Saturday, August 30, 2008

Premier Pitch Lanuch at Turf City

This is the first visit to Turf City. Looking at the old buildings from the 80s made me felt like I fell into a time portal.

The point of me being there is to check out the graphics possibility of the Premier Pitch launch, on 28 Aug 2008. It's the largest indoor football pitch in Singapore that can easily house 7-aside matches on its artificial turf.

It looks pretty cool but becomes slightly warm when the tents trap heat as the afternoon sun beats down on roof.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

There are two pitches, combined about less than half the size of a soccer field. Just beside is a non-airconditioned pub where fans can watch soccer matches on a huge LCD monitor.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Kenny Dalglish, ex-Liverpool legend, has been invited for the launch. He was checking out the pitch before the launch.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Kenny Dalglish and Steve McMahon making themselves free for their fans, just before the opening ceremony. There is not a lot of fans. These players were playing before I even started watching soccer.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

This is the opening ceremony. That's Kenny Dalglish going in for the opening shot.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

He scores! Confetti explodes!

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Steve McHanon and Kenny Dalglish getting interviewed by Channelnewsasia.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Singapore under-18 is being coached today, with Steve McHanon leading. Below's a short video clip of the training. I even learned a few tricks just by watching.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

On the other pitch, we have players from the Little League. Nope, the kid in the last photo isn't injured. Kids just like laying on the ground. They are children of the guys in the group photo earlier on.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

Did I already mention that kids like laying on the ground? Their moms look on in amusement.

Premier Pitch Launch at Turf City

No prizes who the pizzas are for.

I regretted not pulling the lens back for a wider view, showing the guy talking to a lady. It would have given me more options for cropping the photo. I wonder if I could have framed this better.

If you want to check out more photos and videos, check out my Premier Pitch Launch Flickr photo set.

Friday, August 29, 2008

COMEX 2008 at Suntec City

Here are some interesting stuff I saw at the computer fair.

COMEX 2008 at Suntec City
Every time, there has to be some new marketing gimmick.

COMEX 2008 at Suntec City
Alright! Cheap cats!

COMEX 2008 at Suntec City
This looks like an awesome camera lens.

COMEX 2008 at Suntec City
What? What?

COMEX 2008 at Suntec City
I'm totally blown away by this sewing machine. Check out the specifications!

Multimedia capability? Seriously?


Did Lucius Fox use these to sew the Batman suit?

This was just before reaching Suntec City. I call this video "Crowd Consumes the Cab".

Book Review: The Art of Batman Begins

The Art of Batman BeginsThis book is also pretty light on content, just like The Dark Knight: Featuring Production Art and Full Shooting Script. It explains very little on the production of the movie. You might probably even get more information on Wikipedia.

There are pretty detailed storyboards in the book, even if they are only a few pages. The paintings and concept art to be lacking in comparison to movie stills. A lot of movie stills were included. Some of these movie stills occupy a whole page, or two by themselves. By themselves, they really served no purpose.

The cinematography for the movie was great. The composition was amazing. But there are too few reference paintings included.

This book is only for the hardcore movie fans. Batman fans won't really miss anything if they stick to their comics.

The probable reason for the lack of depth, I believe, is that not much material was provided to the author, Mark Cotta Vaz. His two other art books which I have, The Art of The Incredibles and The Art of Finding Nemo, were fantastic.

The Art of Batman Begins

The Art of Batman Begins

The Art of Batman Begins

The Art of Batman Begins

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tutorial: Creating Small Photoshop or Illustrator Files

mac photoshop icon on the dock
The point of this tutorial is to create a file, small enough to email or send to your clients, making sure that they can download and use your file effortlessly. This tutorial is for Photoshop and Illustrator users.

I work in an environment where people request for different file formats every time, and I write from that experience.

Before sending work to your client, there are two essential questions to ask:
  • 1. What file format do they need the work to be in?
  • 2. Do they need to do any changes on the file by themselves later on?
If you answer yes to the second question, you'll have to snail mail them a disc with your files on it. The files are going to be big.

I'll explore the more popular file formats, and how to reduce file sizes when working with them. At all times, keep a master copy, the file with all the layers and edits you can work on, also known as the un-flattened version of the file. I'll be touching on file saving options impacting on file sizes only, all other options you can read up from Adobe Help.

The methods I use involve compression. There will be some loss of image quality in exchange for file size savings. You'll have to find a balance between the two yourself.

Inside Photoshop

- JPEG -
JPEG is pretty much universal. Almost everyone can open and print directly with it. Before you save as, zoom in to 100% to view your image large. You'll find out why soon. When you save as, you'll see this pop up below.
Saving as JPEG

Just under the Preview check box, you'll see the potential file size. As you adjust the image quality with the slider, make sure you check the Preview check box. That way, you can see the changes the compression does to the quality of your image. If you have view your file at 100%, you'll be able to see these changes easily.

- EPS -
When you're saving it as a Photoshop EPS file, the most important option to check is the JPEG (maximum quality) under Encoding. If you have text inside the file, choose to check include vector data as well.


In this process, your work will be flatten, compressed with JPEG encoding, then saved. The file size savings can be huge depending on which JPEG quality you have chosen earlier. It's not uncommon to compress a 100mb working file into a Photoshop EPS file which is below 10mb.

- PDF -
If your client wants the file in PDF, cool too. You can use JPEG compression inside PDF files. When you do a save as, choose the Photoshop PDF format from the format drop menu. The following pop up will appear.
Don't preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities

The important thing to note here is to choose Press Quality or High Quality Print from the Adobe PDF preset drop menu.

Uncheck the Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities.

