For this blog post I want to revisit the constellation illustrations.
I had been thinking about if there were any ways I could improve them as I was still not very pleased with the look on the page, but I came up with the solution in an unexpected way.
Thinking about how the images were displayed on the page being stacked upon one another, I felt that it was adding unnecessarily to the file size, which I knew would massively slow down the uploading process so I decided I would be better off conducting the blending modes in Illustrator, then saving to a PNG, and then placing it into the InDesign file.
Interestingly, I found that applying the very same blending modes in Illustrator produced a different result to that in InDesign. I’m not quite sure why that is, but I did notice the colours were brighter, which is something I wanted. In addition to using the blending modes of Soft Light and Screen, I sometimes replaced Soft Light with Hard Light as this made the colours stronger.
Below are the blending modes I used for each colour. The top one is the base layer and the bottom one is the secondary layer on top.
Below I have placed a few spreads that show how the illustrations look when placed on the page. I think I have just about got the right balance between them being too dim and not clearly visible, and too bright, obscuring the stars. I think to conclude, they could be made brighter when the final two pages were placed in, as star charts as that is where you could see the relevant constellations without the illustrations overlaid.
Now that I have refined the illustrations, all that there is left to do is proof-read the book and get it sent off to print.