2003 News Updates
- I've made one last, very minor, revision to "Boughs of Holly" and I've posted a widescreen version.
- I took this photo of Ian to use on our family Christmas cards this year. I thought it would be nice to share with you all. Happy Holidays from all of us here at DB!
- LATE UPDATE:I worked a little more on the "Boughs of Holly" today, focusing on improving the look of the berries. Many of you correctly noted that they looked a little too "perfect", so I've tried to make them look a little more realistic. I saw no need to keep the old version around, so I've simply overwrittenthe old files with the new.
- After working on "The Ride", I thought it would be nice to do a holiday image with some color. I tinkered around with a few different ideas before I came up with something which, I hope, looks festive and fits the season. The new render, "Boughs of Holly" (as in "Deck the halls with..."), is up for your review on the new images page. I may fool around with it a little more over the weekend, but this will be my last new project until after Christmas. I hope you like it!
- Any of you thinking of purchasing my CD or a Calendar as a Christmas present might be interested to know that Cafepress is offering 2 day shipping for the price of standard shipping. Unfortunately, the deal only last through the end of today.
- From some of the emails I received last week, I got the impression that you dual-screen users were feeling left out as far as Holiday wallpapers were concerned. Sorry about that. As I've said time and again, creating dual-screen wallpapers is a lot more difficult than creating a widescreen (16 x 9) image. Most of my images would easily adapt to a widescreen frame, but very few of them work as dual-screens.
One that does work is my latest image, "The Ride 2003". I spent the weekend adapting it for use as a dual-screen image, adding some more forest for the left side screen. The render is now up in the dual-screen gallery. I hope you like it. I promise I'll try to adapt more of my work in 2004!
- LATE UPDATE: I've posted a new render of "The Ride" on the new images pages. I've made a couple of changes to the sky to try and get rid of the color banding for the earlier version and I've calmed the water in the lake a little so you can see more reflections. I've also made the sleigh and reindeer a little larger (but not much). An updated "riderless" version is also available in the Pickle Jar.
- One of my favorite Christmas renders has always been "The Ride" from 1998. I love the idea, but the execution left something to be desired. For example, the "forest" was made up of bare spikes (that was all Bryce could do) and Santa's sleigh was a low-res alpha map. I've always thought that I could do better, and this year I decided it was time to try.
The new render is now up on the new images page. The image was produced using World Builder (which does really nice forests). I kept the sky from the original Bryce render, because I liked the ice ring, and I tried to keep the general composition the same. There's also a version without Santa's sleigh for those of you who prefer it that way.
I still have a few issues that I want to work out, but I think it looks nice enough to share. What do you think?
- I've also added two widescreen Christmas renders. "Blue Christmas (2002)" and "Spirit of the Season" are available in 1920 x 1200 in the Widescreen gallery.
- Just in time for Christmas, my CDROM has been updated to version 5. It is current up to today including my latest render, "Gaea". New in this edition are the 1280 x 1024 renders, the 2560 x 1024 dual-screen files, and the split dual-screen files. I've added all this stuff, but the price remains the same ($14.95 for a copy with a jewel case and full-color insert, $10.95 for a copy with a plain paper sleeve). Makes a great stocking stuffer. Enjoy!
- Sorry I've been out of touch for so long. Jessie and I decided to take Ian back to Illinois last week to spend Thanksgiving with my relatives. We left last Wednesday and arrived back in warm southern Cal early this morning. I was away from my email the whole time so today was spent catching up on that.
Ian had a wonderful time meeting his great-grand-parents and various Aunts and Uncles. He was a great kid the whole time. We were afraid that being passed around so much would make him fussy, but he took it all in stride. He didn't even cry on the airplane. Jessie and I are two very proud (and relieved) parents.
So now I'm going to take a day or two and decompress before getting back to work. Be on the lookout for a new Christmas wallpaper. Ho ho ho...
- Added "Gaea" to the gallery this evening. Nothing too fancy, but I think it makes for a tranquil desktop. Hope you like it. I've also posted a widescreen version of "Cosmic Shoals".
