OK, so, no. I'm not very good at this. I ended up managing to not posting week 3 AT ALL until today. It's harder than I thought it'd be!
But, I have had 3 days annual leave this week. Have I been productive?
Maybe somewhat. I've got some writing done - not quite enough to post yet - but I hope to post it soon. I've also threaded a few of the display books with new ribbons - when I bought them, they had the most useless bit of elastic to hold them shut (think: chocolate teapot), so I sewed a new piece of ribbon and some snaps on. I hope that holds up a little better.
Still working on getting to grips with Apophysis.
I wish there were some better tutorials out there. At the moment, there's not really much between "render a batch of random flames, and then wiggle the triangles around until you find something you like!" and "major hardcore serious tutorial for people who already know what they're doing". I suppose the problem is, I want to know why a particular variation does a particular thing, and why putting a triangle there has that affect on the flame, and that's something you'll only get with practice. (Plus, of course, most people are writing tutorials for free.)
I've followed a few tutorials, though, which have produced some lovely results (I mean, for a beginner - not a patch on what the author of the tutorial produced, but not unattractive, I suppose...?) but I'd really like to know what I'm doing. XD I imagine that's the point, though - it's hard to explain what different plugins do without trying them out, because there's such an incredible amount of variability in where you put the triangle, what variations and what strength you apply to them,
My first renders were just the usual muddy basics, but I think... I am possibly starting to work out how this thing works.
Here's a few of my efforts - I'm not going to show you all my bad muddy first renders, don't worry! Click on each image to enlarge.
OK, this was just from a random batch that I went "tee-hee that looks like a feather or a chilli or something".
OK, now we're starting to get somewhere.
|Mother of Pollen
Yes, "pollen-2" came before pollen, but it only got its name because I looked at "pollen" and went: "oh, that looks like..."
"Oh, that looks like..."
With the help of a tutorial, I got a spiral.
I saw lindelokse's incredible flower fractals on devART while looking for a BASIC tutorial, and fell in love with them. I created this after working through her tutorials, trying to get a handle on the different variations. I still don't really know what I'm doing - or rather, why the variations do what they do - but maybe with practice comes understanding?
Success! A flower. To start with, I was really struggling to get anything to work - until I realised from the comments that the tutorial was missing a step ("flatten") as the program had been altered since she wrote it.
I'm not sure if I like this one better than blue flower. I like the colours, but I'm not sure if the wispiness makes it messy.
aka, gas hob. This is me going, "I'm going to faff with the parameters and see what happens!" I did start with a blank flame this time.
| ||Exploding Fireflower
Not so good as the other flowers, I know, but I managed to get to this one on my own (mostly). I just can't remember HOW, precisely... (Probably should actually be "exploding hot-spring", really, as the gradient is called geyser.)
The next 2 are just different colourings of the same flame. It's not QUITE symmetrical, which upsets my OCD a little, but I didn't want to futz with it too much and spoil it.
|Argus: This gradient was actually nostly blue, so it was a happy accident when it came out in all these wonderful rich coppers. I particularly like the little Mandelbrot-looking blue lines at the centre.|| ||Peacock: I've always been one for bright saturated colours, so I re-rendered it as a peacock-tail, but I'm not sure if I like it as much. Perhaps a little too vivid?|
Or... whatever else it looks like. Starfish? The underside of lots of tiny octopi?
(Annoyingly, I'm accumulating quite a lot of pretty renders, and of course, I want to show everyone ALL of them... but they're not THAT special. XD)
Thursday just gone, there were some Mysterious Lights in the Sky™:
(No, I couldn't get a good photo; this was using "slow shutter" on the iPhone and a tripod.)
Aliens, maybe? Wee-woo. Hm, all right, maybe not - just blue lasers. I'm still not entirely sure where they were coming from, though; at first I thought, is something going on at Foxhall Stadium? As I can sometimes hear the bikes when there's Speedway on, but then I realised I was looking completely the wrong direction. I don't even really know whether there is anything that could be used for some sort of event, in a direct line away from my flat, so I basically have no idea what was going on.
...Made for some interesting practice in using my phone as a camera, if nothing else.
Lastly, I'm trying to design an "off-centre" thread mandala to use in a picture - with concentric circles that are all slightly out of step with each other - and it's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Using a sequence of regular steps makes it curve round in quite a strange way that I don't want, but spacing the points irregularly is giving me a headache, ha. I'm sure there's a formula that would explain it, but I can't think of it. I'm going to have to hand-draw it. Which... probably isn't that big a problem, and it'll work towards the organic look I was hoping for? but... I like having nice clean mathematical templates.
Maybe this is just a hint that I need to start working my paper-embroidery "on the fly" as well as carefully making straight-line exact-angle mandalas.
Edit: By the way, thank you, LJ, for letting me spend several minutes re-ordering the images in my scrapbook so everything came up the right order, then completely ignoring it. That was really helpful. I hoped I'd get used to the new LJ scrapbook function the more I used it, but no; it really is just horrible.
This entry was originally posted at http://keaalu.dreamwidth.org/26041.html.