Illustration Techniques for Designers

There are several techniques or styles of making an illustration. Each of these techniques has its distinctive process and media specially used for creating the illustration. The graphic artist must therefore familiarize himself well with a particular technique before adopting and using it for the production of a graphic design product. Examples of some of the techniques in illustration are:

1. Pen and wash- This illustration technique involves the drawing of the outlines of the illustration in pencil. Ink is used to go over the drawn outlines in pencil. When it is dried, a small quantity of the ink is diluted with water in a lighter tone. Brush is used to apply the paint at the darker areas of the drawing. The painted areas are washed to create various tones to bring out the forms of the illustration. The outlines are made stronger by the use of pen lines. It is used for catalogues, village and market scenes, fashion design magazines, book covers etc.

2. Pen and ink- This is the use of pen and ink to draw the outlines of the drawing and using any of the shading methods to bring out the forms in the drawing. It is used for illustrations in books, newspapers and magazines.

3. Flat colour painting- In this technique, the colours are painted flat with no gradation in tone. The edges of the sections of the painted drawings are sharp and distinct, setting the difference in the various parts of the drawing. It is used for illustrations in story books, road signs, greeting cards etc.

4. Realistic painting- This is the drawing of objects to show great details as they actually appear in nature. It is used for advertisement, fashion magazine and illustrations in books.

5. Silhouette- This is the creating of the outlines of a drawing in pencil and filling the inner part uniformly with black paint or ink. Silhouette drawings do not show details just the outlines that define the objects are shown. They are used for road signs, package symbols, illustrations in fashion magazines etc.

6. Cartooning- This is the creation of humorous or satirical figures with exaggerated forms. This illustration technique is used for illustrating children books, newspapers, magazines etc.

7. Photography- This is the taking of shots of real objects and scenes by the use of a camera. It gives the exact likeness of the objects and scenes. Photographs are used for posters, magazines, newspapers etc.

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How 3D Animation Video Helps in Improving the Animation World

Animation magic has ushered in a revolution of sorts in the world of advertising, marketing, promotion, media and entertainment. This seamless technology has induced life into visuals, creating a canvas that is both engaging and entertaining. The world over, animation continues to fire imaginations.

The technology has been evolving over time with newer developments enabling superior control and rendering of frames and visuals getting more life-like. There has been a significant improvement in 3D animation also. Though most of us discern these developments through the latest games and movies, other areas from aircraft design to weather forecasting are reaping the benefits from integrating 3D animation with virtual reality and simulation techniques.

Introduction of 3D Animation

To put simply, 3D animation is the three-dimensional representation of various elements. The technology allows an element to be modeled with such finesses it resembles a real physical object. A filmmaker can use the same camera angles on the rendered graphic as they would have in real life – front, back, sides, above, below, i.e. from every angle. They can also use different lighting environments to highlight unique textures and supplement the visuals with additional data to create realistic frames for use in longer films. The beauty of 3D is that the visuals can mesh seamlessly with live video streaming.

Benefits of 3D Animation

• 3D animated videos provide spatial awareness and give a sense of reality.
• Great way of conceptualizing ideas that are yet to take a realistic form.
• Helps in creating visually appealing and pleasant elements
• Easier to communicate about things and their interrelationships with the world as intended.
• Can reproduce events that are difficult to show or expensive to recreate in a real world environment.
• Unlimited possibilities to show things that cannot be depicted through photographs or 2D animation.

Scope of 3D Animation

The highly accessible and versatile technology has a wide range of users from individuals and small businesses to large conglomerates and institutions. The technology is crucial for long-term planning as its versatility allows people to preview a realistic rendering of how the elements being discussed will perform in real life situations. From providing a spatial rendering of an impending cyclone to the efficiencies that can be generated from a new engine, the technology can be used for various applications.

Sectors Where 3D Animation Technology Can Be Used

There are various sectors and industries where the technology can make a difference. It can be used for advertising, marketing, corporate films, cartoons, gaming, educational programs, in the entertainment industry and for the media sector. Corporates can explain the benefits of a product from concept to installation. The software industry can use it to show how a technology can work both at the front and back end. The construction sector can create animated videos on buildings, floor plans and other civil infrastructure to show how a concept will look once executed. People can also use 3D technology for effective education and training programs, customer presentations and in websites. Specific industries such as advertising, mining and gaming regularly use this technology for internal operations and external customer engagement.

