Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Midterm Portfolio Write-Up

DSP Midterm Portfolio Write-Up (To Pro. Nelson):
All of the projects featured on my blog currently are projects I chose to include in my portfolio. I believe they exhibit my best work with each program and also show the most growth. I'll write a brief paragraph (or as brief as I can make it) on each of the projects I chose to inform you of the areas of strength, areas that still need improvement and the process of their creation. 
I chose my Photoshop "Mood" because I was thrilled when I found that I was able to make COB's easily without bombarding you with questions. This was a really helpful project because I tend to use a lot of COB's in the projects that I like to do on the computer. Before I learned how to make proper COB's, I was using the lasso tool and using copy/paste (bad). I used that technique in the first PS project, the daily map. It obviously didn't turn out too well. With my Mood project, I wanted to create a "wild" mood. I think it still lacks in the design department, but I think I accomplished a decent composition. One of my main goals was to instigate movement throughout this composition with the lines between the shapes of the animals. I think this was also one of the successes of this work. Aesthetically speaking, I feel it is a bit busy and the colors are a bit extreme. I touched up each photo individually to give the final piece a higher quality image. 

The second PS project I chose was the retouched photo. I think I utilized the basic tools that PS has to offer well in this work. I mostly used the stamping tool, but I also used the burning, dodge and paint tools. I also went in and altered the color saturation and exposure to try and make the blur a bit less apparent. I feel it is a successful photo retouch overall, but I do believe there are still many things I could have done differently and even better to retouch this photo.

My InDesign project I chose to include in my portfolio was the two page magazine spread. I liked this project because unlike previous ID projects I've done in the past, I had more tools to work with so I wasn't completely lost. It also helped to not have to worry about the design. But I still learned a lot about proper layout design by copying the one I chose from Cosmo Magazine. It helped me to visualize what I need to do in the future to be successful at creating efficient layouts. This project also helped me to become more familiar with the different text tools. I finally figured out how to utilize the tabs properly. And because I set up the columns correctly the first time, it was a lot easier to organize the layout. one issue that I had the first time I turned in this project was the swatches. I don't know why I thought I needed a spot color, so I went back in and changed everything into CMYK like I was supposed to have in the first place. I was glad I figured out how to alter the swatch on my own. I also had a stroke set to all the vector shapes I created, which was very unsightly and wasn't true to the original design. I went back in and changed all those and now I feel like the mag is a lot better than it was when I first turned it in.

I chose to put my Jeep in my portfolio because I think it shows how I was able to come up with something presentable in a short amount of time. I think I used the AI tools I needed properly, though I did have a lot of trouble with the paint tool. I had to use the eraser for the windows, which made them a bit funky looking, but I think they still work ok. My pen tool skills greatly improved with this project and I now know what it takes to make a good traced shape. I also fully understand the importance of layering from this project, though I still need to get better at envisioning what specific objects I'm going to place in the specific layers before I begin future projects. I also learned how to effectively use the gradient tool, which I believe is an important tool for particular works. For my final portfolio, I went in and fixed messy lines and cleaned up some of the small things I looked over when I turned this in the first time.

And my last AI project I chose is the sunglasses rendering. I think I really had a lightbulb moment with this project. I started using the pen tool more efficiently and used the basic black and white gradient tool, which really helped make this project pretty successful. It is a bit graphic and not too realistic, but I think that's definitely something I need to work on. The first time I turned this project in, the sunglasses didn't have lenses. I figured out how to change the opacity on the painted objects which gave the lenses their transparent effect. I also used layers effectively in this project. 

I learned a lot about the programs with each of these projects. I think I still have a long way to go, but I think these five projects show that I am at least decently proficient in the basics of AI, ID and PS. 

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