Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me the push I needed. I had been tinkering with the sequel to the Sol Over Silk Ocean wallpaper for some time. A friend of mine mentioned that she liked some of the 3D wallpapers I had created with Bryce and asked me if I could create a new version of Sol Over Silk Ocean. That bit of encouragement spurred me into launching the somewhat-unstable Bryce 6 app and experimenting with some of its atmospheric settings. Showing off some of the capabilities of the program, I sent her stunning red sunsets, strange alien skies, and eventually settled on a more natural morning-violet color. I struggled with changing the water to blue until I realized that the violet color was simply a result of the sun’s lowa distance from the horizon. In the original wallpaper, the atmosphere was artificially slanted toward a yellow color, but this new wallpaper would be more natural and perhaps less intense.
Now looking at a decent sky, I created a small island in the silk ocean, and I made it out of transparent blue metal for no particular reason. I’ve always been a fan of Bryce’s transparent metals – though not to a geeky level – and in this situation the result was quite unique. But I wasn’t satisfied yet, of course. I spent much longer creating and refining the island contours. I couldn’t seem to get the southern contour quite right, but I rendered the entire 4 megapixel (2560×1600) image anyway and closed the project for the day.
Defining the Problem
Today, I asked myself this question:
Why procrastinate about this? How long do I really think it will take to fix this annoying contour problem?
I asked a question to define the problem for myself. By asking myself this question, I realized it probably wouldn’t take that long, so I delved in again. Fifteen minutes later, I finally reached a pleasing form. If you’ve been following the “What I’m Doing” status messages in the sidebar, you would have seen when I made those “minor changes.” The newly added “What I’m Doing” section is powered by the ever-popular Twitter.com – a useful service for providing short, up-to-the-minute text updates to people. If you’ve been following these Twitter updates, you also know how long I waited for the 3D rendering to complete: about 9 hours. Patience is indeed a virtue, especially in 3D graphics.
After some tweaking with the curve adjustment layer in Photoshop, I was pleased with the result. You see, with a little help from a friend, a decision to define the problem, and some patience, I can now present to you: Indigo Island.