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"Sweet!!!"
A beautiful render that now graces my desktop. When I read the title though my thoughts turned to Led Zeppelin.

sigmaman

Fri June 18, 2021 at 5:42 am
regarding:Misty Mountains (Sunrise)
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06/16/21

Shores of Carina



Multi-Screen Render


While creating "Tropical Moon of Amatheia" I discovered a technique for generating interesting cloud shapes in VUE. I didn't want the clouds to be the main focus in that project though so I set the technique aside for the moment.

With this scene I'm trying to more fully explore the possibilities. I may try integrating some of my Blender nebulae experiments for a possible night version...

Let me know what you think. Dual and triple-screen versions available!

06/11/21

Misty Mountains (Moonlight)



Multi-Screen Render


I haven't decided if I want to add more lighting to this but I thought you guys should be able to use the dark version (like I have been) while I tinker. Some folks I'm sure would like to see the moon in frame, but I chose to keep it higher in the sky so the moonlight would fall on the mountain.

Let me know what you think. Dual and triple-screen versions available.

06/06/21

Misty Mountains (Sunrise)



Multi-Screen Render


I will probably also do a night version of this scene but I also wanted to do one with the mountain lit by the "break of day". This one actually took twice as long to render due to the shadows on the clouds and the sunbeams.

"Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold."

~The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I hope you enjoy the scene! Dual and triple-screen versions available.

06/01/21

Misty Mountains



Multi-Screen Render


After rendering many nebulae and other ethereal forms over the past week I felt the need to step back and create something relatively solid. The mountain was modeled using Gaea and the scene was rendered using VUE. Yes, I am invoking Tolkien with the title (though I sure some are hearing Zeppelin right now) :-)

"Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold."

~The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I hope you enjoy the scene! Dual and triple-screen versions available.

05/24/21

Interstellar



Multi-Screen Render


I've spent the last week or so learning how to use Blender's volumetric system. My goal is to create 3D nebulae but I still have quite a bit to figure out. This first attempt is pretty rough yet and not quite what I initially had in mind, but I think it's a nice proof-of-concept for now.

I've seen some really interesting things done with Blender's volumetrics so stay tuned :-)

05/14/21

Tropical Moon of Amatheia



Multi-Screen Render


I designed "Amatheia" in Blender (my first Blender planet) with the end goal of doing a "tribute" to the 20 year old "Tropical Moon of Thetis". The "day" version was a bit of a departure but hopefully this scene will evoke the original.

I rendered quite a few different atmospheres before settling on this one and I will share some of those in the Pickle Jar down the line.

I hesitate to call this a "night" version, because the sun angle here implies that it's still day time. How is this possible astronomically?? Easy! Off frame there's another moon eclipsing the sunlight momentarily :-)

05/11/21

Tropical Moon of Amatheia



Multi-Screen Render


It's hard to believe that it has been 20 years since I posted "Tropical Moon of Thetis". I've made lots of similar renders over the years but I wanted to create something with Blender and VUE that was something of a more direct tribute. I hope you enjoy it!! Night version forthcoming...

05/04/21

Amatheia



Multi-Screen Render


Nothing too fancy or outrageous here; just my first attempt at modeling and rendering a planet in Blender 2.9. I'd had a very quick process for creating planets in Ligtwave but Blender has a whole new system. I plan on using the planet as a backdrop but found it made a nice wallpaper by itself so I've added it to the gallery.

Stay tuned for a another view or two :-)

04/26/21

The White Woods (Night)



I have to admit that I was a bit nervous when creating "The White Woods" thinking that folks might hate it because it was so different from my usual render. The reaction really blew me away and I'm grateful.

I did receive a number of requests for different sky colors but the only one that made sense (for me) to try was black. I even added some stars so I could put this one in the Night Gallery :-)

04/21/21

The White Woods



I know this one is a bit different. Recently I was watching an anime with my kids and a particular line ("white trees under a red sky") painted a picture in my brain that I wanted to try rendering. This one borders between abstract and landscape so I will understand if it's not for everyone :-)

04/11/21

Cloudvale (Night)



Here's a different mood for "Cloudvale". I chose not the move the clouds around because getting them set up for the first version was quite an involved process. The valley is still under there after all and I want it all hidden (naturally, rather than me hiding it from the renderer) for these renders.

04/08/21

Cloudvale



My original idea for what eventually became "Greenvale" was to have something similar to "At World's Edge" where (instead of a flat cloud deck) you are looking out over towering clouds. As a day scene I thought the clouds were a little too bright so I broke down and added a valley in the middle-ground.