This versatile communication medium can produce outstanding results in short span of time. Using creative storyboard blended with innovative imagery,we can create a whole new world that is close to reality. The technology is expected to soon become an integral part of the corporate world and create new frontiers for end user engagement.

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5 Tips for Effective Exaggeration

At the heart of successful animation lie 12 principles. One of these is exaggeration, which refers to the act of taking certain elements and stretching them beyond the realm of normal. All animation requires some sort of exaggeration, even animation that strives to be realistic, because it is exaggeration that makes animation come alive, appeal to audiences, and add comedic relief to otherwise intense scenes. Poorly executed exaggeration, however, can detract rather than add to the appeal and impact of an animated work. As a result, effective exaggeration requires careful work by the traditional animation studio. Following are a few tips for successfully using exaggeration in any animated production.

Exaggerate The Most Important Elements.

The first step in creating effective exaggeration is to choose which elements to exaggerate. The key when making this decision is to remember that exaggerated elements will get the most attention from viewers. Therefore, the element you choose will change the way the viewer understands the scene. As a result, you need to choose the elements that are most important for understanding the scene.

For instance, if you are animating a scene in which a character is sailing, you may decide that the waves’ movements are most important and exaggerate those. On the other hand, you may decide that the character’s reaction is most vital, and, therefore, focus on their facial features. In the first instance, the viewer learns about the environment in which the character is sailing, while in the latter, the viewer learns about the personality of the character. Making the right choice will allow you to create exaggeration that contributes to rather than detracts from your work.

Know What Your Goals Are.

Once you decide which elements to exaggerate, you will need to decide how much exaggeration to use. In order to make this decision, you must have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with the exaggeration. Exaggeration can be used in a number of different ways. For instance, you can use it to add fluid motions that make the animation look more realistic. On the other hand, you can use it to create caricatured movements that add comedy, or that add personality and appeal.

Each of these goals, however, requires a slightly different use of exaggeration. Take, for instance, the sailor discussed above. If you desire a realistic look, you may choose to slightly exaggerate his facial expressions. However, if you wish to interject humor, you may use extreme exaggeration to give him comedic facial expressions. The right choice will be the one that best contributes to your overall goals for the scene.

Retain The Essence of The Exaggerated Elements.

As soon as you decide to exaggerate an element, you are no longer bound by the strict parameters of reality. However, in order for your exaggeration to retain its appeal, it must still have some connection to reality. If it does not, the object or character being exaggerated will become confusing to viewers, who will no longer be able to mesh what they see on the screen with the basic rules of reality to which they are accustomed.

For instance, say you choose to exaggerate the facial features of the character sailing on the boat. If you remove all identifying elements from the face in order to twist it into a complete caricature of fear or surprise, or delight, you will lose the essence of the character design. The viewer will no longer be able to identify or connect with them. As a result, when exaggerating any animated element, a good rule of thumb is to take what is already there as far as expressions, physical features, or emotions, and exaggerate those elements. By doing so, you increase the appeal of the scene for viewers instead of detracting from it.

Create Balance.

Even though viewers of animation expect to see exaggeration and fantasy, they also want to keep one foot in reality. As a result, another key to effective exaggeration is to create balance within the scene. You can do so by only selecting a few elements in each scene to exaggerate. The rest of the elements must remain more natural and realistic. Doing so will avoid an absurd or disturbing look that will leave viewers confused or dismayed with your work.

For instance, if you exaggerate your sailing character’s facial features, you should refrain from exaggerating their other physical features. If you choose to exaggerate the movement of the waves, you may need to refrain from exaggerating the character’s facial features too. With a balanced scene, you draw the viewer’s attention to the elements they need to see, and keep them grounded enough in reality to enjoy the exaggerated elements.

Keep Your Project Appealing.

