The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Philly Quilt #2
|| 1/12/2006 || 7:21 am || Comments Off on Philly Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Philly Quilt No. 2 by Nikolas Schiller

So I have yet to do so, but this weekend I plan on going through all my diamond quilt projection maps and re-categorizing them by rotation (0 & 45 degrees). I have yet to make any quilts that are wholly asymmetric. I have thought about making one or two, but for some reason I just don’t like the way they look. I guess it’s a sense of balance I am after and when I have one seam going horizontally across the page and add another seam that is 25 degrees rotated, it just looks awkward. I’d rather have clouds, than an asymmetric map.

As for this map, the seam makes an interesting reflection on the Pennsylvania Convention Center. What I also discovered last night, and is something I look forward to doing some more research on, is how there is a secondary texture that is being created in these maps.

When an aerial photograph or satellite image is taken there is usually some degree of distortion embedded into the orthorectified (defined as correcting distortions in an aerial image to produce a more accurate depiction of surface features) photograph. This distortion is usually caused by the angle at which the photograph was taken (directly above- nadir or at an angle- oblique). Thus if you take a photograph overhead at nadir (0 distortion at the center), then the buildings at the center will only show their tops, and the buildings at the edge will show their sides due to the angle of viewing. The interesting thing I discovered was the way the angles change with the seams. If you look closely at the details below, this angle creates an embedded texture of rotating the angle in which the buildings show. Essentially, its oblique alterations in the fabric of the quilt, and I think they make the tessellations even more intricate.

: detail :

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Philly Quilt
|| 1/11/2006 || 12:21 pm || Comments Off on Philly Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Philly Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

Finally I’ve gotten around to making some maps of Philadelphia. I had tried in the past, but when I downloaded the imagery I could never get the mosaic setup right. I wanted to make a large square of all of Philly to show both the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, but I’d either not have enough imagery, or I’d screw up the download, or in the end, it just ended up being too large of a mosaic to incorporate into a tessellation.

Essentially, if my desired output size is 18,000 and my tessellated source imagery ends up being 9,000 X 9,000, then I am not going to be able to show all of the city because the seams cut out some parts at the center. Also, large tessellations take a long time to import and take longer to parse through when rendering. That is why I made 5 renderings for Philly! This is the first time I’ve made so many. One of them is also a nondescript highway intersection of 95 & 676, which I might use next (not sure!). As for this map, it’s the standard hexagon quilt projection with the western side of Philly showing. I chose to set up the tessellation so that the Schuylkill river was the geographic identifier and rotated the imagery around it. The result is nice and the river makes it easy to find the seams of the tessellation. Up next is a diamond quilt projection map rotated 45 degrees and it should look nice :-) This year I am going to continue making more diamond quilt projection maps!!

: detail :

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Denver Quilt #2
|| 1/9/2006 || 2:38 pm || Comments Off on Denver Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Denver Quilt #2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

After looking through my archives, it appears that I never put the first Denver Quilt online! I know I have a copy of it in my iPhoto repository (I keep the final versions of my maps there so I can, at few clicks of a mouse, order prints on demand), but I am surprised that I never posted anything about it. I remember that it was a Diamond Quilt Projection because that was all that I knew how to make at the time! I also believe I made a Denver Mandala as well, so it looks like I have some searching to do in my archives and some processing as well!

I remade the Denver source imagery for this map and oddly I found that I already had two versions saved, but both were not perfect squares (as mentioned before). This version uses my favorite quilt projection and it turned out decently.

I only wish that I would have used slightly less light or post-processed the map (adjusting for contrast) to make it slightly darker. I must say that getting the lighting right is one of the hardest, but most crucial aspects to making these maps. Light is a destructive force because once the imagery has been sufficiently bleached in a scene, the post-processing can only regain so much of what was lost in tone and contrast.

Up next I have a slew of maps from Philly! I have one that finished rendering this morning that I have to process this evening. And there is also another one being rendered right now. I made 4 different tessellations of the source imagery of Philly, so I expect there to be quite a bit of variety in the end. Normally I don’t make multiple tessellations with the source imagery, and instead rely on one tessellation for each specific geographic location. There are some exceptions, but this series is sure to end up rather interesting.

