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IMS Magazine Cover



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.


Mona Li (Mona Li Visuals)


Digital (Cinema4D, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign)

Date of Completion

2019 Jan

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. ​ 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. ​ 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. 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. 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. 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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