Finally, when using exaggeration in your animated production, you will need to maintain appeal. Appeal is a fairly subjective, yet crucial, element to animation. It is what makes even a villain a character the viewers will enjoy watching. Making mistakes in the steps discussed above can result in a loss of appeal. For instance, if you use too much exaggeration, viewers will be less likely to enjoy the animated production.

As a result, the last question you must ask yourself is how the exaggeration contributes to the scene’s overall appeal. It may fit all the criteria above, yet detract from the overall entertainment value. On the other hand, you may find that pushing the boundaries a bit yields a bolder look and greater appeal. As a result, exaggeration, as with any element of animation, requires careful crafting in order to achieve the most powerful and appealing work of art possible.

Exaggeration is an effective way to bring your animation to life, whether you are doing video game animation, advertising animation, or a feature length film. By exaggerating the most important elements, knowing what you want to achieve, retaining the essence of the exaggerated elements, creating balance, and keeping your project appealing can help you to create truly effective exaggeration in your animated art.

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5 Tips for Creating an Effective Whiteboard Animation

whiteboard-animationsWhiteboard animations require many innovative ideas, careful decisions and gutsy implementations. Developing a script and the entire pre-production planning stage before the creation of any type of creative work is one of the most important things that one must ensure to work on. Below are a few important tips for an effective whiteboard animation. These tips will enable you to create a great impression in the minds of your audiences and fans.

1. A great script is a must

As far as whiteboard animations are concerned, an average script will not do much favor to you. You need a great script and a one that can help you to create a major impression in the minds of the people or your audiences to keep it simple. Your story must be bought to life in an extraordinary manner.

2. Having a believable flow

Just like it happens in real life, your whiteboard animation should have a story line that is quite distinct in the middle, beginning as well as ending. This means that the videos should be short in order to keep the attention of the audiences. Your story must be told in such a manner that does not take very long to unfold so that the viewers can get a grasp of what you are exactly saying.

3. Having a powerful imagery

Powerful imagery and dynamic illustrations are always at the heart of a successful whiteboard animation. This means that one should ideally spend most of the time creating the images for the whiteboard presentations.

4. A captivating audio

Soundtrack is the heart of a film and same goes to a whiteboard animation. The audio tracks should be captivated in such a manner that they are able to create a very positive impression in the minds of the viewer or a normal audience. There are also a lot of character voice- overs that should be extremely believable and dynamic and this means that they should enhance and not detract from your work.

5. Concentrate on the background music

Background music can also be described as an essence to your whiteboard animation. This is because the viewers will be able to connect emotionally to your content. This means that the will be able to create a great memory as far as your animation is concerned and as a viewer this is what we require. It is one of the important things to remember.

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How To Differentiate Between Natural and Synthetic Leathers

Natural and synthetic leather share strong similarities in many respects. Therefore, it is important that we know their unique characteristics to make it easier to distinguish amongst them. Also, the prices of high-quality synthetic leather items are somewhat similar to those of natural leather. Owing to this, one may even mistake synthetic leather as natural leather. This article unveils the unique features of both the natural and synthetic types while highlighting their strengths and limitations. This will assist leather craftsmen and clients who will be adequately informed about the types of leather to choose for the production of a particular article.

Some of the unique features of synthetic leather that would make its identification less strenuous have been stated below.

1. It is a chemical compound that can smell badly by false processing and become discolored by taints applied.

2. It is very cold, so it is not good to wear the garment even on a windy autumn day.

3. It is heavier in weight than sheepskin, but lighter than cowhide.

4. When it gets into contact with fire it burns out immediately, even with a quick touch of fire from a lighter.

5. Though it absorbs cream like natural leather, spots appear on its surface while natural leather absorbs the nutrients of the cream like the human skin without spots.

6. When synthetic leather is touched, its surface appears rigid and is very poor in terms of softness.

7. It has a strong irritating smell of plastic.

8. When synthetic leather is burned, it produces a pungent odor and forms a lump.

9. It tears easily.

10. It is not pliable or flexible.

11. It is also nonelastic. This implies that it is not capable of resuming its original shape after stretching or compression.

