Monday, September 01, 2014

T-shirt, it's all about me

Early last March I submitted (and posted here) this t-shirt for the Comic Fest:
There was some positive response by the products person who asked for more subtlety in the color (these are the colors and how the guy was colored on the previous shirt). I wanted to keep it in Illustrator so that there would be 3 spot colors (red, yellow, and white) printed on black:
The registration guy liked this and wanted to get it printed before ComicCon, but couldn't get it approved. Last June he told me the new T-shirt was dead.
Just last Friday I was sent this by the Fest grand poobah:
Someone brought a jpg into Photoshop and manipulated it. I was asked to put more movement into mine. Illustrator does not have a mesh distort or puppet pin distort so I used perspective:

I am waiting to see how this flies. If I get the OK, I will set it up so that no black prints, it just gets knocked out since the shirt is black.
Question, is there a way to bring in the spot colors into Photoshop?

I think I got that figured out. I opened the file twice, and turned one into a tritone and worked with curves. From the other I took the blacks and made a selection and used that in the first to eliminate all that should be knocked out for the black of the T-shirt. Now if I opened all the illustrator layers and made a layered photoshop, I could then use the distortion tools of Photoshop and still output a 3 spot color file.
This is a png from a tritone.

OK changed the hand, thigh, and foot


MrGoodson2 said...

Nice work. Sounds like you learned a lot about prepping your art for t shirts as well.

Davis Chino said...

Ben! So cool! I REALLY hope they do this, 'cuz it looks choice!

Amazing amount of work you've put into this--esp'ly the tricks to get the colors right for the printer. I hope they appreciate all yr effort!!

My fave version is the 2nd to last image--esp'ly adding the perspective on the figure. (re: Fest generated version: I don't like their idea of having the color leach off the Fest Man--nice concept but makes image too busy--more distraction than it's worth. But I do like the receding door and E=mc2 they added.)

You said you're looking for opinions, right? Might I suggest just one or two small tweaks on the the figure? I love his overall pose, and the way you added the perspective--looks really good right out of the box. But maybe a few little touch-ups would help fight the (inevitable) "flattening" effect of using the perspective tool? I'd say:

1. square the hand that's closest to us--it skews funny due to perspective tool. I'd turn it perpendicular to the path of action that's dragging him into the whirligig. And don't be afraid to make it even BIGGER (look at how much distortion Kirby gets away with!).

2. Maybe make one or both of his feet look more suspended in air? The fact that they're both compressing against a (non-existent? or merely metaphysical?) floor throws me a little...if you extend one (or both), it might improve your lower leg shape and add even more dynamism to the figure?

2b. Maybe shrink that far thigh a wee bit? A bigger contrast between the two legs might help push the perspective.

The rest of the flattening effect of the perspective tool makes him really look like he's being dragged into a black hole. Which is cool.

This will be a great image for the Fest.

Now we need you to do a four page mini-comic detailing the story behind it!

Davis Chino said...

Yeah, 2nd to last image. Really like tilt of figure and the door receding in perspective.

Great stuff!!!

Tom Moon said...

Yes, I like the second to the last image too. Great concept and execution. You did do a lot of work for them. I don't mind the skewing on the figure at all.

BDMontag said...

Yeah his left hand, left foot and right thigh were bugging me a bit. All the reworking has created so many control points in he Illustrator image that I was trying to avoid any further revision. All the inked lines have been expanded to shapes. Whine whine whine. I'll go back to those areas tonight.
I'm still going to pat myself on the back for making a grayscale version, turning it into a tritone and making it look like a yellow and red costume. If necessary I'll do that for the final pose.

MrGoodson2 said...

I wish I knew Illustrator like you know illustrator. Everyone wants it in the typical graphics want ad.

Davis Chino said...

Ben, it's great.

As a note on the color, on my screen I really like the saucier saturations of the 2nd to last image.

"Ketchup--meet mustard!!"

Davis Chino said...

I didn't know it was such a pain to revise an Illustrator file...sorry, man!! I'm sure it's good enuff!

MrGoodson2 said...

This may be too frightening. Maybe the committee should re-think using it.

Davis Chino said...

It looks super Ben!! Really love the final image!!

Beata said...

Ben, in early August I was included in a group e-mail about the Fest T-shirt, with attachments showing 3 different manipulations Duane did. I'll e-mail those to you if you want.

When I questioned your EXclusion, I was told: "It doesn't make sense to go back to Ben until there is a decision about recommending changes to his design, otherwise he spins his wheels trying to accommodate everybody's feedback and the process can become frustrating for him and delayed further."

I still feel you should have been included, because no one else on the committee really understands the nitty gritty involved in using Illustrator (and setting up artwork for print), but I've been too overwhelmed with family emergencies to do more than just hope my suggestions got implemented. I'm sorry for not pushing harder; but hey, ... it's just a shirt. And it will be their nicest one to date.

Below is what I sent them last month, FWIW ... but note that I'd take anything you guys say about anatomy or perspective (especially Marty's suggestions above) as gospel.

I really like the warped door; it's the single most effective change that implies movement (because the original door was so static). The reduced size also helps provide more depth (distance from FestGuy).
The tilted eyelid works, too, albeit in a lesser way because there's no warping.

I side with Rock on the equation. If we use an altered (incorrect) version, we run the risk of people not getting the "joke" ... and thinking we're just careless. But I vote for not using the equation all, because there are starting to be too many elements in the design as it is, and it doesn't really add anything. If you really want to use it, at least give it some perspective or movement; don't make it a static thing just hanging there.

Partially coloring FestGuy doesn't work unless it's done in a believable way (according to the laws of light/physics); here it only makes the design harder to "read." I'd keep the original coloring. We want as much consistency and recognizability in FestGuy as possible, since he's the only visual (non-text) logo element, and because he's the ONLY colored element in the design.

However, ... warping only FestGuy's hands/arms is good! It adds a lot of excitement while not taking anything away from his recognizability. Anything more is too much, I think. #2 makes it clear that it's FestGuy and that he's being sucked into the vortex (effective), but #3 takes a moment or two of study to see who it is and what the heck is happening (not effective).

BDMontag said...

Well that's a lot there, Beata. In June Rock told me the idea was dead. The very last one in the post, I suppose, got approved since Mike asked me to contact the guy taking it to printer. I don't like the floating equation either. I wouldn't warp it though, just make it like it is on the opening credits. I never got the impression of a vortex from the opening credits and kind of don't get the sucking into the twilight zone idea. If anything he should be "opening the door to the imagination". I wished I made a sketch and had that go around before I went for a finished thing. But at that time there was no committee, so no one to hand a sketch to. Right now I have to figure out how to use the transparency masks to knockout the black. I did it before on an earlier iteration and don't remember how.

Davis Chino said...

Very interesting to read that you don't like the "sucked-into-the-vortex" conceit, Ben (fer the record, I do, tho' I see yr point).

But on the plus side--it explains that shocked, wide-eyed expression on Comics Fest Man's face that we've been puzzling over lo these many years!