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VCOM 51:: Color for Digital Design

VCOM 51 Weekly Assignments

Only Three (3 – count’em) classes left before finals!
Posted Friday, May 4, 2012
We need to get the FINAL PROJECTS into shape!
Due 12:30 pm; Friday, May 11, 2012 – PRINTED

You will need to purchase a VCOM Print Card (not a Las Positas Print Card) at the book store for $10.00. Today I will show you how to set up a VCOM Print Form.


Tonight I will introduce the “Recolor Picasso” assignment. Download the files from this link: picasso-archive
There is a video for this that can be down loaded here: vcom51-recolor-picasso
Assigned: April 20, 2012; Due: April 27, 2012

We need to bear down on the Semester Project

1.    Use Illustrator to outline the image of two women reading.
2.    Develop your own, different palette.
3.    Use LIVE PAINT to color your tracing to give the image a different emotional feel.
4     Don’t worry about the faces.

Download the file below and follow the direction on the top LAYER

for April 20, 2012

Tonight I will introduce the “Recolor Picasso” assignment. Download the files from this link: picasso-archive
There is a video for this that can be down loaded here: vcom51-recolor-picasso
Assigned: April 20, 2012; Due: April 27, 2012

We need to bear down on the Semester Project

1.    Use Illustrator to outline the image of two women reading.
2.    Develop your own, different palette.
3.    Use LIVE PAINT to color your tracing to give the image a different emotional feel.
4     Don’t worry about the faces.

Download the file below and follow the direction on the top LAYER

Also for April 6, 2012

This week’s exercise is the 2Similar Colors exercise. Click here to download:   similars.ai
As I will show you in class, use this 5 LAYER FILE to explore how similar colors appear different or not in different contexts.
I will demonstrate a calibration device and talk more about why it is necessary.

The remainder of the class will be spent  working on the Color Poster Semester Project.

for April 6, 2012

Assigned: March 30, 2012; Due: April 6, 2012
This week’s exercise is the POEMS in COLOR project.

1.    Choose the poem that moves you most.
2.    Develop a palette for that poem from your own feeling or by choosing palettes from the Color Index Books.
3.    Go to the LAYER with your poet’s name.
4.    Create a LIVE PAINT color composition from your palette that works with the mood your poem inspired

Download the file below and follow the direction on the top LAYER
poems-in-color.ai.zip

The Color Abstracts Assignment  DUE today  (lastname_prjt4-clrimg-a through d) Assigned Martch 16, 2012; Due March 30, 2012
Check this out
: How well do you see color? Take this online test: | http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77&Lang=en

Tonight I will introduce  STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY SITES so that students can start researching possible imagery for the Color Poster Project.

for March 16, 2012

The Color Abstracts Assignment will be CONTINUED if necessary (lastname_prjt4-clrimg-a through d):
Assigned September 27, 2011; Due September 27 or October 4, 2011

The SEASONS PROJECT 2: 4 COLOR GRIDS (lastname_prjct6-seasons)
Assigned September 27, 2011; Due October 11, 2011

Check this out: How well do you see color? Take this online test: | http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77&Lang=en

IMPORTANT: If you did not do this last week, view and read this article on creating sophisticated palettes from fine photographs:  http://landor.com/index.cfm?do=thinking.blog&post_id=24024&bhcp=1&bhhash=1&bhhash=1#top

WATCH THE VIDEOS if you are unsure on this project!

Assignment 4-Color Abstracts 1 |   Assignment 4-Color Abstracts 2 |    Assignment 4-Color Abstracts 3

Depending on how well the class is doing on the Color Abstracts (4 Seasons) Project, we will either: continue it until next week, or have an introduction to a new color project this week.
If you all making progress on the seasonal abstracts, I will introduce the 4 Seasons Grid project. Download the Illustrator template here: Season-grid-tmplte.ai I this project, we will go back, initially, to the LIVE PAINT TOOL to color in four 11 X 11 grids (121 rectangles), each with a word superimposed upon it (autumn, winter, spring, summer). Start with the palettes you developed for your color abstracts, then amplify them. This will be a one and a half to two week project if necessary. How rich, unique, and evocative can you make your seasons? Only your creative shadow knows. Use these videos for help: (videos to come)

