The movie ‘Sunshine’ illustrates the concept of ‘sublime‘ better than anything else I came across so far. It emphasises every aspect of it and in the end it presents two typical reactions humans have when confronted with greatness beyond comprehension. If you haven’t watched it, please be aware this article contains spoilers. (more…)
Concept art based on “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”, H.P. Lovecraft’s novel.
It looks more like an old English town, but that is where my imagination took me after reading the beautiful description.
“One of the child’s first memories was of the great westward sea of hazy roofs and domes and steeples and far hills which he saw one winter afternoon from that great railed embankment, all violet and mystic against a fevered, apocalyptic sunset of reds and golds and purples and curious greens. The vast marble dome of the State House stood out in massive silhouette, its crowning statue haloed fantastically by a break in one of the tinted stratus clouds that barred the flaming sky. […]
His walks were always adventures in antiquity, during which he managed to recapture from the myriad relics of a glamorous old city a vivid and connected picture of the centuries before. His home was a great Georgian mansion atop the well-nigh precipitous hill that rises just east of the river; and from the rear windows of its rambling wings he could look dizzily out over all the clustered spires, domes, roofs, and skyscraper summits of the lower town to the purple hills of the countryside beyond. […]
Sometimes, as he grew taller and more adventurous, young Ward would venture down into this maelstrom of tottering houses, broken transoms, tumbling steps, twisted balustrades, swarthy faces, and nameless odours; winding from South Main to South Water, searching out the docks where the bay and sound steamers still touched.” – The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, H. P. Lovecraft
The making video:
Concept art based on “The Colour out of Space”, H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.
“It was the coroner, seated near a window overlooking the yard, who first noticed the glow about the well. Night had fully set in, and all the abhorrent grounds seemed faintly luminous with more than the fitful moonbeams; but this new glow was something definite and distinct, and appeared to shoot up from the black pit like a softened ray from a searchlight, giving dull reflections in the little ground pools where the water had been emptied. It had a very queer colour […]
All the while the shaft of phosphorescence from the well was getting brighter and brighter, bringing to the minds of the huddled men a sense of doom and abnormality which far outraced any image their conscious minds could form. It was no longer shiningout, it was pouring out; and as the shapeless stream of unplaceable colour left the well it seemed to flow directly into the sky. […] At this point, as the column of unknown colour flared suddenly stronger and began to weave itself into fantastic suggestions of shape which each spectator later described differently” – The Colour out of Space, H. P. Lovecraft
Concept art based on ‘The Temple‘, H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.
“On August 9, we espied the ocean floor, and sent a powerful beam from the searchlight over it. […]What I saw was an extended and elaborate array of ruined edifices; all of magnificent though unclassified architecture, and in various stages of preservation. Most appeared to be of marble, gleaming whitely in the rays of the searchlight, and the general plan was of a large city at the bottom of a narrow valley, with numerous isolated temples and villas on the steep slopes above. Roofs were fallen and columns were broken, but there still remained an air of immemorially ancient splendour which nothing could efface. […]
In about two hours the boat rested in a paved plaza close to the rocky wall of the valley. On one side I could view the entire city as it sloped from the plaza down to the old river-bank; on the other side, in startling proximity, I was confronted by the richly ornate and perfectly preserved facade of a great building, evidently a temple, hollowed from the solid rock. […]The art is of the most phenomenal perfection, largely Hellenic in idea, yet strangely individual. It imparts an impression of terrible antiquity, as though it were the remotest rather than the immediate ancestor of Greek art. […]
What I did see was not spectacular, not grotesque or terrifying, yet it removed my last vestige of trust in my consciousness. For the door and windows of the undersea temple hewn from the rocky hill were vividly aglow with a flickering radiance, as from a mighty altar-flame far within. As I stared at the uncannily lighted door and windows, I became subject to the most extravagant visions—visions so extravagant that I cannot even relate them. I fancied that I discerned objects in the temple—objects both stationary and moving—and seemed to hear again the unreal chant that had floated to me when first I awaked.” – The Temple, H. P. Lovecraft.
Step by step making video:
Concept art based on “The Strange High House in the Mist”, H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.
“In the morning mist comes up from the sea by the cliffs beyond Kingsport. White and feathery it comes from the deep to its brothers the clouds, full of dreams of dank pastures and caves of leviathan. […]
Now north of archaic Kingsport the crags climb lofty and curious, terrace on terrace, till the northernmost hangs in the sky like a grey frozen wind-cloud. Alone it is, a bleak point jutting in limitless space. […] Nevertheless there is an ancient house on that cliff, and at evening men see lights in the small-paned windows. The ancient house has always been there…”
The making process:
Concept art based on “The Doom That Came to Sarnath”, H.P. Lovecraft’s short story. For realising it I downloaded and merged several free models from 3D Warehouse and TF3DM.com and textures from 3DTotal.com. I rendered the scene using Vray, using the settings at Forbes Massie. Inspirations include Dali’s ‘Caravan’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Stormbringer’ cover. (more…)