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So, You Want To Make Text Art? (part 2)

by Jonathon R. Oglesbee (jro)

full text:                 
Now that we have delved into castle construction with text-art, in Part One, how about looking at some other kinds of pictures? Automobiles might be a good thing to roll on to. Let's race on down, and look at a simple car, to see how it's made:
          _____            ... line 1  =  _
      ___/     \____       ... line 2  =  _ and / and \
     |______________|      ... line 3  =  _ and  |
       (o)       (o)       ... line 4  =  ( and o and )
... yep, that's a basic car shape. It's probably won't turn a fast quarter mile, but it's good enough for a starting point. The only characters we didn't use in our castle exercises, are the letter "o" and the parenthesis. Since I imagine you know your alphabet, let's do a little more, shall we?
        ______
    ___/ /_|__\____
   |____|__|__|____)
     (o)        (o) 
That wasn't hard, at all. I have really done nothing except put in the doors and windows, and substitute a paraenthesis instead of the "|" character for the front end of this auto. It's hardly a work of art, but it is recognizable as a car; a four-door sedan, at that. Try making a two-door on your own, and don't forget that you can lengthen or shorten the whole car, if need be.

Now, let's see what we can do about making some better autos...
              _________
         ____/ |___||__\_______
        [  __  |-  ||-  \  __ |]
       (__/()\_|___||___|_/()\_)
          '..'            '..'
Okay, it's ugly, but it might pass for a taxi cab, huh? I used five lines, this time, and two new characters (three, actually): the – minus character, and the two [ and ] brackets. The tires, as you can see, were done by using nothing more than apostrophes and periods. The crude fender wells go a long way towards making it look a little more like a real car, don't you think?

How about a truck, made the same way? You shouldn't have any trouble with that. Here's one of my own...
          _________________
         |   Joe's     /"""\
         | delivery    |____\_____
         |  ___        |-   |___ [|
        [__/ o \_______|____/ o \__)
           '._.'            '._.'
It's very similar to the taxi cab. The new character, is the quotation mark. See what differences you can find between this, and the car up above. Could you make an even bigger truck, this way? Try it! How about something smaller, like a sports car?
          ____.-.___\______
         / __  |-    \  __ '.
        (_/()\_|_____/_/()\__)
          '..'         '..'
Well... maybe it does look a little more like an old Jeepster. You go ahead and make a better sports car, on your own. I never cared very much for two-seaters, anyway.

Let's look at a couple of different views of automobiles. Examine each, and see how they were made:
           _____________________
          //~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\\
         //                     \\
        //_______________________\\
      /' /                       \ `\
     /  /                         \  \
    /__/___________________________\__\
   |/| ____ ||||||||||||||||||| ____ |\|
   |/|______|||||||DODGE|||||||______|\|
   |/ ||  |||||||||||||||||||||||  || \|
  /-------------------------------------\
  '-------------------------------------'
   |\_________________________________/|
   |     |                       |     |
   |_____|                       |_____| jro
   My car doesn't have a horn. It says
          =DODGE= on the front. 
What new characters can you find in the above picture? Notice how I used the slash characters, with ever widening spacing on each consecutive line, to give the appearance of looking "up" the hood. It's really no different from how we made the "road" leading up to the castle in our first exercise, right?

Here's a better picture of a favorite old car of mine:
        ___                                __
       / _ )__  ___________  ______  _____/ /_  _
      / _ (/ _`Ò‘/ __/ __/ _`Ò‘/ __/ |/ / _  / _`Ò‘/
     /____)\___/_/ /_/  \___/\__/\___/\___/\___/
           Built in Detroit. By heretics.

