Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Portfolio Review and Mock Interviews

For the readers in the South, there is going to be a portfolio review/mock interviews at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta campus held by Georgia Tech’s IDSA this Friday the 26th. I will be one of the professionals reviewing student work. If you have the opportunity and live nearby stop in, we can meet, and I can take a look at your work

How will you know who I am? See the sketch I used for my profile picture there to the right, that’s what I look like. That and I have big old holes in my ears. ^_^. Look for my name tag jm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Design Salary Survey

So this is for all the readers who are recent graduates, will be graduating, or just plain curious if you’re getting paid enough. Every year Coroflot conducts a Designer Salary Survey that I suggest all who are applicable take part in. I’ve filled it out every year since I started to work. It’s a great tool to help determine if you’re asking for too much or in most cases with recent graduates looking to land their first job, asking and/or offered too little.

There are several sections to the survey results but I will save you all some time and direct you to the goods. If you click this link you’ll be directed to the corculator. It’s a tool where you can select your profession, say industrial design, and then your experience level or job title and it will filter the data for you. Here you can find the low, average, and high salaries in a particular region, in-house corporate vs consultancy and all kinds of fun stuff. So do stop by the website and see if you’re making good.

Also the 2010 survey should be around the corner so I will post again when it’s time to participate.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Link and Features

Hey everyone just a quick update. Designer features are coming! I've sent out a few interviews and I will be posting them monthly as they come. Also I am searching hard to find more features so I can continue a new one every month.

Secondly Toy Fair 2010 just passed and I wish I could have gone!

One of the readers has a facebook page (also in menu list to the right ->) and he's been posting links to videos and articles he finds on the fair. So please do check out his page and I will be posting photos from the fair as they leak and see if my coworker snuck some cellphone pics!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plush Penguin

Sketchatoy Ten from sketchatoy on Vimeo.

It's finally here! So how do you render up plush in Photoshop? Well, there are many ways and this is just one of them but it's a great technique. It's fast, easy, and there's no customizing/creating brushes or finding textures online.

This tutorial was done by another designer and he did a great job! I wanted him to do it since he was the person who showed me and I truly appreciate the help. It's always best to have multiple angles and learn different techniques since there is always more than one way of doing something.

If any of you have an idea for a tutorial or would like to create your own and share it, please e-mail me at and I'll see if it's postable!

Monday, February 15, 2010

18+ Toy's

Cover your eyes children! German company Denada has released the funniest vinyl toys I have seen in some time.

I don't think I have seen this much penis in toy since Baby Wee Wee. For those of you who don't remember....

So why is the Baby Wee Wee so inappropriate but Denada not? I'm not sure, maybe because Denada's toys are intended for adults?

So these toys are awesome! Not only are they 100% hand made but the designs are intriguing and comedic. Pretty expensive though ranging from €190 - €390 ($140-$280ish) but an artist must eat no? As you can see there were only 18 Bronce & Blue Pecker's made so that justifies it slightly.

Also as pointed out by my fiancée there's quite a similar resemblance to a musician I love from Taiwan, Crowd Lu.

On that note I say to you all Tschüss!

Speaker Holes

sketchatoy nine from sketchatoy on Vimeo.

So I know that with toys music and sounds is used quite often. So here's a quick tutorial on how to add a some speaker holes quickly to your Photoshop rendering. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Core 77 Thread

So it was recommended to me to post a new thread on core77 to get a bit more traffic through the blog. Here's the link to the new thread, please spread the word!

I will spend the next few days reading through previous threads and post on some interesting discussions.

Semi-realistic Photoshop Rendering

sketchatoy seven from sketchatoy on Vimeo.

This tutorial is a long one I know but I tried to pack it full of tips! I’ve gathered several tricks that I have learned from friends and colleagues over the years and joined them with a few of my own. I know the product is ugly but I designed it on the spot so please concentrate on the content and less on the design.

Also, you may remember a post a while back on rendering plush in Photoshop. I posted a rendering I did of the duck sketch but I’ve been waiting for my friend to do the tutorial since he was the one who taught me the trick! So please stay tuned for more tutorials in Photoshop rendering and some in Illustrator.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Environmental Toy Exclusively at Toys R Us

So I know probably everyone has seen these amazing wooden toys by Take-g.