- Added "Cosmic Shoals" to the gallery this evening. I held onto this one for a few extra days, adding and removing different elements. In the end, everything I added looked extraneous and unecessary to me (complexity for complexity's sake) so I am going with the simple look. This is essentially the same version I mentioned in my Saturday post, which Jessie told me to go ahead and post. I may try some more tweaks in the days to come, so be on the lookout for updates.
- Just wanted you all to know that I am working on a new wallpaper. Jessie tells me that it's good enough to post right now, but I want to hold onto it for a few more days. It needs a little extra something. I'd love for it to be done by Monday, but Ian's baptism is Sunday and with all the grandparents hanging out it will be difficult for me to find time for modeling. I hope to have it up early next week.
- Thanks to everyone who wrote me with opinions on the dual-monitor split files. Since so many of you seem to have uses for them (especially Mac users) I will be keeping them around.
- After tinkering some more with "The Source", I've come to conclusion that I am happy with it (for the time being) and I'm ready to move on. I've posted a widescreen version and a few more color variations in the Pickle Jar.
- I've added 2560 x 1024 versions of all the dual-screen images, so those of you with 2 1280 x 1024 screens should be able to use my work now. I'm thinking about removing the split files though. They don't really get used that much. If anyone has any strong objections please drop me a line.
- I've posted another revision to "The Source". I'm getting closer to being happy with this one.
- The great majority of the comments I receieved regarding "The Source" have been asking if I could change the color from green to blue. That's fine with me, as I was on the fence myself about which color to use. I've re-rendered the image in blue it's up on the new images page. The green version is still available in the Pickle Jar. Which do you prefer?
- I've added the dual-monitor version of "Once Upon a Time" that I mentioned last week. I'm sorry it took so long, but adding the lighting effects really upped the render time considerably. Hopefully I can have a dual-screen Twilight render up in another week or so. Hope you like it!
- If you were around last year, you might remember that Jessie and I were married on October 12th. I essentially took last October off so I could help her set everything up, have the wedding, and then spend some quality time on the beach. We had a great time, but one of the unfortunate consequences was that I was unable to do any Halloween images last year.
So October has rolled around again and the candy is on the store shelves. Time for some spooky desktops.
My newest wallpaper, "Awakening", is now up for your review. Hope you like it. You can check out the rest of my Halloween images by using my search engine.
- A few items to report today. First, I've added 1280 x 1024 renders to the 2001 and 2000 galleries. Second, "Once Upon a Time" (the day version) is now available as a poster. I'll have to do a little tweaking before the twilight version is ready. You might also be interested to know that Zazzle now offers framing and matting options so your prints can arrive ready to hang.
Third, I have a dual-screen version of "Once Upon a Time" rendering and I think you dual-head folks will really enjoy it. It will be done in a few days (I hope).
Lastly, I just received my copy of "3D World" magazine in the mail and saw that the full version of World Builder 2.3 is available on the included CDROM. It's the same program I used to create "Valley 2000", "Glenwood", "Sunset Fog" and "Song of the Sky" (and many others). I'm not sure what the magazine goes for on the newstand (over $10 I think) but considering that I paid over $900 for my copy of World Builder, it's a pretty good deal. The issue features "Finding Nemo" on the front cover and should be on newstands soon. Happy Rendering!
- Go Cubs!!
- I've added widescreen renders of both "Once Upon a Time" versions to the gallery. Since so many of you have expressed a preference for the twilight version, I've decided that it will reside in the Night Scenery gallery. Thanks again for all the feedback!
- Go Cubs!
- Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts with me regarding the two versions of "Once Upon a Time". Opinions were split pretty much down the middle. The decision will have to be up to me and I think I've settled on the version I think works best for the main gallery (the brighter version). I've posted a slightly revised version of the brighter image, with a little less haze and little more color in the atmosphere. I've also removed most of the grainy noise which was present in the original render. I've also posted a "smoother" version of the purple version. It's only available in the Pickle Jar for now, until I decide whether or not I want two versions of this image in my gallery.
- UPDATE: Hmmmm. There seems to be some disagreement on which version of "Once..." is better. If you have an opinion please drop me a line. Thanks!
