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framedinlove's journal
A Spuffy Manip - Stopover 
14th-Sep-2008 08:17 pm
I haven't been able to make a manip for a prompt in a long time, and it's been bugging me in an accelerating manner. Thank heavens for the awesomeness of the September's missions at nekid_spike, I say! Unfortunately I keep on being me no matter how hard I try not to, and I just had to go and completely forget about the very inspiring Spike Goes On A Road Trip -prompt until the very last minute. Yay me! *rolls eyes* So I was in a hurry, and me and hurrying sort of get on each other's nerves. Plus I'm like the slowest manipper ever, so the results are, er, what they are... But I found this prompt to be too wonderful to miss out on, and I really wanted to participate, so (come what may) here we go:

Click on the thumbnail to see the manip in full size.

my king 3 [thorin]
Comments 
14th-Sep-2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Wow, as usual, you have created yet another masterpiece. Do you write fan fiction? I can really see a story out of this manip. Amazing work=)
14th-Sep-2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh. *blushes* What an utterly lovely comment - thank you so much! I'm delighted to hear you find this to be to your liking! Yay! *beams*

As for your question, I can't write fanfiction for the life of me. I'd love to, but I just don't have it in me to write prose in English. What I do have, though, is this will - need even - to participate in the storytelling, and I try and make that work for my manips. Or that's what I keep telling myself, anyway. Not that there was always an echo of a story there behind my manips, but more often than not there is. And let me just say that it means a great great deal to me to hear that within this manip the story was there to be found.

Thanks again for the most wonderful comment! I really appreciate it! :)
*hugs*
21st-Sep-2008 05:59 am (UTC)
I hate to bother you with this again, but my other option fell through and I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind making another Buffy manip for me? I already have the base chosen for it, and possibly the banner for the fiction, too? I would send you the pictures that I want for it, I just need them all put together because I suck at that. Just let me know whenever you can, there's no hurry. You of course can decline if you want, I know you had surgery recently, which makes me feel even worse about asking this, but I don't know of anyone else to go to. Thanks, hopefully you're not completely sick of me...lol!
22nd-Sep-2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
There's no way you could be bothering me - not now, not ever. Every time you've asked me for a manip you've always made me feel that it's ok to say no, too, which kinda makes it easier for me to say yes, if you know what I mean. You've been so kind and considered to begin with that I haven't been scared to death of the possibility of not succeeding. And when I'm not going crazy with my anxiety, manipping is fun and inspiring. So, to finally answer your question, yes, I'd love to help you out if I possibly can. It may take a bit longer now that my back seems to be acting up again, but you already said that the time isn't an issue so...I guess we have a deal, lol. ;)
Seriously, I'm glad you asked. *huggles*
26th-Sep-2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Dammit, I never knew that you responded, stupid LJ didn't notify me. I would have gotten to you sooner...lol! Anyway, I'm glad you're okay with it, and if it's too much trouble, you can only feel free to do the manip for me, I have someone else that might help me out with the banner, but it's up to you. Well, I already did everything else on the base, I just need Buffy's head on her body. This one looks like it would be pretty easy. Not for me, but would probably be a piece of cake for you...lol! Thanks again=)


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30th-Sep-2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh how I wish there was such a thing as a piece of cake of a manip! I can't even remember how many times I've looked at a base pic and thought: "That should be simple enough", and then found myself with a manipping world's counterpart to a field trip to a quantum physics department. Lol. Anyway, er, I honestly don't know how this one turned out. It really pains me to be this badly out of practice. One minute the manip looks fine and the next the head looks as if it was of the size of a peanut and in the wrong place anyway. So please do let me know if it blows, and I'll try something else. The piccies can be found in here.
30th-Sep-2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Oooh, very nice, like you could ever be out of practice, silly girl. I don't know which one to choose...lol! Well, if you still want to do the banner for me, I can send the pictures to your e-mail, if that's okay, but you don't have to do it if you don't want. Thanks again for the pretties=)
30th-Sep-2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Whew, I'm soooo relieved to hear that I didn't screw this up! Yaaaay! :D I don't know why it kept on looking so weird, anyway. I actually got to a point where even the unmanipped base pic seemed all wonky proportion-wise. *rolls eyes* Anyway, you're very welcome! I'm just super-glad you think it turned out alright. *huggles*

