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"Lovely image"
Most people I know who have it don't forget about Crohn's. The fact that you have may be illuminate your reaction to the disease: a distant horror made beatuful by your construction.



Best wishes and good luck.

SteveSw

Sat July 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm
regarding:The Midnight Sun
click here to reply

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Random DB

Frozen
"Frozen"

7/21/19

Health Update

So I've mentioned before that my Crohn's Disease has returned but I haven't really said what that means. Some of you may have some experience with the disease but it effects different people differently. My problem is...

7/14/19

The Midnight Sun



I learned a few weeks ago that my Crohn's Disease was back after a 10 year remission. I'd honestly forgotten that I had a horrible chronic disease until some familiar symptoms started occurring again recently.

Needless to say I've been stressing a bit and this newest render is most likely a manifestation of that. The medical bills have already started rolling in ($2000 for a colonoscopy!) so if any of you would like to help out with them please hit up my tip jar!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Dual and triple-screen versions to come!

7/9/19

Neptune's Garden



Multi-Screen Render


I was watching a nature documentary on Netflix recently and briefly glimpsed a scene of coral standing before a billowing kelp forest. The contrast was so striking I decided I had to try and emulate it using my tools. The coral and kelp were both modeled using Plant Factory. The title calls back to a similar (but less colorful) scene I created using World Builder way back in 2000.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Dual and triple-screen versions available!

7/3/19

Twilight Sonata (Happy 4th!)



Multi-Screen Render


Not sure I am 100% happy with how this one turned out, but I thought it would be a fun exercise to create fireworks using Plant Factory and I wanted to post it before the 4th of July. There were definitely some challenges but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. It will probably go in the Pickle Jar on 7/5 :-)

If you are celebrating Independence Day tomorrow I hope you stay safe, cool, and have a great time.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Not sure if I have time to render the multiscreen of this one before 7/4 :-(

6/28/19

Sunrise Sonata



Multi-Screen Render


My last two renders have been a bit on the stranger side so I thought it might be a good time to do something with a little more universal appeal. I created "Sunrise Sonata" over the course of a single morning this week on Bucephalus and rendered it while "The Opening" was finishing up on Shadowfax.

You know I love a good tropical scene from time to time and I hope you do too!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions are on the way!

6/24/19

The Opening



Multi-Screen Render


What can I say? Sometimes I'm happy to make a nice forest with bluebells and sometimes I feel the need to create a cosmic phenomenon dominating the sky over an alien sea. Hopefully if you've been following my work for a few years you've come to expect that the next wallpaper will rarely be similar to the last.

I'm continuing my exploration of using Plant Factory to model non-plant objects here. The "opening" was created using PF and rendered using Lightwave. The foreground apparatus was also modeled in PF.

I hope you enjoy it. I have another new project rendering on Bucephalus which will be a bit more "conventional" :-)

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions rendering now.

6/21/19

Rhizome



Multi-Screen Render


I've been busy lately working on a new sci-fi render on my Shadowfax workstation but when Bucephalus finished rendering the Misty Ridge multiscreen I was able to start another new project in my basement office. For this one I wanted to better learn Plant Factory's "Material Blending", whereby it will create a smooth blend between two connected objects. The result is this simple, hopefully striking, organic abstract.

Hope to have the new scenic render finished by early next week!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions rendering now.

6/11/19

Misty Ridge



Multi-Screen Render


Growing up in flat Illinois I've always been fascinated with clouds intersecting land. Where I come from they are always in the sky. With this scene I was trying to learn some new techniques for rendering misty clouds and trying to keep the render times reasonable. I hope you enjoy it!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions coming soon!

5/30/19

Shades of Blue



Multi-Screen Render


While Stormy Weather was taking forever to render on my Shadowfax workstation I thought it would be fun to create an abstract using Plant Factory and Vue on Bucephalus. That machine has been struggling with the new versions of Vue and Lightwave (it's still running a GTX590!) so I wanted to create something "minimalist" but still appealing. I also wanted it to render relatively quickly. It came in under 7 hours at 8K.

