Some of you may remember back in June DB Member "Walo" generously donated 6 1-year Membership Gift Certificates to be given away to the most deserving amongst my Facebook Fans. Why Facebook? Because I don't allow non-Members to post here (sorry).
Another Member, Jeff Willard, kindly contributed 3 90-day Membership "Honorable Mention" prizes and 1 kicked in a Lifetime Membership "Grand Prize". Folks who really wanted a Membership (or renewal), but for whatever reason couldn't afford one were asked to post their stories on my Facebook wall and then the ones with the most "likes" were chosen as the winners.
It was a lot of fun and I gained 10 happy Members. Well, Walo wrote me recently and asked if we could do it all again. You can read the contest details here. I hope to give the Memberships away tomorrow so I encourage everyone who is interested to post their story on my wall. If you aren't interested in a free Membership but want to help out I ask you to please read through as many of the entries as you want to and "Like" (or comment on) the best ones.
A company in the UK called "Art in Design" has been licensing my Christmas/Winter artwork for the past 4 or 5 years now. This spring they inquired about using "The Ride (2009)" but asked that I make a few changes to make it useful for print. I brightened the scene significantly and made Santa's sleigh a bit larger. Normally I don't like to make changes to my work but I've had a pretty good relationship with these folks.
I posted the brighter version, without Santa, earlier this year as "Wintermoon". This morning I added the Christmas Card render (with Santa) to the Pickle Jar. Which version (lighter or darker) do you prefer?
Working on a multiscreen render of "Highland Yule" right now and hope to have it up before Christmas (fingers crossed).
After posting "Magi" I set about creating something nice and warm to brighten up the post-Holiday. That project is nearly complete and rendering on my alternate box so I thought it would be fun to see if I could squeeze in one more (relatively) quick holiday wallpaper.
It seemed only natural to take my "Highland" scene and decorate it for the Holidays. The scene is pretty tricky to work with (it's at the very edge of what my workstation can handle) but I managed to bedeck the tree with a few lights and some shiny red ornaments. I think it turned out rather nice actually, though the thumbnails make it look a darker than it really is. It's called "Highland Yule" and I hope you enjoy it.
Here is a lovely video created by one of my newest Members, who happens to be a very talented oboist.
The music is beautiful (a piece I had never heard before) and it features a set of very early DB images that I haven't really looked at in a while.
I posted this on the DB Facebook page yesterday and a very generous fan purchased this struggling college student a Lifetime Membership to my gallery. Thank you Mr. Ekleberry for going above and beyond! Ms. McNab has promised me she will create a new video with some of my newer work sometime in the near future.
Anyway, I thought the music was too good not also post here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Be on the lookout for one more possible Holiday wallpaper. . .
I added "Magi" to the Members Gallery this morning. I try to do at least one Christmas wallpaper a year. It's been a tradition since I first started DB. After depicting mostly secular icons for many years I felt inspired this time to explore the Christian aspects of the holiday.
I was at Ian's school "Holiday" concert recently and was disappointed that many of the songs I sang as a child (O' Holy Night, Silent Night, The First Noel, etc) were no where to be found. I'd never heard (and didn't like) most of the ones they chose.
I think whether you are a believer or not there are a lot of beautiful songs, art, and traditions to be found in the Mass of Christ. It's a shame to ignore them just because they are part of a religious faith. I, for example, don't worship Zeus but still feel "The Odyssey" is one of the best stories ever...
Anyway, the tale of the Magi always captured my imagination as a child and I hope you enjoy my depiction. Merry Christmas one and all!
Also, I've added three early versions of "Axonal" to the Pickle Jar so you can get an idea of how it developed. I think they were nice enough in the own way but I wasn't really happy until the version in the gallery.
I'm currently working on something new for the holidays to stay tuned!
For the "Cyber Monday" capper to my Thanksgiving Sale I am opening up the 30% discount to those of you who want my Lifetime option. Sign up here or log in and renew using coupon code "tgd4me". This is a one day offer!
Just wanted to wish a happy Thanksgiving holiday to those of you celebrating tomorrow. Safe and smooth travels to those of you on-the-go this weekend!
We will be hosting my family tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing my brother Eric who is driving in from Akron.
I personally have a great deal to be thankful for; a happy/healthy family (above) and a job I love. Regarding the latter the Bliss family would like to say "Thanks!" to you for your support these past 11 years!
Until 11/29 I am offering 30% off all new memberships and renewals. Use the coupon code "tgd4me" to get the discount.
Thank you all! Hope to have some new renders up next week!!
Added "Winter Solstice" to the Members Gallery this afternoon. Auroras have always been a favorite theme for me, and I've always used Lightwave to create them before. I've attempted to model them here using the Apophysis fractal software. I'll leave it to you to decide if it is an improvement or not.
One last tech note: This is my first render using the new version 9 of Vue d'Esprit.
I've been working on several projects for the past couple of weeks and they are all nearing completion. Rather than dump them all on you at once I think it would be better to allow each a brief moment in the spotlight.
I've done quite a few different Halloween pictures over the years and I think I've covered most of the basic themes (jack-o-lanterns, black cats, ghosts, graveyards, etc). This year I thought it would be fun to try something different.
It all started when I heard about the passing of Benoit Mandelbrot (the father of fractal mathematics) last week. Fractals play a huge part in my work so I wanted to do something as a tribute to the man. Halloween was quickly approaching however and I wanted to do something for the holiday.
