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  02 February 2006

Oh Man is this where everybody is?? LOL.

I have been looking all over. Well, I'm glad I only found it til tonite. I may have chickened out!! This stuff is looking good.

I just realized. I never entered Art Contest before. I got issues, I know.

Why do I have butterflies in my stomach? I'm scared. It's not about winning right? It's how you play the game.

I will post tomorrow. You know me. Very wordy. It must be nerves. LOL.

Not sure what's going to happen, but I'm going to jump.
  02 February 2006
Go for it

Do it man! Do it!

You've got until midnight tonight (PST) to get those sketches in...
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
  02 February 2006
Everythings done. I just haven't post. It may all a bit over worked. But I will with you guys. I think I'm more excited about other people work than my own. LOL. I know I wanted to do this for a long time. I love see different approach. Ok. only one disclaimer, before I jump.

I had plan to use this month rigging, and I'm looking for work, so if something comes up, I will just work this as long as I can and hopefully finish.

And thus we begin.
  02 February 2006
I'm with yah.. you gotta eat.

Do your best.
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
  02 February 2006

You must create a story and 3D image depicting the central theme of this competition: Rebirth & Transformation.

In ancient mythology, the Phoenix was the symbol of life, death, and resurrection. This bird, known for its power and beauty lived for over 500 years, before being consumed in its own internal fire. From out of the ashes, a new life would emerge.

Itís not necessary, during this competition, to be dependant on the traditional imagery of the Phoenix. Everything goes through little lives and little deaths everyday. Your story and image can depict any character, place or thing that is going through this process of transformation. Given the somewhat spiritual nature of this theme, your image should evoke a sense of wonder, mystery, beauty, grandness and emotional impact. Be creative. Think outside the box. Remember, from out of death comes new life.


So thus it begins:


My name is Alonzo Von Threet. I'm an artist who have done most forms of traditional medium. I love them all. Now I do computer graphics and I would like to do independent films. I'm excited about being a part of rising EIAS out of it's occasional low valleys we all experience on the road of excellence. It's definitely back on the high road. I think it just needs to be brought of out it's secretive shell, up in the air where everyone can see it. Not hidden in some hideaway lab in Hollywood. I feel this contest will help me do the same thing. Stop hiding my work or some of it. I never competed before. It's very exciting to have some fun working towards the same prize!! Good Luck everyone and let's Kick Butt!!

Being an artist all my life, I have touch lots of topics. I have sold portraits and paintings that I will never see again. Some paintings, I don't even remember I did. People tell me about them, but I haven't a clue what they are talking about. I believe them though. I just enjoy the smile on their face while they are talking.
Three months later I will come to me. Wish I had asked for a copy. I am saying that to say this. The Phoenix is not a new topic. This is a topic that I was already very interested in. This project has already help me reformulate some old ideas to repurpose them to a new intent. I have other topics that are very close to the Death/Life transform, (Butterfly/cocoons) in my Stevie Wonder Oil, that I had to chose from. I chose another instead because It's about a bird figure. In my painting is the rebirth of the world instead a microcosm of that world.


While growing up in Buffalo, NY I aspired to become an artist. I did four creative paintings during that highlighted those pursuits. As soon as I finished the fourth I moved to New York City to use my talents as an album cover illustrator. Well, a lot of things changed from the time I actually moved into the city and the time I left. Album covers has been transmuted to CD cover. In New York I stopped painting on canvas because of lack of studio space. Fortunately, I also was learning to compacted my skills into the glowing canvases of computer boxes. I began to paved a new career in art studios, teaching in colleges, animation and productions. I even worked for a film company doing logo animation, (Tony Lover's, Liberty studio on 26 th.) I didn't paint but I never lost my love for painting art and I believe that computers were a tool that was going to be a new medium of expression. Now that I am fully submerged in the digital art. I have returned to Buffalo to returned to personal art. I concider myself a surrealist. I would like to rebirth these paintings with the use of EIAS as independent short films. This Pheonix project will be the first deliberate step in keeping the promise to myself to reproduce them.


