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Jeyl July 2 2013 02:43 PM

Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
To those of you who might not know, we have a little thing going on that occurs every Monday called "Episode of the Week" where we review an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ever since I made my first post in January with "We'll Always Have Paris", I wanted to do something different rather than simply talk about the episode. I added stingers at the end that I felt were either the funniest or most meaningful of the episode that could be captured in a single screenshot or line. By the time EOTW got to the "Icarus Factor", I thought that simply typing in the title at the top of the post was a bit cheap so I decided to use the actual title of the episode in the post.

Fairly straight forward. Just grabbed a picture from (thank you!) and cropped out everything except the title. This was typically how I did my first two banners.

When it came time for my "Q Who" review, I decided to try something different. I still wanted to do the episode's title in space like the previous episodes, but I wanted to add something more to it that signified that this was "Q Who", so I grabbed another picture from trek core, went into Photoshop Elements and spliced the two images together.

Simple and efficient! But as all things go when you're doing something new on a constant basis, you always think of ways to improve your craft. One attempt at humor ended in embarrassment when I, and this is quite funny, "miss-represented" the Pakleds.

Someone brought to my attention days after the review that Pakleds don't use contractions, which I shamefully used here. Just goes to show that even a Trekkie like me can make the same mistake that all the writers of Star Trek can make. I thought about fixing the banner but decided not to because, like the episode, it is broken. :)

"Up A Long Ladder" presented me with a potential problem I should have anticipated. Titles over something that's not space. I could have easily erased the areas around the title and put it over blank space, but I was running a version of Photoshop Elements that was so out of date it kept on crashing every time I made a new layer. "Man Hunt" thankfully was I think the last Photoshop Elements image before I moved onto Acorn, where I decided to not only to make the size of the banners consistent from post to post, but also invest a little $ into this endeavor. Which brings us to...

This was a big one for me because I wanted a shot of the Klingon Battle Cruiser facing off against the Enterprise D, but there were no shots where you could see both ships in their entirety. So for the K't'inga cruiser, I grabbed a screenshot from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and grabbed one of the Klingon ships approaching the cloud and flipped it to face the other direction. The Enterprise D is taken from "Peak Performance" when it's facing off against the Ferengi. While the quality may not be the best, I was happy with the result since I was creating a shot that never existed in the actual episode. I really got a cool sense of what it was like working with elements from other productions to work in your own.

But the biggest change that's not immediately apparent is that I am recreating the titles from scratch. Since I've been doing this "Episode A Week" thing for a while and still creating the posts, I thought that a lot of these episodes aren't going to have their titles in areas where I want them, and I wanted more control of the titles in general. So I went and purchased "Crillee Italic LET" from for $39.96 and boy, what a difference it makes. When I recreate the title, I basically create two layers with the same title. One with the title in it's blue color, and another to give the title a black outline as seen in other episodes.

When it came time to do the infamous Shades of Gray, a title over space simply wasn't going to cut it. I wanted something that would not only showcase that this was in fact "Shades of Gray" that was being reviewed, but also use an image that would reflect just how dumb it all was. Than I thought "Ah ha! Riker with a stupid prop around his head making dumb eye gestures!"

And yep, I spelled the "gray" wrong. Thankfully I caught this before I posted it, but I had to do it all from scratch since I didn't save the Acorn file itself. I bumped the brightness of the blue up a bit to see how that would work and thought it didn't really work as well as the original shade of blue. Unfortunately I was in such a rush to get the banner done before I headed out to work that I simply uploaded it to see what happens. Not bad, but I think I'm going to stick with the darker color blue and make the black areas more prominent.

And what can I say about "Evolution"? It opens with a beautiful shot of the Enterprise in front of two suns, so I'll open Season 3 of EOTW with the same shot, only with the suns more spread out.

Already working on "Ensigns of Command" for next week and it won't even involve a space shot. :)

What do you think about the banners?

Mutai Sho-Rin July 2 2013 03:55 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
As the moderator of this forum, I usually just speed-read stuff looking for SPAM, etc. and don't pay attention to much of what I'm seeing. This post of yours demonstrates the shortcoming of such casual viewing. I had no idea how much effort went into your titles in addition to the effort of making the thread in the first place. I'll say Thanks! for the fans and I'll take more time checking out your work in the future.


Jeyl July 2 2013 04:40 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
Hey, thank you Mutai! Glad I could make something interesting to showcase the evolution of trying to make these posts look more interesting. I've already figured out something new while working on "Ensigns of Command" that makes the black outline better reflect how it looks in the actual episodes.

