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.

Moon city

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During the years I have lived in Tel-Aviv I used to go out early on Saturday mornings, while the city was still asleep after  the wild Friday night parties. Equipped with my digital camera, the first one I ever owned, I used to photograph various buildings and architectural details that I found interesting. Later on, while sifting through the result, I used to be quite disappointed. The photos never came out as quite as vivid and interesting as I had wanted.

Then it dawned on me that I could use Photoshop in order to pick out the most interesting bits, leaving out all the rest. The result was an interesting mix of styles and eras in the city’s architectural history. Old Bauhaus buildings collided with  modern skyscrapers, creating a wild and imaginary city scape. Adding a misty background and a hazy moon completed the composition.

Today this style of photo collage became rather common among young and adventurous design students, but back then in the year 2000 it was quite avant guard. You are invited to tour this blog further, a few more examples of this style are available somewhere.

The phoenix egg

The pheonix egg

This Digital work of art is one of my favorites. I have created it specifically for a group exhibition that took place on October 2011, at “Hatachana” compound in Tel-Aviv. This art exhibition was a fundraiser for the LGBT association of Israel. Some 70 (!) artists took part of this event, including some of the most well known artists in the country.

The theme of the exhibition was ” transformation”, and so I came up with the concept of the Phoenix, which according to the legend is reborn from the ashes of his own funeral pyre. Like the Phoenix, we all have the ability to come back to life, to reinvent ourselves, through our ideas and creations, which have the potential to outlive us, and become immortal.

This piece was created as a collage of various textures which I have scanned and processed using Photoshop. Only one copy was ever printed, and I’m happy to tell you that it was sold for a handsome sum.