I hope you enjoy the result! If you decide to use this one on your mobile device I recommend you download one of the desktop resolutions and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions are available!

5/29/19

Stormy Weather



Multi-Screen Render


This one started as a simple exercise to see if I could model a lightning bolt using Plant Factory (I'd always used Lightwave in the past). Once modeled I wanted to create a dark scene where the sky is the focus. Growing up in Illinois I've always been enamoured with stormy skies. I hope you like the result.

Of course while it was rendering (almost 100 hours at 8K!) we've had day after day of actual stormy weather and I questioned whether or not I would even post it when it finished. I'm sure a good number my Midwestern neighbors are growing weary of skies like this.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon.

5/20/19

Floating Garden (Twilight)



Multi-Screen Render


I created a night version of the original "Floating Garden" so I thought I would give it a shot with this updated scene. What do you think? Gallery or Pickle Jar? PS: Try not to judge it by the small preview version :-)

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon.

5/12/19

Bluebell Season (Happy Mother's Day!!)



Multi-Screen Render


There's a little creek that runs behind my house and a forested area behind it holds the overflow when the creek floods. Every year around this time it fills with blooming bluebells and is a real sight to behold. I've always meant to capture it in a render and I think my Plant Factory skills are finally equal to the task.

My Mom loves to come out and stroll through the flowers with her grandsons so this one is dedicated to her. Happy Mother's Day!!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon.

5/8/19

Dione



Multi-Screen Render

After posting "The Floating Garden" last time one of my fans wrote and asked if I could make some more "solid" backgrounds. I'm going to assume he meant something a bit more minimal. This one is for him. Created using Gaea (for the foreground) and Lightwave 2019 (the planet). Rendered using Vue Enterprise.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon.

5/2/19

The Floating Garden (2019)



Multi-Screen Render

Sorry you haven't officially heard from me here for a couple of weeks. I haven't been idle. I took a bit of time away from rendering new material to go through my recent projects and render multiscreen versions for the ones that were lacking. I've added multiscreens for "Inner Recess", "Cyber Blossom", "Breath of Spring", "Revival", and "Greenmire". "The Blooming Desert" is finishing up on Bucephalus right now.

Speaking of Bucephalus, he's starting to get a bit long-in-the-tooth to do the sort of work I want to do. For starters it cannot run a video card newer than Nvidia 900 series and 3D tech has evolved considerably. I have my eye on Threadripper workstation (my first non-Xeon steed) and if you would like to make a preliminary contribution towards this cause you can do so via my Tip Jar. Thank you!!

After rendering five multiscreens I started to get the familiar itch to create something new...

Here's an update to the 2012 Floating Garden. Where those pillars were more man-made looking, I've gone for a more natural look here. The pillars here were actually created using Plant Factory and they use Vue's "Solid Growth" tech so each is randomized.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon (lol).

4/15/19

Inner Recess



Multi-Screen Render

Fired up Mandelbulb3D for the first time a long long while. It's such an incredible program, capable of geometry that would bring a more traditional 3D program crashing down. So many programs, so little time...

Here's a "3D" version using Facebook's "3D Photo" gizmo...

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon.

4/10/19

The Blooming Desert



Multi-Screen Render

I created this one as an exercise to learn a new landscape modeler called "Gaea". After seeing the incredible images of California's "superbloom" I thought it would be interesting to add wildflowers to the mix. Still trying to decide if I like the results though.

I used Gaea's ability to generate different "flow maps" to place the different colored blooms. I see a lot of potential with this software and this is just the start :-) Hope you enjoy it!!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will start rendering soon.

4/8/19

Chisen (Updated)



Multi-Screen Render

Here's another version of "Chisen" that I put together on Bucephalus. It's a bit brighter than the first version (which I've deposited into the Pickle Jar for now).

