Episode Book Cover – Hammer Into Anvil


Prisoner Episode Book Cover

Design Assignment for Week 4

Out of the two choices of the “to do” assignments – I chose the book cover recreating  the aesthetic of Spacesick .

My first thought was the Dance of the Dead episode and having multiple skeletons, a sample was too close to that content and swaying me in replicating instead of creating.

While the look and feel is replicated – the process did require using design components to create. Space, form, size, color, place, text.

I used PhotoShop as my tool.

  • Paper size canvas – black

  • Brush – Sponge edges highlight then go back in with background color to soften and break up

  • add Gaussian Blur – minimal

  • Use Blur tool – large and draw dark into light colors

  • Add rectangles for heading – fill with color

  • Find camera icon and copy paste into file – Use SKEW to lengthen lens part

  • Add Text Fields with Helvetica fonts Bold and Regular

  • Find copyright free, free icons of hammer and anvil

  • Open in new file and use color replacement tool to add color to each

  • Scale

  • Rotate

  • Copy and paste into new layer in first file – place

  • Duplicate hammer layer to make multiples to set in pattern

  • change opacity for each layer going back

  • cut out shadow of hammer – SKEW, Rotate, Scale,
  • Add Title and tag line

  • Futz around

  • Export as jpeg

  • I am also going to import to my iPad and use some photo apps to add some noise to the finished product to see what that does to age or make it look used. If they turn out  – I will add them to this post.


I used an app called Snapseed. Adds effects. The part I don’t like is the randomness and just flipping from one effect to another. There really isn’t a way for you to create or control it – or get back to one you may have liked. It is take it when you see it. It does easily add some aging. I used the Grunge filter.

Added a filter

Gnomes, The Moon and The Porch

Iceland FairyTale Week

It is visual assignment week in #burgeron106 and it is Icelandic week as well. That means, gnomes, elves, fairies and more.

The poster could be “design” because it is a poster- but I used my own photos to create it. (well – except for NanaLou’s porch)

I used a shot of the moon off my deck. I have tried for moon shots for a long time and this one is a step up in starting to understand the settings on my camera.  It is from the fall – but it also forced me to get my camera out again and actually use it over my phone.

Moonin' - almost there! Spooky!

From there I decided to learn how to use the external flash and remote I got for Christmas this last year.  I used it once and could never get it to work again – packed it away.

remotes flash

I spent about an hour trying to get the flash to fire when I took a picture – nothing worked and I have about 200 pictures of only black to prove it! Searched the Internet and everything said “not a problem – works easily – not difficult”…….hmnnn……..after a few more tries I finally figured it out! I had put the receiver on backwards!

Problem solved.

I use the external flash in one hand and hold it at different angles as I shoot to get different effects. I have some Tom Clark Gnomes that I collected years ago and have since moved to the basement with the former collections of things and thought they would make good subjects. More on how I shot the pics as the next products are completed.

Once I had the picture and lighting I liked – I cropped it and added it to the poster.

So while it looks like a design assignment – I am focusing on the visual and photography – and pictures telling a story. 🙂



The Cows are Coming Home!


Design Week at the Bovine County FairyTale Festival


Celtic Series Poster

NanaLou is working with her granddaughter Rochelle, Cousin Ron, and the famous Headless Inkspots of #ds106 to pull together a Celtic musical performance on “The Porch”.

“The Porch” is where the adults gather at sunset after the children have had their story time and are settling in for the night. With the Fairy Tale Festival in full swing – performances and jam sessions are happening around the themes of the festival.

The Black-Spotted Maid performance is anxiously awaited. How it came to be? Well – NanaLou can tell you!

One thing I really appreciate about a network of people who collaborate is how I am pushed to reach for my best. I think that might be the case in just publishing for others to see as well – but when you have an active group it does help you to reach your best at the time.

I had an idea for this promo poster when @RockyLou22 posted she was working on it. I pulled something together at a late night hour and let the group know I was working on something…..

While I liked the bright colors and some other things – it was just quickly put together. On rare occasions you luck out and the first one is a charm – looking at this one, I needed to go back (and yet after it is all done – there are still some things I like about this version).

I pulled it up again to work on it in PhotoShop.

