Search Blog


The Workbook Blog is a destination for creative professionals and their agents to share ideas, insights and news. Click here to learn more about Workbook and our services.

Blog » June 2012

Making Movies with Your Art

Posted by Workbook on 06/29/2012 — Filed under:  CGIFeaturesHeadlineIllustrationMarketing IntelligenceMotion
By Lance Jackson

Having worked in Adobe Illustrator for a number of years, I have been interested in making still images move. Flash provides the platform to make this happen. Flash is used for creating ad banners, games and animation for broadcast on the web and film.The big difference between the two programs is that Flash provides a horizontal timeline to work in. Illustrator uses a series of vertical layers that later convert to frames. What brings your animations to life is the object-orientated language called ActionScript. Flash also brings audio, video and raster based graphics options to your timeline.

It is fairly easy to take vector images from Illustrator and bring them into Flash. Simply select the images, copy from Illustrator and paste in Flash. You can also create vector images directly in Flash. The necessary drawing chops of making bezier curves, are similar to what you use in Illustrator. It is not necessary to draw every frame. Flash can create "tweens", the frames in between the key frames in an animation. Time and motion can be extended or shortened using the timeline. The Flash file can then be exported as a "swf" file, short for Shock Wave Flash movies. The "swf" movie can be placed in an HTML file and then uploaded to a server. From there you and anyone else can see your animation on the web!

The following example is a web portfolio of still Illustrator images placed in Flash with an animated splash page: ActionScript creates the rolling library or index of stills on the second page.

For examples of Flash based animation see: (click on the icons at the bottom of the blank screen)

Flash can be used for moving storyboards or animatics. Here is an example of an animatic used for the basis of a stop-motion video promotion:

(Read more)

The Power of the CGI & Photography Partnership

Posted by Heather Elder on 06/28/2012 — Filed under:  CGIFeaturesHeadlinePhotography
By Heather Elder

More and more nowadays, photographers are needing to partner with other artists to help create the content that the client requires.  It has led to interesting partnerships for sure. On a recent project for Covidien with Lehman Millet, photographer Hunter Freeman partnered with digital artist Michael Tompert of Raygun Studio to interpret the art director’s layouts. A combination of photography, CGI and a lot of creativity helped produce the final ads.

When we asked Hunter and Michael to share with us what was most note worthy about their experience, here is what they had to say:

Hunter Freeman

“This project was designed to have a lot of CGI in it, and the photography needed to do a couple of things. First, the captures of the talent had to convey/support the concept behind the ad, and two, the images had to be shot so that Michael would be able to easily integrate them into his CGI work, e.g. having matching perspective, lighting, etc.

It’s a fun challenge to get the talent to imagine themselves in a completely imaginary environment, and all of our group did a great job.  I shot them on a simple white background, and, in some cases, had small structures for them to lean on, or work around. Mostly, though, I got them to really imagine/believe they were in Michael’s fantastical CGI environment.

Having Michael there to place the images into his illustrations – while we were shooting (!) – was a huge help, not to mention a ton of fun.”

Michael Tompert

“Having worked for and with Hunter on various occassions in the past, I didn’t hesitate when the call came to cover the CGI portion of a project he was intending to land.

I have many projects in the portfolio that are completely CGI, meaning I shoot the pictures not with a camera, but with a raytracer, or raygun, I still prefer working on projects that combine real photography with CGI. It’s kind of a best of both worlds scenario.

It also means, there is a photo shoot instead of just emails, iChats and conference calls. And as photo shoots go, they might very well be the last thing left that hasn’t been virtualized, put on the Internet, or made into an app in the digital image creation process. It’s a chance for everyone from the client, art director, photographer, CGI artist to meet for a day, face to face and learn a little about each other. A great opportunity for everyone involved to stick their heads together and riff on what the image can be or could become and try things on the fly.

And best of all, you get to have a great lunch and cream puff cakes for dessert.

It was no different in this case where we started out quite early in the morning, trying out all kinds of things, from different props, to different lighting and angles and could drop screenshots right into the live 3D scene where the model of the CGI art sculpture lived and building the hospital room in front of the art director as the photos came in to see if everything chimes.

In what was really a very long day, Hunter shot I think 3 or 4 talent in any imaginable pose and all kinds of contraptions that made up the hospital room. it was a little past dinner time before the final file was copied over.

It’s interesting how these two worlds, the CGI and HGI (Hunter Generated Images) are so different, where most of Hunter’s time is spent weeks in advance prepping for the shoot with castings, and wardrobe and props, calendars and travel arrangements all culminating in this one day. While my world just starts on that day and the weeks of rendering, compositing, art direction, beautifying and finalizing are all still ahead when I leave with the drive.

But for that one day of the photoshoot those two worlds are one and the same.”

(Read more)

The Ring Maker and Lebron James

Posted by Workbook on 06/27/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineMotionPhotography

Lebron James finally ended his much publicized nine year wait for an NBA championship and won his first ring last week. However, he's been in the public spotlight even longer and his well chronicled path to a championship is retold in this new ad by Nike. Far from the packed NBA arenas, hounding media and magazine shoots, the story of LeBron’s success is told through a jeweler who begins working on a championship ring when LeBron is an Ohio high school phenom, crafts it while watching the tremendous highs, buzzer beaters and MVP Awards, and embarrassing lows, the infamous "Decision" interview and 4th quarter impotence in the 2011 Finals, of LeBron’s first eight years in the league, and then finishes it just in time to be delivered for the 3-time MVP’s first championship. The agency behind this Nike Basketball ad is Wieden & Kennedy.

