Saturday, May 17, 2014

Selfish Prick - Plus My Creative Process


The final reader request I have, plus a look at how I make my captions.


Before I get into the body of this post, I finally went back through my last couple batches of captions and responded to the comments that were left on them. I apologize for not doing it sooner.

Anyway, on to this cap. This request was sent in by Ryan who also pitched the idea for Misinformed. This time he wanted to see the other side of the coin, what would happen if you were a great friend and switched places with someone who found himself as the wrong gender? I threw this one together as a bit of a quickie, but I think it's a cute cap.

The other thing Ryan asked was if I would share how I actually go about making caps so I took some screenshots as I was making this one to show how I pull this all together.

As I've said before, I make all my captions in PowerPoint, mostly because I'm too lazy to learn how to properly use Photoshop or GIMP. Normally the first thing I do is aimless browse porn sites looking for any images that inspire me to write a story around them. But since I was working off a request this time, I already had an idea of the kind of pic I was looking for (note to new cappers, this is not recommended as I've found I'll waste a ton of time looking for a picture that perfectly matches what's in my head). I got lucky in that I found this one after about 30 minutes of searching, so I went ahead and threw in into PowerPoint.


From there I put in a text box and started writing. This story flowed pretty smoothly as I already knew where it was going so it only took me about 15 minutes to get it where I wanted. This was definitely towards the low end of how long it normally takes me to turn out the story, as I've spent upwards of three hours trying to get a single panel of text just right. But on average I'd say a typical story takes me 30-45 minutes. To make the text legible I filled in the text box with color and then turned up the transparency to make it look a little better.


Next comes the title, and I came up with this one the same way I always do, by reading the story and then taking what I think is the most memorable line or phrase from it. I then throw that in another text box and match the color scheme with the color of the text box I used. As far as fonts go, a while ago I googled "free fonts" and downloaded a couple so that I wasn't limited to what comes standard with Microsoft Office.

After that I size and rotate the title to fit in some blank space in my cap, in this case the lower left corner.



The last thing I add is my name, which I match with the same color scheme as the title.


Now all that's left to do is crop it and I'm done.


And that's how I make my caps. The only thing that changes for my caps with vertical images is I search for free backgrounds to lay everything on top of (you can literally search "blue background", or any other color, and find a lot of the backgrounds I've used).

So to those of you who read all of this, I hope it was interesting for you. If you've got any questions feel free to leave me a comment. I promise to respond to these ones faster than I got around to the last batch.

14 comments:

  1. I wasn't aware you use powerpoint to make your captions but I'm glad you showed off your process this time. It's an excellent example of HOW something high quality can be made within a program not designed for photo manipulation.

    Also, I rather enjoyed this caption - much of that coming from your OTHER talent: writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. With the exception of one caption I made in GIMP, I've only ever used powerpoint to make my caps (which really shows in my earlier work). It was mostly a comfort thing to start, but as I put more time into exploring the program I've found it's actually pretty versatile.

      Delete
  2. First off; Very nice cap. Even in a short sweet cap you demonstrate the two parts of the new mind working in opposition to each other... the struggle.

    I'm surprised to learn that you make your caps in powerpoint. I always assumed you used either Photoshop or Gimp. I think we'll have to hold you up as an example of just how good powerpoint caps can be!

    I want to tak on to something you said to 'new cappers' about not searching for a particular image. I completely 100% agree! Looking for an image that matches what's in your head is a long LONG road full of frustration, bitterness and tears. Many a good cap has gone down the drain when all creative energy is spent on just finding the right image instead of working your story around a good image.

    Thanks for sharing your process!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm always a little conflicted over taking on requests. Because while I love the challenge of writing a story around someone else's fantasy, as you said, matching a picture to the story really sucks the creative energy right out of you. I got lucky with this one, but I'm looking forward to going back to the much easier process of writing around an image for my next few caps.

      Delete
  3. Lovely sexy caption... I am doubly impressed that you use PP, especially since I find it remarkably un-user-friendly.... I have to use it occasionally for work, and it constantly feel like I'm working solely with two left thumbs...

    Great work, and thanks for the insight into your process :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Powerpoint does have a pretty bad layout that hides most of its useful features out of sight, but I've just been using it for so long that it's easier for me to go digging for what I want than trying to learn how to use a proper photo manipulation program.

      Delete
    2. I used presentation and saved it as the powerpoint, following your advice here. How can I sent you this. Got a facebook account? or email?

      Delete
    3. email is the best way 22rauk at gmail

      Delete
  4. This is probably my favorite caption you've ever made. I love the subject matter as well as the source picture. The themes hit everyone of my 'fetishes' for tg as far as characters go; buddies, one naive/kind and one dumb, but scheming. Kudos to both you and Ryan :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Neat! I really like the cap

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am always up for looking at others process in making captions. As the above commenters have mentioned, I wouldn't have known it was powerpoint unless you said so, and I know there's at least 2 other TG captioners that also use it. Why change if you are proficient? Its so much easier to create when you aren't banging your head against the limitations of a program when it doesn't feel like a useful tool.

    I'd say 95 percent of my captions are written from just looking at the picture and letting it tell me the story behind it. Its so much more of a challenge when you have to hunt one down, crop it of extraneous features, and then write the original idea down. It always seems to take me off in a different direction that what I had planned to do with it, so once again, we are better off doing what we do best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more. Plus I'm happy to hear I'm not alone in using powerpoint to make captions.

      Delete