I thought it would be fun to combine the themes and created "The Haunted Nebula", my first fractal Halloween planetscape. Hope you enjoy it and have a happy Halloween!
I've added the sunset version "Gotham Garden" to the Pickle Jar this morning. As I mentioned before, I felt the leaves in this render were lost in the background color so I instead went with a much darker background.
Back to the drawing board and, two weeks of render time later, I've posted my final version of "Highland Summer" this morning. I've tried to make the clouds more wispy and "fog-like" and I've strengthened the shadows from the higher cloud levels. The clouds, I think, are the most realistic I've attempted to render (detail crop here).
It feels strange posting a summer picture while the leaves are falling outside my window, but I'm sure my fans down-under will under enjoy a timely seasonal wallpaper for a change. I will try to get the multiscreen version of this going ASAP, but it will probably be a while. More renderers would speed up this process for me...
While working on it with him I saw the possibilities as a wallpaper. I worked up my own version and Ian said I could post it as long as I told everyone the original inspiration was his. So here's our very first "collaboration". I hope you like it!
A few items to report today. First, I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Quartet" to the gallery. In the end I went with the arches scene (even though I couldn't get all the arches into the render). I think I will use the balcony version (in the Pickle Jar) as the basis for a different scene.
Speaking of multi-screens, professional WoW player and YouTuber John Pyle (aka "Swifty") signed up as a Member last week and asked if it would be okay to feature my wallpapers in his gaming videos. I normally wouldn't mention this sort of thing here, but his triple-head Eyefinity system is a sight to behold. Here's the first video featuring my work. Now I need to get a couple more monitors...
My new render is in progress (showing 71% complete atm) and I will have it up as soon as it is ready. This one is a bit of a collaboration between my son Ian and myself. I will elaborate a bit more when I post it. Stay tuned!
A good number of Members seem to prefer the version I posted without the foreground arches ("quartetsky"), but I think that version is a bit too simple to fit well in my gallery.
This new version, I hope, retains a bit of the foreground to give the scene context, but also opens up the sky that is really the focal point of the piece. It also has the benefit of being easily adaptable to multiscreen format.
Let me know what you guys think. Should Quartet4 replace Quartet1 in my gallery? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments thread.
Late update: I thought maybe the clouds were a little too chunky ;) Here's a version without the clouds that I rendered first (last week) but didn't post because I thought the atmosphere needed work (too similar to the spring version). I like the scene as I have it in the original, but I think I will leave off the cloud layer in the final version. Consider this a placeholder!
A few items to report this morning. I've added a couple of "alternate" versions to the main gallery this morning. I took "Wintermoon" (first posted way back in May) out of the Pickle Jar yesterday and I've added "Highland Summer" this morning.
I created "Highland Spring" with the intention of doing a 4 season series with it from the start. Differentiating the spring and summer renders, however, turned out to be quite a challenge. The color palette for the two are very similar and the high mountains limit different lighting angles (the sun sets behind the far ridges).
In the end I chose to use clouds and cloud shadows (and some more flowers in the foreground). The clouds turned out a little chunkier in the final render than I would have liked but I am going to roll with it for the time being. I may try a version without them. The autumn and winter scenes should be a bit easier to distinquish.
I added "Quartet" to the Members Gallery today. As with "Tears From Heaven" the foreground is mostly in silhouette here and I know that was a bit controversial last time. I hope to have a Pickle Jar version or two in the days ahead!
Lastly, I was going through some renders on my hard drive and came across one that gave a little pang of regret. It was an early render of "Pulsar" that I would have posted in my gallery if I hadn't accidentally overwritten it. I wasn't able to recreate it and instead went a slightly differnt direction. Too bad, because I personally prefer this version to the one I ended up with.
A number of you wanted to see "Tears From Heaven" without the foreground in silhouette (without the lighting). That was my original idea for this piece, but I was (and still am) a bit unsure as to how it looks. I've posted a render in the Pickle Jar feel free to share your opinion here as to which you like better.
Just a reminder: My Back-To-School special is running until midnight 8/29. The normal %20 education discount is now %25 and the education/military discounts will no longer apply to Lifetime memberships after the 29th!
Last week I had the good fortune of a clear night to observe the Perseid meteor shower. It was Ian and Jason's first and they had a great time (we had my green laser pointer to play with between meteors). When I was a kid my mom used to wake me and my brother to watch shooting stars. I've been fascinated by the night sky ever since.
My latest wallpaper, "Tears from Heaven", is dedicated to that night last week with my boys, the nights to come, and those nights many years ago. I hope you enjoy it!
From now until midnight 8/29/10 I will be running a little "Back-To-School" special. I've upped my usual student discount to 25%. Students, teachers, administrators and parents are welcome to use the code "learning" to get 25% off the membership (or renewal) of your choice. The discount will return to 20% at midnight 8/29/10 .
Lastly, I want to also mention that my education and military coupons will no longer be valid on Lifetime memberships or renewals after 8/29 so lock it in now if you are interested!
I've been working on a new project for the past few days so I moved the revised "Gotham Garden (Summer)" multiscreen render over to my alternate box. It took a bit longer than the first time but it's finally finished and available for Members to download.