Click on the Compression tab on the left and you'll see the screen below.
Downsize the Photoshop files

Here you can downsample the resolution of the image file. You just have to make sure that you're choosing the same pixels per inch (PPI) as your client printer's dots per inch (DPI). A default of 300 PPI should get you a very high resolution print.

Your file size is dependable on the compression method, I chose JPEG here, and the image quality. For a 100mb file, I was able to compress it to under 3mb, when I set the image quality to High, instead of Maximum.

Text will still retain their vector qualities.

- TIFF -
When saving as a TIFF file, choose not to include layers, as shown below. This will flatten all the layers into one.

Don't include Layers for TIFF

There are plenty of compression options to choose for TIFF files. The one with the best file size savings comes from JPEG. You can choose the level of compression you want.
JPEG Compression for TIFF
Inside Illustrator

It's difficult to save a small file using Illustrator EPS if you have placed images inside the file. Snail mail's the way.

- Illustrator PDF -
The dialogue box is almost similar to Photoshop's. Again, choose either Press Quality or High Quality Print.

Uncheck Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities.
Illustrator PDF

Under the compression tab, choose the number of PPI/DPI to downsample to. Ask your client for the magic number. 300 is default, and pretty safe.

For Compression, just leave it at Automatic (JPEG) or JPEG.

The Image Quality drop menu directly impacts the file size. Choose the one that saves a PDF that shows visually almost no difference, but creates a smaller file size. It's typically either the Maximum or High option.

- JPEG -
If you want to save the Illustrator file as a JPEG, you have to do it from the Export menu option. Again, you'll see familiar options.
illustrator jpeg

Note here that with the JPEG, you'll lose the vector qualities.

Choose the quality and make sure you open and preview JPEG file before sending off. Unlike Photoshop, there's no on the fly Preview function here.

- Other Illustrator file formats -
You can export your Illustrator file as other file formats. But they don't typically allow for compression.

One work around might be to import the file into Photoshop and see what you can do there.

Book Review: Cartoon Modern

Cartoon ModernThis book makes for a very good source of inspiration and research. The author, Amid Amidi, has created a book of depth and scope, just like he did for The Art of Robots.

The chapters are arranged alphabetically. Each showcases an animation studio, with the background and the art. The 50s cartoons were extremely stylized. In fact, looking at this book, it reminds me of The Art of The Incredibles, which contains very stylized concept art.

The wonderfully varied collection of cartoons come from commercials, TV programs, films and the printed media, covering a wide selection of genres. You'll get to explore and read from lesser known studios to animation giants like Disney.

This book should probably create nostalgia in people who grew up watching and reading cartoons. It's a wonderful book for animators and cartoonists.

Cartoon Modern

Cartoon Modern

Cartoon Modern

Cartoon Modern

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Streaming Music: Yasunori Mitsuda's Kirite

I've been listening to Yasunori Mitsuda's Kirite album on so much that I thought it would be easier if I can just create a fake album that actually plays on this entry. That way, I don't have to go to their individual pages anymore.

Maybe I'll just grab it off from eBay.

Enjoy. It's a wonderful soundtrack to a novel. Mitsuda's the creater of Chrono Cross's soundtrack.

1. Is Kirite Burning?

2. Volfino City

3. Promise of the Wind - Where the Petals Are

4. Lapis Lazuli Forest

5. Blue Sky

6. Sneering Drawn Blade

7. Melody of the Moon

8. Encounter - Curtain of Darkness

9. Nocturne

10. Dying Autumn

11. The Snow's Howl

12. Trees of Prayer

13. The Name of Hope

14. Eternal Ring

Wikipedia entry on Kirite
Kirite's official webpage

Confessions of a Non-iPhone User

Life is good.

There are no yellow tints on the LCD to worry about. I don't have to post questions in forums asking people if they are suffering from the same mechanical problems I have. I don't have to read complaints on unpleasant customer services from money sucking service providers. It's a bonus that no time is wasted on queuing up for purchase and then for after service support.

Also not in my mind are worries of the iPhone getting scratched, stolen or dropped.

My money is still in my pocket. I'm glad I didn't have to sign a 2 year contract with anyone. It's not that I can't afford the iPhone, since I'm now blogging this on my quad core 3.0ghz Mac Pro. It's just that the value for the iPhone isn't justified, yet.

So at the moment, everything's well.

Life is good.

Book Review: The Art of Howl's Moving Castle

The Art of Howl's Moving CastleThe following summary is useful. It's from the "About this book" section.

This book is a collection of concept sketches, concept art, backgrounds, character designs (including painted versions), and still images for Hayao Miyazaki's animated film, Howl's Moving Castle, based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones. All concept sketches are by Miyazaki. Concept art and backgrounds are by the art staff supervised by art directors Yoji Takeshige and Noboru Yoshida. Character designs are by supervising animators Akihiko Yamashita and Takeski Inamura. The background art and still images for this book were created from digital data. Scene images without captions are still images.

The book is split into 3 parts. Part 1 is about Miyazaki's concept sketches. Part 2 contains concept art, background art, character designs and concept sketches. Part 3 is the script, or final screenplay.

If you've other Art of series book from Miyazaki's movies, you'll not be unfamiliar with the content of the book. There are lush paintings, incredibly creative colour pencil storyboards and plenty of movie stills.

The concept art pieces are presented linear to the movie's storyline. Captions that follow explains the scene for the movie, which is useful to relate back to the film.

Throughout the book, there are breaks with narration from the art directors and animators explaining the movie's production process. They would talk about animation, colour design, research and characters. There's a short section that explains how computer graphics was used to overcome the limitations of cell drawing, which I thought was rather interesting.

There are several versions of the book. The one sold on is published by VIZ Media and contains the final screenplay. It's hard covered.

If you like this book, you might also want to check out the other art-of books I have reviewed for Studio Ghibli's movies.

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list