Showing posts with label Lords of Dyscrasia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lords of Dyscrasia. Show all posts

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lords of Dyscrasia: Video Trailer

  1. Lords of Dyscrasia S.E. Lindberg
  2. Graphic Sword and Sorcery >50 Illustrations
  3. Dyscrasia (kills): a blood disease shared between man and god
  4. As Picti and Elders die, Lord Lysis must choose:
  5. Heal The Gods...or...Take Their Place
  6. So begins a WAR over magic blood
  7. Animated Graphic 1 caption: Lord Lysis...Undead Hero
  8. Animated Graphic 2 caption: Dyscrasia Kills
  9. Animated Graphic 3 caption: Heal...or...Kill
  10. Animated Graphic 4 caption: Hell
  11. Lords of Dyscrasia

This animation I post individually without audio, since it is weird enough for a closer look.  It is a blend of Photshop, Flash, and AfterEffects.  You will note the inspiration from my entry re: tentacled creatures: Creepy Myelins.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Flash XML: Interactive Maps

An interactive map explorer on S E  allows you to correlate the events, characters, and geographies of Lords of Dyscrasia.  The Flash widget was originally designed to explore conventional maps of cities, but was easily adapted for the Land and Underworld of Lords of Dyscrasia; a magnifier and navigation bars allow for easy zooming and panning; the flashing dots are locations with pop-up descriptions and images--> just click on these to show a pop-up image and description.

Here is a live demonstration:

Another Flash widget enables the Dyscrasia Museum browser:  Once there, just click on the square "Folder" icons and get a pop-up of images and details for each character:
Gallery browser
Pop-up for Doctor Grave's Info
Flash Widget Market
To HTML5 radicals (Flash-nay-sayers?), please note that the text content and images are (1) searchable by search engines and (2) easy-to-update outside of Flash since all content is external to the SWF file and is referenced via a simple XML file.  The process is easy: locate a SWF interface you like from online markets, spend ~$5 - $15 for a royalty-free version (generally), and update the XML text and supply your images.  You'll get a cool web interface with little coding.  If desired, most widgets come with the original Flash files, so you can custom them if needed (and you own Flash); otherwise, most can just insert the SWF widget into their HTML, WIKI site, etc.

I went to  (formerly, one of's marketplaces: has royalty-free sound effects and music for sale....and other markets cover motion effects, web and blog templates, tutorials, and more.  Thanks to web guru Martin Nieuwoudt who mentored me on web strategies!     

Friday, May 6, 2011

Images Have Skeletons Too

 Scientific Image Analysis 
can be a great tool to learn about composition
Key Points:
  1. Images have real backbones ("structure" or "composition")
  2. Viewers eyes gravitate toward edge detection; as an artisit, you must use composition to lead your viewer through your landscape
  3. It is fun, although excessive, to reveal composition with scientific algorithms.

Art Analysis

Frazetta's Tanar
An inspirational side bar: I stumbled across a cool blog @ Ideas Made of Light that dissects the composition of fantasy art (and others), including Frazetta's "Tanar of Pellucidar", M.C. Escher's "Relativity", and Dali's "Gala Contemplating...Abraham Lincoln".

This is a fantastic website for lovers of Art & Science, since it comprehensively reveals compositional design concepts with easy-to-understand visuals.  If you want to understand art better, or be a more deliberate designer, check these case studies out ... then apply what you learn.

Russ's Image Analysis Book
Image Analysis

I am a huge fan of John Russ, a retired North Carolina State Professor and image analysis/metallurgist expert.  The analysis methods he often applied to solid state matter are also used to quantify microstructures within soft matter mixtures (i.e. paints and consumer products like cosmetics, toothpaste, and conditioners :) ).  His Image Analysis Processing handbook-6th edition is just being released.  Image Analysis can also be used to analyze Sword & Sorcery cover art to reveal compositional design!  Woo-hoo! 

Shape Analysis of Positive / Negative Space

Let's apply some John Russ's image analysis (employable via the Photoshop interface as "filters") to reveal the composition within the proposed my Lords of Dyscrasia cover art.  I shared a draft of this entry to John and his son Chris (who leads Reindeer Graphics and collaborates with his father authoring books and code), and they rightly clarify that, in artistic terms, the below procedure "is a shape analysis of positive or negative space."

