Friday, September 14, 2018

Looking Back - Power of 10 from 2002

Today I have for you something that I did back in 2002. This is the last project I created for Dr. Michael W. Davidson before I moved back to Los Angeles and began my career as a makeup effects artist for the second time. I have never shared any of this work, though it was always available on the Molecular Expressions website as well as being stolen all over the internet. In 2002 Dr. Davidson like to put the fear of God in you about sharing your own work since he owned it all. To be frank, he passed away a couple of years ago, and the last copyright holder is Florida State University, where I work my day job, so I think I am good to share this stuff now. It is my work after all.

What is this work? Well, it is the Power of 10, a series of 40 images that begin in deep space and go all the way down to an atom. I was tasked to take some images that a previous artist had begun and remake them all larger with more detail and add several more steps. I had a bunch of source material of dubious origins, my usual ridiculously short deadline, and Dr. Davidson always at my shoulder... so I got to work. I was asked to make the images HUGE, but since it was 2002 that means I have 1000x1000 pixel images @ 72dpi. Better than nothing I guess, but I won't be printing them anytime soon. Actually, I had to make the images at five different sizes for various uses and the smallest size was around 300x300 pixels which just makes me laugh now. You can see the Power of 10 in its native home on the Molecular Expressions website.
The Power of 10 will forever live in a little widget on the Molecular Expressions website

Here are all my original images in a handy little gif. Not at 100%, but good enough. You might notice a couple differences from what is on the website now. It appears that someone had to go back in at some point in the last 16 years and change some things. For what it is I think it holds up fairly well. It gets the point across and is mostly consistent in images quality.

Animated gif. of Power of 10 images that I originally created for Dr. Michael W. Davidson in 2002

This work was never precious to me, but I tried to find joy in it where I could. Working for Dr. Davidson was very difficult and I was under a great deal of stress for the two years I worked for him. In fact, there were multiple times I have illness and medical issues caused by the stress that I worked under. That said, I tried to do the best job I could and make the best quality 3D models and graphics. I managed to learn a lot about 3D modeling (all of which is now lost to time and the advancement of technology I never kept up with) and graphic design. While the work was mostly just work for me, here are a couple of the images from the Power of 10 that I really enjoyed working on and I was really happy with...


The Mag Lab where I worked at the time and the natural point you approach Earth as you zoom through space

I had to work very hard to create some of these images. We had some access to archive images and areal photographs, but they were all in black and white and were often dated. I had to fact a lot, make a lot, and do a bit of work to make all 40 images. There were graphics made from scratch, manipulated photos, photo montages, in house microscopy photos, 3D renders, and a mixes of all of the above. In the last 16 years things have progressed a bit and you can now jump on Google and get really nice areal images of nearly anything you would want. This would have made my life a little easier... but I like the idea that I had to work to make things happen. I had a lot more control of all of the imagery. Here is a comparison of the image I made in 2002 using areal photographs that I have to combine and color and a quick screen capture from Google Maps. You can see how much the area of Innovation Park has changed. My day job is actually in one of the new buildings...

2002 / 2018 comparison of the image I had to make and an image from Google Maps

Maybe I will share with you some of the microscope graphics and module I made for Dr. Davidson to you in the future. It was an intense two years and I actually have a lot of work to show for those two years.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog. Work has me away next week, so I will be back on the blog soon! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

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