Instead of combining my gestural drawings with a ball made of string, I decided to make the entire composition out of string.
It was while working that I noticed that instead of having a flat composition, I could use the density of string to add to the concept of energy. Areas with more string were areas with more energy = the ball and whichever area the player is going to hit the ball with.
Working with it on photoshop was a bit tricky. I had to figure out a way to have the string on one layer, separate from the background. I wanted to give the client flexibility to change the colours as they needed. Especially they kept saying that they wanted to be able to use the images in their own designs. I tried gradients and the gradient map tool, but neither looked as good as simple, solid colours.
The trick of not being able to mask out the string was solved by using a darker string. I used light blue first:
^ troubles. Another thing that helped was playing with the levels to select the string.
Even after I selected the string separately, I did things like reducing the shadows since the string looked a bit ‘fake’. The texture was different from what I was looking for:
Even though selecting the string was made easier with adjusting the levels and using the magic wand (contiguos was unclicked), there were still areas that needed cleaning up:
These were the shadows of the string. I masked out areas that were annoying to look at, like textured shadows, or bits that stuck apart from the string and didn’t look a part of it:
^Other than that, I mostly left the areas of shadows.
Something I had to work with was the tintedness of the work when printing for the critique (as can be seen in the blue version). Printing the work as it was made it print too dark. I made them lighter for the sake of prints. I also made sure to print a version that didn’t follow the brand colours (purple and yellow) as an example of how moving away from the brand colours could look better and more energetic:
Something I struggled with throughout was finding the direction and making it work. I learned that sometimes, the idea that I think is better, isn’t necessarily better for the client. The whole concept of working with a client was difficult itself. When it’s a usual project, I need to create something that I’m convinced with and proud of and that fulfils the requirements set by the professors. When it’s like that, I know when I’ve found the direction and when I’m done (or as close to being done in the time given).
With the client…I can’t. I wish I could know what they have in mind, but even what they have in mind (players composited in bright energetic lighting) might not be the solution they need (something different). Using the feedback to decide my plan of action took some time. I discussed the feedback with friends and professors and had to decide for myself at the end. *sigh* adult life, deciding for yourself. Anyway…
Immediately after the critique I saw the ‘unripeness'[?] of my work. Mostly it was the comment of how the concept of the ‘focused’ energy could be made clearer if there was more contrast. I wish I had a critique earlier, before the final, so that I could have used that feedback. It would have made a huge difference to the way the images look right now. Seeing as the most successful one is the ‘blue’ one, where there is the most contrast.
If given the time, I would have added less details in other areas and more string in the ‘energetic’ areas to emphasise the concept of ‘this-is-where-the impact-is’. The client also found the shadows distracting. I didn’t see this when working, but I would adjust the work accordingly. I made my PSD files as such, that it would be simple to make the adjustment either way–there are occasions where the shadows would be more appropriate (maybe on a more complex background) and places where they didn’t work (this is a place where it didn’t work). I would have also payed more attention to my choice of colours. Having a series of colours that I’d picked, and a series of colours going with the brand’s colours.