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07/18/14

Earlier this week one of my fans sent me a photo of her Thank You card setting in front of the dual-monitor version of "Island in the Void". One of the comments suggested that it looked like the view from inside a space ship which led me to think that my galaxy render would make an interesting view for my "Overseer".

This render and another similar one are available in the Pickle Jar for my Members to download. They are fun little bonus wallpapers and I hope you enjoy them!

 

07/15/14

Alternate Version of Horizons with Bioluminescence

Here's a version of "Horizons" with some bioluminescence added to the cave flora. After some reflection I've decided to leave this version in the Pickle Jar however and go forward with v.2. Thanks to everyone who shared their opinion!!

07/15/14

My third batch of thank-you cards have arrived!

My third batch of Thank You cards have arrived. These, as you can see, feature my "Fluorescence" mushrooms. As before, all new Members (yearly and above) and renewing Members will receive one signed by me and the family (I am trying to teach my boys a lesson about gratitude).

If you are already a Lifetime Member or wish to get one without purchasing a Membership/Renewal please see here for my criteria!

There are 150 of these Fluorescence cards and I will be moving on to a new design once they are all sent out (around 35 of them are already spoken for). If you want this classic design you should probably act quickly. The last cards were gone within a few days!

 

07/14/14

Announcing the winners of the DB Minecraft Challenge 2014!

Grand Prize Winner: "Portals: A Perspective" by Tyler Hohnstein

Prize: Lifetime Membership and I will try to import and render his creation!

Portals
First Place: "Necropolis (Day)" by Karl Ashton

Prize: Lifetime Membership

Necropolis (Day)
Second Place: "Phaeralon (Day)" by Brian Jones

Prize: Lifetime Membership

Phaeralon (Day)
Third Place: "Endles Blue" by Phil Ridings

Prize: 1 Year Membership

Endless Blue
Fourth Place: "Amazed" by Michael North

Prize: 1 Year Membership

Gotham Garden Winter
Fifth Place: "Gotham Garden (Winter)" by Scott North

Prize: 1 Year Membership

Gotham Garden Winter
Sixth Place: "Memorial" by Joseph Barrett

Prize: 1 Year Membership

Memorial
Honorable Mention: "Gazebo" by Brandon North

Prize: 1 Month Membership

Gazebo
Thank you so much to everyone who entered. There were so many wonderful entries this year!! I will be in contact with the winners shortly to deliver their gift certificates and coordinate with Tyler about how I could possibly import and render his creation.

I hope to have a contest every summer (as long as people are still playing Minecraft). If you didn't win this year I hope you will keep entering!

 

07/13/14

Horizons

"Horizons" is the end-result of my learning some new space rendering techniques over the past few weeks. I used my Class M planet from Skyward, my gas giant from "Cronus", and my galaxy from "Island in the Void" for the sky and modeled the foreground in Vue 2014.5.

The title is from a comment left by member "Jenna" on the work-in-progress version, where she said: I really like the "from our current horizon to our eventual horizon" feel.

I hope you enjoy it too!!

 

07/10/14

My Thank You cards have been so popular that I thought I might take it a step further. All DB Donors will receive a signed and numbered 4x6 print of your choice (in addition to a thank you card and listing on my donor page).

If you use the PayPal option please use the "instructions to seller" field once you get to the PayPal site to let me know which image you want. Please be sure to include your shipping address!

If you use my Bitcoin option please email me your address and the image you would like after you make your donation. Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions!!

 

07/08/14
Island in the Void
Dual and triple-screen versions of "Island in the Void" now available!

 

07/07/14

New Thank You Cards!

My second batch of 100 "Thank You" cards arrived from Zazzle over the weekend but I've already sent out nearly 80 of them! The boys had a marathon signing session last night...

Signing the second batch of Thank You cards

You can still get one of these "Pot of Gold (Night)" cards if you hurry. Otherwise I will be moving on to the next design soon!

 

07/04/14

Island in the Void (2014)

"Island in the Void" is new in the Members Gallery this morning. The title refers back to this piece from 2001.

I started playing around with this model on Asfaloth while waiting for "Cronus Rising" to render on Bucephalus. My goal was to create a believable galaxy in Lightwave using the new instancing tools (and no Hypervoxels).