I've added the dualscreen version of "Double Rainbow" to the gallery today. The triplescreen is still rendering on my other machine and I hope to have it available shortly. Usually the dual and triple are ready at the same time (because one is just a cropped version of the other) but I had to render separate versions this time so the mirror rainbow wouldn't be cropped out.
Grandpa lived a good long life and taught me a great many things, among them how to whistle, fish, and steer an airplane, car or boat. He also showed me how much personal joy can come from making others happy. He was a farmer, musician, pilot, businessman, politician, fireman, teacher, and a great friend to many. More than a few times I called him Dad by mistake.
I've added my final (?) "Double Rainbow" to the gallery this afternoon. It's been rendering away on my alternate box now quite a few days and is at long last complete. I've moved the camera back to reveal a bit more sky and added a lake in the foreground for some nice "rainbowy" reflections.
The other versions can be found in the Pickle Jar.
A few items to note today. First, I've posted the dual and triple-screen versions of "Hexaline" this afternoon.
I know that abstracts aren't everyone's exact cup of tea, but they are necessary every so often in order to shake out my creative cobwebs. Sort of like REM sleep. They're also fun. I do notice, however, that I've done less and less of them since I started accepting comments and ratings.
I've posted a new version of "Hexaline" this morning, taking it further away from "The Comb" update that it started out to be. The original that I posted yesterday will remain available in the Pickle Jar. The basic theme was very much inspired by the "Giant's Causeway". I would love to do a natural version someday...
I've added a newabstract, "Hexaline", to the gallery today. I set out to update "The Comb" but took a detour somewhere. Perhaps I will go back to retry the update, but I think this one stands well on its own.
I've posted an intermediate update to "Double Raindow" this morning. I'm still playing around with the scene while I work on other projects (it's nice to have more than one renderer) so don't consider it final just yet. You can still find the original, desert version, in the Pickle Jar.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek I offer my latest wallpaper, "Double Rainbow". I spent all of one afternoon putting it together and, yes, it's based on that double rainbow. It was a fun break from the more complex stuff.
I know a lot of people are laughing at ol' "Hungry Bear", but I found his enthusiasm refreshing. Here's to enjoying all that nature has to offer!
I've posted an update to "Subarctic" this afternoon. The beluga has been exchanged for an orca and I've given the ice a little more texture. You can find my first draft in the Pickle Jar. Thanks for the feedback!
After much thought (and reading your feedback) I've decided that "Subarctic" just isn't ready for prime time. I'll remove it to the Pickle Jar for now and will have a more polished version later in the week and will post future projects when I am at least 90% happy with them (rather than 50%). Thanks to everyone who left feedback!
Happy Independence Day! I've added "The Emblem Of" to the freebies for today.
A couple of renders added today. First is an updated "Shanshui". I've played around with the exposure a bit and the image should look a little less washed out now.
I've also added my second render of "Extrasolar". I've tweaked the shoreline a bit and removed the high level clouds. The multiscreen version has been rendering concurrently on my alternate box and should be ready shortly.
I've added "Extrasolar" to the gallery this morning, and it is very much a work-in-progress. I don't usually post projects that are quite this "unfinished" but I won't be able to work on it for the next couple of days and it does make a nice wallpaper in this simple form. I do have some ideas on what to add next, but feel free to share you own in the comments thread.
I went back and forth between Vue d'Esprit and Terragen for this project, but finally stuck with Vue because I just couldn't get a decent, noise-free, high resolution render out of Terragen. I'm sure it is possible and I will have to explore the settings more thoroughly, but for now I am happy with Vue's output.
After a lengthy render I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Shanshui" to the gallery this morning. I hope you enjoy them!
I'm also working on a new project but it has taken a bit longer than normal because I've had to start using Terragen for it rather than my old standby Vue d'Esprit. As always I am learning as I go. Stay tuned!
I tried a few different approaches with "Shanshui" but none of them seemed to improve the image enough to justify another 4 day render. I've decided to keep it as is and go ahead with the multi-screen version. It's rendering away right now on my alternate box and I am working on some new projects on my main machine.
I've added my latest render, "Shanshui" for Members this morning. It isn't entirely perfect and there are a few things that I would like to tweak, but seeing as the render took four days I thought it looked good enough to share.
"Shan Shui" is a Chinese word (translation: "mountain-water") which describes a style of landscape painting which originated in the 5th century. I've always loved these ethereal paintings and this wallpaper is my homage to the genre.
My next render is hours away from being finished and I'm hoping it looks good enough to post.
In the meantime I thought I would share with you all the winners of my recent DB Membership Giveaway. DB Member Walo was kind enough to donate 6 1 year Membership gift certificates (and had the original idea for the giveaway) and I added a Lifetime Membership as a cherry on top.
The Lifetime Membership went to Ronald Fisher, a 3rd grade teacher who wrote simply:
As a 3rd grade teacher I use your art work to help inspire my students during creative writing and during art. They love your pictures. I would love to have greater access to them to use with my students."
For a number of reasons I was very moved to read this. I'm not ashamed to say I got a bit misty even.
Last night DB Member "Firestar" wrote me and said he would donate three 90-day Memberships to be given out as "Honorable Mentions". They are going to Karin Kramer (lol), Josh Mauthe, and Carla Rothacker.
A big thanks to Walo and Firestar for donating the gift certificates and welcome new Members. I hope you enjoy my gallery and I look forward to conversing with you about my new artwork!