Check out these web articles on copyrighting and trademarking color: http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/color-the-next-limited-resource/ |    http://www.colourlovers.com/ |   http://www.squidoo.com/colorexpert

for March 9, 2012

The Color Abstracts Assignment (lastname_prjt4-clrimg-a through d):
Assigned March 9, 2012; Due: March 16, 2012

Download landscape project files: CLICK HERE
Download interior design project files: CLICK HERE

WATCH THE VIDEOS if you are unsure on this project! 

Assignment 4-Color Abstracts 1 |   Assignment 4-Color Abstracts 2 |    Assignment 4-Color Abstracts 3

Download  the “Exercise 4 landscapes” from the Media Files Page. Double click the archive (.zip) file to decompress it. Use the ADOBE BRIDGE to view the images in the decompressed folder. (We will go over the Bridge in class tonight). Choose 4 photos, one for each season of the year. As shown in class and on the videos, open each photograph in Adobe Illustrator. Use the eyedropper to create a Master Palette from the image. Refine this Palette to no more than 12 colors. Double click the LAYER that the image resides on and change it to a template layer. Create a new layer above the template layer. Using only the SELECTION TOOL, the DIRECT SELECTION TOOL, the RECTANGLE TOOL, the ELLIPSE TOOL, and the PATHFINDER TOOL, create an abstract design that expresses the image, coloring the shapes you have made with the palette you derived from the image.

Check this out: How a design firm uses 2 color printing to create award winning marketing | http://www.paperspecs.com/mainblog/tell-tale-society/

 IMPORTANT: View and read this article on creating sophisticated palettes from fine photographs:  http://landor.com/index.cfm?do=thinking.blog&post_id=24024&bhcp=1&bhhash=1&bhhash=1#top

Check out these web articles on copyrighting and trademarking color: http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/color-the-next-limited-resource/ |    http://www.colourlovers.com/ |   http://www.squidoo.com/colorexpert

The Color Bars Assignment (lastname_prjt4-colorbars):
Assigned March 2, 2012
due March 9, 2012

WATCH THE VIDEOS if you are unsure on this project!

Click here to view the two COLOR BARS videos or go to the videos page: Assignment 4-Color Bars Compositions 1Assignment 4-Color Bars Compositions 2 |

Click Here to down load the COLOR BARS file: Color Bars 1

Download the ColorBars 1 from the link above or from the Media Files Page and double click it to decompress it. Select one of the 2 AI files to open. Select a color trio from the Color Index Books without spending a great deal of thought on it. Build those three colors with the Color Panel in Illustrator as we have done in last week’s assignment. Save the three colors as a color group. Click on the EYEBALL ICONS of all the master layers except the 3 Color Compositions and the Outline layers to make them invisible. Click on the EYEBALL ICONS of the 3 Color Compositions 2, 3, and 4 sub layers to make them invisible. Now, click on one of the three rectangles, then click on one of your three colors. Click the second rectangle and fill it with a second of your three colors. Click the remaining rectangle and fill it with the unused color. Study the three colors by enlarging the image so that it fills our screen. Make slight adjustments to them to intensify any “feelings” they may be suggesting to you. Spend somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, no more, on this then make this sub layer invisible and make the sub layer above it visible. Go back to your Color Index Book and find another color trio, or, if you are feeling adventurous, a 4 or 5 color set. Fill in the the three rectangles on the second sub layer. Repeat the process for all the remaining sub layers on this Master Layer and the remaining Master Layers. You can also open the color groups on the the swatches from last week’s assignment as shown in class and on this week’s videos.

It may help some of you to set a word or phrase before you start as the color goal for each (or some) of your 16 color compositions. Possible idea might be: giggles at the beach, golden dawn, runner’s high, timberline, mountain song, majestic sequoia, despair, extinction event, mindless, bleary-eyed, strenuous, and so on… For others, the colors will come first, and their overall effect will suggest words.

