Deconstructing the title card for I. They. Evolve.

My recent Six Sentence Story contributions is a serial set in a future zombie apocalypse, starring an AI English butler who must come to terms with his own evolution as well as that of his infected enemy.

Here is how I made the title cards for my serial.

I ended up with this…

But this is how it began…

It started with a photo I took of Mount Coudon in Var, France, around 2015, using a Fujifilm digital camera. After cropping, I added some digital effects using a programme called Lunapic.

Next I drew some basic zombie figures to add to the scene. Detail didn’t matter as the image would undergo further digital renderings, and I was more looking for simple ‘sinister shapes’ resembling humans. Neither did feet matter, as once the figures were placed onto the background they would be standing in tall grass

( pretty lucky, as I suck at drawing feet! 😛 )

The scene is set, but I wanted it to be night rather than day, and also viewed as though through night vision lenses, kind of glowing, and with a screen interface type effect (I originally added some coordinate numerals and even a crosshair target but omitted these as it crowded the image).

Next up was to add a red border, the series logo and episode number. I used a font called ‘Tussle’ for the logo. For the episode font I chose ‘Chonker’. The final result is pleasing, and I now have a title card with unique branding to use for each episode.



I. They. Evolve. is a science-fiction / horror dystopia set in a future zombie holocaust. AI humanoids which once served as the workforce for wealthy humans have been re-programmed and equipped to go out into the world to destroy the infected. The story concentrates on Thomas, an English butler in his original programming, who faced with unprecedented and deadly attacks from the infected, considers the path of not only his own evolution but that of the enemy he is programmed to kill.

I. They. Evolve. artworkMount Coudon, Var, France photo, zombie figure drawings and digital render by Ford, 2021.

14 comments

  1. Thanks for that drive in the creative process .
    You definitely do not shy away from exposing the inner workings.
    As dear ol Edgar put it :” Most writers – poets in especial – prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy – an ecstatic intuition – and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes.”

    Which opens up a discussion point I had/ still having, more than once during my artistic endeavors:
    What is the purpose of knowing by the audience of a work of art the creative process under which it came to life?

    My short answer is : None – apart from satisfying curiosity. Therefore, I’ve always deemed that unneccessary in order to interact with the said art work.

    (Maybe it would be quite interesting to see here more opinions about the subject.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You’re right, I’m not so shy, and I think a part of it is about what the process reveals to me as much as it might do the audience.

    There were two artist friends of mine who created this rich universe of fabulous characters, and I was always intrigued how they created them, sometimes asking ‘but how did you start, how did you colour that, how did you create those lines etc?’ They would never let on, and of course as artists we respect the individual creative process.

    This was in the days when digital art and programmes was in its infancy – as in being available en masse to artists via home computer and programmes. I had no understand back then of this tech, nowadays a little more.

    So, sometimes if I’m tinkering with a programme and come across a new (to me) digital technique, I think… ah that’s how they did it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I understand completely what you are saying.
      For clarification purposes: my point of discussion refers to whether the knowledge of the process is an absolute requirement in order to genuinely interact with a work of art.
      By no means I meant it as a general rule.
      On a second or third level, it could serve a purpose, one of them being the form of stepping stones for future evolution.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I see where you’re coming from, and would more likely think no, the knowledge of the process is not needed to genuinely interact with a work. I like the mystery of not knowing as much as I like learning of techniques.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Mage, impressive….most impressive as Darth V would say. This is more or less the same process I use to create the title plates for my posts – and I’ve done around 570 now.
    The font “Tussle” has a very strong X-Files vibe to it, perfect for the drama and suspense in your stories. And Chonker reminds me of an American Typewriter font.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya. I love your titles and graphics (as well as the saber designs). You always get striking colours and everything pops just right. Yes, the ‘Tussel’ does have that X-Files feel, perfect as my story has the sci-fi element.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi again, thanks so much. I do find that I end up scrolling through lots of pages and websites that offer free to download TrueTypeFonts (.ttf) that I can use, but I always have my Star Wars themed font types handy and of course the font I use for my logo/nameplate!
        One of the supporting courses I studied at college to back up my Performing Arts/Music Tech subject was Media Studies and that taught me about page layouts and styling which has come in very useful – either in Blender(if working on a 3D image) or using a dedicated Desktop Publishing software (I sometimes use LibreOffice’s publishing package).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That was an interesting peep behind the scenes, Ford. Great idea to create something specific for a series that grabs your readers’ eye and is unique to your story. I have heard of, and actually remember the name ‘lunapic’ (wonder why that might be?), but I am so NOT tech savvy. I only eventually figured out how to put a sound clip on You Tube last week.
    Fonts have featured on my radar this week too. I’d never thought about them much at all, but now I’ve been reading Robin Sloan’s ‘Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore’, I’m seeing them in a whole new light.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Chris. Lunapic (hey!) has some intersting and unusual fonts. Yes, for sure I wanted something that could pass as a logo/brand for this serial, and am just about savvy enough to come up with something passable. When I see some of the graphics done by fellow bloggers here like FT (Sabersite) and Jacob (jaywalks) and others, I’m pretty much in awe as I’d struggle to come up with something like they do.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pretty cool, and something that is all yours! Enjoyable whether you share the process or not, but some if us always want to know more about the how. Creativity is hard work–like a magical spell.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Liz. Love that… “Creativity is hard work–like a magical spell.”
      It’s def a feature now here at Atomic Mage in that I can make my own simple graphics to illustrate the post, whereas on my other site TVTA I only ever had to use a vintage advert or catalogue page.

      Liked by 1 person

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