- I've posted an updated version of "Once Upon a Time". I felt the first version was a little too hazy. The version posted yesterday will remain available in the Pickle Jar. Now that I've changed this one, I'm a little conflicted as to whether it is "day scenery" or "night scenery". I would like to do a moonlit night version, so I think I'll put this one in the day scenery gallery (the sun is still up after all).
- As I mentioned back in the 13th, I've been taking this past week off. I've been spending the time trying to help Jessie recuperate from her surgery and helping take care of Ian (which is a full-time job in itself). Tomorrow I will be getting back to work, though I don't have an ETA for a new wallpaper. Thanks everyone for being patient with the new dad here.
- I'm happy to announce that the Digital Blasphemy 2004 Wall Calendars are now available for sale. Last year I created one calender for sale, but this year I am offering five different themes. You can choose from Classic, Nature, Space, Structure, or Abstract images. Hope you like them!
- In case you missed it, the members gallery disappeared from the web last Sunday. The hard drive it was stored on failed (a blown out IC) and refused to be read.
The gallery had been humming along nicely on the same 300 MHz Pentium (with a doomed 3 GB HD) ever since 1999. I'd been asked repeatedly by the folks at Rackspace if I wanted to upgrade my system, but I always thought "if it ain't broke, why fix it".
Last Sunday it broke, so I decided to fix it. I've moved the members (and secure) server to the relatively fast AMD 1.3 GHz with 256 MB of RAM. It's faster than most of the machines I've used to render my graphics and it should hold us for a few years more. I've also started doing weekly tape backups (which I had thought were happening all along) so the next time my HD goes south we should be back up in a matter of hours.
As you can see, most of the gallery is back online. I am still working to upload the PNG collection and the ZIPs. There' s over 900 MB of files to upload, and my DSL seems to have a capped upload speed of around 15K per second. It will probably take the rest of the day, during which time you will see some error messages on the gallery pages. Sorry about that.
Whether you tried to log in during the outage or not, I apologize for the fact that it happened. I've gone ahead and added 14 days to everyone's memberships to cover both the week I was down, and a weeks break that I am going to be taking starting tomorrow.
I want to say a big thanks to everyone who wrote me such supportive emails during the outage, and especially those who made note of my 32nd birthday on Thursday. I had a wonderful day (celebrated with a nice Tandoori dinner that evening) surrounded by friends and family. What more could anyone ask for?
- I've added a dual-monitor version of "Binary". Someone wrote me today asking why most of the dual monitor images all have the "main subject" on one side and then not much on the other. The answer is that all of the dual-monitor screens have been adapted from single screen images. In most cases, the content of the image will not cleanly seperate over two screens so I've chosen to keep the main focus on one screen and simply extend the field of view to cover a second screen. The dual-monitor version of "Binary" is an exception to this.
- I've added four new posters to my Zazzle collection. "Latticework", "Mandala", "Binary", and "Valley" are all now available. I've been working on rendering others (including "Gazebo 2003" and "Conjunction 2003") but have been having trouble getting the renders to complete on my networked workstations. I'd rather not take my main workstation out of comission for a whole week just to render a poster, but it might come down to that.
- I've posted a minor update to "Binary" in which I've tweaked the texture on the red giant a little, hopefully making it look a little more 3D. As I haven't made any major changes to the content of the image, I've decided not to place the original render in the Pickle Jar.
- After I posted "Grotto", someone wrote me and mentioned that the image had a definite "birth" theme. I agree. My work often interprets of the goings on in my personal life, but it only becomes obvious when I've shared the events with all of you (as with the recent birth of my son, Ian).
With that in mind, I will leave it to you to decipher the basis for my latest addition the gallery, "Binary". Whether or not you search for deeper meaning, I hope you enjoy it on your desktop. I've also posted a widescreen version.
- How about a couple of new baby pictures? Here's a cute close-up of his little face, and here's one of him sleeping on his daddy's shoulder.
- As mentioned earlier, I had been working on a new project when the baby came. I finally found the time yesterday to put the finishing touches on it and I think it's ready to share this morning. It's called "Grotto" and it's up on the new images page now. I was a little bit distracted during its construction, but I hope you like it all the same.