______________________ .'______________________'. //| \_______ _|_ ______/ |\\ // /________ [___] _______\ \\ .-.//_/_________________.-""-._\_\\.-. './/______________________________\\.' / / |||| \ \ / / |||| \ \ / / |||| \ \ / / |||| \ \ /___/________________||||________________\___\ /|__________________ |||| __________________|\ | .' `. ____ \ |||| / ____ .' `. | | : : \__/ >||||< \__/ : : | .\`.__.'_____________/______\_____________`.__.'/. '__________________________________________________' '.______________________________________________.' |\ \______________/ \_______________/ /| | '------------------------------------------' | |______| |______| jro
Sorry, but I couldn't help re-creating the old ad-logo, at the top. This car introduces some more new characters. Did you find the ~ and the ` character in the Dodge above it? They're in this one, too, along with the @lt; and @gt; characters.
        How about some rear views?

____ _______ __ / ___|_ _\ \/ / | | _ | | \ / | |_| | | | / \ \____| |_| /_/\_\

. ________________________ | //~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\\| ()//________________________\\() /_/________________________\_\ || _______ GTX _______ || |||_______|_____.____|_______||| |\______________________________/| | |(_)----\____/----(_)| | | |/ \| | ____|_____|____________________|_____|_____jro



____ _ _ / ___| _ __ ___| | |___ \___ \| '_ \ / _ \ | / __| ___) | |_) | __/ | \__ \_ _ _ _ _ _ |____/| .__/ \___|_|_|___(_|_|_|_|_|_) |_|

. ________________________ | //~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\\| ()//________________________\\() /_/________________________\_\ || _______ GTX _______ || |||_______|_____.____|_______||| |\______________________________/| (| |(_)----\____/----(_)|( |)) ((|)) ))|/ \| )) | )) __((|((_(_|))________________(_|_)_)_|)____jro



_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ( | )/ \ _ _ __| (_) ___ __( | ) V V/ _ \| | | |/ _` | |/ _ \/ __| V / ___ \ |_| | (_| | | (_) \__ \ /_/ \_\__,_|\__,_|_|\___/|___/ ____ _____( - )__ ____( . ) )(( )_ __( ( . ( () ))) )__ (_. ( ((( ) . )) __) (__ (- ()- ((( )__) __( )) . (( - )_ __( ((. ((-. )) ) )_ (__ ( ( " .' ( ()__) ) )___ __( (. ( " ; . )) _--) )))) (__(( (). (( () ) )__ " ) ___) __( ( -; ) __( ((. ) - . )_ ______(______(_______(___________)________)____jro
I guess you can color that car gone. Ever drive one?... nevermind. Ignore the big, ascii letters for now - we'll get into those, later. Look how I used the same basic clouds we discussed earlier, to make that cloud of smoke. It's been spruced-up a bit, with some periods and minus signs, but it's nothing more than a giant version of the same clouds we used in the castle picture.
                          __
                        _( _)
                       (__)
                       __
                     _( _)
                    (___)
   ________________  ||
  /________________\ ||
 /__________________\||
 |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~||
 | |         //\\\ | ||               ____
 | |________( o_o )| ||         _____/TAXI\_____
 |___________\ - /___||        //~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\\
 |__________/_\_/_\__||       //         )))))  \\
 /===================\|      //_____ ___[|o o|]__\\
 |___________________|/     //_/____\__/).-'-.(\__\\
 | _  _  METRO  _  _ |     /_/__________@_________\_\
 |(_)(_)|||||||(_)(_)|    |(__) |||||||||||||||| (__)|
 |[__]  |||||||  [__]|    |(__)[]__\||||||||/__[](__)|
(____________________)   (____________________________)
 |  |            |  |      |  |                  |  |
 |__|            |__|      |__|                  |__|
Here's a taxi and a truck, taken from another cartoon of mine. They aren't very realistic-appearing, but then they weren't supposed to be. They're supposed to look silly, like the people in them.

Here's some other simple cars. Try making and improving some like these, working up to larger and more detailed ones:
        _______
       /~~//~~||
  ____/__//___||_____________
 ()_() ____    |      ____   |
 <<<<|/.--.\   |     /.--.\ =|
 [___]| () |___|____/| () |\(]
   `..`.__.'      `..`.__.'

