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Art is all about materialising your expressions. Vishnu PR takes us through his tutorial of how he transforms the expressions in his mind or even the expressions visible in a piece of art into his style and statement by creating a digital portrait.

Creating from imagination and references is one thing, adding your personal touch to these references and imaginative thinking completely changes the structure of the artwork for the good, defining the artists’ style.

 

For the creation of a portrait, inspired from an oil painting, in his own style, Vishnu has represented his personal touch in various forms of detailing like managing the light, shadow and highlights and addition of textures in just the right amount.

 

Follow the step by step guidance to know the secrets of making a digital portrait look real and surprise yourself with your own creation.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 1

Start by making an outline of the image that you want to create.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 2

A suitable base colour needs to be added to the created outline. Base colour is an important factor to create a digital art or portrait.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 3

The next step is to add different tones of colours in order to achieve the desired light and shadow effects. To give the skin a realistic look, use texture brushes to create a textured effect on the skin.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 4

In your mind, divide the picture into multiple parts and start by detailing out one part of the picture at a time. This organisation helps in a clear analysation of what exactly needs to be done next and is a smooth way of developing the picture.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 5

Then comes the time to adjust the levels of light, shade and highlights. This will take the picture art a step closer to the actual image.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 6

The fixing of lights and shades is followed by the addition of textures. The more accurately the textures are added, the more detailed will the outcome be.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 7

The textures add depth to the portrait. This is then followed by the detailing of the face and its parts like the eyes, nose, lips, etc.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 8

Now focusing on the hair and detailing it out to perfection. But always keep in mind that doing the hair is time-consuming and requires a lot of concentration.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 9

Finishing up the hair gets us very close to the finished portrait. Make sure that all different parts are detailed out in the proper manner and in the right amount of detail. As a mistake, as small as that of placing a strand of hair at the wrong place can disturb the portrait.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 10

The final steps to finish up the portrait include last-minute touch-ups and detailing.
The amount of time put into creating a portrait is directly proportional to the outcome! This painting in particular was done by Vishnu in about 15 hours.

It is not easy for an artist to explain all the details and steps required through just a few words! Every step described above is needed to make it look the way it looks. Missing out on even one step can change the final result.

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Gone are the days of drawing a portrait using pencils and brushes. Digital is the new canvas and Photoshop is the new tool. Digital Illustrator, Vivek Nag is fascinated by ‘Sadhus’ and here he takes us through the making of a portrait using Photoshop.

Portrait

Step 01

The first step is to make a rough patchy sketch of the character. It’s best to do this using a chalk brush or special Photoshop brushes which are meant to replicate a traditional look on the digital canvas. The lines mostly trace the shadows and/or contours of the face as seen in the image.

Portrait

Step 02

Taking the rough sketch as the base, the next step is to start making line art. This is made using the pressure sensitive round hard brush to create thin and to the point lines. Detailing is important in this step. Building upon the rough chalky sketch is beneficial. When satisfied, hide the sketch layer to proceed.

Portrait

Step 03

The next step is to start with the colours. Irrespective of the colours being used in the portrait, it’s best to dim down the background. This offers contrast and a better understanding of how bright the colours that are being used in the painting actually are. The next step is to make a palette of colours using the original image. Depending on the intricacy of colors in a photograph, it’s advisable to make a palette of 5 to 8 colors. In this case, a palette of six colours was used. It’s best to select colours in such a way that for any other shade or tint you require, one’s ability to create that using a combination of the set colours in the palette. As seen above, start filling the composition with patchwork. Using flats helps launch into the fray of the painting.

Portrait

Step 04

Taking the previous step forward, it’s now all about concentrating on detailing. Smaller brush strokes are employed as well as the colours being used are more varied. Notice how the freedoms of the strokes have become a little more restricted here. The line art acts as guiding points and this is the stage where it is put to most use.

Portrait

Step 05

Minute details start from here. The eyes are the most important part of a portrait. A lot can be conveyed from the eyes. For the most natural look, one needs to make the eyes detailed and relatable. The blending of the strokes also starts from this step. As is evident in the image, a certain level of ‘rawness’ is maintained with every stroke rather than applying a smooth blend. Keeping hints of patches provides a natural feel, especially on the skin. Also, one needs to keep the sheen of the eye in mind that is executed with a simple brush stroke, keeping minimal blending. The more striking the sheen, the better the eye tends to look.

Depending on the intricacy of colours in a photograph, it’s advisable to make a palette of 5 to 8 colours while performing a digital sketch.

Portrait

Step 06

The next step is replicating the previous steps with the lips and beard. Here, treat lips the same way skin near the eyes was treated. The beard however forms a rather tricky part of the portrait. The beard is mainly just brushed strokes with hardly any blending at all. The direction and the thickness of each stroke matters. For example, the brushes below the lip and at the origin of the beard are thick, whereas the strokes in the beard are rather fine.

