Sunday, December 30, 2012

Transformation Caption - Four Heroes

I haven't had a chance to write the short story I had in mind for my "Four Heroes" caption yet, but I wanted to go ahead and re-post it so that it'll get into the archive.  So here it is:

I'm fully aware that it may be a little difficult to read for some of you, but I can't find a way around that yet.  Either way, I think it's easily the best job I've done in terms of the layout.  It was all made completely from scratch, so you can probably imagine how time-consuming it was.  The picture wasn't easy to modify, but I think it turned out really, really well.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Sissy Caption - I've Tried

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Caption Process

I've been asked a few times about my captioning process, so I figured I would post a short tutorial on how I do it. 

Step One:  Photograph Selection

I have hundreds of pictures sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be modified/captioned.  There are pictures that I know will be very complicated and time-consuming to modify (group shots, weird angles, etc.).  There are some that will be quite easy to modify (usually a traditional frontal view).  Some don't need any modification, and others need only a little "flattening" in the chest area.    The point, of course, is that you need to have an idea what sort of story you want to tell when you start looking for that perfect photograph.  Ideally, you will see a picture, and immediately start weaving an idea of a story in the back of your mind.

Either way, the best advice I can give you (in the realm of photograph modification) is do not hesitate to bite off more than you chew.  This stuff takes hours and hours of practice to achieve even moderate results.  Even if the photograph is unpublishable when you get done, you will have at least gotten a little bit better.  And that's worth it by itself. 

So for this little tutorial, I picked the following set of pictures:

I don't even remember where I found them, but I loved the shy look on her face in the first picture.  I figured it would make a nice short story.

Step Two:  Modification

I'm not going to go step-by-step on how to modify a picture.  Mostly, it's because I have absolutely no doubt that, results aside, I'm doing it wrong.  I'm certain that my way is far more time-consuming than it has to be.  Either way, there are hundreds of tutorials online that can teach you about blending textures and colors and such. 

One thing I would like to note, however, is that the primary reason modified pictures don't look real has to do with the shadows.  Often, and you can see this in a lot of my earlier work, the source picture's light source doesn't really match whatever I've added. 

As I've said before, I use Adobe Photoshop to modify my pictures.  I've never used anything else, so I can't really say it's the best.  But it's what I'm used to. 

Anyway, once I've picked my picture, I have to find a suitable...erm...appendage to add.  This is the one I chose:

It's small, and the angle works.  The big problem, though, is that the color, saturation, and lighting are very, very different from the other photographs.  Either way, after a little screwing around, I came up with:

 You will probably notice that the contrast in the first two pictures is quite a bit higher than in the originals.  Quite simply, I just thought it looked more dramatic that way.  Either way, the third photograph didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to, so I just scrapped plans to use it (rather than start over on it).  It's not my worst work, but it wasn't absolutely necessary for the story to work.

Step Three:  The Framing

I really enjoy framing my captions.  It doesn't really take very long (most of the time), but I think it adds to the overall quality of the piece. 

This is what I ended up with:

I really like the way the "box within the picture" looks.  To achieve that illusion, I simply extend the picture (via copying parts of the original and using the patch tool to get the textures blended).  Then, I create my box.  With this one, I just made a criss-cross pattern with red and white. 

Something I've been working on lately is drawing the focus even more toward the figure by putting the "box" behind them (spatially).   It's a fun way to vary the caption's layout, and I think it really affects the overall effect of the caption.

Step Four:  Writing

I usually use a very basic font (Tahoma, Times New Roman, or Impact).  It's always tempting to get fancy, but I want the focus to be on the words when you're reading, not the font.  Besides, in this format, sometimes the more elaborate fonts are hard to read.

The actual writing is usually the easiest part for me.  Most of the time,  I already have the basics of a story in mind, so half of my work is already done.  With this one, I wanted to go with a first-person perspective, and have the character talk directly to the reader.  It just felt better than trying to tell a story in a more traditional way.

Anyway, this is what I came up with:

I have a hard time explaining where my stories come from...always have, and I suspect I always will.  Either way, I hope you've all enjoyed this little peek into my process.  One day, I might post a video of how I actually manipulate photographs.  But not today!

Sissy Caption - Not Here

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gender Role Reversal Caption - Welcome Home

This post is coming a little early (not quite Christmas Day, yet), but I probably won't have time tomorrow.  With this one, I was really, really happy with how the picture itself turned out, and the caption is a very fun concept on so many levels. 

First, there's the role reversal of a man (if we can even call him that) sitting at home, waiting on his soldier wife to come back.  Then there's the competing concepts of love and obsession.  How close are they, really?  When does a person cross over from one to the other?  Does the difference even matter?  I've always liked that theme (and I've written about it on multiple occasions here and elsewhere). 

Anyway, merry Christmas to all of you.  I hope you all are able to spend it with someone you love (be it family or a significant other). 

Gender Role Reversal Caption - Inevitability

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sissy Caption - Life Changing Moment

This caption wasn't intended to take this direction.  When I started modifying the photograph, I had a completely different idea in mind.  But when I sat down to actually write the caption, it turned into a sort of introspective piece about whether or not we ever really have a choice in what sort of person we become.  I'm really, really proud of this particular modification.  It really works well.  Hope you like it.

I've often wondered (and a few of my stories have hit on this theme) if our society sometimes forces a certain sexual orientation on people who act a certain way (or vice versa).  Just because a boy is effeminate, much of the time, we assume that he is gay.  And just because he is gay, we assume he will be effeminate (it works with macho girls and lesbians as well).  We've all seen it.  Some of us have even been the subject of those assumptions.  Friends and tormentors alike are programmed by our society to pair the way we carry ourselves with a perceived sexual orientation.  So, the subject of my musing is whether or not some people simply go with it, regardless of how they truly feel.  I'm a firm believer that our sexual orientation is dictated by genetics, but I also know that it's far, far more complicated than that.  There is an element of environmental factors that shapes us, but I wonder just how much of an influence they really have.

I know this isn't necessarily what this blog has been built upon, and many of you don't care about these sorts of thoughts.  But I just felt like rambling today, so this is the product of that desire.  Either way, I hope you enjoy today's caption.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Feminization Caption - Gonna Be Rich


I spent a little time updating the archives a bit tonight.  I wasn't quite as far behind as I thought, but everything should be up to date now.  In addition, I created a couple of new pages.  First, I made a GiF page, in which I'll archive GiFs in the future.  I separated them simply to keep the regular caption archive page from taking days to load.  Second, I made a page specifically for the Girl-a-Matic guides.  They're by far the most popular series I've done, so I figured they deserved their own page.  And finally, I made a page for my illustrations.  Hope you enjoy everything!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sissy Caption - Figuring Things Out

I feel like I've sort of started really figuring out the photo modifications lately.  There have been a couple of them recently that I think could pass for unmodified pictures, which is the end goal, I think.  I get excited every time I see one of my modified pictures being passed off as real shemales.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this one.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sissy Caption - Male Cheerleader

As an artist, I've always been a bit of a mimic.  Show me something, and I can copy it - no problems.  Be it a real life picture or another artist's work, I can get really good results by drawing what I see.  However, with illustration, I can't do that.  Everything, from the proportions to the expressions on the character's face, is a chore.  That said, I'm getting better at it.  I'm getting faster, too. 

So here's the latest of my illustrated captions.  I hope you all like it.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pushing 300,000 In a Month!

There's a good chance of getting to 300k views this month.  We're at 270k with three days left, so please, spread the word, and let's pass that mark!

Forced Feminization Caption - Monster