pictures for the ROTR

painting & drawing, digital media, video, VR
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Niennildi Oarnen
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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Niennildi Oarnen » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:41 pm

I have to say I am quite please with how well the tree image turned out. I must confess that I had my doubts about it earlier because I thought few would understand Yavanna being clothed as a tree. But now that you have it finished and I see it in large format, I can see her. I cannot say exactly how I see her (probably because she shifts), but I do.

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:54 pm

thanks Dineen!

I also had my doubts about whether it could be done at all without getting cheesy or camp. Deviantart and some Tolkien fan sites have a couple of fine specimens of that sort of tree/person amalgam. Of course everyone is entitled to their personal idea of what Yavanna could look like, but I find the idea of a naked lady with leaves growing out of her skin just not quite my cup of tea :hmm:

It'd rather be like some of those shape-anti-shape illusions where the eye can choose either one of two (or more) ways to interpret a given image. I thought that that could be done by merely slightly suggesting the shape of a standing person with arms stretched out high in the darker parts of the tree shape (i.e. where the larger branches would be) - but that would not be so overtly suggestive of a person that it would leave the viewer no choice how to interpret it.

In fact, the drawing's been standing here in my room for a couple of weeks, and several people have seen it - yet none of them has yet remarked to me that they saw a person in it. I should add to that that they are not familiar with the description of Yavanna in the Silmarillion, and neither that this is the topic of the drawing. I'm curious if anyone is going to discover that ambivalence in the coming time.

BTW - this is neither especially how I perceive her either. This is one of those images that did not come from a personal experience / meditative image; it is based on that paragraph from the Silmarillion - although, of course, it is still my interpretation of that text:
In the form of a woman she is tall, and robed in green; but at times she takes other shapes. Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the Sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth, and it grew green with corn; but the roots of the tree were in the waters of Ulmo, and the winds of Manwë spoke in its leaves. Kementári, Queen of the Earth, she is surnamed in the Eldarin tongue.

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:56 pm

Lúthien wrote:[...] The next one is a physical remake of a picture that I created digitally last fall. It's an image of Yavanna in the shape of a great tree, as described in the Silmarillion:

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Wow! You really captured the essence of this passge from the Valaquenta:
In the form of a woman she is tall, and robed in green; but at times she takes other shapes. Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the Sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth, and it grew green with corn; but the roots of the tree were in the waters of Ulmo, and the winds of Manwë spoke in its leaves. Kementári, Queen of the Earth, she is surnamed in the Eldarin tongue.
All of those elements are in your picture, even the falling "golden dew" {you can see it in the full sized pic}.

I wish I had artistic talent; but all I can do (it seems) is brood upon the misdeeds done to me and imagine wreaking vengeance upon my enemies with myself in an Exosuit in league with a few Basestars.

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:23 pm

I'm convinced that you certainly do have creative capabilities, as is shown in the documents that you wrote. Creativity is not just "visual arts" - it's anything that is "created".

The thing is that these talents take time and practice to develop. You can't be sure that you can't do it until you have given it a really serious try. Some are better at visual things, some at writing, some at creating ordered systems.

On a related note, I was wondering if you have ever tried your hand at 3D modelling? I have read somewhere that people on the autistic spectrum seem to be exceptionally good at that. Of course you will still need to have an idea of what you want to create.

If you'd be interested to try, I would definitely recommend to give Blender a try. Just start with some tutorials that are out there (I also have some if you have trouble finding them). It'd be REALLY interesting to see some of the things that you have seen in Salvia-space visualised in 3D space.

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Lúthien wrote:[...] If you'd be interested to try, I would definitely recommend to give Blender a try. Just start with some tutorials that are out there (I also have some if you have trouble finding them). It'd be REALLY interesting to see some of the things that you have seen in Salvia-space visualised in 3D space.
It does sound interesting. However, first I must get this video server working.

See, Dineen and I bought a refurbed PS3 with a 320 gig hard drive. It was implied (by the vendor) that is had the 3.55 version firmware on it; but, to my horror, when I checked last night, when they refurbed it, they updated it to version 3.65, which not only removes the "Boot Other OS" option, but also makes it very hard to revert to an earlier more functional firmware.

The only instructions I could find for firmware reversion greater than 3.55 involved constructing some odd circuit board and soldering wires onto the motherboard and force flashing the EPROM. Yeah, right: for a guy who can't hammer a nail without bending it, that is out of the question. I've heard rumors of a software only solution which seems to involve upgrading to 3.70 and then downgrading using a custom script to 3.55, but I was too tired (and angrily drunk) last night to attempt that.

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:56 pm

here's one thing that I never understood: what's the function / point / advantage of having something like a "video server" over just using an extra disk drive?

I have a cheap 1 TB disk hooked up to my wifi access point so that it is accessible from everything on the LAN. I can simply copy a video file on that drive and watch it.
What does a "video server" do that I can't do with my setup?

