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.

Some Virtual Reality Bitmap Art Ideas

You may have read my previous post experincing virtual reality for the first time in terms of an experince beyond simply stereoscopic 3D. I was i spired to create some additional concept art of VR and gaming art or sci-fi in general as a result of this experience.

in my previous post I actually included some art or graphic design I created all on izpad using two apps, Artstudio HD and ProCreate, however here is some additional graphic design I’ve been creating since (keep in mind that I have logos I actually also created I may upload soon before I did this and after the VR post I wrote):9A15BD90-7E3E-4626-B1D3-73885BCD6BE3

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The Fine Art of Creating Business Cards

I’ve finally decided to take some images I created into a business card format using thick paper and printing on both sides. The rear side was really quickly done yesterday using Illustrator and the front on iPad using Artstudio. Here is how they came out:

After, looking at them over and after trying to cut them into size, I realized I had to redo them. Their proportions for one didn’t match exactly as when they cut, the back section’s corner lettering would be off or get cut off. Not only that, but due to their 640×480 dimension sizes (even though I created both image assets with this ratio) came out too large at the heigth and overall I realized that many wallets wouldn’t have pockets wide enough to fit them. Not only that, but I realized on the upper-right section of the back image, there are two capital letters as part of “i po Polsku, i po ANgielsku,” which definetely looks unprofessional.

I changed some aspects of the card’s images and overall dimensions, but it has been a good learning experience creating such cards and my next prints should come out better. Here are my new card images with dimensions that coincide with the average european business card aspect ratio standards (85mm x 55mm or an aspect ratio of 1.586). These new dimensions of the cards I will be printing come in 576 x 374 pixels. They should print well into the standard business card format of 1.586 or close enough to it that many a wallet shouldn’t suffer.

Now the question is how to print them. The print shop I went to here in Warsaw didn’t seem like it had people too familiar with business card printing as not only did the paper seem to thick and not smooth or grainy enough as most business cards come printed on, but they wanted me to align the images in some PDF file with both images on one file. However, I am not sure how to do this and they didn’t explain it well. I will look forward to this method, but the way they printed the previous cards seems like it may work as well in this case, with these better dimensions and no letters near edges on the back this time.

They simply reprinted the same already-printed page on the back side with the second image and they aligned pretty well as the dimensions were the same and settings for the print remained unchanged during both prints (both sides of each hard page). So I hope this method will work this time and if not I have to figure out the dual printing process where specialty printers that many print shops have can print each side of a page simultaneously. Either way, these images should at least work better than my last try.

[edit: more below]

After posting all this I went to a print shop today and learned something else. This was much more of a legitimate print shop with various types of paper on offer, many of which are traditional or standard business card fare and not just thick cardboard paper like the other shop printed my previous batch with.

The shop owner told me that my aspect ratios were food, but resolutions too low and it will only work well on the Web. This is something I forgot from not having to print stuff physically for so long. I should have kept the same ratios, but the resolution much higher and better yet, created everything using Illustrator because vectors scale real well unlike bitmap images.

The owner also told me that jpeg isn’t a good format for physical cards, and really only good for the Web. So if I come back, I should save the files in either PDF or Illustrator (AI) file formats (this must have been what the guys in the previous shop were getting at, however the way I understood it they mentioned some alignment and two images in one file rather than seperat eimage files). It seems strange he said this considering the previous batch printed pretty wll in JPEG although the paper wasn’t great quality.

I will keep working with this business card idea though. Right now I will just use what I have even though the back looks bad in terms of alignment and formatting. It is a good learning experience because I am so used to working with digital and Web content I forgot efficient printing procedures and file formats that work best with specific printing needs.

Started working on another black and white illustration

So I started playing around with the idea of a cloaked man or a cloaked warrior exploring the u unknown lands or venturing out on an adventure. The idea is reminiscent of many computer role playing games as I have some ideas on doing artwork for game companies or just marketing ads.

Obviously, I am just practicing my digital stroke right now and fine tuning my techniques of shading and using various brushes with an iPad, stylus and potentially finishing my work in Photoshop.

It is a fun learning process and this is just another multimedia skill I am improving. If anyone is interested in using any of my work for Web ads, images inside software, box covers or book covers or ańything else, please let me know. Please also let me know if you want to ourchase any prints on specialized paper from me based on any of my work or even want some additional modifications done (such as commissioned requests or changes). I can also do commissions froms cratch combined with my journalism skills or adding catch phrases or good writing to anything.