On the other hand, natural leather can be identified using four physical identification methods such as hand touching, seeing, smelling and burning.

1. Hand touching: touch leather surface, if smooth, soft, plump, flexible feel is the dermis; and a general artificial surface made of synthetic leather acerbity, rigid, and poor soft.

2. Seeing: real leather surface will have a clearer and more symmetrical fine pores and pattern.

3. Smelling: Natural leather has a leather smell while synthetic leather has a strong irritating smell of plastic.

4. Burning: Tear a litter fiber from the back of real leather and artificial leather, burning, the one issued by a pungent odor, formed a lump is an artificial leather; any given hair smell, not a hard nut to crack is the real leather.

These characteristics of the types of leather and the items they can best be used in their production must be known by the leather craftsman. This would enable him or her to professional recommend a specific leather choice for the production of a leather item to clients.

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What Makes Natural Leather The Best Choice

Natural leather has several features that make it far more different from synthetic leather. These characteristics have to be known by leather craftsmen and students to help develop their taste and sharpen their judgment concerning ‘fake’ and real leather products. Some of its distinct characteristics are vividly described in this article. The aim of the paper is not to discourage leather craftsmen and producers from using artificial leather but to accentuate the unique abilities of leather gotten from nature.

1. It has an excellent molding and forming qualities-

This leather is pliable and elastic. Due to this, it can be shaped in various forms, unlike synthetic leather that can tear when exerted with pressure to conform to a particular form. Natural leather ‘listens’ to the dictates of its maker without difficulty. Owing to its nature, it can take the form and shape of objects that even have various curvy aspects. No wonder it is used for the molding of bottles, vases, jars and even sculptural forms.

2. It has tear strength (plasticity)-

This is how leather can stand the ‘strains and stresses’ without breaking. Natural leather possesses the quality to be stretched, shaped or manipulated with tools without tearing. leather from animals is very strong and thus does not tear easily. Synthetic leather rather tears easily. This quality of natural leather explains why its products usually last longer than ‘synthe’ (synthetic) leather products. Upholstery in cars is produced with it because it can stand various forms of tension as a result of seating.

3. Puncture strength-

It is very difficult to create punctures in products made of natural leather. Pointed objects cannot easily pierce through natural leather products. That is why, in the construction industries, workers are mandated to wear boots produced from it. Personal protective gadgets such as jackets and cardigans are usually produced with it.

4. It has an insulating ability-

Leather in a natural state has the ability to reduce or even preventing the transmission of heat or cold. That is why jackets fashioned with it are worn in both hot and cold climates. While it has excellent functions such as protecting wind and naturally ventilating so as to be well put on in autumn, winter, and spring, synthetic leather does not. It protects its wearer from the harsh weather conditions.

5. It can be tooled, carved and embossed-

Because of its thickness, it can be carved, tooled and embossed with the greatest ease. These production techniques cannot be employed on synthetic leather due to its lightness.

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How to Prepare for Model Casting

Awesome, you have just got your ticket to enter an exciting industry. However, your performance at Casting is pivotal in determining whether you get selected by the agency and paves the way for the subsequent opportunities you will acquire as a model.

1. Check and follow the requirements

Important details such as the timing of the casting call, what you need to bring, expected dress code and all the important details must be strictly followed to ease your casting process. It is very unlikely that you will attend an audition where there aren’t many others casting for the same opportunity, and the agency rarely has much time to waste. So being late or not bringing what is required will significantly slow down the process and cause you to wait much longer. Besides, that is the last first impression you want to create (Or the last impression you will make). Check the website to see what’s required for casting and call the agency and clarify directly.

2. Your overall look: Simple.

Your look is something you need spend some time thinking about. A model agency wants to see the raw talent and beauty you can offer them for them to work with. If you wrap yourself up in makeup, fancy patterned shirts/dresses, and excessive jewelry it will interfere with their creativity which is trying to suit your natural look to multiple modeling styles. You will result in creating an impression that you are not a versatile model. Go as simple as you possibly with the lightest makeup. For example, a bit of foundation to hide some blemishes and scars.