Portrait

Step 07

The prior two steps are repeated on the remaining parts of face. The sides of the face are left undone because it will add on to the next steps. There are still many strokes on the face which are strongly patchy and look undone. However, this adds to the composition. The parts of any illustration with the most amount of detail and/or contrast attracts attention first; in this case, the eyes.

Portrait

Step 08

Once the face is done, this is where one needs to start working on the background. Against the already set dull gray background, start putting horizontal strokes with fine art brushes. The colours used are part of the portrait itself – reds, yellows and whites. This enables the background to compliment the main subject of the painting and establishes a flow to the composition. But also remember not to steal the focus from the subject by using colors that are too vibrant.

Portrait

Step 09

This step is called ‘The Haze’. This is where the focal points and edges are merged into the background. For example, the yellow ochre on the forehead is transformed into a form of smoke (haze) which drifts away from the head. This is still done using fine art brushes. Along with that, more horizontal strokes have been pulled around the beard and hair. These strokes are pulled in about 30% opacity and serve to blend the edges till the background looks like a part of the subject itself.

Portrait

Step 10

The last and final step is to add a layer mask. This is where curves are applied to the artwork. This is where contrast is also added to the painting. This helps the shades to pop out and there is a lot more depth than there was before.

Published in Issue 22

This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad Mumbai, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy New Delhi, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design Pune, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School Goa and many more. This issue gives a fresh perspective of talented graduates and their unique approach to design.

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Whether real life or reel life, we are surrounded by interesting characters. Some pass us by, but some get stuck in the mind and hearts. It’s no different for caricature expert Shijo Varghese, who wanted to draw Captain Jack Sparrow’s illustration for his eye-catchy attitude and appearance. Here he takes us on a step by step guide on how he achieved to create a beautiful illustration.

Illustration

Step 01

Drawing Detailing.

After finalising the subject, a bunch of pictures were collected to study elements like facial features, expressions, actions etc. After a reference picture was selected, an outline sketch is drawn using a Faber Castell mechanical pencil 0.5 on an 85 GSM paper. It’s better to start with the nose, the central element in any face, and then draw everything else around it. After the outlines are finalised, it’s time for detailing. Detailing always starts from the eyes. The hatching technique is used according to the shape, which are generally a group of straight lines. Once that’s achieved, it’s break time. That means, leaving the artwork alone for a few hours and returning to it. If all looks fine, it is then scanned as a 300 dpi JPEG.

Illustration

Step 02

Colouring.

Once the image is scanned, it is then opened in Photoshop CS5 for colouring. Keep in mind that the drawing (illustration) is placed on top of the layer as multiply and lock and a neutral tone is filled below the drawing layer, which serves as a foundation.

Illustration

Step 03

This is followed by creating another layer above the neutral colour layer. This layer is used for detailed colouring along with soft and hard round brushes.

Illustration

Step 04

Colouring is the critical part that is used to bring the character to life. A vast majority of time is then spent on fine-tuning the depth of colour using neutral tones because that’s what the subject demands.

Illustration

Step 05

More character and drama is created using a hard rounded brush in 30-50% opacity.

Illustration
Illustration

Step 06

The last step involves the addition of highlights to finalise the image.

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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Lucas Wakamatsu, a Brazilian illustrator puts together a vibrant collection of illustrations that depict the stories and voices of different people. Through the course of this project, Lucas talks to people and empathises with their dreams, wishes, emotions and feelings to create reflective illustrations.

 

His illustrative style and beautiful compositions bring the personalities to life. The colours perfectly add to the story like mood. The attention to detail and texturing cannot be missed as they immensely add to the engaging experience.

 

Connect Here

 

Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling

38Technology Journalist, Abhimanyu Ghoshal, takes us through the photography essentials of clicking for Live music concerts, also its nitty-gritty and rather subtle aspects.

Photography
Photography

Cater to the Niceties and Niche of the Craft.

Clicking for Live music gigs is a whole lot different from clicking otherwise. You’re tasked with capturing the energy, vibe and mood of a concert, with very little control over critical elements such as lighting, shooting positions and the ability to direct your subjects. That is a whole different ball game from shooting with models in a production setting that conforms to your brief, and with a team to support you as well. It is this thrill of capturing imagery of Live music performances or concerts that is rather exciting, and that is also what makes the very process of doing it enjoyable, satisfying and valuable in itself.

Photography
Photography

Make Your Way Through The Hurdles.

There are several constraints that present interesting challenges – you only get to shoot during the first two or three songs (after which you have to leave the photo pit in front of the stage); there are strong lights that bathe the performers in colour and blow out details in your shots, and you can’t access every portion of the stage that you might want to. It’s fun to work around these and try to create compelling images. Good lighting, a well-appointed stage and an enthusiastic audience go a long way in making your pictures stand out.

