Strange New Worlds

Monday, December 9th, 2013



Strange New Worlds

Here we have a pic that is lying on my hard drive for over a year. This one is actually my first experiment with using 3d fractal objects generated with Xenodream. If you know my gallery then you’ve seen these already in other pictures. The reason I held this picture back simply was/is that I’m not too happy with it. Even though I can see some good qualities in it. That’s why I now said “To hell with it… let’s make it public”. =D People’s tastes are different and maybe there are folks out there who like and enjoy it more than I do, or maybe even inspires them.

Beside the experimental factor, the goal of it was to go a more fantasy route with it. I think I at least succeeded with that. The composition is what bugs me most. It’s a little messed up. Nonetheless there are some technical things that look pretty cool I think. As mentioned before I created the spiral rock shapes with Xenodream and exported them into 3d objects. Those I took into Vue and created a scene around them. I worked with ecosystems to get foliage and trees into the scene. I also applied ecosystems to the spiral rocks to give them some vegetation growing on them. That makes them look more natual. Overall it was a little too expermienty and I was just toying and playing around too much. A lot of work happened in Photoshop as well. Just 2 weeks ago I added a last background detail and had to force myself to stop thinking about it and start considering it to be DONE.

Anyways… I hope you enjoy the view and maybe enjoy the little things like I do. =)

Xenodream – Vue – Photoshop – 3252×4600

Plate 1

Plate 2

Plate 3

Regards

signed

Echoes

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013



Echoes

With this one we have another more experimental piece. After doing my Arcady’s Epiphany piece I still wanted to do something with the fractal 3d object I made with Xenodream. The Scifi nut that I am, it went into that realm again. The initial idea to the pic came when I had a sleepless night. You know these nights, when too many things go around in your head. The first pic I had in my head was just a hole in the ground with some structure in the middle of it. Later then came the idea making the structure some sort of scientific expedition, looking for something or investigating weird rock formations. I even started to write a short story but decided to post it later on my site. That story really needs polishing and who knows if I can find the time for it.

From a technical viewpoint this one was a monster. Sometimes I wonder how my computer manages to handle the stuff I throw at it. The pic was created through several separate Vue scene files. Basically separate files for the building and landscape. And one big file that contained all objects and was used for the render. The big one had 3gb size in the end. That’s huge even for my standards. A separate cloud pass (took almost 44hrs to render) was rendered to enhance the atmosphere on the surface. This pic was also the first one where I heavily used 3d lights directly in the scene. Normally I tend to add this stuff via Photoshop. First testrenders indicated that it wouldn’t work for this one and the look I was going for. The terrain was created with Worldmachine and did a nice job with the overall detail. Speaking of detail… there is a crazy load of it in there. I don’t know what was going on with me. Especially considering how painful it can be to implement certain details. I even tracked down the font that was used on the USS Sulaco in the movie Aliens. I wanted that for the names of my stations as well. Check out the print detail preview on the bottom of the post to see what I mean. Crazy, right? Last but not least of course Photoshop was used to basically pimp up the render with some postwork, effects and slight overpainting here and there.

6000×2739 – Vue – Photoshop – Xenodream – Worldmachine

Plate 1

Plate 2

Plate 2

Print Detail

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Point Sentinel

Sunday, July 14th, 2013



Point Sentinel

In the early days, when I started to understand that I may be able to create some really neat pictures, I had my sources for inspiration and motivation. Like everyone who is trying to get somewhere in a certain field. There was and still is a guy I look up to. Even if we kinda lost contact. But anyway. The guy I’m talking about is Gary Tonge. Very kind and good person. Many of his works inspired me. But there was always that one piece he did, I wanted to pay homage to. Trying my own version of the idea. That piece was ‘Sentinel‘. It is a very simple picture. No detail where is doesn’t need to be. Well packaged. Yes, my version is very different. But still… the creative spark came from Gary Tonge’s Sentinel.

What can be said about the creation process. Lets just get one thing out of the way. Yes. The waterfall was a pain to create! I don’t have a lot of waterfall textures and had to use what I had. A ton of work went into that detail. All the integration and overpainting, to make it sit well in the render. took some good time. The landscape was created with Worldmachine. The overall scene was done with Vue. A mixture of standard and procedural terrains.

