Friday, April 6, 2018

Biotech Company Shows Off New Product Line with Updated Catalog Photos

H2Optx, Inc. needed a new set of product photos for it's complete product lineup and Fall marketing push.

With direction from their VP of Marketing Development, I shot, touched up and removed backgrounds for more than 30 images of their 2015 line of chemical testing products. For this job, I built a custom adjustable portable tabletop backdrop to be set up at the client's location and arranged a two-strobe lighting setup with a white "infinity" background to aid in later background removal.

The images needed to be high-resolution and have completely transparent backgrounds ("knockouts") so the client could use them in any way they needed. Below are some of the final images chosen by the client.

Two similar devices side-by-side

Access panel open

Device accessory

Closeup of sample collection mechanism

H2Optx, Inc. provides multi-spectral on-line measurement products for the Pharmaceutical, Food, and Fine Chemical industries.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What's in My Camera Bag?

What I carry depends on what I'm doing, where I'm going, and what I need. I am never without some image/movie capture tool. If you've ever wondered what the best camera in the world is, it's the one you have with you when a photo opportunity presents itself.

iPhone 6s. The built-in camera and a few other choice photography apps are the go-to solution when I am out and about and not specifically intent on shooting a particular subject. My favorite photo apps are ProCamera, and SnapSeed.

Canon EOS 6D. The full-frame image sensor helps to make short work of wide-angle landscapes, close-up nature photography, portraiture, product photography, and low-light subjects where the utmost quality and resolution are needed. One of the most affordable full-frame camera's available. (The EOS 6D was superseded by the EOS 6D Mark II in mid-2017, but many reviews favor the dynamic range of the original 6D). The 22 megapixel Images produced by the 6D can be easily cropped for producing compositions that maintain detail and subtle color variations unattainable with smaller sensor cameras.

Canon Powershot S100. I've always been a fan of Canon's S-series cameras. The 12 megapixel S100 is a pocketable, high quality workhorse, despite it's age. It's larger than average image sensor, moderate wide zoom and good fast lens make it a perfect carry-around camera when I want the extra control of real manual shooting in lower than ideal light.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300. Panasonic's Lumix FZ series long-zoom cameras are a great combination of features, versatility, lens and image quality. They have been favorites of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts for years. The FZ300 produces great images and movies despite its small 1/2.3" image sensor. The 12 megapixel FZ300 has a Leica-designed, constant f/2.8 aperture 25-600mm lens, fully articulated LCD screen, weather sealing, 5-axis image stabilization, focus-peaking, focus-stacking, touch-screen, built-in wi-fi and 4K video. In bright sunlight and other well-lit situations, the technical image quality of the FZ-series cameras is just about unmatched.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Quick Turn on Vector Art Conversion Allows Finished Product Presentation at Tradeshow

Bitmap to vector artwork conversion
H2Optx, Inc. needed some outline art created and prepped for vinyl cutting in short order for presentation of their latest medical industry measurement and testing products at the Annual IFPAC Conference in Arlington, VA.

I was provided the original product logotypes in a PDF file along with logo size and font requirements.

In less than 24 hours, I reproduced the logotypes as vector-based digital artwork and generated the outline-only files required by the vinyl cutter.

The product decals were produced and applied to the company's three products in time for the IFPAC Conference.

H2Optx, Inc. provides multi-spectral on-line measurement products for the Pharmaceutical, Food, and Fine Chemical industries.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Friday, December 25, 2015

Illustration Technique: The 3D Look

Personal Workstation Concept, colored pencil, marker, 1985
The "3D Look" is just about any style that evokes a sense of depth and perspective - a feeling of being next to an object, or being able to reach out and touch it.

The purpose of an illustration is to communicate. Being realistic may often take a back seat to the communication of the idea or concept. I have found that it is frequently possible to create illustrations that have a certain sense of realism but also communicate the desired idea and do not necessarily need to be the most difficult to execute. This usually involves combining a number of techniques and resources to arrive at the desired effect.

It generally takes more time to create a 3D-style illustration using computer software, than traditional tools like pen, ink, marker, and airbrush. With 3D graphics software, the subject is placed on a virtual stage. The lighting, background, environment and other "real-world" issues are accurately simulated.

CGI Rendring, 3D Modeling Software, 1990

Several methods are used to obtain a 3D-look.

The most common, is the use of 3D modeling and rendering software. The big advantage of 3D graphics software is that all you have to do to create a different angle is just move a virtual camera and re-render the scene. Doing that with pen and ink would be extremely time consumptive, and not repeatable. This method produces a specific look. It is more difficult to draw attention to a particular area or object in the scene and it is next to impossible to repeat specific colors from one image to the next.

This method offers the least amount of control over specific elements in the scene, lacks a certain level of detail and it's harder to control consistency between different views, but it is a great method if multiple views or angles of an object are needed.
Carrying Case Line Drawing, Adobe Illustrator
Another method is the use of a photograph or other image of an actual object as a guide and drawing over it, enhancing, coloring, adjusting line widths, etc. according to the requirements. This technique works best for existing objects and products when the specific style is needed. It's fairly quick and produces a very distinctive look.
Telescope Cutaway, Adobe Illustrator
Other 3D-style drawings can be created by just "eyeballing it."  This requires a keen sense of spacial relationships, perspective and proportion.

The vast majority of the illustrations I've created are scalable vector-based graphics. This means that the illustration can be used at any size, reproduced on any printer or screen without losing detail and clarity.

The vector graphics format is the most versatile and generally offers the best clarity for either web or print.

Other methods for creating 3D-style illustrations abound. There are even ways of combining photographs, 3D renderings and line work in the same illustration.

Just about anything created using these methods can be purposed for the web, print or other media. Knowing what the goals and requirements are at the beginning through careful discovery and analysis is essential in determining the best approach in order to achieve the best result.