2015 News Archive
I had wanted to have this one finished last week but as I was getting ready to post it I felt like it needed a couple of updates.
In the past I might have just posted the first version and then the updated one later, but I've come to realize that you only have one chance to make a first impression. I wanted this one to be as perfect as possible when I posted it so I made my changes and hit the F9 key one more time.
Fortunately the render finished before Christmas! I had my doubts that it would finish on time with the mist that I added over the water and the higher resolution trees in the foreground.
I hope you enjoy it and that you all have a safe and happy Holiday!!12/12/15
As promised, here's another view of my Lightwave gas giant. My goal here was to create something that I could render in under an hour (as opposed to "Above the Canopy" which took almost 2 days to complete). The triple 5K version renders in around 10 minutes in Shadowfax!
Speaking of "Above the Canopy", that render takes place on the moon to the left in this scene :-)12/3/15
This one started out as an attempt to create a gas giant planet using only Lightwave "procedural" textures. Procedurals create colors and patterns mathematically as opposed to something hand-painted or a photo of Jupiter.
The advantage being that you can render them at extremely high resolutions and they don't degrade. Some fractal textures create even more detail the higher the resolution.
So I wanted something that would fill an entire Vue sky with color. I posted such a version yesterday but I'm not sure the effect worked as well as I had hoped, but I do think the planet looks better scaled down a bit.
Don't be surprised if you see more than one view of this planet in a future wallpapers. Just like this piece, the planet is a work-in-progress too :-)
I have a couple of other wallpapers in development which should be showing up in the gallery soon. Stay tuned!!
That gave me the idea to take it a step or two further. I've reworked the particle emitters to create a more festive effect :-)
I hope you like it! This is the first of a number of Christmas images that I have planned for the next month or so, in addition to working on some new space scenes.
In other news, version 2.1 of the iOS app is nearly ready for release. This next version will add (among other things) better error reporting and the ability to download any image size (rather than just mobile versions). It should be a fun month ahead!
Cyber Monday!As some of you may already know, I have stopped offering discounts on Memberships. I was starting to feel like a carnival barker screaming out "30% off, no 40% off! Save Big Money!!". If you've been wanting one of the many excellent products are available featuring my artwork however, now is a great time to buy :-) Posters and Wrapped Canvas prints using the coupon code "ZAZWEEKSALES ". tshirts will be $6 off on Tuesday Dec 1st and all "Home Decor" (Duvet Covers, Shower Curtains, Etc) will be 20% off on Wednesday. my skin.
I know a lot of you aren't nearly ready for winter yet (I know I'm not) but, as the Starks have said, it's coming. My first snowy render of the year is the winter version of "Autumn Revelation". I was pretty happy with the cloud setup in the autumn version, but managed to tweak them a bit so they wouldn't look exactly the same (since this pic is supposed to be a whole new season). The evergreens have kept their needles but the colorful trees have dropped their leaves.
A couple of new additions to the gallery to mention this morning...There are many advantages to being a 2D artist over a 3D artist. One of the major ones (that makes me jealous) is that there is really no limit to how complex your scenes/objects can be because you only have to draw one side of them. Setting up complex scenes in 3D requires a bit more work, but one advantage of 3D art is that once that work is done I am able to move my camera/lights around the scene and capture different views almost like Ansel Adams hiking through his own personal Yosemite.
That's what I've done with "Autumn Revelation". I've moved the camera closer to the shore and I've replaced the reddish tones in the atmosphere with blusish ones. I've also added some foreground mist and shorted the evergreen trees by half. I previewed my render to the folks in the Private Facebook Group and they almost unanimously demanded that it have a gallery spot of its own.
I hope you enjoy it! Multiscreen users check back in a day or so as I created this one (on my single-screen Bucephalus workstation) as a single-screen wallpaper first. Old habits die hard...
"A Sincere Pumpkin Patch" was my homage to Charles Schultz's classic. Of course part of the magic of the "The Great Pumpkin" is that he exists only in Linus' imagination. I thought it would be fun to render at least one "flight of fancy" that might have occured while he sat his vigil in the pumpkin-patch. Here is one such vision...
