TFBS Editing Tutorial
This is really for a potential new member of the blog, but it can also be applied to submissions and will feature heavily in the FAQ (if I ever finish damn thing):
- Usually there’s already quite a few text submissions in drafts and the inbox, but you’ll still be needing to pay the original site a visit now and then.
I’d suggest searching for key words or choosing the ‘random’ feature and making a list of possible texts so that you have a lot of options.
- So! Now that you have your text, let’s move on to the next step. Finding appropriate screencaps. It’s better to go into this part of the process with some idea of what you’re looking for.
This one is an easy one, especially since it already fits the conversation John was having with the hotel attendant. Don’t worry too much if your text doesn’t fit the scene. It’s the expressions that count.
- Anyway, in this case I used these two caps from page 14 and 15 of part 6 of Hounds. When finding caps, it’s best to use a process of elimination.
Find a relevant scene and go through its caps, opening up a few possibilities as you go. I got lucky with these two, as the ones I wanted were among the first that I opened.
- Now. The not-so-easy part. Obviously Photoshop is the best option and it’s the only one I’m going to do a tutorial for, though there’s a few alternatives listed in this ask if you’d prefer. Open both screencaps, the first one of course being the character that is talking.
- So, John, in this case. For the next step: it’s a lot easier if you make them both 25%. Using the cropping tool, select the entire screencap, and then drag it down like so:
- Now you need to select that top middle square and drag it up so that both the screencap and the space below it has been selected (god, I hope that makes sense):
- Double click on the screencap so that it has been cropped and, therefore, looks like this:
- Now! Hop on over to the other screencap and select the rectangular marquee tool (the one above the lasso), select the entire cap, and then copy it.
- Go back to the screencap of John, enlarge it to 100%, and then scroll down until all you see is something like this:
- Paste the screencap of the hotel attendant and then change the size to about 40%. Now we come to the editing stage, which is something you can skip and go right on to step 14 if you like. It’s the illegibility of the text that matters and the editing is really only to make the caps look a little nicer.
- Usually you need to make the caps brighter, though that obviously depends on the scene. John and Sherlock’s visits to the lab in Hounds are fine on their own, while stuff like… nighttime at 221B need a little push in the right direction. These two caps are already pretty gray and the lighting in the pub coupled with such a cloudy day are really no help, so we’ll take the brightness up to about +48:
- Next would probably be the vibrance. Sometimes you can get away with doing only this step and the one before it in the way of editing. It gives caps a more flattering light by bringing out all the right colors. Today we’re going to make it a +65.
Remember that a lot of editing has to do with fiddling around. So all that I’ve said and will say in regards to editing is not a strict guide… Actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… edit-y wedit-y… stuff.
- The last step in the editing process, which is possibly one of the most key ones, is the color balance. When I first made this particular post, I leaned a lot more towards the reds.
As I mentioned before, the scene is already very gray, so blue just… doesn’t work as well. This is the step that involves the most fiddling around out of the lot. There’s never one way of doing it. You just have to follow your instincts and, above all, have fun.
I’m not sure exactly what I did the first time around, but it should be something a little like this - Midtones; +45, +40, -31; Highlights; +33, -13, +20; Shadows; -5, -8, +5. If red or yellow are your main colors for a certain post, then be careful not to overdo it.
Sometimes the characters will come out looking like they have a bad tan. Especially when it comes to the pilot episode, which is a nightmare to color. I usually skip over the shadows, as it is often the downfall of whatever I happen to be editing, but it can also be quite helpful depending on the caps.
- Now that we’ve finally muddled through the editing process, we can get to the last steps. Are you as relieved as I am? Obviously you need to copy and paste the text, so make sure you have it on hand.
In this case (and in most others): 50pt will do. The font is, as I hope you recall, Courier New in bold. In order to get the outline, highlight the text and then select outer glow:
- The blend mode will probably be set on screen, but we want it to be darken instead. The color will also probably be this off-cream, but we want it to be black. Click to edit the gradient and select black/white, like so:
- Then you need to change the opacity and spread and such in order to make the outline a bit larger. In this case; the opacity is on 100%, the spread on 31%, and the size on 7px:
- Now save it, making sure that it is a JPEG and adding a (2) on the end, if necessary:
- Now all you need to do is upload it and have a cream tea on me! You don’t need to tag posts with the episode or the area code(s) of the text, just the names of the characters present and ‘Sherlock’. You’ll also need to add the content source, of course:
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