Photography
Photography

Soak in the Vibe; Then let it Reflect.

Depending on the music and the artist’s background, one must compose pictures to suit their vibe and what they’re known for. For example, with metal bands, one may try to capture a dark atmosphere by isolating the subject, including the smoke emanating from smoke machines and treat the raw image accordingly. With pop acts, on the other hand, one can try to highlight the performers’ signature costumes. Researching artists’ music and previous photographic coverage before shooting their concerts certainly helps to quite an extent, in this regard.

Photography
Photography

Step out of Familiar Terrain, and Walk into New Horizons.

It can certainly be more exciting to click artists who you are familiar with, than those you don’t know quite well. As a music lover, though, the opportunity to discover new acts is a bonus. Shooting unfamiliar performers gets you out of your comfort zone, thus expanding your horizons as a photographer. Do not fall for poor composition and over-the-top editing; both issues can easily be fixed by referring to the works of more accomplished photographers and practicing consciously.

Photography
Issue-38

Published in Issue 38

With this issue, we try to explore different views from many well-known studio owners and senior designers. While Anthony Lopez of Lopez Design shared tips on what a studio looks for in a designer, Mohar Ray from Codesign highlights the key aspects that play a significant role and make the difference in whether you are hired or not as a promising designer. Also, this issue has an insightful article on ‘Branding with reason and love’ from Itu Chaudhuri, founder ICD (Itu Chaudhuri Design) along with Siddhi Ranade, explaining his tools of storytelling through his unique style of illustrations. This issue is a must read for a talented graduate to a branding expert. Order your copy and enjoy reading it!

 

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Story-boarding is not just creating beautiful pieces of art. Instead it is presenting ideas and content in a strategical & comprehensible style. Saumin Patel tells us more.

Story-boarding

An illustrator at heart, Saumin started out professionally by joining an animation studio creating online cards. Eventually realizing his plus points, he decided to manage the backstage of animation, which is designing and illustrating for the animated projects, also known as story-boarding.

Story-boarding

What is story-boarding?

As the name suggests, it is a story told through multiple frames in a visual manner, defining an entire process in detail. Used for animated films or even shooting a scene in a movie, story-boards help the director in streamlining his vision and allow the team to align themselves with this vision to achieve the desired result.

Story-boarding

Story-boards are not just pretty pictures, they are the shots which supposed to evoke certain emotions and enhance the story, conveying an overall mood but could be subjective to each individuals’ interpretation.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Every element used in here becomes a character, be it fire, wind, trees, water or rocks, thus becoming a definitive source of information about what the scene is going to be like. In short, it is a manifestation of the creators’ thoughts through tangible elements.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Story-boarding puts forth the anticipated difficulties and helps in deriving solutions for the scene’s smooth-sailing.

 

The beauty of a story is that it can be expressed by different directors in their own unique style. So as a storyboard artist, it is essential to convey the essence of the director’s idea and vision in a clear-cut manner through these frames.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Story-boarding for advertisements is a bit different from that of films. Advertising is all about presenting to the client, hence the story-board needs to be completely finished and aesthetically appealing. Whereas for a film, it is about clear communication of ideas from the director to the entire team, showcasing the flow of the sequence to build the expressions and the mood. Beauty and aesthetics take a bit of a backseat in this case.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

An Artist’s Individual Style

Saumin’s style is mostly comic, giving a lot of details about layouts and backgrounds, thus making it simple and easy for the entire team to execute the shoot. For him, the excitement is more about brainstorming and presenting ideas and options to the directors rather than drawing the boards out. His style and work culture helped him carve a niche for himself in this sector and got him working for some of the reputed names in the film industry like Ashutosh Gowariker and Sriram Raghavan to name a few.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Work-life

A big fan of director Sriram Raghavan, Saumin along with his friend created an original graphic novel for the promotion of Agent Vinod, published by Westland Publications Ltd.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

For Raghavan’s Andhadhun, Saumin has worked on a few key sequences, creating boards in his own style to function as inspirations and concepts for the sequences. He has also created promo images for the Bollywood blockbuster Stree and has had the opportunity to storyboard a song and the climax sequence for Vikas Bahl’s Super 30.

Story-boarding

Words of Wisdom

There is learning at every stage.
Before story-boarding, it is necessary to study and understand films, television shows, comics, performing arts or any other subject that needs to explore. Reading fiction and non-fiction adds up to the knowledge base of an artist, thus helping him in expressing his work better.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding
Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. So, go ahead.

 

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A few of 2018’s still making it big and some new additions to the list, the trending trends of 2019 predicted by designers from different fields are put together here just for you.

