2011 News Archive

12/28/11

Gotham Garden (Winter) -- Updated 12/28/11

On Christmas day DB Member "Puritania" asked if I could possibly complete my Gotham Garden seasonal series by adding a winter version.

It took me about a year to get back to it but I am happy to report winter has finally come to Gotham. The changes needed for winter are a bit more complicated than for the warmer seasons but I think it turned out pretty well.

I hope you enjoy it. I will try to have the multiscreen up shortly!

12/25/11

Blue Christmas (Happy Holidays!) -- Updated 12/19/11

Taking a few minutes out of building Legos with the boys to post a new "night sky" version of "Blue Christmas" in my Pickle Jar.

I still prefer the sunset version myself but it's nice to have options. You could also load the versions into ChronoWall and have them change with the clock. Which do you prefer?

All of us at DB (myself, Jessie, Ian and Jason) wish you all the happiest of holidays and a wonderful 2012!

12/22/11

I've just added dual and triple-screen versions of my "Blue Christmas" update. From the feedback I've gotten so far it sounds like the twilight sky is bit polarizing.

For my part; I chose to add some color because so many of my Christmas tree wallpapers have been under black skies. I wanted to do something a little different. Maybe Christmas isn't the time for "different" though. I tend to think that sometimes polarizing is a little better anyway, because it may be a stronger feeling for the people that do enjoy it.

What do you think? Either way I do think a second render will go up before I am completely finished with this one. The multiscreen in particular needs some nip-tucks before I am fully happy with it. I sort of rushed a few things so it would be ready in advance of the Holiday.

12/19/11

Blue Christmas (Happy Holidays!) -- Updated 12/19/11I finally managed to finish my Christmas render today and I've just added it to the Members Gallery.

This is, of course, an update to my "Blue Christmas" which I rendered first using World Builder in 1999, then again using Lightwave in 2002. This is my first version using Vue d'Esprit.

It would be an understatement to say that this was a difficult render to produce. Without getting too technical I will just say that you can really get yourself into trouble by cranking up the quality settings in Vue. Also, I've found the new version of Vue doesn't even begin to accurately estimate the render time remaining. I don't want to spoil the Holiday spirit with any further rantings so I will leave it at that.

Fortunately I was able to finish the render (though I had to restart it a few times) and I think it turned out pretty well. I do see a few things I would like to tweak but I might wait until after the Holidays to do any re-renders.

The multiscreen has been rendering on my alternate workstation for the past few days so it should be up shortly. I hope you enjoy the new wallpaper!

PS: Did you know that I offer Membership Gift Certificates?

12/10/11

The first multiscreen render of "Elegy (Winter/Day)" didn't turn out quite as well as I would have liked. Widening the camera angle left me with an image that was far brighter/glaring than the original single-screen.

I posted it anyway and set about re-rendering it with some new atmospheric settings to compensate for the wide-angle. That new render finished yesterday and I've updated the dual and triple-screen versions in my Member gallery.

My new Christmas render is nearly finished (!) and I hope to have it up in the next 24 hours.

Also, my 25% off coupon (good for both new subscriptions and renewals) expires at midnight tonight! Everyone (not just redditors) is welcome to use the coupon code "redditor" to get the discount.

12/8/11

Fluorescence (Visited by Reddit Aliens) -- Updated 12/08/11On December 2nd I was sitting and waiting for a render to finish which I decided it would be fun to do an "IAMA" (Ask me Anything) on Reddit.com. Redditor "poker_face" asked if I could "draw" a Reddit Alien (TM). My answer was "We'll See", which was taken to mean no.

As my kids know, "We'll See" can sometimes mean yes. I had a such a nice visit with the Reddit community that I thought it was the least I could do to try my hand that the iconic Alien.

Most Redditors seemed to know me from my "Fluorescence" mushrooms so I thought it would be fun to combine the two. Especially since my Christmas render is still churning. I roughed this out and rendered it on my third-string workstation using Lightwave 10.

I've posted this in my free gallery and my Members gallery. I've also submitted to the Reddit here (Upvotes will help the entire community see it)

I'm also making good on all of the requests for a Reddit discount. Redditors can use the coupon code "redditor" to save 25% off all Memberships and Renewals until midnight Sunday.

This one is dedicated specifically to Redditor "Rethread". As requested: Something "warm and fuzzy" for the Redditors.

Christmas Wallpaper Update: This render is still churning away. The good news is that it will go much faster once the radiosity calculations are completed and I can save this calculation for future re-renders. Soon I hope!

12/05/11

I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Elegy (Winter/Day)" to the Members Gallery this morning. The lightning solution turned out a bit brighter for this version so let me know if that is a problem.

I am still waiting for this Christmas render to finish. Thousands of tiny luminous objects on a 400MB mesh makes for a very complicated radiosity pre-gather...

Lastly, I was floored by the response to my AMA on Reddit last Friday. I only mean't to write answers for a couple of hours but it turned into an all-day affair with me re-connecting with a lot of fans who, for whatever reason, lost track of my work over the years.

Anyway, I had a blast answering as many questions/posts as I could and may have a little something for the Redditors coming up by way of thanks...

12/02/11

While I wait (and wait) for the Christmas render to finish I have decided to participate in a Q&A in Reddit. Feel free to ask your questions for the next hour or so.

Edit: 9 hours later it is the top rated AMA of the day. I've had a blast answering literally hundreds of questions. Will be doing clean-up replies for the next hours or so then movie night with the family.

11/28/11

Elegy (Winter/Day) -- Updated 11/28/11 Happy Cyber Monday! A few items to report today.

First, I've added a daytime version of my "Elegy (Winter)" scene to the Members Gallery this morning.

If you are using ChronoWall you can now set the night version to display in the evening and this new version during the day. Please give ChronoWall a try if you enjoy my time-of-day variations. For the rest of today the developer is offering 25% off if you use the coupon code blackfriday.

Speaking of discounts, I am running my first ever "Cyber Monday" Special for today only.

New Members can save 25% or current Members can save 30% on any renewal by using the coupon code "cybermonday".

Lastly, on the subject of "Cyber Monday", here's a rundown of my partner's deals today:

Zazzle is running a big sale for the next few hours. Their coupon code is "ZCYBERMONDAY". DecalGirl is also running a 25% off sale today (and has a couple of my Christmas designs available). Their coupon code is "TWENTYFIVE". Finally, Murals-Your-Way is offering 35% off any mural in stock.

Hope to have a new Christmas wallpaper up sometime this week so I hope you will check back!

11/23/11

I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "An Octopus's Garden" to the Members Gallery this afternoon. I think it turned out pretty well in the end, but I'm still steamed that I lost my original file. I suspect it happened when I selected "Compress File" while saving y Vue scene. All of my files will be saved uncompressed from now on (even though they are 3 - 6 GB each sometimes).

What would you guys like to see next? Are you ready for some new Christmas art, or maybe a winter scene, or something else?

11/21/11

I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Helios" to the Members Gallery this morning. I hope to have the multiscreen for "An Octopus's Garden" up ASAP!

11/19/11

Octopus's Garden (2011) -- Updated 11/18/11 After rebuilding my "Octopus's Garden" file last weekend I decided to step away from it and work on something else for a bit. I hope you've enjoyed my Mandelbulber experiments. After the fractals went up I set about correcting some of the issues in my underwater scene.

I've posted a new version of "An Octopus's Garden" in the Members Gallery that moves the sun angle a bit lower, loses about half of the fish from v.2 and adds some strategically placed shadows in the immediate foreground. I hope you like the changes!

Now to get the multiscreens rolling!

PS: Here's a page I set up listing all of the new dynamic PS3 themes available.

11/17/11

Helios (2011) -- Updated 11/15/11I've been spending the last couple of days doing further experiments with Mandelbulber. It's truly an amazing program (and free to boot).

I've added one last new version to the Members Gallery this morning where I've moved the camera a good deal closer (this image shows the area I focused on). One of the defining characteristics of fractals is that the more you zoom in, the more detail appears. I suspect that the Universe operates in much the same way.

Thanks for everyone's patience while I learn something new. I hope to have a final version of "Octopus's Garden" up shortly. I needed to step away from that one for a bit.

PS: Check out ChronoWall!

11/15/11

Helios (2011) -- Updated 11/15/11And now for something completely different...

Fans of my work know I am fascinated by fractals. They appear, in one shape or form, in just about everything I do. Recently I learned of programs that allow you to explore them in three dimensions and finally was able to dig in and play with one (called Mandelbulber) over the weekend.

My first render is now up in the Members Gallery for review. I call it "Helios", suggested by my son Jason (5) who said it looked like a sunrise. My oldest son Ian felt it looked more like a Sarlaac.

I rendered it at 5280 x 3295 and the details (IMO) are just astounding.

