Saturday, August 25, 2012

How will I tell you all Apart?

A collaboration between Jenna Winn and myself



This is another caption made my request for help in "A Collaboration between me and... you?".  Much like "Holiday Experimentation" and "Voices"I took a story written up by Jenna Winn that was inspired by a photo and idea from me, and applied it into one of my designs.

When I first read Jenna's story, I assumed I would have to do some major editing to make it fit.  After I made Holiday Experimentation, however, I realized though that her story would fit perfectly in that layout.  But when I got started this morning, I decided against it.  Not that it wouldn't make a nice looking cap, but I wanted each design to be unique.  After all, this whole idea was for me to flex my design muscles a bit.

Thankfully femslut21 did a little Internet detective work and found the entire gallery from the image I had selected.  This meant that I could do a second panel if I found the right image.

But that was getting ahead of myself.  First I had to parse out Jenna's story.  I considered doing a re-write like I did on Holiday Experimentation, but to be honest, I felt bad about the hack job I did there.  I still HAD to do it on Anne's story to make it fit, but I wasn't sure that I needed to do that here.  Plus, Jenna's story had such a unique voice... if I re-wrote it, it would undoubtedly change the tone.  So I started with just putting it into a paragraph form.  That was mainly to add a little pacing to the story as well as give me some areas that I could cut if necessary.  Once I had that down, I looked to see if there was a 'natural' point that I could split the story into two parts.

Now my criteria of splitting a story has almost nothing to do with the story itself.  What I look for is an area roughly in the center as I would like each panel to have about the same amount of story.  I also look to see if I can match up an image with each panel... so a change in position or action for the subject.   In Jenna's story I found the perfect place.  Not only did it end up on a more or less mini cliff hanger (which should make readers eager to flip to the next panel), but it also had her tied up in the first panel, and untied in the second panel.

Even the tone changed slightly... the first is a little darker and more mysterious, while the second part is lighter and more emotional.  Obviously I would use the prescribed image in the first panel... but finding the right image for the second panel was a little more problematic.  You see, I really prefer to have a multiple panel story be the same orientation.  All arranged vertically, or all arranged horizontally.  I just don't like changing that up in the middle of the story.  But all the images in the gallery that had the girl not tied up were vertical.  I briefly played with the idea of having her tied up in both panels... she does start the second half tired up after all... but none of the bound images really matched that heartwarming ending.   There was only one image that did that... and in respect of the story I decided to bite my tongue and go with a vertical layout for the second panel.

Getting into the design, I already knew that I would have this be a softer 'nicer' design.  Even the first panel which was a little darker had some more emotional elements to it that would match up well.  The fact that the panel will be dominated with a bound girl gives it all the dark edge I needed.   The problem I found was that the color image was a little tough to manipulate into a 'happy' image.  Even with the pink dress, the colors are fairly drab.  I first thought of doing a selective coloring (making it black and white, and letting only the pink back into the photo), but Britney beat me to the idea.

So instead, I went with a more 'basic' approach.  Pure black and white.  With out those oppresive greens and yellows in the background I was free to lighten up the image.  Combine that with a light airy background and I had the basic layout.  One nice thing about going B&W is that it is SO easy to get the text and text box done.... its either white text on a faded black text box or black text on a faded white text box.  I looked at both and decided that the faded white text box matched the mood a little better.

I finished up with the small details (shadow behind the photo, title layout, shadow behind the title, watermark), and then just copied all the effects to the second panel.  Again, with it being vertical it wasn't as easy to copy the layout (the title couldn't sit up on top like in the first panel), but it still went off without much drama.

I looked it over and was happy enough to start writing up this post.  Normally when I start a write up, I'm DONE with the cap.  Unless I find some major error, I'm not going back into Photoshop... but while I paused to get my thoughts in order, I looked at the image and thought of something I could add that would punch up the soft warm feeling.... a nice blur/glow effect.   This is something that I've been doing with several images lately.  If used with a very light touch, it can take out image flaws like a grainy apperance... but when punched up it can give an image a real ethereal feel.  And that's exactly what I wanted.   The effect had to be a little different for each photo, as I couldn't do too much blurring to her eyes (it makes her look too much like a 'doll').  But I think the effect is that little bit extra that the cap needed.

Now just as my previous designs in this collaboration experiment were offered up to Anne and Angel, I offer this one up to Jenna.  You tell me if anything should be changed or edited.  Like Angel's story, I didn't alter the text that much, but I did more or less give it the pacing with the paragraphs.  If you think that needs to change, let me know.

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UPDATE

Upon a suggested change from Jenna, I changed the wording in the second panel to better work with the image.  If you are interested I'll add the original version below:


7 comments:

  1. I'll admit I was predisposed to LIKE this caption before I even read it... This was because of all the things I read in the original post the final "tag-line" of "I'm the one who'll be in your bed every night" was one of the few things that REALLY stuck with me :)

    I love the approach, the story has a few original touches, and the presentation/layout is spot-on... So, while I was predisposed to "like" it, now I LOVE it :)

    Awesome stuff! I'm so glad the collaboration is working out for you, AND your fans!

    /hugs

    Britney

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    1. Thanks Britney! I figured out of all the versions that this would be the most up your alley!

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  2. One edit that I might make...on the second panel(which is perfect for the story)I might rewrite the part about looking in the mirror to read "...saw herself for the first time. She looked at Chrissy, at all the boxes of presents, and she started to cry."...that way, I don't expect to see another person in the image. That being said...I absofreakinglutly adore it. As you probably know from comments I've made in the past, I love B$W and slightly colored photos, and I really love the soft glow you gave these. Thank you xoxoxoxo Thank you for your kindness, for inspiring me comment in the first place, for taking the time to respond when I did finally comment, for making your captions and creating a place for myself and others who may not fit into a mainstream niche to visit... and escape for a moment into a fantasy world, I guess I can sum it up with a simple...You are AWESOME.

    Brittany, TY...glad you liked it. I am becoming more and more enamored with your writing in case you didn't know.

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    1. Jenna, I have put in the change you suggested. I added just a touch more (making Chrissy get on the bed) just to make it fit with the next sentence (kissing her on the back of the neck). I agree that works better... I wish there was a photo in this set with a girl behind her... but this edit makes it so it's not necessary.

      And there is no need to thank me. You were the one that took the big step of commenting (I remember how hard it was to take that step myself!), and you've written a beautiful story. I want to thank YOU for that!

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  3. May I ask where this gallery is with all of the pics?

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    1. Quidam you can find the full gallery here:

      http://www.roperookie.com/hg/templates/white/white_noexit.html/MjEwNzo2OjM2,0,0,0,/lila

      femslut21 located them!

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