Working on Concept Ideas of Robotics, Creating Graphics & GIF Animations

Robots are a popular topic these days in the media, amongst politicians and in the tech world due to the fact robotics are being implemented in manufacturing and in ways are replacing traditional workforces, I wanted to create some art for future articles I may write related to the topic. Here are some samples below with gif images I created below. I am learning how to create animations and GIFs and it is a bit time consuming affair because you really have to scale certain things to make it look natural like a ball being thrown, for instance, or a hand moving back and forth.

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Now here I added a pure vector robot to the scene or one not traced or created with a stylus and iPad, but entirely in Illustrator:

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Here are the GIF animations I created:

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Well, there ya go. I have many more variations of these robotic graphics I created and am still learning or working on creating good animations with such topics.

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Learning More Graphic Design Tricks

So, I have been focusing a lot of my recent efforts on writing tech articles for Forbes and marketing for InvoiceOcean (even though I no longer work for them I have done some vidual ads for Google Display Network, which I shared in my last post). However, since I fixed my Mac by purchasing an external SSD drive and running Sierra from it, I’ve decided to reinstall Illustrator and get back into graphic design.

I have also decided to play around with some of my multimedia work as I was looking at graphic design template ideas for CVs or resumes. I saw one template that had an artistic interpretation of a small self portrait and decided to import an old pastel drawing I quickly did by hand and saved on my iPad and play around with the concept.

Here is the original image all done in pastels and pencil, which you may have seen me post here. I did not feel like retaking an image of it, scanning it or looking for the non-water marked version I have saved somewhere on my drive. So, because I needed something to import on short notice, I simply cropped out the one I had to remove background and worked from there.

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Below are further images I have created purely with graphic design on my iPad as the image above was done purely by hand using pastels and pencil.

I then decided to playa  around with Artstudio HD and Procreate to create funny interpretations of it and the concept to later maybe use in the Illustrator CV/resume portrait.

Here are some vintage interpretations with a worn-out paper look below and below that image a more abstract variant:

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More of a plastic version after I inserted this raster image (done entirely on iPad) into Illustrator and added an effect:

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I have also been working on some robotics concept images and gifs, which I may post soon in an update so stay tuned.

I Launched a New Website Using Weebly This Time Around Called Artistic Counterculture

F8C41266-706D-4CC9-9634-4EBB0E8A22C8So I have decided to launch a new website using a visual and drag-and-drop style of a web design interface called Weebly. The website is available here. It has been in the planning stages for months. I wanted a service site that is less of a personal site focusing on me, my ontent and resume, but on services I or my friends/co workers can offer. I also wanted a site I can showcase some of my skills, such as graphic design and video editing, past writing, reporting and type.

Again, I used Weebly for its creation process and surprisingly I mostly did it all from my iPad, although I also used my Macbook Air for certain things or simply because I did not have my iPad at hand. Weebly is similar in some ways to WordPress and different in many ways as well. I would say that I prefer it to WordPress when using the app on iPad and how easy its drag-and-drop interface is when compared to the mobile WordPress app. It is seamless from mobile and allows you to add videos, slide shows, backgrounds to image layouts with ease.

Obviously, it works more efficient or loads faster as you upload new content from a Mac or PC than iPad, but it is still great on Apple’s tablet from my experience. Once you make your changes, however, be sure to publish them after clicking preview on the upper right-side bar. It even has blogging integrated and many styles of templates you could work from.

Another reaosn I prefer Weebly to WordPress in certain instances is that it is simpler to use overall to accomplish certain Web design tasks. You do not have to worry about navigating various menus or sub menus such as WP Admin, or the various plugins to accomplish basic tasks. It has search, maps and various things integrated form its main drop down menu you access when clicking the plus sign. You then just drag such features onto where you want them to appear on your landing page or any other page of the site.

6DE83E73-0497-4C23-91B6-FFD48E55171BThere are obviously a lot of advantages WordPress has over Weebly and similarities as well. It is good to be able to use various web design services, apps and software and get a good perspective that way on the type of templates or sites you want to work from. WordPress seems more integrated with CSS and HTML in custom creation of content and editing, but then again I am currently just starting to work with Weebly and on the free plan, so I will see going forward what else it offers.

I also like how you can use WordPress, as long as you have at least a personal site plan, to store multimedia content and share the url of such files or content elsewhere. You may have noticed that the search bar in the image above does not appear on my Weebly page. This is because the feature that I accessed simply from the drop-down menu is not available with the free version of the site. Another advantage of WordPress I find is how easy it is to modify the custom url of a blog post, or site section for further sharing and linking.

I have been using the Artistic Counterculture tagline or brand name in certian instances, such as some content on my Facebook sister site as well as some video content I uploaded to Youtube. Thus, I figure this is a great name to my site and potential company (or at least an icon/emblem of my services) I am in the process of realizing. The reason I choose Artistic Counterculture because I enjoy mixing street art, urban culture, graffiti and the like with an artistic flair. I enjoy taking pictures, capturing video content from my iPad or digital camera and modifying it or adding effects to make it art. I also enjoy traveling to strange or scary places and adding flair to the captured content I find there with the aid of visual tools — whether video or still images/graphic design.

