The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


24 on 14th – One Long Day on 14th by Graeme King
|| 5/22/2008 || 12:28 pm || Comments Off on 24 on 14th – One Long Day on 14th by Graeme King || ||

On April 19th, 2008 I met Graeme King near the Black Cat nightclub after he had just started his 24 hours on 14th Street project. His goal was to take pictures of people for 24 hours and exhibit the photographs at his Artomatic exhibit space.

I had just finished the VJ setup upstairs in the main room of the Black Cat and was about to head home to change clothes before the evening. Although I didn’t blog about it at the time, that evening I VJed alongside DJ Rekha from New York City. DJ Rehka is a London-born musician who DJs her own blend of contemporary bhangra hip-hop fusion and has been credited with pioneering bhangra music in North America. Her first album, DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, was released in October 2007 on Koch Records, fuses the South Asian genre of bhangra music with international hip-hop and drum beats. It was quite a lot of fun! Click here to download an MP3 from her CD.

Graeme’s photograph of me is unique because he caught me wearing an article of clothing that has been blogged about and even written about in the Washington Post. Look at the sidebar photograph to see another view of the shirt (the photograph was taken nearly one year earlier). Although you can only see the top of the graphic in Graeme’s photograph, it features the close-up detail from Ball of Destruction, which is a map I created in September of 2005 that features a woman textured by aerial photography of the area around White House holding a globe of Hurricane Katrina with a devastated New Orleans in the background.

For the show I wore a shirt that I had recently ordered from France that says “Jeux de mains, Jeux de vilains” which is definitely not something that says Bhangra, but I didn’t know I’d be VJing when I was getting ready for the night. The phrase literally translates to “Hand Games, Evil Hands,” but the proverb has multiple different meanings. From what I understand, the phrase was first was coined during the French Revolution by rich nobles who played Jeu de paume (the precursor to tennis) with rackets & gloves while the poor (the villains according to the nobility) played with their bare hands. Now it’s a traditional proverb adults use when children are playing too rough. It also has a sexual connotation, but I’ll let you figure that out yourself.

Enough about the clothing, check out Graeme’s time-lapse video of his Artomatic installation. His exhibit space is on the south end of the 6th floor. The picture of me above is featured about 27 seconds into the video:

Ball of Destruction
|| 9/29/2005 || 9:00 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :
Ball of Destruction by Nikolas Schiller
Ball of Destruction


Superdome Quilt 1st Derivative #2
|| 9/21/2005 || 4:52 pm || Comments Off on Superdome Quilt 1st Derivative #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Supdome Quilt 1st Derivative #2
Source Imagery from NOAA

Using the first derivative of the Superdome Quilt, I place the extracted imagery into the 6 seamed quilt template. I sincerely love the way in which the Superdome creates such an intriquate star. I wish the stars didn’t merge on the edges of the rendering, but for their perfect placement around the center, I’ll let it slide. I look forward to using this derivative imagery in future renderings.

View Details:


Bay Saint Louis Quilt
|| 9/12/2005 || 7:59 am || Comments Off on Bay Saint Louis Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Bay Saint Louis Quilt
Source Imagery from NOAA

Comparing the before & after imagery of the bridge is a humbling reminder of the shear force of a storm surge. Using my favorite 6 sided quilt template, I used the modified imagery I obtained from NOAA. I don’t remember the exact location of where I obtained the zip file containing the imagery, but its from an aerial survey of the Gulf coastline from New Orleans all the way over to Alabama. The series gives a very informative look at the destruction of Katrina. I felt compelled to make a rendering using imagery that was not from New Orleans.

As for the rendering itself, the bridge makes an awesome geographic identifier and has the look of embroidery. Alas, there will need to be a lot more stitches in time to fix it! The only drawback I found with the rendering, was that in the imagery preparation, in order to make the colors decent looking (as opposed to the pale blue tone that the source imagery had), some the landforms on the ground were slightly bleached out. A secondary drawback was that I obtained the imagery in a compressed .jpg form, so there was already some pixilation that existed which slightly obscured some of the detail of the damage. Nonetheless, I love the way this rendering looks, but I still like the Superdome Quilt – 1st Derivative slightly more. I don’t have any renderings in the pipeline at the moment, but my guess is that I’ll make a second rendering using the same Bay Saint Louis imagery…

As stated before, all proceeds from the prints using Hurricane Katrina aftermath imagery will be donated to the relief efforts.

view rendering details:


Bay Saint Louis Bridge – Before & After
|| 9/10/2005 || 9:52 am || Comments Off on Bay Saint Louis Bridge – Before & After || ||

Image taken before Katrina from Google Earth

Image taken a few days after Katrina from NOAA

This is the unmodified source imagery for my next rendering. The amount of damage caused by the surge cause the low-laying Bay Saint Louis bridges to be severely damaged. If they do rebuild, it’s imperative that the bridges are built higher to ensure such damage does not take place again.

