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August 4, 2010
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Abode of the Silent Scream by ILJackson Abode of the Silent Scream by ILJackson
"You know, until I infiltrated the Pirates of the Silent Scream organization under cover, I always thought their name referred to their habit of spacing unruly passengers on captured vessels. When I was taken to their base, I knew then I was wrong.
It is buried deep among the marshes of an uncharted planet in the Hyades Cluster, in an ancient alien ruin. I've uploaded the coordinates. The trees in that marsh can grow up to 1,000 feet tall, and the canopy challenges the skyline of the capitol cities of the coreworlds. But that structure...it must be hundreds of thousands of years old. Who built it? I cannot say. I'm no xenologist, but I've never seen its like. It is unsettling to look at and even more nerve-wracking to live in day after day. I believe that the Silent Scream pirates get their fierce reputation not because they are inherently blood-thirsty, but because of that place they've chosen as their base. At night, the walls whisper to you. You can't make out the words, but it transmits vague associations of unspeakably vile acts and wanton carnage. I'll be glad when you guys extract me so I can lay low somewhere on the right side of sanity for a while.
One other note, besides the security layout and data codes I sent you, be aware that when you hit this place, there's a heavy guard force stationed in the sublevels. There are extensive, half-flooded, root-choked catacombs down there of unwholesome ancientness. I could not get any details, but it seemed to me that the guards down there aren't posted to keep anyone out...but instead to keep something trapped inside. I'm going to go down and check it out later, to make sure they haven't got any nasty surprises down there.
Wait for my comsignal to start your raid. Good luck." -- last transmission from Commander Donovan Summers, Special Operative, Guardsmen Interstellar Security Service, anti-piracy division.

This is for the Beyond the Frontiers Lost Land contest.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think.
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:iconlynlinz:
LynLinz Aug 7, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing little world :)
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:iconsevenofeleven:
Well done.

Can I ask you some questions about your postwork techniques?
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:iconiljackson:
ILJackson Aug 8, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Fire away!
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:iconsevenofeleven:
If you used your rendering engines, what did you do for postwork?
Reply
:iconiljackson:
ILJackson Aug 9, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Once the image was rendered, I opened it in GIMP 2.6. I primarily did three things. First, I added a soft glow of about .25 brightness to make the light look more natural.
The next thing I did was create a displacement fog map to interact with the rest of the image.
Here is what you do:
1. create a new transparent layer titled "displacement" and select that layer.
2.Go to filter>render>plasma clouds, set it to about mid range and choose a random seed with a lot of variety. Create the map and then move the layer to the bottom, under everything else so it can't be seen.
3. Create a new layer labeled "fog", again transparent.
4. Again go to plasma clouds but drop the amount of turbulence until it's much smoother, say at about 1.2 or so, and choose a new random seed, one preferrably dominated by one particular color.
5. Bump the contrast of the "fog" layer to about 15 or so and then desaturate it.
6. Move it to the top layer and set the layer mode to "grain merge."
7. You might choose to color the fog a bit. I added a touch of green and yellow to mine. Do this by going to colors>color balance and tweaking the midtone with your primary color (in this case green) and just a slight touch of a highlighting color to the highlights (in this case, yellow).
8. Adjust the opacity on the fog layer to the depth that you are satisfied with.

Now in this picture, I rendered the original image with fog and haze, and it interacted very well with the fog map to create the final image you see here. But it also works well if you have no way to do fog in your rendering engine...although you might want to do some kind of opacity gradient so that the fog appears to be more concentrated at the bottom of the screen. I'd have to think a while on how to do that besides just erasing the top half.
Reply
:iconsevenofeleven:
Remember seeing some stuff in photoshop on gradients.
Not sure if it will help with gimp stuff.

Thanks for the info, noticed that the picture did not have that "fresh from the renderer's" look.
The scene looked almost like it was digitally painted.
Reply
:iconiljackson:
ILJackson Aug 9, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
That's the effect of the fog map.

Also, one other step, particularly if you are working with a lot of layers, that can diminish the "rendered" look is to create a new transparent layer called overlay, go to Edit>copy all visible and then press CTRL+V with the Overlay layer selected. Set that layer mode to overlay and drop it to anywhere from 75 to 50% opacity, depending on how dark you want things. Remember, though, if you make any changes to any other layers, you'll have to delete the Overlay layer and redo it, so it's best if it's the last thing you do (before putting your sig on the final image).
Reply
:iconsevenofeleven:
Thanks I want my stuff to not look like it came fresh from the render's
and your advice will help me.
Reply
:icongreta-heron:
Greta-Heron Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great image!
Reply
:iconperturabo93:
I love it! Can I go there?
Reply
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