President James Madison – There’s UFOs over Montpelier
“Everybody’s flying and never touch the sky
There’s UFO’s over New York and I ain’t too surprised
Nobody told me there’d be days like these” – John Lennon
Well, maybe not over New York Mr. Lennon but certainly aliens are visiting Montpelier, the plantation home of James Madison in Orange County, Virginia, USA.
This post is part III of Playing with James Madison – The Making of a Character showing scenes of an alien who visits James and Dolley Madison at their Montpelier home, in my historical science fiction graphic novel.
Part II Playing with Thomas Jefferson – The Battle between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison shows how Thomas Jefferson appears a 2nd time as a character and is having a severe conflict with his old friend James Madison.
In part one, I showed you how I created a character of James Madison with Adobe Photoshop, 3D Face Reconstruction from a Single Image via Direct Volumetric CNN Regression and FaceApp using historical paintings. The graphic novel itself is not published online; however, some of the images from that effort are posted here. The purpose of this post is to show what one can do with Adobe Photoshop and other imaging applications. Images are transformative and for educational purposes only.
To recap from part one, James Madison was kidnapped from his Montpelier plantation in 1825. He is taken by aliens who are the descendants of earth and another race of alien humans. The aliens look like humans, not little green men. The aliens claim they need Madison’s DNA to save their people from a genetic weapon created by an enemy race. They do not disclose their true intentions of which they plan not only take Madison’s DNA but genetically modify Madison himself and make him into one of them. The story tells of how Madison maneuvers his way around in this future alien world with an entertaining view of how he reacts to future technological advancements. Madison also has to deal with more severe issues, including the aliens’ tyrannical government, abusive behavior, and slavery.
This post shows scenes from a section of the novel where a reptilian humanoid alien interacts with James Madison. Though Madison and most characters in the story are all human, there is one character who is not; a reptile named Aigvan. Aigvan is a snarky, obnoxious character who likes to irritate and pick at James Madison, as he does everyone for that matter. The interaction between Madison and Aigvan is probably the most humorous part of the novel. Aigvan’s race of aliens is enemies to the human/hybrid race that Madison is now a part of. Aigvan, a traitor to his people, is now allied with Madison and the human/hybrid race. Madison who outranks Aigvan only tolerates him as Aigvan is now a fellow citizen.
I will explain and show in this post how I created some of the scenes. All the faces of James Madison used in the scenes below are taken from the 1833 Asher Durand painting below. I was able to change his facial expressions, and facial angles for each scene using Adobe Photoshop and 3D Face Reconstruction from a Single Image via Direct Volumetric CNN Regression.
Firstly, here is an original photo I used. It is a stock photo I purchased from a stock site. As you can see, it is Barack Obama, Jack Lew, and Timothy Geitner. This image is about to be completely transformed into something new. Using Adobe Photoshop, I’m going to shrink Geitner’s body to create James Madison.
Below is the first scene in the future alien world where Madison is introduced to the alien lizard, Aigvan. Madison is immediately turned off by the lizard’s snarky obnoxious behavior. Aigvan picks at Madison about his short height, and this doesn’t sit well with Madison. Since the future aliens have converted Madison’s DNA, he’s no longer the nice genteel, polite gentleman he was on earth.
In this scene, the bodies from the above photo have been removed from the White House colonnade and placed in a forest. Notice that James Madison formerly Tim Geitner on the far left is now much shorter than the rest of the men. This is because Madison was the shortest president with a small build at around 5’4″ and 115 lbs. I used Adobe Photoshop to shrink the body down to create an accurate representation of Madison’s body. Barack Obama’s body is now the body for Aigvan the alien. Aigvan’s head is a cosplay/Halloween mask. I added eyes to the mask. Rank stripes were added to the men’s sleeves. All of the was accomplished using transparency layers in Photoshop.