This is all the result of only a couple of hours playing with the program so I feel like I have only really scratched the surface of what it can do. I would certainly love to figure out a way of exporting the 3D data to other programs. Maybe Bucephalus could handle it, but then again maybe not.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it on your desktop! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

11/14/11

Octopus's Garden (2011) -- Updated 11/14/11 -- Updated 10/30/11 I spent the weekend rebuilding my broken "Neptune's Garden" scene and have posted the updated render in the Members Gallery this morning.

The first change you will notice is the new title. "An Octopus's Garden" is, of course, borrowed from one of my favorite Beatles songs. It was the title I had in mind when I started the project but my original scene file was corrupted before I had the chance to add much in the way of sea life. Instead I chose a temporary title for the first version (which will remain in the Pickle Jar).

The sun angle is a bit different in this version so there are more shadows. I've also tried to vary up the corals in the foreground. There are also quite a few more fish this time around. Maybe too many?

I hope you like the changes!

11/10/11

Neptune's Garden (2011) -- Updated 11/10/11 -- Updated 10/30/11

A few items to report today.

First, I have good news and bad news regarding my latest render. The good news is that I've added "Neptune's Garden" to the Members Gallery this afternoon. The bad news? Let me explain...

I've always loved underwater scenes and was thrilled to learn that Vue 10 had a new water rendering engine. I've worked on this scene for about a week through quite a few different revisions. Light and color behave differently underwater and this has been a learning experience for me.

My latest render finished this morning and I would say that I am around 80% happy with it. I started in to fixing the last 19% (mostly changing some of the colors on the corals and adding some misc sealife) when tragedy struck. Vue crashed and for some strange reason refused to reopen the scene file that I had just saved 15 minutes before. The backup appears to be corrupted too. What's up with that?

Fortunately my kids were at school when it happened because I get in trouble when I swear in front of them.

Anyway, I am talking with the folks at e-onsoftware about investigating what happened to my file. They asked me to send it to them but I am not hopeful. I decided to post what I had while I waited to see what could be done about my broken scene. 80% is better than nothing after all. In the meantime I guess I will try to recreate what I can.

Second, I am increasing my regular 20% military discount to 30% in honor of Veterans Day. Active and retired military (of any nationality) may use the coupon code "liberty" to get the discount on all new Memberships and Renewals. The offer is valid until midnight 11/11.

Third, I wanted to mention that I have added two free browser themes for Chrome. You can check them out here. They were coded by Pim Vermeyden last year and have been available for Members only until now. I hope you enjoy them!

Lastly, I have added the "Mystic Halo" Live Wallpaper to the Amazon App Store for Android. It is currently the #5 paid theme and I would love to see it go to #1 (that seems to bring in a lot of sales all by itself). The app is only $.99 and can also be found in the Android Marketplace. Hopefully we will have one ready for Christmas...

11/3/11

I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "Elegy (Winter/Night)" to the Members Gallery this morning. You may notice the framing is a bit different than the original multiscreen version of "Elegy". I ran into a nasty Vue d'Esprit bug which wiped out my scene file for the original multiscreen so I had to recreate it as best I could.

11/2/11

I've added updated versions of "The Grand Design" to the Members gallery (because even the grandest design can be improved). The new version incorporates some of the suggestions I received in the feedback (adding nebulae, star clusters, etc). I've also added new dual and triple-screen renders that pull back on the zoom a little and show a bit more of the vertical energy streamers.

Hope you enjoy the changes! Check out my Zazzle store for the print and canvas versions!.

If you have a PS3 you can now log into the Playstation Network Store and purchased animated "dynamic" XMB themes based on my work. You can check them out on the Disruptive Media home page or log in the PSN store and find them under New Releases>>Premium Themes.

Hope to have the multiscreen of "Elegy (Winter/Night)" up soon and be looking for a new underwater render in the near future...

10/30/11

Elegy (Winter/Night) -- Updated 10/30/11I've added a "Winter/Night" version of "Elegy" to the Members Gallery this morning. I put this one together shortly after I rendered the original Autumn version but it didn't seem right to post while the weather was still somewhat warm outside. This one fits the Halloween mood a little better I think.

I do plan on adding a brighter winter version at a later date.

 

Reminder!
I am running a Halloween Special until Midnight tomorrow!

All Memberships and Renewals are 25% off if you use the coupon code "trickortreat".

Speaking of Halloween, you will find "All Hallows Eve" added to the Free Gallery today. Enjoy!

10/28/11

A couple of items to mention today. First I am running a Halloween Special until midnight 10/31!

All Memberships and Renewals are 25% off if you use the coupon code "trickortreat". If you've been waiting for a sale this is as good as it is going to get for a while.

Also, I've added dual and triple-screen renders of "The Grand Design" to the Members Gallery this morning. For the multiscreen I tried "zooming" in on the galaxy so it spans the entire horizonal frame, however I am not entirely convinced this worked out for the best.

I am planning on implementing a few of the suggestions made in the feedback section so if you would like to see the revised multiscreen framed differently please share your thoughts.

10/26/11

The Grand Design -- Updated 10/26/11I added a new space wallpaper to the Members Gallery today. This one is called "The Grand Design" in homage to Prof. Stephen Hawking.

As you can see, my quest continues for the "perfect" galaxy. I can definitely see rendering this scene "from the ground" so don't be surprised if such a scene appears in the days or weeks ahead.

I hope you will all continue using "Dracul" (or one of my other Halloween wallpapers) through the holiday and know that I have you covered for Nov. 1st.

10/20/11

A few items to mention today.

First, I've added dual and triple-screen renders of "Dracul" to the Members Gallery this morning.

I hope you enjoy it and have a great Halloween. I plan on adding one of my Halloween wallpapers to the free gallery early next week.

Next I wanted to mention something that happened a few weeks ago. I was notified by a fan that someone was selling one of my images as an Android "Live Wallpaper". Live Wallpapers, if you didn't know, are interactive animated graphics that can be used in place of static images. They are only usable (to my knowledge) on Android devices.

I was actually pretty blown away by what the developer had accomplished and apparently the app had become pretty popular in the Android Marketplace. It's called "Mystic Halo" and here's a video of it in action:

People have been asking me to create Live Wallpapers for a while now, but I've always been too busy making my 3D scenes. I made an arrangement with this young coder to share the proceeds from the app and now we are looking at creating more. I whole-heartedly encourage every Android user to check it out here.

Poseidon's Playground (Alternate) -- Updated 10/20/11Last, but not least, I am happy to report that my alternate box (Hydra) finally finished my print render of "Poseidon's Playground" today. I was afraid the prints would be too dark if I used my original scene so I brightened the colors and lighting a bit before rendering. I also added some depth of field blur to make things look a bit more 3D.

I've posted this render in the Pickle Jar if anyone would care to take a look. It's quite a bit different from the original 2009 piece and would love to hear your feedback.

If there was only going to be one version, would you rather I keep the DOF blur or use the original focus?

10/14/11

Castle Dracul -- Updated 10/14/11Here is one more render of "Dracul" that just about splits the difference between versions 1 and 2. Maybe the lightning was a bit much in V.2 but it is always fun to render.

Whichever version I end up with my gallery, the other two will remain available in the Pickle Jar.

Which version do you prefer?

10/13/11

Castle Dracul -- Updated 10/13/11I've been working on an update to my "Castle Dracula" project for the past 4 or 5 days and it is finally ready to share with my Members. Fog and firelight sure do take a long time to render!

As you can see, it is a pretty radical change from the first version. Perhaps it is a bit over-the-top now but I was sort of going for that to be honest. I know when you make this many changes there are bound to be a sizable number of folks who do not approve. I will be satisfied if you enjoy even one of the versions available.


Last Light of the Sun (2005)I also wanted to mention that back in April 2010 I was asked by my rep at Zazzle to sign a release so that my "Last Light of the Sun" print could be "featured" in the upcoming prequel of "The Thing".

Well, the film comes out this weekend and I am tempted to see it if only to find out if they ever used the print. If you are planning on seeing "The Thing" this weekend perhaps you could post here if you spot the print in the background somewhere.

Here's the wallpaper (newly available in the free gallery) so you know what to look for.

Thanks!!

10/05/11

Castle Dracula -- Updated 10/05/11I know Halloween is still a few weeks off but I don't like to wait until the last minute. This year I thought it would be fun to do my own version of "Castle Dracula".

It's still a bit in the early stages so I'd love some feedback.

I hope you enjoy it!

09/30/11

I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "First Blush" to the Members Gallery this afternoon.

The multiscreens for the very red V.2 is available in the Pickle Jar.

You may notice that the color pattern on version 4 is a bit different than the single screen version. Since I used Photoshop to create the effect in #4 it would be difficult (though not impossible) to replicate exactly. I chose instead to create a new distribution. Hope you like it!

