2014 News Archive




Pot of Gold (for multiple monitors)

I've added a new render of "Pot of Gold" this morning. The first version, while rated very highly by Members, had a rather glaring scale problem (one that my 10 year old son noticed immediately when first saw it).

I also went about things a little differently this time. I rendered a 9830 x 2048 scene and then used that to create the single-screen versions. I have dual and triple-screens but no 4K version yet (sorry). This render takes so long (due to all of the complex lighting interactions going on with the water) that I was afraid a 12288 x 2560 render would tie-up Bucephalus for a fortnight.

The original is still available in the Pickle Jar for comparison. I'm interested to hear your feedback!

Ostereier (Glow)

Not sure if this one will stay in the gallery or not. After my Asfaloth laptop became available yesterday I thought it would be fun to create a version of my Easter Eggs under a black-light.

Hope you like it and have a happy Easter! Stay tuned for the multiscreen version of "Pot of Gold" in the next day or so...

Pot of Gold (2014)

Here is my first draft render of "Pot of Gold (2014)". It took around 12 hours to set up all 4 billion polys in Vue 2014 and it took a whopping 100 hours to render at 4K on Bucephalus(ouch!). I will try to bring that number down with my second draft...

I rendered the original way back in 2003 and used pretty much the same software (Xfrog) to model the bloom. Let me know what you think of the update!

I also have a second render of "Endless Blue" (this one with more life visible underwater) finishing up soon on Asfaloth...

You may have noticed that I have been spending quite a bit of time on updating my gallery. I've gotten so many requests for old favorites at modern resolutions, but it seems like running in place to simply go back and re-render the original scene. It's a lot more fun and challenging to create something new but inspired by the original concept.

Anyway I hope no one minds that I am on a roll with these updates in 2014. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Endless Blue (2014)

I will admit that I wasn't entirely satisfied with how my "Endless Blue" re-render turned out back in January. Here's an updated render for your consideration (see the first render here).

I've removed the moss from the rocks, tweaked the vegetation and re-introduced more actual blue to the scene.

It's been rendering on my "Asfaloth" mobile workstation for longer than I care to admit but I'm glad to have it finished. What do you think? Worth the time?

Archipelago (2014)

I've added a new version of "Archipelago" to the Members Gallery this morning. The new version has more sand, calmer waters, and some new life here and there. I just have a few finishing details to add before I start in on the multiscreen. Let me know what you think!


Click here to try the offical DB Gmail theme ("Custom Dark" featuring "Translucence"):

Feel free to share it with your friends!

Stay turned for my updated "Archipelago" render coming soon!!

Archipelago (2014)

Just returned from a weeklong escape from the brutally harsh, neverending Midwestern winter. My batteries feel nicely recharged!

The day before we left I sat down and started on a new update to my "Archipelago" scene from 2005. I was only able to work on it for a few hours before being forced to step away for our trip and it rendered while we were away.

Thankfully the power didn't go out while we were gone and I found the render all finished when I returned. The project is still in the "rough draft" stages but I think it looks nice enough to share while I get back to work on improving it further. Thankfully I have quite a few new ideas on how to do so!

Locus (2014)

Here's a little something I put together using displacements in Lightwave. I call it "Locus", as it sort of recalls this render from 2003.

Rite of Spring (2014)

My updated, darker version of "Rite of Spring" finally finished rendering this afternoon and is now available in the Members Gallery. I've removed the sunset (which was causing the clouds to have a sort of "mottled" look) and went with unfiltered pre-storm gloom. I've also removed the distant rain which didn't really work out this time.

This one took a very long time to render (on Asfaloth) because I set the atmosphere quality pretty high in an attempt to avoid the noise that sometimes plagues Vue clouds.

The previous versions will remain available in the Pickle Jar. Let me know what you think!

Shattered Sky (for multiple monitors)

I've added a version of "Shattered Sky" for dual and triple-screen systems to the Members Gallery this afternoon.

Shattered Sky

I've added a new render of "Shattered Sky" to the Members Gallery this morning. I've brightened the scene considerably (it's a pretty bright explosion after all) but haven't made a whole lot of changes to the foreground otherwise. I think there's enough going on in the sky. What do you think?


I've added dual and triple-screen versions of "Aftermath" to the Members Gallery this morning. I was trying out some different ideas of this project over the weekend, but I've decided to leave it as is and move on.

I'm still considering a "from the ground" view of this scene from a distant moon. Stay tuned!

It has been a banner week for generosity around here. Earlier in the week one of my Members kindly purchased a Lifetime Gift Certificate and addressed it to me with the stipulation that it be given to an active-duty servicemember or combat veteran. I announced this on my Facebook page and soon after I received another Lifetime Membership donation to match the first. Then a third Lifetime donation came in, this time earmarked for a deserving teacher!

So I have two Lifetime Memberships to give away to active-duty service members and one for a teacher. If you are an active-duty service member all you need to do to be considered is meet the above criteria and post a comment on this page. I have set up a separate page for teachers here.

All of this generosity got me thinking that I should post a page where people anyone who might need Membership, but not be able to legally acquire one, can tell their stories and people who want to help out can do so.

To help out any of these individuals simply address a gift certificate to me and and reference the person you want to receive it and I will do the rest.

03-04-14 UPDATE: The originally donated Memberships have all been delivered. The original donor for teachers was so touched by all of the responses that she purchased 1-Month gift certificates for everyone who posted!

Donations for...

Thanks so much to my generous Members!!


I haven't forgotten about my multiscreen users out there. While I still have to finish multiscreen versions of "Rite of Spring" and "Endless Blue" (I don't considered either of those projects truly finished yet) I can finally offer a render of "Amazed" for multiple monitors.

