Let's take a look back at one of my projects from NASA Ames Research Center. The IVHM Poster. It was a poster commemorating the anniversaries of the loss of the three NASA space flights; Columbia (STS-107), Challenger (STS-51-L), and Apollo/Saturn 204 (AS-204).
The acronym stands for Integrated Vehicle Health Management. It is a NASA Ames program which develops hardware and software for 2nd generation launch vehicles to better monitor and assess systems at all moments during flight. Think of it as the nervous system for the crew, their vehicles and cargo transfers.
Here's a brief NASA description. "These highly integrated systems will likely include advanced smart sensors, diagnostic and prognostics software for sensors and components, model based reasoning systems for subsystem and system level managers, advanced on-board and ground-based mission and maintenance planners, and a host of other software and hardware technologies." Read more ...
After a brief conversation with stakeholders on the requirements I sat down and very quickly sketched out what came to me. I wanted to include each launch vehicle, badges from each of the missions, and the names of the astronauts who were lost. To me those were very identifiable representations from each mission.
The essence. For me a launch is a thrilling moment. I wanted to capture it. I incorporated it by portraying a launch and all of its ambient artifacts. Early morning lighting, smoke, propulsion, the stars, and planets and a massive sense of scale. People were at the center of it all.
It starts with the seed of an idea and that's the sketch. From there Google Images or any other web based image archive is my friend. I'll spend a day typing queries, scowering for facts and just collecting images that get me closer to realizing the emotion of my original thought. From there I establish a "feel" and use that as the framework for the layout.
I take the sketches and figuratively break them into parts based on how I think the image will be composited; launchpad, people, sky, stars, clouds, planet, etc. I need to figure out how I'm going to render those images. Is it taken from an existing image, hand drawn, digitally illustrated, 3D rendered?
Once that's been decided I research each element ensuring it adheres to the essence of the concept and is practical for use. From there I build a rough mockup adding, removing and replacing elements as needed. The sketches below are the starting point.
Concept sketch 01. Including notation exploring the basic idea of the design.
Concept sketch 02.
Concept sketch 03. After the review cycle this design was passed on.
The concepts required accurate but quickly generated starfields to be used. I wanted them to be clean of artifacts, so found imagery was less desirable to use. Instead, the starfield generator Starbits was used. It's a free program that's really easy to use and provided generally good results.
Starfield 01. Generated using Starbits.
Starfield 02. Generated using Starbits.
Example use. Original plate.
Example use. Composite plate: starfield, shuttle image, gradient.
I leveraged the existing branding for the IVHM program as a recognizable primary element. A slight modification by me was adding the "Integrated Vehicle Health Management" beneath the logo extending the total width.
Lordhaw by [T-26].
It's at this stage in the process where the 2 ideas are fleshed out through rough mockups. After extensive research, I take found imagery and composite them together. It's very rough as I literally crop elements and objects and place them onto a canvas with the approximate dimensions.
At this point all aspects of the poster should be represented on screen; including color, typography, and messaging. After another round of review the image is cleaned, final elements placed and it's prepared for print.
Mockup 02. It was at this stage the above concept was passed on.
Mockup 01. This candidate was chosen as the image for the final poster.
After multiple rounds of review and countless tweaks the approved image was sent off to print. The image ended up benefitting from wide distribution throughout the NASA Ames organization.
Click above to see larger image.
I strive to deliver memorable and emotional experiences through my understanding of the relationship between art and technology and explore those in the context of user interfaces and interactive experiences.
My core competency is User Experience Design for web and mobile applications.
I have a passion and love for music composition, game design, and illustration.
Take a look around. The links below are the quickest way to see what I've been up to. To the right you'll find case studies for some of my most popular projects.
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Sustain Ability 2005
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
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