Three Rats Have Landed!

If I do say so myself, I’m very pleased. At least, that it’s finished. Naw, I really like it.

Front

Front

Spine

Spine

Title Page

Title Page

Source and Result

Source and Result

Rescued By Mermaids

Rescued By Mermaids

For the rest, go look: Three Rats At Sea

Three Rats At Sea Judged ‘Not Adorable Enough”, Back To Drawing Board, Says Sweet

I just finished the first complete run-through of “Three Rats At Sea” (its real final title). I’m bloodied but only slightly bowed. The only one that didn’t work at all was the final pop-up, and I spent an hour or two re-engineering it, and although I’ve had to give up my more ambitious idea, I still have something that I’ll like.

The book will be:

– the front matter (endpapers using some leftover whales and mermaids), title page, front credits, etc.

– the illuminated manuscript (either bound in or removable, I haven’t decided. I’ll always go with a manipulatable (as the arithmetic teachers say)).

– the pop-ups

– the back matter (back credits, thanks, more endpapers with the same mermaids and whales doing something different).

. . . . which doesn’t seem to be enough. I’m always comparing this to “At The Flea Circus”, which was stuffed with little treats. This one won’t be as adorable as ATFC, but then, nothing could.

No pictures today, every damn scrap of paper and cardstock went straight into the wastepaper basket. Gahhh.

 

 

Journey’s End (I Wish)

If I can make this work, it’ll be the greatestbest ending for “Rats At Sea”:

West . . .

West . . .

To Middle . . .

To Middle . . .

To East!

To East!

The ship and the sun both go the same general direction, but on different tracks! And I have to simplify the crowd – too much cutting- out.

The Kraken! The Kraken!

And of course this one went down as smooth as silk:

The Final Result

The Final Result

One

One

Two

Two

Three

Three

Although a minor point, the book doesn’t actually show how the rats escape the sea monster. I think I’ll leave that as an exercise for the student.

One more to go. The Rats Come Home!

Stalking The Volcano

Step by step. . . . Step by step . . .

The pattern

The pattern

This is attempt #12, I think.

Parts Cut Out

Parts Cut Out

It all seems so hopeful at this stage.

Step #1 - The Riser

Step #1 – The Riser

I could have stopped there, but no.

Step #3 - The Platform

Step #2 – The Platform

Another layer of smoke, this one goes up and forward.

Step #4 - The Floater

Step #3 – The Floater

Yet another layer of smoke, and the ship, attached to the riser.

Step #4 - The Frame

Step #4 – The Frame

Amazingly, the clouds of smoke all cleared the frame edge.

Another View

Another View

I think this is it. My main niggle is that the clouds of smoke elevate enough. In a few attempts, they soared above the top line, which is completely magical, but difficult to reproduce. Consistency is the hobgoblin of pop-ups, as Emerson once said.

Pat’s Home-made Imposition

Two people within the last two days have asked me how I manage the imposition for my books. (This link shows how the pros do it. You can rent of buy programs to do this for you, but this is the method I figured out for myself when I was starting out, and was too cheap to pay price.) I’ve put together some basic instructions (which assume you have Photoshop or Gimp or some similar program):

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 1

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 1

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 2

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 2

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 3

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 3

Pat's Home-made Imposition, Page 4

Pat’s Home-made Imposition, Page 4

Go crazy!

Refinement

I’ve reached the half-way mark! I’ve (sort-of) finished the first four of eight scenes. I make myself crazy by starting work on the next scene before I’m done with previous one, and so get mixed up. But here’s the latest iteration of ‘The Rats Are Rescued by Mermaids’. Keep in mind these are prelims, and I haven’t been very precise in my cutting:

Rescued by Mermaids

Rescued by Mermaids

More Rescued Rats

More Rescued Rats

I re-cast the mermaids – the book needed more tits.

The Story Continues

I’ve worked out two more scenes – the final pirate episode and the rescue by mermaids:

Sword Up

Sword Up

Sword Down

Sword Down

Rats Up

Rats Up

Rats Rescued

Rats Rescued

Don’t be put off by the crudeness of the cutting – I’m just thinking of the workings at this point. These aren’t in order, either – the mermaid rescue comes after the landing on what the rats assume is a small island. I’ve got to think of a new trick. Enough toggles – more pop-ups

 

Not So Fast

Well, the second scene wasn’t so easy – in fact, I’ve gone to bed just when the solution was in sight. My idea is to slide the rat’s ship to the left to allow Sir Bruno to impale the chief pirate. Is does work, after a fashion, but at this stage it’s pretty ugly. (One of my favorite phrases, like ‘a little big’ and ‘jumbo shrimp’. There must be a name for these.) More refinement tomorrow.

Repulsing the Pirates

Repulsing the Pirates

Repulsing the Pirates

Repulsing the Pirates

I must say the rats are performing splendidly! I’m especially proud of Whitby’s hanging from the yardarm with his sword – very Douglas Fairbanks. My problem now is finding something for the spear that will stand up to bending when the page is closed.

Starting Small

First Model

First Model

I just tried the first scene as a pop-up – a very simple one. There’s a tab on the side that moves the ship back and forth, bobbing gently in the harbor. I think the next ones will be more dramatic. Wait till you see the volcano!

First Model

First Model

First Model

First Model