper

pastel drawing: surfaces

Selecting the right surface texture is crucial for pastel art

The key to selecting paper for pastel drawing is to choose something that has texture or tooth. If it’s too smooth, the pastels won’t adhere. Check that the paper is pH-neutral. If it’s not acid free, it can shift the colour and cause brittleness. Good choices are canvas, watercolour paper, pastel paper and sand board.

04. Experiment with soft and hard pastels

pastel drawing: Soft and hard pastels

Soft and hard pastels create drastically different textures

Soft pastels are rich and luminous in colour, provide a loose grainy texture and are easy to blend with varied surface effect, but are a little fragile. Hard pastels are a little less vibrant in colour, but more stable than soft pastels. They’re great for adding detail to your drawings.

05. Test drive pencils and oils

pastel drawing: Pastel pencils and oil pastels

Artists like to use pastel pencils to create fine details

Pastel pencils come in a pencil 'lead' form and are easy to control. They're ideal for fine detail and rendering, and are a harder lead than soft pastels. Oil pastels contain an oil binder. They have a thick intense colour, but don’t smudge and blend like soft/hard pastels.

06. Create washes with water-soluble pastels

pastel drawing: Water soluble pastels

Create a watercolour wash with water soluble pastels

Water-soluble pastels can be used just like a regular soft pastel, except that you can also create watercolour-like washes with a brush and water, providing great variety in the artistic effects you can achieve.

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Source: creativebloq

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Ask any freelancer what their biggest worry is, and it’s likely to involve money. How do you decide what to charge for your talents when you're first starting out – or negotiate higher rates once you know what you’re doing? And can you get enough invoices paid on time each month to cover your outgoings?

Subscribe to Computer Arts and get 5 issues for £5!

That freelance dream of being your own boss, taking on the projects you want, setting your own hours, and working in your underwear (if you so choose) may be clouded by this financial uncertainty if you don’t get your affairs in order.

Cash in as a freelancer – advice on pricing, pitching, persuading and more…

But fear not. The cover feature in July's Computer Arts is packed with great advice to help you conquer all your cash concerns as a freelancer – from selling yourself to new clients, to chasing up late-paying existing ones.

Character design trends and branding tips

New trends in character design, according to Pictoplasma

With the help of the co-founders of Pictoplasma, CA also investigates the vibrant world of character design with an inspiring journey through the four hottest trends to watch out for this year.

How The Clearing creates “clear, defendable territory” for its clients

Elsewhere, take a trip to The Clearing to discover why finding ‘clear, defendable territory’ should be the goal of any branding project. The Brand Impact Award-winning agency sheds some light on its process, and shares some tips for how to defend that territory once you find it.

Buy Computer Arts issue 268 now!

This issue is bursting with other inspiring design content, including:

Sign maker Luke Stockdale reveals why signs should be beautiful as well as functional

Showcase features the very best graphic design, illustration and motion work

How to make judges notice your work, according to D&AD New Blood

Behind the scenes with Studio Sutherl&, most-awarded design studio at D&AD 2017

Source: creativebloq

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Ask any freelancer what their biggest worry is, and it’s likely to involve money. How do you decide what to charge for your talents when you're first starting out – or negotiate higher rates once you know what you’re doing? And can you get enough invoices paid on time each month to cover your outgoings?

Subscribe to Computer Arts and get 5 issues for £5!

That freelance dream of being your own boss, taking on the projects you want, setting your own hours, and working in your underwear (if you so choose) may be clouded by this financial uncertainty if you don’t get your affairs in order.

Cash in as a freelancer – advice on pricing, pitching, persuading and more…

But fear not. The cover feature in July's Computer Arts is packed with great advice to help you conquer all your cash concerns as a freelancer – from selling yourself to new clients, to chasing up late-paying existing ones.

Character design trends and branding tips

New trends in character design, according to Pictoplasma

With the help of the co-founders of Pictoplasma, CA also investigates the vibrant world of character design with an inspiring journey through the four hottest trends to watch out for this year.

How The Clearing creates “clear, defendable territory” for its clients

Elsewhere, take a trip to The Clearing to discover why finding ‘clear, defendable territory’ should be the goal of any branding project. The Brand Impact Award-winning agency sheds some light on its process, and shares some tips for how to defend that territory once you find it.

Buy Computer Arts issue 268 now!

This issue is bursting with other inspiring design content, including:

Sign maker Luke Stockdale reveals why signs should be beautiful as well as functional

Showcase features the very best graphic design, illustration and motion work

How to make judges notice your work, according to D&AD New Blood

Behind the scenes with Studio Sutherl&, most-awarded design studio at D&AD 2017

Source: creativebloq

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Ask any freelancer what their biggest worry is, and it’s likely to involve money. How do you decide what to charge for your talents when you're first starting out – or negotiate higher rates once you know what you’re doing? And can you get enough invoices paid on time each month to cover your outgoings?

Subscribe to Computer Arts and get 5 issues for £5!

That freelance dream of being your own boss, taking on the projects you want, setting your own hours, and working in your underwear (if you so choose) may be clouded by this financial uncertainty if you don’t get your affairs in order.

Cash in as a freelancer – advice on pricing, pitching, persuading and more…

But fear not. The cover feature in July's Computer Arts is packed with great advice to help you conquer all your cash concerns as a freelancer – from selling yourself to new clients, to chasing up late-paying existing ones.

Character design trends and branding tips

New trends in character design, according to Pictoplasma

With the help of the co-founders of Pictoplasma, CA also investigates the vibrant world of character design with an inspiring journey through the four hottest trends to watch out for this year.

How The Clearing creates “clear, defendable territory” for its clients

Elsewhere, take a trip to The Clearing to discover why finding ‘clear, defendable territory’ should be the goal of any branding project. The Brand Impact Award-winning agency sheds some light on its process, and shares some tips for how to defend that territory once you find it.

Buy Computer Arts issue 268 now!

This issue is bursting with other inspiring design content, including:

Sign maker Luke Stockdale reveals why signs should be beautiful as well as functional

Showcase features the very best graphic design, illustration and motion work

How to make judges notice your work, according to D&AD New Blood

Behind the scenes with Studio Sutherl&, most-awarded design studio at D&AD 2017

Source: creativebloq

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Ask any freelancer what their biggest worry is, and it’s likely to involve money. How do you decide what to charge for your talents when you're first starting out – or negotiate higher rates once you know what you’re doing? And can you get enough invoices paid on time each month to cover your outgoings?

Subscribe to Computer Arts and get 5 issues for £5!

That freelance dream of being your own boss, taking on the projects you want, setting your own hours, and working in your underwear (if you so choose) may be clouded by this financial uncertainty if you don’t get your affairs in order.

Cash in as a freelancer – advice on pricing, pitching, persuading and more…

But fear not. The cover feature in July's Computer Arts is packed with great advice to help you conquer all your cash concerns as a freelancer – from selling yourself to new clients, to chasing up late-paying existing ones.

Character design trends and branding tips

New trends in character design, according to Pictoplasma

With the help of the co-founders of Pictoplasma, CA also investigates the vibrant world of character design with an inspiring journey through the four hottest trends to watch out for this year.

How The Clearing creates “clear, defendable territory” for its clients

Elsewhere, take a trip to The Clearing to discover why finding ‘clear, defendable territory’ should be the goal of any branding project. The Brand Impact Award-winning agency sheds some light on its process, and shares some tips for how to defend that territory once you find it.

Buy Computer Arts issue 268 now!

