red_satin_doll: (Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD)
This post will be updated frequently.  I'm including some examples when possible because a picture is worth a thousand words.

UPDATED 05 July 2016:


TEXTURES:
[livejournal.com profile] colorfilter - Their big 40 pack of icon textures (download link at Facebook here) is still the one I use most often and I haven't begun to scratch the surface of the hundreds of textures within. Also check out the pack of larger 800x600 textures. You can also find the sets posted individually on their journal. I've posted a few more examples of my icons using these textures in the comment thread here.

             1-7


             8-14



[livejournal.com profile] texturize - (Many thanks to[livejournal.com profile] teragramm for rec'ing this community) One-stop shopping for anyone interested in creating and sharing textures. Be sure to read the comm's very informative "Bible" (guidelines) before posting or snagging. Most of the artists post links back to their graphics journals or to Deviant Art.

[livejournal.com profile] lookslikerain at [livejournal.com profile] soaked. I've used more of their textures than anyone's except [livejournal.com profile] colorfilter's:

      icon for fanfic Ipseity by spuffy luvr 2015     15-20


[livejournal.com profile] whitebamboo:

      21-23


[livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan at [livejournal.com profile] wolfbane_icons

24


[livejournal.com profile] scoobyatemysnax at [livejournal.com profile] burnedbreads - includes tutorials.  A tremendous variety of textures including soft glow, grunge, frames, abstract and geometric patterns in any one given set. I like their medium (300pixels) square textures for icons.

      25 - 30

 * [livejournal.com profile] broken_places The graphics journal of [livejournal.com profile] akilah92

* Evey-V at DeviantArt I like Ericka's soft, painterly, abstract textures, gradients, and text brushes:

consequences0128icon1.3e.png 31

 * [livejournal.com profile] sweetiepebbles Gallery of icon textures and bases at DeviantArt
 * Yeonseb at DeviantArt Vast supply of textures and application resources
 * [livejournal.com profile] spiritcoda - [livejournal.com profile] creativehangout is their LJ graphics gallery, or check out their DA gallery; some exceptionally pretty textures

FRAMES:
 * FRAMEs & BORDERs for use - Flickr image sharing group
 * Your Picture Frames - Most of the icon frames in my awards banners come from this site.
 * Victorian Frame Company - Mostly HQ photos of antique-style wood frames with carved detail, includes unusual shapes such as rounds, oblongs and hearts:

  32 - 33

SCREENCAPS for Buffyverse
[livejournal.com profile] slayerstillness has a list of Screencap Resources for BtVS and AtS, including all the ones I use most frequently; if you know of
any not on the list, send the links to [livejournal.com profile] starry_night. Some of my favorites from the list:

  * Pretty as a Picture complete screencaps for BtVS and AtS plus promo photos for Buf (ETA: 12/21/15 site currently defunct)

  * Bloodqueen has all seven seasons of BtVS complete, is one of my primary sources

  * Leave Me the White by [livejournal.com profile] _jems_  Spuffy-centric so no S1 or S3 caps and the remaining seasons are incomplete; but some of the best quality
     caps of the series I've found. (S2 is the most complete with 14 episodes capped.) Includes Dailies for Smashed and Dead Things.
     S7 is spread out over three albums including two Miscellaneous albums.

 * Buffy in HD ON Facebook Fan analysis of the problems with Fox's recent "HD remaster", galleries of screencaps, edits, comparisons

 * Shadow of Reflection also has all seven seasons; quality if variable. The early seasons caps compare favorably with
     Bloodqueen's; the later seasons are strangely distorted.

 * Screencapped.net WiP; S1-2 of BtVS are complete; plus one file of promo shots from S1 and the screencaps for Bargaining.
     Appears to be using a new cleaned-up source for it's caps (the so-called "high deflnition" version.) Has a lot of screenshots that
     may not exist elsewhere, but can appear slightly compressed or distorted.