I always have fun trying to take one small moment from an episode and make that moment represent the episode as a whole. Kind of like the original video tapes of TNG when they would have a still image from the episode for the cover. I miss releases like that.

Captrek July 3 2013 12:06 AM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
I really like your banners, and in general the way you start these threads. As creator of EOTW, I'm very happy with the work you're doing as showrunner and I'm always looking forward to seeing what you'll come up with next.

Jeyl July 3 2013 02:20 AM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners

Captrek wrote: (Post 8328178)
I really like your banners, and in general the way you start these threads. As creator of EOTW, I'm very happy with the work you're doing as showrunner and I'm always looking forward to seeing what you'll come up with next.

Thank you Cap. You couldn't have picked a more perfect time to create this trend. The BluRays are just coming out and doing an episode a week not only helps with creating the content for these reviews but it also gives enough time to do their thing in grabbing screencaps. I was a bit scared that they weren't going to do Season Three by the time "Evolution" was up next for review, but than Evolution popped up and we were saved!

One of the reasons I do these reviews is to also help me remember these episodes in the long run. Even thinking back to Season 2, I still can't remember all of them by heart even though I've not only watched all of them on BluRay but also commented on them in these very forums! Skimming through my comments will be more than enough to job my memory.

Again, thank you for starting this trend Cap. It's given me something positive to look forward to on thes forums, even if the episodes end up being bad or in some cases, completely idiotic. Hearing what people have to say about the episodes in a way that doesn't completely write them off in vague comments is quite refreshing. And best of all, it's a learning process and I still have lots to learn.

Jeyl July 5 2013 01:56 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
In order to help make the banners a bit more consistent, I've decided to do a test to see which color and black shadow placement would be best suited for the banners. Since I come up with several examples, I decided to share them to see which ones you like the best.


Test #1

The color presented here was copied from the color used in the opening credits. Has more of a grayish tone to it than the others.

Test #2

This color was captured from the episode "The Bonding" since it's the most recent episode in HD on TrekCore's photo library.

Test #3

This is the stylized take. I took the general color from Test #2 and simply bumped the brightness up a bit.


Test #1

This has the least amount of shadow in it.

Test #2

The shadow layer has been moved down one click down and one click to the right. It's simple and sharp, but might be too conflicting.

Test #3

This is the shadow layer being placed directly behind the title with the "Stroke" level increased.

Test #4

The shadow layer with the stroke level has been moved three clicks down and two times to the right.

Mutai Sho-Rin July 5 2013 03:14 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
Admitting that I have a notoriously bad eye for art, I'll vote for the lighter blue in 3170FF and the shadow effect in Test 3. The color choice may change if you had a different, lighter colored background though.

inflatabledalek July 5 2013 05:07 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
The effort you put inm is awesome, and makes me realise how behind I am in replying to those threads. When I get my PC fixed I'm going to have a massive catch up session (the tablet is OK for small posts and the caption contest but a pain in the ass when I want to write anything lengthy...)

Spock/Uhura Fan July 6 2013 05:21 AM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
Oh, this is nice. I kind of like #2 for the coloring and #1 or #2 for the shadow placement. I think adding something to your episodes of the week is a good thing to do instead of just having text there. I liked to add little pictures from each episode when I did an ENT watch. TNG is supposed to be next, but I was thinking of doing a DS9 rewatch instead. If I do end up doing the TNG watch, then I think I might add the name of the episode to the picture like you've done with your banners. Good going. :)

Jeyl August 13 2013 05:06 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
After working on the banners for a long while, I've realized that the two and sometimes three text links below the banner were starting to look a wee bit out of style. Going through some of TNG's designs, I thought why not pay homage to the LCARS design layout by having the links actually be LCARS style buttons? Here are some examples I cooked up.

What do you think?

Since this will no doubt conflict with the episode title banner, I've been thinking about putting the LCARS layout in the banner itself and using that as a placement for the episode title, along with a corresponding screen shot of the episode as always.

Captrek August 13 2013 05:18 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners

Makarov August 14 2013 05:33 AM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
I had noticed how cool these banners looked when reading the threads. Very nice work!

Jeyl August 14 2013 02:05 PM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
Ok. I figured out how to make those rounded corners for the LCARS style display, so here's an example on what to expect next week.

Figuring out how to handle the images will be tricky. I'd like to have multiple images that fade into each other, but I don't know how to give the images a blurry edge to make the fade effect look good. I might try something a bit more creative than simple screenshots, but I don't want to make the banners "too big" for the page.

dg1379 August 15 2013 01:36 AM

Re: Jeyl's TNG "Episode of the WeeK" Banners
That's sick! Great job!

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