greerwatson (greerwatson) wrote,

FK faction icons XI

Just as the Perks and Cousins come in more than one shade, so too do the Knighties. In fact, in addition to Dark Knighties, there are fans who like a balance between Nick's human and vampire sides. They call themselves either Knights de Soir or Twilight Knighties. (These aren't quite the same in meaning: soir is better translated as evening; "twilight" is crépuscule. However, close enough.)

I've been holding off posting these because, for a while there, I wasn't sure if the Twilight Knighties and Knights de Soir were really the same thing. I asked on FORKNI-L to no avail, several times. I guess either there aren't any of them on list still, or else they sort of figured I was quite old enough to know how to google! When I used my common sense and searched, I immediately found their Yahoo!Group, which says right in its description that the two names mean the same.

In making their icons, I deliberately referenced the motifs that I'd used for the Knighties' icon. In fact, the three could quite reasonably be said to form a set. For this reason, I'm going to start by repeating the Knightie icon:

As you can see, besides the picture of Nick, the icon has a medieval helmet (standing in for the full armour of the original Knightie symbol) representing Nick's past. The CN Tower represents Toronto.

Dark Knighties:

For the Dark Knightie icon, I substituted a starry night sky for the sunset background. The colour of the CN Tower picture was reduced in intensity, as if it were being seen under moonlight. And I flipped the helmet and darkened its colour: this is, so to speak, the "Black Knight" version. Because it is so dark, I put the moon in so that it would show up against the night sky.

When I picked a picture of Nick in vampire mode, the one I decided fitted the icon best had him with red eyes rather than green. I then picked out colours from his eyes to use in the logo. So those are actually authentic vampire colours in the letters that spell "Dark Knighties".

In the Knighties' icon, I had added a wallet with police ID to represent Nick's current life. For the Dark Knighties' icon I also had a corner to fill. However, I didn't think that his job as a police officer had much to do with his vampire side. It occurred to me to fill the space with a glass of blood. When I went looking, though, I found that this was more easily said than done. We often see Nick drinking from a bottle, and occasionally from a glass; but we don't often see a glass on its own. Although I could easily have found a picture of a glass of red wine on line, it wouldn't have looked quite like a glass of "blood" Forever Knight-style—in other words, a glass of Ribena.

Of course, there's that familiar shot from "For I Have Sinned", where Janette dips her finger in her glass and tries to tempt Nick. That, however, is a close-up of only the bowl of the wine glass. There is, though, a rather more distant shot of the entire glass among Nancy's screen captures. I blew up the stem of the glass, attached it to the bowl, and then had some nasty work to do to mate the two—especially since the lighting in the two pictures is slightly different. Then I found that, when I put the result in the corner of the icon, it was almost impossible to make out the foot of the glass: I solved that by copying down the gleam from the top rim. Oh! and I had to take Janette's finger out of the glass, too, of course!

Knights de Soir and Twilight Knighties:

The Twilight Knighties and Knights de Soir, being the same faction, have the same icon—except for the logos, of course. I made both versions so that people in the faction, if they want to take an icon, can have it with whichever name they prefer.

NOTE: These are the revised icons, posted 25 April 2012.

The idea for this icon came when I was hunting through the pictures of Nick and came across this very striking one where his face is half in darkness and half brightly lit.

For the background, I originally intended to use just the stock photo of the sun glinting out from behind a building. I had to flip it round so that it would match the picture of Nick. Obviously, the sunny side had to match the lit side of his face, and the building had to match the shadowed side. However, in the end, the darker side didn't look quite striking enough. Instead, I spliced in a bit of starry night sky. This was carefully shaded into the building down near Nick's shoulder so that the glinting sun would look natural as its rays shone backwards.

I decided to put in the CN Tower again, using a third variant which had a slightly golden hue added to it. The question then became where exactly to position it. My first thought was to put it right down the transition between sun and stars—and, from a design perspective, this ought to have been perfect. In practice, though, the building was just that little bit too dark, and didn't show up well at the top, where the tower narrows down to a point. So I then shifted it just a fraction into the light; and that meant that the tip—but only the tip—was completely silhouetted. It worked perfectly. Except...well, it then obscured the glinting light of the sun near Nick's shoulder! In the end, I shifted it a little further off centre.

NOTE: In the revised icons, a diagonal transition was used in order to have the tip of the CN Tower close to the transition while still keeping it clear of the sun near the bottom of the icon.

As for the Great Helm: I found another shot of the same model, this time from the front. Unfortunately, the picture was rather flat looking. I solved that by splitting it down the centre, darkening one side slightly, giving the other a slightly golden tint, and then sticking the two pieces back together. The brighter side faces the sunny background; the darker side faces the night. Given that I'd previously shown the helmet facing left and facing right (one way for Light and one for Dark), having the "midway" faction associated with an intermediate orientation seemed appropriate.

And that, once again, left me with the bottom corner to fill. This time, rather than put in simply a glass of "blood", I set it beside a bottle. Significantly, this does not have a paper label stuck on it, and hence can be identified with the bottled cow's blood that Nick drinks. I then added the chain, which I clipped off a picture of a wine bottle that I found by googling. The "label" hanging from it is actually Nick's police badge from Season One.

As a final touch, thinking that the wine-label badge was really a bit too small for people to see properly, I added a larger badge in the small space in the lower right corner as well.
Tags: faction icons, forever knight, graphics

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