My First Video Upload

I spent a lot of time adding transitions, titles, etc to my One Minute Video, only to have some issue cause me to lose it all. I don’t even know what happened. maybe the Raw files got corrupted on my drive. Anyway, I had to quickly redo it today for the deadline. Of course now things don’t want to work properly. AMA link won’t happen. Thanks to Adrian earlier I learned how to Import the media instead, so I Imported it all. I had all of my sequences, ins and outs written down so it didn’t take too long to redo. I decided to keep it simple; no fancy titles or transitions for now.

Here’s the link

Gradient Mesh Sweet Peppers

For the Gradient Mesh Sweet Peppers assignment we were provided with a photograph of four bell peppers. Since I started on this one after already doing a lot of work on the gradient mesh for my Vector Illustration project I didn’t have many issues. There are however a few pointers that I would like to share with anyone just learning to use this wonderful tool. I think that it’s an awesome tool, but you might want to reverse your learning method from what I did, and start with the easier peppers.

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All of a sudden, when I toggled between my original and what I was working on there was this huge white rectangle. I have no idea how that happened. I had to dig through locked layers to finally find it buried on a green pepper layer. I wasn’t even working on the green pepper. I had just started a new mesh box for the orange pepper. Thankfully I managed to figure it out with a minimal of fuss and just deleted the layer with the white rectangle on it.

4  Now I am trying again, and my mesh looks to be on the right layer.

6  I found that the quickest way to choose where to put the mesh anchors was to make sure to have them intersect on the brightest points/reflections and work out from there. The second most important placement is to make sure that there is a line either side of where a value fades into another one, so that the gradation is in the correct place.





10To get the highlights to follow the ones on the original photo sometimes takes a lot of manipulation of the lines and a lot of lines to get it right. The more lines you add the more control you have over where the colour or gradient changes happen. Even now I still think that it looks like a plastic pepper.

On my last day working on this a couple of fellow students mentioned to me that there is a much quicker way to add all the lines. You just select Create Gradient Mesh from the Object menus and input how many lines and rows you want it to create. You can also select if you want it to start out with a basic gradient already in place.



13I actually don’t see any advantage to using this tool. Sure, you can get lots of lines in place quickly, but you are going to spend more time moving them all one at a time. The green rectangle on the left was created using the Create tool. After making the mesh I then pulled in a couple of the anchor points to for a waist, but the others predictably remained in place. For the green rectangle on the right I made my rectangle as usual, then applied the mesh tool. Then I pulled in the waist and THEN added more mesh lines. These lines follow the contours which I had originally made, and leave me with a lot less work to do pulling anchor points into position.

Anyhow, I know you are all dying to see my finished work, so without further ado…

original (Original)






I have no idea why it is such a blurry image. As soon as I figure this out I will be replacing the image with a clear one.




Pen tool vs Brush tool

At first I was working only with the pen tool, since I hadn’t yet used a tablet or the brush tool at all. After I was feeling more confident with the tablet and stylus with the pen tool I decided to start practicing with the brush tool. That was okay at school. but when I tried it at home on my pc I could not get the pressure sensitivity to work at all. Very frustrating. I found some solutions by googling and tried a few, starting with uninstall and reinstall procedures. Even restarting in diagnose mode a couple of times. Didn’t work. Still frustrated. Then I found another suggestion, so I searched for and found where to restart the Wacom Tablet Services. Now I have brush sensitivity! Yay! Somewhere along the way though I lost some of the functionality of my mouse pad. Good thing I have a wireless mouse. Now if only my pc would stop telling me that drivers aren’t found every time I return to work on the tablet after having shut down.
So I decided to work the head with the brush tool. My prof thought that there was a slight style difference between the head and body, and I agree. I have redone the head with the pen tool for the outlines. I decided to stick to the brush tool for inner details though, as I like how that looks. The left image shows the pen tool work and the right one the brush tool.

Character Illustration

For my big project in Wed Design Tools this semester I had to contact a number of artists online to see if they would be willing to allow me to use their line art to learn about vector illustration and colouring with gradient tools and mesh tools. It wasn’t easy to find work that I liked that also fit the requirements of being somewhat unfinished in line, but having lots of detail at the same time. I prefer to do something other than the superhero/x-men content that I think that many of my fellow students will be doing. Perhaps upon reflection it would have been easier to get my prof to approve something like that, but I’ve always had my own ideas about what I like.

Well, after many back-and-forths with my instructor and with artists on a piece of work has finally been selected and approved. In Illustrator I am going to be inking this piece and then colouring it. The challenge will be figuring out how I want the fur to look and then figuring out how to do it. Is it enough to just suggest the fur by having the tufted outlines or do I want to also add a furry look somehow to the surfaces? I have been looking at examples of illustrated fur on both lady-cybercat’s pages and other deviant artists’ pages and I think that I would like to attempt to add coloured and contoured strands of fur in highlight and lowlight colours to add realism.
You can see more of lady-cybercat’s work at and I highly recommend that you do. Her work is awesome and very well done. Especially if you like anthropomorphic art, or furries as they are called.

Web Page Mock-up

The biggest challenge for me has been the steep learning curve with Photoshop and Illustrator. I started this course with no knowledge whatsoever on either of these awesome pieces of software. Sure wish I’d had access to some of the learning tools before starting school. has been a great help.

Our biggest project in the first half of this semester was the website mockup. I decided that Richters Herbs ( could do with a facelift! The nice thing about redoing their website was that they really didn’t have anything that looked very attractive to me in the first place, so I had no direct influences from their already existing site. All that I took was their logo design, and they had used a bit of green, so I continued with that.

website_needs website_design

First thing I did was list what they already had on their site so I could be sure to include it in my design. Then I did a rough sketch of my design idea.


I decided to do a green gradient background, since the business sells plants. I also thought that photos would bring some colour and appeal to the page.


Then I realized that the photos should not be pasted onto the page, but  placed behind a mask. That way I can change the image out at any time and still have it the same size. I immediately ran into issues. There were things that I remembered being able to do with the layers and the masking but couldn’t figure out how to do at all. Did I mention the steep learning curve??! I finally figured out that I was supposed to be doing this is Photoshop, not Illustrator. Phew.


This provided a little opportunity for a bit of fun. Let’s see if Joe picks up on it!


After that everything was smooth sailing. Not fast, but smooth. I think I’ve got this Adobe thing figured out. I had fun creating all the buttons and bars. Gradients is my new friend.

I’m looking forward to what the second half brings.

Orangeville Shoot

Well, the assignment was supposed to be about shooting downtown Toronto, with a large group of us. Logistically that wasn’t going to work for me since I am an hour and a half drive from Seneca, let alone getting downtown. Instead I was allowed to shoot Orangeville. Here are a few of the photos I got on Saturday morning in and around town and the farmers market. I will load more of them onto flickr later. This link will take you there.

O'ville grafitti

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A little bit about me….

Well, I’ve lived in Canada for most of my life, other than a few years spent traveling about and living in various places in the USA and the first five years before we emigrated from England.

I decided to return to school after many years in the workforce. The timing was good, and I’m very glad that I made the choice. I am a creative person, and it would be great to do work in an enjoyable career. Canada Post is just not it.