This one rendered in around 90 minutes at 4800 x 3000 with 24 anti-aliasing passes. That certainly beats the 24 hours that a similar Hypervoxel render would take. I'm still learning all the tricks to the new instancing system so this is just the beginning.

Let me know what you think!

 

I've also added dual and triple-screen versions of "Cronus Rising".

 

06/30/14

Cronus Rising
After all that tinkering with Vue's planetary rendering mode, I thought I should bring it all together was a nice planetscape. "Cronus Rising" is new in the Members Gallery this morning.

The planets are a combination of two different Vue renders (it only lets you render one planet at a time) and the foreground was also rendered using Vue 2014.

You might detect the influence of my recent visit of Washington state.

Here's the original from 1998 if you are curious as to how they match up! I hope you like the update!!

 

06/29/14

Second Annual DB Minecraft Contest!

Get our your pickaxes because the second annual DB Minecraft Contest is on!

Last year's contest on Facebook was a huge success. It's gotten a lot harder recently to communicate with my fans through Facebook so I am bringing the contest back home to DB.

Another change: In addition to a Lifetime Membership, I would like to try to import the Grand Prize winning into either Vue or Lightwave to create a special render.

Rules, prizes and entry instructions can be found here.

Vote for your favorites here (the first entry has already been posted!). One Grand Prize winner (chosen by an expert jury) will receive a prizes listed above. The next 4 highest rated images will each recieve 1-year Membership gift certificates. One Honorable Mention will receive a 1-month membership.

Enter as many times as you like, but each submission is final (no submitting improved versions please). Members please let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!

 

06/24/14

Cronus DualScreen
I stepped away from the computer for a few days with family and friends out in beautiful Washington state. I have quite a few ideas in mind for future landscapes!

I was pleased to see that Bucephalus finished a multiscreen render of "Cronus" while I was away.

I moved my "camera" in a lot closer for this one to get a better look at the volumetric layers. This is an experimental process for me so please let me know what you think!

I would like to tackle a new version of "Cronus Rising" before I move on if no one minds...

06/17/14

Cronus "Cronus" continues my exploration of Vue d'Esprit's "Planetary" mode. It basically allows you to move the camera high enough that you are looking down at the entire planet that you were working on. The planet in "Skyward" was made in this manner, but I wanted to see if I could use it to create a gas giant type world.

This render combines my gas giant with a smaller terrestrial type satellite. Both were rendered using Vue d'Esprit 11.5. It's still very much a work in progress so expect a few alternate versions. As I said before, it's a lot of fun making planets in Vue!

UPDATE:I've added a new version of "Cronus" this morning. I've flattened the clouds a bit and, as suggested, added some haze to the atmosphere. Still, this is meant to be a fanciful gas giant (and it's my first) so I don't mind sacrificing realism in that pursuit.

The main benefit of this new version is that the gas giant is all one, raw, render. The first version was actually a Photoshop composite of 2 different renders. My main goal is always something that I can re-render without Photoshop and this version satisfies that nicely.

The name was taken from one of my first Bryce planetscapes. I think an updated "Cronus Rising" may appear sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Another benefit of this 3D approach to planet-making is that I can move my "camera" down into the cloud layers themselves for some very interesting views. Stay tuned!

In other news, the first batch of Thank You cards went out today!

In other news, the first batch of Thank You cards went out today! The boys are working on their signatures and are getting a real kick out of seeing how my fans are in so many different countries.

06/13/14

SkywardThird time's the charm? I've made some adjustments to the planet for the third version of "Skyward". The clouds have been scaled back a bit so you can see more details on the planet's surface. I've also added a few dark side lights.

I've added back a bit of underlighting in the trees but it's no longer red. I hope you like the update!

I think I'm pretty close to being happy with this one, and it has been a lot of fun learning how to make planets in Vue d'Esprit. The tools are quite powerful and I can see some really cool applications down the road!!

06/12/14
Help me teach my boys a lesson about what I do for a living!

Thank You Cards!

I brought back this stack of postcards from Rustycon. From now until they are gone all new and renewing Members (yearly and above) will receive a "Thank You" signed by me (on the front) and the family (on the back). I would like to teach my children a bit more about what I do for a living and I think this will be a good hands-on lesson!

So how do you get one if you are a Lifetime Member? Great question! I will be happy to send you one for a small donation!

More info here...

