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The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Messier 101 Mandala [birth/death of a star]
|| 1/11/2008 || 6:22 pm || Comments Off on Messier 101 Mandala [birth/death of a star] || ||

: saved at 12,000 X 12,000 :
Messier 101 Mandala

It was originally rendered at the normal size (216mp), but I decided to cut the center out and use the circular Mandala layout. Being that its my first use of tessellated space I decided to use an archetype that represents rebirth.

Read more about this project here

View Details:


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

Photograph of the Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers showing my map Jefferson Mandala

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:


Capitol Hill Mandala, draft #2
|| 4/30/2007 || 9:16 am || Comments Off on Capitol Hill Mandala, draft #2 || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 9,000 :

Read more about this commission & the first draft here. The client wanted more of their house and I hope this version will suffice!

View Detail:


Capitol Hill Mandala, first draft
|| 4/9/2007 || 3:27 pm || Comments Off on Capitol Hill Mandala, first draft || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 9,000 :

A couple weeks ago a visitor contacted me about places where she could see my maps printed out. After finding that she ived here in DC, I invited her & her husband over to look at some of the maps I have in my house. After viewing the lot, they really liked the one I made of Park City, Utah and asked if I would make one of their house that looked similar. This is the first draft. I will post the subsequent drafts as they are made….

The development of the tile I used to for this draft is actually something akin to an advancement in my own artistic endeavors. I originally made two tiles to be used- one that featured a diamond and the other featured a 16 sided polygon. I ended up using the 16-sided polygon to surround the house because it looked similar to the centers of the maps I’ve created using the Octagon Quilt Projection. The advancement I speak of is that by using an 16 sided polygon shape and having octagonal symmetry, I, for the first time, have created a unique geometric illusion.

In the Park City map I used a hexagon to outline the house and as one moves their eyes around the map they can see the hexagon rotates in conjunction with the symmetry used in the map. The illusion is that the houses rotate inside of the polygon but the polygon itself does not!

For example, along 45 degree line of symmetry, a hexagon or diamond would be rotated 45 degrees (while still being a hexagon or diamond in shape), however, in this map the polygon does not rotate because the polygon has exactly twice the number of lines of symmetry being employed in the map. Only upon closer inspection can one see that the contents of the polygon rotate along the lines of symmetry, while the polygon itself does not.

View Detail:


Denver Mandala
|| 2/28/2007 || 11:30 pm || Comments Off on Denver Mandala || ||

: rendered at 10,000 X 10,000 :

Unlike my two most recent maps which were created in Photoshop from a previously made Quilt projection, this map was originally made on July 15, 2005. As I stated about a year ago, I didn’t put it on-line originally because I was unhappy with how it looked. Well times change and so does my taste in what I think looks pleasing….

View the Google Map of downtown Denver, Colorado

View Rendering Details:


Philly Mandala #2
|| 2/27/2007 || 4:46 pm || Comments Off on Philly Mandala #2 || ||

: saved at 9,000 X 9,000 :
Philly Mandala No.2 by Nikolas Schiller

When processing Philly Quilt #2 for my on-line store I made this derivative map. By taking the original map and keeping only the exact circular center of the map, I was able to easily construct this mandala.

View the Google Map of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

: detail :

View the rest of the details:


Houston Mandala
|| 2/24/2007 || 4:18 pm || Comments Off on Houston Mandala || ||

: saved at 9,000 X 9,000 :

Derived from Houston Quilt

When processing Houston Quilt for my on-line store I made this derivative map in Photoshop.

View the Google Map of downtown Houston, Texas

View rendering details:


Bangkok Mandala
|| 11/20/2006 || 12:42 pm || Comments Off on Bangkok Mandala || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 9,000 :

This map was commissioned for Becky Weber. It is to be given away as a gift.

View Rendering Details:


Philly Mandala
|| 1/13/2006 || 8:34 am || Comments Off on Philly Mandala || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 15,000 :
Philly Mandala by Nikolas Schiller

This map uses some of the imagery I discussed in my previous entry. Of note is that this map uses more of the river and creates a very unique design on the bridge.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:


White House Mandala
|| 10/24/2005 || 7:13 am || Comments Off on White House Mandala || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 12,000 :

I fixed the lighting problem that plagued my last two renderings and the result is probably one of my favorite mandalas yet (my favorite is still the Ballwin mandala). I was able to fix the lighting issue by pulling the light source farther away from the imagery and then making the light source brighter. The result is more diffusion of the light without the center being bleached out. If you look at the rendering details below, you can see the the center of the rendering is the Ellipse and without realizing it, I made an circle out of the Ellipse :-)

rendering details:


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

: rendered at 9,000 X 9,000 :

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:


Adams Morgan Mandala
|| 10/21/2005 || 7:09 pm || Comments Off on Adams Morgan Mandala || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 9,000 :
Adams Morgan Mandala by Nikolas Schiller

I like this rendering, but the way I setup the lighting is not the way I wanted it to look. Its far too bleached out at the center… and well, I’ve never liked the colors in this imagery in the first place. The reason why this took place is because I saved the template file after making the last mandala rendering, the Buena Park Mandala. Oh well.