The first painting was called "my song". It was an inspiration from Al Jareau song called Alonzo. (Here) Yes, I have my own theme song in my name. The painting, like the song, was about the joy of finding one's spirituality which in my case is Christianity.

The second painting was an inspiration from Randal Thompson " What is man?" A classical chorus song. (Here) I called it "The light of the world" . It was redubbed "The Christ Painting" by spectators at exhibits. (Here)
It's about the Son of God, Jesus and believers being transformed during the Rapture and singing praises to the Messiah among the stars.

The third was entitled "Prelude to Peace". It's an apocalyptic vision of the war between good and evil. My motivation for doing the piece was an antinuclear war statement . It also ties into the biblical event after the Rapture in Revelations. I am still going to use parts of this painting shortly so I can't show the whole thing. Just the quarter I am recreating for the contest. (how's that for mystery?)

Hmm. Looks like the WTC burning (?) A song from Prince's (Nelson Rogers) 1999 Ablum AUTO-Matic was the inspiration. "Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?" The quote I can't find in online but all his work have nuclear war awareness statements. "You think it's hot? There won't be no water, when the fire blows" (Enjoy) Besides God, I believe Nuclear War is the only thing I fear. It's worst than just myself dying. It's like killing ALL LIFE, death after death. Death after you are gone. Killing Earth itself, the Creation. As if it's purpose is to mock God's good work, if it was possible. I hope we never see another bomb drop.

The forth and final painting was called Rebirth (Here and subtittle "Renaissance"). It is the world that has come to a new beginning after the old order (or new world order) has been demolished and passed away. It is life more abundantly in the light of God in the 1000 year age of the first Heaven, the city from the sky. The inspirational song was Steve Wonders' Journey through the Secret Life of Plants. (All of it is great Here) It was the soundtrack for a movie. This painting was more so a Butterfly theme. I hope to revisit this theme soon. I can only show a portion.

The paintings were all large scale. 4' x4. 5x8. etc. All I have is a polaid, or a small snip from a video. or a color copy. Unfortunately they are all gone.


All the painting were stole, torn or lost in NYC. It hurts to think about it. I will turn my hurt into a halo. I aim to recreate them digitally. Resurrect them in a new media. This is the undercurrent that also made the Pheonix project so appealing. The paintings themes when unified symbolized a transformation of man and his world, an osmosis from traditional to digital. This Phoenix project will help kick start my journey. I'ts a science fiction theme because the imagery symbolic and surreal. Sincere help with financing a film is welcomed. Completely burying these concepts as secret is has not been a good plan. Hopefully showing will inspire more work.


To do one excerpt or element of the one painting in 3D with EIAS. I chose the Giant Dove. My biblical interpetation of the Dove suggests new life. A dove descended on the Virgin Mary and the new life of a holy king was created. A dove was sent out from Noah's Ark to find a newly recreated world or dry land after the old sinful world had been destroyed. In Christ's first appearance in the Bible as an adult , the dove descended upon his shoulder while he was being baptized by John the baptist. It symbolized his new mission in life as the anointed or chosen one. Baptism symbolizes being submerged as the mortal man dying and rising from the water to a new life with God as a spiritual man. A dove traditionally represents the Holy Spirt of God. The Holy Spirit is also represented as a tongue of fire that appeared on the first Christians in the Upper Room. This is called baptism of the Holy Spirit or "On fire for The Lord". This "FIRE" and the "Dove-BIRD" are the elements which coincide with the Phoenix mythology, the Fiery Bird.

Peace is the ultimate weapon against War, not more missiles. God is Love. Everybody knows that, even chiildren. The Dove also symbolizes Peace, and the forementioned, "The Holy Fire of Love" or God who says "Love one another" is what can transform our world into and oasis of Peace. Forget all my interpretive gymnastics, all would agree, a world without war or true world peace, would be Heaven. (Amen to that brother)

My goal is to create the section of the painting which depict a Fiery Bird as the ultimate weapon against war in Electricimage for the Phoenix Project.

(If you think that's zany, then you should see the other half of the painting.)


Oh alright..I will show more. so much for mystery, ok. But not the evil side until I have it done in 3D. hopefully after I can afford a new CPU. I edited out.

