This is the blog of Thomas Schmall. If you like the artworks you see,
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3D Cryptocurrency Infographic

Posted on November 13, 2014 by Thomas | Programming | Tags: , , |

A new project I’m working on next to Caromble: It is a 3D infographic to visualize a Cryptocurrency ecosystem. It’s a bit of new ground, even for that field. So I’ll just dump my current concepts and planning stages here, hoping that some will get a rough idea what it’s about… or just like the look.

At the end it should provide an understandable overview of the so-called SuperNet to the crypto-interested. SuperNet is a system that combines several services and currencies into one practical multitool.
I’ll do this in the Unity engine, which soon will allow publishing 3D graphics on websites without needing plugins. If there is any programmer up for helping, please let me know – I do have a certain budget for this. Another 3D artist might also be very useful.

Supernet Tech Tree Intro

The Tech-Tree intro screen

The 3D is in part because it’ll be more interesting, but the depth and movement will help a lot to visualize the high complexity of the relations. I want to also allow filters, and selections (that you can see on the side) to make it easier. I want to show how dividends move from one service to another. Here is a design test of how it could look.

SuperNet Tech Tree Overview

A 2D mockup for the look.

The following shows the precise content for Milestone one, showing a system of exchanging cryptocurrencies via MultiGateWay, using NXT. Later this will be expanded nearly 10 fold.

Multigateway Schematic

Multigateway Schematic: The currencies (triangles) are providing some features (squares) – for example messaging or the asset exchange. They are then converted into NXT-Assets, that the Multigateway service (at the center) then uses. It supplies dividends from fees back to the currencies.

You can zoom in on items, and then their content will be shown in more detail – with descriptions and links to what services they use.

Item Zoom

The way the items scale when zooming in.

Some of the services will be explained with an animation. Here is the Multigateway – showing Bitcoin transferred to an address, then being approved by three servers and converted into an NXT asset. That will be my next task.

Animation plan for the Multigateway

Animation plan for the MultiGateWay functionality.

Th-Ink Figure

Posted on November 6, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , , |

This is one of those longer drawings (done at Atelier Stoker’s Sunday session … that leave a lot time for a wandering mind. What do you think about when painting?

I always catch myself wondering what people will say. Maybe how much they’ll love it and upvote it everywhere … or hate it. How I could sell the result – or rip it apart if it goes wrong. It’s a distraction.
When reading an 2500 year old Hindu scripture that evening, I found a line quite fitting to the problem.

“Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. …
Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.”

Bhagavad-Gītā (Chapter 2 verse 47/49)

An option I strangely never thought of, but I’ll give it a shot: Ignore thoughts of rewards and reactions. It’s a waste of time and not what it should be about. It’s not about the resulting piece even. It’s the process. Which is not done when the picture is.

Ink Figure Drawing

Ink Figure – Ink on A2 paper (sold)

Surprise: Figure Drawings!

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Some experiments from the last weeks: With the model sitting high on tables, a dancer in ballerina-dress and a session with the same pose once with dress and once without.

Continuing tomorrow at the Westerdok.

Figure sitting - in Ballerina Dress

Figure Standing, Pencil

Male Figure Drawing - Sitting - Pencil

Ballerina Figure Drawing

Nude Figure Drawing - sitting - Pencil

Two More From Life

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , |

Two of last weeks figure drawings.

I’ll head the sessions at the Atelier Westerdok tonight at 7:30. I want to experiment with moving poses – tried a bit last time, it’s tough but was really fun and good for learning.

Life Drawing - Pencils - Nude Confident

Life Drawing - Pencil - Nude Standing

Drew Life Once Again

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Been a loong time since I last joined life drawings sessions. Joeri Lefévre is organizing them now in Amsterdam at the Atelier Westerdok - with the idea to give it a bit more variation than usual.

More props, different light setups – more alternation in models and costumes than the common studios have here. So feel free to join – every Thursday evening at 8 o’clock (for these first weeks we’re starting at 7:30).

Life Drawing - Girl with sword

Life Drawing - girl with two swords

Life Drawing - Guy leaning

Life Drawing - Man sitting

Triple A Game Covers… Notice Anything?

