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Belgian Jeannie

I was contacted out of the blue by the owner of a Pizzeria in Arizona. He had seen some of my work at a 3D art community called Renderosity, which is a place where I post some of my work. The restaurant owner said he liked my work and could tell that I was a professional and that he wanted to discuss having me create a logo and “mascot” for his restaurant. After several long phone calls to determine exactly what he was looking for, I took the project and embarked on of the more risque projects I’ve had the pleasure to work on.

The logo is for a Pizzeria in Jerome, Arizona, and it's named after an infamous local madam who met with a wicked fate: Belgian Jennie. The logo needed to feature a hot young woman “with a body that you’d drive across the state to see, and a face so inviting that you’d want to come again and again…”

We both agreed that we would be working with Poser, which is a mid-level 3D program that focuses on animating and illustrating characters. We wanted to use a 3D model so we could easily reposition the body and change her clothes for future designs on T-shirts, menus, and other products. We spent quite a long time trying to capture the mix of innocence and sexiness in her body and face, and an equally long time tweaking her wardrobe.

I nailed the basic framework of signs very quickly and created them in Macromedia Freehand. Because of the size of the image, I wanted to do as much as I could in vector format so it would scale easily to the large sizes required. I was also fortunately that I quickly found a suitable font for the text, Algerian. We wanted something with a Western look but which would also be easy to read at a distance. Once placed, the font was converted to paths and I manually edited it to add a black drop shadow effect to the lettering.

This was a fun project, but it had several challenges that had to be met, not the least of which was the size of the final render of Jennie. The finished size was 30 inches by 42 inches tall, which required a huge output file. So huge, in fact, that it kept crashing my system. I finally had to render it at 75% and scale up (then I went in and manually cleaned up the jaggies on the edges and curves).

The second major challenge was trying to make the client happy while getting it past the censors on the town sign committee. The client wants the logo to be more sexy ("move the fan, show some more thigh") and the sign committee wants him to tone it waaaaay down. The major point of contention was the size of her breasts and the amount of hip and buttock showing. It took a lot of work, and a strategically positioned fan, to get it past the sign committee, but in the end I managed to make everyone happy.

Finally, I composited the vector and bitmap images in Adobe Illustrator as a huge CMYK image so it could be output digitally on a Sintra printer and laminated for UV protection. It was then mounted on a weatherproof substrate (Plexiglas, I believe) and hanged over the store’s entrance on chains.

All in all, this was a very challenging project, but very rewarding. It was a pleasure to work in Poser to create a character as sexy as Belgian Jennie. But there were also budget and time constraints which required me to purchase the clothing models “off the shelf” and I had to make extensive modifications to fit them on her body. Plus, as noted above, we had a lot of problems getting her breasts to a size that made her sexy yet also small enough to get approval from the sign committee.

The client has said that he plans to return her to her more voluptuous state for the T-shirts and other products that will appear elsewhere in the restaurant. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to doing some more work in the future with Belgian Jennie.

Tools: Photoshop, Poser, Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator.

- Main Logo Design
- Large-Scale Sign

730 kb

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Main Logo Design

Finished Size:
30 inches x 42 inches

Full-color CMYK illustration based on customized head and body in Poser, using some original modeling and texturing.

Printed: Spring 2005
Print sample available

Click on picture for sample.

25 kb

Large-Scale Sign

This is a photo mock-up of how the sign would look hanging over the door of the restaurant. Created to show the client (and sign committee) how the final sign would appear from the street.

Printed: Spring 2005
Print sample available

Click on picture for sample.

100 kb

Early Draft

This early draft proved to be a bit much for the sign committee, who insisted that Jennie's ample charms be... well, less ample. Also note that, in the final version above, she has lace armlet and the name of the restaurant is slightly different.

Printed: Spring 2005
Print sample available

Click on picture for sample.

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