The jack-o-lantern was modeled using Zbrush (though most of the details ended up getting glared out). The vines were modeled using e-on's wonderful Plant Factory. Yes, I know it's a little over-the-top but Halloween only comes once per year.
Not sure if I will add more "tricks of the imagination". Let me know what you think!
I've had this idea for a long time, but I didn't have a good way to make the necessary vines until I started using the Plant Factory. This piece is a nod to my favorite Halloween story growing up. I was a huge Peanuts fan and I still like to watch the "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" with my kids every Halloween.
I thought about visualizing "The Great Pumpkin" itself, but decided it fit better with Schultz's theme of innocent faith to let the viewer wait and wonder. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Here's how it looks on Shadowfax...
Stay tuned in the days ahead as I work a bit more on this one.
Here's a triptych version of my latest render. I've linked to the largest version so you can scale it down according to your needs.
I have two new renders brewing so watch for a new post very soon!
I've added a new version of "Autumn Cliffs" this morning. The new version has a dedicated single-screen version which shows more sky and water than I was able to show in the multiscreens. I've also toned down the red and added more green to the mix. Let me know what you think of the update in the comments!
I've put together a page with information about the new DB iOS App that debuted in the App Store last Friday. If you have already downloaded the app (it's FREE!) please let me know what features you would like to see added!
The basic idea was to take the techniques that I used to create "Red and Gold" and some of my more complex Vue d'Esprit tree objects and go the next step by using my Plant Factory to create even more detailed branches. I will leave it up to you to decide if I've made any improvements on the technique.
The background was created using World Machine and my work on that part of the scene ultimately lead to the "Autumn Cliffs" render that I posted earlier this week. They are, in fact, different mountains but the same techniques were used.
Will I do any more Autumn scenes this year? Maybe. Next I want to create some scary looking trees for Halloween...
We will certainly be adding more features when Jeff returns from his 2-week family trip so please let me know which features are most important to you and what we can improve on!
9/29/15"Autumn Cliffs" is another Fall themed image that I've been working on. This one just finished rendering on Bucephalus this afternoon and, while I'm not entirely satisfied with it, I thought it looked nice enough to share while I consider what where to go with it next. I do know that I would like to tweak the foliage colors a bit in the next version (there's more red here than I would prefer).
I hope to have my another new Autumn render finished in a day or two so check back soon!
That's when I came across this Autumn version of "Untouched that I created way back in 2008 but for some reason never got around to rendering full-size. I set Arion to rendering and here's the scene at 5k.
What do you think? Pickle Jar or Gallery??
I hope to have my two new Autumn renders up in the next couple of days so stay tuned!!
9/15/15"Core World" is new in the Members Gallery this evening. With this piece I am imagining what the sky might look like on a world near the galactic center, without all the interstellar dust that darkens our own view of the galaxy.
I rendered the background using Lightwave and the foreground is Vue. Like most of my post-Shadowfax projects, this one was conceived and rendered first as a multiscreen. The single-screen version is a crop of the triple-wide frame, but I will probably render a dedicated single-screen version soon.
My first version (with the golden sky) took nearly 180 hours to render on Bucephalus while the gallery version (with a sky which brings out more the colors in my stars) took only 48 hours on the same machine. The difference? I increased the "world diameter" (moving the horizon further away) and used a flat plane rather than a displaced surface for the water.
Which do you prefer?>
It occured to me not long ago that while I have wallpapers for several holidays, I have neglected one very imporant holiday: Your Birthday. Now, I don't like to render food (or have it on my wallpaper) so I tried to think of something else.
Of course I am posting it because it is my own birthday today (YAY!). To celebrate I am offering the new wallpaper for FREE today for anyone else who shares my birthday (or has one coming up). Enjoy!
9/7/15I've added an updated version of "The Golden Hour" to the gallery this morning. The changes are subtle, mainly I've varied up the foliage color and added a few taller trees to the mix. I also set the "atmosphere quality" settings much higher than the first version so the light beams should be less noisy. The downside is the image took 3 times as long to render.