 

Skyward
I've added an updated version of "Skyward" this morning. This chief difference you will notice is that the tree branches are no longer lit from beneath. I've also added a bit of glow to the highlights. Hopefully the tree branches are still visible on your screen!

The first version is still available in the Pickle Jar. I may yet have one more revision before the multiscreen...

06/08/14
Inner Space
I've always wanted to do a wallpaper depicting what you might see laying on your back and looking up through the trees at a wondrous night sky. After creating my first planet in Vue d'Esprit it seemed like the time was right.

I hope you enjoy it! This is a bit of a first draft so don't be surprised if I post an update or two in the days ahead...

06/07/14
Endless Blue (Night)

The dual and triple-screen versions of "Endless Blue (Night)" are finally available. I'm still not sure why this one takes so long to render but I'm glad it's finished!!

06/04/14 My new Pickle Jar browser...

My Members have been requesting a way to browse my Pickle Jar for a long time now. Here's a start...

It's still a work-in-progress but it is mostly functional. Let me know what you think!

05/30/14
Inner Space
So I spent the past few days trying to get this scene to render in under half the time, yet also without the noise that has plauged the earlier versions. In addition to tweaking the renderer I've decided to lose the transparency/refractions.

This version renders faster, is cleaner, and I think also has better contrast. The savings in render time allowed me to add a bit of volumetric light as well.

Dual and triple-screen versions are available as well.

Let me know what you think!

05/26/14

Here's my nearly final version of "Inner Space". I thought it would be interesting to introduce some purple into the mix. Let me know what you think!

05/24/14
While waiting for a couple of renders to finish I thought I would tackle a site feature that many have requested.

It's long been possible to buy someone a Membership using a Gift Certificate. My Pay-It-Forward program allowed one to renew a random Member (as a random act of kindness) but it has never been possible to purchase a renewal for an active Member (and thus keep alive the Membership that was initially given).

To fix this I've added a Gift Renewal page where all you need to do is enter the recipient's username or account email address to get started.

It would seem to me that such a renewal would be the perfect gift. After all, the recipient has already shown that they enjoy my work enough to go the extra mile and become a Member.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!!

05/20/14
Inner Space
Continuing my experiments with e-on's "The Plant Factory" here, exploring possibilities beyond greenery. Here's a development photo showing TPFs "Grow on Mesh" capability with a non-continuous object.

Sorry the first draft is a little grainy. I used Lightwave's native renderer here because F2 (my preferred Lightwave renderer) doesn't work with Lightwave's new instancing. I will work on cleaning it up for future renders.

Let me know what you think!

Multiscreen users: I have a 7680 x 1600 version of "Endless Blue (Night)" rendering now on Asfaloth. I hope to have it ready soon!!

05/16/14
Relic

Here's a scene that I started on Asfaloth while I waited for "Endless Blue (Night)" to finish rendering on Bucephalus. It's was inspired by "Relics" from 2000, but I thought it would be interesting to focus down the barrel. I modeled the barrel using Lightwave and then used the "grow-on-mesh" capability of The Plant Factory to create the vines.

Let me know what you think. I know it's a bit different...

05/15/14
Endless Blue (Night)
I started work on a night-time adaptation of "Endless Blue" almost immediately after I posted the last day version. It took me a few tried before I arrived at something worthy to post though. My first attempts were far too dark.

I hope I didn't go overboard with the lights in this one. As with the day version wanted to take what I had done before and turn it up to 11.

Let me know what you think. I hope to have multiscreens soon!!

05/04/14
Pot of Gold (Night)
I had always planned on making a night version of "Pot of Gold" but I underestimated how much trouble I would have doing it Vue d'Esprit. Most of my "glowing" work is created in Lightwave after all.

I did finally manage to create something interesting in Vue but then after nearly 5 days (!) of rendering I aborted the scene. Instead I decided it would be better all-around if I recreated the pond scene in Lightwave for my night version.

I hope you like the result!

05/01/14
Endless Blue (2014)
I think I am finally happy with my revised "Endless Blue". At times I've wanted to retitle it "Endless Rendering" but I've finally figured out how to render it semi-quickly with decent quality. The night version should be interesting...

04/30/14
Just wanted to let you all know that I am finally accepting BitCoin for Memberships. I am using Coinbase to process the transactions.
Sign-Up Using BitCoin!

Current Members can purchase their renewals using Bitcoin here!


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