  * The Chosen Two Gallery high-quality promotional and marketing images and magazine shoots of all the major and most of the
     minor characters/actors in BtVS, AtS and Firefly.

  * Kiss Them Goodbye Seasons 1 - 2 complete, partial season 3; also appears to be working off newer DVD's or Blu-ray sources but
      the images tend to be more pixilated than other sources.

  * promo-pictures on tumblr  

  * Buffy Universe and Angel DVD caps

Individual Cast Members Fansite Galleries:
   * Sarah Michelle Gellar France - What it says on the tin. One of my favorite fansite galleries for all things SMG and constantly
     updated. Photoshoot albums sometimes identify the magazine and the original photographer.
   * Glamorous SMG - online since 2003, another fairly comprehensive source.
   * Captivating SMG - relatively new (since 2013), it divides the Photoshoot section by years, which few sites do. Galleries for Sarah's other tv
     series still incomplete or empty as of this writing.

   *Marc Blucas Source
  * Michelle Trachenberg Web

For other fandoms:
  * All movie/tv caps on Leave Me The White. Extensive collection including Grease, Amelie, Dangerous Liasons, Terminator; Parks & Rec, Veronica Mars etc.
  * Genre Caps HQ screencaps for several fantasy series: Jessica Jones and other Marvel series, Doctor Who (New Who); OUAT, Outlander, etc

OTHER IMAGE SOURCES
* The British Library offers over one million royalty-free digitized images from their vast archives going back to the 17th century.
* The Brooklyn Museum of Art happens to be one of the best art museums I've ever visited. If I had to choose between a visit here
   and the Met, go to Brooklyn. In the meantime, their online collection has a stunning array of images.
* The New York Public Library Digital Collections Thank you [livejournal.com profile] petzipellepingo for the heads-up!
* The Graphics Fairy and the Background Fairy - the wonderful team at Graphics Fairy provide thousands of free large HQ images
   adapted from antique and vintage greeting cards, labels, valentines cards and assorted emphemera, DIY tutorials, craft projects,
   etc.
 * morgueFile
Archive.org
 * StevenJamesMorris at DeviantArt

TUTORIALS & GUIDES
 * [livejournal.com profile] good_tutorial What it says on the tin. The last post was 2013 but still plenty of useful information



 
red_satin_doll: (Max Max Furiosa b/w anguish blend)
Trying to teach myself PS CC is sometimes fun and sometimes sends me screaming into the night. As in last night, trying to correct a photograph of a rose I wanted to have printed and just muffing it up horribly. *le sigh*

The various "sharpen" functions are ones I have not mastered yet at all.  I'm sure I'll love it when I master it but I'm at that stage I was when I transitioned from Photobucket to ipiccy a couple of years ago: "I just want to do this, I just want my little slider bar back, where is the eraser so I can selectively apply this effect?" etc etc etc.  That said I do LOVELOVEOVE the fun effects with fonts - especially drop shadows, contouring and glow effects.

This morning I had a little more luck inmproving contrast, brightness, color, warmth etc on a photo I took yesterday of flowers behind the garage, but it still feels like I'm in the "beginner's luck" stage. I didn't even attempt to sharpen either of these, btw. Baby steps, baby steps.....

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
But first, I want to take a moment to wish HAPPY BIRTHMONTH to m'lady [livejournal.com profile] snogged: funny, kind-hearted, generous with her time and support and oh-so-talented. I was stumped as to what to do for a birthday present this year but [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip gifted her with a fantastic Riley, Willow S4 drabble "Not So NIce Guy" that really packs a wallop (or at least a very strong "ouch") in just a few short lines. Check it out. (And yes, I happen to ship Riley/Willow. Didn't everyone when they first watched S4?)
********

Now, onto today's feature: THANK YOU again to everyone who voted in [livejournal.com profile] slayerstillness Challenge 44, and most especially to everyone who honored my icons with 2nd Place, Best Crop and - drumroll, please - my very first Best Color honor! Congratulations again to the other winners [livejournal.com profile] tempertemper, first-time entrant [livejournal.com profile] muirthemne, [livejournal.com profile] sweet_lyri, and my Banner Maker's Choice [livejournal.com profile] teragramm. See all the winning icons and banners here.

