Our Field Trip to… Field Trip!
written by Rhett Luciani
⇒06 May 2012
A week or so ago, we took a little well deserved time off and made our way to the Field Trip design conference at ACMI. I was super keen to see the methods used by the very talented designers that were presenting, and compare them to my own. So we shuffled in, rummaged through our bag full of goodies, and sat down to see the first presentation. I’ll give you a quick overview of each speaker and tell you what I took away from each presentation…
First up was the very talented Beci Orpin, who was responsible for the excellent branding of the event, and several other brilliant design jobs that I knew of. Beci took us through how she produced the concept for Field Trip under a very tight deadline. I was really interested to learn that she began her career with a very anti-computer attitude, and how in the end she came to love creating vector graphics with Illustrator. After some minor tech issues (Beci’s frustration was hilariously cute!) she got into her workflow and how she produced the artwork.
What I learnt: Creativity is definitely independent of technical ability.
Next up was Jeremy Ley. This dude has serious talent! Not being much of an illustrator myself, I really appreciated the ease with which he waved his stylus over his tablet to effortlessly produce some story boards and a finished illustration of Beci being attacked by stationery. It was very cool to see his finished illustration come to life as he gradually revealed all the layers of his photoshop file. Nice presentation!
What I learnt: Someone needs to buy me a $3000 Wacom tablet. *nudges Marc*
The presentation before lunch were the guys from 21-19, a creative team of 3D Motion Graphics & Animation. What they presented was truly impressive! The guys walked us through how they created a recent commercial animation for Telstra. 3D/Animation is something I’ve never really been exposed to, so it was good to get some insight into how designs are taken from the 2D phase into 3D. The really impressive part was the three week turnaround time that the five animations were produced in!
What I learnt: Avoid 3D modeling software – I think I got a nose bleed just looking at the UI.
After lunch was the very funny and talented Travis Price, who grew up in the same part of Victoria as me! The guy has some serious Illustrator skills! He took us through the creation of an entirely vector based character. Travis really pushes the boundaries of vector illustration, producing images that look very unvectorish (yes, I just invented that word). His use of patterns, feathering, and gradients created brilliant results and had me wanting to test out (ok then, rip off…) all of his techniques.
What I learnt: If I ever meet an owl in a hat, don’t mess with him.
Next up were Tin&Ed. I was pretty keen to see what these guys were going to produce as I have liked a lot of their past works. They were supposed to take inspiration from what Trav had produced and create something cool. Instead they cut up pieces of scrap paper and made some owl-inspired masks. Yeah… super creative guys and they’ve done great things, but this presentation was nothing exciting. Hit my 3 o’clock wall and had a little nap at this point.
What I learnt: Nothing I didn’t learn in kindergarten.
I shook myself from sleep to see a very high pair of platforms walking up on stage, enter Jo Duck! She grabbed Tin&Ed’s masks and took a few photos, then applied the mother of all photoshop actions to them. Pretty cool but I wished she talked more about what the action actually did. Frankly, I don’t think she really knew :)
What I learnt: Don’t get into editorial fashion. I like money too much.
Toby & Pete
Last but not least were Toby and Pete. Wait, I mean Toby and… some other dude. These guys are the masters of image creation/manipulation and post-production, they grabbed Travis’ owl illustration, plus Jo’s photos and worked some photoshop magic on them to produce a pretty cool 50s-esque game show scene.
What I learnt: Stick to the pen tool to cut shit out. Channel method looked painful.
All in all it was a great day. Seeing the way these creative people went about their work was awesome and In some cases I learnt a bunch of new tricks. In other ways it solidified (in my mind) that my methods are pretty good. A good experience and a fun day, topped off by a few beers, David O’Doherty making us laugh and some awesome Italian food with friends. Winning!