The thought of photo realism stresses me out beyond belief and the idea of doing it in a vector based program stressed me out even more. I couldn’t use a gradient to save my life and the study of shadows was something new to me.

I started sketching and looking at what shapes I was interested in.  I only knew that I wanted to design a watch that I would like to wear on a daily basis. I like simplicity and the beauty of plain surfaces so I sketched my ideas with that in mind.

In the beginning I focused only on the shapes and how I could make them seem real with as minimal shading at first. It started to look okay and then I saw other peoples in the class and the panic set in, I had to figure out gradients and highlights. In a last resort I added two highlights to try and compete with the rest of the classes already amazing looking first drafts.

After that I wanted to focus on the highlights in a more refined degree. I saw that the dial on the right side along with the top and bottom highlights were not looking as good as they could be so I focused on that and tried to apply that to my next draft.

After applying what was said in class and focusing more on the shapes and realism, and that the watch did not have to look completely like the reference watch. I started to learn what made things look real and focused on watching tutorials that explained the highlights and why they affected metal in such a way. I learned that to make something photo realistic is not copying but exaggerating the specific parts that make it a 3D image.



My final draft was all of the objects provided together and pointing out to the obvious things that would make it look like a real time piece. I added a drop shadow just to finish it off along with the different lines of light to give it a true reflection. I liked how it turned out and how it looks like a smooth watch that I would want to wear. I think I was successful in the objective of making a watch realistic with only flat shapes. I really surprised myself with the outcome I was not expecting to make this. I was expecting struggle and fail, but I didn’t fail in my objective. I feel that refinement is key when it comes to these things and all of the little details done in the same style really add together and make it a finished product.


Zachary Wilson

Zachary Wilson

Graphic Designer from South Carolina
Zachary Wilson

Latest posts by Zachary Wilson (see all)