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Friday, May 29, 2015

Blog Pick :: Digital Arts (online)


Blog Pick :: Digital Arts (online)
By: Phil Reville, M.Arch Candidate

If you’ve ever picked up a copy of Digital Arts magazine in a store, you’re aware that it’s full of articles, product reviews, tutorials, and sometimes featured portfolios.  Their online companion has all of that and more. Digital Arts covers the art of graphic design, 3D, animation, video, effects, web and interactive design.  This means coverage of everything from design books to step-by-step walkthroughs of new Photoshop features. The website tabs are as follows: News, Tutorials, Reviews, Features, Portfolios, and Guides. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with each of them, there’s a lot to be found.


Just recently they posted a review of the Formlabs Form 1+ 3D Printer we just got our hands on up in the CODER Lab. This comprehensive review begins with a quick review video and a pro/con list. In this pro/con list, the author notes that while the printer has extremely accurate build detail; well-developed management software, and is quiet and simple to use, it is also slow, expensive including replacement of resin and resin tanks, messy regarding post-printing object cleanup, and difficult to remove printed objects from the platform.  Author Lucas Mearian goes on to claim that this 3D printer is “more capable of producing accurate models with detailed intricacy than any other 3D printer I've reviewed”... that’s saying a lot for a guy who works for Computerworld US.  So, after you finish reading this review, go and check out the printer itself on the fourth floor!

In the Portfolio section of the site, you’ll find many portfolios for graphic designers, illustrators, and artists. While this section is less formatted like the portfolio we have all grown to know, work is displayed with context through accompanying interviews.  One portfolio from a London-based illustrator, Serge Seidlitz, caught my eye for the unique, cartoony artwork. Seidlitz discusses working mainly with pencil and Photoshop, but has begun working more recently with the pen tablet, Wacom Cintiq. There’s a chance you have seen some of his work before as he has done stuff for MTV, VH1, Virgin, Sony, and the New York Times. The thing that most caught my eye about his work is the use of bold colors and simple lines in creating a unique, consistent style and graphic. This illustration was done for Coca Cola. Have fun exploring all of the featured portfolios, you’ll certainly find something that speaks to you.


Probably my favorite section of the online magazine is the many free tutorials available on Photoshop, Illustrator, and some other programs. A tutorial by Pixel Criminals walks you through the steps needed to properly photo montage and seamlessly blend photos together. The step by step instructions provide a timeline for the project, tools required, and captioned screenshots of the process. Other tutorials include: After Effects tutorial: Create an indie-style animation, Photoshop tutorial: Combine photos in Photoshop to create a 'stop motion' still, Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Create colourful vector character art, and more.


Digital Arts just published an article entitled, ‘How to Get a Job in Design’, perhaps a good read for those of you entering the summer unemployed. The author, Mark Davis, provides some great insight, most importantly being that you have to “brand yourself” in today's world.  Digital Arts has a lot to look at if branding yourself is the goal. As BAC students, we need to have our finger to the pulse of all things design. With Digital Arts, that’s made a bit easier.


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