“The signs were all there, the surface tracks revealed by the light of her storm lamp, the musty carrion smell on the light zephyr that stirred the dune slip slopes. It was only when Malena heard the abrasive slithering and the roaring hiss of the sand salamander’s passage that she knew she was in mortal danger.

With a squeal of tortured sand the salamander erupted from the dune behind Malena, poised to strike down on its prey with its myriad teeth and poisoned pincers. Desperately, she swung around and threw herself to one side bringing her power rifle to bear on the the salamander’s head…”


Technical aspects: My intentions with this picture were to capture – in an image – a moment of extreme action. It required intricate posing of Malena’s figure with her power rifle.

The salamander was created mainly with sPatch. Each body part was separately created to allow final composition in Bryce.

The texture maps were made with UVMapper combined with a Bryce bump map. The desert lamp was the main light source with the moon providing fill in lighting.

After initial rendering the full scale picture went through extensive post-production using Corel PhotoPaint 8 where problem areas such as Malena’s hip area, her hair and the motion blur and scuffed up sand were added element for element.

Slight adjustments with Corel Photopaint’s Level Equaliser and Contrast and Adaptive Unsharp were added as well.

My thanks goes to all the good folk at the Bryce Forum. They were a tremendous help in assisting me with the posing of Malena – a real headache! Gary Vennie, a fellow Brycer, also provided much needed criticism and suggestions in the beginning stages. My thanks to him. I would recommend visiting his site, as there is another side to Wesdraken IV developing.

(While busy revisiting my “Worlds in the making” website in 2019, I discovered that Gary’s site is no more. It was closed in 2010. I had to rely on the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive to get his page back!)

Worlds in the Making