Monday, 15 September 2008

All That Jazz

Well here we are my first blog, and its about what I've been up to on my day off.

I was browsing through the Internet using a new Firefox Ad-On called ''Stumble''. You basically fill in your interests and click stubble and it takes you to related web pages which you wouldn't normally come across. (Cheers Jordan for telling us about that one.)

I ended up on, which is the online portfolio of Nicholas Ainley. I had a look through his work and to be fair to him there isn't a bad piece on there. However my eyes were caught by the first couple of text based pieces.

I've been playing this ''graffiti'' inspired style on a few things over the summer, trying to get a feel for how to produce it and the techniques involved but that's all been 2D based work. What I like here was the inclusion of 3D and 2D elements.

So I thought I'd have a crack at it myself. I new I would need to get a model of some 3D text, which at first I was going to render out and the edit in photoshop. But then I remembered reading about the new 3D layer and object tools in Photoshop Extended. These enable you to import OBJ files into Photoshop.

So I set about finding a nice font, and writing the word Jazz. (Only for the reason, Jazz it a very expressive type of music and therefore could be visualy interstinginteresting, also the song that I was listening to at the time was ''All That Jazz'' by DJ Fresh :)

I then converted into a Illustrator path and imported it into Maya. Once in Maya I turned the curves into a polygon. Changed the angle and size of the letters to create more dynamics. At this point I had to find a plug-in so that I could export the model to a OBJ format. I found one of those Here for FREE !

Once I had the model I jumped onto adobe's video tutorial site and looked at the a video on the
new 3D features so I didn't miss anything. I then went ahead and and imported the model into photoshop.

Once I had it in photshop you can select the new 3D layer tool and manipulate the model in 3D space add, light and choose the render display mode, all whilst working with the familiar tools off photoshop.

I repositioned the model to where I wanted it and began work on bringing it to life. I applied the
first bit of colouring by selecting each letter and painting with a paint spray brush from computer arts magazine. I then duplicated the letters and shrunk them etch, to create the illusion of a glass like material. I also made sure that each letter was now on a different layer just to maximise my options.

After I had the text looking the way I wanted it to, I began work on the background. This consisted of a black with a centre gradient of light yellow. Then above everything was a layer with grimy brushes strokes on it which was coloured and then set to ''overlay'' this gives the image that Mediterranean warmth.

Another couple of textured layers were added in a similar way to give the image more depth. Then some light swirls were projected onto the text as well with some textured canvas underneath it all.

Again a few more light layers were added and some subtle highlighting and shading. Behind the text I added a collection of swirls and circles I'd drawn in illustrator, then converted into Photoshop brushes. Also on the text itself I applied small ornate decoration, containg flowers and swirls. These were all cut to the shape of the letters and set to ''overlay''.

Finally I added the text ''ALL THAT'' (like the song) and a outer glow/shadow created by duplicating the text, filling it and reshaping it.

You can find a bigger version Here.