Sounds of the City: Evaluation of Progress and Final Piece

Save 1

Here we are looking at the progress of the final piece through each of the steps (that I saved it at).

Save 1: The intial basic shapes for the instruments and where to place them stage. I also did limited shapes for what and where I wanted details to be on the trombone and the accordion. I also pretty much finished the three woodwind pieces on the guitar at this stage, the only change to them being I later changed the colour. At this stage I wasn’t really happy with the harp shape I had or the drum designs (that were replaced with a square) I also decided here that adding lines rather than shapes sharpened areas too much so would rather stick to consistantly using shapes instead.

Save 2 and Save 3

Save 2: Main addition here is a background so that when I was choosing colours I had an idea of how they would look on the final piece. At this point I would like to note that uploading here brightens all of the colours of these pieces for some reason. For changes in the actual design I made the drum more square. This is due to when it was the only building without a flat base it messed with the composition of the bottom layer as a whole. With a rounded top it looked similar to the accordion next to it as well so this square design was born.
Other additions here include adding the windows onto the trombone building, moving the Woodwind instruments over to the right side and adding a French horn to add more depth to the right of the image. Finally the keyboard ‘road’ was added at the bottom so there wasn’t just a gulf of blank space under the image. A keyboard is a long straight rectangle so I thought it was the best instrument for the job.

Save 3: Church Organ added to the back of the piece. Gives it a varied, multilayered backdrop that breaks up the mass blue sky a little. The colour also makes the instruments in front more of a chance to stand out as the high contrast with the sky and everything meant the instruments faded into it a bit too much.
The harp returned redesigned at this stage with less randomly wavy lines giving it a neater look to fit in with the other instuments. The French horn was reflected so that it didn’t completely cover up the accordion behind it. Minor changes were done to the size of the ground space here and instruments were moved up and down to add more depth and balance the sizes of the buildings into a more varied composition.

Save 4 and Save 5

Save 4: All of the building details and colours finalised, other than minor changes to the horn buildings later. The circular section on the guitar was redone as it was before off center. The two side sections of the guitar were added so it fit in with the level of detail on the other buildings, but could represent the many different shapes guitars come in.
The shading added to the church organ piece in the background is one of the best decisions to add to the piece in my opinion. Without it, the space was too flat and empty but stilll needed to allow the rest of the buildings to be seen properly. The shading just adds more interest to the background.

Save 5: Guitar colours and details redone. The neck of the guitar had its windows gradually reduced in size the further down they went mimicing the look of a real guitar. I also added six small marks on the tuning part. My original plan had windows up here but I figured I had that covered well enough on the rest of the guitar and this section could be used to reinforce the look of the instrument.
The heads of the trombone and french horn were changed to match up with the style of the organ in the background. This fairly simple change makes them more identifiable as the instruments they are meant to be. The colour of the French Horn was also changed to fit in a more uniform way with itself like all of the other instruments in the piece are. Here is also were I began to think of the positioning of the music notes/sheet music cloud design but just with holding lines at this point.

Save 6 and Save 7

Save 6: With the city complete at this point I began deciding what music notes I would use, how many and looked up how you properly place them on sheet music. The first lines on this were my brief hope that just maybe I could use the broken looking brush tool to represent a cloudy song sheet. It ended up just looking like messy lines. I went back to my original idea after this of going with the cloud theme for the notes.
Save 7: I designed the music notes in illustrator using actual notes taken from sheet music as accurate templates. With a small selection it allowed me to make copies, resize and reshape as I saw fit.

Save 8

Save 8: To make the clouds I used a scatter brush consiting of a small circle which I could gradually build up and make the edges resemble a cloudy line. The flaw in this was I made the scatter brush green and couldn’t figure out how to change the colour so had to redo it. This was also the actual point I decided to figure out where you position notes on a music sheet as they looked just randomly placed here.

Final Piece

Because of the colour always being different when I upload it anywhere this is a screenshot of the final piece. I re-did the clouds in white as I said with pretty much the sameĀ  style. The only difference in how I made them this time is I did a single line with the scatter brush then built up from that line. Before I built up as I went along which ended up being a little less uniform. I also added an extra line because five lines seemed to be what most music sheets consisted of. I connected the clouds to some of the chimney-like structures just to connect them better with the rest of the image as I didn’t want the clouds to be just another part of the background. I added the music notes in at different depths in the clouds for the same reason.

Overall from the piece I have gradually become using Adobe illustrator. A program I’d tried a little in the past but always found my progress a little slow and clunky. Moving into using the pathfinder tool and simple things like alt dragging to make copies of shapes has made working in illustrator a lot more rewarding. Giving myself enough time to work on this as much as I did also improved the experience. Time management is a weakness I have and I feel by beginning to manage it better here the quality of work has gone up.