For the creation of the building I used my lame 3d skills to get some shapes done. Basically a lot of vector import going on. Also reused certain elements from previous projects. The detail I wanted to have from the beginning were the sails. I always wanted to do something with that kind of element. Don’t ask me what the purpose of it is. Maybe it’s also able to collect energy from the sunlight. Much like solar panels. Ultimately it doesn’t matter. It looks cool enough to justify its appearance. =D

For quite some time I had the picture pretty much done. But whenever I looked at it I felt it did not look done yet. I was wondering why and took me a hile to think about what I could do to make it work. After a long time leaving the pic behind, I decided to work something out for the foreground. I felt that I found the right trail for a solution. It still took me a while to find the right setup with the cave like rock formations. These finally built the right frame to make the picture work.

So yeah… thanks Gary for the inspiration. It just took almost 10yrs to get this homage done. :D

6000×2715 – Worldmachine – Vue – Photoshop

Plate 1

Plate 2

Print Detail

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Arcady’s Epiphany

Thursday, February 14th, 2013



Arcady’s Epiphany

Arcady, very early on, showed a huge fascination with all kinds of adventure stories. The traditional heroes and their bold undertakings to rescue a damsel in distress. Soon enough she started to think about becoming an author herself. “Someday, when I’m grown up!” She used to say. On her 12th birthday morning, her father decided to take her out into the field. Arcady had no idea what her father had in mind, but she saw him smile and his eyes shine bright like a star. “A place that always made me imagine my own adventures!”, he said. “Something inspirational!” Arcady could not resist, smiled at her dad and made herself ready for the trip. A quick breakfast and some words Arcady will never forget, when her dad said, “Time to write your own stories, darling!”.

This one was done for the 20th Exhibit of the Luminarium artgroup, created between October and December last year. The topic was ‘Adventure’ and I immediately had some ideas in my head.

Inspiration for this came from… I don’t know. Could be a mixture of things I saw in videogames and movies… as well as descriptions in books (and no, I haven’t seen Burton’s Alice yet) =). I was also playing around with Xenodream and its fractals. Its feature to export fractals to a 3d format enables creativity to fiddle around with a lot of ideas. The exported 3d fractals were easy to import into Vue. So I started to setup the scene until the almighty creative spark lit up.

Next stage was Photoshop. Again I used the Multipass options of Vue to render out additional elements to enhance the scene. A lot of work went into making everything fit and creating a nice depth. The original render already worked well but, as usual, I started to enhance the atmosphere part in Photoshop too. The plate pics for the planets were created with Vue as well. I’m not the most awesome space artist but I think the planets do look good enough. I also allowed myself to go for some really strong colours. I really wanted this to be an eyecatching pic, even in thumbnail size. Eventually I got to a point where I was rather pleased with the result.

When it comes to using fractal 3d objects then it’s highly possible you’ll see more of that in the future. =)

Hope you like what you see here. Enjoy!

The short little snippet of story is inspired by a character in Isaac Asimovs’s ‘Foundation’ books.

This pic is part of the 20th Exhibit by ‘The Luminarium Artgroup‘. A lot of great art for your inspiration! Check here.

Vue – Xenodream – Photoshop – 6000px wide

Plate 1

Plate 2

Print Detail

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Foundation

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012



FOUNDATION

What we have here is a picture that I would consider a quickie. A mashup of my earlier Scifi cityscape pictures. It still took a while to get it done but the general composition was set very early on and kept throughout the making. Normally I tend to sometimes drastically change elements of a picture even within the making. Always depending on how good things work out. Sometimes you have to work out things and look at them, to fully understand if something in a picture works or not. Had not to do this hassle for this one. Instead I did a lot of finetuning, especially in the front parts. The city I kept rather basic without investing too much time and detail on it. Just wanted to keep the background more rough. Slammed some textures and lights on it. Does the job and creates enough depth for what I wanted. Something that works really nice is the sense of business that a city like this would generate I think.

Technically it’s, as usual, Vue to create me a base picture to work on. In Photoshop I added quite a load of textures and made them fit somewhat nicely within the scene. I added masses of lights to suggest even more detail. The lights required some time to place them good in the scene. Then I tried to add a little more depth with some atmospheric glow and haze. Overall it works good enough for what I had in mind for the picture.

