I created red ribbons that elegantly and realistically flow and wrap around an arm for a Gilead Redefine HIV Campaign conceived by Paul Svancara, Senior Art Director at Phoenix advertising agency Riester. Key to the success of the illustration was my ability to create the ribbons in a 3D modeling program to ensure the ribbons had accurate form, perspective, and texture.
Before I began creating the ribbon, I added a 3D model of an arm to the scene to be used as a guide. As I wrapped the ribbon, I followed the contours of the 3D arm. This ensured the perspective would be convincing as the ribbon traveled from the front of the arm to the sides and back again in the final 2D rendering.
It was important that the ribbon’s texture be visually accurate as the ribbon twists and turns. Since a 3D modeling program works in a virtual 3D space, I simply created a flat ribbon texture and mapped it to the surface of the ribbon. Then, I wrapped and twisted the ribbon how ever I needed and the texture traveled along with it. This would have been extremely difficult to create using only Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
I also created a series of individual ribbon strips in various positions and sizes that were used at the advertising agency to produce artwork for the many collateral pieces of the campaign.
Since there was a wide range of sizes for the collateral pieces in the campaign, I created three sets of ribbons with heights of 0.25″, 1.5″, and 6″. I developed an individual ribbon texture for each set of ribbons, which I optimized for the size of the ribbon.