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Making of the Title Screen

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One of my favorite parts about DVD's are the special features. I can't not own a DVD and not watch all the special features on it. This is the first of what I hope to be plenty more behind the scenes Special Features for The Magic Arts (& Crafts).

Note: This page references the old title screen for Undeniably Sexy: A Thief's Tale. When the website was fairly new, and only four projects were in existence at the time. The other two were No Pots, No Specials, and of course The Mis-Adventures of Chad Sexington.

For the quick version - no words, just pictures - just click right here.

The website is going to go up in a couple days! I need to make something quick. I know! Nice and simple. "The Magic Arts" in an arc, and "& Crafts" in script. *Messes around with Microsoft Publisher* Oooo... a blending option. This gold and brown looks nice. Kinda neutral... one of Melfina's colors. And would go well on sign board for the final title screen.

Ok. Temporary title screen up. Time to design something good! *Looks at the title screens for The Mis-Adventure's of Chad Sexington, Undeniably Sexy: A Thief's Tale, and No Pots, No Specials* Too bad I can't draw that well... hmm... something without people. People are hard. A desk, ink pot with quill, a book, and her emblem! Nice and simple. Top down or from the side... hmm... maybe a scroll instead of a book.

I really wish I could draw a person like the other title screens have. Two guys, and one girl... I could draw Melfina and make the whole thing look more symmetrical. It would look pretty nice. Yup. Have to do it. That's the only way it should be.

The same slight twist as Undeniably Sexy? No... that just doesn't look right. Melfina's a pretty simple, innocent, and bookwormish girl. The angle has to be right in front of her. Of course I have to draw the Fancy Dress that I always use on her. "Melfina was there for the Age of Shadows launch!" Blessed dress. Gotta love it. Oh wait... it's a little tooconcealing and fancy. Let's just modify it a little and the floppy hat. It doesn't have to look exactly like the game's clothes. Tailor's could do what they wanted if it was a real world, and not restricted to game rules.

Whoa. I'm pretty bad with faces. Good thing the Undeniably Sexy screen doesn't have one either. Let's just pretend I decided to match that from the beginning. It's probably better that way anyway.

Now for her emblem. This is so easy. She's a scribe. It needs to effectively express that she's a scribe and values knowledge. Book, scrolls, ink pot with quill. It'll get the message off right away with her customers or whoever glances at it. It's too simple though. She needs a slogan. *looks over at the Ultima Font words on the Undeniably screen* A slogan! *looks up the meaning of the Words of Power at uo.stratics.com* There we go. In Vas Wis. Creating Greater Wisdom. Perfect. Just gotta shade the book a little bit. She'll have adjusted it just slightly, because Lord Luna demanded it, after she joins West Luna.

Gotta draw the sign that actually hangs off of Melfina's shop. *Takes a quick look at the real sign in the game*

Ok. There goes the layout. Nice and simple. Melfina on the left, the title I made up top, and put her emblem down there below it. Everything in place. Main character, name of the story (and her shop), and her emblem to show off exactly what she's all about. *Pats himself on the back*

Wow this is taking a long time. How many hours now? Her legs are even hidden by the dress so I don't have to attempt that. The arms... so hard to get just right. They have to look like they're coming forward just slightly. I wish I could draw. Ok... got it now. Now for the hard part. *Looks around* Good. No one's home. *Closes door anyway, then poses in the mirror with a book in his hands.* Hands! Why do they have to be so hard to draw! *More than one hour later* Whew! That was tough. Good thing I'm not doing the face.

*Admires picture* Perfect. Hands out front in a nice and innocent pose. Like the mirror reflection of the Undeniably Sexy girl. The same... yet the exact opposite.

*The next morning* I should add a feather.

Melfina? Check. Title? Check. There. That looks like a decent start. Not bad at all. Just keep on working. You might actually make a decent title screen.

Oh man... the title can't fit inside the frame without having to shrink it. And shrinking it makes it more pixelized. I've made the frame as large as I can already. It's so big that I can't fit the emblem on the title screen anymore. Oh well. I'm sure it'll still look fine at the end when there's more color.

More blending. I love blending. Green. My favorite color. Why not? How about a green grass, blue sky kinda thing going on? Like Melfina is standing right outside her shop? *Imagines final product* Would could be better than that?

Oh oops! Why didn't I save the file right! I can't get the same colors... oh well brighter could be better. We'll see.

Now let's try coloring. It can't be that hard can it? *Looks at color attempt*. Ugh. Let's get rid of that. That's pretty horrible. I don't know if any amount of time could ever get it to look good. At least the sign has potential.

There we go. Much better! But the white is too plain. Gotta add some kind of shading or something to indicate the different colors going on with her. *Takes a look at megatokyo.com* I'll just copy him. He knows what he's doing.

Hmm... so I'm told it's not dark enough. That's easy enough to fix. *Darkens shading on Melfina* Now for the framework. How do I do this? *Attempts to ink drawing and scans it* Wow, I really don't know what I'm doing. *Tries just changing the scanned file directly, with the pencil tool* Why didn't I try this earlier. I think I'm getting there! It's almost done!

Almost done! Wait. No, I'm done... wait... no... something... something just isn't right. The background? It has to be the background. It's just not working. Too many colors in there, and especially with an uncolored Melfina it's overpowering her.

Now this is a nice background. I like the new angle. More dynamic than the horizontal blend. Lining it up with the angle of the dress helps to hint that the blue is the color of the dress.

Computer editing is fun! I can pretend like I drew it right the first time. *Fixes the border width of the sign, cleans up edges of everything* And no one will ever know. Muahahahaha.

Very nice. Definitely glad I changed that. This is some great work I am done!

What? I'm not? Ooooohhhhh. I'm supposed to add a border!

That made it even better. I didn't know that was possible! Melina stands there out in the open, in the light, in the foreground of the picture, innocently holding her book in front of her. The Undeniably Sexy girl stands in the shadows, in a more seductive pose, in the background of the picture, and mysteriously keeping her hands behind her back. Does she hold a surprise? A weapon! Nothing at all? Who knows? Maybe I should play the game.

Hahah... I think things through too much. What a dork. I wonder if I'll do that with my story?

Done! This is much better than I could have hoped. And it has space to add Volume titles too! Maybe someday I'll try drawing everyone else. Just gotta work on faces.

* * *

*Months later - after Chapter VIII is already up on the website* - The title screen always looked empty at the bottom. Why don't I add the slogan on Melfina's emblem, even if I can't put the entire emblem. That'll even help the mirror image look of the two title screens. And I know how to rotate stuff in Photoshop! I Don't have to use reduced and pixelized letters anymore! *Sigh* - Much better. Now I don't need to make any more changes. For now.

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