- For those of you who have been asking, here are a couple of new baby pictures: Ian with his mommy, and getting his hair washed for the first time at home. I'll try not to overload my site with baby pictures, though I am definitely stricken with "Proud Papa Syndrome".
- Late Update -- I've added a new version of "Grotto", this time without the kayaker. I wanted something to be there, so I replaced him with some marine mammals. The original version, along with a version with only empty water, is in the Pickle Jar.
- Thanks everyone for all the wonderful emails! I've enjoyed reading them and I know Jessie will too. She's healing up wonderfully and the two of them should be ready to come home sometime tomorrow. Luckily my Mom flew out from Illinois to help me get the house straightened up!
Of course, like any proud dad I've been snapping away with my camera. I thought I've share a few more pictures of my son, this time with his eyes open. He's changed a lot in just a couple of days! I've posted three photos taken this afternoon, here, here, and here (with his mom).
I started a new image late last week, but I don't exactly know when it will be finished and ready to post. Hopefully sometime next week. Thanks for being patient with me!
- I've added some different color versions of "Latticework" in the PickleJar. If you'd like to have a different color, I recommend you open up the original in your favorite image editior and play around with the Hue settings.
- I'd hoped to have some good news to post this week, but we're still waiting. Our OB told us last Monday that he was "80% certain" that the baby would come last week. The baby had other ideas though and he's taking his own sweet time, refusing to be rushed. We did have plenty of "false starts" however.
I didn't work on any new projects last week so I could stick close to Jessie. Now, for my sanity, I'm going to get busy working again on something new. I can't say when it will done (especially since I haven't started yet) but hopefully everyone will understand that this month will be a little weird around here and not to expect the "normal" complement of new work.
- Added a new abstract, "Tendrils", to the gallery today. I also posted a couple of different color schemes in the Pickle Jar. This image should work well as a dual-monitor wallpaper so look for one in the next couple of days. Hope you like it!
- After posting my updated version of "Gazebo" last month, I received quite a few emails from folks suggesting other images which could be revisited. My 1998 image "Conjunction" was mentioned more than once. Earlier this week I started working on an update.
"Conjunction" is a tricky image to update. I still like the original and didn't want to do a complete overhaul; rather I wanted to do an update which was faithful to the original but also updated the parts which I felt were a little clunky. Hopefully I was successful, but you be the judge. The result is now up on the new images page.
There may be a tweak or two left before I'm completely happy with it, but I think it's good enough to share. Let me know if you have any comments.
- I've been working hard on a new wallpaper this week and I wanted to have it ready by this morning. Unforutnately it's just not where I want it to be yet, so I'm going to keep working on it rather than post it prematurely. I hope to have it up sometime this weekend , or tonight at the earliest.
- Added "Mandala" to the gallery today. The thumbnail really doesn't do this one justice so please withhold judgement until you've seen the hi-res image. Hope you like it!
- Some of you have inquired as to how Jessie is doing. The baby is due on August 8th, but realistically he could arrive any time during the next 30 days. Jessie is holding up well but I think she's ready for the pregnancy to be over. We're taking a Lamaze course this weekend and trying to get everything ready around the house. All in all I'm pretty excited (and more than a little nervous). I'll post here when I have more news!
- Thanks to everyone who wrote me with their views on the "clouds vs no clouds" issue. I've come to decide that the cloudless version is the better one, and I've swtiched out the Pickle Jar/Gallery images. The cloudless version will be featured in the gallery from now on. Both versions will, of course, be available in the Pickle Jar.
I've added a dual-screen and a widescreen version as well. Enjoy!
- By now I've gotten around 20 emails from folks mentioning that they spotted one of my images ("Fluorescence") on the computer used by the cast of the new "The Real World (Paris)" show. Thanks everyone for the heads up! Feel free to write if you spot my work elsewhere on the Tube, but further emails regarding "The Real World" are unnecessary.