Check if there is a dress code in the description else just wear a solid colored dress, jeans, tank top or anything that makes you comfortable so long as it’s simple and plain colored. A further tip, don’t apply too much perfume or cologne as it may put off the judge/interviewer if he/she doesn’t like that smell. Apply some basic deodorant to ensure your odor is in control and that would suffice.

3. Healthy lifestyle, radiate natural beauty

The best way to look good naturally is to stick to healthy wholesome foods and completely avoiding fried, oily and fast food. You also want to drink enough water and get the adequate sleep you need as you lead up to your casting call. You should stay off alcohol and late nights at least week before your casting call.

4. Expect to wait

Waiting is going to be hard if you are impatient. Casting calls are usually filled with many aspiring hopefuls so you will most likely have to wait for some time before your turn. Bring a book or newspaper you can read while you wait, and don’t let the waiting affect your emotion and thought. It is completely expected and normal to wait, and no matter what time you are called you should always go to your casting with a cool head.

5. Wear your confidence

Whether you get selected by a model agency or not, remember to be vibrant, lively, smile and be enthusiastic about the whole casting session. Answer the question posed to you confidently and that alone should sail you to land the spot.


Have fun, be confident and give it your best shot. If you fail, it’s not the end. Ask about what you can improve on, work on your look and style and try again at the various agencies available.

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Fundamentals in Basketmaking

Basket making or basketry is the process of weaving pliable materials such as willow, cane or rush.

Baskets have been made for many centuries, probably even before any records started. Unlike pottery the material used to make baskets will have decomposed within a relatively short time, so it’s impossible to know exactly when they were first made.

Woven containers can be made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials; anything that will bend to form a shape – and not break! Examples include pine, straw, stems, animal hair, hide, thread, and fine wooden splints.

Indigenous peoples are especially known for their basket-weaving techniques. They often trade their baskets for other goods or food, and may also use them for religious ceremonies. You can find many beautiful examples of ancient baskets which shows the makers were highly skilled craftsmen or women from their time.

Basketry can be classified into four types:


Using materials that are wide and braid-like palms

Wicker or Splint Basketry

This process uses wicker, Reed, Willow, Oak or Ash, where the material is woven in and out of radial uprights attached to a base to create the form.


Twining uses materials from roots and tree bark. It’s a weaving technique where two or more flexible weaving elements known as ‘weavers’ cross each other as they weave through the stiffer radial spokes.

Coiled Basketry

Coiling uses rope, grasses and rush. The baskets are made by coiling a bunch of the material around and round and tying with some kind of twine.

Before the advent of plastics baskets were used extensively throughout the world for carrying, picking, sorting, storing and transporting of goods. In the UK the willow growing and basket making industry was vast, particularly in the wetlands of Somerset and in eastern counties around Norfolk, with whole communities involved. We now have machines that strip willow, but originally the whole community, including the local children, would have been put to work stripping the bark from the willow. The industries are still there, but to a much lesser extent.

Other than the advent of plastic, world trade has enabled us now to buy baskets in enormous quantities from all over the world and we’ve seen a huge increase in the volume of imported baskets from the Far East.

Apart from a few companies of basket makers, most makers now work alone and probably supplement making with some teaching or demonstrating. Some have taken the craft into the world of art, making sculptures rather than traditional baskets.

It’s a very nice thing to do, to spend an hour or so turning a little bundle of some pliable material into a useful object. Very satisfying and there are lots of opportunities to take courses around the country.

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A Beginner’s Guide on How To Draw

fashion-figuresHave you ever thought how artists come up with the greatest drawings that leave you wishing you knew how to draw? Well most of them didn’t grow up drawing, they learnt the art of drawing. Whether you dream of becoming the next Pablo Picasso or are simply thinking of giving your own imagination a creative outlet, you can learn how to draw in three simple steps. Here, take a look.

Step 1: Start with a rough sketch

Beginners who wish to be great artists should start by drawing the simplest things from a rough sketch. For instance, if you are drawing a flower, don’t draw one petal at a time. You may end up drawing one section of the object and forgetting about the big picture. If you ignore sketching what you want to draw you may also end up running out of room or end up with an unattractive imbalanced picture.

