Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Earning a Name

Did you earn your name?

If you haven't read them yet, you really need to head over to the Haven and read Mistress Simone's recent caps "The Glamour Games".  They are all there now, or you can wait as she is posting one each day to her blog.  She even included me in this wonderful series of caps.

As if getting included in a multi part series from Simone wasn't wonderful enough, she also made a stand alone cap for me that was just pure wonderful.  So I knew that I wanted to make something special for her return caps.

When I went to fuskator to look for images, I quickly keyed onto this series.   First, its from one of my favorite sites.. X-Art.  They make sets that are both 'dirty' and wonderfully photographed.   I've used enough of their sets now that I often find myself recognizing them before I even see their watermark.  If you love beautiful erotica, then head over to their site.  It is so worth it!

Back to the cap... so I found these images, and loved the idea of a slave talking to her Mistress.  I picked out the image in the last panel and started to write.  I realized quickly that I had a couple problems.  First, I was writing out a longer story than I initially intended.  Second, the dialog format that I was using wasn't going to be the easiest to format.  I would have to distinguish between the voices, and some of the lines were just to short.

As I sat back and considered these issues (as well as where the story was going), I recalled a conversation I had had with Simone recently.  She commented on my newer style used in "Evie's Fantasy" and "For you Baby".  At first I wasn't aware of what she was talking about because of the way she refered to them.  But I have to admit that her term is now firmly stuck in my head, and will be how I refer to this style going forward.  Kinetic Text.

I figured I could use that style with this cap, and just make it a series.  I had about 15 images to use, so I went ahead and finished writing the story.  But I came across another problem when I started to input the text... there was a LOT of text to fit into this style.  You see in my two previous tries at this, I wrote the story inside the cap... so I just utilized what space was available and got a single point across in each panel.  But this time... well I had the slave character going on some longer descriptive paragraphs.

I MIGHT be able to fit it in.. but I would almost certainly need more than 15 panels.  But as I was unwilling to give up that easily, I started playing around.  I realized I could combine this style with a more standard 'text in a text box' format.  I re-read what I had written, and saw that the 'Mistress' voice never spoke in long sentences.  In fact most of her character is developed in the slaves telling of their past.

So I started working and playing and fidgeting and got four panels done.  I was still a little worried though, as I didn't know if it really worked.  And I would hate to deliver a return cap that didn't hit on all cylinders.  Thankfully smitty was online, and willing to give the first few panels a once over.  He gave it a positive review and that set my mind at ease.  At least at ease enough to finish putting it together.

But as I neared the end I saw another problem.  My first thought was to make this for Mistress Simone's 'Chloe' persona.  I had made a cap for 'Simone', and even made one for both 'Simone' and 'Chloe' together, but hadn't yet made one for just Chloe.  The problem though is that I was writing the Mistress character with a voice that I associate with Mistress Simone's 'Simone' character.

So I had to sit back and consider that some more.  I actually bounced an early idea off of smitty.... I could post the first few panels without mentioning either name.  I would then have Simone read it, and tell me if she wanted this to be a 'Simone' or a 'Chloe' cap.   But after a bit more thought I dumped that idea.  It just didn't feel right to put that onto Simone.  It's like having the birthday girl make her own birthday cake.

So instead I asked her before she could see any of it.  I just simply asked which she would rather have... a Simone cap (without photos of Simone), or a Chloe cap.  After talking it over she decided on Simone.  As this was now about Mistress Simone playing with a slave, I named the slave.. me.  Hey... I put myself in as a guy often enough!

The Kinetic Text format normally doesn't require much touch up.  It's mostly just reading it over and over a few times to make sure there aren't to many typos.  And in this case that was actually easier because I pre-wrote this in Word.  But about halfway through it I changed something.  Wanting to make even more of an emphasis on the difference between the Mistress' strong confident voice and the slave's quiet meek voice I decided to make the Mistresses font all caps.  Thankfully that was as easy as highlighting all the text, and pressing a button in Photoshop.  But I also decided to make all of the slaves letters lower case (except for 'Mistress').

Sadly there isn't a button for that in photoshop, so I had to go in and manually change all the caps into lower case.  Once that was done, I also had to go through and redraw each text box.  You see while making the design I just copy the text box layer over for each now iteration of it, and then resize it as I need it.  But when you take a perfectly drawn box and resize it 24 times, it gets sloppier and sloppier each time.  At least the sizes were all correct... so all I had to do was pull out four guides (one per side) and select the area inbetween the guides.  Fill in that space, make its opacity match the previous version (49% opacity if you are curious), and then delete the previous text box layer.