As for the banner making...er, you do remember that I kinda suck at it, right? Lol, sorry, never mind me, I think I'm still a bit shook up by the unbelievably hard experience that was the making of clawofcat's header. Different medium, I know, but the smaller the canvas I'm supposed to stuff things into the more inadequate I feel. Buuuut if you're still not in a hurry, I think I could at least give it a try. My email address should be viewable on my profile page, but I'll type it down just in case: framedinlove@gmail.com

If you've any special requests considering the banner (atmosphere-, background-, color-, text-, size-, composition- or otherwise), just let me know. I don't mind getting directions - in fact it makes my job a lot easier to know about your preferences. :)
14th-Sep-2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
It's a lovely manip, and her boots are like the coolest ever! ;)
14th-Sep-2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Hee, Buffy's boots are indeed pretty damn cool! I love the contrast between them and her dress - what an unexpected yet strangely appealing combination.

Many thanks for the lovely comment! I'm delighted to hear you think this turned out alright! :)
14th-Sep-2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Hm, a couple of thoughts about this. First, I love the flatbed of the Hummer. It's a great staging area for Buffy and Spike to sit in and gives the piece a sort of off-road, adventurous feel to it, like they're on their way to hiking or demon-tracking. Not too different from Gus and my magical mystery tour across the US this summer! *g* There's something about the angles of the car that frame the manip really nicely. Great composition. Was this originally an advertisement?

Second, the head for Spike is flawless. The slouched, sexy pose he has embodies him perfectly, as well as the very casual, unconcerned head you chose for him. He very much fits the part.

What I'm not sure about is Buffy. I knew it was Spuffy (because it's the only pairing I've ever seen you do!), but the base from the hair and outfit to the bodytype itself spoke very strongly of Tara to me. The bohemian look, the bust, the fuller legs, the long sloppy hair definately had me in a Tara mindset. Her expression also seems a little, I dunno, sedate? Bored? Something. I guess a good question would be was the girl part of the base or did you add her? It seems like it must have been part of it, but I'm not sure.

I'd agree with what others have said though. You always infuse your work with a great story and this certainly has it. I love that about your pieces. It also fits the prompt to a T. Overall, a very nice job! It's fun and different. Something I can always count on you for ;)

I still want to figure out if I can put together a short story from that freaky, desert, futuristic Spuffy manip you did. That was made of win!
15th-Sep-2008 01:46 am (UTC)
Oh how I love your comments! I know I've said this before, but oh how I love them! Many many thanks for putting so much thought into this! I truly appreciate it.

This manip - I made it in such a hurry and also faster than I've ever made a manip before. I had totally forgot about the prompt until I saw the reminder post on Thursday. Then I had to go and waste my whole Friday angsting my head off and yesterday I wasn't home and...and then there just wasn't enough time to go searching for a more suitable base or to start making big changes to this one.

So, thanks to my sieve like memory, I had to do with the bases I already had saved on my computer. It's a situation far from ideal, but I tried to concentrate on the prompt. I decided that if I was lucky enough to be in a possession of a base that would fit the prompt, I'd use it even if it wasn't otherwise exactly what I'd had in mind. This base happened to be the only base I had with a car and two people in it. It's a scan of a part of an editorial from Brazilian Vogue, and looked originally like this.

I agree with you on Buffy's bodytype. It isn't quite her. The woman in the base pic is a bit too tall and a tad too heavily built to be ideal for a Buffy manip. Buuuuut I had to go with the base and, well, maybe Buffy'll gain some weight someday and, er, I'm sure there's an undoubtedly interesting explanation to the clothes they're wearing, too. Who knows where they're on their way to, after all. Maybe I should just go and ask Buffy what she's doing wearing Tara's dress in my manip. ;)

It's so extremely hard to find bases where both the male and the female are of the right bodytype! Sometimes it feels downright impossible. And so I compromise. I don't like it, but I like not manipping at all even less.

Her expression also seems a little, I dunno, sedate?
Heh, that's the problem with the majority of the HQ pics. Either they're sedate looking studio photos or equally unnatural red carpet crazy-smile shots. There are exceptions, of course, but when you have to find a head base pic with a fitting expression that is taken from the right camera angle and is of the right quality and seems blendable skin tone -wise, you quite often find yourself trying to find the least compromising way to compromise.