Introducing... Jeff Koegel

Posted by Workbook on 06/26/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustration

In these acrylic on jute paintings, I use traditional ornamentation as a structure to invent within. I break down and recombine the familiar to create optically-charged compositions that suggest an evolution or alternate use of our established visual vocabulary.

Olivia Bee Captures Portland

Posted by Workbook on 06/26/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineMotionPhotography
By Candace Gelman & Associates

Le Monde recently published an article in M, their Sunday magazine, celebrating the creativity found in Portland, Oregon. Who better to capture the portrait of the city than Olivia Bee, a Portland native commissioned to shoot the images and video montage for this editorial piece?

(Read more)

Sexy People and Dirt Bikes: Kevin Zacher's new shoot for FOAM Magazine

Posted by Workbook on 06/25/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineMotion
Director: Kevin Zacher
Client: FOAM magazine
DP & Editor: Matt Grote
Fashion Editor: Kristina Dechter

Get muddy and motocrossed at our fashion shoot with stuntman Riley Harper for the June/July issue of FOAM Magazine.

Photos by Kevin Zacher. Styling by Leila Baboi. Model: Hermoine at Wilhelmina. Hair: Stephanie Hobgood at Exclusive Arists. Makeup: Kali Kennedy for Make Up For Ever. Video by Matt Grote.

(Read more)

Workbook Latest Additions: June 25th-July 1st

Posted by Workbook on 06/25/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustrationLatest AdditionsPhotography

Continuing our weekly spotlight of the new additions to the Workbook roster, here are four talented new photographers and illustrators.

Darryl Estrine

Photographer and and award winning author Darryl Estrine has spent the last two years bringing his passions for food, restaurants, photography and meeting new people together for Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America's Best Chefs, Farmers and Artisans. During a photo career that has included work with magazines as varied as Esquire, Fortune, Vanity Fair and ESPN, Darryl spent time with many of his favorite stars (Robert Duvall) and athletes (Michael Jordan) as well as a list of hustlers, politicos and rock and rollers. The photo business is also a great entree into advertising and marketing. Darryl has always looked at the campaigns he's worked on (Microsoft, Motorola, Lifetime TV Pharmaceuticals) from the inside out, working with advertising agencies to understand the strategy and planning that culminate in art being produced for clients.

The photo business is also a great chance to indulge in great restaurants and catering from around the US as Darryl says there's nothing like listening to music all day in a nice studio and serving up some great catering. His love of restaurants dovetailed perfectly with a curiosity for cooking that goes back to childhood when pancakes seemed like a proper meal for breakfast lunch and dinner. Whether smoking ribs, making cassoulet for three days or baking the perfect lemon ginger cheesecake, all things food have become a passion that drove him to create Harvest To Heat.
Darryl's ability to make anyone comfortable and ready to open up along with a keen sense of humor and a huge curiosity makes working with him an absolute pleasure.

(Read more)

Eva Vasquez's Summer Friday Pick-Me-Up

Posted by Workbook on 06/22/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesIllustration
Eva Vazquez's cover art for The New York Times Weekend Arts section came out today and we wanted to share it! Her zesty palette, dynamic composition, and expert conceptualization bring to life the Times' critics list of must-do's for Summer 2012.

More Great Car Culture Images

Posted by Workbook on 06/22/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlineIllustrationPhotographyWorkbook InFocus


Christiane Beauregard - Avenue Magazine

Mike Carter Studio - Jeep

Ignite - Audi

Eleanor Grosch - TriMet

Randy Lyhus - IEEE Computing Magazine

Howard McWilliam - MoneyWeek Magazine

Myles Talbot - MINI

Jim Tsinganos - Australian Geographic Magazine

Nate Williams - Mudpuppy


Paul Aresu - Miller Lite

Clint Blowers - Philadelphia Magazine

Peter Dawson - Range Rover

Tim Kent - Infiniti

Steve Nozicka - Ram Truck

Satoshi - Land Rover

Peter Schafrick - Exxon Mobil

2 Fake - Lexus

10 Famous Men

Posted by Workbook on 06/22/2012 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotography
All Photographs by Michael Weschler

Liam Neeson

Michael Weschler was recently featured in PDN's Photo of the Day series for his work with numerous famous men, ranging from A-List actors to celebrity chefs. Here is a collection of 10 of his portraits and an excerpt from PDN's feature:

Editorial and commercial photographer Michael Weschler has been photographing celebrities over the past few years for assignments and personal projects. “I’m intrigued by the dialogue that happens when my camera confronts someone with strength of character, yet an honest vulnerability, and I’m pushing them to be present.” he says. Actors especially have a way of becoming the characters they play, and hiding their own identities from the camera, he explains. Big name actors “are typically intimidated by the grounding quality of the still camera. Their last experience was probably with some paparazzo who was catching them off-guard and in crappy lighting. With my work, I aim to put people at ease, so that these barriers are lifted, and we come together, in the interest of making a strong portrait. Once they know that’s why I’m there, and not to exploit them, it becomes a collaboration to get something else.” Weschler says he often has to stick to a script on assignments, “but once I’ve got that covered, or if I’m shooting a self-directed personal project, I prefer to capture a quiet moment.”

Kenny White, Musician at Home. Greenwich Village, NY

Richard Gere at The Bedford Post Inn

Portrait of Julian Schnabel at The Gramercy Park Hotel

Tim Dundon, Compost Wizard, and his Rooster, Elvis

Portrait of Harry Shearer at His Home, New Orleans

Rob Lowe at his Home During Construction, Santa Barbara

Chef Maarten Steenman working on Chelsea Clinton’s wedding cake at La Tulipe

Liev Schreiber at home in SoHo, New York

Larry Silverstein at 7 World Trade Center