behind the scenes

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7. babel on

This CrossTalk cover's theme was "Programming Languages". I thought that a "Tower of Babel" image would work well, so I began researching images online. One of the best was a biblical illustration by Gustave Doré. My thought was to have the very lengthy list of programming languages listed chronologically on the tower, with the biblical figures replaced by modern software engineers. My initial sketch showed my idea to have different colored word ballons, filled with actual programming code, but that part of the idea was scrapped. Using the original Doré illustration as a template in Painter, one by one I drew the modern day equivalent of each figure. I drew this at a huge resolution of 600 DPI so I could maintain a high level of detail. And to be very politically correct, I was careful to create a good mix of gender, age and ethnicity. Next I experimented with quickly painting in some color to create several mockups. I drew the tower in pencil and scanned it (and later had to digitally alter some of the words on it). I did the final painting/texturing in both Painter and Adobe Photoshop, adding real photos of clouds to create the completed cover.