I manipped this manip's Buffy three times. The first one didn't work because there was something off about it angle-wise. The second one looked as if she was really annoyed, and then I made this one and kinda liked it. I thought it made an interesting effect, the contrast between hers and Spike's expressions that is. Spike is such a natural poser, and there he is, naturally posing, but maybe it's not such a comfortable situation for Buffy. (I could so relate if that's case.)

You always infuse your work with a great story and this certainly has it.
Thank you so much for these words! It means a great great deal to me to hear that you think there are stories to be found within my manips. Because that's what I'm striving for. I might not be able to write fanfiction, but I have this will - need even - to participate in the storytelling, and so I try to make that work for my manips. Or that's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

I still want to figure out if I can put together a short story from that freaky, desert, futuristic Spuffy manip you did.
I'm lacking the words to express how excited I am about this idea! It'd be above and beyond awesome, a true dream-come-true fic! Even the thought of the possibility of it makes me go yay and woot and woohoo, and my feet are just itching to do the dance of utter delightment. :D If you'd like to use the manip as a story banner (with some added text, obviously) just let me know. :)
15th-Sep-2008 03:18 am (UTC)
It's a scan of a part of an editorial from Brazilian Vogue, and looked originally like this.
Is it just me or does that model look like Fergie? O.o Also, Spike is way hotter than that brunette dude.

Maybe I should just go and ask Buffy what she's doing wearing Tara's dress in my manip. ;)
Well, it is difficult to do laundry on the road. Perhaps it was on short-term loan?

that's the problem with the majority of the HQ pics... you have to find a head base pic with a fitting expression that is taken from the right camera angle and is of the right quality and seems blendable skin tone
What are HQ pics? And, gah! The entire process seems so difficult. I would laugh so hard at myself if I tried to do a manip. I would get as far as opening the program and then whimper and make puppy eyes for help. Again, love hearing the whole process and how many "drafts" you went through. Tamakin did a similar explanation of her latest Spike fic in comments and showed me the base pic. It just makes the image's journey/transformation that much more interesting. Not only does a pic have a story, but how it came to be does, too. I like that.

maybe it's not such a comfortable situation for Buffy.
Expression aside, I should have said that the blend of Buffy's face into the bases is really quite good. Among the many things you excel at in manipping, you really do an excellent job on blending faces. I think that's generally one of the most important things about "selling" a manip. We need to believe it's them, right? The great artistic things, like tone, atmosphere, colors, textures, text, etc. comes after. Or am I off the mark?

I'm lacking the words to express how excited I am about this idea!
LOL. It's just an idea! Don't get excited until I actually have something to post. I think I've written more words total of half-finished, unposted stories than ones I've actually gotten up. But, if you want an idea of where I was going, I started making notes right after you posted it. I was on vacation at the time in Massachusetts, so all my note-taking was on the beach :)

I was going to set it in the Southwest in a far future, maybe post-NFA or apocolyptic world. Dawn, Buffy and Spike are the few survivors. And they're just surviving. Demons are dying because they have nothing to eat and our heroes are doing the best they can. I have a couple of hundred words written and thought I would bring in Native American tribes or something so that they could form an alliance. I haven't transferred my notes to the computer though. Will do that now!
16th-Sep-2008 02:11 am (UTC)
Is it just me or does that model look like Fergie?
She does indeed look quite a lot like Fergie in this picture. Her name is Gisele Bündchen, and the brunette dude beside her is Eric Bana who's probably better known for his acting than modeling. ;)

Well, it is difficult to do laundry on the road. Perhaps it was on short-term loan?
Hee, that's probably the case. Especially given that even without the laundry issues Buffy and Spike seem to constantly get their clothes torn or smeared with demon blood or other, er, liquid substances. Somehow I doubt that the fact that they're spending hours and hours stuffed in that car together is going to increase the longevity of their clothes. *g*

What are HQ pics?
Gah, I hate jargon acronyms and yet I end up using them myself. Sorry about that. I meant high quality pics. All humongous and sharp and lovely. The better the quality of the picture the more you can tinker with it before it starts to show. Because every time you resize or rotate a picture some data gets lost, which results in blurry details and pixelation. That's why I like using studio shots rather than screencaps. Spike/Spuffy screencaps tend to be especially tricky because of the lighting - or the lack of it to be more precise.

you really do an excellent job on blending faces.
Thank you! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to hear you say that. Yay! Because as far as I'm concerned that's the heart and soul of manipping. That's what manipping's about - blending the faces/heads, making them look as natural as possible, matching the skin tones. When that's done I consider the manipping part to be over and move on to the phase two, which includes colors, textures, effects etc. The final result is obviously called a manip, but when I'm planning my manips I only call the blending part manipping and the rest is...I don't know, making fanart maybe. I enjoy doing both, but as far as the techniques go they have very little to do with each other. I have no idea how other manippers see these things, though, so this is just me putting my two cents in.