The iPhone 4 (with its super fancy "Retina Display") was announced today and I've just added 640 x 960 images to fit it. Thanks to the new iOS4 you will finally be able to see the wallpaper behind your phone icons (without jailbreaking the phone).
These files, like the Droid, N1 and Evo wallpapers, will be reserved for my faithful Members.
Interested in a free 1 year (or Lifetime) Membership?
DB Member "Walo" has, in an act of extreme generosity, purchased a number of 1-year Membership Gift Certificates and left it to me give them away. It was a wonderful gesture and I will try to do it justice.
Here's how it will work. If you are interested in a free 1 year Membership all you need to do is write a post on the DB Facebook wall regarding why you deserve it the most. Yes, this contest is only open to Facebook "fans" and you must admit that you "Like" Digital Blasphemy in order to post on my wall. Please preface the post with the words "DB MEMBERSHIP GIVEAWAY" so I know you are entered.
You can post a photo, a video, or just write what you feel. 7 Winners will be selected (based on the comments/likes they receive from my FB Fans and on my own "über alles" vote) with 6 receiving 1 year Memberships (as donated by Walo) and 1 overall winner receiving a Lifetime Membership (donated by me). Current Members can participate as well. I will just apply the gift certificate as a renewal.
I'd like to give away the Memberships on Wednesday June 9th so please have your entries posted by then.
So let's hear it. I know there a lot of you out there who want to be Members but, for whatever reason, haven't pulled the trigger so far. May the most
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Pulsar" to the gallery this morning. I let the star spin a bit from its single-screen orientation to get the look I wanted for the wider frame. I also restricted the planets to the center of the screen to combat the barrel distortion that sometimes plagues these renders.
I also wanted to mention the fact that I have begun adding personal notes to each image. You will find them above the download links on the image preview pages (example).
The notes are something I used to do many years ago, but for whatever reason fell out of the habit. I've finished note for all of the work on the new images page and I will be working through the rest as time permits. I will try to keep the notes short but informative ;)
Second, I've rendered a special version of "The Ride" for a company that licenses my work for greeting cards in the UK. I've brightened the image significantly for print, and I've posted a version in the Pickle Jar without Santa so Members can use it as a wallpaper year-round.
The multiscreen of "Pulsar" is nearly ready and should be up either later today or tomorrow morning.
So how accurate is it? I'll leave that to the astrophysicists (hopefully I'll meet a few tomorrow). All of the representations I've seen so far have the energy beams as linear, but I felt a pinwheel effect would look more interesting. Basically I used science as a starting point here and added my own touches.
"Pulsar" is the first wallpaper that I developed primarily on my new MacBook Pro (running Windows 7 via Bootcamp) while my main workstations worked rendering Gotham Garden. Huzzah for portability!
I will add a Pickle Jar version or two later but for now I'd like this one to stand on it's own. Hope you enjoy it!
Jessie and I will be at Northwestern University this Thursday for their "Engineering & Science Art Fair". I will speaking to about 300 grad students about the nexus of science and art that is "Digital Blasphemy". What do you think? Is artwork diminished if it isn't scientifically accurate? Can art serve a scientific end? Art is in the eye of the beholder while science is universal. What happens when they overlap?
These are some of the subjects I will be talking about Thursday and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the artwork on display and I'll be sure to snap lots of pics.
I hope to have my new project up before I head up there. It's a space theme that should spark some interesting discussion on this topic.
One thing I hear often from my Members is how they enjoy turning others onto my work. I don't advertise my work (who isn't running an ad blocker these days?) so I rely on word-of-mouth. Up until now I could only say "thanks!" but from now on I will offer something more substantial.
Refer a friend or family Member to DB and when they give your username or email address in the signup form I will credit 3 months to your account. If you are a lifetime Member I will credit the 3 months randomly a la my "Pay-it-Forward" program.
Thanks and be on the lookout for a new space scene this week!
I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "Gotham Garden" this afternoon. I plan on revising some parts of because I'm not completely happy with the lighting but I think this first version looks good enough to share in the meantime. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoy "First Light" and keep in mind that I have a nifty moonlit version available for my Members ;)
I have the multiscreen version of my new "Gotham Garden" worked out now and rendering away on my alternate box. I've also added a higher limit to my "Top Rated" pages so now you can see the top 10, 25, 50, and 100 rated images in any category. All on one page of course.
Sorry I haven't posted here for a while. I've been recovering from what I hope to be my last surgery forever. Things look promising so far.
I was able to get back to work a few days after the procedure. I decided to take some Member advice and revisit an old favorite, "Gotham Garden", from 2001. The render is finally finished and is up now for your review.
I think this one might benefit from another seasonal render so I added "Spring" to the title. At the very least I'd at least like to try a version with green trees. Hope you enjoy the update!
I added the dual and triple screen versions of "Solace" to the gallery this morning before heading off to the hospital for some more surgery. I'm doing ok now but I am still a little foggy from the pain medicine so I'd better not get too long winded.
I do plan on adding multiscreen versions without the people. However I'm thinking about cutting down some of the trees on the right side of the triple-screen so I should probably do that before I post any Pickle Jar versions.
I will announce the 5 winners at week's end. A big thanks to everyone who posted their setups. I send these images out into the unknowable ether when I upload them and I'm to see they are going to good homes!
