Recent Project
Wine Label For Castello di Amorosa
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The illustrated parts of the animation were assembled in Photoshop, putting each element on its own separate layer. You can see the different layers with the Flash Player above by checking and un-checking the boxes for "show/hide layers."
—Flash setup courtesy of Chris Halbert.

Time-lapse video showing phase-6 of the rendering process.

Setup The Animation
The Flash Player at the top/left shows the two-frame illustration completed and it shows how it was setup on layers in Photoshop. There are four parts to the setup: the landscape, which serves as the background; the bust of the monk, showing him with a look of contemplation; the head of the monk, turned slightly to face the viewer and smiling smugly; and the hand holding a champagne glass. (Use the Flash player to the left to turn layers on and off.)

The Photoshop file is in RGB and has a resolution high enough to allow the video editors to zoom in without losing quality. The image also has extra area around the outside, which gives the added flexibility of cropping or panning. Also, having each element on its own layer allows for each element to be manipulated separately; for instance, the landscape can pan left or right while the bust remains still.

The Photoshop file, along with high-resolution TIF files of each element, were uploaded to my web server and a link for downloading them was emailed to the client. The TIF files have a resolution of 1200 ppi and are in 1-bit. The TIF files were sent just incase the client ran into a situation where higher resolution files were needed.

Special Note About The Landscape
I have over 600 scratchboard illustrations that I have retained the reproduction rights to. Every one of these original drawings have been scanned at 100 percent of its original size, at 1200 ppi in 1-bit, and saved in TIF format. Each scan is also assigned appropriate keywords that describe the drawing and the contents within the drawing. I keep these scans on my computer (another complete set is kept in a safe deposit box) and sometimes use parts from these scans to help create a new illustration.

The landscape for this project was constructed from pieces of my existing illustrations. All I had to do was use keywords to search for the parts I needed. I searched with words like: sky, vineyard, building, landscape, and trees. Once I found the parts that worked, I started putting them together in a new Photoshop file (I worked in Grayscale Mode while doing the assembly). Since I did all the artwork for the existing pieces and since every piece was scanned at 100 percent, it made it easy to make a derivative piece that looked like an original hand-drawn illustration.

I have also learned to use a Wacom Pen Tablet with nearly the same control as a traditional ink pen or scratchboard knife. I use the Wacom Tablet to blend areas between my borrowed pieces or to draw new sections.

This method of piecing parts together can save time and can produce attractive work, but I still do most of my new drawings entirely by hand on scratchboard.

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Scratchboard Illustration by Michael Halbert
PHONE 636-349-1145 EMAIL michael@inkart.com
Copyright © Michael Halbert 2000