Using tech and whimsy to help tell stories

Winston Huff, a graphic artist whose work has been featured on CNET, explains how he creates his magic.

Winston Huff illustrates #SilenceSree Day. Winston Huff

Some of our readers have commented on the striking computerized illustrations that sometimes accompany my blog posts. They are the work of Winston Huff (@WinstonHHuff), a Connecticut-based CGI artist and creative writer, who does a great job blending the physical and the digital. As you will see with his images below, he brings alive social media using what he calls a "fun blend of technology and whimsy."

Above is what he created for my students' #SilenceSree Day (a fundraiser that kept me off Twitter and Facebook for a day; here's what I wrote about the campaign in a previous post).

Asked to describe how he came up with this piece of art, Huff wrote this in an e-mail:

When Sree asked me to do an image for his #SilenceSree project, I immediately thought of doing something with the iPhone, one of the most recognizable devices in the world of social media.

The idea was to show Sree's face literally emerging from the iPhone's glass screen, his suite of social media apps visible through his own head, ready to burst forth with musings and pertinent information if it weren't for that pesky silencing zipper across his lips. A fun blend of technology and whimsy.

Using reference photographs of Sree, I created the facial model over several days in Maxon's Cinema 4D Studio package. Then, using both commercial 3D resources and my own original objects, I textured, staged, and rendered the final scene in Cinema. Hopefully it will bring a smile to those without facial restraints.

Below you will find some other graphics he has created for my posts. The first one, especially, is worth noting. Some people think those are real blocks he's carved.

Here's a link to his profile (I think everyone should consider one of these social profiles - or - to aggregate all their social stuff in one place).

Winston Huff illustrates "Sree Week in Review." Credit: Winston Huff

Winston Huff illustrates "Sree Week in Review." Credit: Winston Huff

It isn't just computerized graphics that Huff creates. Here's something he drew by hand:

Winston Huff illustrates "Sree Week in Review." Credit: Winston Huff

Note to readers: If you've been reading my posts here, you know that one of the things I am trying to do is learn what works and what doesn't on social media. It's such a fast-evolving, confusing world that I believe we can all learn together. Please post your thoughts in the comments below or e-mail me or tweet me at @sree or #sreetips on Twitter. Thanks for reading.