As I was experimenting with a "sunset" version it became apparent that I wasn't going to be able to light the valley floor and also have the sky with sunset colors. I decided instead to go back to my original idea and fill the scene with clouds. I gave it a different title (the Vale is hidden here after all) so perhaps I can do a night version of this one too :-)

04/04/21

Greenvale (Night)



My main concern for the night version of "Greenvale" was that the trees in the vale still be somewhat discernable even at night. My solution was to add some fog on the valley floor. I rendered a few different versions with the moon in different positions to see how the moonlight would fall across the scene. I felt like having the moon in frame distracted from the landscape and also caused the light angle to be too low leaving everything was in shadow.

I've put the other two renders in the Pickle Jar and hope you approve of my final version :-)

03/31/21

Greenvale



I started out on this one meaning to revisit one of my "classic" projects but as things progressed it turned into something new. This is one of those scenes where it's tempting to put a figure looking out over the valley, but instead I decided to leave a space for you to imagine yourself and hopefully the flowers will provide the scale :-)

Multiscreen coming soon!

03/22/21

Jelly (Glow)



I know a lot of folks prefer darker wallpapers so here's my jellyfish at night complete with bioluminescence.

03/18/21

Jelly (2021)



I recently "re-discovered" a Plant Factory project I started, but abandoned, way back in 2016. My goal then was to use PF to create a jelly fish akin to the ones I have created in Lightwave. If I were starting this project from scratch today I would have used Blender but I stuck with VUE this time because it's easier to edit Plant Factory models. It's nice to finally "finish" this one :-)

03/09/21

Hideaway (Noon)



I've rendered a high noon version of "Hideaway" to complete the set. The whole exercise was to experiment with lighting these new cloud models and I think I've learned quite a bit. Which is your favorite??

03/07/21

Hideaway (Moonlight)



Multi-Screen Render


As I mentioned before, I did plan on doing a night version of this scene. Decided not to put any crazy planets in the sky here because the main theme of this project was learning how to light these new cloud types in different conditions. I could possibly render one more day time view just to complete the set...

03/05/21

Hideaway (Sunrise)



Multi-Screen Render


It occurred to me that the best way to learn how to light these new cloud models is to make a few different versions of "Hideaway". I know some folks thought the first version was a little too dim so hopefully this will work better.

I will probably also do a night version next before moving on :-)

Also check this out this amazing visitor to my bird feeder earlier this week (stay for the end if you want to see him fly away)...

02/28/21

Hideaway



Multi-Screen Render


I hope folks don't think the scene is too dark, as the sun has yet to rise and all the light is from the clouds. Most of the light in the scene is in the background but I did try have some foreground illumination. I just got a new monitor however and it's very bright so your mileage may vary.

Trying a different way of rendering big puffy clouds in Vue here. These are VDB objects and they render a lot quicker than Vue's built in clouds. I happen to think they also look better in certain instances. They will be part of my work flow going forward.

Let me know what you think.

02/22/21

Daedalus Animated

Here's a looping animation of Daedalus I rendered that's suitable for use in meeting backgrouds or as an animated wallpaper...
On desktop, right-click and select "Loop"

What do you think? More animations??

02/19/21

Daedalus



Multi-Screen Render


These were the kinds of renders that I enjoyed creating with Lightwave before they stopped updating the software and it became tedious to use. There's a lot to re-learn with Blender but I feel like I'm starting to get a handle on it and I think the skills I'm developing will really improve my future landscape renders.

2/21: Here's a short animation I rendered to test out some things in Blender...

02/04/21

Accelerator (2021)



Multi-Screen Render


My learning with Blender continues. After I created "Fabrica" I knew I could use the same technique to update one of my favorite Lightwave renders from the '00s and in the process do a deep dive into Blender's polygon modeling, UV editing, particle system, shader editing, volumetrics, animation and lighting systems.

I'm also getting used to a new renderer (two of them actually) that can use either my CPU or GPU. Most sources say using the GPU is faster but then most of those sources don't have a machine like "Rochallor". That said, working with Blender has seriously made me want to upgrade my 2080TI to a 3090. If only I could find one for sale :-(

Update: 2/13...

After creating the animation it was more evident than ever that the particles were not casting any light open the scene. I had thought to move on but instead I decided to do one more version and see just what sort of shading I would need for the particles to do all the lighting. This new version has no light sources other than the particles themselves wherein the first versions I "faked it" using point lights.

