When we finished Lieder, I asked Tabico if she would be interested in penning a little retrospective post for my blog. Happily, she was on-board and so I’m pleased to treat you to a guest post (the first for my site) from none other than the lady herself. Do enjoy. -Callidus
My motivation to write comes and goes. A couple of months ago I was
running out of impetus so I posted some parts of a story I was working
on, hoping to vampirically turn other peoples’ enthusiasm into my own
and, thus invigorated, move forward. Instead, the reverse happened – two
days, 17 views, and 2 comments later – my thanks to those who did
comment! – I found myself staring at the stark tininess (but extremely
high quality, I love both of you) of my audience and threw in the towel.
Don’t worry, I’ll get back up again. This sort of thing has happened
I discovered some time ago that when I find myself interested in EMC
but lack the impetus to write, I can turn instead to creating
photomanipulations. The process is sufficiently different that when I
feel uninspired to do one, I may still be enthused by doing the other.
And at this time a couple of things had come together – I had just
happened upon a very nice set of pictures of a hot girl with a book, and
over the last several months I had created a number of ‘olithoi’
pictures purely to amuse myself, which gave me a stock of said pictures.
So a very nebulous idea began to form.
Ironically, only two of those pictures made it into the final product,
the others I made from scratch specifically for ‘Lieder’. So I still
have a bunch of olithoi pictures sitting around.
In the spirit of keeping up with the Jonses, or possibly the Surfers, I
wanted to release my next imageset as a slideshow. Flash slideshows were
the new hotness and I really liked the vehicle. Unfortunately, the tools
to create flash were not at my skinflinty command. I tried Open Office
but the conversion was terrible and left the entire image pixellated.
But I did know someone who had not only the tools, but also a positive
surfeit of talent.
It was, let’s see… April 12th when I sent Callidus an email
tentatively asking for three things: his help in putting images together
into a flash slideshow, stitching together a more eldritch book cover,
and general kibitzing. Of which the last actually turned out to be the
most awesome part of an awesome collaboration effort – the general
back-and-forth interplay of ideas turned my nebulous vision of a girl, a
dark magic book, and some olithoi into a project twelve or twenty times
Callidus, bless his soul, came on board with enthusiasm. He had been
batting around a project of his own, which I was only too happy to
assist with – although in the upshot ‘Lieder’ snarled and grew and took
over our entire efforts; this leaves me still owing him work on a
project of his – which I’m looking forward to! And I daresay you, oh
reader, should be as well.
As for ‘Lieder’, we dug into assembling the components with all the
gusto appropriate to a well-liked hobby, which is to say at a reasonable
but not slow pace. I shan’t get into who did what – although I will say
that anything that looks really good, really professional, that’s his
work. I’m at best a persistent tyro; I created some glow effects that I
thought were decent, and I thought that part was done with, and (to my
surprise) Callidus replied “oh I see what you want here” and sent back
revised versions that left my jaw hanging. I was like, “dude.”
But more than miraculous technical talent, Callidus was/is just plain
fun to work with. When I collaborate with someone I strive for a “no
ego” approach, where each side puts things out there and if they don’t
fly, the other person says “that’s good but I’d rather do something
else” and all feathers remain smooth, and this was a very smooth
project. As I observed above, the hotness multiplied many times as we
batted the story back and forth; he suggested fantastic ideas I hadn’t
thought of whatsoever, or came up with something that I did not think
fit but served to give me an additional flash of insight.
Also I get to leech from his talent – during the process I learned what
a “vignette effect” was, how to monkey with layer masks (although in the
event they proved too tricky and I went back to my simplistic plain
layer methods), how to use the font tool more effectively, etc etc.
We proceeded with regularity but not haste – a month in and we had the
initial layout devised and most of the components assembled, two months
and the first draft of all the pictures was done, three months and we
were nearing completion. One of the larger issues we faced was image
size – the originals were huge, and I shrank them not just once but
twice (down to 1200×800), editing substantially each time.
And then on July 19th, we posted!
So that’s the story of Lieder from my perspective. It glosses over a
lot – email troubles (apparently google doesn’t like my email provider),
TRON rewrites, hours spent finding a milf image to be the professor and
then never using it… but mostly it was just fun. Fun collaborating
with a wildly imaginative correspondent on a neat project.
Now I have to wait and see what he’s got for me…
July 26, 2011