Posted in Camellia, doll photography, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, miniature photography, Photography, Photoshop, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Turning a photographic novel into a graphic novel

Looks like I’m playing around with the second version again, while I’m supposed to be finishing the first 🙂

But I had an idea I wanted to see the adventure in more of a graphic form. Fortunately, Photoshop (and, in this case, Photoshop Elements) has some cool filters for quickly transforming photos into sketches and paintings.

Here is the original of the last panel of Camellia’s open ocean episode:

. . . dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.

You can make some changes with Photoshop, but I find it more difficult to navigate for this kind of thing, and its painting filters are pretty limited. So, instead, I mostly use PhotoshopElements. Open the photo in Expert mode, and click on the FX tab. You’ll see a list of 50 or so filters. Here are the effects of the ones that turn the photo into a graphic:

Oil painting

. . . dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.

Oil pastel

. . . dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.

Pencil sketch

. . . dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.

Watercolor

. . . dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.

I ended up really liking the second one – the Oil Pastel filter. It retains the detail of the original, but gives it a kind of dreamy quality.

I don’t think I’ll turn the whole novel into a painting, but it’s possible that I’ll play around with Camellia’s early episodes.

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Posted in doll photography, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, miniature photography, Photography, roombox, Rosie, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Rosie is the brains of the adventure

And, we’re back. Lovely week off seeing my family, dancing at a wedding, and all-in-all having a great time.

We’re to the point in the plot where everyone-who-isn’t-Camellia shares a single episode. In the one I’m working on now, Lily and Daisy are rushing around looking at tide-tables and maps trying to figure out what island Camellia could have gotten to, while Rosie is (apparently) dumping piles of flour on her floor.

Thusly:

Which seems like an odd thing to do. But, it turns out, Rosie has an idea about what all those objects in her cupboard are for:

We’ll see how much she’s able to figure out when I finish the episode on Friday.

Posted in doll adventure, doll photography, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Photography, Photoshop, Rosie, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Rosie’s Pirate Adventure, part 2

In her last episode, Rosie was carted off by pirates. In this episode, she finds herself being carried through a jungle:

The pirates carry Rosie through the jungle
The pirates carry Rosie through the jungle

And brought before the queen:

Rosie meets the queen of the island

from whom she receives a map:

Rosie receives a map from the queen of the island

Afterwards, the pirates dump Rosie back in her room:

The pirates drop Rosie back in her room

Where Fetch grabs the map and puts it in the cupboard:

Fetch takes the map
Fetch takes the map to the cupboard
Fetch puts the map in the cupboard

Revealing all of the treasures from Rosie’s dream adventures:

Rosie sees the treasures from all of her dreams neatly stored in the cupboard

******

And thus ends Rosie’s last dream adventure.

We’re navigating the doll adventure train towards it’s final destination, although I may take the week off next week for a family visit. If I manage to post next week, it will likely be a continuation of the story about the sisters and their treehouse, giving my sister and I something fun to work on together 🙂

Posted in Fashion dolls

An odd day

An odd day here in doll adventure land. I started the day getting laid off, and ended it driving a dead possum up to Vancouver, WA.

And still, in-between, I managed to work up a few Rosie dreamland shots.

Here’s my in-progress shot of the island queen

I’m assuming I’ll finish up the shoot in time for Rosie’s adventure on Friday, if nothing worse happens in the meantime 🙂

A few asides

We’re heading towards the finish line, here, with the conclusion of Rosie’s final dream adventure. After that, it’s just a hop skip and a jump away from the conclusion of my year-long adventure.

For Rosie, apparently the pirates have taken her through some of my favorite artist’s landscapes:

In other news, I was rewarded for my splash dash work last week with one of my pictures making it into Flickr’s front page Explore – netting me 1400 views, or about 1200 more than I’ve ever gotten for a single photo. I have no idea why this photo, and not others that I’ve labored far more over. But, anyway, here it is again, for your (apparent) viewing pleasure:

Sitting by the waterfall, Camellia recalls the last time she saw her daughters.

It doesn’t seem exactly fair to take credit for the whole photo, since the waterfall image itself is one of those free downloads from Pexel. But, OTOH, I did take the effort to paste my dolls in :). Oddly, I feel much more like the Rosie-in-dreamland pictures are my own creation, even though the landscapes themselves obviously aren’t.