When it comes to sketching, simply use light repeated strokes and loosen things up. You are bound to make mistakes but don’t mind about them. This is simply putting a general idea on paper and not perfecting it. If you are drawing a real object, compare what you have sketched and what is on the original object. The sizes of the shapes relative to each other should be as accurate as possible.

Imagine what you want your flower to look like ultimately then have a light sketch of your imagination with a pencil. The best way to have a more realistic drawing is to imagine the basic shapes the object is made of.

Step 2: Enhance your sketch

You can use darker/heavier line to elaborate your sketch. This is a great way to bring out parts of the drawing you need. You can take out the lines you don’t need. You can add details to your drawing bit by bit but always make sure you look back to see if it has what you wanted. There are several techniques you can use to enhance your ability to express ideas through your art.

You can draw with shadings. Think of how the light hits an object and which parts of the body need more light or need to be darker. This is a simple way to add intensity, depth and luminosity to your drawing.

It is also important to practice with shadows if you wish to have a more realistic drawing. You can be good at shadows if you study and understand the way light normally reflects from objects and the shadow that its leaves.

Step 3: Add realism touches

Understand what makes a certain object look real in a drawing. Mastering this practice is key if you want to make your drawings appear more life-like. This involves familiarizing yourself with perspective-meaning things that are far look smaller and that ones that are nearer look bigger. Also understand the proportion of the image-how different parts of an object relate to each other.

With that in mind, you will be able to have a drawing that looks better than what you used to draw. You will not have a perfect drawing at first. It is important to understand that drawing is an art that gets better with practice.

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The Forming Techniques in Leatherwork: Gluing and Stitching


This process ensures the permanent joining or securing of the various parts of the intended article together. Usually, small pins are used by some leather craft men to initially secure the pieces together as a final check before the actual stitching or gluing is carried out. Other leather craft men oversew the edges of the pieces temporarily together with cotton as a checker to test the general outlook of the article. The temporary sewing is very important because any corrections can be easily made before the actual and permanent stitching is done. When the leather craft man is very satisfied and convinced of the assembling after carrying out the temporary stitching, the final gluing or stitching is then carried out. If the various pieces are to be secured with glue, the areas are well sanded to smooth and free them of any dirt that would disturb the binding. The brush is dipped in the glue and then applied gently at the edges to be secured together.

Most adhesives after their application need time to set before they can stick together. If this is the case, the leather craft man allows the applied adhesive to set. The duration is dependent on the type of adhesive or cements applied. After the adhesive is set (Most leather craft men use their fingers to check whether is set), the edges are gently brought together with great caution by working on them from one point to another till all the parts are permanently secured. Excess glue is neatly wiped with a piece of cloth and left to dry in an airy space or area.


If stitching is to be carried out, the pieces to be sewn are brought together. A stitch spacer is used in creating the holes at the edges of the pieces. The tool is held in the left hand in a vertical position and hit at the handle end with a hammer. To ensure equal spacing of the holes, the first prong of the tool is placed in the last hole created. A piece of linoleum or strawboard is placed under the leather during the piercing process so as not to damage the teeth of the stitch spacer. It would be a good plan to rule a line with a bone folder or tracer as a guide for the holes. The corners of the articles are best pierced with an awl. If threads will be used for sewing, they must be strong and their color should be close as possible to the color of the leather to create color harmony.

To make the threads stronger, the leather craft man may rub it slightly in beeswax. This would also reduce frequent curling or knotting during the sewing. Needles with round large eyes are best suitable for the sewing. The threads should not be pulled too tight or too loosely. If it is pulled too tight, it may cut through the leather and draw it out of shape while making it loose would make the entire piece look clumsy.

If thonging is to be done, the holes punched in each of the pieces must unite if a perfect joining is to be achieved. Enough allowance should be left from the edges of the pieces before the holes are created. If this is not done and the stitches are made exactly at the edges, the sewing will not be strong and may wear out very soon after constant handling. The thronging technique to be used by the leather craft man must be well thought of because the various thronging styles have specific articles they can suit best.

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