FYI, I didn't arrange anything with MTV. I don't mind that they are using my work (quite the contrary) and I won't be suing them ;-)
- Added "Majesty" to the gallery this afternoon. It's based on some of the elements I created for "Gazebo". I was somewhat torn between a version with clouds in the sky and a version without, so I decided to post them both and let you decide which works better. I think the clouds add depth to the image, but I think the colors are bolder in the version without. If you have an opinion on the matter, I would love to hear it.
- Added "Protist" to the gallery this afternoon. Don't know why this sort of image has been on my mind recently. Once I've decided on the final version I will post different sized renders (1280 x 1024, widescreen, dual-screen). Hope you like it!
- I've uploaded a new batch of 1280 x 1024 renders, this time covering all of the images added to the gallery in 2002 (47 in all). Most of them are re-rendered and re-framed to keep as much of the original 4:3 image as possible. In some cases this results in more information that in the 4:3 version. In a few cases it was impossible to do a re-render (upgrading software sometimes breaks old scene files), so I simply cropped the original image as best I could. I've integrated the 1280 x 1024 images into the gallery so you can find them in the 2003 and 2002 sections. If you want to download them all at once I've put them in a Zip File here ([an error occurred while processing this directive]).
While this all certainly comes as joyous news to 1280 x 1024 users, I can already hear the rest of you tapping your feet waiting for a new image. Sorry this has all taken longer than I had anticipated. I'm going to hold off on doing the 2001 collection for a while (I might just do selected "favorites") and get back to working on some new stuff.
- I've just added my lastest wallpaper, "Solus", to the gallery. I'd wanted to have it ready by last night, but I just wasn't happy with how it looked. To be honest, there's still some things I would like to tweak, but I think it is at a point where I can display it and hear what you have to say.
- Happy Easter to you all. I just wanted to let you know that I'm still putting the finishing touches on my new wallpaper and I hope to have it up by this evening.
- I'm proud to annouce that the latest edition of my CDROM is now available from Cafepress. I'm calling this one "Version 4.5" because I usually update that disc every year in late fall. When I learned that Cafepress was going to be selling data CDs, I had to jump at the chance since they have done such a good job handling my calendars, mousepads, etc.
The CD comes in two flavors. You can get it in a jewel-case with full color printed inserts for $14.95, or you can opt for a simple paper sleeve (with transparent window) for $10.95.
I'm happy to annouce that the disc will finally be available overseas and you will be able to place orders over the phone. Cafepress also accepts PayPal orders and orders paid with a check or money order.
If you have any questions about the disc, feel free to drop me a line.
- Over the years I've had quite a few people write me asking if I would ever do a Easter wallpaper. Up until now the answer had always been "we'll see".
I don't know what came over me this weekend, but I felt the time had come to do something colorful and festive. The result is called "Ostereier" and it's up now on the new images page. I hope you like it!
I have another, non-Easter, project in the works and I hope to have that up by the end of the week.
- I've had a few different projects going since I returned from Illinois last week, and one of them I think is ready to show. "Agni" (def) is now up on the new images page for your review. It is a companion piece to last year's "Indra". Hope you like it!
- I'm still working on putting my new CDROM together. It's taken a back seat recently to completing this latest wallpaper. I'll post here when it's ready.
- The "2003" gallery pages will go up after a post my next wallpaper. It has been my tradition to wait until all of last years images have moved off the "New Images" page before sorting this years work into galleries.
- I've purchased a copy of Mojoworld last week and I hope to add it to my software stable soon. From my initial experiements it looks like it will take some time to get used to it, but if I can learn World Builder I think I can learn anything. Stay tuned for more.
- Jessie and I got back from Illinois late last night and I've been spending today digging myself out from under a pile of emails. The purpose of our trip was threefold. Wednesday and Thursday we visited my In-Laws and some old friends in Iowa City. Friday we drove to Bloomington IL and spent the weekend with my family. Sunday I opened my showing in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore, and then went directly from there to my grandfather's 90th birthday party (the real reason for the trip). The whole trip was awesome.
Last Friday the Pantagraph, the local Bloomington newspaper, ran a feature article about me and my work. I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago over the phone. I've taken the liberty of scanning the article (it isn't available from the Pantagraph web site) and posting it here for you. Check it out if you're interested (warning to 56K users: it's around 800 KB to download).