Since taking the training wheels off of Ian's bike earlier this year I had been riding with him almost daily. It was always the first thing he would want to do after coming home from school and it was a highlight of my day as well. Soon enough he will want to head off riding by himself, but for now he's only six and I need to stay with him.
So anyway a few weeks ago Ian was hot-dogging on his bike and ended up breaking his right wrist. We had to find something he could do with a full-arm cast so I thought it would be great time to teach him what little I know about fishing.
Now when he comes home from school the first thing he wants to do is grab the fishing poles and head down to the neighborhood creek and again it is the highlight of my day (here he is with his first fish).
I asked Ian the other day what sort of picture I should make next and he said "Fishing!". Now he's always drawing pictures of the stuff we do together and giving them to me so I thought it only fair that I return the favor. My latest render, "Solace", up now and is dedicated to my son. I may tweak a thing or two before I do the multi-screen (and I will post a Pickle Jar version without the people) but I am happy with where it is right now.
I'm so blessed to have a job that allows me to take a break and be a Dad. Thanks to you all for making it possible.
While I wait for my latest render to finish I thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway contest on the DB Facebook page. I will be giving away a free skin (from the samples DecalGirl sent me) to the 5 Fans who post the most interesting photo of my work "in action".
As I mentioned last time, I was working on a spring version of "Canopy Creek" when Vue d'Esprit somehow ate my source file (it would crash whenever I tried to open it). The version I posted on Monday was nice, but I knew it wasn't completely where I wanted it to be.
I've taken all four season renders and put them together here so you can see them all at once (great idea Tad).
Now to figure out why Vue is so buggy all of a sudden. I suspect that the problem is my 4 year old video card (which lacks Shader 4 compatibility). I was hoping to hold off on buying a new video board until I upgraded my whole system but it looks like I will need to pull the trigger sooner.
I'm thinking another Quadro but I can't decide between the 3800 and the 4800. I do know that I don't want to blow $3500 on the 5800. Decisions, decisions...
I've added a spring version of "Canopy Creek" this evening to complete the series. This one needs a bit more work, but unfortunately Vue crashed and now crashes whenever I try to reopen the file. Feel free to check out my first draft while I open my bag of tricks to salvage the situation.
My gallery on DecalGirl is now available. If you haven't heard of DecalGirl, they create reusable plastic "skins" which you can apply to any number of different devices (smartphones, laptops, game consoles and even headphones!) to give it a customized look.
One of the things the drew me to DecalGirl was that, were possible, they create a special wallpaper which creates a seamless look on the device. You can check out some examples in my mock-up gallery on Facebook. Having a proper wallpaper be part of the package fits perfectly with DB's raison d'etre.
I gave DecalGirl the same ultra hi-res graphics that I use for my poster prints so the wallpapers, though a cropped portion of the whole image, will still look great.
My initial collection contains a few of my very favorite images but I will be adding a whole lot more soon. Feel free to post below if you have questions or comments.
Quick update to my post from 4/6. Zazzle has reinstated my work and Redbubble has tried to clean up the mess caused by a barrage of DB supporters. They've deleted the original blog post which accused me of thievery but I haven't seen an apology of any kind. Bob has been silent since his initial allegation.
Had he written a nice apology I would have been happy let the water drift under the bridge. As it is I have asked Redbubble to remove his two Floating Leaf paintings due to their uncanny similarities to my own work. I made the request last evening and Bob has 4 days to make his case to the admins about why it should stay. It is fortunate for Bob that RedBubble has a more sensible takedown policy than Zazzle.
Lastly, I hope to have the multiscreen version of "At World's Edge (Spring)" finished shortly and maybe this other render if I can ever get myself happy with it. Stay tuned and thanks for all the support!!
Late Update:Mr. Hall has apologized and I have accepted. As far as I am concerned the case is closed and I am happy to see the end of it. Thanks again for the incredible support. Jessie and I were completely blown away!
This is a first! I love Zazzle and they've been good to me for the past 10 years or so, but they really need to work on their copyright policy. Today my "Haiku (2007)" print was removed because they said I stole this guy's work.
I guess a few days ago he posted this on his blog, calling me a thief and threatening me with "hard ball". The first I heard of it was today when Zazzle, for some strange reason, yanked my Haiku print.
First of all, Bob signed his painting in '08 while my work was created in 2007 (and was a revision of a wallpaper I did way back in 2000). I've been with Zazzle for a long time and I am saddened that they wouldn't take my side.
So, my Haiku print isn't available at the moment. Sorry folks. I'm working to get it put back up turning my attention to Mr. Hall. Now off to bed...
I'm still not 100% happy with the project I've been working on for the past 10 days or so. Rather than have everyone wait (perhaps fruitlessly) I've gone ahead and posted a little something to tide you over. It's a spring version of "At World's Edge" that I have been playing around with.
I hope to have my other project up before the weekend!
I've been spending the last week or so learning how to use a new landscape modeler and I had hoped to have something to show you sooner. Unfortunately some technical glitches with my nearly 4 year old workstation have slowed things down a bit. I think it's all sorted out now though and I hope to have something up soon.
I did a new render for the print version (so it would look good printed at 52" wide) and tweaked the lighting a bit to correct some issues that I'd had with the original. Turned out I liked the new render so much that I've replaced the single-screen files in my gallery with files sourced from the new render (I will have to do a new multi-screen as well).