This issue is bursting with other inspiring design content, including:

Sign maker Luke Stockdale reveals why signs should be beautiful as well as functional

Showcase features the very best graphic design, illustration and motion work

How to make judges notice your work, according to D&AD New Blood

Behind the scenes with Studio Sutherl&, most-awarded design studio at D&AD 2017

Source: creativebloq

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Ask any freelancer what their biggest worry is, and it’s likely to involve money. How do you decide what to charge for your talents when you're first starting out – or negotiate higher rates once you know what you’re doing? And can you get enough invoices paid on time each month to cover your outgoings?

Subscribe to Computer Arts and get 5 issues for £5!

That freelance dream of being your own boss, taking on the projects you want, setting your own hours, and working in your underwear (if you so choose) may be clouded by this financial uncertainty if you don’t get your affairs in order.

Cash in as a freelancer – advice on pricing, pitching, persuading and more…

But fear not. The cover feature in July's Computer Arts is packed with great advice to help you conquer all your cash concerns as a freelancer – from selling yourself to new clients, to chasing up late-paying existing ones.

Character design trends and branding tips

New trends in character design, according to Pictoplasma

With the help of the co-founders of Pictoplasma, CA also investigates the vibrant world of character design with an inspiring journey through the four hottest trends to watch out for this year.

How The Clearing creates “clear, defendable territory” for its clients

Elsewhere, take a trip to The Clearing to discover why finding ‘clear, defendable territory’ should be the goal of any branding project. The Brand Impact Award-winning agency sheds some light on its process, and shares some tips for how to defend that territory once you find it.

Buy Computer Arts issue 268 now!

This issue is bursting with other inspiring design content, including:

Sign maker Luke Stockdale reveals why signs should be beautiful as well as functional

Showcase features the very best graphic design, illustration and motion work

How to make judges notice your work, according to D&AD New Blood

Behind the scenes with Studio Sutherl&, most-awarded design studio at D&AD 2017

Source: creativebloq

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Cash in as a freelancer with the latest Computer Arts

Ask any freelancer what their biggest worry is, and it’s likely to involve money. How do you decide what to charge for your talents when you're first starting out – or negotiate higher rates once you know what you’re doing? And can you get enough invoices paid on time each month to cover your outgoings?

Subscribe to Computer Arts and get 5 issues for £5!

That freelance dream of being your own boss, taking on the projects you want, setting your own hours, and working in your underwear (if you so choose) may be clouded by this financial uncertainty if you don’t get your affairs in order.

Cash in as a freelancer – advice on pricing, pitching, persuading and more…

But fear not. The cover feature in July's Computer Arts is packed with great advice to help you conquer all your cash concerns as a freelancer – from selling yourself to new clients, to chasing up late-paying existing ones.

Character design trends and branding tips

New trends in character design, according to Pictoplasma

With the help of the co-founders of Pictoplasma, CA also investigates the vibrant world of character design with an inspiring journey through the four hottest trends to watch out for this year.

How The Clearing creates “clear, defendable territory” for its clients

Elsewhere, take a trip to The Clearing to discover why finding ‘clear, defendable territory’ should be the goal of any branding project. The Brand Impact Award-winning agency sheds some light on its process, and shares some tips for how to defend that territory once you find it.

Buy Computer Arts issue 268 now!

This issue is bursting with other inspiring design content, including:

Sign maker Luke Stockdale reveals why signs should be beautiful as well as functional

Showcase features the very best graphic design, illustration and motion work

How to make judges notice your work, according to D&AD New Blood

Behind the scenes with Studio Sutherl&, most-awarded design studio at D&AD 2017

Source: creativebloq

Nail your HTML with this cheat sheet

Nail your HTML with this cheat sheet

While many great website builders and beautiful free themes make building your own portfolio site easier than ever, a little knowledge of HTML is really useful. It enables you to look under your site's bonnet to see how everything fits together, and to fine-tune things when the default settings aren't doing it for you.

But all those tags can be a little daunting – especially since HTML is an ongoing project, with new elements being introduced as the technology evolves. So Digital.com has come up with this useful interactive HTML cheat sheet.

Digital.com’s HTML cheat sheet is a web design gold mine

It features a full list of all the HTML elements that you can browse alphabetically – in a very attractive isometric layout – as well as by category. Click on one of the html code tags to read a descriptions of that element, as well as helpful code examples that you can plunder when you try to implement a new feature for yourself.

Code examples make it easy to get the hang of those pesky tags

Plus if you don't want to be eternally switching browser tabs when you can't tell your <article> from your <body>, Digital.com has thoughtfully provided a downloadable PDF version of its cheat sheet that you can save to your computer or print out and keep on your desk.

There’s even a PDF version to download and print out

You can find the cheat sheet – made with a little assistance from Mozilla – over at Digital.com.

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

What creative pros want from the next Illustrator CC release

What creative pros want from the next Illustrator CC release

When we reviewed Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 recently, it was obvious that the Creative Cloud 2017 release remains a fantastic tool for all kinds of design work – from crisp vector logos, to app icons, to UI and web prototyping, to illustration to… well, pretty much anything, really. 

But of course, Illustrator isn’t perfect, so we wanted to find out what creative pros really need from the app. Here's what they want Adobe to improve for the next version of Illustrator.

01. Improve Colour Picker options

Photoshop currently offers superior colour picker options

“This has bugged me for years,” says illustrator and design lead at Havas helia, Aaron Miller. “If you have the colour picker window open, you can’t simply select a background colour from anywhere on the screen or apply a swatch like you can in Photoshop. The cursor should change to the Eyedropper tool, so you’re free to select any colour.”

02. Boost bitmap rendering

“Illustrator’s vector capabilities are second to none, but its bitmap rendering for the canvas and exporting are a long way behind,” explains Marc Edwards, founder of Bjango. “In terms of antialiasing steps for shapes, there are only a few possible steps: 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% opacity.”

03. Fix the snapping bug

Illustrator Von Glitschka is very vocal about what he wants from the next version of Illustrator. “Fix the damn snapping bug that was introduced through a CC update four-plus years ago,” he says. “Snapping is a fundamental feature of vector building, and to have a so-called pro app fail at that level is absurd.” Not sure what he means by the snapping bug? Watch the video above, which he sent to Adobe’s engineers.

04. Sort out the stability

"Illustrator CC 2017 21.1.0 is the most unstable version of CC yet,” continues Glitschka. He points out that at Adobe MAX in October, Adobe announced it would be focusing on making Illustrator more stable, but he hasn't seen much evidence of this so far.

“I’ve been tracking my crashes since 1 January 2017 and so far I’ve had 41. March alone had 11. At Adobe MAX, Adobe stated that for the first time in 25 years Illustrator has a larger user base than Photoshop. Now, if that is true – and I’ll assume it is – why not make Ai rock-stable?”

05. Add snappy text alignment

Want to align your text centrally within a button? You can’t… yet

Illustrator CC 2017 brings a lot of new text enhancements, but Miller wants more. “I know many people use Illustrator for a more design-based approach and work with type,” he explains. “Something that InDesign does really well is to offer the ability to align text vertically within a text box. This combined with central alignment of the paragraph would mean text could sit ‘centrally’ within a button, for example.”

06. Enable better rendering

Edwards also wants better rendering performance. “Enabling Illustrator CC’s GPU rendering option improves performance, but reduces rendering quality even further,” he says. “Illustrator’s pixel preview also has many rendering issues, including stray pixels and other artefacts. Gradient rendering with dithering would improve the quality of canvas rendering, and also bitmap output, too.”

07. Increase artboard limits

At the moment, artboards are capped at 100

Artboards have made it possible to create multi-page documents at different page sizes, but Edwards doesn’t think the functionality is quite good enough. "I’d like the artboard limit increased from 100,” he says. “For larger projects that use artboards for exporting, 100 artboards are often not enough.”