It is said that change is the only constant and with each passing year graphic design trends prove this right. Be it packaging and illustrating for products or a promotional campaign for a brand, the design trends influencing each field have become a must-know today.

 

Will the previous years’ trends will be an influence on the upcoming years’ trends or will the two be complete opposites?

To get an answer, we have creatives from different sectors of the design industry enlightening us about the graphic design trends of 2018 and putting forth their predictions for 2019’s trends.

Anthony Lopez

Anthony Lopez
Award-winning designer, Anthony Lopez is the founder of Lopez Design.

Mira Malhotra

Mira Malhotra
A graphic designer, visual artist and the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design Stack

Design Stack
A Branding & Design firm that builds, strengthens and nurtures brands.

Sonia Tiwari

Sonia Tiwari
Pursuing a PhD in Learning Design and Technology from Penn State University.

Aaron Pinto

Aaron Pinto
Commonly known as Kidsquidy, is not only a graphic designer and illustrator but also the drummer for two Mumbai based metal bands, Providence and Gutslit.

WowMakers

WowMakers
A digital experience studio that provides from animated explainer videos, branding, documentaries and corporate video production to UI/UX design.

Anix

Anix
Anix has twelve years of experience in the world of graphics. He has worked with brands in India and abroad. He is creative director at Adaar.

To get a fair idea about what design will look like in the 19th year of the 21st century, read through!

BRANDING TRENDS

2018 Highlights

Brands are switching over to the social and digital media by cutting through the traditional medium of print to be used as their promotional and communication strategies.

According to Inderpreet Singh Seehra from Design Stack2018 saw simplification, strong colours and symbols that stood out in digital mediums as the key features for major branding projects. The brand identity of SBI (a complete case study here) created by them is an example.

SBI-Rebranding
New-Logo

The use of gradients, motion design and experimental typefaces was a ubiquity of 2018. The Identity for Fakultet for kunst, musikkog design, UiB, by Uniform, as a dynamic brand in motion; and Baboon by Sagmeister and Walsh, for its approach to colour and its humour logotypes showed the brands walking towards a more dynamic approach to differentiate themselves from the competition, says Mira Malhotra, the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design
Brand Identity for Baboon
Design

Not all changes are on the positive side. She has brought forth a noticeable change in the fashion industry to go for lifeless, characterless logotypes in the name of minimalism. Burberry was probably the most disappointing of them all.

This was a gist of 2018. It’s now time to leave the past behind and peep into the future and see what is going to be trending this year.

1. Ownership to Users and Personalisation

According to Anthony Lopez, branding systems are becoming very fluid and are designed to go beyond the logo. Branding has to be ambidextrous and the identity has to be able to adapt itself in multiple ways for different situations.

An example of the Partners’ Forum 2018, which was held in New Delhi. The identity takes on varied forms, manifesting in appropriate ways across collaterals. Further, we take the branding forward through products that reflect the identity, making it memorable for the future. The mission of the Forum stays with its participants, for a long time after.

Design

(The 3D Pipli logo animation was created by Studio Eeksaurus who collaborated with Lopez Design, celebrating the message of the Partners’ Forum.)

Talking of personalisation, brands will be seen as containers – people can put in what they want to express themselves through the brand. Eventually, the brand starts to become an extension of an individual.

Also, Anthony mentions that putting design in the hands of the customer and encouraging them to take ownership has led to people creating their own graphics besides photographs. For example, on Instagram, the user can add many icons and can also have a poll. Others provide stickers with a product to place it on anything the user wishes to put on.

Design

Design Stack highlights that people always relate to design or products that invoke positive feelings in them. For instance, a fortune cookie or a name on the bottle of coke is quite relatable to a consumer. Customising the logo with the name may or may not trend in 2019, but customising the logo with quotes, jokes, city names or graphic elements that people can relate to will continue to be used for a long time by designers.

2. Less is More 

The ‘less is more’ ideology has always been the underlying principle of design and will continue to play a vital role in the future too, says Design Stack. For an increased response on social networks and effective and aesthetical communication, brands will make use of simpler forms, clean shapes, bold colours, motion graphics and videos.

Not wanting to add unnecessary frills and fancies in a logotype has been an upward trend since Turner and Duckworth’s famous stripping down of the Coca Cola brand, says Mira Malhotra. Following the trend of less is more, there’s a chance one can go too far, cut out all frills and have a logo in a banal, forgettable neutral typeface, resulting in a sameness across brands and their identities.

 

But she’s also of the opinion that the trend of less is more can also work wonders for a brand’s visual identity differentiating it from the rest, if worked on smartly! Animated logotypes will be a resort for many.