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And a few other variations: 

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I think the idea making it black and white works well because it is more of a comic book style of a backdrop that way. With the previous two side by side pieces (not last one above, but above it), I tried adding a wall or clear definition of a cave of sorts, but I think making it a bit more abstract works better for this particular project.

Here I’ve decided to play with invert colors and some other adjustments such as sharpness and noise effects:

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And lastly some more brush tools at work producing interesting effects — in this case stones or rocky surface in background:

Here I added a more of a snow storm effect to the ground:

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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.

Continuing My Idea of “Out of This World Computing”

So, you may have read my recent post about minimalism and a concept I created using Artstudio on the iPad with a theme of “out of this world computing” built into the idea. You also may have read that I created the whole art from scratch and used various Artstudio for iPad tools such as line drawing mode and various brush samples, such as watercolor to get the background star-like effect. Well I have been playing with what I created and have taken it out of the minimalism category of art.

Part of the reason why I have been doing this was because I recently ended up purchasing the pro edition of Artstudio on the iPad. This is really a great app and what is very ironic and interesting is that it is designed by a Polish group from Lods, called Lucky Clan. I have actually been talking with the main guy behind the company that produced and continues to update this app and may be working with him on a technical manual in the future.

Artstudio Pro comes with a nice variety of changes and additions from the base app. For one, there are very interesting filters or effects now that I got to play with and implement into the many variations of my latest piece. Yes, there are many versions and you will soon see below the variations I have done using various effects and designs in Artstudio Pro.

There are also many more brushes available from the get go and an option to both import and export brush designs. The program is really becoming an iOS solution to Photoshop in my opinion and combined with a stylus has really come into its own as a serious graphic design tool. Even the way it grips the standard stylus or the Apple Pencil, I have been told, is superb. The way you can add masks, use layers, import photos, add filters and just get busy creating things, Artstudio Pro is really an awesome app to have on the iPad or Mac. I myself enjoy combining photography with free-hand art and this app is perfect for this.

With all that said, here is what I have been working on as of late and the base concept is taking my previous minimnalism design of “out of this world computing” and inputting it into a 3D supercomputer of sorts with a metallic filter. I actually was able to combine two flat images together into the supercomputer that I superimposed on top of another layer of content that I ended up creating by playing around with the swirl effect and others such as bumpmap. Here it is below:

 

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As you can see the designs vary depending on the use of bumpmap and other effects on the shadow and the overall background layer. The last image above, which is the  image showing the shadow with a thick pumpmap, is I think the best version of this design. This is because the blue section looks almost like a lake or water around the structure and the metallic object in the back almost looks like a pin. It has a vary surreal vibe to it and it came out pretty well I think.

If anyone is interested in using any of my art here or anywhere else on the site I created let me know, or if you are interested in purchasing any screen or silk prints I can make, please also let me know. With that said, I will continue to use my previous designs and ideas and run with them to create new content.

Minimalism in Design: Out of this World Computing

If you are an artist, you may have heard the concept of minimalism. Creating interesting works out of minimal content, or making the content simple in appearance, but deep or profound in execution. There is also the concept of purism, which appears ro be quite similar in nature to minimalism.

Andrea Manchen from swfiss Advance described the difference here:

Purism is an art style and was/is about using abstracted geometric and mechanical forms. But what does this mean to design? In my opinion minimalism is quite close to purism. Minimalism began in post–World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s (Wikipedia). So it is also an art style. Minimalist design reduces the subject to its necessary elements. Best known slogans of this design direction is “form follows function” and “less is more”.

Thus, began my interest in this art style. Whether you want to call it minimalism or purism, I decided to create some shapes as they relate to computing. I will refer to my work and this concept as, “Out of This World Computing.” Here it is in different evolved steps (from pure minimalism to more complex ideas forming):

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The first one is really minimalism/purism in its essence, the second can also be labeled as such, but I am starting to think with my designs past the dirst two started going away from the concept — as too much visual flair and business started to emerge. Either way, I really like this concept of mi inalism and sometimes I think it is the most effective way to show an idea or add visual context to text such as article writing, blogging or even in-game design. As artform all onto itself it is also great because it can make you think moreso than art filled with objects and business for you to lose track in.

You can check out some examples of purism here and an example of minimalism along with an example here. It does appewr that purism is more complex and minimalism is really where my idea fits. The third image above I created might fit well with the concept of purism. Anyway, both styles offer an interesting outlook on things.