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Grant Parsley's Children's Book Illustrations


Grant Parsley send us a note that he is working on the illustrations for a children's book using Photoshop and Blender. It is an interesting combination of 3D modeling and textures which mimics the look of oil paint brush strokes. See more of his work on his website.

Grant writes:

I’m an illustrator and graphic designer with sixteen years experience working with the standard Adobe print design software. Upon joining my current company, I had my first opportunity to work with 3D artists. These artists focus primarily on video graphics, but their creations inspired me to consider the implications of using 3D software in my print design. Unfortunately, company management isn’t always willing to purchase another seat of Maya or Lightwave just so that a print designer can ‘play’. I began searching for an inexpensive alternative. A colleague mentioned Blender to me, a supposedly robust 3D open-source software. I’ll admit that I had my doubts about open-source options, but, hey, it’s free! So I gave Blender 2.48 a chance. The interface was quite daunting, and everything about working in 3D was completely foreign to me. But I could easily see exciting applications for my work. Once an asset is developed, the ability to quickly create countless permutations of it is incredible! Then, the ability to re-use and integrate assets into new designs, well, wow!

I sought out any available online training. The Blender ‘community’ is one of the greatest strengths of the software. The guidance shared by experienced users has proved invaluable. Soon, I was using Blender in illustrations, infographics, and headline design.

In the process of exploring Blender’s capabilities, I noticed that with the right camera angle and focal blur my creations looked like stills from a stop-motion film. I tinkered with photoshop textures to see if I could give 3D objects a hand-painted vibe. Using photoshop brushes I created diffuse and bump textures that achieved the goal. I was so pleased with the resulting style that I thought it would be well-suited for a children’s book.


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