A rather nice consequence of this is that I re-rendered the images at print resolution. Some of these needed a lot of work to bring them up to a more modern standard, which means now they're significantly improved I think. The most improved images can be seen below, with the old renders for comparison.
Aries IB lunar ferry from "2001 : A Space Odyssey"
Orion-drive nuclear spaceship leaving Earth
Orion launching from the ground
StockTrek have a contract which is nothing short of lovely for a commercial company - it's totally non-exclusive and I'm free to do whatever I want with the images independently. Therefore I've posted the updated images in full HD on my website, and though you can go through StockTrek to get the high-res versions, you can also negotiate with me directly, if you want. So I've avoided selling my soul to capitalism, which brings me nicely around to item 2.
Sometimes people contact me with requests for images that I simply have to outright refuse due to time constraints. I couldn't do that for the latest one - not in good conscience anyway. It would've kept me awake at night if it turned it down. The project was to illustrate a book cover for a sci-novel by a certain Robert Burns. The plot of The Unselfish Gene involves zombies, tsunamis of fire, Buddhists living on the Mooon, and oh yes, a a 40,000 tonne spacecraft propelled by nuclear bombs. Yet for some reason the original edition of the book had, as its front cover, this :
OK, it's a sexy lady, though I do wonder why our careless heroine has found herself sans clothing on a zombie-infested planet. Anyway, it's not an bomb-propelled spaceship escaping from Earth being hit by planet-killing comet, which is what we decided on for the new cover image. An earlier idea was to show the Anita blasting off from Dallas. As this would guarantee that Dallas would be even worse off than everywhere else (shortly before a giant comet wipes out the planet) - and by now readers should be aware that I dislike Dallas intensely - this was a very tempting option.
|Did I mention that the ship is friggin' massive ?|
And that leads me neatly into item 3. I discovered the wonders of Microsoft's Zoom.it service, which lets you convert huge (as in 400 megapixel) images into a format you can explore in a web browser. I have 3 zoomable images so far :
Timeline of the Universe - image I made for a public Observatory in Belgium.
Size Comparison Chart - of spaceships and other things I have made.
The ALFALFA Sky - all eleven thousand galaxies in one image.
That's all for now. I'll be adding images to the StockTrek site as time permits. I'm also working on a colour version of the size comparison chart.