04 – Tortoise. Completing the file

Sat, 30 Jan 2010

Having completed the line layouts it is time to add colour. Not one of my strengths. For this reason I keep my eyes open for colour schemes that I like and put scans or clipping of then in my notebook. The one above is something I spotted in the magazine Digital Artist. I pick out three or four colours from a scheme then add them to my page as coloured rectangles. As a side note after I completed the model I realised that yet again I’d used orange as the base colour. Note to self – don’t use orange for a while!

I create a new layer in Illustrator for the colours.I have a layer above this for the lines and numbers. Having the colours on separate layers lets me quickly flip the colours on and off so that I can quickly change between colour and mono versions of the model.

Once I’ve got the colour added to the model I print out the parts sheets on my cheapo printer (It’s and Epson Stylus S20) then carefully score and cut out all the parts.

Once I have the bits all cut out I put the model together, taking photographs as I do so. This works as a test of the model and gives me a set of photographs which I use in the instructions. I usually have the laptop open by the camera. Any mistakes I spot at this stage I correct directly in the file.

Depending on the time of year/time of day I use either studio flash or daylight. In this case I used natural light. I set the camera up on a tripod in our conservatory and took a set of photographs showing the model being put together.

 I run the pictures through PhotoShop to trim them down an reduce their size. I then place the pictures in the instruction document in Illustrator and write up the instructions.

That takes me to the end of the process. All I need to do now is upload the file to the website and let people know it’s there by writing a newsletter.

I realise there’s a lot of information covered in this description. I’m planning to go into more depth on individual aspects of the process in future editions.

I hope you’ve found this introduction to the process of creating a paper animation interesting.


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Comments (4)

  • Anonymous January 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Shelley Say:

    Much more than interesting, Rob! Absolutely fascinating to see some of your methods. Knowing your approach doesn’t ruin the magic, it only increases my admiration.

    • robives January 31, 2010 at 10:22 am

      Thanks Shelley!
      Its only as

      Thanks Shelley!

      Its only as I’ve gone through the process that I’ve realised just how many stages there are. I plan to produce a more details outline of each stage, perhaps one stage in detai for the next few upcoming models

  • hugo leandro February 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Simply Outstanding!

    Congratulations for knowing us to understand how is a design process. I always wanted to know how many steps to create a model and you showed us a little about creating. Thank you very much, Rob, for your class.

  • drinkumbrella February 1, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I am enjoying your

    I am enjoying your behind-the-scenes coverage. Fun to see the progress (and especially the iterations/reworks — shows how even a pro keeps trying new things).

    After I had my tortoise cut out, my 7-year-old took over and wouldn’t let me do any of the gluing. Very cute, works great. He had no troubles putting it together.

    I should take a picture of my "Rob Ives Models for Members" collection! We’ve got an owl, crow, sundial, triceratops and tortoise all lined up on a shelf.