  • Open PNG file of NanaLou’s porch
  • Open Cow GIF in another file
  • Clear out background of cow pic
  • Smooth edges and clean up
  • Save, copy and paste into poster file as layer
  • Create a background layer – went with a pink to hint at sunset
  • Put background in as Dissolve and pattern
  • Blurred background
  • Used Filter – Clouds Made this base layer
  • Changed opacity on porch graphic to give it more of a late in the day feel
  • Added Text
  • Used  Warped Text Features to create titles lots of playing around!
  • oh…..and I followed NanaLou’s lead and installed a celtic looking font….
  • Went back in and cleared out more of the treehouse pic to give it more grounding and be able to see horizon line.
  • From there it was mostly moving, looking at things – tweaking – increasing the canvas size and images so there was more balance….

Glad I had others who would be looking at it as it pushed me to make it better!

I did do the first draft with a GIF of SuperMoo’s cape in the wind….still need to go back and do that! Ahhh!!! the pressure! But I love it!




Challenge from Ben Rimes

I saw a post in Twitter today about a possible assignment for the #ds106 assignment bank.

Looking at the sample it was point on.  A great assignment for design and working on Photoshop or GIMP skills. The sample is part of an Adobe Education Lesson. (you need to set up yourself as a member to get access to – free to join)

I had some time so decided to take the challenge from @mdvfunes (Mariana Funes) and @techsavvyed (Ben Rimes). I also totally agree with Ben in completing something myself before asking others to do similar tasks. Which is probably why I felt so compelled to complete this after opening my beak and suggesting he submit it to the assignment bank. I hope he does try it as well – I would love to see what he comes up with creates.

Originally a lesson for middle and high school students the instructions require a size of canvas and other parameters. There is also a pre-established list of movie combinations to choose from, most likely to keep students working in a lab situation over a week. A classroom situation is not always the best for creating. 50 minutes at a crack of starting up and shutting down. Someday classrooms will change. I think students in a week-long unit an hour at a time have an added burden in creating. Just think of what they might do if allowed to follow their own creative clock! Okay – back to the work….

I decided to use Roman Holiday and National Lampoon’s Vacation as my Movie Mates.

Finding various posters and images for each movie I settled on about 3 from each that had pretty good graphics to start. I used the BluRay cover for Vacation as it was more to the style of the Roman Holiday posters and a better match for combining. Next was pulling out the objects that I thought I could use in a new rendition of a meld. Each object was cut, blended, shaped, saved and copied to a working canvas. I did most of it by sight and sense using layers for each object, text block and the background.

I found a shared template for movie poster credits that helped with creating the text style for the credits.  As I was looking for some advice on creating the credits box I found a great WIKI on graphic design that includes a section on movie posters. I probably should have reviewed this first – but now have it bookmarked for a next creation.

I have two versions of the poster. Still not totally happy with the layout. BUT – I am going to put this one to rest at this point and move on to adapting the task to creating a movie poster for the Burgeron Family Summer Trailer gathering this summer. My thought is to combine Bernie Burgeron (my character) with some of the others in the family and their stories from last summer leading to the Fairytale festival this year. We will see if this comes together or not…..

Thanks for the challenge Ben and Mariana – it was a fun few hours. I’d rate this assignment as 3 stars – maybe 4 if there was more tied to a genre or character.

Roman Holiday Vacation

Movie Poster Meld v2

The assignment is available in the bank here.

Pulp-o-mizer DS106 Daily Create

If the Daily Create was a magazine…..

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image (2)

What would a pulp DS106 magazine look like?
Design it! Use any application you want but there is an easy online generator called Pulp-o-mizer.

Not much of a sci-fi or space aficionado, but did like playing with the Pulp-o-mizer app.

During the lull of facilitated ds106 courses and open course – well, being open course and all over the place – or no place at all, Daily creates are a way to keep creating and to spurn the seeds for larger creations.

The idea of a magazine cover as part of a story is interesting. The pulp-o-mizer has it a certain genre to it, but the examples of how typography, photos, background, multiple text areas of emphasis can play into design is helpful and something to practice for future creations.

Thanks to @RonaldL for sharing his passion for this app and how it can get those daily creative juices flowing.