According to Anthony Lopez, graphics is only one component of branding. The brands of the future need to be flexible across all aspects, influencing a user’s experience by drawing their attention to the brand’s character, behaviour, a tone of voice, influencers, associations and endorsements. Graphics, in such cases, is the mechanics used with adherence to the framework of the brand guidelines. When all this is done with precision, the concept of conveying ‘more with less’ becomes a possibility.

 

Motion graphics including multi-dimensional graphics will definitely become a lot more common in the future.

3. Typeface Experimenting – going back to the roots

Anthony Lopez voices the fact that a large part of branding is about strategy and delivery of content through various means, and typefaces are just one part of this contributing to the visual medium. For multi-device existence the typeface design will include the factor of scale-ability and the flexibility of the digital medium, in particular, will allow for easy and varied versions of the designed font including features like effects to type, highlighting, shading, colour options and animation.

According to Mira Malhotra, going beyond designing the logo for the brand and experimenting with typefaces to grant a uniqueness to the brand will be new in. With Google fonts and so many free quality typefaces infiltrating the mainstream, (when free, it becomes mainstream easily) people, especially clients will have a better taste in typefaces, hopefully implementing daring decisions by clients in terms of typefaces.

Design Stack points out that 2019 will be the year where the designers will want to strike a balance between the old and the new, recalling the importance of the roots and fusing them in with the trending styles. For this, the Indian type foundries are creating contemporary regional scripts which will play a big role in the coming age of Indian design. Versatile fonts that work well on both digital and traditional media will be sort after.

Bombay Brasserie - The Indian Culinary Expert
Design

4. Sophistication and Boldness

Design Stack predicts brands experimenting with logos and colour schemes. A bold yet sophisticated palette is what is intended as the yielded result.

Design

Mira Malhotra also foresees boldness in the upcoming year. Whether its bright colours, pastel neutrals, or just black and white, anything that stands out bold will make it to the brand collaterals across various mediums.

Anthony Lopez sees 2019 as a year of logos becoming more and more fluid, vibrant and versatile. Brands may launch sub-brands, but the prime brand logo is what will go across the face of the brand. Logos inherently need to be simple for high recall. However, within the face of the logo, more permutations and combinations will be observed. This allows the brand to cater to varying clientele and different platforms.

ANIMATION AND MOTION GRAPHICS

Highlights of 2018

Anix, the creative director of Adaar mentions that 2018 was a phenomenal year for animation and motion graphics witnessing trends like seamless transitions, liquid motion, digital-surrealism, isometric design, a combination of 2D and 3D, big, bold typography complicated visual effects, 3D pastels and photorealistic rendering to name a few.

Design
Design

2018 saw a refreshing visual representation of strong female leads with powerful accessories and expertise in a specialisation (vs the stereotypical princess/Damsel in distress) like Mrs Incredible from Incredibles, Mai from Next Gen, She-Ra from Netflix’s reboot of the popular 80s cartoon, and Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2, says Sonia Tiwari.

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Mrs. Incredible from Incredibles
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Mai from Next Gen
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She-Ra
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Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2

Sonia also observed interactive animations, in general, becoming subtle in action, pastel colour blocked and with cleaner backgrounds, a trend that originated from the iconic game Monument Valley 1 in 2014 and Monument Valley 2 in 2017. She cites INTURN’s webpage as an example to follow.

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INTURN

WowMakers describe 2018 as a year of rapidness. Videos had fast cuts and rapid edits, bright pop colours, neon moods and colour gradients. Vertical viewing and videos for the same rose in prominence as mobile platforms recorded the most screen time. An ‘In Your Face’ attitude permeated all forms of visual media far beyond animation and motion graphics, reeling the viewer in.

In an attempt to engage the viewers, the visual representation followed the ‘Bigger is Better’ or the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ philosophy. The text was bigger and bolder than ever, constantly changing and creating new text out of the shells of the old. 2018 saw the ‘Glitch effect’ gaining popularity. ‘Morphing’ that has been around for a while also topped the charts last year, creating magical illusions through seamless transitions.

Design

Anix explains that with media, connectivity and its scope of influence, availability and reachability, motion graphics is taking over the prevalence of still graphics. From commercials to product shots, marketing campaigns, sale presentations and game design, animated and motion graphics endow an astonishing display and communicate the product’s prowess in a way that would be impossible to communicate otherwise.

Samsung

Let’s take a look at what 2019 has in store:

1. Animating the Education

According to Sonia Tiwari, simple, iconic, vector-based motion graphics will overpower contemporary educational content, because of the large amount of content to be covered through the browser and mobile platforms that require optimised performance, seamless integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS) and keeping up with the refined design sensibilities of young millennials. A few good examples of this visual style and animation are Kurzgesat in a Nutshell series and Lumosity.