Lastly I wanted to mention that there's FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING in my Society6 store for today only (edit extended to 9/8/15).
9/1/15A couple of items to mention this first day of my birthmonth. First, I've added a new render to the gallery this morning. It's called "The Golden Hour" and it is the result of many hours learning the ins and outs of "The Plant Factory".
It is an incredibly powerful addition to my 3D arsenal. I just need to spend a few hours every day trying to learn exactly what everything does. This piece is the result of one such exploration. The trees looks quite alien, I agree, but I wanted to see what that would look like rendered. It should be a splendid season ahead for fans of my Autumn renders!
I will most likely most another version of this in the near future but I thought it looked interesting enough to share as is. Let me know what you think!
For the first time ever I am going to send free signed copies to my Patron, Sponsor and Guardian Level Members (current Members upgrade here). If you are a Guardian Member you can tell me which images you want for each month. I will have it made custom for you, sign each page, and send it out free of charge.
Check back in a day or two to see "The Golden Hour" updated. I'm just getting started!
8/29/15A few items to mention this morning. First, I wanted to show off a few of the new tshirt designs in my Society6 store. Ian liked his "Clockwork" tshirt so much he wore to school for picture day!
I am starting to put together images for my 2016 calendar. For the first time I am offering signed calendars. You just need to become a Patron or Guardian level Member to get one (first-time or renewal). Let me know if you have any questions!
If you (or someone you know) sincerely want to become a DB Member, but have a good reason why you cannot afford it, share your story on the appropriate page. (Facebook account required). When I receive a tip from a Member or other generous art-lover, it will go into a fund which I will then use to offer free 1-year Memberships for each $25 in tips that I receive to those whom my Members and I feel truly deserve it.
How is this decided? In some cases I will make the decision myself, in others I will ask my Members for input.
If you would like to purchase a Membership for one of the folks who has posted, please check the balance in the Good Samaritan fund and make a contribution via my TipJar to increase the balance to $25. Include the name of the person you want to help in your comment with the payment and I will do the rest. I will assume you want to remain anonymous unless you instruct otherwise!8/25/15
Which of my works would you really love to see on a shirt like this? P>8/23/15
I recently introduced my boys to the original Star Trek and we've been watching them nightly this summer before bedtime. This scene was inspired by the continuing adventures of the Starship Enterprise :-)
I used Vue d'Esprit's "Planetary Terrains" twice. The main planet in the sky is a Vue d'Esprit world with the camera pulled way back. The foreground is another spherical terrain, so I can have the sun light peeking over the horizon naturally.
Let me know what you think!
If even half of you signed up as monthly or yearly Supporters I would have to worry a lot less about signing up new Members. Changing over to the new Membership system will help ensure the long-term survival of my gallery, but for the first year of the switchover (at least) I could really use some extra support from my Lifetime Members. Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions!8/11/15
You never know when inspiration might strike. I've been re-reading George R. R. Martin's "A Clash of Kings" recently. Daenerys Targaryen sees many visions in the "House of the Undying" including one that I thought would make an interesting wallpaper...
"A blue flower grew from a chink in a wall of ice, and filled the air with sweetness..."
Some think the flower symbolizes Jon Snow, and in his very next chapter he meets Ygritte who tells him the story of "The Winter Rose". Connected? Maybe.
Either way I thought it would make a pretty cool image though and I hope you agree. Let me know what you think!8/5/15
I had long had the thought that my "Portals" scene would support one of my ultra-wide Triscreen images. My "Valley of the Stars" render was the first scene where I felt I should give it a try. Let me know what you think!7/22/15
Added a new version of "Valley of the Stars" tonight. Version 1 was pretty well received but I still had a change or two I wanted to make. This new version adds a small castle on the shore and I've smoothed out the water a bit.7/20/15
OK, some folks are vehemently against ongoing payments so by popular demand I am bringing back the Lifetime upgrade.
One major change though...
Only 1 per 24hrs will be sold.Members log in here and non-Members go here if you are interested in purchasing. Check back tomorrow if someone has already purchased it.