Full disclosure: I was rooting for TT's Drusilla icon in the tiebreaker voting. More Dru icons are a needful thing and I love the meta-ness of the starlight texture - with Dru it's not just a pretty background - as well as the softness and coloring. But there were so many great icons that choosing was once again incredibly difficult. As happens so often, I noticed a consistency to the entries across the board, regardless of who made them. This time it was in terms of color choices, with cream/ecru, orange, green, and faded blue-grey predominating with touches of deep pink. So for the banner, I adapted a photograph I snapped in my front yard a couple of days ago to coordinate. Original photo behind cut, along with banners, entries and alt icons from rounds 42 and 44.


Teasers: ss44bestcolorbanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png   ss44secondplacebanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png    




ss44secondplacebanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png       ss44bestcropbanner_rsd.png
ss44bestcolorbanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png
Banners and icons by your's truly; Art Nouveau Caps font from dafont.com; art nouveau frame from a design by riccus on deviantart.com.
My entries for Round 44:
1. 2. 3. 4.  5.
If 2 and 5 look familiar, they should. I couldn't resist returning to that photo to play with it again. I still don't know who the original photographer was, alas; if anyone has the inside scoop on that, please let me know. Let's pretend that I did not look at #5 when I finished it and think to myself, If I can't win Best Color with that, then I never will. Nope, such impure thoughts never entered my mind. And by the way, that bridge in Brooklyn can be yours with a low down payment and 0% financing.....

My entries for Round 42, which I forgot to post previously, including Mod's Choice Winner #6:
6.  7. 8.
Alts/extras:
9. 10.  11.   12. 13.


   14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
18.  19.  20. 21. 22.
I don't personalize my own icons very often so I wanted to give it a try. The "Shanghai" font in #16 is from ipiccy; Art Nouveau Caps in 18 - 22 is from dafont.com.

There were alt versions of #4, involving the First Slayer seeming to creep up on Willow...and I deleted those. There is no way to use an image as problematic and unintentionally racist as the First Slayer (aka "The Magical Negro") and not be part of the very problem I decry unless I use the image specifically to highlight how troublesome it is. And my icons weren't doing that; they just had a mildly creepy-erotic vibe so I chucked them. Not that focusing on the mighty-white Buffyverse and making caps of white folks and focusing on their beauty to the exclusion of the majority of the world's population isn't a whole heapin' helping of problematic in and of itself. But I digress.
*******

The geek-y, tech-y portion of the program: I took some snaps of the azaleas in my front yard the other day with my Nikon Coolpix 300 on the "Food" setting. I added glow, brightness and ambrotype filters and yadda yadda (I don't write this stuff down, are you kidding?) as well as several textures including a bokeh-look effect from Graphic Stock and the photo on the right. I pointed my camera at the trees outside my bedroom door and shook it while I snapped the picture. Does double-duty as a blur and/or brushstroke texture! You're welcome.


azaleasmay182015_rsd_1.2_800x654.png
Photographs by your's truly, 2015 - and did you know that work can be copyrighted pseudonymously? Nifty, huh?


These banners presented a couple of very challenging problems for me: adapting the frame image to get the colors and transparency I wanted; and adding a font from a source outside of ipiccy. One if ipiccy's biggest drawbacks for me is the severely limited range of font options. I typed the text I wanted in a Pages doc using the one art nouveau style font I had on my Mac hardrrive; the font color was an educated guess on my part while I literally eyeballed the banner image. I converted the Pages doc to a pdf, which in turn had to be converted to a PNG file so I could work with it as a layers in ipiccy. Then I cropped every individual line or text element of the PNG, including the "RSD" stamp, to create several separate PNG's that I could manipulate freely in Layer Mode. For instance, the last line "Challenge 44" and the date, is actually two separate layers. The "multiply" filter to darkened the font slightly, with further small adjustments to saturation, brightness etc.

