Images of broken light
Saturday, November 11, 2006

This theme is based on the lyrics of "Across The Universe" (Lennon/McCartney). "Images of broken light" are what draw Simon to go rescue his little sister: "Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes, they call me on and on across the universe." On the left we see Simon, looking at the images of broken light: River-That-Was and the shadow of her former self after the Academy got their hands on her. Despite his high social status and wealth, Simon can no longer bear it, and goes after her: "Limitless, undying love which shines around me like a million suns, it calls me on and on across the universe." The lyrics suit him well. It's Love. In point of fact. (Extended Commentary below).



Saturday, November 11, 2006 12:22 PM


(Extended Commentary)

The theme, Simon deciding to go rescue his dear mei-mei, necessarily precluded the use of any real BDM images; and all Firefly images too, lol; safe those from Safe that are flash-backs of their youth. So, please, excuse the low amount of included images.

For background I took a known object in space: a sun, with a sort of ring system around it (regular space is a bit too empty for me). Besides, the ring system provides a kind of 'motion trail' that symbolizes travel.

"broken light" is hard to express. Sure enough, the metaphorical plane offers a plethora of imagery. But expressing "broken light" in a physical sense is much harder. Pieces of a broken mirror? Too corny. Then there are RGB channel shifts, the use of "negatives", and an array of assorted other distortions. But all are too brutally "broken" (not to mention, gross).

But since this is supposed to be art, I wanted to express "broken light" on a physical plane, too. So, I inverted the light source. Instead of the sun casting its light on all, the source of light is actually the darkest place in the image: Academy River, lighting up Simon's face to the left, and brightening the sun to the right. This inverse light source, though metaphorically very fitting, is "broken" in the world of physics. That satisfied my artistic bone. Besides, apart from not looking gross (you don't want that in art, lol), the outward beams on River are positioned in such an angle that they give her almost Angelic properties -- not something I mind attributing to River, either. :)

P.S. Sorry for the repost. There were some facial distortions in the "River Tam sessions" River that I noticed and just couldn't allow to remain.

Saturday, November 11, 2006 12:23 PM


Posted by FollowMal Saturday, November 11, 2006 - 06:59

Have to say, attributing angelic properties to River's lovely face seems perfect to me as well.

Lovely piece, very evocative of the love Simon felt in going to find his sister... the "light of discovery" regarding the lies the "school" were saying---- the light of the "clues" River sent him in her correspondense.

So expressive of that.

And I have to add that I LOVED that you didn't use something cliche ( like shattered mirrors ) the light diffused and playing around the faces and off the sun and rings is so much more artistic.

All in all your most recent success. Made me smile wistfully for River's being saved by her beloved brother and made me afraid for her at the same time, that her sadness and the lack of "light" in her life still plagues her.

Saturday, November 11, 2006 1:25 PM


Wow...beautiful...absolutely beautiful, asarian!

Definitely strikes me as a counterpoint to River's vision in the BDM when she's is looking at Miranda in space through the schoolroom's tabletop computer screen...mainly in that River sees Miranda as the driving factor in her life till the message is broadcast and Simon views River as his driving factor till she's "healed":D


Saturday, November 11, 2006 1:27 PM


REALLY amazing, asarian- i'm afraid i have very little constructive to add from an art perspective, due to the fact that i have no art perspective. but, from the ley perspective, this is a truly amazing bit of work. you've done a wonderful job with the lighting and especially the way it goes at bigriver from both sides like that, and she's just clothed in darkness there. lovely!

Saturday, November 11, 2006 4:20 PM


Hi Miramel! Always good to hear from you again. And thank you, BlueEyedBrigadier! You always say the nicest things about my work. :) And you, FollowMal, who could ask for a more loyal friend? Although "loyal" might suggest you're just being obligatorily nice (eew; that sounds awfully crooked, but is probably grammatically correct anyway). And I know you're always truthful and speaking from your heart.

Talking about speaking, I actually forgot to tell something about the work.