This is an exercise in contemplation and deep assessment as well as just filling in rectangles. Some of these color combo compositions will talk to you if you give them a chance.If you are in the groove, maybe all of them will. Trust yourself as you mix and adjust these colors. I almost said trust in the force, but that’s a bit too squirrelly. Live long and prosper!

Friday, February 24, 2012

 The Third Color Project: TRIADS, COMPLEMENTS, SPLIT-COMPLEMENTS, and ANALOGOUS color groups

Download this link:  Week3ColorFiles. This will put a zip file called “Week3ColorFiles” on your desktop or in your DOWNLOADS FOLDER. Double click this file to open it. This will place a folder called “Week3ColorFiles” on your desktop. Open this folder. Inside you will find 6 files:rgb-tri-comp-CS3.ai, rgb-splitcomp-CS3.ai, rgb-analogous-CS3.ai, cmyk-analogous-CS3.ai, cmyk-splitcomp-CS3.ai, cmyk-tri-comp-CS3.ai. All six are Illustrator CS3 files so that you can open them in earlier versions of AI if that is what you are running.Remember, you can open an earlier version file in a later version of the program, but not the reverse.  

THE ASSIGNMENT. Open the file “cmyk-tri-comp-CS3.ai” in Illustrator.

This file contains 6 radial grids. Three of the grids are already filled i. The first two, left to right, show a CMYK TRIAD (three colors a points 120° from each other on the color wheel. This trio shows only the three Primary Colors) and a RED/GREEN COMPLEMENTARY PAIR (two colors immediate opposite each other on the color wheel). The third Grid on the top row shows a simple composition featuring the ORANGE/BLUE COMPLEMENTARY PAIR with the 10 other colors of the spectrum. The three grids in the lower row are ready to be worked on using the LIVE PAINT BUCKET TOOL (nested in the “WIDTH TOOL” in the CS5 tool bar). Color them in as directed by the titles below each grid. Remember to PLAY to discover as many possibilities as you can before finalizing the compositions. There is also a CMYK SPECTRUM color group in the SWATCHES PANEL. Check under the FILE menu to make sure you are in CMYK Color Mode.
Follow the same procedure for the other two CMYK files, then move on to the RGB files. The RGB files repeat the process you followed in the 3 CMYK grid documents. However, when you open the RGB files, check to make sure that the COLOR MODE is set to RGB, go: FILE > DOCUMENT COLOR MODE > RGB. The RGB documents have a 12 color RGB SPECTRUM GROUP in the SWATCHES PANEL.
At the completion of this exercise, you will have 6 files to save in your folder on the VCOM SERVER.
Don’t forget to back up your work.

There are 2 videos for TRIADS, COMPLEMENTS, SPLIT-COMPLEMENTS, and ANALOGOUS: |  Color Groups 1  |  Color Groups 2 |

For next Friday, March 2, 2012: for your COLOR JOURNAL

Find a PRINTED DOCUMENT (ad, flyer, junk mail, brochure, product sheet, etc.) that is based on one of the 4 color groupings we worked with in the exercise above: TRIAD, COMPLEMENT, SPLIT-COMPLEMENT, or ANALOGOUS. Remember colors are not only pure and intense, but can be tinted, shaded, muted, or made subtle in many ways.


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Friday, February 10, 2012

The Second Color Project: using acrylic (preferred) artists colors

A “Spectrum” using only earth colors and black and white to create Primaries & Secondaries and their TINTS & SHADES

assigned February 10; due February 24, 2012 (this may change)

This is an AMAZING PROJECT, but you will need to take that on faith until you see it happen for yourself as you work. Below, I have listed an example of the material you will need for this: an acrylic “canvas” paper, 7 tubes of paint, and one decent artist’s brush. If you want to go in together on these materials, that’s fine. I am suggesting acrylics for this because they are forgiving, inexpensive, and wash up with water. You will also need: a jar of clean water to thin your paint (if it needs it), another jar of water to rinse your brush in, and towels or paper towels to dry the rinsed brushes in. If you are using acrylics or gouache, any white, hard plastic or ceramic surface makes a great palette. Or you can purchase a booklet of paper palettes. If you are familiar with paint, you can use oils or gouache on your preferred canvas, board, or paper. Please do not use watercolors unless you are quite competent with them.

