Category: Graphic design

Most Essential Tips for Animation

We have picked up few guidelines that will prove to be of real help for those into cartoon animation or in any other segment of animation industry. Out of many, we have condensed down some very important animation tips and tricks that every animator should be aware of.

With the rise in technological development, the animation production companies in the industry are very keen that their animators and graphic designers work with upgraded digital tools and applications. While many still bank on the traditional animation formats and style, it is always better to make use of the advanced technology to be in the race. In this highly creative field, it is very essential to work within a time constraint and to give excellent results.

These days, the market is flooded with a lot of companies offering animation services using a myriad of animation software; however, they might make a hole into one’s pocket and also turn out of to be time consuming. As mentioned earlier, there are really some easy yet effective character animation tips that one needs to keep in mind while handling character animation projects.

One at a time

Never overdo stuff. It is always better to work with one phase at a time. Concentrating on one shot will improve the output and the animator can focus on every tiny detail to enhance the shot. Create gradually and develop frame by frame animation portions to achieve satisfactory results.

Work less on the contact

While working on action sequences, for instance, one should be more focused on the whole picture rather than stressing too much on the points of contact. One must seamlessly concentrate on the actions as a whole and rework later on those areas when the body parts come into contact with each other.  This applies in case of both 2D animation and 3D animation.

Playblasts are time consuming

Most animators would agree that enough time is lost while waiting to have a glance about their creations. Playblasts or preview shows are not always feasible if one has deadlines to keep; nevertheless they would be keen to get an idea of their render quality before the animation hits the stands. This issue can be solved by adding a layer in the working frame and having a preview of the main character alone by switching off the layers with other elements around it. However, for some full length film rigs, this option won’t work. So in such cases it is better to avoid repeated rendering and instead, do quality check when playblasts are going on.

It’s not about poses but motion

While dealing with facial expressions animation, one can notice that it is the outcome of the emotions that face gives out through certain feelings and moods. Hence there is no need to fret on focusing on the body poses in order to sync with the facial gestures. Without limbs or facial features, one can make their characters emote and give apt emotions through movements of the face. Computer facial animation could be tricky but one need to concentrate on subtle points to get the right emotions through right gestures.

Cut the dialogue

Believe it or not, to get best results, professionals in a typical animation company in India work with scenes without using dialogues.  When working with a dialogue shot, always mute the speech part and perfect your character’s traits and body languages. Once you feel it is done, take feedback by showing the output, without dialogues. If the viewer cannot relate the situation and actions, you need to rework on the emotions and improve the body language further to get the desired effect. Your character’s feel should completely match with that of the dialogue and this can be achieved only by muting the dialogues while working.

Beware of Mirror

While doing a lip sync using a mirror one needs to be very cautious since small miscalculation can mar the character as a whole. In this process, divide and follow. Have separate passes and work on each lip sync using a mirror. That is, it will be easier to focus either on lips or jaws at a time.

Flaws are fun

Too much of perfection is not good. To break the monotony you have to infuse some flaws in the character or create some hurdles so that the story is engaging and keeps the viewers hooked till the end.

Mocap awareness

Learning is a lifelong exercise. It is never too late to learn something new, especially if it is something related to one’s professional field. It is essential to keep oneself updated about latest computer animation software and digital applications. And one of them is the Mocap Data. Motion Capture is an animation process used to record human movements or actions digitally and then, this data is mapped in 3D over a character. In this age, an animation concept artist must be aware of this tool and needs to have a brush of it. For, you may never know when it might come handy.

Mark problem areas

Try as much as you can; but there will be some flaws in certain portions which might not be avoidable. For this, mark this portion using bookend. Select all the controls as well as setting keys around that spot and delete the offending keys. This way you can secure the other areas from getting affected.

Smaller the better

With practice comes perfection. Similarly take small steps rather than big ones to avoid confusion and frustration. While preparing oneself for professional front, always use short length shots for personal learning exercise. It is easy to manage, easier to perfect your skills in detail and quicker to evaluate and improvise.

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Six Photoshop colour settings that matter while editing images

Photoshop CC is feature rich software which offers numerous ways to pull off spectacular results with our pictures. Its colour handling through various colour settings have baffled many photographers including experienced ones.