Here is what we'll get:

(1) a skeleton of features within the primary focus, the "Intensity Skeleton"
and (2) a demarcation of the primary "Contrast Interfaces" that lead the viewer's eyes about the image

To do this, we'll apply a series of operations to our color image.
1) First, we'll isolate the intensity levels by transforming the RGB (red, green, blue) image into HSI (hue, saturation, intensity) map; we'll disregard the hue and saturation for this work and focus on the intensity.
2) Next, we'll apply a median filter to remove the high frequency details since we aim to look at the gross composition (a Gaussian blur).
3) Thirdly, we'll transform the grayscale image (256 gray levels) into a binary image (2 levels, black and white) by common thresholding (we choose a critical gray level that turns all lower to black and all higher to white).
4) Finally, we'll fill-in-holes via a morphology filter.
This prework enables us to derive our skeletons. To mark out the features within the primary focus (figures and fire), we...
5) Recolor our binarized image with a Euclidean Distance Map.  This will re-shade all black regions with a new intensity dependent on the proximity to the white area. This effectively will make a landscape in which the peaks (the skeleton) can be isolated
6) To isolate the backbones, we threshold our distance map and select values that contain only the peaks.
7) To visualize the backbone of this internal structure within the focus area, we overlay the skeleton atop a version of the original.

Okay, we are also interested in contrast (contrast mechanisms differentiate the many imaging modes used in microscopy). In common terms we are looking for the edges, or interfaces, between key regions.   
5b) We'll still need our distance map.  We'll go back to image 4 and take a different path. 
6b) This time we'll isolate the edges by thresholding and coloring the opposite peaks (in this case the lightest shades of grey).
7b) We'll overlay them atop a version of the original
8b) And compare these heavy-duty mathematically derived drawings to a simple free-hand estimate (an ellipse).

Hopefully this supports the design I worked in up-front.   The idea was to draw the viewer's eye toward the skeletal hero (the undead, anti-hero Endenken Lysis).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ImagineFX and Grunge Textures

This year Lords of Dyscrasia should embark in its publishing process, either a publishing group I met at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, OH 2010, or via a self-publishing route.  I am working on updating the sketches now, adding a grunge look to most.  A Flash browser of the entire gallery is available here:

For example, I show the undead archer/cannibal Gnarl below:



Workflow: in future posts I'll share my workflow.  In short, I sketch with pencil first.   I explore various compositions that reflect the character and the atmosphere in which they are being depicted at that point in the story.  Then I scan it in, and work the rest via Photoshop.  I have recently discovered a community of professional artists who have similar workflows (ImagineFX).  The magazine is a bit expensive, but is worth it for the tips and digital resources provided on the DVD.  Many "reprints" of tutorials/workshops are available free @

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Welcome to S.E.Lindberg's Blog


          Dyscrasia plagues both the insectan elders of the Underworld and the Land-dwelling, human artisans that worship them (the Picti).   Desperate to save the elder race from extinction, the golem Doctor Grave extracts the soul from the Queen’s carcass while retreating from her collapsing colony.  The Doctor infuses her soul into the Picti leader, Ante Lysis, for safekeeping as he prepares to resurrect her.  The Lysis bloodline emerges as the exclusive carrier of the Queen’s soul, and it is passed from generation to generation via a Rite in which Lysis descendents drink their ancestors' blood.  The Prologue introduces the reader to dyscrasia and to the antagonist Doctor Grave as he harvests corpses required for his necromancy.
          The story begins with Endenken Lysis, the sole surviving descendant of Ante, deciding between (a) assuming leadership over the Picti by imbibing his deceased father’s blood, and (b) abandoning the Picti to start a new life.  The adventure begins as Endenken chooses the latter, many Picti members dying as their Inheritance Rite goes awry—the Queen’s soul left without a proper carrier. 
Lords of Dyscrasia explores the choices humans and their gods make as a disease corrupts their souls, shared blood and creative energies.  
Historically, dyscrasia referred to any imbalance of the four medicinal humors professed by the ancient Greeks to sustain life (phlegm, blood, black and yellow bile).  Artisans, anatomists, and chemists of the Renaissance expressed shared interest in the humors; accordingly, the scope of humorism evolved to include aspects of the four alchemical elements (water, air, earth and fire) and psychological temperaments (phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic and choleric).  In short, the humors are mystical media of color, energy, and emotion; Lords of Dyscrasia presents them as spiritual muses for artisans, sources of magical power, and contagions of a deadly disease.