The Book of Prim

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#ds106 #ds106final The photography portion of my final.

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The Book of Prim

Goblins like shiny objects; this is pretty old news to most people. So it’s no wonder that a goblin, who had somehow managed to sneak its way inside the grand gray house from the impending rain, thirsted for the bright blue gemstone jutting out from the dark, leather-bound book that was being carefully examined by one of the residents of that grand, gray house, a young witch named Prim Harper.

The goblin, creeping silently through the house and up the stairs, poked its small, dark head into Prim’s room, and no sooner had it peered into the witch’s room, its gaze was drawn to the beautiful gemstone embedded into the old book’s cover. It flashed its razor-sharp teeth in anticipation and snickered; the soft but raspy sound caught Prim’s attention.

“A goblin,” she gasped as soon as she saw the goblin, lingering in her doorway. “Hey! How did you get in here?” she asked the little creature (though she wasn’t really expecting an answer), letting the book drop to her side. The goblin suddenly charged at her, and though it was small–not much larger than a rabbit–it let out a harsh, menacing hiss, its claws and fangs bared and ready to attack, and attack it did; it leaped up and sank its teeth into Prim’s book.

“Get off that!” Prim cried, trying to shake the little beast loose. The weight of the old book and her flailing caused her to lose her grip, sending the book flying. The goblin, still clinging tightly to the book, darted off.

“Oh no! Get back here!” Prim called out. She could feel a lump forming in her chest, but only for a moment; that lump was soon replaced by determination, for she was going to get that book back, no matter what!

The goblin had managed to carry the book all the way down the stairs, and, nestling itself in a remote part of the  living room, it sat back and admired its newly-acquired booty. Soon enough, however, Prim was on its trail:

“Now, where did that thing go?” she muttered to herself, looking around the room. She looked under chairs and on top of shelves until she found the goblin perched on the very top of the tallest bookcase. “There you are, you little bastard!” she cried, and raising her hand, she let loose a beam of light. The goblin leaped down, still clinging desperately to the book, and skittered away as odds and ends came crashing down behind it, laughing smugly. “Dammit!” Prim cursed through gritted teeth; but she wasn’t about to give up so easily. She continued chasing the goblin into the library, shooting beams of magic in hopes of at the very least getting it to drop the book. She could tell the goblin was beginning to run out of stamina (as was she–it had been way too long since she had gone to the gym last!), but it wouldn’t let go of the book. “Almost there,” Prim hissed to herself. She then drew a deep breath and concentrated all of her might to summon a brilliant ray of white light that finally knocked the goblin away with a weak shriek. The book dropped to the floor as the goblin darted off into some small hole where it was certain Prim couldn’t follow.

With a satisfied grin, Prim walked over to the book and picked it up off the ground. “I’ll be taking this, thank you.” she said as she dusted off the jewel-encrusted cover. Well, she then thought as she made her way back upstairs to her room, that’s one helluva way to start your day.

The Story behind the story

Hello, everyone! That was my final story for this class!

The overall structure of the final is as follows:

  • The “cover art” for the entire piece (the design portion)
  • A series of photographs serving as establishing shots (the photography portion)
  • The prologue/first chapter of the story (the video portion)
  • Prim chasing the goblin through the house, trying to get her book back (the audio portion)
  • And the written narrative to tie everything together (the written portion)!

I discussed how I did the design, the video, and the photography portions of the narrative in previous posts, but here is how I put together the audio portion:

For the audio portion of the story, I used sound effects, music cues, and my own voice-over to help tell the story and create immersion, like what we discussed regarding audio narratives during our third week of class. I thought about what I did when making my sound effects story and my alternate history audio story, that same week, while recording and editing together this assignment.

Like with the video portion of the assignment, I recorded my own voice using an external microphone and the voice recording software already installed in my computer; I also downloaded and used various sound effects from freesound.org. However, while I used music cues from filmstro.com for the video portion, I used cues from incompetech.com for the audio–specifically the tracks “Scheming Weasel (fast version)” for the opening cue, (which I know I’ve heard in various other comedy videos on YouTube, in the past), “Long Time Coming” for when Prim is chasing the goblin through the house, and “Carpe Diem” for when Prim gets her book back, all by Kevin MacLeod. I edited all of the music, sound effects, and voice clips together in Audacity.

I played around with amplification for many of the tracks, reverb on a couple–e.g. the footsteps and the objects dropping to the ground–and I even messed around with the tempo of some tracks, the magic blast that knocks out the goblin in the end; speaking of, I only ended up using two different sound effects for the magic blast, but copied and pasted one of them over and over again.

Daily Creates

Finally, I’d like to include the three daily creates I did, over the past few days:

This one was made in mazegenerator.net. It’s a 25 cells diameter theta maze. The website says you can make your maze up to 200 cells in diameter, but I didn’t want to do anything nearly that complicated. I downloaded the pdf from the website, and then took a screenshot of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to print it out and try to solve it, myself.

I have a lot of ideas for what I want, for a tattoo; a flower with stars was just the one I went with, for this one. This design was made in the Tattoo Font Maker, using its preset assets.

And finally, an instructional guide on how to make and use a Daruma doll! The idea of the doll is to write down a wish or goal you want to accomplish within a year, and the doll will help encourage you to do what you need to do to fulfill that goal, and also bring you good luck and fortune. My godfather got this doll for me and a similar one for my sister while he was in Japan, last year (the goal on its back was for last semester).

