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
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,