The changes are really subtle but if you are a stickler like me you might want to redownload it.
Single-monitor users who found the original too blurry way want to look at adapting one of the multiscreen images. The multiscreens are framed a bit differently in this case and the in-focus area takes up significantly more of the vertical frame.
The Apple iPad doesn't come out for another few weeks but I have already had a fair number of people asking for images designed to fit the device. I've just posted 230 images (Members only) sized to fit the 768 x 1024 tablet. Zip file available here.
If anyone out there has an iPad I would love to see a picture of it sporting one of my backgrounds. You can post it on my Facebook wall, send it to me through Twitter, or just send me a link. Thanks!
You might be interested to know that "Highland Spring" pushed my workstation to its memory limit. It required 13GB of RAM to render (I have 16GB installed) and contained over 25 billion polys. When the dual six-core Xeons become available I may have to make the jump (and go up to 32 GB of RAM).
Speaking of new workstations, here's one last reminder for Members: My renewal sale expires tonight at midnight. I'm offering 20% off the renewal of your choice so you can upgrade to a Lifetime Membership for only $60 or add a year for under $10. The renewal form is here (use coupon code "thankyou"). Thanks!!
As I mentioned before, while "The Forest Citadel" rendered away on my other box, I was able to work on some other projects on my main machine. I've posted a number of them so far but I saved my favorite for last. I call it "Highland Spring" and it is now available for Members on my New Images page.
As the name implies I may revisit this scene during different seasons. I also have spring versions of some of my other scenes in the works so stay tuned. Spring is definitely in the air.
The standard education/military discounts apply. Also from now until midnight March 8 I am offering all members %20 off the renewal of their choice (tim...e is added to your current Membership term). Use coupon code "thankyou".
The render was taking so long, in fact, that I moved it to my alternate box and worked on other projects ("Blossom" and "Take Two" for example) while it was running. Stay tuned because I have another landscape in the works that should be up soon.
I've received a number of comments about the new dropdown list actually. Most people are of the opinion that it was simpler when every resolution had a link (allowing for right-click downloading). For my part, I like how the dropdown list doesn't take up a lot of space on the page but I can see that it is a lot easier to right-click and download the sizes you want rather than loading them all in the browser window.
After reading the email this morning I realized that a compromise had to be made. I've brought back the text links on the image preview pages (like this one), and I'll keep the dropdown list for the thumbnail gallery pages (like this page). I hope this works better for everyone.
Still working on a multiscreen "Blossom" and my newly adjusted scenery render is chugging away on my alternate box. Stay tuned.
I've been working on a scenery wallpaper for the past week or so and I had hoped to have it ready before now. It's been rendering and rendering and showing very little progress. It's getting into "Enshrouded" territory now and that's unacceptable to me. I will have to go back to the drawing board and rework some things to make it render faster.
When it became apperent to me that the scenery would be an epic render I decided to move it over to my alternate box and work on something new. I fired up an old friend, Xfrog, for the first time in many years and started playing. The result, "Blossom", was rendered in Lightwave using Fprime and G2. You could call it a direct decendant of my "Cobalt Daisy".
On a technical note, Worley needs to release a 64-bit G2. This scene barely fit under 3 GB of RAM. "Blossom" took 12 hours to render at 2560 x 1600 using Fprime, which means it would have taken 12 days using Lightwave's built-in renderer. Fprime can really speed up renders, but even it has limits and it seems I was born to push them. I may try a different version using LWs Nodal textures.
I wouldn't call it a perfect render by any means, but I thought it looked interesting enough to share with my Members while I do further tweaks. I should have my new scenery wallpaper ready before too long as well. No ETAs, just letting you know that it is in the works. Have a great weekend!
I've added dual and triple-screen downloads for Members running 1680 x 1050 monitors today. There are over 140 dualscreens and 45 triple-screens available. I've also added files to fit three 1920 x 1200 monitors. Zip files are available so you can download them all quickly.
I've been doing all of this Photoshop work while my new render chugs away in the background. No ETA on the new render, but just wanted you to know that it's in the pipeline.
Lastly, people seem to have been having fun refreshing my front page to see the random images. Awesome! To make it easier I've added a link to the side that will send you randomly into my gallery. Click it again when you are ready to load a new random pic. Enjoy!
I've added five new multi-monitor resolutions to my collection. I've only managed to update the most recent 20 of my wallpapers with the new resolutions so far, since I'm doing all of the Photoshop work by hand, but I plan on adding more and all new multi-monitor images will have the new options.
The new resolutions are: 3840 x 1080 (dual 1920 x 1080), 5120 x 1440 (dual 2560 x 1440), 5120 x 1600 (dual 2560 x 1600), 5760 x 1080 (triple 1920 x 1080) and 7680 x 1440 (triple 2560 x 1440). Members can download them individually from the dual/triple-screen pages or download them all in Zip archives from my downloads page.
AFTERNOON UPDATE:I should never say "final render". Added one more revision of "Take Two" this afternoon to bring it in line with the multiscreen versions I posted this morning. The new version brings back some of the bow highlights that were toned down in the second render. If you prefer (or want to check out) the previous versions you will find them in the Pickle Jar.