The docked ship in front was originally a concept drawing I did a while ago. My french Luminarium colleague Sebastien Hue managed to create a nice 3d model from my rough drawing. So a big thanks to him! Pay him a visit here. You’ll see some variations of that ship in future works soon, that’s for sure.

6000 wide – Vue – Photoshop

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Ancient Memories

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012



ANCIENT MEMORIES

Holy cow, it’s been a while! Over the past weeks and months I was quite busy and did not have much time. Enough whining! Yes, here we have a new one. Finally. This one was actually done for the latest exhibit of The Luminarium. Its topic was ‘Gaia’, which makes it pretty much a nature theme. I also combined the creation process with a video workshop, that might be interesting for especially the germans. I’m not explaining the whole creation process… but how to implement atmosphere and certain elements into the scene. But more on that later.

I always wanted to try myself on a, by nature devoured, city. Overgrown by trees and plants of all sorts. The picture does not have a particular story. The message I wanted to get accross simply is, that we should be careful with what we do. Right now I have the feeling that mankind is straight on the edge of either ruining it all or finding a way to get it all together. Reading and watching the news says we’re closer to the fail than the success. The city in the pic is a symbol for a hard and painful learning process. Obviously there was a civilization that did not make it. But there is still hope, overall. And that’s the person. She may be a simple explorer or even more specific… an archeologist. Whatever she is, the sight of that city will fascinate her. Will make her go down and explore it. As long as someone is willing, to do the research that may help us to understand the failures of the past, there is a chance of learning. So much for the wishful thinking.

The truth is that the world, now more than ever, is filled with ignorance. But enough preachy talk.

The picture was created with Vue and heavily postworked with Photoshop. Especially within the city, a lot of overpainting and detailing happened. Several Vue renders helped me to extend the scene, even after I started with the post process. Overall the pic was fun to do. All the little details help it to come alive.

This picture is also part of The Luminarium’s 18th artpack release ‘Gaia’. Some pretty amazing and inspiring work there. Info can be found here.

4500px wide – Vue – Photoshop

If the German language is in your skillset, here is some info about the video workshop.

Vue Plate
Print Detail

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

From Here I Can Almost See The Stars

Monday, February 27th, 2012



FROM HERE I CAN ALMOST SEE THE STARS

For a long time now I have a certain image in my head that I still/yet have to make. The picture we have here brought me a little closer to the image I have in my head. The pic I have in mind is something with a giant huge space port/dock structure. And yes, other artists already have made very awesome attempts on that. But hey, I want my own super cool space port! =D

What we have here is indeed a cool space port kind of thing and I really honestly like the result of my attempt here. I really had some fun playing with the colours. I wanted to go for colours I rarely used so far. So this pic will make a nice addition to my portfolio. I’m still undecided if we have a morning or evening scene in this pic. That’s what I leave to the viewers. Yes the scene is artistically nothing entirely new but I think it just looks sort of soothing.

Technically it’s heavy Vue work again. It started, like so often, playing around with objects and atmospheres. Originally I was thinking about creating a space scene. Then I had this great atmosphere that reacted so nicely with my objects that I couldn’t resist to make it another Scifi cityscape. The rendering happened in various steps again. First the city. Then the clouds. And last but not least the flying little ships. Throughout the Photoshop phase I continued rendering out smaller parts to replace some others I wasn’t to happy with. I still love the Multipass options in Vue. This makes it rather easy to exchange elements.

In Photoshop then happened the compositing of all the different elements Vue gave me with it’s renders. A lot of fixing, texturing and overpainting happened in the next stage. The atmosphere got some pushes too. The final result then really became a moody Scifi scene that allows the viewer to dive into.

This picture is also part of The Luminarium’s 17th artpack release ‘Illuminate IV’. Some pretty amazing and inspiring work there. Info can be found here.

I really had some fun with this one and hope you people dig the view as much as I do!