The new version of Vue has a weird tendency to render my 8K renders with different atmospheric settings than the 1080p preview renders. This has caused a bit of a slowdown in my workflow as I get it figured out. Thanks for your patience!

I have another render finishing up on Shadowfax so stay tuned!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will be available when I am certain that I'm finished tinkering with this one.

4/2/19

Chisen


Inspired by my countless deaths playing "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice". Trees modeled using Plant Factory, Medium for the pond (though most is hidden) and Vue for the whole thing. I hope you enjoy it!

I created this one on my old Bucephalus workstation while my main box is working another new render :-)

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions will be available when I am certain that I'm finished tinkering with this one.

3/23/19

Pali v.2


I wasn't quite satisfied with Pali v.1 so I've been tinkering with it on my Bucephalus workstation during Shadowfax renders. This new version has a bit more drama I think in both the background and foreground.

What do you think?

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreen versions in the works!

3/21/19

Vulcan (Snow)



Multi-Screen Render

I played around with my Vulcan scene a bit before moving on and created this snowy version. I'd originally planned for it to be a Pickle Jar only render but after sharing it on social media a lot of folks thought it deserved its own place in the gallery. Let me know what you think!

Non-watermarked lossless 11K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreens available!

3/15/19

Vulcan (2019)



Multi-Screen Render

I recently picked up a copy of "DOOM" for the PS4 from the bargain bin and I have been enjoying it quite a bit. It's been so much fun that I was inspired to create something of a "hellscape" terrain of my own. The title is a homage to one of my very first 3D renders which I created around the time the original DOOM was still being played.

I used Oculus Medium to create the landforms and Zbrush to add some detail. The sun was created using Apophysis while experimenting with floral forms.

Non-watermarked lossless 11K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreens available!

3/11/19

Green Power



Multi-Screen Render


The past week or so I've been digging in trying to learn all the new ways to do things in Lightwave 2019. I used LW2019s node graph and new sphere primitive to model our homeworld, using new high-resolution satellite imagery.

After I got the planet model looking decent I was feeling frisky so I modeled an "orbital installation" using Plant Factory. The cells house solar collectors which generate limitless energy.

It also works for St. Patty's day! I've posted one of my earlier "planet only" renders in the Pickle Jar for folks who might prefer that view.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). I'm not sure this is going to be my final version of this so I haven't started a multiscreen view yet.

2/25/19

Revival



Multi-Screen Render


New in my Spring gallery today. It's basically an exercise creating tree roots using Plant Factory and I thought they would contrast nicely against a forest floor in bloom. I hope you enjoy it!

Can you tell I'm ready for spring?

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above).

PS: I now offer auto-expiring Plus Memberships (and renewals) so you don't have to be on an auto-renewing plan to get access to my Lossless Master files.

2/20/19

Pali


Another piece inspired by our recent visit to the Hawaiian islands and by the snowy winter here in the Heartland. I created this one basically for my own sanity but also this one is for the folks who wanted to see "more mountain" in my Mauka render :-)

I used World Machine and Gaea to create the mountains. I used Lightwave to create the rainbow texture. I then applied it to an alpha plane in Vue for a more "3D" look than the built-in rainbow.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above).

PS: I now offer auto-expiring Plus Memberships (and renewals) so you don't have to be on an auto-renewing plan to get access to my Lossless Master files.

2/9/19

Shadowbloom


My first render using Apophysis since 2017. Back then I created piece called "Cynosure" after following a tutorial on creating fractal flowers (with quite a bit of deviation). I'd meant to do a few more but got sidetracked for whatever reason.

I started from the same basic steps for this one but went for a more traditional flower look. I'm still deciding if I like the "sparkles" or not. What do you think?

Since both Shadowfax and Bucephalus are busy rendering I developed this one on Ian's gaming computer while he was at school.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Multiscreens available!!

I will be working hard to clear my slate of multiscreen versions going forward and Terra Mechanica should be ready sometime this weekend.