Every time I needed to add a new word of text that I'd forgotten the first time, I had to go back to the Pages file, save the changes, then override both the pdf and the PNG files.
This was after I gave up trying to add the text directly using PS Elements 12. (For the record, I did try. Someday I'll know what I'm doing.) If I hadn't been at home sick from work for a few days I would have gone the path of least resistance and made do with a preset ipiccy font. Yay for downtime.
********
Many many thanks of gratitude and praise to my lovely Muse, [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, for whom no query is to tedious ( "Is the text legible? Is the design cluttered? Is this any good, even?" ) or beneath her consideration. She's been utterly invaluable to me as a working partner and as a friend  - feedback, conversation, inspiration - even if and when I don't show her what I'm working on.  As it happens, we've recently had conversations about our shared taste for late 19th - early 20th century graphic arts and design (arts and crafts, art nouveau, art deco), as well as silent and early Hollywood cinema; I'm sure those conversations were indirect inspirations for the design of both the banner and the Best Color icon.
**********

And now a final word from our sponsors: Deadline to enter Challenge 45 "Potentials" is Friday May 29th at your timezone. And today is your last day to cast tiebreaker votes for five categories at [livejournal.com profile] btvsats20in20 Round 9.
red_satin_doll: (Smile)

Promotional photo of SMG by Greg Gorman for Season 5 of btvs from The Chosen Two gallery. (ETA: Thank you [livejournal.com profile] infinitewhale for providing Gorman's name.) It's one of my favorite images of Sarah - promotional photography as high art - and I'm not sure that a prettier image of her exists. I wanted to do an image where I used a lace texture over her face, specifically cropping close to he eye, but couldn't achieve what I wanted. I'm still too new with textures (or what I think of as "overlays"), knowing how to crop them and size them to match the other image, to make it work quite yet. I was vaguely inspired by the composition one of [livejournal.com profile] teragramm's gorgeous, beyond-the-beyond Spuffy artworks, "Darkness and Light" that maybe someday I'll be able to touch with the tip of my little finger.

I photographed my landlord's rose in July of 2013, a month before our apartment fire, when summer was high and everything in front of his yard was in bloom. (in other words, before everything went to shit. Now it's almost a year later and of course 2014 was going to be better and it has been except for losing my only...oh, you know
what? Never mind.
)


I used a cropped, unsigned version of the rose photo as a texture in ipiccy over the photo of Sarah, fiddled with brightness, contrast, etc; alternated Orton effect, which creates that nice, soft luminous "bloom" and the plain old softening tool, with the sharpening/clarifying tool. Then I brought it over to Photobucket for a little more blending work on the face, a little more sharpening/clarifying of the edges, and topped it with my beloved "San Carmen" effect, which warms and softens it further and adds that nifty "vintage photo" edging. Ta-dah!

Not bad for one of my first real efforts at using "textures" - or an overlay, or whatnot; it took a lot of tries and rejected efforts but I think I got the balance of the flower and her face just right.  If I do it over again I'd center the blossom and her face most likely, although I'm not sure if I'd actually like it better that way. I'm  slowly teaching myself how to match images as textures to the photo I'm working with, what size does each need to be and how to crop both of them so they match up the way I want them to every time I fiddle around.

Hopefully I'm one step closer to making a fic banner/poster for a very special friend in this fandom that I've got mulling about in my head.