08. Let us copy beloved effects

Miller wants to be able to copy effects

The Appearance panel is great and shows the effects and properties applied to a shape, but Miller wants more. “I do wish you could copy an effect like you can copy layer styles within Photoshop. This would make making working with effects so much easier. There are ways around this – like using graphic styles – but they feel counterproductive.”

09. Bring back default anchor points

“Two releases ago, Adobe decided on the fly to remove anchor points being shown by default on vector shapes. Who asked for that? No-one, it just did it,” muses Von Glitschka. “It got so much blowback it added a preference to return it to normal.”

10. Communicate with designers better

“The Illustrator team gets pushed so hard to develop features that will be used to push CC services,” says Von Glitschka. “They care more about that than stability. They’ll also actively remove features that don’t encourage CC use. For example, on the Adobe Draw app for iPad they removed the feature that gave users the ability to simply email your art to anyone as a PDF. They replaced it with uploading it to CC, so you can’t share it easily. It’s a convoluted hot mess.”

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Source: creativebloq

Review: BREDA Bresson watches

Review: BREDA Bresson watches

Having started life as a private label brand in 2009, watch designer BREDA has come a long way over the years and now operates out of a watch design studio in Dallas, Texas. In fact it has even made big steps forwards during the last 12 months, with its watches addressing some of the design and material flaws we pointed out in our BREDA Valor watches review.

As ever, BREDA is a brand that focuses on creating premium watch designs within an accessible price range, so it's a relief to see that the craftsmanship is finally on par with its reasonable pricing.

The watches we were given to review come from BREDA's Bresson range. While we found the Valor selection of watches a little lacking in terms of the strap material quality, this isn't the case with the bold and chunky Bresson models. Each comes with thick, genuine leather straps that look more than capable of standing up to being repeatedly fastened day in, day out.

The strap material is an improvement on BREDA’s previous watches

The centrepiece of a Bresson watch is its durable case. Just like the stitchless strap, the case has a robust feel and weight to it and is comfortable to wear. And while it's chunky, you won't feel one arm weighing conspicuously more than the other while you're wearing it.

Taking its name from photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, the Bresson watch "captures elements from the lens of a camera." Time itself is displayed with an easy to read matte dial and a white watch face with embossed minute markers. The result is a design that has an elegant functionality that both looks good and meets the practical demands of the user.

The only issue we ran into while reviewing this range was a usability flaw with the buckle. On one model the buckle unclipped itself while the strap was being fastened, but this was easily clipped back into place and the watch continues to be worn just fine.

The stylish packaging keeps the watches nice and safe

Bresson watches come in an appropriately minimalist cardboard box and sleeve that store the timepieces flat to keep them safe. This is great as it keeps the leather strap in mint condition. Other BREDA watches are supplied in a square box that wraps the strap around internal packaging, so it's good to see that the attention to detail is carried over from the watch to how it's presented.

Retailing at (or roughly £70), the Bresson watches deliver much more than other BREDA ranges at just a fractionally higher price. With these timepieces you get value for money and quality craftsmanship to boot. The Bresson range could easily suit day to day wear or be saved for special occasions, so be sure to check it out.

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Source: creativebloq

Smart typography tool generates font pairs in an instant

Smart typography tool generates font pairs in an instant

Pairing font is a constant challenge for designers and typographers. Putting the wrong fonts together can create a discordant look that ruins a design, while letters that share similar themes or measures can bring a project together. To help creatives match their fonts successfully, Fontjoy has turned to deep learning to make the whole process quicker than ever.

Created by designer and engineer Jack Qiao, Fontjoy builds on a similar font mapping tool released earlier this year. By extracting the feature vectors from images of nearly 2,000 fonts, Qiao was able to create a formula that can systematically sift through styles and find fonts that share key characteristics.

Users click on a letter to choose a font

On Fontjoy you can play around with font pairings by selecting styles from the options in the sidebar. Simply choose how similar or contrasting you want the fonts to be by adjusting a scale at the top of the site, then click generate to instantly find a match.

The controls take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of Fontjoy you'll be able to lock you favourite fonts and experiment with pairings in no time.

Fontjoy saves an age-old problem for designers and typographers

For experienced designers Fontjoy might prove to be little more than a starting point for your own experimentation, but for beginners the site is a useful tool in understanding how font styles can work together or against each other. And with Qiao explaining how he created the mapping algorithm on Github, there's even some insights for those who want to start getting into machine learning.

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Source: creativebloq

20 great free resources for learning typography

20 great free resources for learning typography

Whatever design discipline you work in, a decent knowledge and understanding of typography is one of the most important things you need to develop.

Luckily, the web is packed with free, quality resources for learning about typography – if you know where to look. Whether you’re a newbie starting from scratch, or want to build on your existing typography skills, you’re sure to find plenty to sink your teeth into with the following offerings.

01. Typography rules and terms every designer must know

Learn the basic terms and rules with this comprehensive introduction to typography

Typography is, quite simply, the art and technique of arranging type. It's central to the skills of a designer and is about much more than making the words legible. This comprehensive glossary sets out the fundamental concepts and terminology of typography in words you can understand.

02. Butterick’s Practical Typography

This free online book by Matthew Butterick, author of Typography for Lawyers, is a great introduction to everything you need to know about typography. The book begins with the five key rules of typography (which should only take 10 minutes to read and digest), followed by chapters on why typography matters, type composition, text formatting, font recommendations, page layout, and sample documents. With a comprehensive appendix, there’s everything here to help raise your typography knowledge from newbie to intermediate.

03. Infographic: a designer's guide to typography and fonts

The Logo Company’s stylish infographic clearly explains the alphabet of typography terms

There's a lot more to typography design than meets the eye. In fact there are a range of rules and technical terms relating to the construction and make up of fonts that most people simply don't know about. To help demystify things, The Logo Company has put together this stylish infographic that clearly explains an alphabet’s worth of typography terms.

04. Typography cheatsheet

Typewolf’s cheatsheet will help you use typographic characters properly

Typewolf is an invaluable blog for keeping up with the latest in fonts and typography. And here it's supplied a handy cheatsheet to help you use typographic characters properly, including quotes and apostrophes, dashes and hyphens, and correct grammatical usage.

05. Master the finer points of typography

Typography is an essential part of the communication process, whether it’s used in print, on screen or in any other media. It’s used to attract attention, engage the reader and convey meaning, and this article explores the aesthetic dimension of type to see how it serves and enhances design.

06. How to choose the right typeface

When it comes to picking a typeface, you can't rely on gut alone. Making the right choice depends on function, context and a whole host of other factors. These quick tips will help ensure you go about it the right way.

07. Guide to font pairing

This article explains the basics of choosing great font combinations

Picking great fonts can seem like an impossible dark art for most people. This article explains the basics of choosing great font combinations and then offers the author’s favourite combinations to try out in your own designs.

08. Four techniques for combining fonts

Building a palette is an intuitive process, and expanding a typographic duet to three, four, or even five voices can be daunting. Here, Hoefler & Co explains its approach for mixing font families, by keeping one quality consistent, and letting the others vary.

09. Expert tips to improve your kerning

Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between letters to achieve a visually pleasing result. Some designers find it easy, others a tricky process where success is achieved more by luck than real judgement. This article brings together 10 tips to put you on the right track.

10. Guide to typography on your homepage

These top tips will help you nail the typography on your homepage

Typography can often make the difference between a good and a great website. This article brings together five tips to nail the typography of your homepage.

