Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cover art design with PovRay

I have no artistic skill. I cannot draw anything. I would have no way of even starting to represent a 3-D object on a piece of paper. It's been like this all of my life.

I recently self-published an e-book, Machiavelli's Laboratory, (discussed in several prior blogs). I needed to produce a striking cover image for the book. I turned to PovRay and used a public domain photograph from wikipedia of Niccolo Machiavelli, for the tiled globe:

Source: Wikipedia, public domain

The final image (tiled globe, on an infinite rippled plane, with 3-D block letters painted with multi-colored marble) was produced by a script, NOT with computerized drawing aids. The PovRay application rendered the entire image, with script commands, just like any programming language produces an output by following the commands in a program.

Click on image for larger view

I thought the 3-D lettering was a bit too flashy, so I ended up using a flat font, and this final image:

In the next few blogs, I'll discuss PovRay, and Breeze Designer (used to create the 3-D text object in the first rendered image), and I'll provide the two PovRay scripts that produced the final images. I'll also show you how you can obtain PovRay and Breeze Designer (both can be downloaded at no cost).

- © 2010 Jules Berman

My book, Principles of Big Data: Preparing, Sharing, and Analyzing Complex Information was published last year by Morgan Kaufmann.

I urge you to read a litte about my book. Google books has prepared a generous preview of the book contents. If you like the book, please request your librarian to purchase a copy of this book for your library or reading room.

tags: big data, metadata, data preparation, data analytics, data repurposing, datamining, data mining, graphic art, rendering software, cover art