Feedback, whether hugs and puppies or constructive criticism is always appreciated!
As always - please give proper credit and don't change or deface, claim as your own.
Don't hotlink whatever the heck that means - I don't know but everybody says don't do it so it must be bad.
And don't put in another website without asking first or doing any of that really uncool shit that you know you're not supposed to do
and which my friends wouldn't even think of doing because they're artists themselves and just wouldn't. Knowwhatimean?
red_satin_doll: (Lesbian Vampire Seal of Approval)
Last night my sweetie and I went to our favorite local spot for craft beers on draft (she had two beers, I had 2oz of one) with hot baked asagio pretzel, had dinner at a Thai restaurant, and cuddle on the sofa of a coffeehouse/winebar/music venue to enjoy some downtime and life local musicians. And I managed not to think or at least FEEL my woes very much, the $10-15 dollars I shouldn't have spent be damned. And even not feel pissed off. Now that the beer and music have worn off and I'm back to feeling the fear, rage, betrayal, etc of The Big Sucky Lemon (TM) - I'm also back to distracting myself online with fandom pretties:

*** Cast your votes here and now (or as soon as you can, pretty please) for three tiebreakers in Round 1 of [livejournal.com profile] btvsats20in20: 2 Cat icon placements, and one AC set placement. None of them are mine, so no worries about rulebreakin'. As of this moment (1:20pm est) the AC tiebreaker vote is locked in a three-way tie. Funny. But understandable, they're all so damn good. There's no sense of "this one is better than that, so I'm locked in the hopeless task of chosing the theoretical best among equals."

***[livejournal.com profile] bangel_4e posted the Round 2 themes, which means we (read: me) can all get an early start. If you haven't thrown your hat in the ring yet, there's still time - as with round 1, "sign ups will stay open during the whole round". Nifty.  (Also, check out [livejournal.com profile] bangel_4e's gorgeous Round 2 banner. Serious lust issues, I am having.)

The one time I'm in an icontest with hair porn as a theme and I'm NOT doing Buffy? Oh of course, ha. I chose Vamp Willow for my claim before the themes were announced - all that black leather and blood and pancake makeup, lipstick and sex and swings any which way oh so bad goodness......oh, wait, I know the perfect screencap. *wicked cackle*
It's ironic that my Lesbian Vampire Seal of Approval icon was one of my first, if not very first, icon I made in this fandom, and the one that I would never switch, replace or "improve", even though I could do a much better version now. She's mine, folks - although I'm more than willing to share.
Last round I admit was intimidated by: icon tables (which I still don't like very much, html is sort of overwhelming still for me), and blending. Had not a clue how to do it, so I cheated with a collage, not a true "blend."  But I think I'm starting to catch on - maybe?


Ok, not great, but it's the first time I've ever done this so points to me. It gets me one step closer to doing things I want to do, like fic banners. If there are any good tutorials on YouTube for ipiccy I haven't found them and their own site has a decided lack of, so it's me trying to figure things out and walk through the back door. The whole "layers" thing really weirds me out - "vector mask", what is this a chemistry test? A maneuver used by the Prussian army in the 19the century? I made a shot of The First from Sleeper into an icon and used it as a texture behind the TYG icon and - tah-dah! I got the job done.

This round, instead of blend, it's layers, which essentially is a collage. And I squee'd because "I know how to do that! I can do that!" Which is fun - my Willow-side coming out. I just wanna learn how to build my own serial killer stuff! And the more I learn, the more I want to learn; the more I can do, the more I want to be able to do.

I am the official Overexcited Child Who is Patiently Indulged by the Adults (read: everyone else) of Buffyverse Fandom. At your service. 
red_satin_doll: (The Chain)

I wanted to get these out to y'all earlier in the week but sucky life circumstances drained the life out of me for a few days. I'm very grateful for the love and supportive I've gotten this week from my friends here who have offered virtual arms and shoulders to cry on, and let me rant about things various, be it my personal distress so I don't curl up in a fetal position in the corner, or why I prefer Barney Stinson's honest deceptions to Ted Mosby's self-absorbed, pretentious, pseudo-sensitive crap but could never articulate it before.

The lesson, kids, is that none of us is really, truly alone, that it takes courage to say "I hurt" aloud and trust someone to hear that because it's so hard to do. That I have wonderful friends so even if my life is in pieces, I'm not a "bad" person to be so loved. And - upside! - I'm using some downtime to learn new-to-me digital editing skilz. Because I WILL get good enough to make meta-picspams that don't embarrass me, and pretty prezzies for my friends.