The Process

1.  Make sure you have a jar of clean water to thin your paint (if it needs it), another jar of water to rinse your brush in, and towels or paper towels to dry the rinsed brushes in. If you are using acrylics or gouache, any white, hard plastic or ceramic surface makes a great palette. Or you can purchase a booklet of paper palettes. I say this twice so you don’t miss it.
2.  Grid your working “canvas” paper into 7 columns (verticals) and 11 rows (horizontals). The columns should probably be twice as wide as the rows are tall.You can make ROW 6, the pure pigment wider than the other rows if you wish.
3.  We will be mixing our paint to go from 100% “color” in the center row (number 6 from the top) through 4 intermediate steps to white at the top. We will paint the almost pure white 0% SHADE of each color. TAKE NOTE: It doesn’t take much white to lighten the full strength color. It does take a geometrically increasing amount of white to make the tint lighter and lighter — so add pigment to the white, not the other way around. Then use the same process to reach the “almost” pure black, 100% SHADE
4.  Just as we did in the first project we will start and end with “red,” in this case BURNT SIENNA.
5.  Paint only row 6 in columns 1 and 7.
6.  Here is where you must really use your eyes and make decisions: What is your YELLOW? Is it pure Yellow Oxide or do you need to mix in a little white? (that’s a hint, there) When you have it, first, remember your formula, then, paint row 6 of column 3.
7.  Now use your “yellow” and Burnt Sienna (and, maybe Raw Sienna) to create “orange” for column 2.
8.  Now it gets even trickier. What is your “green?” Here’s a hint: remember in kindergarten or first grade how yellow and black made a kind of sickly green? Well, there you go. How your “blue?” Or you “violet?” Yes, we are getting into some pretty relativistic situations here. You will need to mix little bits of the colors, look, and think in order to get them to appear. When they do, that’s when the amazing stuff happens. Good luck and enjoy!

EXAMPLE COST BREAKDOWN:

9″ X 12″ Canson Acrylic Paper Pad (http://www.dickblick.com/products/canson-montval-acrylic-paper/)
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$6.16

Acrylic paints
(http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-studio-acrylics/)
You need all
Titanium white 4 oz. $2.68
Mars Black 4 oz. $2.68
Burnt Sienna 4 oz. $2.68
Raw Sienna 4 oz. $2.68
Burnt Umber 4 oz. $2.68
Raw Umber 4 oz. $2.68
Yellow Oxide (or Ochre) 4 oz. $2.68
____________________________
$18.76

Brushes
(http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-academic-bristle-brushes/)
Round, Sizes 4, 6, or 8  $4.20, $4.64,  $4.86
Bright, Sizes 4, 6, or 8  $4.25, $4.73,  $4.93
_________________________________
$4.93

TOTAL: 29.85

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The First Color Project: Primaries, Secondaries, Tertiaries, and a full Spectrum

assigned February 3; due SOC February 17, 2012

Click on the MEDIA FILES page on the right sidebar and DOWNLOAD the file “Project 1 Background Files.” When the FIle has downloaded, you will have a ZIP ARCHIVE (filename.zip) on your desktop. DOUBLE CLICK this file’s icon. It will decompress and put a folder on your desktop called “**background files”. DOUBLE CLICKthe folder to open it. Drag the: “vcom51-prjct1-start.ai” file onto the Illustrator Icon on the DOCK at the bottom of your screen. Illustrator will open and the screen will show the pale gray “art board” and the white with very thin black outline document “page”. Click on the top two eyeballs in the Layers Panel so that only the bottom Layer in visible. Now, continue working as described in today’s class lecture and on the PROJECT 1 VIDEOS on the VIDEOS PAGE on available on the right sidebar.

Videos for this assignment:  |  video 1  |  video 2  |  video 3  |  video 4  |

I am assigning this next exercise for those who wish to get started over the holiday.