I also wanted to mention that Rush Frisby, author of the popular "Flickr Wallpaper Rotator", has written a Windows utility to update your desktop with my latest artwork. You can use Windows Task Scheduler to run the EXE file whenever you want to check for new images, or run it manually. Thanks Rush!!

Lastly regarding the new link menu: If the drop-down menus are not dropping for you please his "F5" or "CTRL+R" to reload the page. Thanks!

09/28/11

Playing around with the navigation on DB today. I've removed the link column I've been using for the past five or six years in favor of a "navbar" at the top. Nothing too radical but I think it opens things up a bit.

You can view the old navigation here for comparison.

Let me know what you think!

09/26/11

First Blush -- Updated 09/25/11Added a couple of new revisions of "First Blush" that I came up with this morning. I employed a little post-render trickery for these. Since my 3D software doesn't let you vary the leaf color on a "per tree" basis I rendered a green tree, a yellow tree and a more muted red tree and selectively layered them in Photoshop.

Which do you prefer? The other versions can be found here.

09/25/11

First Blush -- Updated 09/25/11I've added a new render of "First Blush" this morning which brightens the red tree considerably and moves it a bit more front & center.

A number of comments asked about removing the fog, but it adds a sense of depth that I feel is missing without it. The original will remain available in the Pickle Jar for comparison purposes.

09/24/11

First Blush -- Updated 09/25/11I added "First Blush" to the Members Gallery today.

This one is a "mental photograph" of sorts. I was driving on an eastern Iowa freeway earlier this week when I looked to my right and saw a green, summerlike, wooded area with this one blazing red tree sticking out like a torch.

I only glimpsed the scene for about 5 seconds, but I thought it would make an interesting wallpaper. I fired up Vue when I got home and constructed this scene from memory (with a wee bit of artistic license).

My last few wallpapers have been a bit on the dark side, so I wanted to make at least one bright wallpaper before moving on to Halloween and the seasons beyond. I hope you like it!

09/17/11

Huzzah! The long delayed dual and triple-screen versions of "Enshrouded" finally finished rendering last evening and are now available to my Members. In the end it took over 1000 hours (!) for the render to complete.

Why did it take so long? The tree models I used for this scene were designed to be used as "Hero" foreground objects, with only a handful recommended in a scene, yet I carelessly scattered hundreds of them about. What can I say? I don't like low-res objects...

There are also multiple layers of "volumetric" clouds, each casting shadows on onto each other and the scene. The more you can see through the cloud (where the trees fade away) the longer it takes for the raytracer to process.

Yes, the scene would have taken a lot less time to render on Bucephalus but I really didn't want to tie up my main machine for 2 weeks. Fortunately my old box (Hydra) chugged away faithfully in my basement and didn't crash even once. Thanks old friend!

09/12/11

The "Elegy" dual and triple-screens took quite a while longer to render than I had anticipated (115 hours!) but it is finally finished and available for Members to download. I'm thrilled that folks seem to really enjoy this latest render (it has even dethroned "Highland Spring" as my top rated wallpaper!).

I also celebrated my big 4-0 birthday yesterday by taking Ian to his first football game. We had an unforgettable time. It's hard to believe I was a 25 when I started DB!

Here's to another 15 years and beyond!

09/06/11

Elegy -- Updated 09/06/11 Back in August a Member (thanks Manu!) sent me a link to a photo on National Geographic's website which reminded him of my "Autumnwood" wallpaper. I thought it would be a fun project to make my own version of the scene and this is the result. Now, it isn't a complete copy. I didn't have the photo open in another window while I was working on it, but it was definitely inspired by the NatGeo photo however.

I call this one "Elegy" as it has a bit of a mournful feel to it. Truth be told it took me a few hours to think of a decent title. I didn't want to explicitly remake "Autumnwood" because I think that series still stands pretty well on its own. Don't be surprised, however, to see a few seasonal variations of this one.

Please click through to the higher resolution version as the thumbnails don't really represent this one very well. I hope you enjoy it!

PS: Here's a print version on Zazzle (rendered a 5600 x 4500) if you want to place an order while their 50% off sale is going. Use coupon code "DECKYOURWALL" to get the discount.

09/02/11

A number of folks have asked if I could render a few different color variants of "String Theory". I tried a few different combinations yesterday and found this one that I thought looked pretty good. It is available now in the Pickle Jar (multiscreens included).

I have also added a print version (rendered at 7680 x 4800) to my Zazzle collection.

Look for my first Autumn render of the year early next week. Hope you all have a great weekend!

08/31/11
I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "String Theory (Blue)" to the Members Gallery today. As much as I love blue, I couldn't see adding another blue abstract to my gallery so soon after "Clockwork" so I chose with a different palette for this one. Of course I am all too happy to provde options (especially when they only take a couple of hours to render).

My new Autumn picture is rendering right now on Bucephalus and I'm hoping to have it done before the weekend. But I'm still torn about whether or not to post Autumn pictures before Labor Day. Maybe I should hold onto it until Tuesday...

Last reminder! Today is the last day for students and educators to get the 25% discount. Use the coupon code "learning" to get the discount on all Memberships and Renewals until midnight.

08/30/11
I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "String Theory" to the Members Gallery today. This one was a bit more complicated to make so I haven't posted multiscreens of the blue render yet.

08/29/11

String Theory -- Updated 08/29/11 I was watching TV a few nights ago and had the good fortune to catch "NOVA: Hunting the Hidden Dimension" (the entire episode is available to watch online). I was floored! I already knew a great deal about fractals but this documentary really opened my eyes as to how essential they are to my work.

Of course I immediately fired up my copy of Apophysis and have added my first fractal render since 2008 to the Members Gallery this morning. I call it "String Theory" and I hope you enjoy it.

I developed this one on my MBP while Bucephalus rendered a new Autumn scene that I've been working on. It's not too early for Autumn renders is it? I hope to have that one ready before the end of the week.

Friendly reminder to students, parents and educators: I've upped my education discount to 25% for the entire month of August so you can deck out your laptop or tablet with some new artwork. Use the coupon code "learning" to get the discount on all Memberships and Renewals until Sept 1.

"Also Zazzle is offering 50% off all posters until Sept 2. Use the coupon code "DECKYOURDORM" to get the discount.

08/24/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "The Last Throes" to the Members Gallery this evening. I had to make a few changes to the lighting to accomodate the new camera so you may notice this one looks a bit different than the single-screen.

In other news, I wanted to mention that my gallery on Muralsyouway.com is now live. 16 of my most popular images are available at sizes up to 13' x 8'!

Lastly a reminder to students, parents and educators: I've upped my education discount to 25% for the entire month of August so you can deck out your laptop or tablet with some new artwork. Use the coupon code "learning" to get the discount on all Memberships and Renewals until Sept 1.

08/23/11

The Last Throes -- Updated 08/19/11 I worked a bit more on my Vue d'Esprit "space dust" process today and I've posted a third version of "The Last Throes" in the Members Gallery this afternoon. I think these clouds are a major improvment over the first version (both previous versions will remain available in the Pickle Jar).

Hope you like it!

08/21/11

The Last Throes -- Updated 08/19/11 I've added a second, more "conventional" version of "The Last Throes" to the Members Gallery this afternoon.

This one is without the "dust experimentation" that quite a few thought muddied the scene. The original version will be staying in the Pickle Jar.

Which style do you prefer? I will admit that the Vue d'Esprit dust I rendered did look a bit chunky!

08/19/11

The Last Throes -- Updated 08/19/11I added a new planetscape that I've been playing around with recently. It's called "The Last Throes" and I am experimenting here with some new ways of generating outer space "dust" in 3D.

The scene started in Lightwave (the stellar "phenomena") and then I used the resulting render as a backdrop in Vue d'Esprit to add the dust. I used the resulting combination as yet another backdrop in Lightwave to add the planets. Then back into Vue for one more layer of dust. Anyway, file this one under "experimental".

What do you think? Back to the drawing board?

08/14/11

Cosmic Shoals -- Updated 08/14/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Cosmic Shoals" to the gallery this morning. You might notice that moved some things around to fit wider/shorter frame. Hope you guys enjoy it!

FYI: My "Back-To-School" special is set to expire at midnight tonight. Use the "BACKTOSCHOOL" coupon code to save 25% off all Memberships and Renewals Thanks!!

08/11/11

Cosmic Shoals -- Updated 08/11/11I've added an update to 2003's "Cosmic Shoals" this afternoon. I didn't really set out to do an update when I started this project. Rather I set out to model a globular cluster (and some of that is still in the image) but the story "grew in the telling".

Jessie told me this one reminded her of some of my earlier work, and I tend to think this is because of the lack of any vegetation or the other objects I tend to scatter around using Vue's ecosystems. I did try adding some "alien flora" here and there but nothing really seemed to look right (given the scale of the scene). I may yet play around with that but I thought it looked nice enough to share as is. Hope you enjoy it!