                                                                                                                         *****

*** Voting for Round 1 of [livejournal.com profile] btvsats20in20 is open until midnight June 16th, if you haven't had the chance to vote already for Themes, Category (B/W),  and Artist's Choice. Looking at the results so far is proof positive that I'm a pretty poor judge of my own stuff. Or other people's I guess because there are some really fantastic icons by folks who happen to not be me that are NOT getting the love they deserve. So says I. I'm not telling you to vote for my stuff, of course, or what stuff by other people to vote for. Really. That would be wrong. But if you chose to catch my mental wavelength and read my mind, then there's just nothing I can do about that, is there?


*** Challenge 26 at [livejournal.com profile] slayerstillness is "The Same But Different". [livejournal.com profile] starry_night kindly responded to suggestions from [livejournal.com profile] teragramm and myself for a challenge that allows multiple icons of the same image. "For this challenge there will also be a slight change to the rules in that I would like you to submit a full set of five (5) icons. Voting will also be different in that you will be voting for your favourite sets, as well as individual icons...For this challenge only (for now…) you can submit up to TWO (2) sets of five icons."   The deadline is midnight Saturday June 21st at our own time zones.

*** [livejournal.com profile] otherworldlyric Challenge 175 is set to the song "Stay with Me" by Hoobastank, deadline midnight Friday June 20th. I've never heard of the band or the song but the lyrics are simple and lovely and I started making an icon or two or....about 10 or so at this point, and at least three different crops of the same cap. Hmmm... As Willow says to Kennedy in "Get it Done", it's how I work. Ten years ago I made Moulin Rouge icons just for myself - i didn't know about LJ, about icontests or any such thing, so I was just having fun and making multiple variations of any one icon came naturally to me. It's much harder for me participating in challenges and trying to force myself to make fewer icons. So far? It hasn't worked. 5-9x the number I need is pretty much average. (Yes, I did the math.)

If I could have, my entries in Round 1 of [livejournal.com profile] btvsats20in20 would have been almost entirely variants of The Chain icon.  Speaking of which... my alts/extras for this round. (Did I mention voting ends June 16th?)

Here be teasers:


I know I've mentioned it before but it doesn't hurt to repeat: all credit to [livejournal.com profile] kwritten credit for introducing me to ipiccy and to [livejournal.com profile] clockwork_hart1 for giving me instructions in how to make a collage in that program.  I'm not trying to affect anyone's votes btw, and some folks don't want to be bothered with the blah-de-blah (if I weren't me I'd tell me to STFU) so I've grouped the icons first, directors commentary track afterwards - your choice to read it or not.

Here be Icons:

(01-04)

(05-08)


(09-11)


(12-14)

(15-17)


(18-20)

(21-23)


(24-27)


(28-30)


( 31-35)


(36-38)

(39-42)

(43-45)


And here be Artist's Commentary Track:

#01 -08 This set was such fun and my favorites of all my entries. Making them was like discovering the key to a door I'd never been able to unlock before. #1-3 are basically the same icon, with the addition of the Photo Collage effect from ipiccy. IThe exact arrangement, number/size of the photos, size and color of frames, the color of background and color within the frames all had to be chosen separately. Then I took #2 back to PB and used the Splash function to remove all the color and repaint some of the squares. (#3) Great practice in hand-eye co-ordination, especially redrawing the blood on her cheek while leaving the rest of the square grey.

For  both #4 and my Comics entry I had to go back to the original icon #1, and readjust the arrangement and number of photos within the image each time, chose the color within the frames and the background colors separately. #4 has smaller "photos" and thus less background showing; I also learned something very important - don't bisect key facial features (nose and lips) right down the center.

For my final Comics entry I recolored and reshuffled everything, then added a separate light leak effect, something I see in icons all the time and have wondered how it was done. (Every week now I find myself looking at an icon and saying "I know how that was done!" And every day I look at an icon and say "How the heck was that done?") Photo Collage is a tricky effect; it's easy to overdo, but it doesn't mesh well with very realistic photographs because it has a very cartoon-like "drawn" or fake quality.  With an icon from a comic book illustration, it's a perfect marriage.


