Ambiguous Arts offers a wide variety of artistic services and consulting, including: 3D, animation, web design, web hosting and maintenance, print graphics, form design, copy writing and editing, 2d design and layout, game design, as well as a very large and ever-growing repository links to the best resource for these areas.
There are loads of amazing Black Friday deals to be had today, but with payday just around the corner you might not have the cash available to nab yourself a sweet bargain.
There's no need to miss out, though; while we're relentless in our mission to point you in the right direction for epic savings on high-end tech, we're also keeping an eye out for those of you with a little less cash to flash.
That's why we've been on the lookout for a budget selection of Black Friday deals that'll delight even the most impecunious designer. Everything here is yours to grab for under /£50£50; get a move on so you don't miss out!
If you've always wanted to get your hands on one of Microsoft's popular Surface Book, then now's the time. In an incredible Black Friday deal, the powerful laptop is currently on sale with a whopping 47% discount, meaning you can get your hands on one for less than $800!
The reason we're seeing these incredible Black Friday prices on this amazing machine is, of course, because Microsoft recently replaced its first-ever 2-in-1 laptop with the Surface Book 2. Retailers like Amazon are using Black Friday to get rid of the remainder of their older stock – and once it's gone, it's gone.
There have been lots of impressive deals for designers and creatives this Black Friday, but one of the most impressive we've seen is this iPhone X Black Friday deal from Mobiles.co.uk. In fact it's so impressive there's really no competition. If you're after a saving on an iPhone X, look no further.
The iPhone X raised eyebrows when it was launched thanks to its staggering price tag, so this offer will come as a welcome relief to designers hoping to pick up the device for a slightly more reasonable sum. Don't let it pass you by though, this iPhone X deal will expire at the end of Cyber Monday.
Behind the scenes of your favourite app or website, there is a developer keeping everything running smoothly. If you want join the ranks of developers and create and maintain services people love, grab the Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle. It's on sale now for just $39 (approx. £30)—plus save an additional 75% off when you use the coupon code BFRIDAY75 at checkout!!
You can get the Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle on sale for just $39 (approx. £30), 96% off the retail price! That’s a massive savings on a bundle that could help you launch a new career—and you can save even more when you use the coupon code BFRIDAY75 at checkout to save an additional 75% off!
Creative Bloq deals
This great deal comes courtesy of the Creative Bloq Deals store – a creative marketplace that's dedicated to ensuring you save money on the items that improve your design life.
We all like a special offer or two, particularly with creative tools and design assets often being eye-wateringly expensive. That's why the Creative Bloq Deals store is committed to bringing you useful deals, freebies and giveaways on design assets (logos, templates, icons, fonts, vectors and more), tutorials, e-learning, inspirational items, hardware and more.
There are plenty of Black Friday deals jostling for your attention today, so to make shopping a little easier, here's our round-up of the very best MacBook Black Friday deals for 2017 – which we'll be adding to around the clock.
The good news is, there are some incredible bargains to be had. So to help you navigate, we've split the deals here into UK and US sections, so you can find what you're after, faster.
A good laptop makes the world of difference for a designer. With a MacBook you know that you're getting a high quality device. And it doesn't matter if you go for a refurbished model – which some of the laptops on this list are – because they still deliver the same standard of performance.
So without further ado, start scrolling through this list of the best MacBook Black Friday deals out there.
Black Friday 2017 has officially started. We're working around the clock to bring you the best Black Friday deals for designers, illustrators and artists, right here, as the world's biggest retailers unleash their campaigns.
A huge torrent of Black Friday deals have been sparked, most of which will expire or sell out before the end of the day – so if you see a product you want, at a price you like, grab it.
There are a number of ways to browse the best Black Friday deals on this page. You can either scroll through the bargains using the UK and US links below:
And we're live! Whether you’re a freelancer, in-house designer, studio owner or student, here are the very best Black Friday deals for designers, illustrators and artists in the UK... (If you're looking for US deals, head here.)
01. Mobile phone Black Friday deals in the UK
All the best prices on the best phones go live today, on Black Friday itself. Today is also a great day to pick up SIM only deals. Keep your eyes on Mobiles.co.uk, Mobile Phones Direct and Carphone Warehouse. Here are the best options...
02. Desktop, tablet, laptop Black Friday deals UK
If you're looking for Black Friday deal on tablets, laptops, a 2-in-1 tablet PC or a desktop, here's where you'll find the best ones.
03. Wacom Black Friday deals in the UK
We'll bring you all the best Black Friday deals on Wacom tablets and accessories as soon as they appear, right here.
