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Apollo 13

11-19-13 update: 

Here's a video I recorded showing how I converted my refined sketch scan into vector form using Illustrator. Hope others find it useful! 

http://youtu.be/nGVoceLuzYw

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11-18-13 update:

Thanks for the continued feedback!

I brought my refined sketches into Illustrator and have drawn them in vector form.

Concept 1: I decided to add a few small details in the process (I illustrated the part of the spacecraft that exploded, and also added the debris and gas that was venting into space).

I chose basic colors, but probably want something closer to a midnight blue for space, and I think the shade of red I chose isn't great either (I'm red-green color blind, so that's a challenge for me).

Would love to hear what people think so far -- I'll try and record a video clip tomorrow and post it to YouTube so that you can all see the steps I took in Illustrator.

Concept 2: I haven't spent much time on this one. Still deciding if I like the direction. This one uses the letter L for the authors' last name. The vector drawing is still in its infancy -- but would love feedback on the idea and the approach. I also tried to go with a light blue background for the sky. Black is the required 2nd color for the details on the Saturn V rocket. 

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11-17-13 update:

Thanks for the feedback. I've created more refined sketches for two -- and I also realized that Jessica initially told us to use the first letter of the author's last name for the drop cap. So I kept the A for one sketch, and I used L (author, Jim Lovell) for the other sketch. Here are the two sketches -- I think I'll end up creating both of them.

Refined sketch 1:

Refined sketch 2:

Any feedback would be welcome before I start the process of convering these to vector. Thanks!

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So I went with Apollo 13 - what can I say, I was enamored with the space program growing up, and I'm still in awe of what we were able to accomplish. The story of Apollo 13 is amazing on so many fronts - it was a natural choice for me. 

I brainstormed a bunch of words and phrases: moon, jim lovell, measles, explosion, cold, oxygen, carbon dioxide, gene kranz, mount marilyn, lunar module, LEM, parachute, splashdown, thumb, free return, orbit, dark side of the moon, walter cronkite, cbs news, rocket, NASA, "go flight", flight control, CAP-COM, master alarm, System-B undervolt, "Houston, we have a problem", "Failure is not an option", white vest, filter, 13, space, weightless.

I've come up with 6 sketches/concepts so far -- and I've also included some of my thoughts around each of them. Comments welcome!

BTW, if folks are interested, I'd be happy to record and post movies when I actually draw my finals in Illustrator -- you might say I know a thing or two about Illustrator :)

Sketch 1: This was the "low hanging fruit" if you will. Simply setting the drop cap in a moon. The goal in the story was to land on the moon, although that never happened.

Sketch 2: I wanted to focus on the climax of the story -- the splashdown back on earth. The shape of the capsule forms the letter A. I placed it into a TV screen as that's how most of the world experienced it -- it was a moment where everyone stopped what they were doing and watched the TV to see what would happen.

Sketch 3: This concept focuses on the launch -- I was also drawn by how the rockets are always heading to space on an angle, and it easily forms one of the legs of the letter A. 

Sketch 4: Going back to the landing, one of the suspenseful parts of the story was whether the heat shield was damaged in the accident. No one knew if the capsule would make it through re-entry. The capsule was tiny and hard to pick up in the sky, so the first real "appearance" that the capsule had made it back was when you saw the parachutes blooming in the sky. Here again, the capsule would serve as the A.

Sketch 5: This is my attempt at trying to capture the moment of the accident. When the explosion occurs, the instrument panel suddenly lights up with tons of warning lights. This is the moment where the famous line "Houston, we have a problem" is spoken.

Sketch 6: After the explosion, NASA decides to send the astronauts around, behind the moon, to get a "free return" - a slingshot effect to gain speed to get back to earth. This shows the emergence from the dark side of the moon, and also shows the lunar module still attached for the journey home. The orbit of the spacecraft completes the letter A.

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