Today’s DS106 Daily Create asked us to work with the most inspiring bot on the interwebz: Inspirobot and create an off-beat inspirational poster. My beloved bot did not disappoint when asked for wisdom that means nothing but seems to mean everything! The message reminded me of the DS106 Summer of Prisoner 106. I spent a lot of time making posters for the Village. I thought I would revisit one of my .psd and add a new message to my collection of Prisoner posters – this one by Inspirobot is very Prisoner 106, no? It was a good chance to update more of my fonts which I lost one an ‘update’ of Photoshop a while back…Be seeing you.
Today’s daily did not grab me and I did not want to miss ‘World Chocolate Day 2017′. Who knew it was a thing? Well, it is. And chocolate text is too. There are generators online, there are psd files to mess with, there are tutorials. I used this one but cheated a little with the text to make it quicker. I used this one and it was easy. This was an online generator of chocolate text. There was this one too but I had enough chocolate for one day!
As you can see not much could be done with it. Yet, I knew I wanted the contrast of Twitter bot wisdom with a human social network not an impersonal set of nodes. I had the idea that this could be ‘then and now’ not just in terms of evolution of visualisation of networks, but also ‘then and now’ as in childhood playground network and the online networks of today.
I searched and searched. I found a better image but not a great one and decided I would learn about how to restore and image in photoshop. There must be something the mighty photoshop could do beyond just image size, which was all I could think of doing. I searched some more. I found a tutorial about giving old pictures new life. I followed it. It was awesome. I even managed to highlight one little girl at the edge who had only two unidirectional arrows, I wanted her to be the focus for the ‘those who break’ part of the adage. You cannot read them, but can see that each ‘node’ has a name as well as a face. How human and touching was that way of analysing interactions?
The poster speaks to the shadow side of online connecting – not all belong and some break and leave. Often early on.
I am really taken by bot wisdom of late. We did one daily create with @everyadage and I have been following it ever since. I love the nonsensical prompts that almost make sense. A couple of DS106 participants have been playing along with me @JanWeb3 and ds106ronald and we have been taking a few of the adages and making creative edits with the prompts.
So here is: Is it not unimportant to have trumpets coming from a bitter tulip?
I tried so many possibilities for showing this visually! How do you show a bitter tulip? In the end I settled for shrivelled equals bitter. What background is appropriate? In the end I settled for showing wonderful music coming out of the trumpet being played by the bitter tulip.
The idea here was: Is it not unimportant to have trumpets coming from a bitter tulip when they make such wonderful music?
As it is a saying (we have many sayings in the village) and I used village plain font, I am having it count for a few credits in #prisoner106.
How? All images CC0. I used Photoshop and mainly played with embossing and skew tools. Got texture somehow in the background and made a nice frame for it through render > picture frame.
This was challenging in design and made me play with new tools in Photoshop – had never used skew before. Hard fun! Thank you Ron and Janet for playing!
“A reasonable alternative is to complete a piece that incorporates two different assignments for a sum total of 4 or more Credit Units.”
So I did the ‘I can read movies assignment’ and ‘the one story 4 icons’ assignment in one cover. The electricity in my tree house is on for another week as I am clocking 6 Credit units and another 2 for the extra hard work to combine two assignments into one. Although to be fair, I took this on thinking it would be easier than doing two. The new number two is clever with words. A reasonable alternative, indeed. I think I should get an extra 2 Credit Units for doing the whole thing rather than just one episode, but that might be pushing it a bit.
Behind the scenes
I wish I had used my notebook as I intended to keep up with all that I tried. A little like our resident artist futzing was a key ingredient.
I started with the idea that I wanted the cover to embody the sense of ambiguity that is the hallmark of the series. I read an amazing blog post today that spoke about the series as it “constantly offering us a seeming chance for escape, then pulling the rug out from under us.” Nothing is as it appears.
The post explores a Prisoner computer game that never tells you that you can escape the game by pressing the ESC key! The tag line of my cover comes from the end of this game. You win and it tells you: To win is to lose. Sheer genius.
I have been using their icons in my Prisoner posters series as comas and full stops since this run of DS106 started. It occurred to me that may be the ones I had chosen over time would embody key themes. I was right.
Birds singing seem happy and free, and yet the noise may attract attention when it is not wanted.
A prisoner in jail might seem a negative icon, yet prison is not always a bad thing. (I will not explain the photo below to avoid spoiler for participants still watching episodes).
The fish escapes the fish bowl and is free then it dies as it lands.
The sad ghost represents death and suffering and yet, if ‘to win is to lose’ may be to lose is to win?
The cover is for book 1 and it contains the story of 6. Hence 6 is 1.
I used Photoshop as usual. Started with one of the covers from the I can read movies series that was cleanest to get a clean black background with the clone tool. I started with a lot more text which disappeared as the 6/1 tension shaped my thinking. I discovered you can search google by ‘type’ of image as well as usage rights and this can find you components to use in a creative edit. The lapels from the jacket came to me that way. I pulled them out of original image roughly with quick selection tool and then added it in with screen blending option to blend in with the grainy black background. My little friend the colour dropper did its job to blend all the colours well. A little blur tool helped me along.
For the first time ever I grouped some layers so that I could line them up properly. The little icons and its background were a group. I used the Emboss Texture blending option to create a rough look to the background.
I feel I have got as close as I can to the essence of what makes this my favourite series of all time. It is to do with the ‘nothing is at it seems nature’ of it. The kind of story that destroys mechanisation by remembering that what makes us human are non-googlable questions such as why. Awesome.
This constant tension is even shown in the way the prisoner dresses. The lapels of the blazer showing that we have a prisoner dressed in a suit, highlighting perhaps that we cannot tell from external cues who is the prisoner and who is the guardian.
Total time spent: several days to get the bits and this afternoon pulling it together. I wanted to challenge myself so I did my best to attend to small details I might ignore in the usual run of things. Cool challenge, Number 2.
Well, who would not be inspired seeing little Merlin’s photos? Using the colour sampler tool in Photoshop still evades my grasp, but did you know that there is such a thing as a Star Wars Font Generator ? That pesky green font was a worthy adversary, but I got it!
Please go to Flickr to check permissions. One of Merlin’s photo appears by special permission from Ingrid. Thank you, Ingrid.
The week in doggies! All thanks to a conversation on Twitter. An emergent DS106 assignment ‘Remix (in a dog appropriate manner) a Bond movie title and create a poster’. I learnt more about Photoshop from trying to do a good job of these ‘silly posters’ than I have in a long time.
Starring: Daphne as Miss Doggy Galore, Gifadog as Colin Bond, Spike as E. Cowfield, Abby as the Digital Diva and Chewy as the werewolf puppy
‘Children and Daphne’ by Jim Groom ’Bones are forever’ by Viv Rolfe ‘Reeborn’ and ‘Cop Pup’ by Ron L the other posters by the DS106 Shrink.
Yes, I know the last 2 do not fit the Bond theme. The translation machine (me!) from Twitter to Google Plus was faulty and the assignment got re-interpreted there but Chewy is too cute not to include here.
Who knows what else might get remixed. May be we can start #posterfight to complement #giffight ?