“Tamaryn the Fairy”, Daniel D. Brown, 2013

During my fiance’s last visit to Pittsburgh, I took a bunch of photo’s of her in a clover field. This image popped into my head and I just had to make it. Her photograph was inserted into a fully modeled 3D digital enviroment in Blender, with post-processing in GIMP.

I made two versions: one in vivid color and one with a more old-timey feel.

TamarynFairy_DanielDBrown_2013_Color_600

TamarynFairy_DanielDBrown_2013_Color_600_Detail

TamarynFairy_DanielDBrown_2013_OldTimey_600

TamarynFairy_DanielDBrown_2013_OldTimey_600_Detail

TamarynFairy_DanielDBrown_2013_Framed_600

Related Images:

“Lockin’ That Shit Down. And Then Missing Her”, Daniel D. Brown, 2013

I recently got engaged to the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met, Tamaryn Kelley. We had an engagement party entitled “Lockin’ That Shit Down” with a banner made by my roommate Emily (See her in my artwork “Princess Emileia Riding A Tauntaun” here). Sadly, my fiance lives far away at the moment. This photo came from my boredom while missing her after she went back home.

 

Photos assembled and post-processed in GIMP.

LockinThatShitDown_DanielDBrown_2013

LockinThatShitDown_DanielDBrown_2013_Detail

Related Images:

Dr. Kira Krend and “Oahu Amakihi”

So this is pretty rad… here is recent Ph.D. recipient Dr. Kira L. Krend holding up “Oahu Amakihi,” which  I designed specifically for her.  It was commissioned as a graduation present for Kira by her friend, the illustrious scientist/writer Christie Wilcox (of “Observations of a Nerd” fame).

Dr. Kira L. Krend with "Oahu Amakihi"

As mentioned in my original post, the islands in the pond are the Hawaiian islands where Kira studied the Oahu Amakihi honeycreeper (perched on Oahu) and the disease ecology of malaria (mosquito). I couldn’t really figure out a good way to get a Plasmodium into the image…

Buy a print of this piece at the
Laughing Mantis Zazzle store
or buy fancier prints at the
Laughing Mantis RedBubble store.


Oahu Amakihi

Commissioned as a graduation present for a Ph.D. student in Hawaii (notice the islands in the pond) studying the Oahu Amakihi honeycreeper (the bird – note the island it’s perched on) and the disease ecology of malaria (mosquito). Modeled & rendered in Blender 2.57. Post-processing and texture creation in GIMP. Textures based on photos taken by the student.

Buy a print of this piece at the
Laughing Mantis Zazzle store
or buy fancier prints at the
Laughing Mantis RedBubble store.

The Making of “K-T”

I know of at least a couple of people who were curious how I went about making my latest art, “K-T.” Here is an abbreviated walkthrough…

"K-T"
"K-T"

First came the idea. I’ve had the general idea of the composition in my head sometime: a view from a mammal ancestor’s burrow of the distant K-T meteor.

When I decided to actually make it with the free and open-source Blender and GIMP, I first made a very quick (like 5 minute) sketch of my idea layout (Note: You can click on all images for larger versions):

Hilarious sketch up of the idea. Looks like it was made by a two-year-old.

Next up: modeling the creatures. All objects are modeled as a 3D mesh, working with them and sculpting them at times much like clay – except it’s all in the computer.

Velociraptor polygonal mesh
Velociraptor Model - color and shadow to help see shape.

Next up comes the coloring, texturing, and addition of fur.

Velociraptor Texturing and Fur - an early test

In reality, the coloring and texturing is done on 2D images (using the free photoshop-like GIMP), which are then mapped onto the 3D mesh:

Velociraptor Color Map

Next up: a poseable armature has to be made and applied to the 3D mesh. Think of this as an actual skeleton that the mesh will deform with.

Velociraptor Armature Rigging

The armature has to be tested with lots of poses to make sure the mesh warps correctly.

Smile for the camera!

Rinse and repeat for the other objects:

Mammal with fur
Your great x 10 to the alot grandpa

Now start putting objects into the scene:

Basic Scene
More detail

And finally we have everything in place

Scene Mesh
Scene solid objects

At this point alot of time is put into positioning lights and tweaking textures so that everything looks good. Lighting is probably the hardest thing to get right (especially with fur).

Finally, the image is rendered and the image levels and coloring and effects are tweaked using GIMP.
Note: you can get a super high-res large poster of this artwork here.

"K-T"
"K-T"
"K-T" Detail

All in all, the entire process took 3 weeks. I could have easily spent another 3 weeks tweaking and fixing many aspects of the piece and adding more details, but I was pretty much ready to move on to something else. So, I got it to the point where I was happy with it as is.

I hope you enjoyed it!