Valley of the Stars is new in the gallery today. It certainly took a lot less time to render than the day version because I removed most of the cloud cover from the sky. I left the mountain mist intact however.
The snowcaps are supposed to be lit by moonlight here, but I may need to practice that effect more with such wide-angle renders.
As before, I've chosen a single-screen area and cropped the multiscreen. I would like to do dedicated single-screen renders of both this and the day version someday soon.
Let me know what you think!7/17/15
Quite of a few Members have been writing me recently requesting that I offer my artwork on Society6's incredible products. I was sold when I saw the tapestries available, but they have a lot of other cool stuff too.
It may be a while before I can add more artwork to the collection. The images have to be crazy large to print reasonably well and I've added the large renders I have. Let me know if you have any requests!!
For the past few weeks I have been saying to anyone who would listen that my old Membership system was going to change. When I started the Members gallery as a way to support my artwork in 1999, everyone pretty much wrote checks for their bills every month and auto-payments weren't the norm. Times have changed. As more and more businesses have gone the auto-payment route over the years, it has now become all too easy to neglect payments that aren't automatic (such as renewals to your favorite wallpaper site).
My new "Indefinite" Memberships should solve this problem in the long term. The prices are so low, however, that I am going feel some pain in the short term. If you are a Lifetime Member and really want to help out, I encourage you to sign up for any of my Unlimited plans. There's a special "Lifetime Plus" level just for you guys, but you can purchase any level you like (your account will always be marked as "Lifetime) no matter what.
Here are the new Membership prices and plans. A lot of folks asked for yearly plans to avoid currency conversion charges. Each plan has monthly and yearly renewals.
Each plan has the same access to my files. The only difference between them is the signature glow and the signed print/thank you cards you receive. What if you still have 2 years left on your account? Your "days remaining" are frozen when you sign up for one of the new plans. They are returned to you if you cancel.
Lastly I wanted to mention that I am not storing anyone's payment information on my server. My merchant bank handles all of the payments for me.
Added "Valley of the Sun" to the gallery this afternoon. With this piece I was trying to learn how to properly texture my World Machine creations inside Vue d'Esprit. Like all of my "post-Shadowfax" projects, this render was designed first and foremost as a multiscreen wallpaper so I will probably have to go back and create something special for the single-screen majority.
You can now get started as a DB Member for as little as $5 a month, with higher options available for folks who want to really help support my work. Yes, that's a bit more expensive than before. I am hoping that if enough people sign up for the new options I might be able to bring on someone to help manage the site so I can concentrate more on the artwork.
Please let me know if you have any questions!!7/9/15
With this new version of "Ring of Fire (Night)" I've replaced the "fake" glow of v.2 with "real" volumetric light. The effect is a lot more immersive and creates a nice contrast with the moonlight. Triple-screen users gets a bit of lightning on the right screen.
Members please have a look at my new renewal options here. You can now upgrade your account to "Unlimited" status here and never have to worry about it expiring! CC only at the moment. PayPal coming soon!6/30/15
With the New Horizons probe quickly approaching its rendezvous with Pluto, I thought it might be fun to imagine just what it might find when it gets there.
I used to model all of my planets using Lightwave, but for this one I chose Vue d'Esprit because it has great options for adding a thin atmosphere and visible relief on the planet surface.
This piece isn't intended to be 100% scientifically accurate, but rather a fanciful (and hopefully artistic) view of Pluto from its moon Charon.
I hope you enjoy it! I may do a second, strictly single-screen, render of this next because I designed the scene as a wide frame multiscreen first. It took nearly 2.5 days to render at 15360 x 2880 on Shadowfax!6/17/15
Equip your diamond pick-axe because the DB Sandbox Challenge is here!
The past two Minecraft challenges were (IMO) huge successes. So much so that I thought I should make it a yearly event.
While first two contests focused primarily on Minecraft, I am opening it up this time to any sandbox game.Compose and post a screenshot that looks as close to my original as possible.
Submit your entry using this form
DB visitors will pick the winners based on their image ratings.
The contest has always been Minecraft based in the past but this year I'd like to open it to up to other "sandbox" games. If enough people enter I would like to have prizes in multiple categories along with the grand overall winner.