Posted on September 2, 2014 by Thomas | Games | Tags: , |

Here is a collection of covers for top-selling action games of the last couple years. Did I miss some secret meeting?

It’s not a random selection of course – but pretty close to representative, as easily two thirds of all action game titles with some subtitle/version fit the pattern of worn flat white text and red version letters. It’s not exhaustive either, just the popular games I could think of right now.
If anyone has insight (maybe as cover creators themselves), I would be curious to hear it. My bet is that Metal Gear Solid 2 which started it… and it’s also taking twist on version 4.

I noticed this when watching the latest installment of Feminist Frequency.
This detail has quite some parallels with the violence against woman tropes in games. There the question is a moral one “do I want to create and consume games that stereotype other people”. But it’s also one about quality and diversity. Is there something superior about flat white text with little cracks on it, that so many games have to use it? Does it not make the whole bunch look uncreative? Also, I would think in both cases (tropes about woman – and covers) it’s no intentional plot or secret agreement. It is driven by subconscious group-think, by lazy copying – and by the fear of the industry and gamers to change working formulas. A bit like Skinner’s experiment with superstitious pigeons – that do a one legged dance just because they happened to do it once when food was given to them.
There is a harmful automatism and lack of thoughtfulness in game art creation. It works so why stop?

Medieval Characters – It’s been Grim Times

Posted on August 28, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , |

Two more relatively quick artworks meant as dialog backgrounds of the fantasy game I posted some medieval maps and model sheets about before.
They don’t welcome folks like you around there!

Medieval Gate Keeper

Towns Guard

Medieval Trades-man

A trader of mysterious items.

The NXT Train Stops For No One!

Posted on August 13, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Another little animation I recently finished:

Nxt Train Animation

The nxt train never stops!

Ok, ok, the topic for this animation is a bit… eh… specific (NXT doubling Peercoin’s market cap). But I’m still learning, so I thought it doesn’t matter. I liked the materials that I could use in this one. Didn’t expect it ending up in sooo much work.

I have to simplify more. And would be curious about critique – especially input on how to get the flying tiles to work better.
Anyways was fun – slowly getting the hang of a good animation workflow. But I have to get faster.

Inking from Memory

Posted on August 9, 2014 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Recently I’m drawing more from memory than from reference. It’s an interesting exercise to pull those images out of the mind – they’re in there, but resisting.

Strangely – one can always see when it went wrong. Here are some of the better ones: A drawing from an event some months earlier, and some animals.

Bonfire drawing

Little get-together at the bonfire.

Dog drawings.

A couple of dogs

Animals from Memory.

Various animals from memory. Not showing the Iguana here, failed even after two weeks trying.

Animated Cursors and Subliminal Links

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Thomas | Discoveries | Tags: , , |

I did some windows cursor animations long long ago. Still love them after looking at them for 15 years – very relaxing, so if you’re up for a change, download them and check them out…. together with some link fun.

They cursors are easy to use: Just save the ani files, and change to them in your mouse settings. Here are up-scaled previews:

Relaxing Water - Mouse Cursor
This one is thought of as standard arrow. Careful, you might just watch the cursor all day!
Download the cursor here.

Relaxing Water - Mouse Cursor
A little working ant, fitting for “working in the background” arrow.
Download the cursor here. !

Some links as promised. First off the video analysis of Space Oddysey 2001 by Rob Ager. Stanley Kubrick apparently thought very deep about every scene – to the most minute details. Putting subliminal messages here and there – kinda mind blowing, especially the hidden IBM logos are stunning.
Should be a good lesson to artists, and how they can work with symbols – then again, Kubrick borrowed a lot himself from artists like Magritte.

Kubrick is not the only one good at hiding warnings for society in symbols. Studio Ghibli’s mastermind Hayao Miyazaki for example created the animation movie “Spirited Away” as a subliminal tale about children in today’s sexualized society.

Spirited Away Movie

The ghost keeps offering money to Chihiro.

Anyways, I’ll round this all up by destroying your eyesight forever.

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