__ __ __ )(_)(_)( / .' __ '._()_\__ ___ ||: / \ : """----...' _ `.__ \: \__/ :_______________| (_) |__> `.____.' `.___.'

____ _ .' __ '._(_)__\ ___ : / \ : """----...' _ `.__ : \__/ :_______________| (_) |__> `.____.' `.___.'

______ _____/o/____\_________ [ | \ __ \ (_______|______|__/ \__) \__/ \__/

_ ___________|_\_________ / ____ |- \ ____ \ \_/ () \_|_____/_/ () \_/ `.__.' `.__.'


Try putting some of your new cars in a picture, as we did with the castle in the previous tutorial...

      /\     /\     /\     /\     /\
     //\\   //\\   //\\   //\\   //\\
    ///\\\ ///\\\ ///\\\ ///\\\ ///\\\
      ||     ||     ||     ||     ||
    @     @      @      @      @     @
   \|/   \|/    \|/    \|/    \|/   \|/
____________________________________________
           .-----.
    ______/  |____\_________
  [|  ____   |-     \ ____ |)
  (__/ () \__|______|/ () \__)
     '.__.'          '.__.'
_____________________________________________


Cars and trucks are good practice for any text-artist. They range from the simple, to the complex. I reccomend you start small, and let your imagination make them grow from there.

Now how about some common objects? Let's look at a few of those...
               _____________         .
              /            /       . |
             /            /|       |/|
            /            /||    ___| |
           /            / ||   /   |/|
          /____________/|     /____|/|
          ||  ||       ||     ||__||||
          ||           ||     ||  ||||
          ||           ||     ||  ||

table and chair

( ( )( ______________) (__((_________()

smoke

_____. ~(_]---' /_(U

six-shooter



___________________ /__________________/\ / _______________ \| |.' \ 12 '.|| || 11\ / 1 ||| || 10 \_/ 2 ||| || 9 (_) 3 ||| || 8 4 ||| || 7 6 5 ||| |'._______________.'|| \___________________// alarm clock

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | | | [ ] ______________ [ ] | | ____ | | | | | | ____ || | | | ________ | | | || || | | | | | | | | || || | | | |________| | | | || __|| | | | | | | ||___ || | | | ________ |{o} | | || || | | | | |()| | | || || | | | |________| | | | || __|| | | | | | | ||___ | | | ________ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |________| | | | ______| |____________|______________|_____________| |________ | | / W E L C O M E\ | | | | /________________\ | | ______|_|_________________________________________|_|________ @ /__________________\ @ ________@_\|/@_____|__________________|__@\|/_@______ \|/ \|/ /____________________\\|/ \|/ |____________________|

front door
Perhaps you are wondering what's going on here, with all these new and different pictures I am throwing at you. Just what is it that I am doing, and how am I making all of these?

I'm really not doing anything except "outlining" simple objects with text. Try this: look at an object in the room. A clock, a book; even your computer screen. Outline the thing. You probably won't need more than the _ and | characters, to start with. Once you have the basic shape, you can go back and add other details; if you think it needs them. Often, your first text-art picture of something may look too simple, or just plain bad. Don't give up on it! All that it may need is just a detail or two. Imagine that front door above, without the knob or inset panels. It would be nothing but a box, right? But by filling in those details, it looks like a door. Let's make a new one, together...
                       _____________
                      |             |
                      |             |
                      |             |
                      |             |    Okay, we're calling it a door,
                      |             |    but it doesn't really look like
                      |             |    anything except a rectangle,
                      |             |    right?
                      |             |
                      |             |
                      |             |
                      |             |
                      |             |
                      |_____________|



_____________ | _____ | | |__|__| | | |__|__| | | | We'll add a little window, and | | now it's beginning to look like | | something... | | | | | | | | | | | | |_____________|