Next page: 10 more great resources for learning typography

11. Understanding typographic hierarchy

Typographic hierarchy is a system for organising type that establishes an order of importance within the data, allowing the reader to easily find what they are looking for and to navigate the content. This article offers a simple example and explains how you can achieve typographic hierarchy in your own designs.

12. How to achieve better typographic hierarchy in web design

If you can’t put your finger on why a web design isn’t working, the odds are good that it’s an issue with your visual or typographic hierarchy. This article offers six tips for designing online content that people will actually want to read.

13. The rules of responsive web typography

This article takes the mystery out of responsive web typography

Responsive web typography is tough – you need to have both design chops and technical know-how. This article explains all the principles and systems you need to know to take the mystery out of responsive web typography.

14. Control web typography with CSS font

The way a browser loads your fonts has a big impact on the performance of your website. This article explains the different ways to tell the browser do it, and which to use when.

15. Master accessible web typography

Readability of content is probably the main goal for almost every website. To this end, Fontsmith has worked with Mencap to research, test and design accessible typefaces for those with disabilities. In this article, we present some of their findings.

16. How accessible is your typeface?

This infographic explains how to gauge the accessibility of your typefaces

Accessible typography gets your message across smoothly, and makes it more legible for people with learning difficulties. This infographic from Fontsmith explains how designers can gauge the accessibility of their typefaces.

17. How to create your own font 

Where exactly do you begin if you want to make your own font? If you're a designer or illustrator new to this discipline, this article explains the first practical steps, the common software you can use and the early considerations to get you going.

18. The 10 commandments of typography

Learning typography is as much about what you shouldn’t do as what you should. This article looks at common type mistakes, how you can avoid them and some suggestions for further reading along the way.

19. Typography tricks every designer should know

Pro designers share their top typography tips

Want to push your typography skills further? This article shares 10 typography tips and tricks from professional designers that you can use to boost your design skills and impress friends and colleagues.

20. Top-quality typography tutorials

This post brings together the web's best typography tutorials, all in one place. You'll find typography tutorials on adding colour to your type, designing text effects, making a typography poster, illustrative typography, and more.

Source: creativebloq

21 Illustrator shortcuts to speed up your workflow

21 Illustrator shortcuts to speed up your workflow

Whenever you create vector art in Illustrator, simple tasks can become a hindrance to your workflow. So instead of becoming frustrated, take a look at our list of Illustrator shortcuts right here. They're guaranteed to speed up your workflow once you get the hang of them.

Whether you want to change the size of your text, deselect a layer or merge a series of layers, we've got it covered! There are also some handy hints for brushes, saving and closing, and viewing options. Introduce the shortcuts slowly into your practice so you're not overwhelmed by the sheer amount to remember.

01. Select all items on layer

Mac: Option+Click layer
Windows: Alt+Click layer

Quickly select all the items on one particular layer – including those that are locked and not visible (to select only the visible, unlocked objects, click the select circle in the layers palette).

02. Hand Tool

Mac: Spacebar
Windows: Spacebar

Move around your artboard without disturbing the content. This shortcut can't be used while editing typography.

03. Hand Tool (Editing type)

Mac: Cmd+Spacebar
Windows: Ctrl+Spacebar

Move around your artboard without disturbing the content. This can be used while editing type, but you have to start moving the cursor around very quickly after releasing the Cmd/Ctrl key, otherwise Illustrator will start adding spaces to your text.

04. Activate Zoom In tool

Mac: Cmd+Spacebar
Windows: Ctrl+Spacebar

Zoom closer into the artboard.

05. Activate Zoom Out tool

Mac: Cmd+Option+Spacebar
Windows: Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar

Zoom out of the artboard.

06. Access Selection or Direction Selection tool

Mac: Cmd
Windows: Ctrl

Switch between the Selection or Direction Selection tool – a big time saver.

07. Move Selection 10 pts

Mac: Shift+arrow direction
Windows: Shift+arrow direction

Shift your imagery and/or typography accurately and quickly.

08. Add to a selection

Mac: Shift-click
Windows: Shift-click

Create multiple selections, with the ability to add more if needed.

09. Lock selected artwork

Mac: Cmd+2
Windows: Ctrl+2

This is a handy way to lock down those layers that keep getting in the way.

10. Unlock all artwork

Mac: Cmd+Option+2
Windows: Ctrl+Alt+2

Unlock previously locked layers all at once.

11. Duplicate

Mac: Option+drag
Windows: Alt+drag

Just drag your selection while holding Option to duplicate the file.

12. Scale proportionally with Selection tool

Mac: Shift+drag bounding box
Windows: Shift+drag bounding box

Never distort your images again: scale them proportionally with this method.

13. Sample colour

Mac: I
Windows: I

Sample colour from a vector, gradient or image with the eyedropper tool.

14. Show/hide artboards

Mac: Cmd+Shift+H
Windows: Ctrl+Shift+H

Each artboard is bound by solid lines that represent the maximum printable area, with a canvas area beyond these boundaries. This shortcut shows/hides the artboard boundaries.

15. Show/hide artboard rulers

Mac: Cmd+R
Windows: Ctrl+R

Make sure everything lines up by toggling rulers on.

16. View all artboards in window

Mac: Cmd+Option+O
Windows: Ctrl+Alt+O

Shows you multiple artboards at once.

17. Decrease/increase type size

Mac: Cmd+Shift+< or >
Windows: Ctrl+Shift+< or >

An effective way of changing your font size directly in front of your eyes.

18. Decrease/Increase leading

Mac: Option+up/down
Windows: Alt+up/down

Quickly adjust the kerning without having to keep clicking in the character tab.

19. Decrease/Increase kerning or tracking

Mac: Option+arrow L/R
Windows: Alt+arrow L/R

Adjust the space between your text in Illustrator with this handy command.

20. Align text left/centre/right

Mac: Cmd-Shift-L/C/R
Windows: Ctrl+Shift+L/C/R

A great way to experiment with the alignment of your text, this shortcut will enable you to do it quickly.

21. Save for Web and Devices

Mac: Cmd+Shift+Opt+S
Windows: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S

If you prefer not to drag your mouse around a number of options, use this shortcut.

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

Killer tips for perfect animation portfolios

Killer tips for perfect animation portfolios

“For a character design position, I look at their drawing, painting, and design skills, and for a variety of styles,” says Aaron Blaise

It doesn't matter how talented an animator you are. If you don't have a killer portfolio to showcase your skills, that job you've dreamed of is unlikely to materialise. So what's the secret to success?

We asked leading animators to share their pro tips on portfolio strategy. Whether you want your digital portfolio to work harder or to make your showreel sing, there are some best practice tips that can be applied, whatever field you're targeting.

01. Target your audience

Golden rule one: know your audience. Who is your portfolio or showreel aimed at, and what do prospective employers, viewers or visitors want to see?

"Whether you're applying to a games studio, effects studio or a character animation studio, you have to tailor your portfolio to the studio you're applying to and the type of work you aspire to do," says Andrew Gordon, a directing animator at Pixar, who's worked on everything from A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 3 to Pixar's Academy Award-nominated short film Presto.

Oscar-nominated animator Aaron Blaise agrees: "Know who you're interviewing with," he advises. "If I were looking to get hired at Disney, I wouldn't show them a reel of Simpsons animation, and vice versa. And if you don't have the type of work you think a studio is looking for, then it would be in your best interest to do a shot or two in that studio's particular style."