04. Camera Black Friday deals in the UK
05. TV and monitor deals in the UK
06. Studio / smart home Black Friday deals UK
The best US Black Friday deals of 2017
Based in the US? Great! We have all the best Black Friday deals for designers, illustrators and artists in the States right here.
Whether you're looking for hardware, software or other creative resources, we've got you covered – from laptops and tablets to cameras, Adobe deals, Apple bargains and a lot more.
We've even got mobile phone, TV, monitor and smart home Black Friday bargains, too. You can scroll through the deals – or use the quick links on the right. Happy searching…
Wacom has announced huge Black Friday savings in the UK and Europe on a number of its industry-leading graphics tablets. We’ve already seen big cuts on Wacom tablets in the run-up to Black Friday, but this is the first time we’ve seen a flagship model reduced. So what’s up for grabs?
Some of the world's most exciting artists have collaborated with The Art of Ping Pong on an artistic and noble use for table tennis equipment – covering ping pong bats in interesting designs and illustrations and auctioning them for charity.
Back for a fifth year, The Art of Ping Pong brings creatives together to raise money for charity, and this year it's helping the young adult cancer support group Trekstock. Since 2013 its charity auctions have raised over £15k.
For 2017, The Art of Ping Pong has roped in help from more artists, illustrators and designers than ever before, with 27 creatives signing up to raise money for Trekstock. Artists include established greats such as George Hardie, who created the artwork for Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, and newcomers such as Mr Doodle.
The online auction started on 26 October, but you have until 30 November to pick up specially made artwork and raise money for a worthy cause.
Algy Batten produced and created the event, and this year he's kept things fresh by adding two mini ping pong tables painted by Charlie Oscar Patterson and Mr Doodle to the online charity auction.
On top of ping pong tables, you can also get your hands on eight specially made T-shirts, thanks to a partnership with Everpress. Artists have also created bespoke ping pong paddles for the auction, which you can explore by clicking left to right in the gallery below.
The full list of contributors also includes: Yoni Alter, Mr Bingo, John Booth, Emma Brewin, Fred Butler, Alison Carmichael, Sebastian Cox, Marina Esmeraldo, Emily Forgot, Kev Munday, Neasden Control Centre, Nous Vous, Zuza Mengham, Stina Persson, Saskia Pomeroy, Pref, Benedict Radcliffe, Gemma Shiel, Adam Simpson, Sam Taylor, Louis Trew and Celia Washington.
If you're in the area, there will be a closing party for The Art of Ping Pong on 29 November at Below One Fifteen, 115 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London.
Creating illustrations for an event is a fantastic creative challenge that involves telling stories with your drawings that feed into the event's narrative, adapting your illustration style and working closely with the client to set the tone of the event with your artwork. I'll share my experience of illustrating for the Green Man festival, as well as my tips for illustrating for events.
While exhibiting at the Pick Me Up graphic arts festival in London last year, I was spotted and chosen as a candidate to create illustrations for Green Man's promo materials in 2017. I had known about the festival for quite some time and was jealous of the people who had illustrated it in the past. So I was really stoked when I got the email. It's a dream project, and a lovely portfolio piece.
The overarching theme in the brief was 'discovery'. The client wanted the illustrations to reflect the spirit of the festival and the inquisitive nature of its attendees. The brief also called for the illustrations to explore the unique, weird and wonderful things the festival has to offer.
The imagery could have a historical reference or be more abstract. It could show an imagined world, or artefacts that lie beneath the Black Mountains of Wales, where the festival is. Other possibilities included a fictional parallel universe. The client also wanted a little humour and some dark undertones added to the mix.
01. Know when to change your idea
My clients had liked the hand-painted pieces I exhibited at Pick Me Up, and we considered that choice of media. However, in the end it just wouldn't have been practical for a huge project like this. I thought up plenty of characters, doing lots of crazy things, but one of the guidelines was that I should focus on the environment and strange objects rather than characters. The client didn't want the images to look too 'childish', or too 'human'.
Consequently, one of the key challenges was to change my mindset and use objects and plants to deliver the narrative, looking for ways to give them character. I came up with lots of masks and helmets to add visual appeal. A real lifesaver was the book Art Forms in Nature by Ernst Haeckel, and from it, I discovered new ways to draw scenery. I also received a huge 'inspiration' folder from Green Man.
02. Define the style early on
The advice I'd give others trying to tackle artwork for a major event is to create a test piece, show it to people and find out where you can go from there. Make lots of changes until everyone is completely happy. With a solid framework, it's much easier to work quickly. If the style is established early on, you don't have to revisit the question with each piece.