I hope to start work on a new wallpaper either tomorrow or Thursday. I'm also in the process of putting together a new CDROM edition and a few new posters. The new CD will be available through CafePress, instead GoldenROM, so it will finally be available internationally.
- After tinkering with "Core Chamber" for a couple of days, I've come to the conclusion that the version that I don't want to add anything else. I'm going to leave it as is. I have posted one extra version in the Pickle Jar however, in which I've removed the red lighting from the chamber. I like the more consistent coloring, but not enough to replace the version in the gallery. I've also added a 1920 x 1200 widescreen version. I'll start work on a new image next week after I've returned from Illinois (I hope to see a few of you there this Sunday).
- Jessie and I visited the OB today and got another look at our developing baby. Everything appears to be progressing normally. We also found out that we are having a boy, which means I won the bet Jess and I had going (she now has to watch a movie of my choosing). As excited as I am to be having a son, I can't help but be a little sad giving up my dreams of a baby girl. Maybe next time...
- Added "Core Chamber" to the gallery today. I haven't yet decided if I am done working on this, and I'll probably spend the rest of today and tomorrow trying to figure out if there's anything else I want to add. Either way, I hope you like it.
- I just wanted to chime in here and say that I am busy working on a new wallpaper. I'm doing a lot of modeling for this one so it is taking a little longer than usual. I've also been distracted the past couple of days watching events unfold on CNN. I'd hoped to have the new image ready by tomorrow, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. It should hopefully be up sometime this weekend.
- Added "Locus", an new abstract, to the gallery today. There are two versions available, and it was hard for me to choose which one to feature in the gallery. I liked elements of both, but in the end I settled on the darker version on the new images page. If you have an opinion, let me know.
- Added a new wallpaper, "Simple Pleasures", to the gallery today. The blooms are based on orchids that Jessie received as a birthday present. I'm still playing around with this one, so there may be an update or two over the weekend (perhaps even later this afternoon).
- It appears that Zazzle is back online with their new and updated web site. Among the changes they are offering a new print size, called Colossal (52" x 78"). I've seen one of these prints and they are truly massive.
None of the prints in my collection are currently available at this size. I would have to re-render them, but I would like to gauge interest before I do so. If you are interested in having a print this size, please drop me a line and let me know which images you are interested in. Thanks!
- UPDATE (11:20 PST): I've replaced the version of "Simple Pleasures" I posted this morning with a slightly reframed version.
- Thanks to everyone who wrote me with comments and suggestions regarding the "Captiol Records" issue (see post from 2/27). I'm currently working to resolve the issue and I'll let you all know how it all turns out.
- I've added a couple of new renders to the widescreen gallery. "Rebirth" and "The Gardener" are now available. Coincidentally I learned yesterday that Dell is now offering a new notebook (the Inspiron 8500) with a widescreen monitor capable of 1920 x 1200.
- I'm currently working on a new wallpaper and I hope to have it ready by this weekend.
- My workstation is back up and running now, and I've done a new render of "Rebirth". I removed the bluish haze which makes everything look a lot more green and lush. The original is still available in the Pickle Jar.
- I'd meant to do some more work on "Rebirth" today, but unfortunately my computer had other ideas. Just as I was finishing up on my computer last night, my hard drive made a sputtering noise and then died. I wasn't able to restart the machine.
Luckily I was able to hook the drive up to one of my other machines and save off all of my most important data. It won't work as a boot drive in my main machine though. The nice folks at Dell have promised to send me another drive ASAP (it should be here by Monday at the latest) and as soon as it arrives I will restore everything and start fresh. BTW, I'm posting this from my laptop.
- My work has been on the web for six years now (seven if you count the images I posted on AOL back in 1996). As far as people using my work without my permission, I thought I had seen it all. I guess I was wrong. Case in point: someone tipped me off that my "Tropic of Capricorn" image was being used in a country music video. I couldn't believe it until I saw it for myself.
