Not as Clumsy or Random as a Blaster.

This image is not a photograph or a CG nodel, it is an adobe illustrator vector image, think of it as a highly detailed cartoon or drawing. The project was all about realism, we acted as if we were working for a client and they needed a realistic image for their print ad.  What this teaches us is lighting, shading, and blend effects to help us better understand how to use them for other projects more stylized.

The first step was to pick a mechanical object to recreate, I chose my custom made lightsaber.


I didn’t know if all of the chrome effects would make this project harder or easier, but I’ve had this object for a long time and I know it literally inside and out. In the end I figured this would be an advantage more then a hindrance.

The picture above was taken outside the school with a borrowed digital camera.  The resolution was poor and I found it difficult to recreate the more intricate parts to the emitter.  This is as far as I got on my first attempt.


At the time, I didn’t have the skills to get the detail I needed without a better guide, so after that lab I rushed over to Gabi’s work to get new pictures taken with a high-rez camera, Gabi was kind enough to take a bunch of shots, but this is the one I chose.


I’m confident I could have done it at an angle, but I decided the strait on approach was best, mainly because it is already a cylinder so the curves come naturally as is. Also I knew I would have to put it in a magazine layout and this gives me more options then the original picture was capable of… well at least I think it does.

Once I had the new picture I could tell right away that starting over was the right choice. After working on it for about 10 hours this is what I’ve come up with.


That is a completely digital picture built from the ground up using vector shapes. Although I did rotoscope it, I did not even use the eye dropper for color.  all of the lighting and depth effects are created by eye.

It was mandatory that we not start our layout until the last lab of the course and that was only 4 hours long. The idea is that we should use all other course time on getting the project as real as possible and to get us use to the idea of only have a short turn around time for real world clients.

Now that I’m long done with that class, I could always make a new layout but I’ve never had the time or need to do so. It’s not bad, but I think I could have done a better job. Some of my Wheldon Smiley ads are better, and they were before I had the training.  I think the main problem was lack of a good hook, I wanted it to be in the Star Wars universe, pre-empire, but without graphics from that time it just didn’t work out.

What direction would have taken? I wouldn’t mind trying this again, so if I find a good idea I’ll give a another shot.