Shortly after posting my latest Halloween render I was asked by one of my Members if I had ever considered doing a wallpaper for Remembrance Day. We don't mark the holiday here in the US but after I did a little reading it certainly seemed like a worthy subject. Especially since quite a few of my Members come from Commonwealth nations.
The symbol of Remembrance Day is the common poppy. My rendering isn't too flashy or overt but I hope I did the subject justice.
Happy Halloween! Ever since I started learning The Plant Factory I've had the idea to create a "tree character" and it seemed like Halloween was the right time to try it out. The central figure and the "hands" were all created using Plant Factory and the scene was rendered using Vue. Sort of abstract, sort of landscape...if this render isn't to your liking I hope will check out the rest of my Halloween collection!
I almost didn't have it ready in time for 10/31 because my original version had some volumetric ground fog that I had to remove in order to shorten the render time. Maybe I will be able to finish that version someday...
A few years ago we journeyed back to San Diego with the kids and visited Balboa Park one day. There happened to be a dahlia exhibition and contest going on and I was simply amazed at the diversity, beauty and complexity of this type of flower. I resolved to model one someday and here it is (with my own spin of course). One last flower before winter sets in for 2017. I modeled the blooms and set up the UVs in Plant Factory and finished the texturing in Lightwave.
Jessie and I recently watched Ken Burns' and Lynn Novik's excellent "Vietnam War" documentary on PBS. It was a gut-wrenching series and more than a little bit surreal to think how I wouldn't have Jess by my side if not for the war.
Throughout the series I was struck by the incredible beauty of the Vietnamese countryside. It was that ethereal beauty which inspired this latest render, "Peace in the Valley".
This one is another Plant Factory experiment where I am attempting to vary the coloring of my leaves per individual tree. Most Vue plants have one leaf color (and thus look unconvincing in autumn renders) but here I've created a tree with five different color "zones" . The bottom leaves are purplish, red above that, then orange, then yellow and green at the tops. The Vue scene is a test of sorts to see how they look together in a "natural" setting.
Basically it's a doodle of sorts, but I thought it looked nice enough to share. Let me know what you think!
Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately around here. I've actually had my head down working on several brand new renders and finally one of them is ready to share...
I've long been fascinated by "portals" and they have often figured prominently in my work. For this scene I used The Plant Factory to model the "gateway" and then used my "Core World" render as the "destination".
Since I used a pre-rendered cloud background for both the Spring and Autumn "Skygate" renders, it seemed like a no-brainer to use my "Moonbeam Sea" render as the background for a night version. I pretty much just wanted the foreground to be a silhouette here so the darkness is intentional ;-)
Sometimes my "seasonal variations" are afterthoughts, but I created "Skygate (Spring)" with the intention of rendering one or two (maybe three) different seasonal versions down the road. I've added the "Autumn" installment to the gallery today. The sun angle is a bit lower, the clouds a bit darker, and I've added some seasonal flora (including a new thistle model that I created in TPF) to the foreground.
While I wait for the multiscreen version of "Endpoint" to finish rendering I thought I might share the Lightwave render I used for the celestial phenomenon. I rendered this specifically as a "background" object so it's fairly barebones. It still might make for an interesting wallpaper though. Let me know what you think!
I created the "wormhole-like" structure using Lightwave's Hypervoxels. Rendered at 9600 x 9600 (in only 3 hours!) and then used that as a planet object in Vue d'Esprit. The foreground is populated using a variation on the alien vegetation I've been working on all year.
Quite a few of my Members suggested that maybe the sunbeams in my first version of "Dapplewood (Autumn)" were a bit too overwhelming. I tried out a test version with more subdued haze it did indeed look better. I've replaced the first version in my gallery (it's still available in the Pickle Jar) so let me know what you think. Dual and triple-screen versions coming shortly!
09/2/17One of the fun parts of creating a deciduous forest is seeing how it changes through the different seasons. Here's a look at my Dapplewood scene with the leaves nearing their peak.