One more note. There's only one more week until my kids start school (Jason in Kindergarten!). I will miss them bursting in every 30 minutes wanting to play, but I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet. To celebrate I am offering 25% off all Memberships and Renewals until midnight 8/15. Use coupon code "BACKTOSCHOOL" to get the discount.

08/04/11

Heliocentric (Night) -- Updated 08/04/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Heliocentric (Night)" to the Members Gallery this morning. Nice to have Bucephalus free to work on something new now.

Speaking of Bucephalus, here is a page I put together with some photos and info about my new box. Check it out if you are curious as to what hardware I use for rendering. Yes, I'm a PC...

08/02/11

Heliocentric (Night) -- Updated 07/31/11I've added one last render of "Heliocentric (Night)" to the gallery. This scene is lit simply by the Moon. The stars are a bit brighter and I have brought back the firelight in the lower right corner. The other versions will remain in the Pickle Jar.

I liked the "alien" version but I don't think the planet was really necessary for the scene. It was fun to try though and I hope those of you who enjoy it will continue to use whichever version you prefer! Thanks again for all the feedback on this one! Ready to render the multiscreen now...

07/29/11

Clockwork -- Updated 07/29/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Clockwork" to the Members Gallery this morning.

Speaking of multiple-monitors, one of my Members posted this Youtube video on my Facebook page a couple of days ago. Check it out if you are curious as to how my triscreen wallpapers look "in action".

I liked it so much I've embedded it on my Multi-Monitor Freebie page. Thanks Eric! I need more monitors now...

07/27/11

Clockwork -- Updated 07/27/11Added "Clockwork" to the Members Gallery this evening. Just a little something I worked up on my MBP while waiting for "Heliocentric (Night)" to render on my main box. Once it finished I applied the finishing touches on Bucephalus.

I didn't notice while I was making it but my son Ian (upon seeing this render for the first time) mentioned that it looked like it was from the film we had watched for our "Friday Family Movie Night". I had to agree that he was right. This piece was definitely inspired by the original Tron.

Heliocentric (Print) printI also wanted to mention that I've rendered "Heliocentric" at 5500 x 3438 (over 4.5x the resolution of my 2560 x 1600 files) for print. Check it out here if you are interested. The largest size available is over 6 ft wide!

The "Colossal" size (the default that first loads) is pretty expensive but smaller sizes are also available .

Lastly, I think I have a good enough handle on Google+ now to give out my profile address. Feel free to follow if you are interested.

 

07/25/11

Heliocentric (Night) -- Updated 07/25/11"Heliocentric (Night)" is now up on the new images page for Members to download.

I started it rendering on Friday with no idea it would take all weekend. Wow! Fluffly clouds really put the hurt on the render times. I can take solace in the fact that it would have taken a full week to render on my old machine.

I sometimes hear that my night scenes are too dark, so I tried to make this one a little brighter than usual. I played with removing the clouds but this really darkened the scene too much. In the end I tweaked the clouds a bit to make them look a bit more "misty" and also added some beacon fires on the rocks.

One of my Members (David M) said the scene reminded him of the Lord of the Rings so I thought it would make a nice addition to the night version. Happy to say that I resisted putting some huge planet in the sky.

Anyway, I hope you like it. The scene is not without issues and I would love to tweak it in the future. A lot of folks have asked if I could post a "level" version (without the camera tilt) and I have done so in the Pickle Jar.

Feeling the call to move onto new projects now. Going back and forth between abstract and space...

07/24/11
Finally!! I've added the long promised dual and triple-screen versions of "Moonlit Citadel" to the Members Gallery this evening. Here's a larger preview for non-Members.

This 7680 x 1600 frame took nearly a month uninterrupted on my alternate box. I had tried to render it back in 2008 but the version of Vue I was using mangled the clouds when I stretched out the aspect ratio. Rather than post a substandard render I promised I would do it right when the bug was fixed. I hope it was worth the wait!

It feels good to cross another render off my bucket-list and free up my alt-renderer for some new tasks. Hope to have my night version of "Heliocentric" up shortly!

07/22/11

Flora -- Added to the Free Gallery 07/22/11Some changes in the Free Gallery this morning. Where before I've had a sampling images created in the past couple of years, I will now instead feature one free wallpaper from every year (starting with 2010) going back to 2000. Every so often I will change each year's representative.

I've also added "Flora" to the Free Gallery for the first time.

Hopefully this will allow a broader selection of my work to be sampled while also reserving more of my recent efforts for my Members. It should also allow me to update the free gallery a bit more often from a wider range of images.

Members: Last evening I started a night version of "Heliocentric" rendering. I think you guys will like this one!

07/20/11

I received my order of black "Fluorescence" t-shirts yesterday and I must say I am very impressed.

I ordered blue for Jessie, Ian and myself and ordered a "Rainbow Fluorescence" version for Jason. The rainbow mushrooms turned out particularly well and now I will have to have one of those too.

Here's a photo of Jessie sporting the "ladies petite" model. She didn't want the design to be as large as on the boys shirts so she shrank it down using Zazzle's "Customize" button. Come to think of it I may have to get her a shirt that says "mrs.digitalblasphemy"...

If you are interested in purchasing one of these shirts through Zazzle please be sure to use the coupon code "SAYITTSHIRTS" to save $5 off of each shirt you order.

Anyone want to see a night version of "Heliocentric"?

 

 

07/19/11

Heliocentric -- Updated 07/19/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Heliocentric" to the Members Gallery this morning. For some unknown reason the 7680 x 1600 triple-screen took 5X longer to render (72 hrs vs 14) than the 3227 x 2048 single screen. I think it was worth the wait however. 07/16/11

A few items to mention this morning. I've added 480 x 640 crops of the 2560 x 1600 PNGs so everyone can better see the details in my work. The detail images themselves are lossless PNGs. Just look for the "See Detail" link on my image preview pages to take a closer look.

Here's the detail view for "Heliocentric". The "Back to Preview" link will take you back to the main image page.

My 2560 x 1600 PNG collection is now fully formed at 209 images (and counting). The zip file is over 1 GB.

Also my "Most Recent Comments" page (the "Feedback" link to the left) now lists the actual most recent comment for each image. You can skim them all at a glance and reply in kind.

The Heliocentric multiscreen is rendering right now and I hope to have it ready before Monday!

Lastly, I've brought back my Member Testimonials. These are shown randomly to folks who visit my signup page and provide a (mostly) unbiased perspective on the Members gallery. Thanks for all the kind words so far and thanks in advance to any of you who take the time to add your thoughts. Here's what has been said so far...

Members with questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to post them in the thread below.

07/14/11

Heliocentric -- Updated 07/07/11I've posted a new (final?) version of "Heliocentric" in the Members Gallery today. I've changed up the foreground quite a bit, added some more trees in the valley, and brought back the sunlight on the near mountain peak. The previous versions remain available in the Pickle Jar.

For the rest of the day the coupon code "heliocentric" will save you $10 off the price any new yearly/lifetime Membership or Renewal (2-year and up). Enjoy!

You may notice that the 2560 x 1600 file now has a PNG version. This is a lossless file that looks exactly like my original uncompressed render. Basically it is the "purest" image possible.

I've added PNG versions for my newer images and will be adding more (and more resolutions) over time. Members can download them all here in a zip file.

The main deciding factor in adding more will be how they impact my bandwidth budget per month vs how many more people sign-up/renew with them as an option.

Let me know your thoughts on new render. I am eager to get started with the multiscreen version...

07/09/11

Heliocentric -- Updated 07/09/11I've posted a new version of Heliocentric in the Members Gallery this morning. The clouds are smoothed out a bit as are the rocks in the foreground. There are a few other little tweaks that I will leave for you to discover.

There are still a couple of areas that might need a tweak or two, but I thought I would hear some feedback first. The first version will remain available in the Pickle Jar for comparison.

07/07/11

Heliocentric -- Updated 07/07/11A couple of items to mention this morning.

First, I've added "Heliocentric" to the Members gallery. As promised, it is cheerier than Dødenfell.

This one is still a bit rough around the edges but thought it looked nice enough to share while I do some more polishing. It rendered in 14 hours on Bucephalus, which means it would have taken nearly 2 days to complete on my old workstation!

FYI: I've added nearly 300 1600 x 900 wallpapers to the gallery this afternoon. Members can download them individually or all-at-once in a zip file here. All new wallpapers will be available at that resolution.

07/05/11

A couple of items to mention today. First, I've added a new wallpaper to the free gallery this morning. "Pulsar" is one of my favorite space wallpapers from 2010. I hope you enjoy it.

I am also working on a new render for my Members that I hope to have up shortly.

Stay tuned!

 

07/01/11 Phraxis Moon -- Updated 07/01/11
A few items to mention today. First, I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Phraxis Moon" to the Members gallery this afternoon. Those of you who thought the physics of such a scene were outlandish in the single screen version will find more to love in the expanded frame.