Also, if you have been following this blog, you may have seen my other recent posts such as this one, which showcase the way I combine street art through photogrpahy with graphic design for added flair and ideas. This is also part of my Artistic Counterculture idea. I think the name sounds right for the type of content I enjoy doing, hence the reason I used it for the new site, which again is: https://artisticcounterculture.weebly.com

I like the way the portfolio section looks on the new site and the way that Weebly let me organize it with my custom background of a rock wall I actually took from my iPad and uploaded it to Weebly. I also like the slide show feature of Weebly and utilized this on the landing page of my site or the home page. There are clearly advantages of using various templates and some services have better ones than others, but overall with certain workarounds and navigation you should be able to create the type of content you need for your site or brand across services, with some differentiations along the way. The other thing, is some services have better free vs paid tiers than others as well as advantages and disadvantages like I already mentioned above. Bottom line, however, is you can always use custom HTML code and CSS to design things your way outside anything a service or template may try forcing on you or your design.

WordPress really just started out as a blogging service and turned moe into custom web design software over time. Weebly offers blogging as part of its templates pages, from the get go, as you can see in my template along with a news section. This is one way it integrated full web design with blogging as just one of its features rather than the focus.

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I also like how Weebly has the various insights integrated right into the main app rather than having to navigate to see how many visitors or clicks you got from some separate menu. Anyway, check out my new site and send any suggestions or comments as well as ideas. I may try integrating more of this site with it or link between sections, however I still have uet to add a full service page with a bullet list (I simply linked to the Facebook sister site). So it is obviously a work in progress. Also, you may have noticed that a lot of the content I have posted over the last few months, or so, on here I have integrated into the new site across the pages and into the portfolio as well. I will try to keep the themes or focus more segregated as it is a bit of a jumbled mess right now.

Oh and yes I do get that the background may be a bit unsuited to the writing on the portfolio page due to the rock wall image. It makes the writing a bit hard to read, but I am still trying to figure out if there is a way to segregate that background or rock wall into only secitons with specific content on the sub page (portfolio) and not across the whole page. However, I am not willing to rid of the beautiful background just yet.

Some Apple Computer Concept Images I’ve Created

I’ve decided to keep playing with my previous work into new concepts and ideas, particularly those bordering on the abstract. This time it was with Apple-related stuff, including an iPad which I created digitally from scratch and some previous images I out together.

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Here are some other revisions:

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These are just some ideas I’ve been throwing together in making Apple abstract, but still serious in what it represents. Some of you may remember Apple from back in the original Macintosh days when the famous 1984 commercial (inspired by George Orwell’s famous book) made it stand out among competition and had the revolutionary edge to it. Here is that commercial:

All artwork included in this article was created by me (Maciej Duraj/Mike Lata) and is copyrighted @ Mike-Lata.com. If you want to use it, contact me for commissions.

I Created a Little Youtube Ad for My Graphic Design Work

As some of you may know, I am a journalist by trade and mostly a freelance writer by profession focusing on tech. However, slowly and surely I have been expanding my skills to other endeavors and passions. One of them includes graphic design. Another includes video creation and editing.

Here is a little ad I created recently with iMovie on iPad using stills from previous graphic design projects and photography. I mostly tried creating a graphic design ad, but at the end I included the option to do video marketing ads or commercials as well if anyone is interested from my custom work, or other assets I can work with. Here it is:

Here is a second bersion of the ad showing a little bit different scenery and samples:

There are a lot of things I plan on revising or changing in my next ad such as keeping it one language with both the catchphrase text and ad menu descriptions on Youtube. I also plan on making a new version using Final Cut Pro on my Mac and changing the zooms from automatic algorithms to the way I want it exactly. There is also the fact that the music isn’t too interesting and the text options that I have to rework using better alternations of text added through images and texts later added with thevideoe editing programs. I need more time on this idea, but felt like posting it anyway.

By the way, since I originally created the ad I also ended up revising it and making changes. This includes this little graphic I created:

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IMG_5582And to top off my work in terms of the visual inspired by the ad:

 

All artwork included in this article was created by me (Maciej Duraj/Mike Lata) and is copyrighted @ Mike-Lata.com. If you want to use it, contact me for commissions.

Another Evolution Concept of Drawing Digitally

As you guys may have recently seen, I posted a blog post about using the iPad and a stylus to digitally restore or enhance pencil drawings from black and white to color. You may also have noticed the various interpretations that can result from each piece as there are so many different ways to accomplish this: from different filters to brushes and layered effects.

I wanted to add another project here as unlike my previous blog post about the pencil drawing turning into a digital piece, this one I mostly started digital from the get go — outside of photography I added and the two soldiers from the previous piece I worked on. This project started out from a basic concept of a cloaked warrior or wizard standing in front of a gate; this being similar to how many computer games or RPGs, in particular, have as either a box art or in game title screen art. However, over time somethings got worse while other things improved in the pieces you will see below. Either way, it was an interesting learning experience.

Here was the very basic outline concept as I worked my way down into something completely different using photographs for pillars I took (on iPad) and inserting them into the digital image along with a door I took as a photo in Barcelona Spain (also with an iPad).

(Oh and by the way, I mentioned how I started working on this piece at the end of my last blog post.)

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I am thinking of working out the concept further with the last piece, but including the solders as ai recently reanimated them or some other additions. I also do not know id the metallic or artificial-looking pillars are cooler looking than the photograph-based versions. It is in the eye of the beholder to judge.

Here are some ideas for cover art or marketing ads that could be done (Obviously instead of “Welcome to Mike-Lata.com”, it would say something like “Welcome to Spiderweb Software”).

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[Heavy Edit]: And after all that, here is something else I created:
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Here I tried to make the cloaked figure more into a wizard:

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The mouse seemed to big so I changed it along with a glitch near left side of ghost soldier where vapor or mist is hitting:

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Some ad ideas I created, or potential marketing pitches (before last revision though, which could be done to it or any of these revisions):

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All artwork included in this article was created by me (Maciej Duraj/Mike Lata) and is copyrighted @ Mike-Lata.com. If you want to use it, contact me for commissions.