MORNING UPDATE:A couple of items to mention this morning. First, I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Take Two" to the gallery. I did make a few changes from the single screen version so have a look even if you only have one monitor.
Second, I was checking out Google Analytics last night and noticed that 1280 x 800 was the single most used resolution amongst DB visitors. It only made sense to add it to my Member download options.
There are over 250 files so if you want to get them all I recommend a visit to my zip files page. I'm going to work on adding 1600 x 900, 1024 x 768 (the second most popular screen res), and more multi-screen options in the near future. If you have a resolution request you can leave it in the thread below. Thanks!!
I've posted an updated version of "Take Two" this morning. A lot of the feedback on the original focused on the heart tips but I felt it was also important to update the shafts as well. I gave them their own glow which should keep the hearts from sticking out too much.
This will be the final update for this one, as the holiday is fast approaching and I have another scenery wallpaper in the works that is calling my name. I'm going to put together a multi-screen render of "Take Two" today and then move on.
I also wanted to mention that I've added education and military discounts to my Membership options. They aren't limited to US citizens so feel free to use them if you are a student, teacher, or serviceman. The coupon codes are here and the prices are hard coded into my PayPal form.
I've never tried a Valentine's Day wallpaper before so I thought it would be fun to try one this year. It turned out to be quite a challenge. I wanted something that said "Happy Valentine's Day from Digital Blasphemy!".
I've added "Harbinger (2009)" to my freebies this morning. This was a favorite of mine from last year, even though I wasn't feeling too good when I created it. It is an update of this wallpaper from 2001.
"Harbinger" was the first project in which I managed to apply my 2D fractal skills (acquired creating wallpapers like this) to my 3D scenes. This led to some pretty cool results down the road (with more to come).
I'm working on a couple of new projects for my Members but I'm not sure which one will be finished first. I hope to have something up by early next week. Have a great weekend!!
I'm especially thrilled to finally have a print version of the new "Haiku". For some reason I never could get this one to render at print resolution using the older versions of Vue d'Esprit, but Vue 8 managed to get the job done. I'm looking forward to getting my own copy as it's one of my favorites from my gallery.
Also, I've been working with Pim Vermeyden on some themes for Google's Chrome browser. These are still in the testing phase but I thought my Members might like to check them out. They are zipped .crx files (around 6 MB each). Download the zip, extract the theme, and drag it into your open Chrome window to apply it.
After seeing the dualscreen of "Corona" a number of people asked if I could render a version with both stars on a single screen. I worked one up last night and I've posted it in the PickleJar. Which do you prefer: Single star or binary?
I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "Corona" to the gallery this evening. I framed this one for multiple widescreen monitors so please don't judge it by the thumbnail (which is a crop). The 7680 x 1600 provides the best view, with the main star more off-center than in the 4800 x 1200 version.
I'm going to experiment with replacing the star in "Muspelheim" so I'm holding off on the multiscreen there until the scene is finalized.
I've tweaked my "front page" to show a random (large) graphic whenever you visit. I did have it set to always show my latest image, but I think this way you might discover an image you have previously overlooked. You can bookmark it and visit whenever you can't decide what you want on your desktop.
I've posted a minor update to "Corona". The texture on the star itself looked a little blurry at higher resolutions so I've attempted to add some detail. The ratings and reviews for the original were pretty favorable so I was a little hesitant to make any changes, but I think the new version keeps what worked in the original while adding more detail for Members with large monitors.
I kept the original available in the PickleJar, but the downside to that is that I have to ask Members who rated the original to submit a new rating. Thanks!
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was looking for people interested in creating themes/skins based on my work. I'm happy to say that I've found a talented individual willing to fill out my Firefox Persona gallery. You'll find 8 new DB Personas available with (I hope) more to come. Big thanks to Mark Hamilton, a Member since '07 from New Zealand, for volunteering!
If you've been following my posts for the past few days you'll know that it's been a trying week for my family. Jason is home now and seems to be almost back to normal. He's still having nightmares about needles and other hospital unpleasantness, but I imagine that is normal. The hospital can be scary place for a grown up (I know), and I imagine it's even moreso for a 3 year old.
He's running around the house and playing Legos with his brother now so all is well. Thanks again to everyone who wrote, posted, prayed, and sent positive vibes. Thanks also to the doctors and nurses at OSF Children's Hospital in Peoria, IL.
I haven't had much time for artwork this week but I did get a chance to do some rendering Friday. Rather than start in on something completely new (and leave you guys waiting for another week or so) I felt like improving the star I had created for "Muspelheim".
I played around with it some more in Lightwave, added some fractal effects courtesy Apophysis, and recast it as the centerpiece in a new space scene (with some abstract touches). I call it "Corona" and it is up now for Members to download.
If you aren't a Member yet you are welcome to download a mobile version and try it out on your phone. You'll find the mobile versions (marked with "FREE") in the download dropdown menu. I recently made all of my mobile wallpapers free so you can demo my work on your smaller screens and, if you like it, I hope you will consider signing up to access the HD versions for your larger screens.
The multi-screen of "Muspelheim" is currently rendering on my other box (taking a long, long time for some strange reason) and I hope to have that up soon. I am going to go play with my kids now...
A pretty scary 24 hours for the Bliss family. I just got back from the hospital in Peoria (Jessie is staying with Jason) and the news is good. Not all of the tests are back yet, but his hemotologist didn't think he was suffering from any major blood disorders. They suspect a strong virus, followed by a bacterial infection, caused his bone marrow to shut down.