I've also finally come up with a design I can be proud of for Zazzle's black t-shirts. It took quite a bit of fiddling with my original Lightwave file to render a version that would work well but I'm very happy with this. The text is customizable so write whatever you like or remove it altogether. I'm going to be ordering a few of these right now for the me & the family. Sure to raise an eyebrow or two at my kid's school but that's okay with me ;)

I've put together a "Gift Shop" page here detailing the ever growing collection of DB printed merchandise. Check it out if you are interested.

FYI: Zazzle is offering 17.76% off all t-shirt orders this weekend if you use the coupon code "LANDOFTHETEE". The design is available on any of Zazzle's black appearal including long sleeve tees and sweatshirts for all ages and genders. Enjoy!

Lastly I wanted to give a plug for a wallpaper management program that one of my Members is developing. It's called "Chronowall" and it adds some features that seem tailor-made for my images (changing the image according to time of day, shifting the hue for different colors, and other cool effects). The program is in beta right now but he may still have some slots open if you want to sign up as a tester. The developer was also nice enough to purchase a commercial license and feature my work in his example screenshots. Well done Joshua!

Have a great weekend everyone! 06/30/11

Couple of items to mention today. First, I've added "Happy 4th" to the free gallery today. I wish those of you in the US a safe and happy holiday weekend! I do have a couple of other fitting wallpapers that my Members can choose from.

I also wanted to let you all know that I've signed a license agreement with Muralsyourway.com today. I already offer posters through Zazzle but these are a bit different. They are designed to take up an entire wall! I hope to have my images up and available by next week so watch this space if you are interested.

If there's an image you would really like to see available as a mural please feel free to post in the comments thread below!

06/29/11

I've added Pickle Jar thumbnails to the gallery pages so you can see all of the versions at a glance. Here's an example with a brand new "pickle" added just today and one more for new pickle for good measure.

Here's one of my favorites from way back...

06/28/11

Phraxis Moon -- Updated 06/28/11

The reaction to "Phraxis Moon" was so positive that I decided to spend a few more hours to flesh out the rough bits so it could have its own place in my gallery. Thanks for the feedback everyone! This is your gallery too..

PS: The prices on my Amazon links for signups and renewals will go back to normal tomorrow. (06-29-11 edit: The sale is over. Thanks everyone!)

06/25/11

Phraxis Moon -- Added 06/25/11I found this render on my old computer last night and wondered why I never posted it in the first place. It was from 2009 when I was developing "Phraxis" so I have placed it in the Pickle Jar there for Members to download. It's pretty rough but interesting to look at.

I am usually at odds when I develop a space scene. There are usually two ways to go: I can use the view "from space" or I can try a view from "the ground". With Phraxis I eventually went with the space view. Which do you prefer?

I also wanted to mention that I've added Amazon Payments for both new signups and renewals. You can become a Member (or renew) as easily and securely as you would purchase anything else on Amazon and be downloading artwork immediately.

To kick things off I am offering $5 off of my 1, 2, and 3 year Memberships for new Members who sign up through Amazon and I am going to do the same with my 2 and 3 year renewals. Lifetime Memberships and Renewals are both $10 off through the Amazon links.

I didn't discount the least expensive Memberships/Renewals because Amazon doubles their fee for charges under $10. Sorry!

No coupon required but you have to use the Amazon buttons to get the discount!

Limited time only so act now ;)

06/23/11

A couple of items to mention this evening.

First, one of my favorite blogs featured one of my dualscreen wallpapers yesterday. Normally that is great news but unfortunately they linked to a site that had posted it without my permission. Rather than turn all those nice people away I have updated my free Multi-Monitor Sample page with the image in question ("At World's Edge Winter").

Check it out here if you are wondering what my multiscreens would look like on your system!

On the subject of multiscreens, I've turned Buchephalus loose on the long delayed "Enshrouded" multiscreen. It seems to be going much faster this time.

Lastly, I've added a print version of "Red Harbinger" to my Zazzle collection by request.

06/22/11

Harbinger (Red) -- Updated 06/22/11If you've been following my site for any length of time you probably know that I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series. I was overcome with joy when I first heard that HBO might be filming it, and watching the first season was a 10-hour nerdgasm for me. The season finale left me (and millions around the world) salivating for Season 2.

As a little treat for my Members who are Thrones fans (and for me), I have rendered a new version of my "Harbinger" wallpaper (which was itself initally inspired by my re-reading "Clash of Kings" during my extended hospital stay in early 2009). The comet now matches the description in the book.

Of course, it would have been trivial to simply Photoshop the original and make it red, but I felt it would look a lot better if I rendered a new version. It helped that Bucephalus rendered the whole thing in under 1 hour. I haven't added it to the free gallery (yet) but I have posted a 1280 x 800 version of my Facebook page which my fans there can download and share. I hope you enjoy it!

I had originally placed this render in the Pickle Jar but the reaction was so positive that I decided to should have a place of its own in my gallery.

I also wanted to mention that I have added entries to my FAQ and help pages for Android users. Hope this helps!

06/20/11

Proto Dødenfell -- Updated 06/20/11I've added a few renders to the gallery this afternoon. Three are for Members and one freebie.

First, there's a very earlier "proto" version of "Dødenfell". I was really just playing around with Vue 9.5's new clouds here when I discovered that it would finally be possible to answer all of those requests for volcanic lightning.

I think it is a pretty neat render on it's own, though probably not deserving of a full slot in my main gallery. I did want my Members to get a chance to download it though.

Riverbend -- Updated 06/20/11
Next up is the dual and triple-screen versions of "Riverbend". This one was not easy to adapt so I hope it looks ok.

Interopposite -- Updated 06/13/11
I have also updated the dual and triple-screen versions of "Interopposite". I scaled the depth-of-field effect way back from the original multiscreen so this one should look a lot less blurry. I've overwritten the original files with this new version so be sure to keep the files you downloaded if you like the first version.

ColorwheelLastly, I have added one of my favorite abstracts to the Free Gallery. It's called "Colorwheel" and I hope you all enjoy it!

06/15/11

Dødenfell -- Updated 06/14/11 I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Dødenfell" to the gallery this evening. I've offset the dual-screen (above) rather than split the volcano between two screens. It does lose a bit of the sky this way but I think it makes better use of the expanded frame. I hope you guys enjoy it!

I promise I'll try to create something a little less gloomy looking next time.;)

A number of folks asked that I extend my Summer Special through payday so if you still want take advatange of my 25% discount on new Memberships and Renewals you are still welcome to do so. I will leave the coupon code active until 6/19 (but no further) for those who want to use it over the weekend.

Use coupon code "summertime" to get the discount and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

06/14/11

Dødenfell -- Updated 06/14/11I've posted a new version of "Dødenfell" in the Members Gallery this morning. The camera has pulled back a bit so the reflections show in the water and I've extinquished the forest fires. I'm sure some folks will be disappointed but I also took out the aurora. The first two renders will remain available in the Pickle Jar of course!

My Summer Special continues through tomorrow so please feel free to take advatange of my 25% discount on new Memberships and Renewals! Use coupon code "summertime" to get the discount and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

06/13/11

Interopposite -- Updated 06/13/11
Sorry it's been so quiet around here for the past week or so. Right after I posted "Dødenfell" I had to step away from the computer for a little family time. I've had all of my renderers buzzing while I was away however and today I am harvesting the first of their fruits.

I've added the dual and triple-screen version of "Interopposite" to the gallery this afternoon. As I've been doing with my other recent abstract multiscreens, I choose to change up the camera angle a bit for this version. I hope it works for your setup!

I also wanted to mention that I am running a Summer Special until Wednesday. All Memberships and Renewals (including the Lifetime option) are 25% off. Just use the coupon code "summertime" on the sign up or renewal page to get the discount. Thanks and stay tuned for more renders coming up this week!!

06/03/11

Dødenfell -- Updated 06/03/11I've posted a new version of "Night on Eldritch Mountain" in the Members Gallery this afternoon. Probably the most obvious change will be the new title. I have changed it to "Dødenfell". Why you ask?

Tueday night, I showed the project to my son Ian and asked him what I should call it. I'd been struggling with a title for the past couple of days and was ready for some fresh ideas. They don't get any fresher than from a 7 year old. He immediately said "Death Mountain" and even drew a nice picture of his own to illustrate the concept which I posted on my Facebook page as a teaser on Wednesday.

"Death Mountain", while cool, has "Zelda" connotations that I do not wish to evoke here.

After sleeping on it last night I have settled on the title "Dødenfell", which is a mangling of the Norwegian "Døden Fjell" ("Death Mountain").

Ian's drawing also gave me the idea to set a few fires along the shoreline. It turned out to be the only way to get reflected light in the water from the angle.

Hope you like the changes! The version I posted yesterday can still be found in the Pickle Jar!