#09-11 My first successful attempts at "blending" - really collage; I didn't know how to blend images seamlessly. And by "successful" I mean, "nominally better than a sharp stick in the eye".The effect reminded me those graphic movie magazines I grew up with in the 1970's but really not satisfied with the quality of it. I tried using a light effect from ipiccy to cover up the dividing line. It didn't work, but it looks like a prompt for a nifty "Cave Buffy and newly resurrected Buffy are thrown into an alternative universe together" fic. Anyone want to take that up?

Cave Buffy sort of skirts the edges of my claim (not really-real Buffy) but when I rewatched Beer Bad the second time after watching season 6, the visual parallels with Bargaining were one of those "once you see it you can't unsee it" things. Exhibit A in my "Beer Bad is aweseom and fandom doesn't give it respect" argument.


#12-17 First time with textures.  #12 is the color version of my Cat #4 (black/white) entry and I think it works better with color. Poor Cat #4 - the only one of my entries not to draw any comment when I posted them and no surprise, it's my least favorite too. 14 is a combination of provided texture plus shine (rays of light) effect, which is where the yellow color comes from. These aren't pretty but they remind me of the artwork of William Blake and his friend and contemporary Henry Fuseli. Also, I apparently love to combine textures with the Shine effect because they both show up in three of my entries, separately or together. Should I be worried?

#17 was just sharpen, sharpen, lighten, blend the pixels, push the contrast, sharpen, blend one more time. I didn't realize how soft-focus the original cap is until I started playing with it. (If you are unaware of my feelings regarding Normal Again and Sarah's amazing performance in it, you must be new here. Welcome! Have a cookie!


#18-23 More provided texture plus shine effect, then pushing the color. I don't remember how I got those bands of purple in the Primeval icons (another applied texture maybe? I have no idea) and I couldn't have planned the way it goes directly into her eyeballs and curves around her chin. Happy accidents. These icons have a particular immediacy for me because I have epilepsy and a seizure is essentially an electrical surge in my brain that temporarily shorts everything out; I have no control over my own body. "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" And that's what I wanted to evoke visually - the sense of things gone haywire, the horror of losing control of one's own body.

#24-27 These icons from Amends and The Wish show how well some of the early season caps can be lightened without pixelating. I'm still surprised by how much detail I got - the pores on the skin, the makeup around her eye, the lines on her scar. The sadness on Wishverse!Buffy's face isn't noticeable in the original cap, which is very dark, but comes through when it's lightened ands took me by surprise. It's perfect - the lonely, wounded girl behind the tough exterior. She's not "Buffy as Faith" as some fans have said; Faith is full of piss and fire and would have emptied Giles' decanter and stolen another bottle for good measure. This girl, she's General Buffy, foreshadowed, but still very much Buffy. I really took the guideline "must show detail" to heart for the XCU - I was going to get every pore on her face if it killed me.

The softness and sheen of her hair and skin in the Amends icons is incredibly lovely in these and belies the horror of the moment. I turned the orientation of the cap to show off her expression better. She almost looks as if she is running very fast and shouting in alarm something in the distance, i
nstead of lying in bed being killed/devoured by Angel in his dream. The man clings to her as his salvation, his second chance to be a good man; the demon  would gleefully suck her dry. (Be careful what you wish for...)


#28-30 As with the Amends icon, I love the contrast of the warmth of this imagine and the context of the scene: "That's my guy." All these effects were done in ipiccy. I wanted the look of a drawing for 31-32 but I didn't like the Pencil Drawing effect in ipiccy, so I used the lines of one of the Light effects and removed the color. A lot of icon making for me is about trying to go around the back door to get what I want.