Design

2. Purpose Over Design

For Sonia Tiwari, the UX is like our brain or heart, built on the logic and feelings, and the UI is the face or skin, the outer layer that connects the user to the inner workings of a product. This distinction is important to understand that the trendy-animation and visual design must not be shallow or cosmetic, but really try to serve a purpose.

For example, a medical application that can use interactive animation to locate/define a problem through an interface – sounds useful. But interactive animations over a wireless setup app with buttons that liquid morph into new shapes sounds pointless.

 

WowMakers say that the shift from UI to UX is evident, and it is now time to cater to modern users with short attention spans and being bang on-point. ‘We don’t create a product and wait for customers to come. We create a product based on the customer’s wants and needs.’ Because not incorporating the market demand will result in a loss of clients.

For example, vertical videos have been the rage of late, and true to that, there has been an increase in requests for vertical videos or adaptable videos that could work well in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Animation and motion graphics will have to adapt to multiple platforms without losing its core message.

3. VR & AR Carving Their Way

According to the team at WowMakers, animation and motion graphics in a VR and AR setting opens up a host of different possibilities and increases the scope for imaginative ideas that could work wonders on immersive platforms.

Design
Courtesy: Atlassian

As per Anix, the creative director of Adaar, the rise of Virtual Reality from being a gaming-focused ambitious fantasy in 2012 into an actual medium utilised by multi-national corporations and organisations around the world is in itself is a great example. Alternatively seen, purpose over design is now trending everywhere!

He also mentions that micro-interactions are subtle animations that enrich user experience and allow the user to engage with an interface in a single moment. Micro-interactions are possibly one of the biggest UX trends to date and are growing enormously. They are a focus point for the digi-sectors to up their game.

4. Fiction v/s Realism?

Fiction and Realism will both have their place in animated media, says Sonia Tiwari. The director’s vision, needs of the brand, likes of the audience, budget and timelines etc. will be the deciding factors for one of the two to surface at the top.

She has observed that the educational children’s media has had a very long history of fictional characters/plots to keep the narrative or moral of the story more relevant than realistic details of the characters like race, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. From Sesame Street to Curious George, fictional characters in children’s educational media are a “forever trend”.

 

While representing real issues like child labour, poverty and family health, she brings to notice that animated media uses some element of realism to keep the message focused or help establish a clear correlation with the narrative and content.

An example is Eeksaurus studio’s recent PSA for WHO that features Pipli art style human characters, which hits right in the middle of fiction and realistic spectrum, presenting real issues/human characters in a fantastical way.

The WowMakers’ team believes that with technology growing by leaps and bounds, magical realism can represent how technology interacts and changes human lives. At the same time, realism can be used to show the human face of technology.

5. Kinetic Typography

2019 will be a year enthralling the audience in a sober manner. WowMakers voice that the kinetics of type will be put in use, similar much to the process of animating characters or an object, like stretching, distorting, jumbling, twisting or making it disappear. Seamless transitions, much in fashion, will ensure a smooth video without jumpy transitions and cuts that can disorient the viewer.

Design

ILLUSTRATION TRENDS

With characters and entire backgrounds rendered by just a few lines and shapes, according to Aaron Pinto, Minimalism was one of the main themes for illustration in 2018. Also, the 90’s made a huge resurgence with retro, cyberpunk, glitch and neon colours being some of the mainstays of this style.

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Design
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The forecasted illustration styles surfacing 2019 will be following:

1. Raw and Unprocessed

These days the work shared online is very processed and digital, says Aaron Pinto. They are basically collages that are composited aesthetically for Instagram. But 2019 will see less processed and more organic designs being back in fashion. Hand-drawings and rough sketches are expected to take centre stage.

Design

2. God is in the Details

With a quantitative increase in the making of superhero movies and the release of a number of series, there has been a steady demand of comic book type illustrations. Also, detailed black and white inked illustrations are making a comeback. 2019 might just see it peak.

Design

3. Being the Attention-seeker

We live in a day and age, where there is an overload of content that is being consumed at an unprecedented pace.

 

To stand out from the crowd, a good visual is a great way of engaging or gaining the interest of the consumer while scrolling through the vast barrage of content being thrown at them. And more often than not a great illustration will do that job better than a photograph or even typography.

4. Complications Subjected to Simplifications

With monotones and monochromatic themes having showcased their presence in 2018, 2019 is sure to be a witness to these themes surfing the waves of illustration styles.

 

Aaron Pinto has mentioned that a lot of illustrators are trying to bring simplicity in their colour schemes as opposed to their normal saturated style.

Fluid shapes are catching on slowly. Geometric patterns and halftones seem like a good bet as well.

 

Also, simple seems to be a growing trend in general. So why not in illustrations!

Design
Illustration

Hope this article helped you to know and grab those key factors of graphic design that will be trending in 2019 to differentiate you from the rest.