02. Hook your viewer

Park City (Wasatch) is one of a number of images in Ty Carter’s portfolio that shows his understanding of design and colour

"Keep in mind that we have seconds to evaluate your work," explains Disney in its exceptionally helpful portfolio and showreel application guidelines. That means putting your best work first and closing strong, as Pixar's Gordon explains: "Realise that people will fast-forward through your work. If they don't see something really quickly, they'll turn off."

It also means being original. How? By injecting personality into your portfolio. "Good character animation is the art of bringing characters to life – not moving them around," points out Blaise.

He's currently working on an original 2D animated short film, Snow Bear, with business partner Nick Burch, and urges animators not to sacrifice personality by focusing solely on movement and mechanics. "Often a shot requires little to no movement to get an emotion across," he says. 

"It can be just a look, an eye movement, a blink. I also advise animators to include performances where there's a change of emotion or idea: angry to happy or fearful to brave. That's when it becomes real and the viewer is pulled in."

03. Show your skillset

“Game animation is competitive,” says Jonathan Cooper, who worked on Uncharted 4. “Even veterans need to keep pushing the quality bar to get that ideal job.”

When it comes to specific skill sets, different disciplines require different portfolios. For Gordon, who specialises in character animation, this means showing an understanding of the 12 principles of animation – squash, stretch and so on.

For Naughty Dog video games animator Jonathan Cooper, however, this means showing actions and a relevant style. Cooper is the brains behind video animation website Game Anim. He's currently working on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and says that for the games he makes, he wants to see navigation around a complex environment, including jumping, climbing and vaulting, one-on-one-combat, walk and run cycles, and so on. 

"Dialogue and acting scenes are a huge bonus as we're always blurring the lines between gameplay and cinematic storytelling, and game animators are typically expected to at least have a hand in both aspects on the job," he says, adding that camera work also helps you stand out.

04. Present a fresh demo reel

As Cooper explains, it's essential to have an up-to-date demo reel to keep up with the fast-paced games industry. "A personal website is the easiest to share with the studio involved in hiring, but a link to your latest reel in your resume is enough," he says. "I prefer Vimeo to YouTube, because of the final render quality and overall cleanliness of the site," he continues. "And ArtStation is fast becoming the standard for pre-made portfolios. But I recommend adding your reel everywhere – even LinkedIn. As for a physical portfolio, I don't think I've seen one in years."

Lisa Allen, an animator at Blue Sky Studios and recent portfolio reviewer at November's CTN animation expo, echoes the sentiment: "Your showreel is really the only part of your portfolio that matters for getting a job as an animator. 

"Ideally, the pieces in your showreel demonstrate your eye for acting, posing, design and composition. If you've done work in any other categories like life drawing, or illustration, that's great – but keep them in a separate part of your portfolio website instead. Also, less is more. For me, the perfect reel is between three and five clips and around a minute long."

05. Create one major focus

“At Blue Sky we look for animation with entertainment through character and personality,” says Lisa Allen, who worked on The Peanuts Movie

Another golden rule for a successful portfolio is to create a clear focus. If you're showcasing a number of core abilities, make sure the direction in which you want to take your career is clearly presented. "Successful portfolios are specific, organised and contain original ideas," says Blue Sky Studios visual development artist Ty Carter. His film credits include Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Epic, and The Peanuts Movie, and he shares all kinds of useful tutorials and teachings on his Patreon page

"It's good to see one major focus like character design, set design or colour. If you do each of these at a high level it doesn't hurt to show them all, but be careful not to include too much. What's most important is showing you're a creative problem solver. Ask yourself, what do you bring to the table that nobody else can do? Is your own life experience reflected in your art? If not, how can you do that?"

06. Entertain your audience

Most importantly, it's about storytelling. "Don't fall into the trap of being a shot animator," warns Gordon. "People don't just want to see great animation: they want to see if you can tell a story. You have to put together the pieces so that you're showing you understand cutting, continuity and staging. You don't need complex rigs to get noticed. Just great ideas."

"At Disney we would talk about portfolios that stuck out," agrees Blaise, "and they stuck out because the work was consistently entertaining throughout. We are in the business of entertainment," he smiles. "I want your portfolio to entertain me."

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 145; buy it here!

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Source: creativebloq

Get started with digital painting in Photoshop

Get started with digital painting in Photoshop

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian expressionist painter, best known for his masterpiece The Scream. Now digital creatives can get a taste of his genius with seven specially created Photoshop brushes based on Munch’s own paintbrushes.

The free Photoshop brushes are based on those used centuries ago by Munch himself

The project, part of the Hidden Treasures of Creativity initiative, saw Adobe collaborating with The Munch Museum in Oslo and award-winning Photoshop brush maker Kyle T Webster to bring Munch’s original, century-old brushes to a completely new generation of creatives. Creative Cloud users can download them for free here

To give you a taste of what you can create, Adobe has also put together a series of video masterclasses to help you hone your expert brush skills. Take a look at the first one below.

Watch the rest on the Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube channel or join in with Adobe’s livestreaming event – part of its Adobelive series – to paint along with Photoshop professionals. There will be sessions taking place daily on 20, 21 and 22 June at 3pm (BST), and you can sign up here.

Source: creativebloq

Review: Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes

Review: Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes

Queen Victoria commissioned Winsor & Newton to produce for her the finest watercolour brushes possible. The company, which already held a Royal Warrant, rose to the challenge. 

The formula has changed slightly for the modern age, but Winsor & Newton has preserved the quality and heritage of this range, named Series 7 after her favourite brush size, no 7. 

Today the Series 7 range is available in 13 sizes, from 000 to a healthy size 10. The head shape is round and the range is also available with short handles – ideal for the painting of miniatures.

Series 7 brushes are handmade in England by brushmakers with over 40 years of experience. Every strand of the finest Kolinsky sable hair is measured, combed and carefully rolled into a precise dome shape to ensure the creation of the perfect point. 

Once tied and inserted into a nickel-plated ferrule, each brush head is then checked for blunt hairs under a magnifying glass before being securely fastened to the black polished handle. 

But it doesn't end there. It's vital that the balance, shape and point of every Series 7 brush is perfect, so each one is then tested by hand.

Each brush is handmade and carefully tested

The larger brush sizes are packed into individual presentation boxes that include a tag with the brushmaker's name. This personal touch shows a real respect of the brushmaking craft, reaffirming the high-quality product that you've just invested in.

The smaller-sized paint brushes won't break the bank (they're priced from £10.99/ for size 000), and it's a good way to experience the quality of Series 7. Upwards from the size 6, however, the price might make you hesitate. Size 7 costs £89.99/5 and the range stretches up to £329/0 for a size 14.

But while you hesitate, let's explore why the Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes are often referred to as the world's finest. Aside from the obvious quality in materials and production, it has to be in the experience of painting.

Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush performance

Queen Victoria's favourite brush, size 7, seems a good place to start. With its smooth, black handle it looks smart and feels comfortable in the hand. It's a medium-sized brush and is reasonably thirsty, soaking up a decent amount of paint that produces an even flow and coverage in one movement.

The incredible softness of the brush is immediately apparent as it easily glides across the paper, holding a good edge when used straight, but also allowing the brush tip to cleanly follow a swirling action without any resistance or bristles breaking out. This amount of control really does confirm its superiority and makes it a pleasure to use. Whether lightly or heavily laden with paint, the shape of the brush holds incredibly well.

Sizes 1, 0 and 00 were also used with the same clean and controlled results. These smaller sizes would be perfect for fine, detailed work.

The Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes will undoubtedly boost your enthusiasm for watercolour. They enhance the overall experience and have the potential to improve your results.

If looked after well, these brushes should last years, maybe even a lifetime, in which case the extra cost of this quality product can be justified.