03. Adapt your idea for different uses
For the website I had to do the area illustrations. For this I had to make up a whole world, which we could use as a basis for all the other outings as well.
The tickets were a different thing. Because there's so much info and text that needs to be readable, I had very limited space to really draw something.
The wrist bands were woven in about eight colours, and Green Man was really keen on lots of details, so it was a challenge to get as much information as possible on a really small surface too. For the parking permits, I had to get cars in the mix. It was fun to see in what kind of cars my characters would attend the festival.
04. Experiment with tools and colour
Each image began with sketching in pencil. I drew lots of versions until everything felt right so I didn't have to worry about composition when painting the illustration.
Usually I work in Procreate on an iPad Pro, but for this job I switched to a Wacom Cintiq and Photoshop. My first versions were really textured to resemble my painted work, but in the end we went for a fairly simple version with only one texture. The colours were set by Bread Collective and Green Man, and I added the blue. Usually I wouldn't use a palette like this, but I'm pleased I was forced to and can now see myself using it again.
The main feedback I received was to go 'weirder' which turns out to be a lot harder than making things more 'normal'. It was refreshing to push myself to the limits, though.
I learned a lot doing this project. For one thing, I was able to create a really consistent series of pieces, and have my work carry the look of an entire festival. I'm very happy with it. If I had to do it again, I would make my PSD files a bit cleaner, which would have saved time when preparing them for the animator.
With the advent of mobile games and indie video games, there's been a big influx of illustrators and animators getting into 3D art. This has created a trend of cel shaded objects in 3D space, bringing a whole new aesthetic, depth and dimension to 2D-style art. Thanks to this trend, a feature in Cinema 4D that has existed for years is now seeing a resurgence.
Using Cinema 4D's powerful Sketch and Toon module, you can transform your 3D artwork into a cartoon-like illustration with just a few clicks of a button. The flexibility of the Sketch and Toon module lets you experiment with different 2D cel shading styles and have it react to lights in your scene.
Building designs or characters in 3D gives you greater flexibility, as you can simply rotate the object in 3D to turn the face, rather than using complex rigs. Simple things like this makes Cinema 4D a powerful app not only for 3D artists, but for 2D illustrators and animators as well.
Download the files for this tutorial, and follow these steps to create an illustrative 2D-style cartoon character in Cinema 4D.
01. Add cel shader
Begin by creating a new material to create the cartoon texture. Turn off both the Color and Reflectance channels. We'll be using the Luminance channel because we don't want any type of diffuse shading. We're looking for nice flat shading for our model. Navigate to loading the cel shader into the Luminance channel.
02. Choose your cel shading colours
The cel shader works by using a gradient to apply materials across the surface of your object. The more you move a colour's gradient knot to the right, the more of that colour will be represented on your model. You can add or remove colour chips to get the colour combination you like, whether tritone, duotone, or any other combination.
03. Create a light
Let's create an Infinite Light with Hard Shadows enabled for a cartoonish directional light and sharp shadows. Infinite Lights act like a massive light source, such as the sun. To change the direction that the light is being cast, all you have to do is rotate the Infinite Light.
04. Use lights to drive cel shading
By default, the cel shader uses the camera or your default view as the point of the light source (Camera box checked on). To be able to use a light in your scene as the cel shader light source and to accept shadows, you just need to uncheck Camera and check on Lights as well as Shadows. Now you have total control over how the light is driving the cel shading across your object.
05. Experiment with gradient interpolation
By using the different types of gradient interpolation by clicking on the arrow next to Diffuse, you can adjust how each colour blends into another one, and also discover some interesting stylised diffuse shading beyond just using no smoothing between each colour. For example, try adding contrast by spacing some knots closer together than others.
06. Add stylised grain
You can further stylise the look of your cel shading by using the Use Bump feature to add some grain. First of all, you must activate the Bump channel and load up a noise shader. Smaller noises work best for fine grain.
07. Use Bump
For the Bump channel to act upon the cel shader, click the Use Bump checkbox. You'll see the Bump channel breaking up the cel shader and adding stylised grain to your material. Experiment with the Bump strength in the Bump channel as well as different noise types.
08. Render settings
When rendering out cartoon shaded objects, it's important to maintain a sharp, vector-like quality to renders, especially if you plan to composite the image in After Effects with vector layers. Typically you would render out using the Gauss (Animation) filter because it prevents flickering for some animation, but it also blurs your image. To maintain image sharpness, choose filters such as Cubic (Still Image) or Sinc.