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Minneapolis Quilt #2
|| 1/8/2006 || 10:47 am || Comments Off on Minneapolis Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Minneapolis Quilt #2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

I haven’t touched my Minneapolis imagery in a long time and I felt another map was due. I had to remake the source imagery because when I first prepared the imagery for Minneapolis nearly a year ago I did not know about the importance of using perfect squares for tessellations. My first versions were tessellated rectangles- which do tessellate properly, but when placed into Bryce, there is a level of distortion in proportion to the amount the length is larger/smaller than the width. I think the best example of this distortion is found in the first Georgetown Quilts. Well this map is distortion free, errr, well, I didn’t add any of my own at least. The irony is that it all maps are distortions of reality :-)

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Miami Quilt
|| 1/3/2006 || 1:13 pm || Comments Off on Miami Quilt || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :

Life is funny sometimes and when it rains it can pour…. So I obtain the Miami imagery on Sunday and I start making this map. Then yesterday I got a call from a former client asking if I can make them a map like I had made for them in the past… but of all places they want me to make a map of its– MIAMI! Too cool right? But alas, my swift (I do mean swift) turnaround draft map was not what they were looking for :-\ To add to the coincidence, when I was at the club last night, one of the DJs played this Bad Company (UK) tune called Miami Flashback, which has a vocal sample of my old friend Stacey K. on it!

As for this map, it is your standard 3 seam map. These are my favorite quilts because in most maps they create a beautiful Star of David in the center….simple as that. And well, ummm, I really like the colors of the water. I made two versions of the source imagery, but so far I’ve only used one (NE). I have another 2 seamed map on the docket.

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Lincoln Memorial Quilt #2
|| 1/2/2006 || 3:12 pm || Comments Off on Lincoln Memorial Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

While I like the first Dupont Circle Quilt slightly better, I still find this one to be one of my finest. The beauty of this map lies in the preparation of the source imagery. When I set up the mosaic I rotated the Lincoln Memorial imagery 45 degrees and tessellated it so the relfection pool makes a perfect X at the center. However, when I set this scene up, I rotated the entire quilt another 45 degrees, which gives the appearance of an exquisite checkerboard. This process of rotating the source imagery and further rotating the scene is something I’d like to do more of. I look forward to printing this one out :)
I didn’t realize it at the time, but Vietnam Memorial also shows up prominently in details.

: zoom :

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Salt Lake City Quilt with Clouds
|| 12/28/2005 || 7:34 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :

After over 28 hours of rendering time, this map finally finished up and I am very happy with the results. The merger of the natural (clouds) with that of the synthetic (tessellation) real (aerial photography) makes this one of my most unique maps to date.

The clouds, while not creating much of a natural shadow on the ground, look very realistic with different thicknesses and densities. To create these clouds I placed two large spheres on the left side of the scene and used the pre-made texture of “cotton balls” (I think?) to give them density and depth. I think I will start making more of this type of rendering in 2006.

However, while beautiful, these clouds take much more processing power to create because all of the shadows must be accounted for and in the 3D world the clouds take up a lot of space that needs to be calculated when ray tracing.

The last time I made something with clouds, after a 3 days of rendering a power failure was what ended the rendering (yet since it was 50% finished, I was able to reflect half of it, and salvaged the rendering– if you look closely, there is a face!).

Point being, this process is very slow and if I am to be making more of these my cycle of near daily renderings will be delayed to maybe one per week. I don’t mind this per se, but I’d rather have more than less maps at the end of 2006.

This progression session is one of constant revision and manipulation and as the Quilt Project has progressed from flattened spheres to infinite planes, I have attempted to better understand what exactly I’ve been creating and with this map I feel I made something that is truly post-modern and I must say that I am very excited about what the next map will be!

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Salt Lake City Quilt
|| 12/26/2005 || 1:14 am || Comments Off on Salt Lake City Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Looking good :-)

I wish I would have tessellated the source imagery differently. It would have shown more of the geographic location I wanted it to- the Mormon Temple. It only shows up on the periphery..

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Salt Lake City Scaled Quilt
|| 12/25/2005 || 12:34 pm || Comments Off on Salt Lake City Scaled Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

This is the first map that the scale has been so large. I’ve always though Salt Lake City was kinda far out. I visited the city on summer when I was growing up.

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Mission Dolores Quilt #2
|| || 12:29 pm || Comments Off on Mission Dolores Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Mission Dolores Quilt no. 2 by Nikolas Schiller

I made this map because my sister’s house is featured in the map!

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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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