This article originally appeared in Paint & Draw issue 7; buy it here!

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5 things you need for oil painting

5 things you need for oil painting

There's an undeserved mystique around oil painting that has put up some intimidating barriers for some artists wanting to use this wonderful medium. 

Oil paints offer a richness of colour and their surface allows the creation of beautiful textures. You can paint thick or thin, directly or use glazes. Oils can be used on paper, wood, metal, plastic, canvas and many other surfaces.

If you're just getting started, don't get overwhelmed. Be patient with yourself and recognise that it'll take a little time to get the hang of this beautiful medium. Don't overcomplicate it, either.

Here we'll go over the five key materials you'll need to paint with oils. 

01. A spectrum of colours

A basic palette like this will cover most eventualities

There are hundreds of colours to choose from, but start with a basic palette that covers the spectrum to give you a good mix of warm and cool hues. 

Most art materials are sold in at least two grades: student and professional. Whenever possible, purchase pro-grade materials as they almost always last longer and the paint goes further. Pro-grade oils will also contain more pigment, which will result in more accurate colour mixing, and will be resistant to fading in sunlight. 

02. A variety of brushes

Here’s a handy selection of brushes

I prefer Rosemary & Co. brushes, but I also recommend Silver Grand Prix and Trekell. Hog bristle brushes are versatile, not terribly expensive and allow for a variety of applications. Finer-haired brushes, both natural and synthetic, can give you an even smoother finish and make very fine detail possible.

03. A palette

Make sure your palette is large enough to mix your paints on

You'll need a palette for your paint. This can be a disposable one, a clean tabletop or a handheld wood palette, or a piece of glass that can be quickly scraped clean. Whatever you use, choose something that's large enough to allow for easy mixing and that can be used ergonomically.

04. A surface to paint

Whatever surface you use, prime it with gesso first

The most common surfaces to paint on are canvas, linen and wood. You'll need to prime the surface with a gesso or ground to prevent the acids in the paint from contacting it directly. Acrylic gesso is easy to use and can be applied with a brush or roller.

05. A comfortable easel

Pick an easel that best suits your preferred painting style

A solid easel is important so that your work is stable, safe and remains at a good working height while you're painting. You can purchase (pictured, left to right): portable metal tripod-style easels that can be used sitting or standing; larger H-frame style studio models that are meant to remain in situ; or folding French-style field easels. 

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 145; buy it here!

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

5 things you need for oil painting

5 things you need for oil painting

There's an undeserved mystique around oil painting that has put up some intimidating barriers for some artists wanting to use this wonderful medium. 

Oil paints offer a richness of colour and their surface allows the creation of beautiful textures. You can paint thick or thin, directly or use glazes. Oils can be used on paper, wood, metal, plastic, canvas and many other surfaces.

If you're just getting started, don't get overwhelmed. Be patient with yourself and recognise that it'll take a little time to get the hang of this beautiful medium. Don't overcomplicate it, either.

Here we'll go over the five key materials you'll need to paint with oils. 

01. A spectrum of colours

A basic palette like this will cover most eventualities

There are hundreds of colours to choose from, but start with a basic palette that covers the spectrum to give you a good mix of warm and cool hues. 

Most art materials are sold in at least two grades: student and professional. Whenever possible, purchase pro-grade materials as they almost always last longer and the paint goes further. Pro-grade oils will also contain more pigment, which will result in more accurate colour mixing, and will be resistant to fading in sunlight. 

02. A variety of brushes

Here’s a handy selection of brushes

I prefer Rosemary & Co. brushes, but I also recommend Silver Grand Prix and Trekell. Hog bristle brushes are versatile, not terribly expensive and allow for a variety of applications. Finer-haired brushes, both natural and synthetic, can give you an even smoother finish and make very fine detail possible.

03. A palette

Make sure your palette is large enough to mix your paints on

You'll need a palette for your paint. This can be a disposable one, a clean tabletop or a handheld wood palette, or a piece of glass that can be quickly scraped clean. Whatever you use, choose something that's large enough to allow for easy mixing and that can be used ergonomically.

04. A surface to paint

Whatever surface you use, prime it with gesso first

The most common surfaces to paint on are canvas, linen and wood. You'll need to prime the surface with a gesso or ground to prevent the acids in the paint from contacting it directly. Acrylic gesso is easy to use and can be applied with a brush or roller.

05. A comfortable easel

Pick an easel that best suits your preferred painting style

A solid easel is important so that your work is stable, safe and remains at a good working height while you're painting. You can purchase (pictured, left to right): portable metal tripod-style easels that can be used sitting or standing; larger H-frame style studio models that are meant to remain in situ; or folding French-style field easels. 

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 145; buy it here!

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

5 things you need for oil painting

5 things you need for oil painting

There's an undeserved mystique around oil painting that has put up some intimidating barriers for some artists wanting to use this wonderful medium. 

Oil paints offer a richness of colour and their surface allows the creation of beautiful textures. You can paint thick or thin, directly or use glazes. Oils can be used on paper, wood, metal, plastic, canvas and many other surfaces.

If you're just getting started, don't get overwhelmed. Be patient with yourself and recognise that it'll take a little time to get the hang of this beautiful medium. Don't overcomplicate it, either.

Here we'll go over the five key materials you'll need to paint with oils. 

01. A spectrum of colours

A basic palette like this will cover most eventualities

There are hundreds of colours to choose from, but start with a basic palette that covers the spectrum to give you a good mix of warm and cool hues. 

Most art materials are sold in at least two grades: student and professional. Whenever possible, purchase pro-grade materials as they almost always last longer and the paint goes further. Pro-grade oils will also contain more pigment, which will result in more accurate colour mixing, and will be resistant to fading in sunlight. 

02. A variety of brushes

Here’s a handy selection of brushes

I prefer Rosemary & Co. brushes, but I also recommend Silver Grand Prix and Trekell. Hog bristle brushes are versatile, not terribly expensive and allow for a variety of applications. Finer-haired brushes, both natural and synthetic, can give you an even smoother finish and make very fine detail possible.

03. A palette

Make sure your palette is large enough to mix your paints on

You'll need a palette for your paint. This can be a disposable one, a clean tabletop or a handheld wood palette, or a piece of glass that can be quickly scraped clean. Whatever you use, choose something that's large enough to allow for easy mixing and that can be used ergonomically.

04. A surface to paint

Whatever surface you use, prime it with gesso first

The most common surfaces to paint on are canvas, linen and wood. You'll need to prime the surface with a gesso or ground to prevent the acids in the paint from contacting it directly. Acrylic gesso is easy to use and can be applied with a brush or roller.

05. A comfortable easel

Pick an easel that best suits your preferred painting style

A solid easel is important so that your work is stable, safe and remains at a good working height while you're painting. You can purchase (pictured, left to right): portable metal tripod-style easels that can be used sitting or standing; larger H-frame style studio models that are meant to remain in situ; or folding French-style field easels. 

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 145; buy it here!

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

5 things you need for oil painting

5 things you need for oil painting

There's an undeserved mystique around oil painting that has put up some intimidating barriers for some artists wanting to use this wonderful medium. 

Oil paints offer a richness of colour and their surface allows the creation of beautiful textures. You can paint thick or thin, directly or use glazes. Oils can be used on paper, wood, metal, plastic, canvas and many other surfaces.

If you're just getting started, don't get overwhelmed. Be patient with yourself and recognise that it'll take a little time to get the hang of this beautiful medium. Don't overcomplicate it, either.

Here we'll go over the five key materials you'll need to paint with oils. 

