October 8th, 2005

life begins - me

Pimp time!

A few months ago, liz_marcs announced she was compiling a soundtrack of music for Xander's experiences in Africa. She asked if people would like to create cover art for the disks and I gave it a go - as a result I got to hear a rough cut of the soundtrack to get a feel for the kind of graphics which would work with it. It blew me away. The collection is amazing and covers two disks - the first has been posted over at Liz's journal and features mostly English-language songs/music with an overall feel of overwhelming obstacles running through it - although there are hints of optimism and determination there. Liz is hoping to post the second disk this weekend, and this contains more World Music and has a more uplifting, optimistic feel to it - and the rough cut version is regularly in my car's CD player.

What are you waiting for? This is a unique soundtrack and is so thoughtfully put together. Go - check it out now!

Oh - and about the graphic, I orignially started out with the one good quality "Xander with eyepatch" image I had at the time (the same one used in this icon) and started playing with the colouring a little until it seemed more fitting with the title "World on Fire". Then I found a fantastic stock picture (on Morgue File I believe, possibly Stock Xchnge) of a Kenyan desert sunset and placed that as a background image. Blended the images together but still felt something more was needed. (I used a few exclusion and gradient layers in here as well - I still have the .psd file if anyone's really interested in how I did it) So, I looked through some of my own photographs from Morocco and found some tile work which was just an amazing pattern and scanned that in as a texture. Placed it over the top of the whole picture and erased the parts covering Xander (I know it looks a little more like rattan than tiles, but trust me - it's actually wall tiles from the royal burial chamber in Marrakesh). Still wasn't 100% happy with the graphic so I took a merged copy of the whole thing, duplicated it and set that to screen. Duplicated it again and set it to difference (this was actually semi-accidental this part) and duplicated the 'difference' layer. All of that ended up with the kind of 'inner fire' colouring that is the end result. Put the text in using Papyrus font and voila - a cover for the first CD!
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