View Map Detail:


It’s Up – Check it Out!
|| 10/7/2005 || 6:37 pm || Comments Off on It’s Up – Check it Out! || ||

Check the print out using the interactive Zoomify flash application.

This print was displayed at MOCA DC/A&M Gallery
Located at 1054 31st St., NW, Canal Square
Hours: Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat – 1-6pm Until October 28th, 2005

Jefferson Mandala – signed 30X20 Framed Kodak PerfectTouch Print

Buena Park Mandala
|| 8/15/2005 || 7:22 am || Comments Off on Buena Park Mandala || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 12,000 :
Buena Park Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

I really don’t dig how this one turned out. It’s too dark for my taste and you can’t really see much detail in the final product. I do like the other Buena Park renderings much better.

I need to get some new imagery because I’m not very happy with what has been rendered recently. I think it boils down to needing a new template that reflects my current emotions a bit more. And well, it’s quite ironic that the Buena Park imagery does has a roller coaster inside of it :-) But really, I want to start using some more human figures and new perspectives. I like that…new perspectives on the world, because, after all, that is what I’m creating isn’t it?

view rendering detail:


Boston Mandala
|| 8/14/2005 || 11:23 pm || Comments Off on Boston Mandala || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :

This rendering differs from the rest of the Mandala Project because I rendered it in 3:2 aspect ratio instead of the regular square. I really like the way the high number of reflections create an optical illusion of a circle when the rendering is a series of reflected squares. Reminds me of that Jung quote I found…

view rendering detail:


The Washington National Cathedral Mandala
|| 7/26/2005 || 12:01 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

I used the same imagery that I used to make the The Washington National Cathedral Lenz, but instead of placing the imagery into the Lenz template, I just used the 4 plane mandala template. The 4 planes then reflect 2 times giving a total of 8 lines of radial symmetry. What I like the most about this rendering is that I bent the Cathedral! I should have included that in one of the screenshots above because I have a small series of bent buildings that I’ve created in the last year or so. Of course my favorite is the White House (“Get Bent Bush!”). I’ll try to put the bent Cathedral on-line shortly.

Nonetheless, I think it looks awesome (as usual), but this rendering I actually over-projected by making the rendering larger than it needed to be. The beauty of the raster projection process is that I can merely scale down the final product in photoshop to correct it. Yet, this has happened time and time again with my most recent mandalas. I need to do the math before rendering them to make sure I don’t have to down sample each rendering. Naw— Go big!

view rendering detail:


Ballwin Mandala
|| 7/18/2005 || 12:02 pm || Comments Off on Ballwin Mandala || ||

This rendering turned out nicely, although I rendered it too large and had to scale down the projection to remove some pixilation. This rendering is also the first derivative of the Ballwin Lenz #2, and I was able to keep my old apartment building at 148 G Cumberland Park Ln. within the rendering. You gotta love art that hits close to home! (I say this everytime!!!!)

View my posting on the first Ballwin rendering.
View my posting on the second Ballwin rendering.

view rendering detail:


DC Mandala
|| 6/24/2005 || 10:57 pm || Comments Off on DC Mandala || ||

This rendering turned out well. I find it interesting that this rendering shares the same reflection point as the Mall Quilt second derivative. I can’t sell this one because it theoretically belongs to space imaging, but I’ll definitely keep this one around for donation/education purposes.

view rendering detail:


Baltimore Mandala Animated
|| 6/22/2005 || 12:09 am || Comments Off on Baltimore Mandala Animated || ||

Image Links to Flash Player:

Its nice to take a good healthy spin & zoom….

This is my first animated mandala, and I am quite pleased with the results.
…I wonder what tomorrow will bring!

Baltimore Mandala
|| 6/21/2005 || 2:25 pm || Comments Off on Baltimore Mandala || ||

The way the inner harbor is reflected makes this rendering all the more beautiful. There is a small artifact in the center of this image that creates a found focal point that, when printed out, will draw the viewer’s eyes directly to the center of the rendering. This rendering is also the first rendering that I actually made too big! When looking at it’s full 9,000 X 9,000 size, the ground looks slightly fuzzy, yet this is not really a problem! The way I look at it is that I might as well make it as big as possible because I can always shrink it without any degradation. I wonder what I’ll make next!

view rendering detail:


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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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+ 106 in 2004


- The Los Angeles Interchanges Series
- The Lost Series
- 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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