01. A spectrum of colours

A basic palette like this will cover most eventualities

There are hundreds of colours to choose from, but start with a basic palette that covers the spectrum to give you a good mix of warm and cool hues. 

Most art materials are sold in at least two grades: student and professional. Whenever possible, purchase pro-grade materials as they almost always last longer and the paint goes further. Pro-grade oils will also contain more pigment, which will result in more accurate colour mixing, and will be resistant to fading in sunlight. 

02. A variety of brushes

Here’s a handy selection of brushes

I prefer Rosemary & Co. brushes, but I also recommend Silver Grand Prix and Trekell. Hog bristle brushes are versatile, not terribly expensive and allow for a variety of applications. Finer-haired brushes, both natural and synthetic, can give you an even smoother finish and make very fine detail possible.

03. A palette

Make sure your palette is large enough to mix your paints on

You'll need a palette for your paint. This can be a disposable one, a clean tabletop or a handheld wood palette, or a piece of glass that can be quickly scraped clean. Whatever you use, choose something that's large enough to allow for easy mixing and that can be used ergonomically.

04. A surface to paint

Whatever surface you use, prime it with gesso first

The most common surfaces to paint on are canvas, linen and wood. You'll need to prime the surface with a gesso or ground to prevent the acids in the paint from contacting it directly. Acrylic gesso is easy to use and can be applied with a brush or roller.

05. A comfortable easel

Pick an easel that best suits your preferred painting style

A solid easel is important so that your work is stable, safe and remains at a good working height while you're painting. You can purchase (pictured, left to right): portable metal tripod-style easels that can be used sitting or standing; larger H-frame style studio models that are meant to remain in situ; or folding French-style field easels. 

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 145; buy it here!

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

5 things you need for oil painting

5 things you need for oil painting

There's an undeserved mystique around oil painting that has put up some intimidating barriers for some artists wanting to use this wonderful medium. 

Oil paints offer a richness of colour and their surface allows the creation of beautiful textures. You can paint thick or thin, directly or use glazes. Oils can be used on paper, wood, metal, plastic, canvas and many other surfaces.

If you're just getting started, don't get overwhelmed. Be patient with yourself and recognise that it'll take a little time to get the hang of this beautiful medium. Don't overcomplicate it, either.

Here we'll go over the five key materials you'll need to paint with oils. 

01. A spectrum of colours

A basic palette like this will cover most eventualities

There are hundreds of colours to choose from, but start with a basic palette that covers the spectrum to give you a good mix of warm and cool hues. 

Most art materials are sold in at least two grades: student and professional. Whenever possible, purchase pro-grade materials as they almost always last longer and the paint goes further. Pro-grade oils will also contain more pigment, which will result in more accurate colour mixing, and will be resistant to fading in sunlight. 

02. A variety of brushes

Here’s a handy selection of brushes

I prefer Rosemary & Co. brushes, but I also recommend Silver Grand Prix and Trekell. Hog bristle brushes are versatile, not terribly expensive and allow for a variety of applications. Finer-haired brushes, both natural and synthetic, can give you an even smoother finish and make very fine detail possible.

03. A palette

Make sure your palette is large enough to mix your paints on

You'll need a palette for your paint. This can be a disposable one, a clean tabletop or a handheld wood palette, or a piece of glass that can be quickly scraped clean. Whatever you use, choose something that's large enough to allow for easy mixing and that can be used ergonomically.

04. A surface to paint

Whatever surface you use, prime it with gesso first

The most common surfaces to paint on are canvas, linen and wood. You'll need to prime the surface with a gesso or ground to prevent the acids in the paint from contacting it directly. Acrylic gesso is easy to use and can be applied with a brush or roller.

05. A comfortable easel

Pick an easel that best suits your preferred painting style

A solid easel is important so that your work is stable, safe and remains at a good working height while you're painting. You can purchase (pictured, left to right): portable metal tripod-style easels that can be used sitting or standing; larger H-frame style studio models that are meant to remain in situ; or folding French-style field easels. 

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 145; buy it here!

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

5 things every creative needs to know about print design

5 things every creative needs to know about print design

You invest a huge amount of effort, time and resources in getting your design right. So the last thing you want is for it to come back from the printers looking like a blurry, incoherent mess.

But if you’ve spent your career to date focused on digital-only design, you may be unsure about what to do when sending a design to print. So in this post we round up five fundamental things you need to know, with some links for extra reading to expand your knowledge further.

01. The difference between RGB and CMYK

Set your software to CMYK when printing your designs

The system that your computer software uses for generating colour on screen is not the same system that printers use. Computer graphics use the RGB colour system, which is made up of red, green and blue. But printers work with the cyan, magenta, yellow and black colour set – commonly referred to as CMYK.

The RGB system has a greater range of colours than most printers can reproduce. If your designs are intended for digital only, you need your software set to RGB. If it’s for print, you must use CMYK.

However, even working in CMYK, what you see on the screen won’t always be exactly what you’ll see on the printed product. That's why proofing your designs is so important. For more on this, read our article: How to colour-match your print projects.

02. The importance of resolution

300 DPI is the standard setting to ensure a high-quality print

When you're working on the web, resolution isn't such an issue. But when it comes to printing, you’re going to need some very high-resolution files indeed, or your prints will come back blurry, muddy and incoherent.

For print output, the most important measure you need to worry about is DPI: dots per inch. As the name suggests, this determines the number of dots your printer will create on one square inch of your printed page.

The best practice is to set your software to the maximum DPI of 300. There’s no benefit to going any higher, and it will just make your file larger and more unwieldy.

Also note that DPI should not be confused with PPI (pixels per inch), which is concerned with the density of dots in a square inch of screen space, and is thus used for digital design rather than print design.

03. How your design scales

Will your images become blurry when printed at large sizes?

When you look at your design on the screen, it may look perfect. But if it’s going to be printed at a much bigger size (such as a poster or billboard) or a dramatically smaller one (such as a business card), you need to consider how well the different elements of your design will scale.

One of the most important aspects of that is typography. So to make sure the text on a business card is legible, for example, it’s best to avoid light and thin fonts. Also, don’t set the size so small that people won’t be able to read it when it’s printed.

Another problem with scaling your designs comes when images are printed at large sizes. If they’re raster images, you need to supply them at a high enough resolution to avoid them blurring. But vector images shouldn’t cause a problem, as they are innately, infinitely scalable. For more details, read our ultimate guide to image resolution.

04. The need for bleed

Ask your printer how much bleed you need to incorporate in your designs

The way a printer cuts the paper down is not an exact science, so designers have always left a little room around the edge of their designs as room for error. This is called bleed, and all good design software will include guides to show you where the bleed starts and finishes. 

Different printers will require different amounts of bleed, so you should always ask your printing company to tell you this (or check your own printer settings if you’re using an in-house machine). Here are some other questions to ask your printer

05. The importance of proofreading

Check everything thoroughly before sending your work to print, including kerning

This sounds like obvious advice, but it cannot be stressed enough: one of the biggest pitfalls of printing your designs in physical form is making silly mistakes. Because unlike the web, you can't go back to correct it. If it's wrong, you’ve simply wasted your money.

Obviously you should spell check your work, but spell checking will only get you 75 per cent of the way there. It won’t pick up on many grammatical mistakes, it won’t notice if you misspell proper nouns such as company names, and it won’t know if you’ve used the wrong homophone – such as 'you're' when you should have used 'your' (or their/there, it’s/its, and so on).

Plus, typos are not the only mistakes that can ruin your print design. You need to meticulously check your kerning. You need to check your punctuation (is that the correct form of dash? Should that be in smart or dumb quotes?). In short, anything that can go wrong probably will go wrong, so it’s best to get as many eyes as possible on your design – preferably a printed proof – before you send it off. 