I also wonder .. why would you need a "Boot Other OS" option for a device that does nothing other than give you access to movies? I couldn't care less what OS it runs, as long as it runs ... it's not like a computer that you use ever day, and which OS' gruesome characteristics could drive you bananas: such as when I'd be forced to work with Windows (Are you sure you want to press that button? Absolutely sure? Oops! It looks like you started Windows Explorer! This is a possible security risk! Do you want to continue (Yes / No)? Now, please wait 45 minutes while your Security Policy is being applied. You are not allowed to move around the room or breath in during this process. Warning! Warning! Invalid Genuine Windows (c) Software License Detected! Automatic transfer of funds from your bank account will commence thirty seconds from now! Also, Windows will empty your fridge, steal your bicycle and insult your neighbours! Etc. etc. )

Sorry, got carried away for a bit there. But surely there' s none of that on a video server? So why don't you just leave it as it is and use it to serve video's with?

On second thoughts, there are a couple of other things that have never made any sense to me at all.
Take Twitter. I have had at least six people explain to me what Twitter is about in the past years, but the explanation doesn't arrive home. As far as I see it, it's' a technology that enables people to send completely meaningless information, to which you have to subscribe. If you have done so, you can then get some Twitter receiver application, which you have to turn on in order to watch what those people are "twittering".
My point is: why would anyone in their right mind be interested in that? If I want to send a message to people, I can send them an email. OK, fair enough. But why would I want to send them a Twit?

But that's only the technical inanity of it. The most mysterious part of it is related to the contents. It's similar to people who talk loudly in trains or restaurants: they are always "giving opinions" and are, apparently, not plagued by any embarrassment when doing so. I have tried to mimic that behaviour at times with Susanne: talking at the same level as many other people do. It feels extremely awkward and silly and I can only maintain it for ten seconds before I have to laugh.
I cannot for the life of me understand how people can be blearing out all these "statements" that nobody ever asked for - and never feel any shame or embarrassment.
Twitter is something similar. People are making statements with it like a dork in the subway is boasting to his pal about - whatever dorks like to boast about.
"Apple's new donglepongle is zealously frantic!" "Whahaa! Whahaa! Cough! I just ate my Blackberry!" "The German soccer team are wankers and they'll lose tonight's game!" "Heya Dudes! Watch the newest episode of 'Bang me gavel' ! It's awefome!"
I wonder if there's anyone out there that actually listens to all that nonsense. I wouldn't be surprised if one day it would turn out to be a send-only, one-way system.

Tsk. People are weird.

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:31 pm

Lúthien wrote:here's one thing that I never understood: what's the function / point / advantage of having something like a "video server" over just using an extra disk drive?

I have a cheap 1 TB disk hooked up to my wifi access point so that it is accessible from everything on the LAN. I can simply copy a video file on that drive and watch it.
What does a "video server" do that I can't do with my setup?
Well, for one thing, a disk drive in itself will do you no good regardless of capacity if you don't have a PC to connect it to. We have no spare PC's. To explain the situation better, I shall gives you a techy explanation that some geek has helpfully already presented for me:
The "RSX" GPU in the PS3 is literally a 7900GT at 550MHz with 8 ROPs disabled, and only 256MB of DDR3 1400MHz on a 128-bit memory bus. The Cell Processor is a custom IBM Power PC CPU and it's completely unlike anything we've ever seen, or likely will ever see in a desktop PC. It's not necessarily faster or slower than what you could put in your desktop, just different. It uses the Power PC instruction set, and is an in order processor, and is asymmetrical. The main core known as the PPU in the Cell is basically the same as one of the cores in the Xbox360's Xenos CPU; the Cell in the PS3 also has 7 SPEs (originally 8 but 1 was disabled to improve yields) and 1 of the SPEs is reserved to the PS3's OS, so developers really only have access to 6 of them. If you were doing something that required a lot of branch prediction, any semi-current desktop CPU would beat the Cell. Where the Cell shows its power is with scientific applications due to its massive FP performance, which would outperform even the QX9770 because that's all it was designed to do. If you take a look at the folding@home statistics, there are roughly 6 times as many active donors on Windows than there are PS3 donors, yet the PS3 group has a total performance rating a little over 5x higher than the Windows group.

In a level playing environment both the Xbox360 and PS3 would get pounded by the current highest end hardware on the market, but it isn't a level playing field. In fact, PC games are so poorly optimized in comparison to something you will get on the Xbox360 or PS3, you have to rely on the brute strength of your hardware to compensate for the lazy coding. When we get towards the end of the Xbox360 and PS3 life cycle the gap between the PC and consoles will be huge, but that's what happens when you keep the same hardware for half a decade. [link]
In short, I want access to those 6 PowerPC processors. 'De-crippling' their later firmware version (and I think I found a modified one that will let me do that last night, but I have not tried it yet because in the immortal words of Tom Petty "I was too drunk to follow" [link]). You can do a lot more with this thing than to serve videos -- for example, I could install SugarOS on a small partition for Elanor. This sort of customization is also why the US. Military uses them (in their case, as a massively parallel processor) [link]. One of the things this setup does very well is massively fast video format conversion (say, from that antiquated AVI format to the new Matroska (.mkv) format, thus saving a significant amount of space) as the person who wrote the converter (in Java, interestingly) is using all six cores in parallel.