Some other sandbox games and level editors...
Prizes (starting point: these are subject to change):
Spread The Word!!
Page short link: http://bit.ly/1rNMYSQ
Ever since I started my Members Gallery I've been slowly removing free wallpapers from my site, hoping that the people who visit would sign up for my massive collection. Well, I'm not sure that's worked all too well.
Instead of a site that everyone could get something from, I ended up with a site with little to offer unless you were a Member.
That's about to change. As of today DB now offers more free HD wallpapers than at any time in the past 12 years. However, instead of having a separate "free gallery", as I did in the past, you will find the free images mixed with the rest of my collection.
Look for images with a white border in my gallery (you may need to reload the page for the border to show up). Once you click them you will find the "Free HD Wallpaper" link at the top of the page. Let the 1920 x 1080 images load fully and the right-click on the image to either save it to your computer or set it as your wallpaper.
I am considering adding some more free resolutions to the sample pages in the future and I will definitely be mixing them up from time to time.
Basically I want everyone, regardless of means, to find a great wallpaper in my collection. If you happen to become hooked, and you feel like giving a little back, then I hope you will think about either signing up as a Member or purchasing a wallpaper a la carte. Enjoy and please share with your friends!
Going forward I think I am going to start doing preliminary renders at 1440p, post those and only render the 5K (or multi-5K) images when I am "certain" that the image is final. That should speed up things around here for most of you who do not yet use 4K/5K monitors.
I'm interested to hear what you think of this policy in the comments
In other news, my a la carte wallpaper system will now send your purchased images directly to your email. It should work a lot smoother now so give it a try if you aren't a DB Member yet! Lastly, if you've been holding out on a DB Canvas then you will be pleased to know that Zazzle is offering 60% off for the next few days if you use the coupon code ZGREATESTDAD.
If the Patron level is too much for you I do offer a Donor level where you will receive a signed 4x6 of your choice.
"Manifold" is another Mandelbulb 3D creation. This time I am learning how to texture and better control the level of detail in my fractal renders. This one has three very different renders, two of them available in the Pickle Jar. Let me know which you prefer!
I'm also happy to announce that I've added "a la carte" image purchasing to my gallery. You no longer need purchase a Membership just to download one or two images. Now you can purchase them directly from me instead of searching for them on the torrent sites.5/30/15
A year ago I had the idea to teach Ian and Jason a lesson about what their Dad does for a living. Every week they have been signing Thank You cards which we then send out to the folks who have supported my artwork through Memberships and Renewals.
Thousands of cards and signatures later I think the lesson has been learned and I will be ending the Thank You card program once the remaining ~200 Highland Spring cards have been sent out.
Huge thanks to everyone who participated!!I will be discontinuing the postcards but will still be a way to get signed artwork. Become a Digital Blasphemy Donor and I will send you a signed 4x6 print of your choice. Patrons receive a signed canvas or art print of their choice.
My second render using MandelBulb 3D. This one combines the famous "Menger Sponge" with the "Ruckerbulb" and "Amazing Surf" fractals. 5/23/15
This one is still sort of "in-progress" but I thought it the first draft looked good enough to share in the gallery. I rendered the single-screen version on Bucephalus while Shadowfax is rendering the triple-5K. Hope to have that version finished soon!
In some areas it seems more powerful than the other app, but in others it isn't. It's a 32-bit program, for example, so I can only use 2 GB of my 128 installed GB to process images. This means some of the post-processing options (like DOF) run out of memory on large images.
I still think it's worth learning though. Let me know what you think of the first effort!
PS: You can now use the R/L arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through my gallery :-)5/16/15
The multiscreen finished rendering first in this case and then I had to wait until the single-screen was finished before I could post it here. Sorry for the wait!!
Here's the single screen for comparison...
I had such a great time discussing my new Shadowfax workstation with the redditors at /r/battlestations and /r/pcmasterrace that I was inspired to render a new multiscreen version of my "Fluorescence/Reddit" hybrid. I rendered this one on my Asfaloth mobile workstation.