06/02/11

I added "Dødenfell" to the gallery this afternoon. I'm proud to say it is my first project designed and rendered entirely on my new workstation (Bucephalus). A huge thanks to all the Members and people who pitched in (over $3000!) so I could work with such an insane tower of technology!

After the Chaiten volcano in Patagonia erupted a lot of people sent me pictures of lightning in the ash cloud and asked if I could do something similar. I received more photos last year after the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. At long last the new version of "Vue d'Esprit" (9.5) adds the ability to limit clouds to a certain area, freeing me to make all sorts of "cloud sculptures".

This one started as a thunderstorm but as I was working on it I was reminded of the volcano and decided to go in that direction. I would say that I am happy with the top 3/4 of the piece but the bottom could still use something. I thought it looked nice enough to post as is however.

My son Ian drew me a picture of this scene and suggested that I call it "Death Mountain". I suppose that works too. His version did give me an idea about something I may add to a future render however.

05/28/11

Riverbend -- Updated 05/28/11It's been a hectic couple of days for me, setting up my new workstation, which I have named "Bucephalus", and sifting through 5 years of digital detritus to separate the wheat from the chaff. I am now finally to the point where I can do some real work done.

This new machine is a real beast and should last me for another 5 years (fingers crossed). The final specs are: 2 Xeon X5690 Hexacore 3.46 GHz Procs, 48 GB of RAM, EVGA GTX590, and some zippy fast SSDs. There's also 7 fans keeping everything cool so I may have to look into water cooling because it sounds like a jet at times.

First up is posting the next revision of "Riverbend" that I have had rendering on my (old) alternate box for the past week or so. I've tweaked the shoreline a bit, smoothed out the water, and changed a few colors here and there. I was still rendering it on my old machine so I haven't bumped up the atmosphere quality yet. Perhaps when I do a final render on Bucephalus.

05/25/11

Gotham Garden (Spring)I've added "Gotham Garden (Spring)" to the free gallery this morning. You can see the Autumn and Summer versions (available to my subscribers) here.

My revised "Riverbend" and "Interopposite" renders are nearly ready so I hope you will stop back soon! I've added a new version of "Interopposite" to the Pickle Jar so you can get a sense of where it's headed.

05/22/11

Interopposite -- Updated 05/22/11I've added a new abstract, "Interopposite", to the Members gallery this morning. This one is a study of "interconnected opposition" (or yin yang), a theme I have been pondering quite a bit lately. It is another project that started out on my MacBook Pro while waiting for a render("Riverbend") to complete on my main box.

It will be nice when my new workstation is finally assembled (waiting on a few pieces) and I will have four capable renderers available to me. I'm looking forward to posting the multiscreen renders much more quickly. I will also finally be able to render mural sized images (I already have a printing company lined up). The downside is I might have to install a windmill and/or solar array to keep my power bills from going throught he roof...

Check back in the next couple of days for my "Riverbend" render. It is nearly ready but will probably a small nip tuck before I post it. The foggy atmosphere in this one takes a wicked long time to render!

05/17/11

The fact that my next revision of "Riverbend" has taken so long to render is one of the reasons I decided to bite the bullet and purchase my new workstation this morning. Here's a screenshot of my final order but the main specs are thus: Dual six-core Xeon 3.46 GHz, 48 GB Ram, 240 GB SSD (Intel 510), and a single GTX 590 (for now). Believe it or not I saved nearly $6k building from scratch!

Thanks to everyone who helped out by signing up or renewing over the past few months. As always, I couldn't do any of this without your support. Hopefully this machine will keep me rendering for the next five or six years!

05/08/11

Riverbend -- 05/08/11Happy Mother's Day! Just wanted to mention a few items this morning before getting back to Jessie's foot massage.

First, a couple of Members have kindly donated Lifetime Memberships to give away to deserving Moms via my Facebook Page. I have added a couple of yearly Memberships so we can have a proper contest. All you need to do to enter is share a story about your Mom (or your own Motherhood experience). The entries with the most "Likes" will be awarded the Memberships (so please help me judge them!). The first was awarded this morning to Katie Duchscherer.

Second, if you are interested in helping me pull the trigger on my new workstation then I hope you will take advatange of my Mother's Day Sale (25% off all Memberships and Renewals with coupon code LOVEYOUMOM).

Last, but far from least, I have added a new render to the gallery this morning. I call it Riverbend and it is probably about 75% complete. The sunbeams need to be toned down a bit (to differentiate the piece from another in my gallery). Hope you enjoy it! Now back to those feet...

05/05/11

A couple of items to mention. Most importantly, my new project is now rendering and should be ready in a few days. All I will say about it is that it is very lush...

Second, I wanted to mention that I have added a less expensive 30-day option for under $10. If one were to use the Mother's Day 25% off coupon I am offering until midnight Sunday you could download my entire collection (plus 2 or 3 new ones in the weeks ahead) for under $7.50. Renewals are similarly discounted.

I am offering the sale partly to fund the new workstation I have been eyeing for the past few weeks and your help is greatly appreciated! Please post in the thread below if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for your support!

04/28/11

Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall) -- Updated 04/28/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall)" this morning. I had started this one rendering before I added the "glowing foam" to the single-screen version, so that is why the shoreline is dark. The foam was a bit controversial in the single-screen version so maybe the multiscreen would be better without it?

In other news, my next project will be something green...

04/27/11

Highland Spring -- Added to free gallery 04/27/11I added my (currently) highest rated wallpaper to the free gallery this morning. It's called "Highland Spring" and I rendered it using Vue d'Esprit 8 back in March of last year. It turned out so well the fine folks at E-onsoftware chose to use it for the cover of Vue d'Esprit 9. Not too shabby.

Hope you enjoy it! Check back shortly for the "Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall)" multiscreen...

04/25/11

Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall) -- Updated 04/25/11I've posted an update to "Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall)" this morning that resets the cloud brightness and shifts the "bio-glow" more to the orange (away from pink). I've also added some "glowing foam" at the shoreline that I would be interested to hear your thoughts on.

The earlier versions will remain available to Members in the Pickle Jar. I have the multiscreens rendering now and they should be up shortly!

04/22/11

Ostereier 2011 (For 3 Monitors) -- Updated 04/07/11
I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Ostereier 2011" to the Members gallery this morning. I would haved liked to have rendered a multiscreen version of the original, but somehow I managed to lose a few of the original eggs sometime over the last 8 years. For some reason the egg files referenced by the Lightwave scene file are nowhere to be found on my HD. Very odd.

04/20/11

Ostereier 2011 (Happy Easter) -- 04/20/11A Member asked recently why I hadn't made an Easter picture since 2003 and I didn't have a good answer. I guess I thought I had made as good an Easter Egg picture with the original Ostereier as I possibly could.

Anyway, I recently tried to open up my 2003 scene file (to do a higher res render) and was horrified to see that some of my egg objects were missing. As I looked at the incomplete scene I started playing with a few of the eggs that were left and after a while I guess I had redone them all.

The resulting render is a little on the trippy side, but I guess it is 4/20 after all...

Hope you enjoy it!

04/19/11

Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall) -- Updated 04/19/11I've posted my revised version of "Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall)" in the Members Gallery this morning. I had been trying to get the surf to glow as well but in the end it didn't look as good as I had hoped (took too much focus away from the top of the screen).

This new version tones down the clouds and adds a bit of haze to the horizon (so the islands are more visible). There's a couple of other minor changes as well. The original version, as always, will be available in the Pickle Jar. I may add these extra versions in the days ahead.

You will also notice that I've changed the watermark on my images. Nothing major, just removed the ".com". I hope the new watermark still looks ok (and not too noticable) on your screens. Let me know if you have any problems.

04/18/11

Ostereier (Happy Easter!) -- Added 04/17/11Happy Monday everyone! A few items to report this morning. First, with Easter fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to feature my one and only Easter wallpaper in the free gallery. I call it "Ostereier" (a German word) and it turned out so well I haven't made another Easter pic for the past 8 years (not the real reason).

If you enjoy it please have a look at a few Zazzle products I put together here.

Members: I've tweaked my gift certificates a bit to reward you for sharing my work. I have added a $10 1-month gift certificate and I will now add time to your Membership for every gift purchased.

I will add 30 days for every 1-month, 90 days for every 1-year and a whole year for every Lifetime gift. Gift certificates are discounted when you purchase more than one. Just be sure you log in before you use the form so my system recognizes your username.

Lastly, both my machines are hard at work rendering my updated "Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall) and "Dolmen". I hope to have both up very soon. Stay tuned!

04/13/11

Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall) -- Updated 04/13/11Shortly after I posted "Tropic of Thetis" a number of Members suggested that I should try a night version. It has sort of become a tradition around here that I complement a bright wallpaper with a dark version. It's fun for me to explore how a scene can totally change given the time of day so I am happy to oblige.

