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Silvaplana

Well, we're only allowed one project(understandably), so I will continue on this project board with a new poster. Below is the original and how far I've gotten so far. It's more complicated project, but with all the clearly defined shapes seems more appropriate for illustrator. Plus, it's pretty! 

I expect some fun stuff with those intersecting rectangular shapes in the reflection. One question that is coming up is how to customize the gradients. I'm noticing in a lot of these posters the gradients follow the edge of a shape. In this example both the shadow and highlight of the mountain shapes closely follows the shape edges. Sort of like a "glow." I've started approximating the gradients using large radial gradients, but it's not going to work for a bunch of those. Any ideas?

silvaplana part 2

In the interest of transparency I'm' leaving the first project up for the next couple days. After that I'll delete it so that the project consists of what I'm actually working on. This afternoon I've been working on those refelcted rectangles in the poster. They are very fun, but the gradient problem is still tricky. My best solution so far is to use multiple shapes with different transparent gradients layered one on top of the other. It's tricky and hard to control, more than two gradient gets pretty tricky to work with. I have started making layers within layers order to organize the project. 

I'm excited to start working on the mountain shapes. I think I'll have to make a different sub-layer for each shape so that I can keep track of the various gradient transparencies I'll use to get the shadows and highlights.

My other thought is to paint a gradient in photoshop and import that as a layer mask.

Shapes shapes and More Shapes

Instead of worrying about the gradients I decided to push through and finish the shapes.I colored them all different so it was easier to distinguish one from the next. I accidentally left a few with stroke marks. I use two or three different approaches to making shapes. The first, and perhaps the easiest was to just layer one shape below the other so that the overlap creates the edge of the sub-shape. Then I decided it would be a good idea to make the shapes interset at the same vector paths. I used the pathfinder tools, intersect, exclude, minus-background to various effect. I think this second way of working is better, but without a clear working pattern(front to back or back to front) It was kind of random and I ended up with a coupke hundred individual paths. One of those pathfinder tools creates a lot of paths.

Despite those challenges I pretty much finished the mountain shapes. My layer pallette is kind of a wreck now and it will take some work to clean it up. I am thinking that the next step, filling irregular gradients will be best done with a combination of the spray-tool in Photoshop and layer masks in illustrator. Again, if anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

I just noticed things are slightly shifted. This file is getting very big. I figured out one way to create non-linear/circular gradients. I make two(or more) rectangles of different colors, Object->blend, then select them and create a new art bruch. Then I paint where I want the shadow or highlight to go, adjust the line, then Make clipping maks with the shape and the brush stroke. Yikes!

It's pretty tedious and there was a lot of trial and error. Getting the blend correct seems like key to making a brush that works. Also, when I made the mountain shadow shapes I did it rather haphazardly, so some shapes are actually just negative-space blobs of the shapes in front of them. That meant I had to hack through some of the gradients. A couple are just brush gradients hidden behind another shape. 

The next piece to tackle: the mountain highlight was made in a more consistent manner(I hope), so my plan is to use the above technique also in a more consistent manner.

The final.

The final and original. You can see how some of my shapes overlap the artboard.

Overall I'm happy with the result. The hand-painted gradients aren't realy working the way I want them to. I gave up on making blend-brushes and just made wonky elipsiod gradients:

You can't see the gradient tool, but get an idea of it's shape from the gradient in selected object. I'd love to hear if you have a solution to the problem I'm attacking.

The typeface is a pretty rough approximation: Avenir Next and Avenir Next Condensed.

Let me know what you think. I'll be over at InDesign next. Cheers!

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