_____________ | _____ | | |__|__| | | |__|__| | | | The addition of two panels | _________ | makes it look more like a door, | | | | indeed... | |_________| | | | | _________ | | | | | | |_________| | | | |_____________|



_____________ | _____ | | |__|__| | | |__|__| | Add a knob... | | | _________ | | | |O| | |_________| | | | | _________ | | | | | | |_________| | | | |_____________|

_______________ | _____________ | || _____ || || |__|__| || || |__|__| || And a frame, and wallah! You || || have a door. || _________ || || | |O|| || |_________| || || || || _________ || || | | || || |_________| || || || ||_____________||
Nothing to it, see? It really does look like a door. Just don't try to open it, or you'll smear fingerprints on your monitor.

Don't feel obligated to use the same characters I do. Could you think of ones that might make suitable replacements? Or ones that might work better? Look at these versions of the same door:
                      ...............
                      H.............H
                      H    .. ..    H
                      H   l..l..l   H
                      H   l..l..l   H
                      H             H
                      H  .........  H
                      H l         lOH
                      H l.........l H
                      H             H
                      H  .........  H
                      H l         l H
                      H l.........l H
                      H             H
                      H_____________H



_______________ : _____________ : :: _____ :: :: :__:__: :: :: :__:__: :: :: :: :: _________ :: :: : :Q:: :: :_________: :: :: :: :: _________ :: :: : : :: :: :_________: :: :: :: ::_____________::



_______________ I _____________ I II _____ II II I__I__I II II I__I__I II II II II _________ II II I I0II II I_________I II II II II _________ II II I I II II I_________I II II II II_____________II
Point here being, there is always more than one way to make a door, or anything else. Use whatever you find most asthetically pleasing, and don't be afraid to experiment. Believe me, you WILL discover new ways of making things!

We started out with simple automobiles, tossing in a few more complicated ones. None of them were terribly difficult, however. Neither are any of the other objects we moved along to. You don't need to be an artist to draw with text-art, as I'm sure you're beginning to realize.

So far, however, all these pictures are reasonably angular. Here's an example of the kind of picture that often confuses beginner text-artists:
          Northrop
            XP-56
                         _
                        / |
                       /  |`'.
            .~~~\--.../_  |_-~'
           /_\_.-       ~-._.--~`-.
        .-`.      __..--~~`  _.-~._~-.
       (   .   :~(__)    _.-~  :   ~-.~.
   .-~` '-.__   ~-------~_|~=,;       ~
 _~_.`~~~~   ~~--~~~~~~\  |.-`
  ~        jro          \_|
There's a lot of little curves and angled lines in this picture of an old experimental plane, isn't there? Don't dispair; here's a few tried-and-true examples of lines and cirles, sent to me by a pal. I think you'll find them useful when you want to make a picture that needs curves and obliques in it:
:   6/1   3/1    2/1     1/1     2/3     1/2
: |  J    J     J       /      .'      .'
: |  J    |     F      /      /      .'
: |  |    F    J      /     .'     .'          1/3
: |  |   J     F     /     /     .'         .-'
: |  F   |    J     /    .'    .'        .-'
: |  F   F    F    /    /    .'       .-'       1/4
: | J   J    J    /   .'   .'      .-'      _.-'
: | J   |    F   /   /   .'     .-'     _.-'       1/5
: | |   F   J   /  .'  .'    .-'    _.-'      _.--'
: | |  J    F  /  /  .'   .-'   _.-'     _.--'      1/6
: | F  |   J  / .' .'  .-'  _.-'    _.--'    __.--'     1/7
: | F  F   F / / .' .-' _.-'   _.--'   __.--'    __..--'
:                  _.-'  _.--'   __.--'   __..--'    1/8
:                   _.--'  __.--'  __..--'   __..--''
:                    __.--' __..--'  __..--''
:                    __..--' __..--''
:                    __..--''
:                   -------------------------- 0

