mercoledì 26 agosto 2009

LRNZ for Roma Film Fest 2009!

Superamici caput mundi!
My illustration work is featured as the official image for the edition 2009 of “Festa del Cinema di Roma” film festival!

The claim of the 2009 edition is "il grande cinema attraversa Roma", wich sounds more or less like: "the great cinema goes thru Rome".

The work started more as a blend of graphic design and illustration, gradually shifting from the first revision you can see pictured down here in it’s step by step developing.

The first draft layout:

Polished linework and color flats:

Textured full colour illustration:

The idea was simple, the only things that stand out are the treatment of the film, I wanted the films to flow straight, planar, to celebrate the architecture of the auditorium pictured like a fallen spaceship in the background.

This image did not pass the final approvation so I had to start from scratch.

The main problem with this image was the total absence of life in it, was way too abstract: I was asked to bring in more life possible to exhalt the “festival” idea behind the whole thing. Keywords were: people, happening, engagement, entertainment.

Usually, from a graphic designer standpoint, I love minimal works, and I usually go very minimal when I have to do a graphic design job.
No decorative puke.
The sharper, the better.

On the opposite, as an illustrator, I like fresh and detailed linework, vivid color and complex compositions, with a subtle weird twist.

Basically I can say that while I like graphics to accomplish the communication of simple and strong concepts, I prefer drawing when I need to use advanced syntax to “expand” a concept rather than “contracting” it to a symbolic form.

The two approaches usually go along very well (lineart drawings + swiss typography = bliss), still for a very informal result.

Moreover, I like a pictorial approach too, like the polish movie poster illustrators do, but I usually use it for very serious and moody works. I have a limited expressive spectrum with it and it would not fit that keywords thing of the brief.
So I had to discard it. Linework will be.

First revision was not perfect but had a great feedback anyway so I tried to keep things together starting from those approved composition guidelines (an image that explodes in the white of the poster sheet) with a more cinetic push and more vivid details to concur in a rush of information. I wanted to build an image that at a first glance gives you the idea of a VERY busy situation were you can actually go in depth and find out what’s happening to the people involved. Graphically speaking I introduced the lineart layer missing from the first concept, with an explicit freehand look even on architectural and mechanic details.

My big problem was: try to draw without getting TOO MUCH cartoon look while keeping a super fresh result; focus on a strong composition that helps the whole piece to be easily recognizable among the other hundreds of posters you can find around in Italy.

Here is the first draft line sketch:

And here is the first refined skecth.

All the work is digital (drawn with a Cintiq21UW) and multilayered so the guys at Xister could split and freely rearrange content at will for different image formats usage, like using it in landscape mode rather than portrait. Linework is the result of my first test drive with new Photoshop CS4 brush engine*:

Coloring and texturing was made using Photoshop CS4 too.
Here are some details.

And here is the final 70cm x 100cm piece!

Hope you’ll like it!
See you at Roma Film Fest!

*: A small tech note
While I’m still impressed with the laziness of the guys at Adobe in fixing that tragic wacom tracking resolution glitch (10 releases of the most important raster graphic application suffered it. TEN BLOODY VERSIONS of a €800 painting software weren’t enough to fix it.), I must say that, AT LAST, you can use Photoshop for freehand raster inking without getting that “not so very cool mid 90’s smoothed pixel effect” on every single line you draw.

Well it’s still slower and less responsive than Metacreation/Corel Painter IX (which I still run under rosetta!) but you can live with it, especially when it comes to selection tools that in Painter are the worst ever made (you can’t expand/contract a freeform/channel/magicwand selection, so expect weird aliasing artifacts on ALL your bucket fills.) while in Photoshop, it must be said, they are top notch (well at least for today industry standards, but much more can be done, one day I will post my suggestions to Adobe forums).

New memory management was a big plus too. A 300DPI 70cm x 100cm image with hundreds of layers like this saves in 20 seconds for a 1.4 gb psd file. That’s quick (especially when compared to CS2, roughly three minutes per save, on the same machine – well still under rosetta.)!

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