That’s all for now, I think. Thank you all so much for a great semester! I hope you all have a great rest of your summer!

Final Countdown – part 3

Hello, everyone! Continuing on with my final assignment, I would like to share what I’ve taken for the photography portion of my trans-media narrative:

The photography portion of the narrative serves to provide establishing shots for the story-proper, to help set the stage for where the story will take place. The protagonist is a witch, and so I wanted to take pictures that reflected the mystery and intrigue that often springs to mind when thinking of witches; the fact that it was cloudy and rainy when I took the exterior photos helps add to that aura.

I took pictures of the outside of our house, and close-up photos of the potted roses and one of the plants in my mother’s garden for the exterior shots. Like I mentioned, they serve as establishing shots (the shot of our house, in particular), but they also give a peek into some of what the protagonist might be up to, as the photos of the plants imply that she makes potions, at least from time to time.

I tried to pay attention to the various tips and tricks about photography that we learned about, the first week of class, such as the rule of threes, depth, and contrast, and I kept what I learned from the photoblitz we did, earlier in the semester, too. The photo of the garden features depth, with the plant in the foreground and the stone head under the glass dome in the background and out of focus; the house, garden, and roses are examples of contrast, with the dark house against the light sky, the light plant against the dark background, and the bright pink petals against the dark green leaves; I also tried to arrange my gemstones evenly so that there would be a sense of balance, in each photo.

I also took pictures of the rocks on my bedside table that I’ve collected over the past couple of years; I mentioned in a previous post that gemstones are often associated with magic and witchcraft, so I figured that the photos of my gemstones would help to drive that point a bit further–plus, the fact that the gemstone on the cover of the spell book is cut and faceted while the stones on my bedside table are raw makes the former appear more special and unique, at least in the eyes of the creature tries to steal it.

I probably won’t use every single photo I took, in this set, for my final project–I will be including the photos of the outside of our house and the garden, but I’ll most likely pick the best photo I took of the roses and of my gemstones, out of the several I took.

Final Countdown – part 2

Hello, everyone!  I am continuing to work on my final project, and now I would like to share with you the frames for the video portion of my narrative:

Because I don’t have the time or skill-set to do a fully animated sequence, this portion will feature just these frames edited together with sound in my video-editing software. I am currently in the process of recording dialogue and sound effects for the video, which will help to bring the frames to life.

The overall style of the frames has a fairly heavy anime-like influence to it; this style has pretty much been present in my artwork quite literally for years–since grade school, when I was first properly introduced to anime and manga. It’s most present in the very last frame, with the protagonist’s look of determination to pursue the creature who took her book, and in the second-to-last frame in the second set, with the more cartoonish, heavily simplified version of both the protagonist and the creature clinging to her book.

Just like with the cover design of the story, all of the images are colored in with pencil (although the image of the creature charging after the protagonist and her book will include background details drawn in in Autodesk Sketchbook), cropped using the photo editor function on my computer, and then I adjusted the lighting and saturation levels in MediBang.

The video portion of the narrative will serve to illustrate the catalyst of the rest of the story–the girl losing her book and her quest to get it back from the little creature. It will feature audio clips I found from freesound.org, royalty-free music I downloaded from filmstro.com, and lines I recorded myself on my computer, all of which will be edited together in Audacity.

I look forward to sharing it all with you, tomorrow.

Final Countdown – part 1

Hello, everyone!

I’ve begun working on my DS 106 final project. So far, I’ve completed a rough outline of what I want to do with my story, and how I want to tell it, and I’ve completed the cover design of the story.

I drew the cover and colored it in with colored pencils. Afterwards, I scanned the drawing onto my computer and changed the saturation and brightness in MediBang, and then added the text and “sparkle effects” in Autodesk Sketchbook. The cover embodies the design aspect of the multi-media assignment, and in designing it, I’ve attempted to capture the principles of balance, repetition, hierarchy, and color. The pictures shown above show my process in drawing and coloring the cover, excluding the final cover featuring the text and sparkle effects.

At first, I wanted to draw the cover and then color it in digitally, but I figured that that would take too long and I would run out of time to do everything else I needed to do, for this assignment. Then I thought about coloring in everything with colored pencils and then adding in a background digitally, but then I figured that that would look too sloppy, since traditional and digital art don’t normally mix that well together.

I didn’t know what exactly to draw on the cover of the book featured in the story (shown near the bottom of the design)–the book in question is a spell book, and I wanted its cover to reflect that, but I knew that I wanted to do more than just write “Spell Book” or just draw a moon or a star on the cover, so in the end I went with a gemstone. Gemstones tend to be associated with the mystical, so I felt that it was a good fit for a spell book.

The mist that is rising from the central character is also meant to be a magic aura of sorts, as a way of adding more to the background than just an empty, blue space and to add a sense of balance to the overall design, as well as to help reflect the fantasy nature of the story, as a whole. As it stands, it looks like regular mist, but like I mentioned before, the final cover design features a subtle sparkle-effect (which is really just small, white dots) that I added later in Autodesk Sketchbook.

I wanted the cover of the story reflect the general gist of it, while still providing some intrigue as to specific details about the story–i.e. that the story will involve a girl, a book, magic, and an imp-like being. I think I did a fairly good job of that.

Anyway, I look forward to showing you the final product (along with the rest of my project)!

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