This one was hard to render because by zooming the camera out I added a lot more vegetation to the already dense scene. It topped out at around 240 billion polygons and crashed multiple times before I was finally able to finish it (in pieces) this afternoon.

I hope it was worth the wait! I hope to have more dual and triple-screen renders soon!!


Aftermath (2014)

If you hadn't noticed I have been on something of an update kick early in 2014. I hope no one minds too much but I've had these projects bouncing around in my brain for far too long. They need to be released.

The update to "Aftermath" that I've added to the Members Gallery this morning is one that I've been wanting to do for some time. I didn't really have it in me to show what caused all of the debris in the original "Aftermath" from 1999. When I started playing around with Lightwave's Fracture tool and saw the possibilities I knew the moment had arrived to complete the scene.

I may have an update or two in store for this one so please check back from time to time. I've posted some "in-devlopement" pics on my Instagram account if anyone is interested and will continue to provide sneak-peeks of my upcoming projects there going forward. Follow me if you want to see what I am working on!

I am also trying to finish up the "Amazed" multiscreen but my machine keeps crashing in the middle. Very frustrating but "Amazed" is one of the densest scenes I've ever created (the multiscreen has around 240 billion polys). I have some ideas on how to fix it up though and I hope to have it ready soon!

Prismatic Pool (Alternate with Dragon)

After coming back from Rustycon in January I knew I wanted to incorporate a dragon into my next render. Here is a concept for what eventually became "The World Watches". I decided in the end to go in a more metaphorical direction.

Members can download this version (and the "pool only version") from my Pickle Jar.

Let me know which do you prefer (eye, dragon, pool only) and I will use that one for the main gallery. Thanks!


I've added my "final" version of "Amazed" to the Members Gallery this morning. I incorporated quite a few Member suggestions for this last render and I think this one turned out rather nicely. Over 180 billion polygons!

Check out the original "Amazed" here for comparison. I hope you guys like the updated version!

Next up I would like to do one last render of "Rite of Spring" and then multiscreens...

"Receptor" was my practice for this update to an old favorite from '02. I still have a tweak or two I would like to make so consider this render a "release candidate" for now. Let me know what you think!

The Arsenal of Eros (Happy Valentine's Day)

Here's a little Valentine's Day bonus for my Members: When I first rendered "Take Two" a few years ago I learned that Eros (or Cupid in Latin) carried two varieties of arrows. A gold arrow would make anyone fall in love. A lead arrow had the opposite effect.

Here is a rendering of my heart arrows representing this duality. Multiscreens available too!

I hope you enjoy this render and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Rite of Spring

Here's a new, render of "Rite of Spring" that more closely matches the darker tone of the original 2002 World Builder render. The first version will remain in the Pickle Jar.


In other news, I put on my programmer hat yesterday and added "Google Wallet" as a payment option for new and returning Members.

If you’ve ever bought something on Google Play, you already have a Wallet account.

Current Members can renew or upgrade to Lifetime here. It's really a pretty nifty system. Very quick! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about using the new option.

Is it too early to start thinking about spring? I've added "Rite of Spring (2014)" to the Members Gallery this morning. This one is an update to one of my favorite renders from 2002.

Whereas I used Lightwave to create the clouds in the original, I wanted to see what I could do with Vue's built-in clouds this time. They've come a long way since 2002. The first version was a bit on the dark side (before the storm) so I thought for this version I would make it a bit brighter and more hopeful (after the storm).

There are still some aspects here that I would like to tweak, but I think this version is interesting enough to share as is. Let me know what you think!

I am going to set this one aside for a bit and finish my update to "Amazed" now...


I've added my "final" version of "Receptor" this morning. Why did I change what was already a pretty good wallpaper (the second version was quite highly rated)? Well, I sort of cheated with v.2 and posted a Photoshop composite about about 3 different renders.

I couldn't replicate those component pieces because I had saved over my files with every iteration. That means no multiscreen version and no print-res. Also v.2 had too much grain because I used renders that weren't as refined as they could have been.

Anyway, the second version will remain available in the Pickle Jar for folks who prefer it. I personally prefer this final version, but I would love to hear your thoughts!

PS: To Ken F -- I hope your daughter likes the new version!

I've added a "portal" page for my wallpapers as part of an effort to get rid of the "dropdown" menus on the top of my site. The "Membership" and "Site" headings will go to new pages shortly. Members please free to comment here!

The World Watches

On the plane back from Rustycon I had an idea to improve 2009's lowest rated render. It's always bugged me that I wasn't able to make that one work. As soon as I got back to Bucephalus I fired up my trusty copy of Vue 11 and set about making a few improvements.

Here's the version I am most pleased with at the moment. I've raised the water level a bit, added some snow the surrounding rocks (inspired by snowy vistas I recently flew over) and about a thousand other tweaks. I call it "The World Watches".

Let me know what you think! This one is dedicated to my friends at Rustycon out in Seattle!

PS: I am also working on a "final" version of "Receptor" which Members can preview here.

When I need a break from Vue d'Esprit I always turn to my trusty copy of Lightwave 11. It is so refreshing to see renders in hours rather than days.

I started "Receptor" initially to create a piece inspired by our recent visit to the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle. I can guaranteee you, however, that I didn't see anything like this in his collection. This one could be thought of as a successor to "Orthohedron".

I have an alternate render of this from Vue d'Esprit that is very different. I may post it in the Pickle Jar eventually...


I've added versions of "Rosefingered" for dual and triple-monitors to the Members Gallery this evening. I actually think this turned out better than the single-screen. Let me know what you think!


I've added an updated version of "Rosefingered". One of the elements I thought was lacking in the first version was actual dawn. I am still not 100% happy with the foreground here, but I am sharing it as is since we are heading out to Rustycon in the morning!


last updated Thursday, 05-Jun-2014 19:38:20 CDT

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