This project forced me to look at small details in a live object (in this case, a watch) and analyze the patterns of light reflected on the object. Noticing the highlights and shadows helped me to see the direction from which the light source came, and it also helped me realize that varying surface finishes may “deflect” light differently. A matte finish, a flat plastic finish, a shiny metal finish, and a glass finish may all react differently to light sources. Also, different light sources and directions may produce different results when reflected at various distances.

I had one main objective, and a few side objectives. The learning and progressing process has including a disproportional amount of distress and grief. The biggest accomplishment I wanted for this project was feeling hopeful, empowered and more proficient/comfortable with the tools. The ultimate aim, materially, was to produce an at least partially photo-realistic time piece that was aesthetically appealing, but simple. Along the way, I hoped to practice the skills and techniques that can help me imply depth, texture, and lighting. This especially overwhelmed me.

My first sketches demonstrate my efforts to begin grasping the appearance of details, easily overlooked, but vital to a realistic-looking graphic.

 I looked at watches and thought of my own watch as I developed sketches. 


After finishing up my first draft, I found a different watch that I wanted to use for my reference.

This is what I chose.

The most satisfying portion of this process was learning (and becoming more proficient at using) the gradient tool, the blending tool, the opacity tool, and the blur tool (Gaussian Blur). The thought of using those tools to create a realistic-looking watch seemed nearly impossible – really. After watching the specific steps for creating depth and surface finish on the links, I felt excited to see what I could do in just 20 minutes or less. I watched the video again, took notes on the steps, and tried to replicate the example. 


As far as meeting my objective, I believe that I definitely succeeded in the learning portion. I still have SO much to learn and practice, but the fact that I don’t feel as afraid, but rather empowered and excited to see what I can do next is quite gratifying. The time and the tools do not overwhelm me as much. This is an accomplishment! My attitude is still looking up, more than I can say for the last major graphic project I attempted.

Materially, I accomplished my goal in that I produced a partially photo-realistic time piece that is simple and visually appealing. The face still needs lots of photo-realism, but I believe that especially the top links look decently photo-realistic.



Visual Communications Student at BYU-Idaho
I enjoy learning new and effective methods for designing creative, useful, and appealing content that allows us to function better in this technology-saturated industry.

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