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The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Libertarians make a misguided political statement at the Jefferson Memorial
|| 4/17/2008 || 4:50 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

I’ve been reading some of the coverage about a group of DC Libertarians who tried to stage a flash mob at the Jefferson Memorial last weekend.

The plan was simple: show up at the Jefferson Memorial at a set time and dance with their iPods for 10 minutes to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday and leave. But all did not go as planned:


Comparative Front Pages: Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer
|| 1/2/2008 || 10:58 pm || Comments Off || ||

WP Philly comparative front pages Comparative Front Pages: Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer

On March 26, 2007, the Philadelphia Inquirer published David Montgomery’s Here Be Dragons article. That morning I received a phone call from one of my best friends who happened to be in Philadelphia on business. He excitedly informed me that one of my maps was on the cover of a section in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I asked him to purchase as many copies as possible and about a month later I picked up the six copies from his house. My housemate let me borrow his camera to take an overhead photograph of the two newspaper articles side by side. When the housemate moved out a few months ago he gave me all of his photographs that he had on his computer and I found this photograph that I had forgotten about. What I found to be the most interesting aspect is the size of the map that was used in Philadelphia, the change of the article’s name, the movement from “Style” to “Health & Science.” I’ve tried to track down other syndications, but so far only the Philadelphia Inquirer has been obtained. The article itself has already been deaccessioned from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s website.

Related In The News Entries:


Me, Maui, Mall Mandala
|| 10/22/2005 || 4:26 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 9,000 :
nikolasmandala Me, Maui, Mall Mandala

I found out this morning that it only takes about 2-4 hours to render these mandalas, so I’ve decided to make one more! So much faster than the 8-12 hours they normally take :)

This rendering suffers from the same problems that plagued the last mandala rendering, the poor choice of lighting. Yet due to the nature of the source imagery used in this rendering, the light gradient isn’t as a big of an issue. Being my 3rd self-portrait, I am please how it turned out, but I don’t like using my name in the title of a rendering, but “self-portrait mandala” just didn’t sound right.

rendering detail:


Jefferson Sparks
|| 10/19/2005 || 7:03 am || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :
jeffersonsparks Jefferson Sparks

The rendering definitely falls out of line with all of my previous work…and I like it. It reminds me of two things- sparks and bacteria…. After reading this article in Salon, I wish I would have called it Jefferson Bacteria. Maybe I just might.

The interesting part of this rendering, to me, is the use of different texture perspectives. In Bryce, you have a ton of choices for different perspectives (object space, world space, parametric, etc.) and while I normally use Object Cubic, this rendering uses almost all of the different perspectives. I like the results and in the future, I’d like to mix perspectives more.

rendering details:


Boxes of Jefferson
|| 10/17/2005 || 7:20 am || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
boxesofjefferson Boxes of Jefferson

This rendering took 3 tries! It’s not that I couldn’t get the boxes in the right place, but every time I tried loading a third image to the scene Bryce would crash.

The result, is my first geographically derived puzzle.

How many boxes do you see?

answer & rendering details:


|| 10/9/2005 || 6:31 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
self portrait Self Portrait

Using a picture I took of myself in the Iao Valley in Maui, Hawaii on January 6th, 2005, I tessellated the picture (1200X1200) around the edges of a 4800 X 4800 pixel canvas. This allowed for a 2400X2400 square in the center to be filled with an image of my choosing.

In the spirit of my Jefferson Mandala print being at the MOCA DC/A&M Gallery, I chose to use the same source imagery, the first derivative of the Mall Quilt.

I added one extra touch in Photoshop, which I’ve never done before, I added some black glow to the picture of myself. This caused the aerial photograph to appear just below the frame. Almost as if there is a layer of the earth just below the blue sky, the aerial photography seems to float perfectly in the center of the tessellated mosaic.

I chose the quirky picture of myself because:
I liked the angle at which I took it (mountains!),
I liked the “what you lookin’ at,” half-smile, grin
I liked the color of sky (and even the two lens blemishes)
I like the contrast of the green to blue to white tones

The result, is definitely one of my favor works yet. The process of setting up the source imagery in photoshop is probably the most exciting part of it all. I can now do large mosaics with multiple aerial & satellite images. What will come next? We shall see…

view rendering details:


Knot the National Mall
|| 10/2/2005 || 3:17 am || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :
knotthenationalmall Knot the National Mall
Knot the National Mall

more later…


{no tyme to type}

lets just say last weekend’s festivities caused a knot in the National Mall.

view rendering details:


Washington Monument Zoom
|| 8/23/2005 || 8:45 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Image Links to Flash Player:
washington monument zoom Washington Monument Zoom

I made this animation for one of the main projects I’m working on right now, Operation Ceasefire. I’m going to make sure it ends up in the right person’s hands and hopefully it will be seen on a projection screen during the concert. I think the only real error in this rendering is that most people will be expecting to see the White House as it zooms out, but the tessellation only contains the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and some of the mall. Regardless, I think it looks pretty cool. If I had more time, I’d make a few more animations using this same imagery, but I’m not in the mood right now to do so. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, and I’m not sure if I’ll have much time to render anything for the next few days. But I guess, as I tend end my postings, we’ll see :-)

Mall Mountain
|| 8/9/2005 || 8:21 am || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 pixels :
mallmountain Mall Mountain

Going to foothills of the Appalachians and promoting an event on the National Mall, I felt compelled to combine the two :-)

One of the ideas that popped in my head during the trip was having a book titled “The Legend of Nikolas ® Schiller.” Inside would be large prints of my work. The use of the word legend in a cartographic sense would be the description of my methods used to create my maps, like a legend on a map.

view rendering details:


Jefferson Mandala – 2nd derivative
|| 6/16/2005 || 10:37 pm || Comments Off || ||

jeffersonmandala2 Jefferson Mandala   2nd derivative

I can’t go much further, or can I?
–probably to about 360X and then it will look like a vinyl record :)

view rendering detail:


Jefferson Mandala
|| 6/12/2005 || 6:15 pm || Comments Off || ||

jeffersonmandala Jefferson Mandala

This rendering marks two significant pinnacles in my geographic artistry.