NEW ANIMATION...

01/27/21

Philomath



Multi-Screen Render


My brother and I were raised by a single-mom who worked long hours as a nurse. We did not have money for all the latest toys but she told me often that "I will always buy you a book". She spent a considerable amount on a set of encyclopedias that I read pretty much cover-to-cover.

Her guidance shaped me into a "philomath" (lover of learning) and this render is dedicated to her in the same way that Portals is dedicated to my Dad. She bought my first PC which I used to create my first renders. She's nurtured and invested in my creative spirit at every turn. Her library isn't quite as orderly as this one however :-D

I should note that the title has a bit of a double-meaning because this is the my first render in my gallery created using "Blender". This is a fairly simple image but I've had to re-learn a LOT to create this. I still have much to learn!

01/18/21

Fabrica



Multi-Screen Render


For a while now folks have been asking that I rework one of my earliest abstracts. That one is particularly tough to recreate though because it's actually not a 3D render at all. It was one of my first attempts at visual artwork on the computer and I used a set of 2D filters in an early version of Photoshop. This was before I had a copy of Bryce and knew anything about 3D rendering.

The first step creating a new 3D version was for me to learn how to create a convincing "woven" mesh. Fortunately I found a method using Blender that produces pretty excellent results. This particular render is my practice with that method.

Obviously I need a lot more practice but I'm sure this method can be used to create lots of other interesting effects :-)

01/14/21

Siblings



Multi-Screen Render


This is a bit of a warm-up exercise after a week or so away from rendering. I noticed recently that my son Ian has been using other wallpapers on his machine. He told me my work was "too high-res", which I took to mean he's looking for something more minimal. I certainly can caught up sometimes in adding too much detail so consider this render to be a study in restraint :-)

In a normal year Jessie would have dragged me away from the computer for a trip or two. That didn't happen last year and if I was home chances were I was rendering. I told myself after posting my last render that it was time for a break. This will be my 24th year running this gallery so I've learned how to monitor and maintain my creative batteries.

I may linger with this scene for a bit so stay tuned :-)

01/04/21

Shinrin Yoku (Night)



Multi-Screen Render


When I added lanterns to the pathside in my bamboo forest I'm sure you all knew that I was going to attempt a night version. I didn't actually know if it would work or not but I like how it turned out. I hope you agree!

12/29/20

Shinrin Yoku



Multi-Screen Render


My mother sent me an article earlier this year about how being in nature can boost your immune system and mood. The Japanese even have a term for seeking this benefit..."Shinrin Yoku" or "Forest Bathing". It isn't news that being in nature can be good for your health, but I like that there's a word for it.

Everything is very brown and dormant in my part of the world right now so I wanted to create something inexorably green and (hopefully) peaceful to close out the crazy year that was 2020. If you can't get to a forest I will bring one to you :-)

12/21/20

Snowglobe (Fluorescence)



Multi-Screen Render


Hard to believe that it's been 20 years since I posted what will probably always be my most famous render. I thought it would be fun to mark the occasion with a special Christmas version. The idea came to me as I was exploring Blender and discovered its very useful "Real Snow" addon which I then used to add snow atop my mushrooms.

I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful holiday!

12/16/20

Ornament (Comb)



Multi-Screen Render


An idea struck me as I was arranging the lights outside my "Comb" scene. What exactly ARE the lights? Well...now you know. Hopefully it will make one look at the abstract in a new light (lol).

The plan was to render this in just a few days but unfortunately VUE's depth of field is a little tricky with this sort of scene. Arranging colored lights is also more complicated than plain white. Finally, I decided to use the "expensive" settings so it looked best but took a bit longer.

I may have one more Christmas scene in me before the big day. Stay tuned...

Video #TBT

DB was mentioned on TechTV’s excellent “The Screensavers” a few times. Here’s one that I saved on tape and recently unearthed...

12/08/20

The Comb (2020)



Multi-Screen Render


For the last week or so I've been learning how to use the modeler in Blender (starting with an excellent tutorial) and then how to import, texture and render those objects in VUE. It's been a while since I've attempted an abstract so I decided to go with that theme.

My goal with Blender is to use it as I used Lightwave; to model geometry for my VUE scenes and use it to render abstracts, interiors and planetscapes.

Some folks may remember that I rendered some of my early Lightwave modeling practice using Bryce back in day before I dug into the native renderer. This particular scene was created using techniques similar to what I used for "The Comb" so I chose to re-visit that title as well :-)

Next up...something for Christmas.

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