For "Tropic of Thetis (Nightfall)" it was suggested that "bioluminescence" would look interesting so I tried my hand at adding some to the water and the flora. I still have some improvements I would like to make to this render but I think it looks nice enough to share as is. I hope you enjoy it!

04/12/11

I've swapped a few items out of my future workstation build. I'm thinking now that I will go with a SSD boot/application drive and a RAID 10 setup for data. I've also chucked the Quadro 4000 in favor of a GTX 590 (if I can get my hands on one). I like that it has 3 DVI onboard and it looks faster than the Quadro.

I would love to hear suggestions for a quality SSD (over 250 GB). The one I picked looks nice but I am no expert. Basically I want a machine that will last me another 5 years.

Anyway, I'm getting close to pulling the trigger and I wanted to thank the Members who have helped with donations. I really appreciate the support! Be on the lookout for a night version of "Tropic of Thetis" that is a little bit different...

04/08/11

We Don't Like Zombies -- Updated 04/08/11I've posted a new render of "We Don't Like Zombies" with the "Repeater" translucency toned down. They should look more 3D now and less blown out. You can still get the first version in the Pickle Jar. The free version is here.

I was able to re-render this fairly quickly thanks to E-onsoftware sending me the new release of Vue d'Esprit yesterday out of the blue. The new DOF mode cut the rendering time down to just a few hours! I can't wait to play with those new cloud controls!

04/07/11

Tropic of Thetis (For 3 Monitors) -- Updated 04/07/11I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Tropic of Thetis" to the Members Gallery this morning. If I ever do manage a triple-screen 7680 x 1600 setup I do believe this one will the first wallpaper I use (though I might change my mind after the night version renders). Rendered in 89 hrs at 9600 x 2000

04/04/11

We Don't Like Zombies -- Updated 04/04/10I teased recently that I would be doing a wallpaper based on my family's favorite video game and there was interested speculation. No, my kids are little too young for WoW (and I avoid MMORPGs for fear of being sucked in). In my house the go-to game is PopCap's "Plants vs Zombies".

Now I do quite a bit of "plant modeling" in my work and I had the idea to introduce my kids to how I work by creating a scene they would be familiar with. They had quite a bit of editorial input on how the plants should look and I think they came away thinking I was pretty cool (better enjoy it while it lasts). I plan for them to help me model some of the other plants in the game as exercises so don't be surprised if you see another PvZ theme in the future.

I've never done a wallpaper based on another "property" so I felt a little strange about posting it for Members only. In the end I decided to post it concurrently in my Members and Free galleries.

The boys and I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for the "Tropic of Thetis" multiscreen shortly...

04/03/11

Tropic of Thetis -- Updated 04/02/11I've added an updated version of "Tropic of Thetis" to the Members Gallery. The water in the first version was a little flat so I've employed Vue's displaced ocean here. I've also added some underwater reflections and parted the clouds to reveal a risen Thetis. There may be one or two new palms scattered about as well.

In other news, I am still tweaking the mobile-site so check it out an leave feedback if you have any.

This is the first of three renders (including a new freebie) that I will be posting in fairly short order so be sure to check back soon or follow me somehow to stay updated!

04/01/11

I've been playing around with a stripped-down "mobile-friendly" version of my gallery for while now and I think it works well enough to open it up. It's pretty basic right now (linear access through my gallery by most recent). Over time I will add more functionality but I do want it to remain pretty simple.

How does it look on your device?

03/31/11

Just wanted to mention a little sale going on over at DecalGirl. For the past year or so I've partnered with them to offer my work as precut "Skins" for the most popular devices (including the Kindle ,iPad, and even the PS3).

If you don't see the design you like in the product gallery you can simply pick one of my base designs (I added 10 new ones yesterday!) and create a custom skin for any just about any device under the Sun.

As for the sale, DecalGirl is offering a 15% discount on any skin featuring my work (mine only) until Midnight Eastern tonight. Just use coupon code DB15OFF when you check out with them.

Why just my work? Funny you should ask. DecalGirl runs a very active Facebook page and is accumulating fans quickly because they are always having cool contests and promotions. One of these is an "Artist's Sale" where they ask people to post their favorite DecalGirl Artist and then discount the most popular.

I've seen a few of these come and go and always thought it would be nice to win one. Really though, a lot of the other artist's work just blows me away and I can see why more people vote for them. Vladstudio's "Library" Skin for Kindle is about as perfect (not-to-mention ironic) a design as you can get for the ereader.

Still, I wanted to get the coupon not only for you guys but for the other DecalGirl customers who haven't heard of my work yet. When DecalGirl announced their most recent Artist's Sale and I saw a few votes for me pop up in the early going, I decided to juice things a bit by asking my Facebook/Twitter followers to vote for me. As you can see in the original thread, it went pretty well.

It was pretty underhanded of me though and I promise not to do make a habit out of asking for things like this.

As promised when I asked for the votes, I am offering the same 15% discount on my Memberships and Renewals (including Lifetime) while the DecalGirl coupon was active. Feel free to use the coupon code DB15OFF to get the discount on my signup/renewal pages.

I had new versions of "Tropic of Thetis" and "Dolmen" rendering right now and I hope to have them up shortly. I also have a special render dedicated to one of my family's favorite video games. Stay tuned. . .

03/25/11

Tropic of Thetis -- Updated 03/25/11Happy Friday! A few items to mention today.

First, confession time. I posted "Dolmen" unfinished not only because I wanted it to be ready for St. Paddy's Day but also because I was heading out the door that morning for a little holiday with my family in Florida that we'd been planning for ages .

We just got back last evening (some pics here if you are interested) and I haven't really had a chance to start any revisions on the dolmen, but I do appreciate all the wonderful feedback!

While waiting for the Dolmen to finish rendering I doodled a little tropical daydream on my laptop. I set it to render on my main machine while I was away and, though it is still in the very rough stages, I thought it looked nice enough to share. I call it (tentatively) "Tropic of Thetis" and I'm thinking it will be a day render in my "Tropical Moon" series (the planet will be added later).

Just a heads up: I am going to have a little "flash contest" on my Facebook page to give away a free 1 year Membership (or renewal) sometime in the next few days. "Fan" me to make sure my posts show up your feed or be sure to check in from time to time if you are interested. If you would like a leg up on the contest take a look at the t-shirts here (specifically the "House" shirts).

Lastly a HUGE to the folks who have been donating to my "new workstation fund" ($46 since 3/3!). My goal with the donations is enough to get me two more 30" monitors so I can finally have a triple-head system of my own (I will be covering the new workstation myself). If you own multiple monitors and want to see a "multiscreen reniassance" at DB, please think about chipping in because these suckers are expensive!

Stay tuned!

03/17/11

Dolmen -- Updated 03/16/11Added "Dolmen" to the gallery this morning. I had wanted to have this one ready for St. Patrick's Day (it was inspired by an Irish dolmen after all) but I think it is only about halfway there.

Still, I think it looks nice enough to share and I would love to hear your thoughts.

03/10/11

Corona (2010)

I've added "Corona" to the Free Gallery this morning, replacing "Canopy Creek (Autumn)".

I've also added "Facebook Comment" boxes to the free gallery images (on a trial basis). This means if you are currently logged into your Facebook account you will be able to leave comments "as yourself" on my free image pages. Seems like a great way to hear from as many people as possible without having to deal with anonymous posters.

This is on a trial-basis only and comments on the Member images (including works-in-progress) will still be recorded the usual way. Now if I can only figure out how to get the link to go straight to the comments (below the download).

  • A number of you have made donations to help me finance the workstation upgrade I mentioned on 3/3. Thank you!!

    I've set up a page from which you can make a donation if you like or keep track of how much is donated so far ($46 since 3/3!).

    Donations are completely optional (I would much rather you purchase a Membership or renewal) but I thought I would put up a form for the Lifetime members or folks who would like to help out without becoming a Member.

    Thanks and I will post here when I've narrowed my hardware options further!

    03/08/11

    Arcana -- Updated 03/08/11

    I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Arcana" to the Members gallery this morning. The different camera angle worked well for the "Inner Workings" multiscreens so I thought I would try it again here. The original single-screen has a bit of an unconventional angle so I moved the camera down to ground level for a more intimate view on the scene.

    I've also added a crop of the new camera angle for single screen users in the Pickle Jar.

    03/03/11

    My recent render-times have made it painfully clear that I need some new hardware. In the past I have purchased pre-built systems but this time I am looking to assemble it myself. To that end I have begun a list of components at my favorite online computer store.

    As you will see from the list, I am stuck between using a 4U "barebones server" as a starting point, or purchasing the case/mobo/psu a la carte. One system would use SAS drives and the other SATA 6GB/s (I have listed both).

    I'm not certain I trust SSDs enough yet. I know they are fast though.

    Both systems would use dual six-core Xeons running at 3.46 GHz and would use at least 24 GB of RAM. 48 would be nicer of course...

