She's the incredible artist who makes extraordinary banners and blinkies for hundreds of TwiFics. Thousands of readers found new stories thanks to her works. Today's guest is Rose Arcadia!
Raum: Would you like to tell us more about the way you began to develop your blinkies and banners? What was your inspiration? Did you get a specific training on computer graphics?
Rose Arcadia: No, no, I had no training at all. I just wanted to make a blinkie for a friend of mine, got on Google and figured out how to do just that.Inspiration? That's the tricky part. I know so many talented artist who can just whip these puppies up at the drop of the hat. Me? I'm que loca in the brain apparently. I can love a fic, but no matter how hard I try, I can't get a visual. Then suddenly, a chapter appears, then BAM, I've got the whole thing playing in my head. Then I sit down and figure out how to make it on the computer. Sometimes I don't know how to make these visuals, but hell, that does not ever stop me...
If I can't do it, I'll figure it out. I don't care if it takes me days, I gotta get this sh*t outta my head and onto the screen!
Raum: Would you like to describe your blinkie-banner making process? How did it change during the time you have spent in this fandom?
Rose Arcadia: Back in the day, I used to make blinkies that were 10, maybe 15 frames. Now, I'm using about 200-250 frames. Why? Because somewhere along the way, we all figured out how to add videos to animated gifs. It was a blessing and a curse. Editing 200 frames to make them match in size, contrast, lighting and color, is not as easy as 15.
But don't get me wrong, I love adding videos to my blinkie...LOVE IT! It gives me so many more possibilities. I look at my Caged Bird Sings, or my Fold Your Wings blinkie....ohhh, or my Unexpected Circumstances blinkie, that one nearly killed me! But anyways, it was just f*cking cool to see that come to life, ya know? I did these days and days worth of work, and then I had this beautiful visual as a result. I get a kick outta that, man! It's an awesome feeling to see it done, I'm tellin' ya!
And the best part? The exposure it helps the authors get. I get so proud and giddy when they earn success from these little animations. They deserve it. God knows, I'm a SAHM, I can't be buying books left and right. But these authors give me all this for free? Hell, least I could do, if you ask me...
Raum: What tools do you use? Can you give us some specifics and technical advice on banner/blinkies making?
Rose Arcadia: I use Jasc Animation Shop 3, Picasa & GIMP to make what I need. Especially now days, I'm a major animated banner kick, because I love combining the two. But, I'm very anal about making the frames match in color and what not, so it probably takes me 10 times longer to do. I'm such a geek...
Advice? Hmmmm....play with and combine the effects, you'll learn a lot from doing that. Oh, but just because you have the effect, doesn't mean you should use it. The checkered effect, that would work great with a fun fic or an 80's theme fic...otherwise, not so much. Fading is usually the way to go.
If you don't know how to transition between frames, and you want a dramatic effect, plan white or black .9 second frames can really make a powerful effect.
Font...if you have a serious fic, use a classic font. It it's a fun fic, use a fun font. Angst? Find something distressed. Period fic? Find a font that would have been used in that century. It makes a huge difference in selling the story.
Watch your blinkie when it's done. Did you have time to read every line? Too much time? Adjust your timing to match how long it takes to read.
Also, if you fade between video frames, fade with 1 frame for .10-.12 seconds, then erase the 2 frames you faded originally. This will make it flow continuously without stopping.
And lastly, don't forget to transition your last frame with your first frame, that way, it flows when it starts over.
I know, I know, WTF am I talking about...I'll shut up now! Told you I was a geek...
Raum: Who is your favorite character in the saga and why?
Rose Arcadia: Edward. Cause he's so pretty. Like, really pretty. Oh, and did I mention he's pretty?
Really? I need to explain? Ok, I just think he's beautifully flawed. I adore that. I adore also how, in the fandom, Edward could do no wrong. He could kill a person and we cheer for him to redeem himself. But go and change the name to Jacob and we demand that he rot in prison.
But yeah, mostly because he's pretty...I wish I was deep and meaningful with my answer, but apparently, I'm blinded by beauty...sue me!
Raum: Who is your favorite artist? (painter, sculptor...as you please)
Rose Arcadia: Dali, he is the creator of my love for art. As a preteen, I once saw a replica of Three Ages above the fireplace of my Uncle's home. I stared at it for a long, long time before my sweet Uncle came up and told me all about it. I sat for 4 hours straight looking at it, only taking small breaks to play the french horn.
Years later, it was one of the reasons why I decided to go see a certain vampire teen movie at the theater...I was curious about the actor who was playing Dali in Little Ashes.
Raum: If Edward were an artistic masterpiece, he would be...
Rose Arcadia: Guernica? Hmmmm, ok, maybe not, possibly in his head...oh wait, I know...Starry Night! Hehehe! See, this is why you shouldn't chat with your sister while doing interviews, she puts silly thoughts into you head!
Raum: Would you like to describe the relationship you established both with the authors and with the readers who, thanks to your works, find many new stories to read?
Rose Arcadia: Authors have always been so appreciative. I love seeing or hearing their reactions. It's better than corn on the cob at a summer picnic. Oh, that sounds so good!
I think I'm hungry, brb...
Ok, I ate...sorry, corn craving turned into a bacon craving...yeah, long story! So what was I saying? Oh yes....I love how close I've gotten to authors and readers from making these. I can't write, I would make a terrible author. This was a great way for me to get my toe in the door and make some awesome friends. Hell, some of my best friends now are authors who I just bonded with. I love the sh*t outta this fandom, I'm tellin' ya...
Raum: You made many of us dream with your inspiring images. What are your dreams?
Rose Arcadia: Well, I once had a dream that Kristen Stewart climbed up my body and clawed up my face with his teeny-tiny hands. It was all because at the time I was writing a Robp33n weekly post for The Cold Shower. Yeah, she didn't like that.
I really, really try to keep that dream out of my artwork. But that's ok. I have an insane imagination and a truckload of OCD tendencies.
So yeah, I'm good to go...