Archive for the 'Doctor Who' Category

Tech the Tech: The Tenth Planet in “World Enough and Time”

Back in the 1960s, Doctor Who introduced the Cybermen as coming from a “counter-Earth” called Mondas, a twin planet of our own that had escaped detection as it orbited the sun exactly opposite the Earth. Mondas was flung into deep space when the arrival of Earth’s moon disrupted the balance between the planets, and the inhabitants gradually surgically altered themselves to survive the increasingly harsh environment, until they were cold, cybernetic monstrosities who strapped enormous engines to their world, intent on returning to their home star and draining Earth of its precious energy reserves. Mondas itself was depicted as being exactly identical to Earth (except upside-down1While upside-down, it is still rotating in the conventional way, suggesting that the Mondasians also consider “north” to be “up” on their maps. I’m not sure whether that means that, spatially, the planet was upside down relative to Earth and rotating in the same direction, or the surface was aligned the same way but was rotating backwards, like Venus . I doubt anyone gave it that much thought.), complete with humans identical to those on Earth.

There is no prize for finding the most scientific inaccuracies in that paragraph.
“World Enough and Time” and “The Doctor Falls,” the two-part season 10 finale of Doctor Who, revisited the Cybermen’s origin. While set on a ship either constructed by or commissioned for the people of Mondas rather than the planet itself, we do see a computer screen showing a display of the planet. At a casual glance, Mondas still appears to be identical to Earth (though right-side up this time2And still rotating in the conventional direction. Maybe they reversed the planet’s rotation when they attached the engines, like that episode of Futurama.), but the Doctor Who art department took the time to subtly modify the layout of the continents as a freeze-frame bonus. I’d hoped that the BBC’s Production Art gallery for the episode might contain a complete map, but, alas, it is not to be, and it seems unlikely the show will be revisiting Mondas anytime soon, leaving reverse-engineering the planet to fans like me.

First, I had to correct for the prespective distortion of the computer screen, so here’s the straight-on view of Mondas, in both Quicktime and GIF formats. (more…)

   [ + ]

1. While upside-down, it is still rotating in the conventional way, suggesting that the Mondasians also consider “north” to be “up” on their maps. I’m not sure whether that means that, spatially, the planet was upside down relative to Earth and rotating in the same direction, or the surface was aligned the same way but was rotating backwards, like Venus . I doubt anyone gave it that much thought.
2. And still rotating in the conventional direction. Maybe they reversed the planet’s rotation when they attached the engines, like that episode of Futurama.
• July 2, 2017 • Comments Off on Tech the Tech: The Tenth Planet in “World Enough and Time”

100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 62

 

cdcr-062-bokeh_dalek_ana_credits

More adventures in bokeh today. All post-processed (who has the time to produce 3D-rendered depth of field on the daily? Though I am curious about how it might turn out for backgrounds and not just fun effects on small objects). In this case, I rendered each object seperately, and then applied different amounts of blur to each layer in Photoshop. It’s pretty effective, though probably not physically accurate, considering I eyeballed how out-of-focus each object should be.

I originally thought of setting the Daleks into my model-exhibiting cove, since the background would be out-of-focus anyway, but then I realized the Babylon 5 docking bay would be much more visually interesting, and barely recognizable as being from the wrong show considering the angle and the degree of blur on it. That was the right choice.

Edited 2016-10-09: I realized after posting this that I forgot to take anamorphic distortion into account when I blurred this image. I’ve replaced the top of the page with a corrected version. Here’s the first version.

• October 8, 2016 • Comments Off on 100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 62

Presenting “Blue Box,” the New Fragrance From Amy Pond

Let it be known that boredom, inspiration, and graphic design experience are a dangerous combination. In a recent episode of “Doctor Who,” we learned that the Doctor’s now-former companion, Amy Pond, had made it big as some sort of cosmetics or fashion designer, complete with her own line of perfume. On the TrekBBS, Samurai8472 made a post saying that this perfume ad would be a pretty good design for an Amy Pond ad.

I immediately saw where he was going with that (I hope), and started trolling the web for the necessary images (note to Karen Gillian: Please be photographed more in full body shots, against solid-colored backgrounds, while looking towards the camera. My options ended up a little limited). The central elements ended up being photos used for cardboard standees of Amy Pond and the TARDIS, this HDR image of London and this TARDIS inkbottle, which may or may not be a Photoshop. A few pixels pushed, et voilà.

 

• October 10, 2011 • Comments Off on Presenting “Blue Box,” the New Fragrance From Amy Pond

The Stolen Earth

“Do you know what, I look up and there’s all these moons and things, have you seen them? Do ya see ’em? What was I drinking last night? Furniture polish?”
“Ianto! Time and a place!”
“Yeah, it’s funny though.”

The impetus for this picture was a comment on a web-board where someone mentioned that they’d like a wallpaper-sized version of one the scene with the planets above the streetscape at the beginning of “The Stolen Earth.” After pointing out that since Doctor Who isn’t made in HD, there isn’t enough resolution in any version of the scene for it to work, I (and my massive ego) realized that I did not have the same limitation. And, hey, any excuse to fire up Layout.

I went out onto my street just after the sun had set, so I could get some appropriately dim yet not completely dark lighting. I then matched the perspective in Lightwave, and rendered the Daleks and the planets separately. I decided to give the Supreme Dalek who’s lording it over everyone an extra gun just to mix it up a little. As for the planets, I pretty much picked out anything I had that wouldn’t be a recognizable real planet and tossed it into the sky.

The real fun was in Photoshop, where I changed the white balance in the original photo (which had a heavy blue cast from the dusk light), pulled out the sky, put the sky back in a little to form a sort of haze because the gaps in the trees were giving me trouble, added in the Medusa Cascade from a screencap, and faded the planets in different amounts to give it the appearance of depth. I then fiddled with it on and off for the better part of a day before deciding it wasn’t getting better anymore, just different, and decided it was time to post it.

• July 7, 2008 • Comments Off on The Stolen Earth

Last Call

My first Doctor Who picture is inspired by the finale of the second season, wherein the Doctor parks his TARDIS next to a supernova so he can have enough power to say a final farewell to his companion, Rose Tyler.

I briefly worried that using an actual 3D model of a rose as the basis for the fire of the nova would be a bit too on-the-nose, but it ended up being nearly impossible to tell what it was originally, anyway, even when you know what to look for.

• September 7, 2007 • Comments Off on Last Call

Doctor Who Gallery

• September 7, 2007 • Comments Off on Doctor Who Gallery