The biggest step is of making a complete mandala. Before my mandalas were only reflected 4 ways (north, south, east, west) , and now I am achieving reflections of over 8 ways (north-north east, east-north east, etc), which make the final products so much more intricate and in my opinion, far superior to my older maps.

Secondly, the source imagery used for this image was what I’d like to call first derivative geospatial imagery. I have coined term to signify that the source imagery is the first derivation of a previously rendered image. In the image above, I used the rendered imagery from the center of the Mall Quilt as my source imagery for this rendering.

With source imagery’s self-similar design it’s closer to the definition of a fractal. You can zoom into a fractal to infinite, and what I think I’ve created is in effect a geographic fractal where I can take derivatives of renderings and reproject them into infinity. Each derivation will be more reflected and abstract, but I will not lose the spatial resolution so long as the final rendered dimensions are not larger than the source imagery dimensions multiplied by the number of times the source imagery is completely shown.

For example, the source imagery used to make the image above was 6000X6000 pixels, however the image above was rendered at 12000X12000 pixels. I am able to reproject the imagery larger because the actual source imagery is used multiple times within the image and in essence is doubled by the way the source imagery tessellates. Notice how you see a mirror of the Jefferson Memorial (aka 2x for every reflection), the mirroring process allows for the geographic tessellation to not lose spatial resolution when the image is finally rendered. Theoretically, I could cut out the center of this rendering, and use for my next rendering, and it would technically be considered second derivative geospatial imagery…and I might just do that :)

If this is too confusing, I’m sorry. I too am still trying to get my mind around this concept. Regardless, expect some very beautiful renderings in the near future!

View the map’s close-up details using the interactive Flash application called Zoomify

View the Google Map of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

This map was printed over a million times in newspapers around the world.

WP Philly comparative front pages Jefferson Mandala

View rendering details:


Mall Quilt
|| 6/11/2005 || 8:47 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :
mallquilt Mall Quilt

love it!

…more about the first image above tomorrow…

So the white building near the center of rendering is the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service building. I’ve been to a few meetings there :)

view rendering details:


Jefferson Lenz
|| || 12:15 pm || Comments Off || ||

jeffersonlenz Jefferson Lenz

After having Bryce crash while I was setting up the scene, I was very excited to be able to replicate the exact positions of all the objects and to finally start the rendering of this image, albeit over an hour later. This is my first rendering where I’ve gone beyond the standard 4X & 8X reflection to 12X reflection. I am very excited about where this new discovery will take my next set of renderings. Next I am going to attempt to apply this technique to the “Quilt Project“.

As for the Jefferson Lenz itself, there is a slight error in the background where the two objects meet on the seam. Although you cannot see it in the scaled down version above, the two don’t line up perfectly symmetrical- which kinda sucks, but its because I rushed that part of the setup. I was too eager to get the rendering started because of the new central reflections I forgot to see if the background looked perfect or not.

Anyways, I’ll be making another rendering shortly with this imagery…which is actually the same imagery I used for the Washington Monument Lenz, but the way the reflections turned out, you can’t see the Washington Monument, except in the background. So it was going to called Washington Monument Lenz #2, but since you can only see the Jefferson Memorial, I named the rendering accordingly.

Yeah for the weekend!

view rendering detail:


My first corporate commission
|| 5/16/2005 || 11:42 am || Comments Off || ||

I sold my first rendering to a local corporate entity…. I’ve already used the proceeds to get some of my older posters printed out. This is also the first time I’ve given the digital rights away as well, so now they own the full size (10,000 X 7,500) file instead of just a print. At first I was very hesitant about giving the digital rights away, but since this rendering is based off the “Lenz Project,” which essentially was the project that defined my style, I don’t mind as much because its clearly has my touch to it- even if its manipulated extensively. Also, the image doesn’t have the same abstractions I perfer to add, so while being my style, its also completely different compared to what I am making now……. its about time I made another rendering….

dclenz sold My first corporate commission

Washington Monument Lenz
|| 3/22/2005 || 9:10 am || Comments Off || ||

washingtonmonumentlenz Washington Monument Lenz

For some reason it looks like I never posted this in my blog… I totally remember doing so, but I can’t find it! Nonetheless, I love this rendering! The shadows the Washington Monument coupled with the reflections make it fun to look at. I can’t wait to reflect it a little more :-D

The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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The Lenz Project

Mandala Project

The Star Series

Abstract Series

Memory Series

Mother Earth Series
Mother Earth

Misc Renderings


+ 95 in 2008
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- The Los Angeles Interchanges Series
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- Terra Fermi
- Antique Map Mashups
- Google StreetView I.E.D.
- LOLmaps
- The Inaugural Map
- The Shanghai Map
- Ball of Destruction
- The Lenz Project - Maps at the Library of Congress
- Winner of the Everywhere Man Award


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