Neither task was hard.. but doing it so many times over and over was rather tedious.

I think in future attempts at the Kinetic style I'll have to stick to the original idea of writing out each panel as they come up.  I know I could have changed the text to fit better while designing it... make it flow better... but I just didn't.  I had spent so much time writing the story that I didn't want to risk ruining what I thought was rather good already.  But looking at the last penal.. I could have made the last words from the Mistress more interesting. Instead of "You have truly come a very long way, and you have earned your slave name.  You will forever be my pretty slave... Caitlyn"  I could have written that as "You've come a long way... Caitlyn".

That differnce would have freed me up to be more creative with the layout of the text.  Maybe making 'Caitlyn' much bigger, and then lining the other text up around it, instead of three similarly sized lines.   But.. live and learn.  I'm obviously still working on how this Kinetic Text style will work, and I still think I've got a cap here that Mistress Simone will like.

And having her like this is the most important thing.


  1. If you are worried about me, liking this, you have surpassed your expectations. I absolutely adore this caption. If anything, this is one of your most focused stories in this style. It's obvious you had a place you were going with the end and you finally made it there in the end.

    Such a bit part of doing this type of caption is the choice in images and this set is beautiful. I don't think you could do this with your typical picture. Your text compliments the image and becomes an integral part of it. Likewise, the image becomes synonymous with the story you've created.

    I might be bias, but it's brilliant work!

    1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it Simone! I was worried about you enjoying it, but then again I'm always worried when I cap the people I respect.

      I agree, picture selection is very important to this style. Not only do the pictures need the spacing for the text to fit, but there also needs to be many photos. If this story had ran over much more, I would have been out of photos!

  2. Its just so well done! I don't mean to put it down when I say this, but it seems to me its like advertising. Its so well constructed, and everything is just right in its place that it seems like everything belongs where it is.

    Its overall design is perfect. The balance between pictures, plot, actual words, and overall composition are stunning!

    1. I'll always appreciate someone comparing my caps to advertising Dee. I personally find that to be high praise. The people who make advertising work day in and day out pumping out quality work.

      I worked for a short time with a couple advertising/commercial photographers just after school. Perfection isn't a goal in their work, its a requirement!

  3. I absolutely love this new style of text as layout you are exploring and this is your best to date. It doesn't hurt that it's one of your better stories. I like the way she gets so broken down that the only thing that is punishment to her is to be away from the one who broke her.

    1. Thanks smitty! I think that's what seperates this from my previous attempts... the story. I pre-wrote it like I would any other cap so it had a more distinct voice and tone. It moved toward the ending from the very first word... in the previous attempts I didn't know where it was going to end until it got there.

  4. Thanks everyone! I'm still on the fence with this new style, and I really do crave feedback on it. Right now the average time to make a 'normal' cap for me is about an hour. Obviously sometimes less, and sometimes more. But between "Evie's Fantasy", "For you Baby", and "Earning a Name" I think I've averaged 3 hours. The first two took a long time because I was figuring out what to write along with how to present it, but I didn't have that problem with this one.

    I guess I need to find the internal balancing point. I'm happy that this style is going over well, but I'm not willing to commit THAT much time to the majority of my caps. If I can't get the time down faster I'll keep it as a 'now and again' style that I pull out when everything lines up right.

    1. Well, I don't think this should anywhere near approach a daily or normal caption for you.

      Like anything, it should be an organic expression between the source pictures, the storyline in your head, and the logistical organization requirements needed to get what you want creatively onto the digital canvas.

      The other reason would be that you don't want people to come to expect something like this all the time AND if you make one for them, they'll wonder if you are skimping them.

      I think that the last thing you need is even more pressure on yourself. One of the things that comforts me is that I am allowed clunkers, at least in my mind. If people don't understand it, then that is THEIR FAULT, not mine! LOL

    2. I do the same. Most of my caps are very easy layout wise. But every now and then, the story, the images, or the recipient call for something more.

      Still I'm glad to see this style start to get something like the praise it deserves.

  5. That is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever witnissed. Both of imagery and of content. Thanks.

  6. I am late to the party, but I absolutely love this cap! The story is wonderful, I love the interplay between the Mistress and slave. Plus the difference in how they both speak just emphasizes and accentuates the disparities in their positions.

  7. An absolutely amazing caption. The layout worked perfectly to pace the story, instructing the audience how to read each line. And the story itself is one of your all time best. This is easily one of the all around best captions I have seen in a long time. Well done.