These are just the very basics of what you need to know about printing your designs. To learn more, check out our glossary of printing terms, our advice on how to get more from your print projects, our guide to printing a poster and our pro tips for being perfect in print.

Source: creativebloq

Understand the 12 principles of animation

Understand the 12 principles of animation

The 12 principles of animation were first introduced by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, which was originally released in 1981. In this book, Johnston and Thomas examine the work of leading Disney animators from the 1930s and onwards, and boil their approach down to 12 basic principles.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at each one, with helpful GIFs from Vincenzo Lodigiani, who also made the short video The Illusion of Life.

Once you understand these 12 principles, you'll be able to take your animations to the next level. These are the 12 principles and what they mean:

01. Squash and stretch


Show gravity with squash and stretch

The squash and stretch principle is considered the most important of the 12 principles. When applied, it gives your animated characters and objects the illusion of gravity, weight, mass and flexibility. Think about how a bouncing rubber ball may react when tossed into the air: the ball stretches when it travels up and down and squishes when it hits the ground.

When using squash and stretch, it's important to keep the object's volume consistent. So when you stretch something it needs to get thinner, and when you squash something it needs to get wider.

02. Anticipation

Anticipation refers to the small movements that prepare you for a bigger one

Anticipation helps to prepare the viewer for what's about to happen. When applied, it helps to make the object's action more realistic. 

Consider what it might look like if you were to jump without bending your knees, or perhaps to throw a ball without first pulling your arm back. Not only would it look unnatural, we're not even sure it's possible to jump without bending your knees! So animating movements without a flicker of anticipation would also cause your animation to be stale and lifeless.

03. Staging

Keep audiences’ eyes on the main event

Staging in animation is a lot like composition in artwork – meaning, you are responsible for drawing the viewer's attention to what's important within the scene. Simply put: keep the focus on what's important, and keep everything else of non-importance to a minimum. 

04. Straight ahead action and pose to pose

Straight ahead action and pose to pose are often combined

There are two ways to handle drawing animation: straight ahead and pose to pose. Each has its own benefits, and they are often combined.

Straight ahead action involves drawing frame-by-frame from start-to-finish. If you're looking for fluid, realistic movement, straight ahead action is your best bet.

With the pose to pose technique, you draw the beginning frame, the end frame, and a few key frames in between. Then you go back and complete the rest. Using this technique gives you a bit more control within the scene and allows you to increase the dramatic effect.

05. Follow through and overlapping action

Follow through and overlapping action is the principle that not everything on an object stops dead at the same time

When objects are in motion, then they come to a stop, not everything on that object will stop at the same time. Also, not everything on an object will move at the same rate.

If your character is running across the scene, their arms and legs may have a different timing than their head – this is overlapping action. Likewise, when they stop running, their hair will likely continue to move for a few frames as their head comes to rest – this is follow through. These are important principles to understand if you want your animation to flow.

06. Slow in and slow out

Adding extra frames gives the impression of a change of speed

The best way to understand slow in and slow out is to think about how a car accelerates and decelerates. In both cases, things slow down. In animation, this effect is achieved by adding more frames at the beginning and end of an action sequence. Apply this principle to give your objects more life.

07. Arc

Most objects follow an arc when they’re moving

When working in animation, it's best to stick with the laws of physics. As most objects follow an arc or a path when they're moving, your animations should reflect that arc. 

For example, when you toss a ball into the air, it follows a natural arc due to the Earth's gravity.

08. Secondary action

Talking while walking is an example of a secondary action

Secondary actions are used to support or emphasise the main action. Adding secondary actions help add more dimension to your characters and objects.

For instance, the subtle movement of your character’s hair as they walk, or perhaps a facial expression or a secondary object reacting to the first. Whatever the case may be, this secondary action should not distract from the primary one.

09. Timing

Timing communicates believability and hints at a character’s personality

Again, we need to look to the laws of physics, and apply what we see in the natural world to our animations. In this case, timing.

If you move an object too quickly or too slowly, it won't be believable. Using the correct timing allows you to control the mood and the reaction of your characters and objects. That's not to say you can't push things a little – but if you do, be consistent!

10. Exaggeration

Earlier Disney animations ramped the exaggeration right up

Too much realism can ruin an animation, making it appear static and boring. Instead, add some exaggeration to your characters and objects to make them more dynamic.

Find ways to push the limits just beyond what's possible, and your animations will pop.

11. Solid drawing

Giving your animations volume and weight is key

You need to understand the basics of drawing. This includes knowing how to draw in three-dimensional space and understanding form and anatomy, weight and volume, and lights and shadows.

While you can push the limits here, too, it's important to remain consistent. If your world has wonky doors and a warped perspective, keep that perspective throughout the entire animation. Otherwise, things will fall apart.

12. Appeal

You can inject a lot of personality into animated characters through their movements

Your characters, objects, and the world in which they live need to appeal to the viewer. This includes having an easy to read design, solid drawing, and a personality. There is no formula for getting this right, but it starts with strong character development and being able to tell your story through the art of animation.

If you're looking a little more guidance and some tools to help get you started, check out the Introduction to Moho tutorial series.

Related articles:

Source: creativebloq

VPN deals of the week

VPN deals of the week

Apple recently announced that it would be releasing two new versions of its iPad Pro that have the potential to transform the device into a true pro tool. The added features, bumped up specs and all new screen could even make this device a viable replacement for the MacBook Pro or other cumbersome laptops. The new iPad Pro could easily allow you to work away from your desk or even remotely, thanks to its smaller footprint.

However, working away from the office poses an increased security risk as you will often be connecting to unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks. By using a VPN to connect to the internet, you can better protect yourself online while working on the move, and the added security benefits of using such a service will ensure that your projects and your privacy remain safe from potential threats.

Most VPN service providers offer services globally and thus charge in US Dollars rather than in local currencies, so we've listed pricing in Dollars for the sake of simplicity. When you click through to the actual deals, you may find the prices automatically displayed in pounds, or whatever your native currency may be.

These are some of the best deals we found for staying safe online on the go:

1. IVPN – Great performance for .96 per year 

This VPN is a great choice for desktop users who value speed above all else. IVPN offers quality clients for both Windows and Mac and the company also provides detailed instructions for users who want to get the service up and running on Linux or mobile. 

The company truly values user privacy and it has a clear ‘no logs’ policy, as well as the option to sign up using minimal personal details. There is even an option to pay via Bitcoin for users who wish to remain truly anonymous. New customers can try out this VPN for free as IVPN offers a three-day free trial.

2. IPVanish – From .49 per year 

IPVanish has 700 servers across more than 60 locations and there are over 40,000 shared IP addresses available to its users. This VPN has excellent download speeds, which is useful for taking advantage of the company’s unlimited P2P traffic and support for five simultaneous connections. 

IPVanish keeps no logs on your browsing or download data, giving you total privacy. The company also offers new customers a seven-day money back guarantee if you are unhappy with the service.

3. ExpressVPN – 12 months from only .95

Setting up ExpressVPN is a breeze thanks to the numerous web-based tutorials the company provides on its site. This VPN supports both desktop and mobile with native clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and even BlackBerry. ExpressVPN has over 1,000 servers across 136 locations, and three connections can be used simultaneously. 

The service also has full P2P support, a kill switch to keep your IP concealed in the event that the VPN goes down, and solid performance across the board. A ‘no hassle’ 30-day money back guarantee is available for new ExpressVPN customers.

Source: creativebloq