Six settings underpin the entire colour effect manipulation process

1) RGB Working space

It is the first choice that appears in Photoshop’s ‘Colour Settings’ and it’s the Photoshop color settings for web. Every possible hue of red, green and blue has been assembled with values assigned to them in the range of 0-255. Millions of colours can be made by blending them. Primary and secondary colours can be blended to create tertiary colours of various saturation levels. You need to pick up the most appropriate RGB gamut only. It is convenient to work with standard spaces as the editing results w.r.t highlights, mid-tones, shadow and other attributes can be predicted fairly well.

You can choose between 3 working spaces.

a) sRGB

This space is apt for those who publish pictures online and get commercial prints. Raw prints experience significant colour data loss in the transition between cameras to Photoshop. Portrait subject is most compatible and skin tone editing can be done impeccably. Subject types shot determine the choice of working space.

b) Adobe RGB

This space is optimally suited for those who carry out home printing and publishes images through third party. This space was primarily developed to fine tune the prints from CMYK printer models. Adobe RGB files after editing can be converted to sRGB easily. During conversion, loss of cyan and green happens and yellow as well as orange colours are partially subdued; so the subject should be in landscape. Default colour management of contemporary web browsers allow for saving images in large working spaces for online publishing. To prevent desaturation, profiles need to be embedded in image file.

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c) ProPhoto RGB

It is the largest of all working spaces and meticulously conserves colour data of raw image during import to CC. This choice is one of the best Photoshop settings for printing photos taken through high-end printers; however to avoid banding, sometimes one is compelled to edit with 16 bit large files. This working space generates colour tones some of which are invisible to human eyes.

It is important to understand that details of certain objects that have deep yellow hue are lost as soon as they are opened in Photoshop in working spaces other than ProPhoto.  Blotches and bands appear in such photos. Such subjects should be printed right away in ProPhoto. You can edit the photo in this space and then transform into smaller working space. Conversion of smaller space to larger one won’ t allow for retrieving of initial colour data after transformation. For this colour space, raw image should be compatible with 16-bit workflow.

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2) Monitor RGB

This profile is not preferable as Photoshop colour management is turned off by this. You can ascertain if Photoshop has been accessing right monitor profile with this. If your customized monitor profile is not showing up as expected in Photoshop, you need to momentarily turn the monitor profile to sRGB through settings specified in operating system. If you experience improvement in colour, you will have to eliminate your present profile and create a new one.

3) Colour management policies

Through this Color Settings in Photoshop, you can access ‘Colour Management Policies’ option. Three drop-down menus would appear and you have to opt for ‘Preserve Embedded Profiles’ in all. You need to uncheck two boxes adjacent to ‘Profile Mismatches’ as the alerts generated by them may distract you. The boxes refer to ‘Ask When Opening’ and ‘Ask When Pasting’; the first one indicates if the file’s inherent profile is different from the one you are working with.

Keep the box adjacent to ‘Missing Profiles’ checked to know the accurate colour space applicable to the image file, which doesn’t has embedded profile, based on its origin. Alternately, you can proceed with file opening without profile and subsequently delegate the optimum Photoshop profile to it.

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4) Assign Profile

The ‘Assign Profile’ option of Photoshop need not require invoking in maximum circumstances. If you are not aware of its functionality, you can cause unwanted colour shifting while converting files between different colour spaces. Instead, use of ‘Covert to Profile’ is recommended as it allows colorimetric matching of source and destination colours to the maximum extent possible. ‘Assign Profile’ does not engage in colour matching as it believes in applying the image embedded RGB values to another colour space which results in inordinate colour shifting. This feature is appropriate for files with no embedded colour profile or the one for which you want to change color profile;Photoshop’s this option is extremely useful.

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5) Convert to Profile

This tool transforms one RGB colour space file to another. Relative colorimetric rendering compares and matches colours. Colours not under the purview of a particular space’s gamut are matched to their closest counterpart. The rendering intent should compulsorily be ‘Relative Colorimetric’, although other intents are also available.

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6) Proof Colours

Available under ‘View’ menu, this option is useful in checking the printer or attached device’s colour output. Displayed colours depend on ‘Proof Setup’ menu’s selected options. This option is useful for simulating Protnopia related colour blindness. Previewing and editing print colours for checking compatibility with RGB screen picture are satisfactorily done through this. You start by opening a replicated image adjacent to original one and then proceed with application of printer profile to the replicated version. Editing would result in the replicated image matching closely with original.

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Final words

Always opt for Adobe RGB space if you are uncertain as this profile covers almost all colour printers and monitors’ outputs. You also need to understand the Photoshop CMYK color settings for print.

