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2.1 Concept Development and Sketching

Before beginning any project, it’s helpful to work though some concepts and sketch out ideas. In this lesson we will explore how to do that in Adobe Photoshop, discuss some of the technical requirements of printed projects. We will also work with some of the course resources to help you with this stage.

2.1 Concept Development and Sketching

Welcome back to the Event Flyer Design course. My name is Kirk Nelson. And we're launching off on chapter number two, which is the pre-production chapter. This is lesson number three, where we talk about brainstorming and sketching. So we've got Photoshop open here. And in the course files for this lesson is the thumbnails.psd file. That's an eight and a half by 11 blank sheet of canvas with a bunch of boxes drawn on it. I've included these as a way of developing some thumbnail sketches. Which means just some really quick, really fast, really rough sketching just to get some ideas down to start exploring some thoughts in what we might want to do for the sports flyers. Make sure you have the erodible tip pencils already enabled and how you make sure you do that, is you go to the brush tool. And then up here on the tool presets, you're looking for, like the 2B pencil, the 2H pencil, 4B, an, and so on like that. These are common types of pencils that's used in drawing and traditional media and Photoshop comes with these presets to help mimic the appearance of those. If you don't see them in your tool dropdown list, you use the gear icon to fly it out and you select the pencil brushes. And that will load those to your list. Now I have even set up a digital drawing workspace, which puts the presets that I use for drawing right here easily within my panel set and just has the layers set out here. You can arrange things this way if you would like, but it's not really necessary. You just have to be able to get to these tool presets to start sketching with them. So I've got my pressure sensitive tablet ready here. I'm going to add a new layer to begin some of the sketching on. So I'm not sketching over my thumbnail frames. I like to begin light sketching with the 4H pencil. But I do reduce the size down to about 4 pixels. And then you go in and just begin working on some sketch ideas. I know that's going to be a sports flyer, so let's maybe do one that's maybe like a trophy. So we'll just sketch out really rough, and maybe it says game across the front. Not a great idea, but it's an idea at least. We'll try our next panel here. Let's go with perhaps a shield. So that's very dramatic and very contest looking, perhaps some wings coming out of it, in the middle, as if maybe we'll have a, a football. Notice again, these sketches really lose, we're just generating some ideas. We're just working through some thoughts. We haven't fully decided on exactly what we're gonna do yet. It's just, not only is it loosening up the ideas in your head for what to pursue, but also helps loosen up the wrist muscles, helps get you in the mode for drawing. It starts getting the juices flowing. So, you get the general idea of what I'm doing here. I'm going to go ahead and generate several of these thumbnail sketches, and then show you what I come up with, and we'll talk about where we will go from there. The next thought I had was maybe if we had the word soccer filling up one half, or maybe a third of the vertical frame. And we had a soccer player, a striker getting ready to kick the ball. He's in motion here, that'll look rather dynamic. Another idea was if we call the soccer game the global cup, and if we had the world itself look like it was in the shape of a soccer ball. So it would have those hexagonal indentations, but you would see the actual globe, sort of impression on the ball itself, almost as if it was printed on the ball. I don't know. It was just a thought. I also had the idea of maybe a closeup view of the ball on a soccer field within a stadium. We, maybe has some little flags sticking off of it there. And we've got some ribbons that are flowing down or maybe some of those silk scarves. And it just says global cup. Lots of good space for copy and flyer information there. So all in all you really just want to spend some time working through some ideas, working through some thoughts. I enjoy doing this digitally. Because I'm very comfortable sketching within Photoshop like this. You may not like that, may want to do it with real pencil and real piece of paper. These are getting a little bit difficult to see, you don't have to worry about that much, because you can just quickly add in levels adjustment layer and darken them up. In any case, please don't skip this step. This is a helpful step to go through, gets you thinking about the project more, and it's ultimately going to result in a better final product. And after reviewing these, I think the design I'm going to go with, is the one here that's so close up of the ball, on the field. In the course files for this lessons, there's a sketch frame landscape. Now these, I've supplied simply as a means, so you can further explore the sketching for the products that you choose from your thumbnails. So we'll begin with the landscape one, which is the soccer one that we picked. I've got a basic frame set up in here. And rule of thirds set up is very faint blue lines. You can increase those out to full opacity to see where they are, but I like to keep them nice and faint. Though they're just for compositional aids, but I'd like you to use this frame to start sketching through the general composition for the idea. So we're fleshing out a little bit more of that thumbnail sketch that we were working with previously. So, I've got a new layer here. And I'm just going to begin drawing some of those elements in. We'll begin with the ball. Have it come up and intersect right about those rule of third intersection, there, that kind of powerpoint area. I'm down through. And I'll just quickly sketch in the rest of the elements too and show you so we're not wasting time. And here we are now with the sketch almost fully completed. I wanted to show you how I've isolated the individual elements into different layers. That's not absolutely necessary, it's just the way that I like to work with this. Got the ball. Sketched out here. Now when I added the flags I decided I might like it if individual country flags were imprinted on the different hexes within the ball. So, I thought that was a decent idea along with the flags that are sticking out from behind the soccer ball. Sketched in the field. Where was that? There we are. Where we can see the lines of the field. We've got some grass in front of the ball. The net in the back there. The stadium wrapping around. I also included those silk banners that would be flying down and some confetti for the typography. A great way to work on that with your sketches, instead of trying to free hand the text in here but still maintaining that same sketch appearance. Is to use the type tool, write the text in for global and we can scale that up some. Control or command T to bring it up. To simulate sort of the sketch effect on here. What you want to do is first add a layer style. Where we put a slight stroke on there. Three pixels will be just fine. But then we reduce the fill. So up here, just below the opacity center, pull that fill down all the way down to zero. And that hollows out, that, so you can actually see through it, it makes the pixels themselves invisible, but the layer style is still visible. So that's how it's different from the opacity setting. But that maintains just a very easy and quick way of keeping the sketch appearance on these. So here I've added both lines of text with that same layer style applied. And once the general sketching is done, I encourage you to go through and retrace over your sketching to tighten up those lines add a little bit more detail. Start mentally exploring the entire composition in the scene. Make some general compositional decisions now. At this point before we have intricate and highly involved elements in there, to, that are difficult to assemble. Now is the time to make some of these design choices. So, that brings lesson three to a close. That's the lesson I'm brainstorming and sketching. I hope it's something that's helpful for you. I've ask you, please, don't skip over the sketching process. Don't skip over this whole idea of getting yourself warmed up and mentally into the project. Cuz it really will show up later on and you'll develop better skills. And a better work flow, and ultimately a better final product. Next lesson, lesson four, we talk about some custom photography that we're going to use in these projects. And I'll walk you through exactly where I took the photos, how I took them, and then talk about how we're going to use them.

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