Archive for the ‘DesignAssignments597’ Category


GQ’s Newest Man of the Year Abides

Friday, June 15th, 2012

It’s bad form, I know, but I can’t stop doing my own awesome assignment for Animating Magazine Covers. Although I blame this one on Paul Bond, whose animated cover of Parenting featuring a heart-to-heart between Jack and Danny Torrance inspired me to go back to this animated GIF by IWDRM and but The Dude on the cover of GQ. I mean let’s face it, he deserves it, man.

What I love about this take on that assignment is it starts to use pre-exisiting GIFs to culture jam some of the pre-conceived ideas and expectations of a particular magazine’s agenda. And given how many magazines there are, there could potentially be an endless supply of inspiration. I guess the tabloids are next ;)

A shining example of parenting

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Inspired by Groom’s animated magazine cover, I decided to try my own. I thought of those creepy Jack Nicholson GIFs from The Shining, and how they really belong on the cover of Parenting magazine.

So I did a search for Shining GIFs to find the right one, then did an image search for Parenting magazine to find a good one to work with. I picked this particular issue for the pixel dimensions. (If you hover over one of the search result thumbnails, you’ll see the size. This one was something like 1600 pixels tall. Most of them were 200-400, which wouldn’t give very good results.) It was a nice bonus that it had an article about tantrums. I tried using Select-Color Range to pull out the type, but wasn’t too happy with the results.

Instead, I used the rectangular selection tool to replace most of Kourtney with the background color from the cover, and then used the paintbrush tool to clear up the parts where her sweater gets behind the type. I duplicated the second “n” to fix the part of the title covered by her hair, and had to do a little more manual work to fix the “e”. It was a little tedious, but not too much.

Then I used Select-Color Range to grab the background color, played with the fuzziness a little, and inverted the selection. A flash of insight told me to change the Image Size of the GIF to match the height of the cover before trying to put the two together.

I pasted it in as the top layer, and the animation plays underneath. I didn’t like the way the GIF aligned with the type, so I undid my pasting and cropped off some of the right side to bring Jack’s head more towards the center. Repasted the type layer and cropped the whole image to magazine proportions, then reduced the image size to make the resulting GIF under 1 MB.

Firewalk with Me

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

I decided I wanted to do a design assignment today, so I started browsing the Assignment Repository. There’s so much great stuff in there (although I do think some of our “Design” assignments need to be re-categorized as “Visual” assignments). I settled on Alternative Book Cover

To get inspiration, I started browsing my digital book downloads on Amazon. (Yes, I know I’m the loser who pays more than eBooks are really worth, but, goddammit, I’ve read more in the last 18 months than I had in the last 8 years thanks to my Kindle and iPad). A few years ago I ploughed through the Stieg Larsson series and loved it. It’s not fine literature, but it’s riveting and the characters are pretty fascinating. I decided to do an alternative cover for The Girl Who Played with Fire. I thought I’d find some cute kid shot of a kid. . playing with matches. Then I realized that wasn’t so cute; it was scary. 

THEN I started to think about scary kids and fires, and I remembered conversation Jim and I had yesterday about our favorite Stephen King novels. Aha! I decided to photoshop a picture of Drew Barrymore from Firestarter onto a book cover for The Girl Who Played with Fire

THEN I thought about the animated magazine covers that Jim’s been doing, and I knew what I needed to do: 

This was pretty tough for a few reasons. I wanted to stay as true as possible to the original cover of the American edition of the Larsson novel. It’s a pretty stark layout, and the letters are heavily fragmented. But, with some work, I was able to clean them up and add a dropshadow that matches the original. 

I did have to change the spacing of the title to make room for the image. In the end, you can see how the text design of the Larsson book works great on THAT cover, but it’s not nearly as effective on this cover. 

That’s okay, I still think it’s a cool cover. 

I have two problems with it, I guess. First, it’s way big: 2.2MB. Second, the animation doesn’t seamlessly loop, but to do that I’d have to add more frames and the file would just get bigger. 

Famous Monsters of Filmland Cyclops Animation

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

I bring you this so I can share the tutorial for creating an animated magazine (or movie poster) that is to soon follow. This is a brand new ds106 design assignment, and you can find it here. Now back to polishing off the tutorial—it’s actually a lot easier than you would think. The original magazine cover is here if you would like to do a little comparison.

Update: Video tutorial for this assignment posted here.