Yes to product simulation!

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About three years ago I first got a chance to work with Yesto, an international cosmetics brand which would later become one of my best clients ever. I was contacted by their local representative in order to do some Photoshop retouching for mock-ups of a new product. I completed the job, and took the opportunity to tell him that I believe I can do a whole lot more for his firm.
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Lucky for me, he did put in a good word, and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I was contacted by their offices in San Francisco, asking if I could possibly retouch some product images and update their labels. You see, international companies often issue several versions of the same product, with different labels for different languages. Producing pack-shots of all these versions individually can become a pretty heavy expense. Having a skilled Photoshop artist at your disposal can cut your costs, and help marketing run much more smoothly.

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As time went by, the assignments I received from Yesto grew more and more complex. If at first I only made minor changes to existing images, I was now asked to radically modify them, or even to simulate entirely new products, for which I had no references at all. This has encouraged me to expand my capabilities, and develop new techniques in order to achieve more accurate and realistic results.

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One of these techniques, which I nicknamed “vector warping”, involves importing live text to the Adobe Illustrator software, warping it there using it’s advanced “envelope distort” features, and then export the result back to Photoshop, for shading and reintegration with a raster background. This technique is vital when attempting to simulate a curved surface with text printed on it.

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Yet another technique I use is good old perspective. I studied perspective drawing way back in high school, and never imagined I would use it in my career as a graphic designer. But when simulating three dimensional boxes and shelves, perspective is just the thing you need. I realize that there are all sorts of fancy software nowadays that can easily calculate the positions of various objects in 3D space, but I don’t need them. I make the calculations the old fashioned way, using picture planes and vanishing points. However, I do use Adobe Illustrator instead of doing it on paper!

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I was absolutely amazed to find out how easy it is to work with a client which is located virtually on the other side of the world. Most jobs are completed overnight.  I get all the instructions I need on the email, and because of the time differentials, I have all day to work, and the job is usually done before my client even wakes up, way over in California.

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I believe this cooperation works well for both sides, and hope it lasts for many more years to come.

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