Half of "Prelude to Peace" The oil painting about a 5' x 8'.

The trumpet blows and thus it begins. The great composer orchestrates song in the heaven. The star angels sings. The armies of Heaven are summoned. The Stars call out the name of God. This is "The Prelude to Peace" the battle before the new world. The struggle that comes before victory, the storm before the quiet. The ultimate Good vs. Evil. The story line has a major plot twist and other sub plots and shocking reveals.

The other half represents evil. I can't show the other half of the painting. I am afraid some studio will hack my images before I recreate it. It happens. I will say this. Though the painting was done 2O years ago, The images are very timely. So this is only the good side. I will reveal many more images when I can afford to work on them or if I receive sponsorship.


I want to push myself a little more than the rules by limiting my palette to specifically EIAS. No modeler except whats in EI. So I am going to attempt to do it without a modeler and use whatever resource I can. In otherwords, "Use every part of the Buffalo." However, I will probably need at least texture mapping tools, so that includes Photoshop and some type of UV editor. I'll try hard not to use a modeler but if I can't I will let you know. I would like to use as many EI resource and Plugin as I can, at least the ones I can afford for OSX, no OS 9 plugs.


Entering this concept will give me some exposure to my sci-fi film and help me develop as a story writer. Maybe I can find an angel investor. You never know. This is sorta of a grand opening. I have a Blog site that will show "Work in Progress" after the contest.
I don't plan to do the film by myself, but will look from help from other EI users around the world, via the Wombative Platter when I get financing. This one is more like an Anime but I have many other worlds and works I would like to materialize.
Though I have copyrights I am glad this forum will also serve as proof in public.

Artistically Yours
Alonzo Von Threet
  02 February 2006
OK. now for my new sketches

I like this one. I think I may just do the head.

The spaceship with the " new beings" in it, transforms. The plasma conductors that are also used for interstellar travel projects the pheonix as a fiery enery bird.

Last edited by AVTPro : 02 February 2006 at 09:48 PM.
  02 February 2006
Ok. Here's a new another new thing the contest has invoked me to do.

I'm putting more thought into the spaceship transformation. Reverse engineering it. I have a problem with the eyes of the bird just being there. It has to make more sense why it exist. It would logistically make sense, if it was part of the ship. It hit me the other day.

So it's kinda resembles the Enterprise now. The two plasma engine can come out of the ships hull. They form the eyes of the "Pheonix Mode" of the Bird. I think that's a good solution.

  02 February 2006
As I mentioned, I would like to do as much as the project in EI as possible. So hopefully, no geometry generation will occur except in EI. Photoshop for texture is common place. I may need a UV editor but let's see how it goes.

So far so good. I used BlobMaker plugin (not Mr. Blobby) to make the body out of UberShapes plugin spheres. I did the brow, then bodyblob. It's a dove.

I may do it over now that I have a better understanding but so far I like it. I used a taper deformer on the tail.

So this was a lot like Zbrush. I had to read the manual, and do a bit a research to get the
settings, (talked with Igors) but good thing is that all the plugin developers have excellent support. This one a matter of getting to setting correct. So I'm posting the setting to help those save time from tweaking back and forth. The ubershapes were straight forward.

See, Zbrush is not a new concept, EI users had it for years (kidding). I wish metaballs retained point order after moving the sphere. It would be a good morphtool.

Still it's very temping to just do this in Zbrush. Next the wings and feathers. BTW, this is the first time I ever used these plugins, especially to model. I am very impressed with Blobmaker. It does a lot and I only had to read 14 pages to undestand the whole plug.
Once I have a nice model, I export and import to only have the shell, and the blobs won't recalculate.