So you see. although the things I do may seem nonsensical on the surface, there is almost always a Cylonic purpose hehind them. B-)
I also wonder .. why would you need a "Boot Other OS" option for a device that does nothing other than give you access to movies?
Because it first boots and runs from its firmware, which they called XMB. Their earlier versions allowed to to exit that and run another customized OS, the later versions don't. Hence, the hacking. Added later: Also, I am using it for things it was never intended to do, so I have to force it to do them. Of course Sony doesn't want people to use it for anything than playing their Jacassian games & such. But I'm an Anarchist -- what else can I say: defeating a corporation's "intended use" is not quite as intense as an orgasm, but it's not bad, and sure lasts a lot longer. :-)
On second thoughts, there are a couple of other things that have never made any sense to me at all.
Take Twitter. I have had at least six people explain to me what Twitter is about in the past years, but the explanation doesn't arrive home. As far as I see it, it's' a technology that enables people to send completely meaningless information, to which you have to subscribe. If you have done so, you can then get some Twitter receiver application, which you have to turn on in order to watch what those people are "twittering".
My point is: why would anyone in their right mind be interested in that? If I want to send a message to people, I can send them an email. OK, fair enough. But why would I want to send them a Twit?
No argument there. The only thing I could think of doing with Twittter given its 140 character limit is to send Tweets like "I'm taking a piss!!!" or "Dammit! I'm constipated!"

No, sorry: I'm not into that whole potty sexual fetish thing.
Tsk. People are weird.
"Sukat, her eyes uncovered!" :D

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:22 pm

ah, ok, I see. You just want to use it with the TV set! Yes, that does make sense. I did not think of that, probably because while I do have a TV (though it's one of those CRT ones, probably 15 years old) I practically never use it.
So whenever i want to watch a movie, I just use the laptop and play it on VLC :)
"Sukat, her eyes uncovered!"
Tweena, her arms akimbo :)

Though as far as the "sense of Twitter" goes, it is still:

"Ignal, his head shaking after watching the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal taking it out against a guardless boulder"

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:07 am

Lúthien wrote:[...] Tweena, her arms akimbo :)
I pressed through the rushes and there,
the native dancers whirled before me:
limbs flailing, arms akimbo, feet kicking
up dust...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ39WeJpDLQ (And yes, I'm going to use it for our TV -- in fact, since we have one of the old CRT TV's (much sturdier with a toddler in the house who used to draw on the screen with crayons), I had to buy a little HDMI to standard broadcast RF TV channel #3 converter for it. Only cost about $2.50 USD; the shipping was almost 3 times as much as the device itself. :-) )

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Calantirniel » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:17 am

Luthien, I think you are onto something with "photographic realism" hehe - you really do capture that, perhaps because of all the layers of color apparent in your work! As for the final version of the Moon Vessel piece, I got an eery feeling: I think Van Gogh would be proud of that! ;-) Any relation? ;-)

Really, such wonderful work. If I ever get wealthy and need elven art for my new house, I know where to go :-)
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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:45 am

I pressed through the rushes and there,
the native dancers whirled before me:
limbs flailing, arms akimbo, feet kicking
up dust...
LOL, never saw that episode yet!
It's a bit uncanny though, that situation I mean: imagine that you do something awkward that everyone notices except yourself? But you *do* notice something about the way they react. I have suspected that on occasion, though it always turned out to be unrelated to anything I did - the people were just grumpy, or something like that. But it's awkward, in any case!

@ Thanks, Lisa! No, as far as I can tell I'm not related to van Gogh at all ..

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:05 pm

this is a remake of a small version that I made about two years ago. It's how I saw Elbereth in a meditation: she was at first like a presence without visual form, but at a certain point I asked her what she looked like. And then I saw something like this - I remember being very impressed, because it was a beautiful sight. It was not so much an image of stars "coming from her"; but more as if she represented "the essence of the stars".

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Calantirniel » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:45 pm

Wow Luthien - I think I have seen Varda Elentari very similarly to this! I have seen a few renditions (many are very good) - this is one of them! :-) Can we see why she was the favorite of the Elves? ;-)
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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Galdrtru » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:37 pm

Love these pics. Very inspired work!...literally.
'A darkness lies behind us,' Beor said...'Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find the Light.'

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Re: pictures for the ROTR

Post by Lúthien » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:36 am

Thanks both!
I think it is a pity that no matter what you produce to get the experience across, something is always lacking. Whether it's written, drawn or even set to music, part of the experience cannot be translated.

This just struck me because, as I was waiting for the train just now and reading the replies, I was also listening to music on my mp3 player. There was music on it by Nino Rota (the film music composer, of e.g. Fellini's movies, the Godfather) - a fragment that almost be used as the musical equivalent of Tolkien's "eucatastrophe": it sounds unexplainably joyous, but in an almost reluctant fashion.

This music added something to the picture which I had indeed felt during the experience but which I find impossible to put into the drawing: maybe the word "grace" comes close?

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