    Anyway I would love to hear in any advice you guys might have on this setup. Also I am thinking of opening this up to sponsorship so drop me a line if you are interested.

    Otherwise I will rely, as always, on memberships, renewals, and donations.

    Thanks and check back for the "Arcana" multiscreens shortly!

    03/02/11

    Arcana -- Updated 02/28/11I wasn't entirely satisfied with the volumetric effects in my first "Arcana" render so I went back to the drawing board yesterday. The particle effects were a little overwhelming in the first version so I cut most of them. I also added some fractal sorcery courtesy of Apophysis.

    What do you think of the changes? You'll find the original version in the Pickle Jar for comparison.

    02/28/11

    Arcana -- Updated 02/28/11I've always been a sucker for magic and fantasy. Some of my earliest renders attempt to capture this. For whatever reason it has been a quite a long time since I've tried anything "magical". After doing a little CRPG gaming this winter and purchasing a new version of Lightwave the time seemed right to dust off my spellbook.

    The result is "Arcana" which is new in the Members Gallery this morning. This one took about 10 days longer to produce than it should have. The volumetrics were simply too much for my current machine. One render locked up at 66 hours and (after I dialed back the quality settings a tad) the final render took 155 hours. Amazingly it only took something like 10 minutes to render without the volumetrics. I will not wait that long for the multiscreen version.

    Anyway, I hope the wait was worth it. For my part I have not been sitting idle while this rendered on and on. I have two other projects going on my other machines so March looks to come in like a lion...

    02/23/11

    I had hoped to have my new project ready for you over the past weekend, but my renderer locked up after 64 hours into the process (with but 9 left to go) and I had to restart. The scene file was saved so only time was lost, but it still stung.

    It is humming along again and looks to be ready sometime in the next 24 hours.

    In the meantime while you are here I would invite you to browse through the gallery and rate a few images if you haven't done so for a while. First log-in here and then as you browse the gallery only the images you have rated will have an input form.

    I certainly don't expext anyone to rate more than a few at a time. It does help me out though as my newer work only makes my "Top Rated" lists when they have at least 100 ratings. Let me know if you have any questions in the "Site Comments" thread.

    Thanks so much and please check back in the days ahead (or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to get updated in your "stream"). I think this one will be worth the wait.

    02/15/11

    Island Time

    It was suggested (on my Facebook page) that "Island Time" would make an excellent freebie. Looking outside my window this grey February morning I cannot help but concur. I hope my free gallery users enjoy it and perhaps consider the benefits of DB Membership...

    My new project is nearly complete and just needs a bit of fine tuning before I start the final render. I would love to show it to you right now but I think would be better to show this one when it is fully complete. For my part I will endeavor to make it worth the wait.

    Lastly, it looks like Project Messiah reached their goal so everyone who ordered their animation package for the ridiculous discount will be getting their licenses. I guess there's a few more hours left to take advantage of the offer so here's the link if anyone is interested.

    Stay tuned!

    02/10/11

    Take Two (Happy Valentine's Day!)

    Valentine's Day is sneaking up quickly so I thought it a good time to show off my one and only wallpaper dedicated to the holiday. You'll find "Take Two" at the top of the Free Gallery until Tuesday.

    02/09/11

    Inner Workings -- Updated 02/07/11
    A few items to mention today. First, Members can now the new dual and triple-screen renders of "Inner Workings" Rather than simply widen the frame on the single-screen scene (as I almost always do for my multiscreen renders), I've chosen instead to zoom in tight and let the "central object" fill the entire frame. I hope it was worth the wait.

    Second I wanted to mention an awesome bargain that came across my inbox yesterday. The good folks over at Project Messiah are offering their $499 3D animation software for only $10 (or the $1199 pro version for $40). The catch is the you only get your license if enough people take advantage of the offer (otherwise your purchase if refunded). Here's the link and please share it with your friends who might be interested in trying out 3D rendering!

    Lastly, my new wallpaper is progressing nicely and, while I don't have an ETA, I have a feeling people will enjoy it. I definintely haven't done a project like this for a long time.

    02/07/11

    Inner Workings -- Updated 02/07/11

    As I mentioned last time, my "final" version of "Inner Workings" is ready for Members to download.

    I've brightened the scene (the inner cells are now more transperant and reflect more light) and I've dialed back the DOF blur a bit. I also let Fprime "refine" it a about 12 hours longer than version 2 so it should be a bit smoother.

    The new multiscreen is rendering on my other box and I hope to have it ready tomorrow. It's a very different view than the previous multiscreen. . .

    Next up, some magic...

    02/03/11

    Inner Workings 2 -- Updated 02/03/11Here's a revised version of "Inner Workings" that I have been working on. Members can find the full res download in the Pickle Jar. Not sure if this clears up anything with regards to what exactly I've modeled here. I've really enjoyed reading the theories so far however.

    You will notice I've changed up the colors. It was mentioned that the original version had Green Bay Packers colors so changes had to be made. I'm not bitter though...

    Anyway, as usually happens when my renders go more than a few hours, I've found a thing or two I would like to tweak before moving on once and for all. Hope to have the final version up early next week.

    02/02/11

    Still digging out from the big blizzard this morning. I wanted to mention that I've created a "Tumblr" feed for DB. I will be using it to post random stuff (like the in-progress screenshot of some updates I've made to "Inner Workings")

    01/28/11

    I've added the dual and triple-screen versions of "Inner Workings" this morning. Even with Fprime, it took over 48 hours to render at 7860 x 1600 on my dual xeon X5365s. I can only imagine how long it would have taken with Lightwave's native renderer.

    01/26/11

    Inner Workings -- Updated 01/26/10

    I recently upgraded my Lightwave software to the latest version (10) and for my first project back I thought I would explore some of the new features. My favorite so far is the new "VPR" interface which finally makes it possible to work with Hypervoxels.

    My latest addition to the Members Gallery, "Inner Workings", uses Hypervoxels (no polygons) to depict processes taking place on the tiniest of scales. I've always been just as fascinated with "inner space" as I am with "outer space" and this render is another exploration in that realm. I've classified this one an abstract so I would love to hear what you think it is!

    Anyway, I know it's a little weird but I hope you enjoy it regardless. Definitely view it at the highest resolution possible because there are some details that might not be visible at the lower res.

    01/18/11

    The dual and triple-screen renders of "The Fisherman" are finally finished and I've added them to the gallery this morning. I hope they were worth the wait!

    This one an unacceptably long time to render so my hunt for a new workstation has officially begun. My current setup is going on 5 years old so the time is definitely come. Hopefully I can afford one by this summer (or sooner with your support).

    Next up, something abstract...

    01/10/11

    The Fisherman (Alternate) -- Updated 01/10/10I am still waiting for the multiscreen render of "The Fisherman" to finish. I hope to have it up within the next couple of days but it's hard to tell with this new version of Vue d'Esprit. It's been telling me that the render has 16 hours left for the past 2 days.

    In the meantime I've added a couple of early versions of "The Fisherman" to the Pickle Jar for Members to download. I originally intended this project to be an aerial view of an archipelago, but was never quite happy with the view until I brought the camera in closer.

    Don't be surprised if I come back to the aerial archipelago view later in the year. I think it's worth developing, but for this scene I am happier with the final version.

    01/04/11

    The Fisherman -- Updated 01/04/10It's hard to for me to believe that DB is entering its 15th year online. I uploaded my first images in early 1997 and never imagined that I would be still be uploading them so many years later. It would not have been possible without the thousands of people over the years who have supported my work. Thank you all!

    On the subject of posting images: I've added "The Fisherman" (#692) to the gallery this morning. If you've followed my work for the past few years you know that I like to follow up my holiday wallpapers with something warm and tropical. Think of it as a little New Year's vacation for your desktop. My love of winter ebbs considerably after the holidays. . .

    I hope you enjoy "The Fisherman". It went through a rather convoluted creation process so there should be a few Pickles to post later on. Next up: The multiscreens.

    01/02/11

    Poseidon's Playground

    Happy 2011 everyone! While I am still waiting for this new render to finish (it will clearly have to be tweaked before I attempt a multiscreen) I thought it would be a good time to refresh my free gallery. I've removed the Christmas wallpaper and added "Poseidon's Playground". Looking at it makes me want to go scuba diving again...

    I also want to mention that I tweaked my "Pay-it-Forward" system. I've removed the 2 and 3 year options and have lowered the price for the 1 year anonymous gift renewal to $7. Each one you purchase you will anonymously renew a random membership (chosen from a pool of accounts that are set to expire within 1 week).

    With any luck the recipient will be inspired by your generosity and choose to "pay-it-forward". I just need to get the wave started...

    Anyway, let me know if you have any questions or comments about the system and stay tuned for a new render sometime this coming week!

  • last updated Monday, 13-Feb-2012 20:51:57 CST


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