Just for fun I added a few more aliens in the background ;-)
Here's a free triple 1080p version if anyone is interested. Members can download resolutions up to triple-5K here.5/1/15
Happy to scratch another neglected multiscreen render off of my list today. "Moondance" is finally available for dual and triple-monitors. It took just over a week to render on Bucephalus during which time I was able to develop new projects on Shadowfax :-)
Which neglected multiscreen should Bucephalus attack next from his new home in my basement?
I've added "Accretion (2015)" to the Members Gallery this morning. As with "Platonics", this scene was composed in Lightwave starting with a 48:9 frame (as opposed to the 16:10 frame I've used for the past 10 years). The single-screen was cropped from the triple-5k render. Here's what it looks like on Shadowfax...
I've tried to keep the center screen interesting here but I can't say if I would have designed it this way if I had started with a 16:9 frame. Let me know what you think!4/24/15Project Shadowfax was a resounding success. Huge thanks to everyone who donated! Here's the new page for my primary workstation and I've added a new page for "Arion".
I still have about 100 of the exclusive "Project Shadowfax" thank you cards (not everyone who donated wanted one). They will go to Digital Blasphemy Donors/Patrons on a first-come/first-served basis until they are gone.
I created this rather simple (but dense) abstract using Lightwave 11 in order to assess the feasibility of creating my images in a 48:9 aspect ratio from the start (as opposed to starting with a 16:9 frame). I chose "platonic solids" after watching an excellent NOVA special called "The Great Math Mystery" recently.
This new version was built "from scratch" and does render a bit faster. The jellyfish add considerably to the render time, but I think they improve the foreground greatly. I hope to finally be able to create a multiscreen version of this one. There was little hope for the 2014 version though.
I will keep either the 2014 version of the this new one. Your ratings and comments will decide it!4/05/15
I've long been fascinated with the descriptions of the dragon's eggs in the world of "The Song of Ice and Fire". Most of the ones I've seen represented IRL have huge scales but the description from the text says they are tiny. I chalked this up to craftspeople maybe not having the ability to create tiny scales. This is not a problem that I have on my computer however.
PS: I'm hoping to have Shadowfax ready for duty by early this week!! Huge thanks again to everyone who supported the project. I will be shutting down the fundraiser site shortly.
I still have a good sized stack of Highland Spring thank you postcards (since I had to order 250 extra to get the amount I needed). These will go out to folks who sign up as a Patron, Donor or Sponsor here until they are gone!3/30/15
The landforms were modeled using World Machine and are the first such efforts to appear in my gallery. Likewise, the cacti are my first original efforts modeled using "The Plant Factory". They appear at different levels-of-detail throughout the scene.
There are quite a few things I would like to change about this scene but I thought it looked nice enough to share as is and it has been too long since I've been able to update my gallery. Just rendering at 4K took nearly 72 hours!
I first attempted a 5K render that went for 5 days being lost to an inadvertent reboot. I re-rendered at 4K to save time so that is why I do not have a 5k version to offer at the moment. Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste
As soon as this image is posted I will be shutting down Bucephalus, installing my new GTX 980 and swapping out my old Dell 3007 for as many of my new BenQ 4K panels as I can get to run. I hope to have the rest of Shadowfax assembled and in action within a week or so.
Since there are no consumer UHD+ 16:10 monitors, this might be the last render I create at that aspect ratio...3/27/15
PS: NEW RENDER SOON!!
Project Shadowfax is now underway!
I've ordered the following parts this morning...
The fundraiser was so successful that I've been able to purchase a 3rd machine (a Bucephalus clone) that will act as a third renderer! I will be calling this machine "Arion".
My plan is to have three machines with each one hooked up to a 4K monitor on my desk. The actual machines will be in a room below me in my basement (keeping cool hopefully). Then I can just switch between them and work/render 3 projects at a time!I will shut the fundraiser down when 48 hours elapse between donations. All funds that I've received beyond the initial goal will be used to update my software arsenal and generally help keep DB running for another year.
I blew past my Project Shadowfax funding goals yesterday with one well-timed email to my Lifetime Members. Thank you!!