Being different, standing out from the crowd and shining like a star is what every achiever dreams of, but not everyone achieves it. Jithin Roda has followed certain of his own principles to achieve this milestone of shimmer and brilliance.

Childhood
March

A kid who not only loved watching cartoons, but was quite a few steps ahead of his age as Jithin could spend hours thinking and creating his own versions of these cartoons.

Childhood
Decapod Monsters

Always wanting to do something which interested him, making a career choice came very easily to him. From childhood, with a mindset that constantly worked on creating the non-existent, Jithin decided to take up illustration as his profession as it was a tool for him to speak his mind and communicate with the world in a visual manner.

Childhood
Creatures II

The Fantasy-land in Making!

A big fan of watching fantasy movies and an avid reader of the same genre of books, these interests transported Jithin’s mind to a parallel world. He has created a series of characters belonging to a fictional and imaginary world, some being inspired by animals of the human world.

Childhood
Orc

With concepts in the making and story-boarding, he has created some of his characters to be related to each other, connected through a story. He hasn’t left it at just generating faces and giving these faces a body, he has also worked intensely on the background of these creatures with an intricate level of detailing in both, the creature and their surroundings.

Childhood
Hunter and his beast

Sometimes the use of referential images helps him in channelizing his vision into visualizations in the right way, acting as a guiding factor and preventing him from getting lost in his world of imagination.

Childhood
Decapod Monsters

Digital Impressions!

Using only digital mediums to transform his thoughts into reality, it is quite an investment of time to produce the output he wants. Being a digital creator, he spends a varying amount of time ranging from just ten hours on one piece to a couple of weeks on another piece, depending on what is required of it.

Chilhood
Throne

Depending on the need of the artwork, he makes a decision whether to create his character just to be looked at from one angle in a two-dimensional frame or does the character have to be designed with a possibility to be viewed from multiple sides, which then needs to be done in a three-dimensional frame giving the viewer a complete insight into his imaginative thinking.

Childhood
Doblo

Out of the Box Methodology!

Sometimes being different and not following the traditional path of portfolio making works out to be more successful than the regular and generic way of going about it. This is true in the case of Jithin and his career. While creating his portfolio, he did not follow the way of making what everyone does, instead he just did what he liked!

Childhood
Cowl

His portfolio work, mostly being fictional, never really was a hindrance in his career options. It rather opened up many more doors for him. Not really wanting to work with studios and in-house jobs, being hired or not didn’t deter Jithin from doing what he loved.

Childhood
Flip

With the profile created using his portfolio, he has been able to find numerous freelance jobs as it gives him the freedom to express his creativity the way he wants.

Childhood
Ape

”For the beginners stepping into this world of professionalism and tough competition, he is of the opinion that one should try and improve in every possible way out there”

Childhood
Big Bug Monster
Childhood
Bulk

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Ever thought of your imagination coming to life, just the way you pictured it? Pankaj Gole, a concept artist and a character designer show how this is possible.

Characters
The Creature
Characters
The Creature Scary sound
Characters
The Creature
Characters
The Creature

With the belief that artists are free-spirited souls and the urge of always growing and improving, Pankaj took up everything as a challenge that came his way and started freelancing for wall paintings, tattoos, caricatures, portraits and storyboard developments.

Characters
Moon Light Hut, Morning Meditation
Characters
Monster Home

Pankaj feels that art without thought is just a decoration. The possibility of giving life to ones’ thoughts and imagination through visual design, empowered Pankaj to become a concept artist and master the art of character design. Pankaj has had a chance of designing characters and mascots for branding, advertisement, board games, 2D animations, video games and books and is currently designing for kids’ games.

Characters
Everyday work sometimes irritates people, makes them look nervous or tense. Its like something is missing.
Characters
First Kiss

Let’s create a character!

Merging the clients’ brief and his own imagination of the brief, Pankaj starts by visualizing the character in terms of its form, costumes, emotions, personality, attitude, gestures, age, expressions and background. This is followed by rough sketching and modifying it by varying the design styles. He gives importance to proportions as they help in creating visual interest among these imaginary beings. Target audience surely plays a significant role in character designing.

Characters
Smelly Cat
Characters
Smelly Cat Cuteness

Pankaj explains this process with an example of a character called ‘Creature’. Considering the target audience as kids and young people, he began personifying the character.

Characters
What if Obama could be this?
Characters
The Gladiator

The Creature is an active and healthy female living in a jungle. She is cute, innocent, emotional and scary looking with cute and expressive rounded blue eyes. The idea was to fuse all the forest elements together and so creature has the body like a turtle, face like a horse & horns resembling tree branches. It was a challenge to make creatures’ character look scary, cute, emotional and innocent all at the same time.