You can see it too: just check out the video for Jennifer Hanson's "Beautiful Goodbye" at the Capitol Records-Nashville homepage. I'm flattered to see my work on TV (even though I'm not a big country music fan) but I do wish they had asked me first. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to respond to this...
- Jessie and I went to the OB again this morning and I was able to hear our baby's heartbeat for the very first time. It definitely put my computer hardware problems into proper perspective. Everything is progressing normally. Next month we go back to find out whether we are having a boy or a girl. I'll keep you posted.
- I've added three new posters, "Arboreal", "Satori", and "Cradle", to my Zazzle collection.
Speaking of posters, I'm proud to announce the first ever "public showing" of my work. Actually it was my Mom's idea. She's arranged to have my work on display in my hometown Barnes & Noble bookstore through the month of April. The prints will go up on Sunday, March 30th. Jessie and I will be in the store between 12:00 and 2:30 that afternoon (in the café).
I'll be available to answer questions and do general "meet-the-artist" type stuff. I'll also be happy to sign posters if you bring them along, but I won't be selling any at the store. It will all be very informal.
The store is located in Bloomington, IL. If any of you live in the Twin Cities or in Central Illinois and feel like stopping by, we'd would love to meet you.
- I'm going to start working on something new tomorrow, aiming to have a new wallpaper up by the end of the week. Thanks everyone for being patient with me!
- I've added widescreen versions of "Arboreal", "Aquamarine", "Hybrid", and "Song of the Sky".
- Last week I decided to take a short break from creating new wallpapers. I just needed to do something else for a little while and recharge my batteries. Rather then let the time go completely to waste however, I've set about addressing some of the special requests which I get on a daily basis.
I'm always getting emails from folks using Apple Cinema displays asking me to render wallpapers to fit their screens. If you have one of these widescreen monitors, this is your lucky day. I've just posted a starter collection of 14 wallpapers at 1920 x 1200 resolution. They will fit the larger Apple displays (and some other widescreen monitors), and can be scaled down to accurately fit the widescreen Ibook displays (I hope).
If you like these and want to see more, please drop me a line and let me know.
- Added "Arboreal" to the gallery today. I just know I'm going to get a ton of email from people telling me that this one is too dark for their screens. It's dark on my monitor too, but that's the point. It's supposed to be a somber night scene where everything is just barely visible. It is definitely best viewed in a dark room on a sharp monitor. I hope it works for some of you at least.
- I've added a dual-monitor version of Alpine to the 2X gallery.
- A week or so ago, the Friday before the Super Bowl, Jessie and I were watching the late local news when something unusual happened. The broadcast cut to a live interview with Columbia astronauts William McCool, Michael Anderson, and David Brown. McCool, who had been born in San Diego, was the focus of the interview. He spoke of his fond memories of the city (especially the Zoo), predictions for the Super Bowl, and his hope that the thousands of soldiers deploying to the Middle East would all come home safely. Very cool.
It's a shame that most of us only seem to notice the space program when something goes wrong. Outside of Israel and India, I doubt that many of us even knew that Columbia was bound for home yesterday, or would have celebrated if she had landed safely. These brave folks fly for all of us, and each successful flight inches us away from our base origins and towards our future in the stars. When we eventually return to space I can only hope we pay as much attention to the successes as we do the failures, and honor the astronauts who live as well as the ones who perish.
- On a lighter note, I added "Alpine" to the gallery this morning. CG mountains are a dime-a-dozen on the web, but I wanted to see if there was anything I could add to the genre. I hope you like it.
- Thanks to all the folks who wrote Jessie with birthday greetings (see 1/31 post). She really enjoyed reading all of your messages. We had a great time yesterday and we're still recovering from Buca di Beppo.
- I've posted a dual-screen version of "Sangre" in the 2X gallery. I had meant to have this one ready over the weekend, but I ran into some technical difficulties regarding Lightwave's native Depth-of-Field rendering. It just looked bad at the higher resolution and nothing I tried helped.
Finally, I broke down and purchased Evasion3D's Xdof plugin on Saturday. I had to wait until today for the licensing to go through so I could actually use it. I'm amazed. The blurring is smooth as silk and the render times are only a fraction of what they were before. I've posted a "cleaned-up" version of the single-screen render as well, though the improvement is not as dramatic. I've set up a side-by-side comparison so you can see the improvements for yourself.