If you really want me to dedicate all of my energy to making multiscreens please hit up the Tip Jar My new signups always fall when I am not posting "new" renders so that tends to chase me back to the drawing board.

2/1/19

Makai


This is the second of a two render series that I started when we returned from our Blissful week in Maui.

While there I learned about the concept of makai and mauka. Makai means "towards the ocean" and mauka means "toward the mountains" and the words are used to tell folks which side of the road something is on. I could do a whole year of Hawaiian themed renders but the first two I wanted to attempt were a representation of the Makai/Mauka dichotomy.

The first image, "Mauka", looked towards the mountains and now this scene looks toward the ocean. I chose not to use palm trees here, but rather tried to represent the "Monkey Pod" trees which are non-indigenous but beautiful.

All in all I am pretty much in love with Hawaii. I will return to the subject later :-)

Dedicated to my lovely wife Jessica on her birthday!!

If you've enjoyed my work these past 20 odd years much of the credit goes to her.

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above).

I will be working hard to clear my slate of multiscreen versions going forward and Terra Mechanica should be ready sometime this weekend.

If you really want me to dedicate all of my energy to making multiscreens please hit up the Tip Jar My new signups always fall when I am not posting "new" renders so that tends to chase me back to the drawing board.

1/30/19

Terra Mechanica


After posting "Breath of Spring" yesterday enough of you expressed curiosity about my new project that I've decided to get send it out there.

As the afterglow our trip to Hawaii faded and the reality of winter set in, my thoughts took a bit of a darker turn. This piece was born out of working with the new Plant Factory to create inorganic looking structures. It was created and rendered entirely on my Bucephalus workstation while Shadowfax worked on something else (which should be finished soon).

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Dual and triple-screen versions are coming soon (REALLY!)!

1/29/19

Breath of Spring


For the record, I created this scene back in September 2018. I held onto it thinking I would come back and make some revisions.

Fast-forword to January 2019 and this past week I've been working on something dark that pretty much reflects my mood atm with regard to Illinois in the wintertime. I looked at that image, which I was planning on posting today, and decided to hold off. It might accurately reflect my mood, but with a new Polar Vortex bearing down on us I felt the need to post something warmer.

I was hoping it would be the second in my Hawaiian inspired series but that render was lost to a crash earlier in the week. Re-rendering that one now!

This scene was an experiment with learning Plant Factory's new "Flower Node". If I had to do this one over I would probably cut back on the depth-of-field a bit :-) I hope you enjoy it and stay warm (or cool) wherever you are!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Dual and triple-screen versions are coming soon!

1/17/19

Mauka


The Hawaiian islands just might be my favorite place on Earth and we were fortunate to be able to spend a week there after Christmas 2018 on the incredible island of Maui.

While there I learned about the concept of makai and mauka. Makai means "towards the ocean" and mauka means "toward the mountains" and the words are used to tell folks which side of the road something is on. I could do a whole year of Hawaiian themed renders but the first two I wanted to attempt were a representation of the Makai/Mauka dichotomy. As this image looks towards the mountains, expect the next in the series to look towards the ocean.

Mahalo for looking! I hope you enjoy them!!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Dual and triple-screen versions are coming soon!

1/10/19

Greenmire


"Greenmire" is new in the gallery this evening. I actually started this one before we left on our trip and hoped it would render and be finished when we returned. It was indeed finished but I still wanted to tweak a few things so I held onto it for a bit.

I am already working on a new image (or series of them) inspired by our visit to Maui. Stay tuned!!

Non-watermarked lossless 8K version available to Lifetime Supporters and Plus Level Members (and above). Dual and triple-screen versions are coming soon!

1/6/19

Recontainment (Variations) and Battery Recharging


Happy New Year!! The family and I just returned from a week of much needed R&R away and I excited to get started on some new renders. In the meantime here are some alternate versions of "Recontainment" that I let my machines render while we were away. I'm not sure any of them exceed the first (they all have their merits) so I'll leave them in the Pickle Jar for the time being. Which do you prefer?

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