Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Project 2 "Falling Leaves"

1 b. grouping:
I created a bunch of individual leaves, made it a group and then duplicated the group several times (on their own layers.) This allowed me to move an entire group of leaves (saving lots of time over moving them individually), rotating them and repositioning them to achieve visual layering.

2 c. modifying a curved object
I used the paint brush to create a horizon line, modifying it with the sub-selection tool to get the look of mountains.

2 h. layer stacking order
Fiddling with the stacking order allowed me to position some of the leaves behind the branches and trunk of the tree and to overlap the leaves to get a layered look. I will be able to make them rustle in the breeze later. They are all in one folder so I can turn them on and off at will to work on the other elements in the drawing.
Clouds and the yellow sparkles are on their own layers so they can be manipulated separately when the wind blows. I'm even thinking about gradually changing the background colors as part of the animation.

2, 1 a. managing complex graphics on a single layer:
grouping and folders are useful to isolate elements. I also locked elements to keep them from changing while I worked over them. It's kind of like trying to avoid smudging what you already have painted... you'll save yourself time and heartache if you get in the habit of using layers.

b. future projects
What worked this time was to start with a sketch on paper and decide how I wanted the elements to interact. Then I made them on the computer in different layers, locking and grouping as I went, so I wouldn't be trapped into them breaking apart into pieces that were not useful to what I wanted to do. I deleted elements as I worked if they didn't act as I'd hoped. I think I will always start with sketching out a concept.

c. tool preference
My favorite tool is the brush, I find it manageable and more intuitive than the others. I like, too, the shapes I can achieve when I push the smoothing all the way to 100.
I struggled with the pen tool as I drew the trunk and branches. It doesn't release you the way other programs do and I ended up with stray lines and bits I couldn't eliminate ... more practice required...


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