Saturday, March 5, 2011

Paris: City of Lights, Love, and Sissies

A collaboration between the talented Jennifer and I
As I've mentioned in many posts here, Jennifer and I chat often via IM.  We both respect each others work, and share many of the same preferences.  It seemed almost destined that we would want to work with each other.

Now I've worked in creatve groups before, and even collaborated one on one with an artist on a non TG/TF piece of work before.  I have to say that I was not impressed by the results.  I was good.  He was good.  But the work we made was just crap.  Below either of our individual standards.  A lot of that came from us having vastly different styles.  Those styles weren't just how we preferred to work, it was how we worked.  We couldn't just drop our habits formed over years and suddenly work in a new way.

So when Jennifer first thought of working together, I was at first a little nervous.  I like Jennifer's caps, and respect her ability,both story wise, and design wise.  But while we both share many preferences, our styles are quite different.  I design in Photoshop, while Jennifer designs in Comic Life.  I write out the story in Word, while Jennifer writes directly in Comic Life.  My stories tend to be based on action, with large breaks for dialog, while Jennifer's are mainly dialog driven.   I was really scared that this might end up as hours of work, with nothing but an argument to show for it.

And I couldn't have been more wrong.  We do start in the same way.  We both looked at our Sara's (sarinedavis) preferences.  She was the perfect subject for us to work with.  She likes full transformations as well as cross dressing and sissy caps.  She likes XXX rated caps.  She likes forced or pressured changes.  She likes being dominated, and being humiliated.  That is right in the sweet spot for both Jennifer and I.

Once we had the preferences in our head, we started looking for an image.  But unlike my normal Google Image crawl, we perused Jennifer's collection of images waiting for a cap.  Jennifer sent me 27 images in total.  All of them really good, and most of them told me a quick story.

This is the first one we focused on (there were several before it, but none that really got an idea going):

We got the basic idea of a mistress (could be girlfriend, wife, or some stranger) transforming poor sara over time.  The transformation would be 'training' her body using the corset, the heels, the body stocking, the fishnet stocking, and even the light bondage.  We even had that this was her final training either on crawling toward a chair, or having a guy coming in and sit in the chair for her new lesson.   It seemed devious, but we both kept looking at images.

There were several more images that we looked at, but none sparked as detailed a story.  The next image of note was:

We figured this could be a similar tale, but we liked the image a little better.  This one seemed like it could be a man dressed in women's clothing a little more believably than in the previous image.  But we both had a little issue with most of the subject being cut off.  And to keep the heel in, we couldn't crop out the empty space.

So we kept looking at images.  The next to get an idea was:

This one told me more of a story.  I had the basic idea of a man and wife traveling to Paris.  He purchases her some sexy 'French Lingerie' but she gets up set and makes him wear it.  Of course this would be fleshed out with delecious detail, but it worked for me.  Jennifer liked it, but also liked the the idea of him being seduced and transformed over a long time by a mistress.

We didn't irremediably decide on it (even though you know we eventually did), and kept looking at images.  There were plenty of good images, but I kept coming back to this one.  In all honesty as Jennifer kept sending me images, I started working on cloning out the copyright information, and even working on a crop.

We finally, however, did come back to this image.  We decided that out of the other little ideas we had, that this one felt the most 'right'.  So we went back and forth on some details.  We wanted him to lose something (another of Sara's preferences is loss of position and/or strength).  So we came up with the idea of him being a traveling business man who gets seduced and transformed by this Mistress.  We talked about how the cap would be presented.  We knew there are a lot of options like having Sara tell this in thought or voice, having the action described, and having the Mistress tell by thought or voice.

We finally settled on having the Mistress tell the story.  We went back and forth on having her be the only voice in the dialog, while still having her talk to someone (similar to what I did in Wedding Belles), or having her conversation partner also have a voice.  We settled on both participants having a voice as its easier to ask and answer a more complex question, and the answer doesn't have to cover everything.  We both knew that this would make the story longer, and we didn't really want to use other images.  But it was a risk we were willing to take.