LOL. It's just an idea! Don't get excited until I actually have something to post.
*tries in vain to stop being excited* I can't help it - I'm still hopelessly excited! And now that I've heard a little more about your ideas considering the fic I think I'm, if possible, even more excited than before. But like I said, even the thought of the possibility of such a fic makes me happy as a clam. There's absolutely no pressure whatsoever.
15th-Sep-2008 07:04 am (UTC)
I thought I'd left a comment on this, but I'm apparently brain dead!

I love it, Spike is perfect and despite what you and clawofcat said I think Buffy looks great too. Maybe all that troubled you about her would be fixed if the head was just a smidgen bigger? (and again, I like her!!)

*smooches* You rock!
15th-Sep-2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Brain dead, huh? *giggles* Somehow I very much doubt that, hon. ;)
But brain dead or not, your comments still totally rock! *loves*

First of all, I'm really happy to hear you think Buffy turned out alright. I've been thinking about this a lot and it came to my mind that given the nature of the base this might work better as a sort of an AUish version of Buffy, anyway. And actually as an AUish version of Spike, too, for it's pretty obvious that they're bathed in sunlight there in the picture. Or what do I know? *scratches head* Maybe I just can't see the forest for the trees. It's so damn easy to go totally blind to your own work.

Maybe all that troubled you about her would be fixed if the head was just a smidgen bigger?
Do you mean that it might've helped if I'd made a copy of the female's head and hair and stuff and upsized it a bit and then blended it in and then blended Buffys face there? *ponders* Yeah! Awesome! I mean that might indeed be the case, plus it's an awesome tip in general! Thank you so much, sweetie! It's wonderful to hear another manipper's point of view and even get some advices. Wow, seriously, my most heartiest thanks! I really appreciate it. *hugs you tight*
15th-Sep-2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Hee, I'm blushing here (and I'm nowhere near your maniping caliber, you're God!)

*smooches*
15th-Sep-2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
LOL. Oh yeah, I'm such a god. *snorts* A God of Insecurity and Angsty Days and Folders Filled with Unsuccessful Manips, maybe. ;D
Hee, you always put the widest smile on my face, hon! Thanks for that - among million other things! *huggles*
15th-Sep-2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
I love all your manips, you're great!!!

do you do requests?
15th-Sep-2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oh. *blushes* What an utterly lovely compliment - thank you so much! I really appreciate it. *hugs*

As for requests, it is not exactly my specialty and I'm kinda cautious about promising anything in advance, but I don't think I've ever said no to anyone. I mean how could I - it is such a great honor to be asked. The thing is that some manips/bases are just beyond my skills, and sometimes I just don't seem to be able to manip at all (that'd be a condition also known as manipper's block, lol). But, um, I've done requests and will keep on doing them if someone wishes me to. I might not be able to promise that I'll succeed in completing the mission but what I can promise is that I'll always give it my best shot. :)
15th-Sep-2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
In all of your artwork, I can see a story waiting to unfold. This one would wild, beautiful, full of laughter and fun adventures. Once again a wonderful job.

*applauds*
16th-Sep-2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
What an utterly wonderful comment - thank you so much!
I love hearing people's thoughts and point of views, and you totally made my day by telling me yours! I can't think of a greater compliment than hearing that you think that within this manip there's a story to be found. And the words you used to describe that story and the mental image they created - it is so very beautiful! My most heartiest thanks for sharing it with me! *hugs*
(Deleted comment)
18th-Sep-2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm absolutely delighted to hear you think so! Yay! :D *beams*

Strangely Buffy's hair reminds me of Her final moments in The Gift.
I don't think that's strange at all. I mean, I hadn't thought about it before, but now that you mentioned it I couldn't agree more!

Thank you so much for your kind words, hon! I really appreciate them. *hugs*
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