Superdome Quilt – 1st Derivative
|| 9/9/2005 || 8:34 pm || Comments Off on Superdome Quilt – 1st Derivative || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Superdome Quilt – 1st Derivative
Source Imagery from NOAA

This rendering mrks a subtle departure from my standard quilt template. For this rendering I rotated the infinite planes at 22.5 degrees, and the result is a piece that is only symmetrical on one axis. Normally the quilts have numerous lines of symmetry that allow the print to be viewed nicely from multiple perspectives.

Yet the stars look amazing and draw my eyes to them first.
It’s 14 stars for 14 colonies- the original 13 and Washington, DC :-P

Up next the Bay Saint Louis Bridge. Oh how you folded!….

Like the rest of my Katrina aftermath renderings, the proceeds from this print will go to support the relief efforts.

View Details:


Superdome Quilt
|| 9/8/2005 || 8:06 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Superdome Quilt – Source Imagery from NOAA

Horrid beauty. Symmetry & balance in an area ravaged by my favorite & only subject, Mother Nature.

Like the recent Boston renderings, the colors contained in the source imagery make this image stand out considerably. From what I can tell from the NOAA website, the aerial photography used to make this rendering was taken in the afternoon on a mostly cloudy day. The spots of brightness in the rendering are places where there were holes in the clouds. The dark areas on the ground are the flooded locations. These flooded locations, even the source imagery, are really hard to decipher. Due to the time the photograph was taken and the moisture content in the air, the flooded areas lack some of the detail I was hoping to portray.

When modifying the imagery in Photoshop, I did a simple “auto-levels” to balance out the colors, and surprisingly this change in levels gave some extra clarity to the imagery. If you check out the colors of the source imagery, you know what I’m talking about. Yet, I wish that “auto-levels” in Photoshop had some magical powers that would make the waters in New Orleans go back to their original levels…

When I created the geographic tessellation in Photoshop, I placed the imagery in such a way that the very center of the tessellation was the New Orleans Superdome. I was unable to acquire imagery from NOAA that contained the entire damaged dome in one image (ie, only part of the Super Dome shows up), so you can see how the reflection connects the Super Dome together into a hurricane damaged clover leaf. This centralized geographic identifier makes for some stunning reflections at the center.

Like my earlier experiences using 1st and 2nd derivatives, I have decided to make a 1st derivative rendering using the 6,600 X 6,600 pixels at the center this rendering. I think it’s going to look gorgeous and should be ready sometime tomorrow.

Lastly, like Katrina Quilt & Abstract Katrina, I am putting this one up for sale and the proceeds will go to the disaster relief efforts….hmmm… something that just popped in my head… maybe I could use the money to buy time for a commercial that demands that FEMA director resign. I think that might be a better use of the funds…maybe not… Regardless, heads need to roll and if I am able to help this process, I think I’m helping the disaster relief efforts considerably.

View Details:


Abstract Katrina
|| 9/7/2005 || 12:05 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Abstract Katrina – Source Imagery from NASA

Following up with my previous rendering of Hurricane Katrina titled “Katrina Quilt,” I decided to make a slightly different rendering using the Abstract series template with the same source imagery from NASA’s MODIS satellite.

Looking over all of the renderings I created last month, I realized I have been making far too many in the Quilt Project. Granted, I recently discovered a new way in which I can reflect the imagery immensely within the existing template, I’ve kinda gotten bored with so many renderings looking somewhat the same. Thus I changed it up a bit, make it a bit more Abstract. Like the previous rendering, I am putting this one up for sale to raise money for the diaster relief efforts.

Today I acquired some high resolution aerial photography from NOAA of downtown New Orleans. I’m going to set a scene to render before I got to bed.

view rendering detail:


Katrina Quilt
|| 9/6/2005 || 2:13 am || Comments Off on Katrina Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Katrina Quilt

I have noticed that quite a few DC area artists have put up their art for sale to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Using a public domain satellite image from NASA’s MODIS satellite, I created a piece I call “Katrina Quilt.” I am going to make five 30″ by 20″ prints available for sale at $200 each. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail. I will be making another rendering of the satellite image shortly

I have another rendering for sale for hurricane relief efforts, its called Abstract Katrina.

view rendering details:


Ivan Memory
|| 5/1/2005 || 5:39 am || Comments Off on Ivan Memory || ||

Ivan Memory by Nikolas Schiller

Using an aerial photograph from NOAA of Pensacola, Florida taken shortly after Hurricane Ivan, I’ve modified my old “memory” template to produce this rendering. Instead of keeping some background imagery, like in DC Memory, I’ve made this rendering to show only the two primatives used to make the rendering. The result is what I think to be the future of my next renderings (as in expect more renderings in the “memory” series). I really like the way the reflection of the source imagery makes the bridge over the water appear to be an oval. I can’t wait to get this map printed!



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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


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