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From: Jim Charter
Subject: Mystery...Mystery Lights
Date: 9 Aug 2003 19:57:02
Message: <3f358a4e$1@news.povray.org>
Conceptually the mystery is compounded.  Unexplainable
lights appear at the site of a megalithic stone circle which
itself has never been fully explained. Related aspects of
the supernatural or the natural?

Subtlely the scene plays with our sense of what's natural.
The atmospheric sky is darkened like smoke.  Some
  trees stand in unnaturally shallow files beyond the
stones. The sparse folliation and blossoms suggest spring,
yet in the foreground the grass is long and lush.  The sun
is low in the sky, yet its light is cool like moonlight.
The overall harmony is in the dissonent
green/purple/orange register. The scene is beautiful.
The colors are saturated, challenging our senses.
The ancient stones seem at one with the earth but they
result from the hands of man. But where from are the
floating lights?


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From: gonzo
Subject: Re: Mystery...Mystery Lights
Date: 10 Aug 2003 18:22:57
Message: <3f36c5c1@news.povray.org>
Jim Charter <jrc### [at] aolcom> wrote in message
news:3f358a4e$1@news.povray.org...
> Conceptually the mystery is compounded.  Unexplainable
> lights appear at the site of a megalithic stone circle which
> itself has never been fully explained. Related aspects of
> the supernatural or the natural?
>
> Subtlely the scene plays with our sense of what's natural.
> The atmospheric sky is darkened like smoke.  Some
>   trees stand in unnaturally shallow files beyond the
> stones. The sparse folliation and blossoms suggest spring,
> yet in the foreground the grass is long and lush.  The sun
> is low in the sky, yet its light is cool like moonlight.
> The overall harmony is in the dissonent
> green/purple/orange register. The scene is beautiful.
> The colors are saturated, challenging our senses.
> The ancient stones seem at one with the earth but they
> result from the hands of man. But where from are the
> floating lights?
>

Damn Jim, you sure do write nice reviews!  Thanks!

This scene was pretty straightforward, I knew basically what I wanted at the
start (rare for me...) so just started putting it together.  The stones I
wanted to look old, and I wanted good control over their shape and erosion,
so that's why I used Bryce for them as I'm very familiar with Bryce, and
it's terrain editor has some useful filters for this. The other reason for
using Bryce was that rather than using the grayscale directly from the
terrain editor, I could do a 16 bit render of it with some rotations &
transformations that the editor didn't allow, which let me control the
shapes even more. The POV procedural texture set them off well, I was quite
happy with the way they came out.

..."Some trees stand in unnaturally shallow files beyond the stones... "
That was my failed attempt at depicting the geologic faults... I couldn't
think of a way to show a fault. The edge of the hills and the lines of trees
were supposed to represent the faultline, maybe a crack in the earth filled
over the ages by a small stream, the stream providing water for the trees,
but the stream idea just didn't come through very well.


Greg McCarter's comment really echoed my own thoughts on the weak points;
the lack of depth to the lights which I tried to alleviate by showing their
influence on the nearby stones, and the lack of leafy plants to break up the
expanse of grass.  I was trying to get something in Povtree & in Plantstudio
for that; I wanted some kind of brambles to wrap around the stones, but
never got anything I liked, so left it out. :-(

The Terragen sky & the fog really make the scene. I was very pleased with
the warm, dusky atmosphere. Of my own images, this is my personal favorite
just because of the ambiance.

RG


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From: Jim Charter
Subject: Re: Mystery...Mystery Lights
Date: 10 Aug 2003 23:36:00
Message: <3f370f20$1@news.povray.org>
gonzo wrote:
> Jim Charter <jrc### [at] aolcom> wrote in message
> news:3f358a4e$1@news.povray.org...
> 
>>Conceptually the mystery is compounded.  Unexplainable
>>lights appear at the site of a megalithic stone circle which
>>itself has never been fully explained. Related aspects of
>>the supernatural or the natural?
>>
>>Subtlely the scene plays with our sense of what's natural.
>>The atmospheric sky is darkened like smoke.  Some
>>  trees stand in unnaturally shallow files beyond the
>>stones. The sparse folliation and blossoms suggest spring,
>>yet in the foreground the grass is long and lush.  The sun
>>is low in the sky, yet its light is cool like moonlight.
>>The overall harmony is in the dissonent
>>green/purple/orange register. The scene is beautiful.
>>The colors are saturated, challenging our senses.
>>The ancient stones seem at one with the earth but they
>>result from the hands of man. But where from are the
>>floating lights?
>>

> Damn Jim, you sure do write nice reviews!  Thanks!

Welcome. I tried not to gush too much. I was a difficult image to
get my arms around.

> 
> The POV procedural texture set them off well, I was quite
> happy with the way they came out.

They came out great, they really contribute to the scene with their
velvety contrasts.

   the stream providing water for the trees,
> but the stream idea just didn't come through very well.

I considered that a stream might explain such a stand.  But I figured 
there would probably be shrubs and bushes etc.  Anyway the trees are 
quite plausible, but just odd enough to take on a role of their own.

> 
> 
> Greg McCarter's comment really echoed my own thoughts on the weak points;
> the lack of depth to the lights which I tried to alleviate by showing their
> influence on the nearby stones,

And it worked pretty well.  But I thought the big one was the sun too 
but the shadows from the trees were wrong.  When you talked in your text 
about using the sun as the only other point light I finally had to look 
at your code to comfirm where the 'sun' really was.

  and the lack of leafy plants to break up the
> expanse of grass. 
  I was trying to get something in Povtree & in Plantstudio
> for that; I wanted some kind of brambles to wrap around the stones, but
> never got anything I liked, so left it out. :-(

I think it would be worth going back in and adding some details like 
that and publish a second state.  So much about the picture is dead on.
Especially the color harmony.

> 
> The Terragen sky & the fog really make the scene. I was very pleased with
> the warm, dusky atmosphere. Of my own images, this is my personal favorite
> just because of the ambiance.

It's that vivid color that characterizes all of your work.  Yes I think 
this is your most successful piece so far.


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From: Shay
Subject: Re: Mystery...Mystery Lights
Date: 12 Aug 2003 15:43:21
Message: <3f394359@news.povray.org>
"Jim Charter" <jrc### [at] aolcom> wrote in message
news:3f358a4e$1@news.povray.org...

A very good idea for a scene and an impressive execution. The lights,
however, seem more playful to me than mysterious.

The closest elements do not stand up to close inspection. Otherwise, all
textures and modeling look great.

 -Shay


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From: gonzo
Subject: Re: Mystery...Mystery Lights
Date: 13 Aug 2003 00:24:39
Message: <3f39bd87@news.povray.org>
Shay <sah### [at] simcopartscom> wrote in message news:3f394359@news.povray.org...
>
> A very good idea for a scene and an impressive execution.

Thanks!

The lights,
> however, seem more playful to me than mysterious.

Interesting interpretation, possibly aided by some subconscious design on my
part...  while researching earthlights on the web I found several eyewitness
accounts describing their movements as "intelligent", "directed",
"controlled" and other adjectives indicating some degree of intent or
volition.  In one account two men describe trying to follow the light, only
to be led through a swamp, with the light always remaining just out of
reach. The witnesses concluded the light was playing with them.

>
> The closest elements do not stand up to close inspection.

Probably a good reason for me to start trying to grasp isosurfaces... <gasp>
<shiver>

Otherwise, all
> textures and modeling look great.
>
>  -Shay

Thanks for the comments.

RG


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