Later in the story, Aigvan introduces Madison to virtual reality and takes him back to his Montpelier plantation home virtually. Here we have Aigvan and Madison dialoguing in the drawing room of Madison’s mansion. The background is a photo I took of the drawing room when visiting Madison’s Montpelier. Madison and Aigvan are both wearing modern suits and ties from the future. I have opened Aigvan’s mouth with Photoshop to show him speaking and changed the direction of Madison’s eyes.
Here Madison and Aigvan are still in the drawing room of Madison’s home. Aigvan shows Madison a neat little trick with virtual reality (VR), an instant suit change. Madison is now dressed in his 19th-century attire. Using 3D Face Reconstruction from a Single Image via Direct Volumetric CNN Regression, I changed Madison’s face to a slightly different angle and placed his head on period dress body. The large painting of “Pan, Youths & Nymphs” hanging on the wall on the right is the actual painting Madison owned and is hanging in the same spot it was when he lived at Montpelier over 180 years ago.1
On the opposite side of Madison’s drawing room, Aigvan the lizard now stands in 19th century period dress showing Madison that he can do anything in this virtual world. The body belongs to James Monroe from a photo that was taken at a wax museum. Not only was a lizard mask added as a head but I had to create the lizard hands and add them all on transparency layers in Photoshop.
Here is another “before” photo taken in the drawing room of James Madison’s Montpelier. Notice how there are two security cameras in the upper right and notice how there are ropes near the bottom to keep the public from specific areas. Well, these have to go as they were not there in Madison’s time.
Here is the same shot. This time the security cameras and the ropes are gone thanks to the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop. Aigvan, the lizard, is now shown from a side view conversing with Madison. I tried to keep Madison to his exact height as our shortest president by showing him much shorter than Aigvan, who is using a James Monroe body. Monroe was slightly over 6′.
Now Madison and Aigvan are upstairs at Montpelier. This is the room where Madison wrote most of the Constitution and it showcases many of his books. He owned nearly 4000 books. Here we see both Madison and Aigvan from a side view. Besides a frontal view, the side view of Madison was the most difficult to create. 3D Face Reconstruction from a Single Image via Direct Volumetric CNN Regression doesn’t always correctly turn a face. In the last post, I had to replace part of Thomas Jefferson’s nose manually in Photoshop. In this scene, I manually added the hair in Photoshop and recreated his ear and added a little hair to his brow. He no longer has his queue (ponytail).
The last stop for Aigvan on his tour of James Madison’s Montpelier is the upstairs master bedroom. Here Aigvan uses his VR magic to make Dolley appear beside Madison. I created Dolley by using the body of a Dolley Madison doll and added Dolley’s head from a painting. The doll’s dress was originally yellow. The bed behind them is the actual bed belonging to James and Dolley. During their later years, they slept downstairs, and this became a guest bedroom. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and James Monroe slept in this bedroom when visiting the Madisons.
In this same bedroom is a fireplace mantle decorated with the goddess of fertility. How ironic that James and Dolley’s mantle was decorated with this goddess as they were childless. Many of James’ political enemies took shots at him, his manhood and his ability to lead because he was childless. Below, Aigvan points this out and uses the opportunity himself to also take a shot at Madison. Because of Dolley’s physical beauty and personality, medical thought of Madison’s day was that women of this nature ran too “hot” sexually and caused infertility in their husbands.2
When placing Aigvan’s body in this photo, I had to remove some contrast so his body would blend with the other objects in the room. I created his hand by “chopping” fingers from another Halloween/cosplay lizard hands prop.
Unfortunately, things go “south” between Madison and Aigvan leading to a fight between Madison and Thomas Jefferson.
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1 Allison Brophy Champion. " Dutch masterpiece lights up Madison drawing room" Orange County Review, 3 April 2011 https://www.dailyprogress.com/orangenews/news/dutch-masterpiece-lights-up-madison-drawing-room/article_69e16780-228b-5691-ad54-6bd78ddd6dc6.html
2 Jacquelynn A. Lyon. "The Pen and the Petticoat: Gendered Slander Against Dolley Madison in the Early American Republic" https://scholar.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2700&context=honr_theses