Ever wondered what that yellow-ish colored area is in the lower left corner? Well, especially the outer ring, seen as a curve to travel along, is color-coded, as it were, representing the transition from warmer colors (River's youth), to a color that's more cold: the period after her youth (the transitional rim is, horizontally aligned with small-River's head). The yellow-ish spot, apart from being generally warm and cozy, actually is supposed to be reminiscent of the fireplace in the Tam residence (where the footage is from). I didn't actually put the fireplace in -- not even smudged or something; but the color is so chosen that the brain, hopefully, will make the association anyway. And then, right above that 'timeline' the color shifts to a "cooler" one, as River is pulled from her place of warmth and home.

All-in-all, as I'm experimenting with this whole art thingy, I find myself surprised at how much you can really do with light.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 12:12 AM


A really thoughtful and moving piece of work...kudos..'s always about the light


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"He takes so much looking after."
The title really says it all. This is River, deeply happy for her brother and the way things turned out. This is "I'm all right." at its finest hour.

N.B. A improved redo of an earlier work. I removed the text balloon, and significantly cleaned up the 'embrace' scene and various other small changes and fixes.

P.S. Right-click and 'save' to get the original-size image.

Going Dark
"Going Dark" tells the story of Kaylee getting shot. Like an eclipsed sun, there's Dobson's bullet, frozem in mid air, as 'seen' by Kaylee, who walks into the cargo bay at the wrong time. I accentuated Kaylee's stomach wound, but it's the only graphic element in the entire image. In fact, most everything else is purposely opposite to bad stuff; it's all dream-like, sweet, with pretty flowers, butterflies, and even one of River's pink elephants shows up for the occasion (from the unshot episode 'Dead or Alive'). No nightmares for Kaylee, no bad conscience visiting upon her, no worries even: you just gotta have faith in people, yourself included. (Extended Commentary below)

A Hot Summer Night
in the same vein as piratenews has been posting.

Twilight Fancies
Kaylee, half passed out, drifting in and out to a faerie-like dream land. It's a bit different. And it's a bit shippy (but in an unsullied way: just some harmless swooning on the part of our fav' mechanic). Not an overly complex image. But I played a lot with the lighting, and I'm now fair content with the the dream-state like properties it's breathing. After all these years, it really does get harder creating new and undone themes. All-in-all, I set out what I wanted to do.

The Firefly / Mass Effect Comic!
A while back, playing Mass Effect, I suddenly got this hilarious idea for a Mass Effect comic, based on Firefly! :) So, I proudly present to you The Firefly / Mass Effect Comic! It's basically Mass Effect pictures with Firefly text! Of course, to get the full experience, you gots to be familiar with Mass Effect. See below for all episodes.

"Dear and fluffy Lord," The Interview
After the BSR went down, last year, I also lost my very first fanvid. I'm still liking it, though; so, here it's back (Extended Commentary below).

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 5 -- "Time to wake up!"
This was originally a very simple image. Still is. :) But right after first posting it, I suddenly realized I could do something else with it: I could overlay a silhouette of "River looking at Mal", from the end of the BDM, at the near exact edge of where her hairline meets her face. See for the idea. Also, the purple title above the middle text (Evanescence) had thrown the image off-balance a bit. So, to restore equilibrium, I added a faint purple text underneath, saying "I love my Captain." All non-shippy, of course (more like the hero worship we talked about earlier today). Original Text below.

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 4 -- "Noah's Ark is a problem."
In the ongoing spirit of "If you can't do something artistic, redo something artistic," I redid this River piece. Made around the same time of "I can win this!", the blending was not perfect yet. I especially had to redo the blending on the front of her dress, which was way too transparent near the edge. I didn't have the original layered version any more, so I had grab a new still and figure out what scaling factor I had initually used. But it's really much better now, IMHO. (Original Text below)

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 3 -- "I can win this!"
One of my earliest works; from my "Now I'm learning about blending." phase. :) It was our very own PhoenixRose who, soon thereafter, taught me various shiny blending/blurring techniques, I significantly cleaned up the marble, as well as the background that had all manner of background noise in the black: great for Out of Gas, but for art, not so much. :) (Original Text below)

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 2 -- "I didn't think you'd come for me."
Most like my second best work. :) Apart from rounding up the usual suspects, such as transparency errors, this picture differs from the one I originally posted at, in that I edited out Simon's hand on the elevator door, and smoothed out the area where the window post and the River-in-elevator-shaft meet. (Original Text below)