Saturday, June 16, 2012

Venus Transit T-shirt Concept Art!

I don't know about you, but I often find it quite interesting to get behind-the-scenes looks at how things are made. My analytical mind is constantly analyzing everything I see (even when I'm not consciously aware of it), trying to find out what makes good things successful, and why unsuccessful things fail. In that vein, concept art is a very useful learning tool. Seeing what was kept and what was dropped helps in understanding the thought that went into the creative process, which is very interesting for a creative person like me.

Having said that, I'm rather happy to be able to unveil some of the first pieces of concept art ever on this blog. This one is an alternate design for the transit of Venus T-shirt that was rejected (with good reason) because it didn't stand out very well. I was trying to imitate the appearance of a solar flare with a picture I took of the Sun through our solar telescope last year, an idea I had only just come up with.

Concept art for the transit of Venus T-shirt. I hadn't even put a simulated Venus on yet, and this was before we ditched the photo of Mauna Kea for a more stylized approach.

I thought at the time (and still do) that this was a really cool way of making lettering, but I also see why it wouldn't have made a good poster. It's fairly ethereal, and doesn't really stick out much. Also, it's rather time-consuming to make each individual letter, though to be fair I did spend a good amount of time placing and adding a separate gradient to each letter in the official "Transit Of Venus" header that ended up on the poster. (Notice how I'm analyzing my own work now? Told you I'm constantly doing it.)

All in all I still think it's a neat design, and I'll be filing away the idea in case I ever need to use it again some time. (The secret to it, by the way, is nothing more than repeated applications of the Smudge tool in GIMP.)

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