“Rising out of the surrounding sea of dunes like the battered prow of a ocean faring ship, the s’Amvha Sanazas – the “Divider of the Ways” stood like a bastion guarding entrance to the plateaulands beyond. In the fresh hours before Wesdraken’s suns arose, Malena had led Braedan up a precarious path carved out of the sand-blasted basalt to the summit of the outcrop from where they could watch the growing dawn over the dunes.
Braedan immediately sensed the aura of the place and its profound effect on Malena. Carved in the rock behind them were two niches each bearing a single dessicated and aged skull. Malena bowed her head in silence for a long moment as Braedan gazed on over the dawn-touched dunes. Far below their perch the battered and sand-corroded wreck of a small space freighter peeked from the spine of a large dune.
Brad knew, without any words being exchanged, that Malena had returned to her roots on Wesdraken. Here her father had died in the fiery crash of the battle-damaged space freighter. Her mother had survived, saved by the Sadusi, and not left – as was their way – to the mercies of the elements, for she had been with child. She had later passed from this existence, leaving her offspring, Malena, in the hands of the wild desert-dwelling sapients. The Sadusi had observed their rituals of reclaiming the corpse’s water for the benefit of the tribe, leaving only the skulls for the burial rites high up on the s’Amvha Sanazas where the young refugees had met their fate…”
Technical aspects: My first forage into the inner workings of Bryce’s Deep Texture Editor. I did a lot of research on aeolian erosion (wind erosion) of rocks and found some excellent reference material at the Wind Erosion and Water Conservation site of the USDA. The rocks themselves were modeled in Amorphium 1.0. The patterning on the sand dunes was also based on my photos of the Sossusvlei dunes in the Namib Desert.
The figures were created in Poser, and based on sketches and character studies I made with my wife and other friends as models. The extreme corrosion of the metal carcass of the space ship was created from scratch in Bryce’s Deep Texture Editor. The ship itself was modeled in Rhino3D and them combined as a boolean object with Bryce terrains. Again the folk at Bryce Forum helped me with suggestions and URLs. My gratitude and thanks to you all!
Post-rendering was done with my newly acquired Corel PhotoPaint 10. Work was done mainly on the joints and anatomical faults on both figures, but apart from a slight Adaptive Unsharp filter, no other work was done.