This piece arose from a converstation I had with my boys while on driving down to southern Illinois to witness last week's total solar eclipse. We were talking about eclipses and how an eclipse would appear from the moon, with the sun covered by the Earth. We see these as "lunar eclipses" here on Earth and basically the moon turns blood red for a couple of hours. Why does it turn red? Because the sunlight creates a bright red ring around the Earth as it passes through our atmosphere.
As I was describing it I got to thinking that it would make for an interesting wallpaper. I hope you enjoy the result. If you are used to solar eclipse photos you will notice that the corona is smaller here. This is because the Earth is larger than the moon and blocks more of it from being seen. I realize the image looks a bit dark and featureless in thumbnail form but the larger versions in my gallery should show more detail.
I thought it would be interesting to see what happens to the local Cygni flora when the sun dips below the horizon.
I've added an updated version of "Cygni" to the gallery this morning. I've changed the colors of the vegetation and added subsurface scattering to give them a little bit of volume. I've also added the dual and triple-screen versions. The first version from 8/18 will remain available in the Pickle Jar.
I guess I wasn't quite ready to move on from the microscopic world. This one definitely follows on the work that I did with "Endogenesis". Once again I've used The Plant Factory to create structures that are too small for the human eye to perceive (a world I am endlessly fascinated by). I've composed and rendered the scene using Lightwave 11.6.
Sometimes, after working on a bunch of long-rendering landscapes, I just want to cleanse my palate with a nice clean abstract. It's refreshing for me to create something that doesn't have to match any sort of reality. For this piece I modeled the geometry using The Plant Factory and chose to render using Lightwave (rather than Vue). I tried to keep this one on the "minimal" side compared some of my other recent abstracts...
I've been spending most of my time this past week or so tackling my multiscreen backlog. I took care of the multiscreen version of "Anvil" and posted a dual/triple version of "Taranis" earlier this week. "Of All Places" is in the works but taking an exceptionally long time. So long, in fact, that I thought it would be a good idea to pause the render and create something new(ish) for those of you with just one screen to deal with.
A lot of folks were asking for a night version of "Anvil". Perhaps I went a bit overboard with the lightning, but I felt the storm had to be bright enough to illuminate the foreground a bit (which would have been a mass of black otherwise). Let me know what you think.
Growing up on the flat Illinois prairie I developed a healthy fascination with cumulonimbus clouds. I often imagined that they were mountains in the distance, or that they concealed giants. They were definitely the tallest structures to be seen in a world of distant horizons.
This piece continues my exploration of how to create these clouds using Vue d'Esprit. I was going for a sunset look here, with the clouds lit from a low angle. Hope you enjoy it!
I used Vue's "planetary mode" to create a world completely enshrouded with clouds. Inspired by the incredible images sent back from low Earth orbit of the International Space Station.
"Taranis", by the way, was the Celtic god of thunder.
I recently asked my fans on Facebook which of my "classic" images they would most like to see redone using my modern tools. I received over 100 replies but would you believe not a single one of them requested I revisit "Of All Places" from 2007? Regardless, I was trying out a new method for creating rocky structures using Zbrush and the revision sort of happened naturally.
This scene departs from the original a bit in that it is set more in a rocky ravine than a dark cave. I rendered the original using Lightwave but used Vue for this scene. I hope you like the update!
I thought it would be fun to turn the lights down on my Dapplewood scene and add some fireflies (something I haven't done since "Summerwood" over 12 years ago). I hope you enjoy it!
This render was an exercise in creating trees with multiple trunks using Plant Factory and placing them in a "volumetric" Vue environment. Or just creating something nice and lush for your desktop :-)
The project went through a couple of different revisions as a I tweaked the size of the leaves to allow more (or less) light to penetrate the canopy. I may or may not add those versions to the Pickle Jar. I really prefer this one. Hope you agree!
I created this planet in Lightwave to use in the sky of my "Aquarii" render. It occurred to me, however, that it might make a nice simple wallpaper on its own. I've added it to the Planetscapes gallery, including multiscreens and a 8K lossless version for my Supporters/Plus Level Members.
I hope you like it!