So to start us off, Jennifer started the conversation.  She would send me a few lines from the mistress and her companion, and then we would talk about them a bit.  Each time Jennifer would send me something, I would copy it down into Word.  Once we had what felt like about half the conversation, I started going over it with a finer comb.  My first goal was to eliminate spelling, punctuation, and grammar problems.   Neither of us are perfect so having two sets of eyes (and Words spell check) helped.  But having it in this form, also put me into my comfort zone so I could help with the writing.

Now I was perfectly happy letting Jennifer write out the majority of the story.  I've always felt that her stories have more emotional punch than mine, and I got the same feeling here.  I felt that my best work could be adding 'more' to some of the statements.  Filling out some details of the transformation, and putting in a direct reference to the photo.

My other big contribution was the layout.  As I mentioned earlier I had already been playing with the image to crop out some of the empty space.  Out of habit I threw it into a 900x900 blank image and played with some words to stand in for the title.  I figured I wanted it to revolve around Paris, so I just threw in "Paris, City of Lights, Love and Humiliation" fully intending on replacing it later.  The background started out as pure black and white, but I noticed that the image isn't really black and white.  It has a slight sepia tone to it.  So I changed the background to match the photo.

Once the story was finished, and we agreed on the changes I proposed, we were ready to add the text.  Being entirely a conversation between two people really sets up the design to use colored text, or text boxes. Now I really do like the feel that text boxes give a cap, but doing it in Photoshop is just such a bear.  But with our collaboration I wasn't limited by Photoshop's tools.  I saved the background and handed it off to Jennifer to finish up in Comic Life.

About halfway through, she saw that the text wasn't going to fit without being tiny. So I went back in and changed the background image to be 1000x1200.  While I was in there we decided to change the title as well to its final version.  We both liked the 'humiliation' but as all the story was coming from Mistress, we didn't feel that it was an part of the story that should be highlighted.  But since we were basicly making Sara into a sissy girl, and she mentions 'Sissy' in her preferences (some people don't like the word as much as Jennifer and I do), we changed the title to that.

Jennifer finished up with the text boxes and added a lot to them.  I love the fact that the boxes for each voice is different.  Not just in color, but in shape.  The Mistress' voice is a sharp hard box, while her conversation partner (a former sissy herself!) is a curved soft box.  The last step was to bring it back into Photoshop and resize it.  Comic life just loves to put a white border around the image, and for some reason changed the size to over 1200x1600.

I have to say that the collaboration was a success.  I feel proud of the cap, and if I did it alone, I would say it was one of my best. As it is a collaboration, I can still be happy to have helped in making such a great cap.

Now this is just my version of the write up.  I'm sure Jennifer will have her own write up on her blog very soon.


  1. Oh I will be posting this on my blog! I am very pleased with how it turned out! ^_^

    I'm still amused with how we finally got to the end result. I was a little worried going in to it too, but I thought we both could work well together once we were over the first few jitters.

    And once we did, we were on a roll! I know it took couple of hours, but it really paid off, theres not a part trough out the whole cap that we both didn't have a hand in. Well the title was all your's, but everything else! ^_^

    I loved the details you added through out it, it made the caption that much hotter! Thank you for the compliments on my "emotional punch" in my story's. ^_^ I think you do a wonderful job of adding some emotion to your caps as well, Humiliation in particular! *giggle*

    I'm very happy with how it all turned out and I look forward to trying it again some time. It's only my second collaborative effort, but both were fun to do. ^_^

  2. It came out very well, and you both tended to do things you did best, and made a true collaboration a reality.

    The Photoshop to Comic Life to Photoshop back and forth was the way to go. As someone that played around with CL a bit, I know it is REALLY good for some things and dreadful for others. You used both to their advantages though.

    Now onward to Jenniger's blog to see her side of the story!