Characters
The Warrior
Characters
Concept Art

To create the storyline, he does about 6-8 rough sketches per frame to get an idea about the desired environment, composed of characters in different angles and actions and also other supporting elements. He then settles for one sketch, deciding upon the colour scheme, colouring style and lighting source which helps him render the three-dimensional character, keeping in mind the feel of the story.

Characters
Merry Christmas
Characters
Digital Portrait

Style develops knowledge and knowledge creates a style!

The challenge of coming up with different styles can be overcome by always being on the lookout for new things, ideas and concepts and being curious and experimental to achieve something different and unique. Designing the basic shape keeping in mind the characters proportion, structure, body shape gestures and simplicity makes all the difference. Being true to himself and his profession, Pankaj always creates new characters and never reuses the old ones.

Characters
Rat
Characters
Rhino

To create his style, Pankaj starts out with the traditional method of pencil sketching as it gives him the freedom of playing with lines, rhythms and basic shapes and then modifies it with the digital mediums as it gives the freedom and possibility to create unbelievable art!

Characters
Childhood Dreams
Characters
Caricature of Baba Ramdev

Keep pushing forward, the time and efforts put in will lead to success!

Pankaj encourages young enthusiasts to believe in the beauty that lies within and not to compare oneself with others as every artists’ style is unique and different! Being passionate definitely opens up doors and luck syncs’ in automatically.

Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Making Process
Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Table Service
Issue 42

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Not everyone is able to look for the positives in the challenges and treat them as opportunities. Charuvi Agarwal was able to transform her challenges into strengths and carve a niche for her studio, Charuvi Design Labs.

The journey from the point of initiation to the present time of existence and functioning is a journey of learning and growth. We have with us, Charuvi from Charuvi Design Labs sharing the experiences of her journey.

Charuvi
Hanuman Suspended Sculpture of 26000 Bells, from “26000 bells of Light”.

CG. What was your inspiration to have your own setup and establish yourself as a brand in the design industry?

Charuvi. To go beyond what exists, to push boundaries and create a new level within the design space worked as an inspiration for us.

 

The idea behind CDL was to create high-quality animation and design work supported by installations, art in India and be recognized among the best in the world.

Charuvi
Hanuman Suspended Sculpture of 26000 Bells, from “26000 bells of Light”.

CG. How difficult or easy was it to give your dream of having your own set up a life in the form of Charuvi Design Labs?

Charuvi. The journey hasn’t been easy and never really is for any design studio!

 

In general, there are a few people (although now increasing) who appreciate high-quality content and are willing to patronize or support it. It was a struggle for us in the first few years, but as we learned more, we got better at what we were doing and found the right path.

Charuvi
Kavad - 16 feet Story book, from '26000 bells of Light'.

Today, we are a niche studio focusing on a unique stylised art-based animation, including AR and VR beside creating artwork worthy of homes, offices and museums.

Charuvi
A 3D animated musical film on Shri Hanuman Chalisa

CG. How did you manage to bring CDL to the point where it is today in spite of all the challenges that came your way?

Charuvi. The biggest challenge was to establish the right value in the mind of the clients for our quality of work.

 

The second challenge was to find and train talent. And the third was to find the right focus and clarity towards our work domains, be it 2D versus 3D animation or doing CG versus ad films.

Charuvi
A 3D animated musical film on Shri Hanuman Chalisa

I think as entrepreneurs and artists we need to be very clear about what it is that we wish to do and need to learn and evolve to do it better. At some point your client shall start valuing the expertise. And this has been our answer to these challenges.

Charuvi
Chotukool, Godrej. A still from a 3d animated film.

CG. What was the starting point for CDL to institute itself as a name in the market?

Charuvi. The starting point was our 3D animated short film ‘Shri Hanuman Chalisa’ which gave us the visibility of our work quality and design essence. The idea was to re-narrate a story in the most visually engaging manner.

Charuvi
ICRC’s Journey of Indian Soil, ICRC. A 2d animated film.

CG. According to you, what is marketing and its importance?

Charuvi. Marketing oneself is a combination of many things, starting with one’s overall quality of work, from honesty and ethical dealing with clients to being professional with your approach.

Charuvi
Sustainable Sugar-cane Initiative (SSI), GIZ. A still from a 3D animated film.

CG. What is that secret that still keeps you moving forward in the creation of CDL?

Charuvi. Wanting to create something new and better, exciting pieces of work which surpass the expectation of the client as well as satisfying for us is a major source of motivation to keep creating and growing.

Charuvi
Sustainable Sugar-cane Initiative (SSI), GIZ. A still from a 3D animated film.

Understanding what perseverance is and having a positive outlook in life definitely help in going a long way in ones’ journey.

Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

Behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must read. Full of insights and inspirations from the best of the talents, this issue is waiting to reach your desks.

 

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