He responded well to the transfusion last night and was more like my happy little guy when I saw him today. The doctors say if he continues to improve he will come home tomorrow.
I would like to thank you all for the prayers and positive energies that have been sent our way over the past 24 hours. They were appreciated and seem to have made all the difference. Now we just need to get him home. . .
My 3 year old son Jason started running a fever last Monday (the 11th), just after his Tae Kwon Do class. We got out the usual tools and prepared for battle. By last Wednesday we took him to the doctor (didn't find anything) and Sunday we took him to the ER. He went from an energetic little chatterbox to never leaving the couch or bed.
Monday he saw his doctor who gave him some antibiotics and we started hoping for a recovery. It didn't happen. This morning we took him to the local hospital for some more blood tests and xrays and our pediatrician was so alarmed he ordered Jason admitted to OSF Children's Hospital in Peoria (about 50 mile away). His hemoglobin had fallen over 1 point from Monday to today.
There's a whole host of things that could cause this, ranging from scary to terrifying. The doctors think it is most likely a nasty virus attacking his bone marrow and inhibiting it's ability to create new red blood cells but they are running tests for things like lymphoma and leukemia.
I've posted a lot of this on the DB Facebook page (because I could do so with my phone) but didn't have a chance to let the rest of you know until now. There was only room for one parent to spend the night so I came back home and I'm about to collapse.
If you have any spare prayers to give we would greatly appreciate sending them towards our little guy. This is the first time I've had one of my guys be really sick and I must say it is a terrifying experience.
I've made the mobile versions of my work free to all. The Droid files (which are pretty hi-res) are going to remain Members-Only, along with the ability to download the zip collections of each mobile resolution.
To access the mobile file simply select the size you want from the download dropdown (no login required), allow it to load in your browser and then save it to your phone or your computer to sync over later.
If you like my work on your mobile device I hope you will think about signing up for the hi-res versions. The smaller versions give you a general picture but I like to throw in details that you can only appreciate at higher resolutions.
I've posted a new revision of "Muspelheim" this evening. As much as I would like everyone to be happy with it, I'm not sure that will be possible given that everyone seemed to like and dislike different aspects of the original (which will remain in the Pickle Jar).
The little man stays, because I like him, and the sun stays as well (it fits with the fiery theme). I've moved the rocks back towards the horizon and I've given them a new texture. I've also added a cave opening to frame the scene, a la "A New Dawn".
Someone suggested a black hole in the sky and it sounds really cool but I think I'll save that for another wallpaper. Sounds like a cool idea. . .
After posting "Poseidon's Playground" a number of you, rightly, suggested that I put the blue brush away for a little while. Fair enough. I suggested early on in the comments that I might make a fiery companion piece to "Niflheim". That companion piece is my first post of 2010 and is now available to Members.
HELP WANTED. I'm looking for someone (or a maybe more than one person) talented at creating iGoogle Themes, Firefox Personas, and other application skins to create themes based on my work.
The arrangement I had in mind would involve someone downloading my work (a free Membership or renewal will be given) and then creating the themes based on as many images as they feel they can work with creatively. They would post the themes on the appropriate theme sites in my name and I would provide them a "theme design" credit. I'm interested in Windows 7 and other OS themes as well, but those I would rather host myself (you would still get credit though).
I would link my own site visitors to the themes so potentially thousands of people would see your work. The themes would then link people to my site if they are interested in the base artwork. Basically we would share credit for the theme.
I could probably create one or two themes myself, but I would much rather concentrate on making new artwork than on all the Photoshop work involved with creating diverse themes.
I want visitors to my site (and visitors to the sites hosting the themes) to be able to use my work in as many applications as possible. All I want in return are links back to digitalblasphemy.com and an image credit. To the theme creator will come whatever notoriety I can provide by linking my site visitors directly to your themes.
You can either post links to your work in the comment thread below (if you are a Member) or you can send me an email with your references. If I think our work is a good fit I will contact you for further discussion. Or feel free to comment on the links already posted or ask any questions you might have.
Also, I'm putting the finishing touches on a new wallpaper and I hope to have it up either later today or tomorrow! Stay Tuned!
I've added "A New Dawn" to my free samples this morning. It seemed like a good fit to start out the new year!
Just returned yesterday from a much-needed vacation. After Christmas we packed up the car and drove down to Siesta Key, FL for some beach time. It might have ben more relaxing if we had left Ian and Jason at home (18 hours in the car both ways). They did great however and the kids had a blast digging in the sand and collecting seashells. I'm still pretty tired (didn't sleep much) but my spirit feels refreshed. I think we'll fly next time though.
I set the multi-screen version of "Posdeidon's Playground" rendering while I was away and it is now available. I kind of went back and forth about how to split up the dual-screen but settled on splitting it down the middle. If it doesn't work for you then you are welcome to download the triscreen version and slice it up to suit your needs.
It looks like "Poseidon" has inched ahead of "Beginning of the End" atop my all-time "Top Ten" (as rated by my Members). Whether it stays there or not, I am pleased that it was well received. I'll try not to wait so long to do another underwater scene.
I have a few ideas about what to work on next. It will be something warmer (both in content and hue) than my last few wallpapers. Promise.