I would love to move my workstations to a (much cooler) room in my basement and work on them from my office upstairs. I would love for my office to not sound like the deck of an aircraft carrier and be 15 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. Beyond that I might have enough to to build a third machine to house the 48 GB of RAM that I just pulled out of Bucephalus. In short, the extra support will go to good use!! Huge thanks to everyone who donated. I had to order another 500 "Highland Spring" Thank You cards this morning!!
So many folks have requested a green Fluorescence for St. Paddy's day over the years. Why haven't I done it before? Good question. I just remembered today because I wanted to use a green version of "Fluorescence" for my Facebook Page Profile Pic but saw to my chagrin that I didn't have one!
Rather than simply shift the hue of the blue version using Photoshop I chose to re-shade and re-render the mushrooms using "shamrock green" (#009E60). Since I went to all that trouble I thought I should probably post the wallpaper for my Members (multiscreens available too!).
Please enjoy responsibly!! Stay tuned for the multiscreen version of "Weirwood" and something new...3/5/15
"The weirwood's bark was white as bone, its leaves dark red, like a thousand bloodstained hands. A face had been carved in the trunk of the great tree, its features long and melancholy, the deep-cut eyes red with dried sap and strangely watchful." -- A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I'm a huge "Song of Ice and Fire" fan and I've wanted to do a render of a "heart tree" for a long time. I've posted a series of "making of" photos on my Instagram account if anyone is interested.As with all of my Vue d'Esprit renders lately, this one took an extremely long time to finish at 5K. Of course I am planning to do a multiscreen but it may be a while. If you are already a Member and a fan of my multiscreen renders I ask that you consider supporting my "Project Shadowfax" which should greatly speed up the process of bringing you artwork for your multiple screens!! 3/4/15
Here are the exclusive "Highland Spring" thank you cards that will go out to everyone who donates $20 or more to Project Shadowfax. Each card will be hand-signed on the front by myself and on the back by the whole Bliss family...
I hope to have my newest render up tomorrow so stay tuned!!
A few items to report this morning. First, I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "Hexagram" to the Members Gallery. The multi-4K versions, however, are still rendering. Check back in a day or two and I should them available (along with smoother renders for the lower-resolutions). Since I used Lightwave for this render I have the luxury of letting Fprime "refine" the render while I use what I have.
Next I wanted to mention that Google will no longer accept payments for "digital goods" after March 1. If you want to use your Google Wallet funds to purchase a Membership or Renew you have until the end of the day on 3/1 to do so. This one hurts because quite a few Members have used it in the past year and I thought it was working really well.
Lastly I wanted to mention that my new Vue d'Esprit projects is rendering on Bucephalus right now and I hope to have it up before the end of the week. Things would certainly move faster if I had another workstation...
"The Promise of Spring" is new in the Members Gallery this morning. Hard to believe it has been 7 years since I posted the original. I was never quite satisfied with how blocky and chaotic everything came out in the first version. I think this one has a bit more pop.
I am not totally satisfied with how Vue d'Esprit's DOF came out this time. Some areas are great but others have a few artifacts (which are less noticeable at the lower resolutions). I do think it's looks nice enough to share in my gallery while I make any necessary revisions. Dual and triple-screen versions are available too!
You might recognize my cherry tree model from Sakura (2013).
This render is for anyone ready for Winter to be over...
Shadowfax Update:Thanks so much to everyone who decided that last week was the right time to support my work and help me along towards my new workstation. I would say that I am about a 10th of the way there however so I still need your help!
A lot of folks have suggested that I set up a crowdfunding effort for the new machine so here goes. Let me know if you have any questions!
A couple of items to mention. First, "Hexagram" is new in the Members Gallery tonight. Continuing my education with "Structure Synth". I have a new Vue d'Esprit render going as well, but it is still a ways off...
Second, I've put together a page for "Project Shadowfax". That is a name I've chosen for my next workstation. I hope you will take a look and help me make it a reality!!
I've added "Recursion" to the abstracts gallery tonight. I am still learning to use "Structure Synth" and this structure spoke to me for some reason. I should be able to do a multiscreen fairly soon as well. Speaking of multiscreens...
