Monday, April 22, 2013

Mars Needs Pasties

My mother, a farm girl born in the mid-50s, loved going to the drive in.  Since my sister and I were little, my mother has shared that love with us.  We grew up on films like Forbidden Planet, Day of the Triffids, Them!, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Although I ended up being far more interested in horror, I'm sure my mother's passion for low budget sci-fi must be buried in my DNA.  I still have my ragged, 20¢ copy of The Encyclopedia of Monsters tucked away on my bookshelf.  I'll be dusting it off in preparation for the long overdue B-movie session of Toons On Tap.

Moreover, days before completing the AniJamRed Herring enlisted Jeremy and I's help on a poster.  For the fourth year in a row, Red will produce her massive nerdy burlesque show Babes In Space.  For the event poster, she wanted to place photos of her performers in an illustrated space landscape.  The deadline- the same as our event poster for Toons.  It was synchronicity.

Toons On Tap - Session 28: Life On Mars

Last October, the team and I had a zombie themed session of Toons On Tap that unfortunately hit the same day Hurricane Sandy did.  Goodbye, grocery money.

Meredith Viner (left) and Nic Farber at Toons On Tap - Session 16: Chicks With Chainsaws.  Photography courtesy of Jeffrey Adam Danyleyko.
The silver lining of the evening was that the models, Nic and Meredith, gave a very strong and expressive performance.   I knew we needed them back, and we needed them back together.

For the upcoming retro space session, Nic will play the brave space commander who encounters the hostile martian Meredith.  It will be silver go go boots, David Bowie songs, and badly positioned boom mikes all the way.  The poster, Jeremy and I decided, should be a cartoony take on movie posters like Barbarella.

Jeremy began by drawing the layout for this and the Babes in Space poster on paper.  In Photoshop, I rendered the image mainly by selecting sections with the pen tool an polygonal lasso tool, then painting the selections with a textured brush.  To create an aged look, I used steps 13, 24, and 25 from this tutorial.  In particular, the empty scanner hack is brilliant and will likely have me scanning a buttload of filthy things.

The process

The fonts used are Rollergirls and Helvetica Neue Bold.  I didn't care for the hearts above the 'I's in Rollergirls, but I did leave one heart above the 'i' in 'drawing'.  Gesture drawing can always use a little love.

The final poster, for web

Red Herring Productions presents Babes in Space

The previous productions of Babes In Space had a Star Wars vs Star Trek theme.  Red Herring is a major contender in the nerdy-burly scene, and this annual show is her flagship.

Unlike the previous poster, this image I rendered mainly by painting with a soft, textured brush on a low opacity.  Jeremy's layouts may have existed in the same world, but we didn't want the outcome of both images to be too similar.

The process

The most useful thing I learned from making the space posters was using gradient map adjustment layers in Photoshop.  Previously, I would attempt to get the same result by creating a gradient in a new layer and setting the layer style to multiply.  The effect isn't even close.

Forgive me, Jeffrey, for butchering your photo.

Maybe everyone else knew about this, but existence of adjustment layers is blowing my mind.  For me, Photoshop feels like a whole universe to explore.


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