TEN Collection: design tutorial ft Alexander Otto (Germany)

Watch Alexander Otto talk through the process of creating his artwork entitled "The Journey" for the TEN Collection. Use the captions settings for subtitles.

Part of the Project

Alexander Otto is a German graphic designer living in New York City. He specialises in illustration, art direction, style and branding for short 3D movies, interactive design and user interfaces.

"I always end up processing everything with Photoshop – whether it's an element from Illustrator, a 3D rendering or a photo I took," says Otto.

Another key resource for Otto is his huge digital library of high-resolution images, including stock photos, textures, visual effects and more, that he has built up over the years. He also uses 3D elements to enhance his projects.

On his subject matter, Otto says:

I find themes that make people uncomfortable or have a disturbing effect much more interesting than images that are just slick, colourful, in-your-face and pure eye candy.

In his work process, Otto uses an enormous number of layers in his Photoshop file, organised into colour-coded folders and subfolders. He creates large or important elements as smart objects, which incoporate elements such as cropping and colour adjustments. He then creates three copies of each smart object, using the multiply and screen effects for dark and light areas respectively. "This increases the size of the file but also the quality of your work," he says.

For his artwork for the TEN Collection, Otto used mostly stock images, although usually he also incorporates 3D elements. "Recently I had a rendering in which I simulated smoke with FumeFX and then rendered 24 million particles with Krakatoa, which I simply imported into Photoshop as a PNG afterwards," says Otto.

Entitled "The Journey", the artwork is a story about a young couple, whose lives Otto represents through the perspective of the piece. "My artwork represents individual moments of their lives. My idea was to show little stories that were important to them, which led to certain decisions, up to the moment where the two came together."

Directed by Gang Corporate
Music: Thomas Van Pottelberghe 
Mix: Axel Guenoun
Motion Design: Mister Gü