Author: earthbalm

UKLG notes

Thanks to calmgrove, I’m seriously considering a series of pictures (and perhaps music) inspired by the writings of Ursula K Le Guin. I thought I might share some of the notes I’ve been taking from “A Wizard of Earthsea“. Apologies for the untidiness, handwriting never was my forte.

Picture of vocabulary from “Wizard of Earthsea”. Copyright Ursula K Le Guin.


Also, this from the UKLG website, looks fascinating (though, as always, I’m somewhat late for the party):

iRay and Lux comparison

I thought I’d post a comparison of the results of the same Daz Studio scene rendered in the iRay renderer and in LuxRender via the Reality plug-in. Both pictures are as they came out of the software, no post work other than to resize them to standard HD 1920 x 1080 pixels. The comparison isn’t quite a fair one as the materials were mostly iRay ready and I did nothing in Reality to make them Lux compatible. Both pictures rendered simultaneously, for the same length of time, on the same Mac Pro machine. The figure’s clothing is a Daz original item and the figure itself is the Genesis 3 base figure. The background is the Serengeti option for the Millennium Environment. I didn’t take the time to make sure that the background and foreground lighting matched and the LuxRender file isn’t very forgiving of the background asset’s geometry.

Picture file: Serengeti Archer iRay rendered. Copyright Dale Warner 2017.
Picture file: Serengeti Archer Lux rendered. Copyright Dale Warner 2017.
serengeti archer layers
Picture file: Serengeti Archer composite of two previous files. Copyright Dale Warner 2017.

Enjoying iRay, at last

I know there are so many important things going on in this world but even though I find myself becoming ever more political, I am too ill informed on almost all of them to even attempt to comment.

So, I have this blog, a little bubble in the ether, as a sanctuary from reality.

Reality and LuxRender are two pieces of software (which I always called “programmes” but now feel obliged to call “apps” or “applications”) that I have enjoyed using to render my Daz Studio files for the last 3 to 4 years. The set up gives very fine physically accurate and photographic quality renders.

However, I’ve recently spent time with Daz Studio’s inbuilt and nVidia powered “iRay” renderer. I love the grainy and painterly character of what I’m currently getting. Below, I have included 2 renders to demonstrate the difference.

Figure on the savanna. Rendered using iRay. Copyright Dale Warner 2017.
A Steampunk Forest. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.
A Steampunk Forest. A Reality and Lux render. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.

My bubble in Cyberspace

I have begun reading UKLG’s “The Wind’s Twelve Quarters” and this morning finished reading the story “April in Paris” and it illustrates perfectly (for me) the profundity of the author. Most other writers would have had the main characters  (who have used ancient magic to meet) die at the hands of the supernatural to ‘restore the cosmic balance’ but not Ursula K Le Guin. She has them all walk off together into the sunshine (dare I say, “Happily ever after”?). No lesson cruelly learned or any intervention of fate, just four lonely humans and an equally lonely dog enjoying the company of each other.

Daoist indeed.

Apologies for a title that has little or perhaps everything to do with the post.


Alternative Realities

Been thinking about the different vehicles for Alternative (or if you’re American, “Alternate”) Realities in literature and related media forms. The list I came up with isn’t as large as I thought it would be and I’ve duplicated several times in my mapping. I’ll post the results at a later date when I’ve given it sufficient thought.

Edit: I was also thinking wider than just a multitude of universes and into altered states of consciousness etc. or the creation of alternate worlds e.g. Myst.

Incorrect assumptions

I’m currently 96 pages into Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” and loving it. It is strange that for some reason I’d thought it would be set in a “Logan’s Run”, “THX1138” or “Fahrenheit 451” future dystopia but it has a setting more akin to Le Guin’s own “Rocannon’s World“; more ‘science fantasy’ than ‘science fiction’, more Tolkien than Clarke.

Chapter 7 made me ‘jump’ in the same way that the last chapter of Gene Kemp’s “The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler” made me ‘jump’. It has also motivated me to think about the gender identity of third person fiction narratives (even though chapter 7 is a first person narrative / journal entry). That the journal writer might be female had not entered my mind in any way as I read the chapter, not that I’d consciously thought it was male either but I must have subconsciously thought so otherwise I’d not have been jolted at the “I am a woman of peaceful Chiffewar…” line. I’m sure the surprise was a calculation and orchestration of UKLG.

Again, like “The Word for World is Forest” or “The Dispossessed” the book seems to me to be a vehicle for exploring different types of society and the plot is secondary. In her introduction, UKLG refers to the book as a ‘thought experiment’. Off topic a little, I love her comment (in the introduction) that, “The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.” 

So, I’m loving the book and all the more because it isn’t what I assumed it would be (on may levels).

“Miss at your peril,” as they used to say somewhere I cannot recall.

lhod 756970 uklghainish

PS I have just realised that I never did finish ‘Moby Dick’.