_____ __ .-' `-. ,dP""Yb, .' `. ,d" "b, / \ d' _ `Y, _ ; ; 8 8 `b __ ,'" "`. | | `b,_,aP P __ ,' `. / \ ; ; """" d' .' `. / | | | \ / ,P" _ | | | / \ / `. .' a,.__,aP" o (_) `.__.' `.__.' `.___.' `-._____.-' `"""''
And a few others I also use, although I'm sure a hundred other people do, too:
        _.-~
    _.-~
_.-~            __..--""
        __..--""
__..--""                ___...---~~~
            ___...---~~~
___...---~~~

____ ." ". ____ / \ _____ .' '. | | __ / \ : : \ / / \ | | : : '.____.' \__/ \_____/ '. .' '----' ____ ."_ _". / (_)(_) \ | . . | \ \____/ / '.____.'

Here's a thing or two you can do with them...

\ | / '. ____ .' "-.." "..-~ ~~--../ \..--~~ ------| __..--""-._--- __.--""--..__ ___...---~~~ ~-._ .' _.-~ `. _.-~ __..--~~ `.__..--~~
Sunset on the prairie... Look how many combinations of thesample lines above, that I used to make the horizon.
          ."".
         '    ;
     .''..'  .'    Silly shape... A kidney bean, perhaps?
     .     .'
      '...'

The Martians_____________________________________ |* . . * _______________________ | | . / To Antares with the \ . | | * ' * / "mission", Base. Those \ *| | | Earth Beings abducted | | | * . ' | Zompflitz, and tried to | . | | \ have SEX with him!!! / | | ' . \_________ _____________/ . * | | _.-'~~~~'-._ |/ | | . _.-~\__/ \__/~-. . | | .-~ (oo) (oo) ~-. | | (______//~~\\__//~~\\_____) | | _.-~` `~-._ | | /O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O\ * | | \___________________________________/. | | \x x x x x x x/ `. | | . * \x_x_x_x_x_x/. ' . ___ . | | `. `. .'| \'. | | `. . `. | \ / | | | ' . * '.___.' | |_________________________________________by_JRO__|
And an early text-art cartoon of mine. Not too good a "Planet Earth", but the Martians' flying saucer is acceptable, yes? In any cartoon, of course, it's mostly the gag that counts, anyway.

I'm sure you can now see how easily I handled the lines and curves in that small airplane picture I first showed you. Cirles, curves, and obliques are no big deal. After looking at a few examples, and giving it a try or two, I'm sure you'll have it mastered.

Well, this about wraps it up for this second instalment. I hope I've given you some new ideas, a few tools to work with, and an increasing interest in making text-art. Practice simple exercises, and work up from there. Soon, you'll find yourself able to make a text-art picture of almost anything you've seen or imagined. Remember - it's never as hard as it looks!

 
        .       .        .
         .      .       .        .'               .--.
 '.       .     .      .       .'       ________.'_.'_____.--.___
   '.      .    .     .      .'        ()_() ooo   ~/   -.|      "-._
     '.     .   .    .     .'          ((((<____   |      |  ____  = )
       '.    .  .   .    .'       .-'  (__)/ () \___\_____|_/ () \__/)
.        '   ______    .'      .-'    ___'.'.__.'_________'.'.__.'____
 '-.      .-~      ~-.      .-'      /
    '-. .'            '. .-'      __/
_      .                .      _./
 '-._ .                  . _.-'  |
      :                  :      /
  .-' .                  . '- .'
-'     .                . . .'
    .'  '.            .' _.'
  .'  .'  '__________'.-'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/
~~  ~~~    ~~~ ~~ ~ /jro
  ~~   ~~~~  ~~~~ ~/

-- Jonathon R. Oglesbee
                          !!!!!
                         ( o o )
--------------------oOO----(_)----OOo------------------------
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