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IMS Magazine Winter 2019 Issue: Addictions

Medium: Cinema4D and Adobe Photoshop

Date of Completion: January 2019

Co-Designer: Mona Li (Mona Li Visuals)

About: An editorial cover made for the IMS Magazine's 2019 Winter Issue centered around addictions. The concept we developed depicts support group members with their respective "monsters" representing their addictions hovering behind them. We chose to depict the addictions as menacing but employed a more cartoonish design so as not to contribute to fear mongering. The focus of the cover is the support group in the foreground to both provide a human aspect to addiction, and a hopeful perspective towards recovery through social support and discussion.

ProCess work

1. Brainstorming and Live Ideation

Using InVision and Skype, Mona and I collaboratively brainstormed concepts for the cover through discussion and drawing. In this way, we were able to easily build off of each other's ideas and generate as many ideas as possible.

Image: A screenshot of the InVision board Mona and I used for out collaborative brainstorm session

2. Creating Thumbnail Sketches

Based on the two strongest ideas that Mona and I came up with, we both created rough thumbnail sketches and brief descriptions of what these concepts might look like for the Editors in Chief of the magazine to pick from.

Image: The four thumbnail sketches submitted to the Editors of the magazine

InVision Ideation Session

3. Dividing the Design and Production Process

In order to meet the deadline, it was essential that Mona and I divided the labour. As a result of our strengths and goals, Mona took the lead on character design and post-production edits, while I took the lead on 3D modelling and rendering.

Image: A graphic breakdown of how Mona and I divided the work for this project

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4. Modelling in Cinema 4D

After receiving character designs from Mona (see her site for her concept art), we collectively decided on which designs were both the most visually interesting and also feasible to create within our time constraints.


For the support group members, I modelled them in Cinema4D in a t-pose and exported them to Mixamo to rig them to allow for greater freedom in posing the characters. The support group members were then imported back into Cinema4D and the poses were modified, finalized, and then baked. The chairs were then modelled within Cinema4D around these posed characters. 


Each of the addiction monsters were modelled without rigs in separate Cinema4D files. This involved a lot of experimentation to get the effects of smoke, glass, and ominous glowing eyes we wanted in a time-effective manner. Throughout this process, I frequently communicated with Mona and the Editors in Chief to ensure that that I was appropriately realizing their vision.

Images: an initial draft of the modelled support group and what they might look like with the addiction monsters made by Mona and I (top left), a test render of the marijuana addiction monster (top right)


5. Rendering and Compositing the Assets

All of the assets were then imported into one scene and staged. Then using buffers, separate channels for the support group and the monsters with the background were additionally rendered. This made it easier for Mona to complete her post-production edits. We decided to leave specific effects like the fog, rim lighting, and reflections to be rendered in post so as to use our time most effectively.

Images: The initial render from Cinema4D (left) and Mona's post-edits prior to adding typographical elements (right)

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6. Adding Typographical Elements, Feedback, and Revisions

Typographical elements were added to the cover in accordance with the IMS magazine's stylesheet. Final feedback was then solicited from our peers and the Editors in Chief and incorporated before exporting the image for print.

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