I'm going to be taking a few days to do some research and take care of a few other things that I've been meaning to do. I'll post here when I've started working on a new wallpaper.
- Just so you all know: Yes, the folks at Sapphire purchased a legitimate license to use my work on their Radeon boxes. They are not ripping me off. I appreciate everyone's concern however, and I hope you will continue to contact me if you see my work "out there".
- Added "Sangre" to the gallery this evening. I've always been fascinated with the small places inside our bodies (probably from too many viewings of "Fantastic Voyage" and "Innerspace") and this image continues my exploration of that theme. It may or may not be appropriate desktop material and I apologize if it doesn't work for you.
- As mentioned last time, I spent the weekend trying different things with "Cathedral". In the end, I prefer the version I posted on Friday. I'm going to leave it as is and move on to something new.
Some of you have mentioned that the edges of "Cathedral" are too dark. This was intentional on my part. I wanted there to be a central area of brightness in the middle of the screen, framed all around by shadow (plus it goes nicely with my new black framed monitor).
Some of you also wrote in with ideas for things I should add to the image. After much consideration I decided that this image should be kept simple and uncluttered. Thanks everyone for the feedback!
- Added "Cathedral" to the gallery today. I did this one to test how my new workstation handles hi-precision, "multi-bounce", radiosity calculations. Rendering still takes a quite a long time. I'm going to keep testing over the weekend so I might post a different version if I see significant improvements.
- Added "Satori" to the gallery today. This will be my first image created using the new World Builder 3.5. Long time members will recall my love/hate relationship with World Builder. I wish I could tell you that all of the problems were fixed with this new version, unfortunately working with World Builder is still an exercise in pain. Still, when it works there's no program like it. I hope you like the new wallpaper.
- I've posted a dual-monitor version of "Cradle 2003" in the 2X gallery. Unlike most of the other dual-screen wallpapers, in this one the field of view is expanded horizontally rather than cropped vertically. In other words, it is truly double the 4:3 version. Now I think I will be moving on to something new.
- I went with Jessie today to our first OB visit. Apparently the baby is doing just fine. The due date was set at (around) August 8th. Definitely the highlight for me was the Ultrasound, where I got to see the little bean for the first time. It was amazing watching the tiny heart beating on the screen. Simply amazing.
- A lot of people wrote in asking if I could change the colors in "Cradle 03" and make them blue. I've done a number of blue images lately (it is my favorite color after all) so I wanted to mix things up a little with this new version of "Cradle". I actually prefer the reds and oranges. So, while I'd rather not change the version in the gallery, I'm all to happy to add a blue version to the Pickle Jar. I hope you like it.
- Added my first wallpaper of the new year this morning. "Cradle 2003" is up on the new images page. The original was created using Bryce and a program called "Universe". Just was with the original "Blue Christmas", I first rendered the background and then added the stars later. The results looked nice, but they weren't true "3D" (to me anyway).
The new version comes to you straight out of Lightwave. I still want to try a few more things, but I thought it looked nice enough to share in its current form. I hope you agree. If you have any thoughts please be sure to send them my way.
UPDATE: I've posted a very minor revision to "Cradle 03" which fixes a rendering error I had missed last night.
- Thanks to everyone who wrote in last week with suggestions for 2003 images. I really enjoyed reading your letters and I'll be glad to have them handy when I'm staring at my blank screen wondering what to do next.
- Jessie and I want to wish you all a wonderful new year! 2002 was a pretty memorable year for the two of us, but something tells me 2003 will be even more interesting (see post from 12/12). If you have any requests for images you would like to see this year, please feel free to send them my way. Happy 2003!
- My apologies to those of you who recife an update notification email this morning. The list apparently misfired for some reason. I've contacted Rus (the list admin) about it and hopefully we'll get it straightened out so that emails are only sent when new images await your perusal.
- I guess I shouldn't say that nothing is new around here. I've added a few extra versions of "Confluence" to the Pickle Jar which illustrate its development.