Posted in Camellia, doll adventure, doll photography, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, photo novel, Photography, Rosie, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Episode 30: Kissing the children goodbye

Sitting by a waterfall, Camellia recalls the night when she parted from her daughters

Sitting by the waterfall, Camellia recalls the last time she saw her daughters.

Holding the note she’s just written, she tries to comfort Daisy

Camellia tries to comfort Daisy

Then tears a photo in half, and hands half of it to Daisy

Camellia hands Daisy part of a photo

And reaches into the crib to kiss Rosie goodbye

Camellia reaches into Rosie’s cradle to kiss her goodbye

*****

Even with an impulsive day off from posting to the blog this week and a late posting today, I still didn’t manage to get all of the pictures taken for this episode. There was supposed to be handoff of the note from Camellia to the stranger. Oh well, I guess we can assume it got to her, since we saw her with it in the previous episode.

Also, some day I have to get an infant doll. Poor Rosie hardly makes it into any scenes, since I don’t have a doll small enough to pass for her.

Posted in Camellia, doll photography, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, miniature photography, Photography, Photoshop, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

The freedom to change one’s mind

If there’s one thing I was certain of on Friday, it was that I was going to take a year off from reworking the My Doll Adventure series once I’d wrapped up the first draft.

Naturally, the first thing I did on Saturday was start working on the revised version. I still think I’ll hold off on working on it in earnest for some time, but who knows.

The most significant change I want to make (other than redoing a lot of the photographs) is to spend time letting Daisy and Camellia develop and change in response to their circumstances. I’m also going to change the triggering event for Camellia’s story. Since you haven’t seen that yet in the current version, I won’t say too much about it, other than to say that it makes Camellia a more complex character.

I’m frustrated enough with trying to pose my two unarticulated support cast members – Daisy’s and Rosie’s adoptive father and the stranger character – that I’m going to completely recast them, probably with some Hot Toys-type action figures. I’d like the adoptive father to be much older. I fell in love with a hyper-realistic Morgan Freeman doll (and, yes, this really is a picture of a doll)

But my son tells me that he’s so darn realistic that he can’t be anything other than Morgan Freeman. So, unless I want to claim that Daisy and Rosie were taken in by Morgan Freeman, that really won’t work.

So I’m going to try a somewhat less realistic Michael Caine character instead (and, yes, this is also a doll).

It isn’t so much that he isn’t realistic, it’s more that it’s not quite so identifiably Michael Caine. Either that or it’s just that Michael Caine himself is not that identifiable 🙂

I haven’t started searching for the stranger character yet – I’m going to finish re-doing the plot to see what she’s supposed to be like first.

So, anyway, I spent the whole weekend working on redoing the plot, that thing I wasn’t going to do at all. Hopefully I’ll have enough time during the week to work on the current episode I was supposed to be working on 🙂

Anyway, back to redoing the past. Going through my original photos, I had enough shots of Camellia in the boat to redo those images in Photoshop, and then lay them out in a new comic layout tool I got.

Here’s the original shots:

Feet at sea
Knees at sea
Camellia at sea – enter stage left
Camellia at sea – exit stage right

The first two aren’t so bad, although the boat does look like it’s rearing up in the ocean instead of actually resting on the water. But the last two are pretty bad. She looks like she’s in a bumper car.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve learned in one year, shown in the reworked images:

A pair of feet come into view.
. . . then a pair of knees . . .
. . . and finally Camellia is seen in a small rowboat . . .
. . . dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.

Apparently my biggest Photoshop accomplishment is that I’ve learned how to skew objects and add a shadow layer. But I feel like my eye has developed, especially as seen in the two versions of the last photo. The recent version of that photo is pretty good, IMO – I’m starting to get a sense of her lost in the ocean, and that gives it an emotional tone that the first version was totally lacking.

As I was doing this I had yet another crazy idea that I’d just redo the whole darn thing every year to gauge my progress. We’ll see how long that idea amuses me for.

Here’s what it might look like layed out on a page, using a comic layout tool called Comic Life:

If you’re ever interested in laying out photos, and adding speech, this is a cheap (I think it was $29) simple, flexible tool. It did everything I needed it to do, and I could figure it all out in 30 minutes or so.