Last edited by AVTPro : 02 February 2006 at 12:22 AM.
  02 February 2006
I applaude your efforts to do it entirely within Animator, but without any modeling tools you'd be at a huge disadvantage. Using Zbrush is permitted. But if you can pull it off without it.. well.. wow
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
  02 February 2006
Thanks for the warning. Hopefully I'm no worst because of it. Yes, it's not set in stone. I would like to focus on EIAS, and plugs ins. Yes, I will probably use Zbrush but I wanted to limit it to painting. Zbrush and Photoshop would be the same in that respect of texture painting. One is 2D and one is 3D painting.
Being at a disadvantage? Well, that's not good. That's bad.

it's not really a complex model and my focus is on the image, impact, grandness etc. Considering EI doesn't have a modeler, I'm hoping to shed some light on being resourceful.
I once taught an india girl named Singh, who had bought EI when it was 7K and couldn't a afford a modeler. So I had to teach with only what came with it. Now, you can get a very capable modeler with EIAS for only $50, Silo and Wings3D is free. Still it was just to show how much can be done in the program as a stand alone.

Before I went with this subject, I considered more complex modeling topics, but I'm focusing on EI and not my modeling skill. Then, also I would use EIM (not commercially available) or I would use FormZ 5 or Maya. For this competitions, I would like to spend as much time in EI as possible, learning new plugs and pushing the app. I want to really challenge myself and I'm having fun. If I can still compete, without a modeler then how much does that say about my EI talent? How much does that say about EI?

I don't me to come off arrogant, just tryin and some spice for myself. I think it's just my approach.

Lastly an important decision-maker for me was, I only added that this extra personal criteria because the imagery lends itself to it. I'm not doing humans just the bird. It's not a complex image in the way of modeling, that why I think it's working.
As, in my sketches I'm only doing the bird and spaceship. If I have to bail on the spaceship I will.

My main concern about the models is will the surface hold up to controllabe instancing, with PlacerDeposit or Trooper for the feathers. If the topology does work, I doubt if you will even see the model. It will be feathered.

Thinking about this image, If I did use a modeler, based on the sketches, it wouldn't help much.

I have no clue if this image is doable either way. The big deal would be for me to learn new Plugin that I never used, instead of modeling which I could spend most of my time doing.

This is the brow. I made the sphere one side then, use the modify axis command to mirror the same sphere on the other side.

If you really think I am going to lose because of this, the please, STOP ME NOW!!! (lol)

Last edited by AVTPro : 02 February 2006 at 01:46 AM.
  02 February 2006

One comment and please any feedback would be appreciated.

I thought one of the things we would be judged on is the spirit of sharing and involvement and as well as tutorialship of our posting. I believe I have posted in all other forums, but a bit intrigued why none but yourself has contributed any feeback here.

Things that make ya say hmmm...

No doubt they gave up after the first paragraph. Maybe next time we can say treament should be 50 words or less? I don't think I got that memo. LOL.
  02 February 2006
Originally Posted by Vizfizz: well.. wow

Nevermind, I reponsed before I read this part. that's what I'm talking about !

  02 February 2006
Here's something that is in lines with what feeling I want. I did this with AfterEffect about 4 years ago.

The radii or 24 pt. star is pretty popular on TV now. I made two stars and rotated them in opposite directions. I used them as masked tracks and scaled the layers in them. I set them to different speeds. I'll look for the animation if I can find it. I did it for a broadcast on the public access channel.

I bought this up because I am going to do the wings next. This is my reference.

I just want to specify, and I thought specified it in the Treatment. I'm only doing the dove.
I just wanted to show that Pheonix-type depiction in context.

BTW the scan of the Earth was a download NASA, a one gig file. This image represented a Stainglass window, and I used the StainGlass filter in Photoshop.

Last edited by AVTPro : 02 February 2006 at 02:59 AM.
  02 February 2006

I'll give you all the encouragement I can. I do not believe that the lack of a dedicated modeler will reduce your chances of winning at all. You're resourceful and will probably teach us all a lesson in ingenuity.

You are correct to state that this should be a learning process. I am expecting individuals to contribute to their threads and document their creative process. As far as judging goes, its as important as the final product.

So stick with it!
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor

Last edited by Vizfizz : 02 February 2006 at 05:51 AM.
  02 February 2006
hi alonzo,

my respect for your descision to use only eias and plugins!
what a bold statement. i know that eias can produce great pics out of nowhere and i am really looking forward to see what you can get out of it.

...and yeah, it is really much to read

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