Monitor RGB would offer insights regarding use of appropriate monitor profile by Photoshop.

Never use ‘Assign Profile’ for conversion of RGB spaces as unwarranted colour shifts occur. This option is applicable for cases when the original profile is not known.

For optimum colour matching between source and destination profiles, ‘Convert to Profile’ option is perfectly suited.

‘Proof Colours’ option offer insights into the way colour blind person would view an image. This option is not useful for normal editing.

There are numerous companies housing skilled Photoshop experts who can help you in getting the editing done with great level of precision and excellence. Selecting the right people is where the trick lies.

Importance of book and medical illustrations

The art of book illustration is used to create pictures and images of books. The illustrations in books not only beautify them, but also enhance the written materials. This itself reveals the importance of illustration. Now, let us take a closer look.

 Enhancing child development

book-illustration

 In books for children, visuals are extensively used in order to increase the visual appeal. The association of words with objects becomes simplified in the process. Even if the child does not receive any help from adults, he can become narrative. At the initial stage, children are provided with more books based on illustrations, so that they can grow their skills naturally and move on to books enriched with texts.

It enhances the level of child development, stimulating imaginations and refining the sense of observation of the readers. Accurate illustrations are effective in conveying messages to children with disabilities as well. In a nutshell, it enhances the comprehending powers of the kids and hence the importance of book illustration has to be considered with reverence.

 Conveying a message

 As illustrations make the process of understanding easier, these are often used in books for adults. The recall value of visual information is higher than text. Medical journals, instruction manuals and technical books include a lot of illustrations in the form of flow charts, sketches and diagrams to simplify complex information.

 Drawing attention

 Eminent publication houses, series and authors are often associated with a particular style of logo. Hence, these are used in the recognition of brands, people, campaign or a company. Logos and symbols which are easily understood by people are often incorporated by advertisers. It builds up awareness and increases the loyalty of the customers.

As for books, the cover often plays a crucial role in advertisement. The success or failure of the book depends on its cover. An attractive cover makes it palatable and enhances its chances of getting sold. Thus, developing the illustration of a book cover adds to its marketing value.

 Importance of medical illustrations

medical

The process of medical illustration is unique and creative. The collaboration of science and art makes it harmonious and this is where importance of medical illustration lies. The profession can be listed within biochemical collaboration and one requires special training and skills for the purpose. Technical knowledge is also important for medical illustrators, so that they can understand the complex information and use accurate images to communicate it with clarity. Illustrations done by experts can help in communicating even the toughest concepts to learners with ease.

 Uses of Medical Illustrations

 A wide range of industries finds the use of medical illustrations useful. These include academic institutions, hospitals. Research centers, pharmaceuticals, publishing companies, media houses, law firms and advertising corporations. Irrespective of the fact whether it is an MNC, non-profit institution or a government one, medical illustrations are used by every institution for posters, brochures, leaflets, websites, journals, presentations, posters, films and 3D models. These illustrations need to be collaborated with scientists, educators, academicians and doctors to create scientific research, education, medicine and public health literacy.

These illustrations are innovatively used in courtrooms, where complicated medical terminologies often confuse the jury. Biological or medical information can be conveyed easily using medical illustration and enhance the communication process, where words fall short to do so.

Qualifications of Medical Illustrators

 The term ‘Medical Illustrator’ is very broad, as the services provided by medical illustrators cover a wide range of industries. This requires variable amounts of job skills, with respect to the medium and industry where the medical illustrator functions. The job skills required are also varied and depend on the industry and the medium in which the medical illustrator works. However, each medical illustrator needs intensive training in a number of styles. They also need to know the art of precisely distinguishing colours, so that the outcomes are visually appealing and technically sound. He or she must have a substantial amount of knowledge related to digital tools software packages, so that they are able to tackle complex medial illustrations with clarity and ease. Each medical illustration needs to be memorable, professional and aesthetically designed, so that the understanding is enhanced and the interest of the viewer can be retained.

A basic training in art, design, medicine and medical sciences is required for a medical illustrator, along with the updated visual technologies. A refined grade of visual skills and enhanced ability to visualizing the details is required. Apart from this, the anatomical accuracy is of utmost importance, so that the medial illustration is correct. Diverse audience requires two dimensional and three-dimensional visuals. So, the medical illustrator must be able to convert complex materials into these formats for their seamless understanding.

Keep reading our blog for more updates on illustration.