The First wearing Buffy's face is the (non-corporeal) manifestation of Buffy's fear of becoming a demon, inhuman, from "Nightmares" in S1 through S6, as well as soulless Spike's desires that she "try on my world for size". The fantastic, bitter irony of the formerly soulless vampire demon who once wanted her to be his companion, his lover, alone in the dark, needs the real Buffy - needs her humanity - more than ever to help him escape the darkness and evil he'd encouraged her to embrace. (Be careful what you wish for....)

#31-35 "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" series - the title of Keat's ballad is perfect for Faith's dream image of Buffy in TYG; the font is Princess Sophia in PB. I spent more time, and threw away more attempts, on this set than any other for the round. Beautiful images but the caps are so damn dark, and unlike the early season caps they don't emerge nicely when you brighten them, they just pixilate. I finally realized that when I downsize an image in ipiccy I get slightly better results in ipiccy than in PB because ipiccy seems to retain the quality of the image a bit better, but I still had to downsize and adjust in increments.

Tons of blending work - I bow low to the wisdom of [livejournal.com profile] comlodge's sage advice - especially on Sarah's nose, as well as on the background. Dear god, chasing that last little pixel at the tip of her nostril nearly drove me insane. I am well on my way to becoming the foremost expert on Sarah's nose - second to only her ENT doctor. (And look, Ma, I finally signed one of my icons! *lol*)


#36-42 From Nightmares - another reason you need to watch Season 1 if you haven't already. The seeds for the entire series are planted in S1, and Nightmares might just be the skeleton key to the psychology of Buffy Summers. (And it pays dividends down the line for Willow Rosenberg fans as well.) I hated losing that brick wall. Kicking myself for not paying better attention to the guidelines of that catagory. The NS+mono I entered with the shine effect has been getting almost the most votes of any of my entries but dear goodness me I loved the lines and texture of that brick wall. No special effects needed except brighten, sharpen and contrast. The "flames" of color revealed themselves. I painted in the silhouette with black to cover lighter pixels dotting her face and clothes.


#43-45 What's a brick wall without a little graffiti, even in the Hellmouth? Especially in the Hellmouth? Buffy the Ad Exec Slayer - there has GOT to be a btvs-Mad Men crossover somewhere.  The phrase "She Comes" is the result of me mis-remembering Lord Byron's poem "She Walks in Beauty" but for this context I prefer my version - it could be hopeful (Make way for the Queen!) or sinister (Run for your lives!).

red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
My sweetie is not too fond of the idea of me creating and storing Pages docs (the Mac version of Word) on her laptop, now our only computer; she's worried about it filling up etc. (I love that woman, oh how I do, but....ever seen the scene in the movie The Kids Are Alright re: "micromanaging"? That's pretty much us.)

So I'd like to have a place where I can create, edit and store documents online and store them there, now that I've just filled up another notebook with fic drafts and meta notes; something along the lines of Photobucket, but for documents rather than photos.


FYI: the simpler the better. I've heard of iCloud and still have no idea what it is (despite <lj user=comlodge>'s careful explanation of it); I'm pretty computer savvy in some ways but most of y'all are way ahead of me in a lot of other areas. Thanks muchly!
red_satin_doll: (Come What May outtake)
How do I create box of link on my LJ and DW pages (linking back to one another or any other site)?  I've looked in settings on both and no dice.  (Or is there a tutorial-type website that covers a lot of these questions?)

At some point I will get back to those meta on Anne and dopplegangers in the 'verse.  I swear I will.
red_satin_doll: (Default)
Can anyone tell me how to post images to my DW posts?  Or, add images to DW posts when I begin with LJ?  When I posted on LJ about winning at the SunnyD fanfic awards on Monday, the text transferred to DW but the image/award didn't.  (There is this icon for "image" on the rich text version and it wants a url.  Most of the images I post don't have url's, and I don't see an option for simply downloading from my harddrive.)

I guess the overarching lesson here is - originate posts at DW first?  ( "But Mommy, I like LJ.  I'm used to it and it's pretty!"  I never claimed to be logical.)


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