Simple unbelievable!

But now Imaginarium has taken it upon themselves to bring it to the masses.
Although it's not the superior craftsmanship of Take-g's, the feeling of his toys is reflected in these wooden vehicles. I think it's really cool to see such nice wooden toys sold in a larger chain such as Toys R Us. Let's face it not all of us can shovel out upwards of 6,000USD it requires to buy and authentic Take-g wooden toy. Not to mention these new ones are environmentally conscious and the wood used is grown in sustainable nurseries. Well, as environmentally conscious a mass produced product could be I suppose ^_^. I found these posted on I heart wood but you can check out the original post here.

Sometimes it's best to keep things simple in this toy world of lights, ic's, and plastic.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quick Photoshop Techniques

sketchatoy six from sketchatoy on Vimeo.

Here's a tutorial on adding some color and value to a sketch to get a quick rendering. The video is actual time so without concentrating on talking and explaining this should take no more than 10min to add Photoshop. (Sketch approx 5min) This is a great way to express your sketches in a little more depth and prepare some variations for a final presentation rendering. This was a request by a reader so I hope it helps! Also please leave comments on any tricks you all may have when adding color quickly in Photoshop.

This technique is going from a thumbnail (approx 1inch) to a loose rendering. I will do another tutorial using a tighter sketch and then an in depth "photo realistic" rendering. So please check back!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Editing your Product Photography

sketchatoy five from sketchatoy on Vimeo.

Here's a trick I learned that I know will be useful to those who are working on portfolios or creating presentations using unedited product photography.

How does it work? Well in a nutshell, you simply select the tool, then select the color from the background using alt (mac the option key) that you want to delete and the eraser will only delete that color.

*Just a warning, this isn't the use all fail proof tool, it will only work so easily if you've shot your product with a consistent background. The results wont be the same if you're shooting your product in say the woods with trees in the background then want it on a white backdrop, that's another much longer tutorial.

Updates and Upincomings

Hey everyone, good news for me but better for you all! I have gotten a former professor, current coworker, and now friend interested in collaborating on some tutorial posts. He has excellent exercises to help warm your muscles up for sketching. That's right people sketching is no different than athletics, singing, or any other activity using your muscles, you gotta warm them up so they perform at their best! We'll be recording his demo and I will post it as a series of warm ups and muscle memory exercise videos. He has some wonderful theories on sketching so stay tuned.

Also I would like to introduce my new "feature" posts. Every month or two I will feature a new professional in the field of toys. This can range from and illustrator, product designer, creative engineer, packaging designer, who knows! I have a few interviews in the works so I will post them as they come together.

In final news I wanted to give a quick shout out to one of the blog followers Stephanie Lemoine. The company I work for had a focus group today and the mothers were asked to bring their child's favorite toy in. Well, one of the mothers held her favorite up and I said "Hey I just met the girl that worked on that product!". The product was the Yo Gabba Gabba Boom Box Dance Party! Super cool toy so go check out her portfolio here. And to anyone else who may have worked on that great job :)

As always thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thank you all!

Hey I just want to drop a quick line and thank everyone for the great responses! :) I am going to try my best to post everyday. Well, lets shoot for every other day...

So this is unrelated to toy but tonight I went to an AIGA event and got to see the amazingly talented Kyle Cooper talk about his work. You may not know his name, I didn't, but you definitely know his work. He's responsible for over 150 film title sequences including Seven, The Spiderman's, and most recently Sherlock Holmes. Anyways, go check out some of his work on you tube it's inspiring to say the least.

Now onto today's post! I've been slightly busy so I've decided to link to a tutorial from Creative Techs I find super useful! I use this a lot so I think I will piggy back on this tutorial and maybe create my own down the road on how this is used on toy.

And if anyone has something they'd like to learn, or teach, shoot me an e-mail and I'll work a post around it or post the contribution. Thanks again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Coolest toy since a stick and a hoop?

I heard about this product from a coworker and I didn't believe it. But this thing is real and it's amazing. Winner of multiple awards including Most Innovative Toy of the Year, Electronic Entertainment Toy of the Year, and Game of the year this thing will blow your mind. No pun intended.