Graphic Design and Illustration.

Archive for ‘July, 2013’

Image of the Month – July 2013


A very quick test of the 3D sculpting package Sculptris. It’s made by the same people as Zbrush. Fewer tools, and a slightly different approach to 3D sculpting on the computer. It’s also still in early Alpha release. I do like the very pared down interface. Though it seems a bit flaky at times. Save often, with lots of intermediate files please!

Next step is to bring this sucker into Blender and either retopologize the model to make it easier to manipulate, or at the very least, get him (or her, I haven’t decided yet) properly textured.




I made this little gift originally for my son’s baptism. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it made in time for the service, but it was the thought that counts. It arrived by UPS today. Its made in sterling silver by the awesome people over at Shapeways. Since my son’s name is Adien, and a cousin of his (named Andrew) signed a card for him, “From big A to little a”, I thought a pendant with the letter “a” would be appropriate.

The lowercase “a” is a custom letter designed my me. I was actually going to use a lowercase “a” from the font, Americana Bold Condensed, but the little sketch I made (that I no longer seem to have) to remind me of the font I had chosen looked much better than the actual font, so I used the sketch as a base for my pendant design.

My original sketch.

My original sketch.


Illustrator A1

Adobe Illustrator vector.


Illustrator A2

Showing the editing nodes.

I first drew the outline in Illustrator and then imported the SVG file into Blender. And after a few final touches, I sent the file off to Shapeways to be 3D printed in sterling silver.

Now all I have to do is find a nice chain to go with it (Shapeways cannot 3D print interlocking pieces in metal).

A quick snapshot of the 3D printed piece.

A quick snapshot of the 3D printed piece.

More of the 3D printed experiments can be found here:

A 3D Printed Planter

Sterling Silver Prints

Even more 3D printed stuff

Heavy Engineering


Found this combing thru twitter today. While I have yet to se the movie, Pacific Rim, they have a web app on their homepage that will allow you to design your own Jeager (thier name for the giant fighting robots in the film). The program allows you to choose from a (very) small subset of robot pieces, then colour them and arrange them in various scenes. Is kinda cool, though a bit limiting. Would be nice if you could download the 3D models of these things as well. Was a fun way to end the evening after dealing with my teething son.

You can find the Jeager designer at




Anatomy of a Designer – Evernote Part 2

Image scanned from some really old reference material I inherited from my grandfather. Source unknown. Circa the 1930s or 40s.

Image scanned from some really old reference material I inherited from my grandfather. Source unknown. Circa the 1930s or 40s.

This is my follow up to my Evernote as ultimate graphic design swipe file. Read about it here.

In my last post I’d mentioned that I would describe the way I managed to get my swipe file organized. I first setup a whole bunch of different notebooks I could move everything to. I tried to keep the different notebooks as different in subject matter as I could to avoid as much overlap as I could.

The main category I set up was “Design”. I was originally going to call it “Graphic Design”, but I felt that graphic design was a bit too limiting as my interest in design also leans towards product design as well.

I also have notebooks set up for Illustration, Tutorials, Web and Technology, Typography, Quotes, and Photography.

I hesitantly set up a “Misc” notebook as a catchall to hold anything that didn’t fit in any of the other categories. I’m not a big fan of this. Open folders like that tend to get abused and can make it hard to search for stuff afterwards. But I knew there were a few things like recipes and workout tips that I have starred in the now defunct Google Reader that wouldn’t really fit in a designer’s swipe file.

As a side note, once it was getting close to Google Reader’s termination date of July 1st, 2013, I checked out all my data and used the instructions found here to move all my starred items into Evernote. The instructions found here put everything into a local notebook. I then proceeded to move everything to the synced notebooks so I could access these any time I wanted to. This forced me to buy a Pro account in Evernote so I could move all those megabytes online. Hopefully good things will come of that!

Once all my digital files were all sorted, I set about getting as much of my analog swipe files stashed away into Evernote as well. Evernote has a camera feature built in, but it takes files at full resolution, and I don’t need anything quite so ambitious. So I used the app, FastEver Snap. All it does is take photos at a user specified resolution and upload them to Evernote in a specified notebook. Easy peasy.

Tag, you’re it!

I probably won’t do much in the way of tagging. The only main use I think I’ll have for tagging will be to keep track of notes for specific projects. Usually, all I would do is just browse through my swipe file and pull out whatever I think is relevant to the project at hand. Tagging items with a project name rather than making a notebook for each project would then make it easy to find the relevant data, and will keep down the number of notebooks to a minimum.


So here’s two screenshots from my iPhone, showing the before and after.

Before. A simple, but disorganized mess. Good luck finding anything in there.

After. Looking much better. I now have a chance to find stuff. Browsing will be easier too. [Evernote for iOS]

For further reading check out these links:

Wikipedia’s article on swipe files.

More on Evernote can be found here.

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