Friday, June 15, 2012

Virtuality to Reality

VR is just a fantasy... right?

So I owed JaySeaver a cap for one she made me at the Haven.  The only problem is that our preferences don't quite match up well.  As I'm sure most know I enjoy a good humiliating XXX romp above all else.   I don't generally go for the 'awww aint that sweet' style of story.  And I'm not embarassed at all to state that I enjoy a good porntastic story and image.   But some things I noticed in JaySeaver's preferences really stood out to me:

  • I've got no need to see genitalia in the pictures.  So keep it in the G to soft-R range;
  • I'm not much of a fan of degradation
  • I'm not interested in cross-dressing at all
  • I'd rather not be portrayed as a sexually-harassing dick, if you don't mind

So... no XXX.  No humiliation.  No cross dressing.  No karmic revenge.  With that in mind the theme I got was someone wanting to be a woman.  There was no mention of magic vs tech vs real, but there were several 'plots' given.  One that I caught onto was 'telecommuting' and a longer version of 'the great shift'.  Now I'm not a fan of the great shift either, but let's face it... I'm already working so far out of my comfort zone that I may as well use all the help that Jay offered.  

So the vague idea I had was a story set several years after the great shift.  Jay of course ended up in the body of a woman and contacted his old job.  He kept it by saying he was now in Hong Kong but could work via email and such.  Meanwhile he is struggling to accept his new feminine life.  I even played with the idea of him being a 'Great Shift' therapist, helping people deal with their new life while he struggles to follow his own advice.  

I thought just about any non X picture of a woman and a laptop would do.  But I had trouble finding one where the expression inspired more details or even matched what I had in my head already.  And then I came across this image:

I normally would skip over such an image.  It's nice but its not very sexual and shows a real happiness.  But those very things I'm normally avoiding would work fine for Jay... so why not get this into photoshop and consider what it's telling me.  The first thing I got from the image is that it isn't set in a real place.  Maybe its because I've been thinking about VR so much lately, but it looked like some sort of virtual space.   So if I used this I would need to explain why Jay was in a VR and happy.  Well... what if the VR reality was starting to affect his real body, slowly changing him into this beautiful woman.  

The story flowed pretty easily after that.  In fact I again wrote to much for the space.  I knew I would have to have a text box under the text as it would be flowing over both the dark outer edge, as well as the light glowing inner area.  But with as much as I wrote, I couldn't just throw it up in a square or rectangle box.  And honestly drawing a box that looks good for an odd shape or even a triangle is just a pain.  It takes absolutely forever to get the spacing right and never looks very 'finished' to me.  

I've seen other cappers do it and they make it look very professional... I just can't do it myself.  

So after a few minutes fiddling with it, I gave up.  I still needed to have something separate the text though.  Now when I use larger fonts like I do for the titles I will often either put a shadow behind it, or put an outer glow effect.  But in small text I don't really find that to be effective.  Especially when I've already focused in on a very thin font (Century Gothic in this case).  So I went to cap artists that utlize these skills better than I do.  Specifically I checked out Steffi's latest caps.  One thing that she does really well is to throw a line (or in Photoshop terms a 'stroke') around the font, and add a shadow to that.  I personally don't find it very easy to read, but no one complains so I have to assume that is more on me.  

So I did just that.  Between the title font, it's outer glow, the story font and it's stroke, I only used two colors.  Both selected right from the background of the image.  

Overall I think it looks pretty good.  It's not exactly what I normally do, but I don't think its different enough to not look like a 'Caitlyn' cap.  And to be honest... I like the story.  I hope Jay and all of you out there to as well.


  1. Design! WOOHOO!

    You did a great job using the stroke effect (which I use when putting text directly over a picture as well) and I think adding shadows to text is always a good idea when the font is a light color like white or yellow.

    Sometimes the stroke effect is hideous to look at, especially when it is overwhelming. Its best when just giving more definition to the actual font, slightly bringing it out from the background.

    The way you used it makes it a completely balanced composition between text and picture.

  2. The happy ending really stuck out here, when usually that's the big dropping off point for me in a lot of stories. Not because I don't like them, I just find most of them are unrealistic don't feel like it was a natural progression to that end.

    This one did! And dang, I have always loved the idea of a implanted VR. (read around, it's slight possibility!) A way to hook up your mind, to a virtual construct, not limited by a program really, just your imagination!

    But usually my idea for that sort of thing stays in the VR Realm, At least when ever i tinkered with it for a cap. But I like the idea brought up here, the alternative to plastic surgery, i think there's a few fun things that could be done with that idea! This cap is just one of them! ^_^

    Great work!

  3. Not your typical fare, but every bit a wonderful nonetheless!