5000px wide – Vue – Photoshop

Creation Progress Plate
Print Detail

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Terraglacies

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012



TERRAGLACIES

This one is a failed experiment from 2009. I remember playing with Vue and it’s displacement options for materials. I had no specific picture in mind. I was just playing around. Then suddenly the preview render was showing me a rather cool, kinda abstract, looking landscape shape. It immediately reminded my of my 2005 ‘Astounding’ piece somehow. Then I tried to render it bigger and bam… no chance. I don’t remember the exact time Vue told me but it was astronomical. I started to try my usual workarounds but nothing helped. I guess the material and the dispacement mapping ate up all the memory and when it was full the render just crashed. I managed to get out a, for me, low quality render and worked with that one. Even if I’m not entirely happy with the result I still think the pic has a certain appeal to it. I hope you think so too! =)

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Laetitia Caelia

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012



LAETITIA CAELIA

We previously discovered this world with ‘The Undiscovered Country‘. Laetitia Caelia, what means something like ‘joyful heaven’, demanded to be explored a little deeper though.

By exploration I mean the creative process. Originally this was an attempt at participating at this years E-On Software Environment Competition 2011. So I seriously invested a ton of time into creating a scene that looks like something. All Vue… no post work allowed. I had a really hard time being restricted to Vue alone. The resulting scene was ‘something’. But ultimately nothing with a chance to win. However… I learned a few more things when doing this scene. Especially technical aspects of Vue.

No matter how the results of the contest were, I created the pic with the plan to do my usual Photoshop stuff on it anyway. Now I know the winners were much better than my attempt. However… can’t throw all the work and render time away, right? And there was some render time. Phew. At the hottest time of the year. They should seriously consider holding that contest in the winter months. Seriously. I mean my machine was stable all the time! (Which is a true wonder!) But the temperatures it created in my room here were beyond… there’s no word for it. Evil it was. The final render took probably 40hrs.

For the weird rock formations I used Zbrush. These were fun to create. Less fun was it to import them into Vue. Very heavy models. And yeah, absolutely… I’m no modeling expert and don’t know anything about efficient modeling. These models put my machine on the edge but it worked out. Good enough for me. Like I previously said the rendering phase was a pain. In Photoshop then I had quite some fun adding additional textures. The scene already had a great depth and Photoshop helped me to push that even more. The lighting received a nice push as well. Overpainting helped me fixing and extending certain elements.

I had a real hard time finding the right color grading for it. I, in fact, have tons of test versions lying around here. Even with this final one I’m not 100% happy. At some point you have to mentally stop thinking about it though. Or you’re going George Lucas about it… never stopping to change stuff. (Stop to ruin your movies George!)

Again I imagine this picture is showing a world/planet that was just discovered and is now being explored. It must be a great feeling sitting in one of these jets there… just having fun with the environment. Diving through the canyons and enjoying the views no one has ever seen before.

A camera mapping try on this was not planned but done anyway. Quite some time that went into this too. But I refreshed my knowledge about the techniques and again learned a few new things there.

Hope you can gain some inspiration from it all.

Vue – Zbrush – Photoshop – After Effects – 5000px wide

Exploring Laetitia Caelia – 720p/Sound – Video – On Vimeo

Exploring Laetitia Caelia – 720p/Sound – Video – On Youtube

Laetitia Caelia – Quicktime/720p/Sound – Video (50mb)

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Lake Firefly

Thursday, December 8th, 2011



LAKE FIREFLY

This picture was a submission for ‘The Luminarium‘ Artgroup. Their topic was ‘Asylum‘. My interpretation of the meaning can pretty much be seen in this picture. It’s a more peaceful approach. Here we have two people on a field trip to find some peace. But the environment looks a little different don’t you think? Of course I wanted to put in a little Fantasy/Scifi component. So our two friends here are either in the future on a distant planet or in an alternate universe. But that’s a taste thing. =D

Technically this picture was the first one I created with the Vue10 release. The random rock creator works really nice and is a good addition to the tool. The huge wing like mountain thingies were created with XenoDream. A very interesting tool that I might explore a little more in fhe future. Of course a lot of post work with Photoshop again. I even played around with creating some alien looking trees there. Maybe that was the christmas spirit coming through a bit. Just a little bit. =D This may also be the last piece of art for 2011 and I think it gives a nice conclusion with its mood.

Vue – Photoshop – 5000px wide

Print Detail
Plates and Parts

wallpapers available

Regards

signed