Joe Baron
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Technologies used for Illustration

Theo The Lion. Copyright Joe Baron.

Peekaboo Pirate. Copyright Joe Baron.

Illustration ideas almost always start with a pen and paper, along with a piece of creative writing and or a collection of inspirations to help outline the concept behind it.

The form is very loose at this stage. Detail is light, often basic shapes, scribbles, and general ideas to work with and develop. Not worried at all about getting things looking perfect here, or even worried about things looking a bit wrong. My hand is not necessarily skilled enough to bring my imagination to life. The image will always change, improve, and look very different in the next stages as the idea develops. The computer will bring the imagination to life regardless of any physical skill limitations with a pen.

Photoshop for detailed bitmaps and Flash Professional for vector work are the primary tools to better create a digital idea of the images. A bit of trial and error playing around in the software brings them to their final forms on a large digital canvas. I know images are right when they look right. Then they can be scaled down to requirement without loss of image quality. On resizing, web output is compressed to 72 DPI RGB and print output left at 300 DPI CYMK.

Flash Professional is also used for its unparalleled ability to create animations with your images quickly. The illustrations and animations can then be exported as flattened images and spritesheets so they can be used with any modern technology. For instance javascript, CSS3, HTML 5, and Adobe AIR. This way, the same illustrations can be used in apps and websites, as well as just stand alone digital / print images.