I received an email from a fan this morning that may be of interest to multiscreen users... My name is Jake, long-time fan and lifetime member. The last 5 wallpapers have not had the dual screen options, what’s going on? Those are the only ones I use. I have 3 dual screen setups, and I use display fusion to rotate every 15 mins between your most recent 30 wallpapers. Are the most recent wallpapers going to be offered in dual screen format anytime soon? Thanks man, much appreciated.My reply... Thanks for writing! I apologize for the slowdown in dual-screens. The simple answer is that I don't have the hardware right now to render multi-5K scenes in Vue d'Esprit. The single 5K renders are taking between 7-10 days at this point so multiply that by 3 (rendering for 2 extra 5K screens) and you see my problem. Lord help me when 8K monitors come out... I should be able to bite into my backlog when get a new workstation later this spring. Then I can set my current rig to start rendering Vue multiscreens. Until then you might want to try using the 5K single screen image and see if you can find an interesting crop to fit your config? PS: I would add that I am working on a couple of Lightwave scenes right now (while rendering the multiscreen version of "Moondance") so there should be a few new multiscreens coming soon! ~Ryan All hardware and software purchases, of course, have to be approved by the DB Master of Coin (Jessie). She tells me that a lot more people need to sign up and renew before we can lay out for a new render-beast. You can help by signing up or renewing today or you can visit my new Patreon page.
tldr -- I need your help so I can get a new machine to keep up with the 4K/5K (8K?) monitors to come!
Moondance is new in the Members Gallery this morning after around 72 hours rendering at 5K. Those of you who checked out the Members-Only WIP preview will notice that I've added quite a few more light sources to the scene. Let me know what you think in the comments!
I definitely need to upgrade my rendering hardware this year if I am going to be doing 5K renders for all my wallpapers. If you have a 4K or 5K monitor (or plan to get one) I would certainly appreciate you not taking the sliding sale discount when you sign up or renew! The faster I can render these the more I can post in a year. Thanks!!
I've added "Ringshine" to the Members Gallery this morning. This render was inspired by an article I saw online imagining what our skies would look like with rings like Saturn.
I'll say it again: Rendering everying at 5K is really going to tax my existing hardware so this might be the year I have to get a new workhorse. If you would like to help me with this effort please think about becoming a Member, renewing your Membership, purchasing a print, becoming a Patron/Donor, or simply leaving a small tip (if you are already a Lifetime Member). Thank you!!
This particular crystal was created while I was showing my son Jason how to use the program back when he was only 6 years old (he entered the parameters, I completed the shading which is really the hard part). For this render I created the "threads" in Xfrog and rendered the whole using Lightwave 11.
Happy 2015 everyone! My two main machines are still rendering Vue landscapes so I've been working on my old Macbook Pro the past few days. "Synctorii" is new in the Members Gallery today...
"Synctorii" is my first wallpaper of 2015. I modeled and rendered this one completely on my trusty 2010 Macbook Pro. Trust me, if you ever want to stay warm in the winter try 3D modeling on a Macbook (using Windows!). My IR thermometer measured 130 degrees on the bottom...
I guess this render is my imagining just what might be going on beneath all that brushed aluminum...
Bucephalus is rendering the last of my "December Ice" series. It's a successor to "Circumpolar" but not necessarily a remake. The translucent ice, however, is taking forever to render due. It should be finished in the next couple of days (fingers-crossed).
My Asfaloth mobile workstation is rendering a new Vue landscape which I will not spoil by describing..
Rendering everying at 5K is really going to tax my existing hardware so this might be the year I have to get a new workhorse. If you would like to help me with this effort please think about becoming a Member, renewing your Membership, purchasing a print, becoming a Patron/Donor, or simply leaving a small tip (if you are already a Lifetime Member). Thank you!!
Besides new hardware, I thinking 2015 may just be the year I update the main website and finally produce usable mobile apps. I would be happy to listen to any and all input my Members may have about the what they would like to see from such efforts!
last updated 01/28/16