I do weird things with software. I brought a headshot of myself into Bryce and turned it into a volumetric material on an slab. I know, no one knows what I’m talking about, but I do stuff most wouldn’t think of doing, and end up with some freaky results.
I just had an issue with a 4 gig flash drive suddenly going bad. I couldn’t format it, saying it was write protected. I thought it was a lost cause, but after digging around, I found the answer, which I’ll share here. I know this will happen again, so it’s here so I can find it again.
Plug the thumb drive into the computer. If it says it must be formatted before use, and asks you to format, say no thank you. Then follow these steps EXACTLY as below.
1. Go to START, then in the search box, open command prompt by typing (cmd.exe) of course, without the parentheses.
2. type “diskpart” without the quotation marks.
3. type “list disk” without the quotation marks.
4. identify which one is your USB disk.
5. type “SELECT DISK n”, where n is the number of your USB disk.
(Disk 0 is Always going to be your operating system)
*** BE CAREFUL AT THIS PART. Selecting the wrong disk might delete your hard drives ****
6. type “clean” without the quotation marks. (you may need to repeat twice or thrice). If it doesn’t work, don’t proceed with the next instruction :-(
7. type “create partition primary” without the quotation marks.
8. type “select partition” without the quotation marks.
9. type “active” without the quotation marks.
10. type “format fs=ntfs” without the quotation marks.
It’ll do a Slow Boat To China format, but chances are, when it’s finished, you’re golden.
Just a little something I’ve been messing around with, more of an exercise for strengthening my hands for this 12 string beast. Fun stuff. Newish song
I’ve got an Android phone now, and wanted to set up an In Case of Emergency link on the main screen, and link it to my wife’s cell phone number. But it needed an icon, pne that will stand out, so I made this one, and made it available to everyone.
Right click image, and save to your computer.
Over the years, this web site had grown huge. The storage space on the web server was out of control, to say nothing of all the bandwidth my content was eating up. Sadly, many hundreds of my images were being hotlinked, they were showing up as background images at hundreds of personal websites, and worse, as Myspace backgrounds. I was burning through numerous gigs of bandwidth because of people using my artwork without permission, and it’s time to put a stop to it. I’m not going to allow people to link to my artwork without permission, much less paying for the bandwidth out of my own pocket. So I’ve done away with a great deal of content.
The massive image galleries are gone.
The 3D and fractal animations are gone.
The mp3 files of my music over the years are gone.
So, if you came here specifically for something, and you can’t find it, it’s gone. Now is the time for a fresh start, I’m on a new server, with a new hosting company, and I think the world has had their fill with all the crap I’ve made available over the years. It’s time to pare down, get back to basics.
I’ll be going through my artwork and rebuilding the galleries, but they will contain the cream of the crop, not the massive pile of artwork that would take a visitor many hours to go through. So, stay tuned, things are being worked on, and I’ll get artwork back up again when I get a chance to get to it.
In the meantime, you can explore the numerous places I’m online these days, by paying a visit to this page.
I finally did something that was difficult, to say the least, I’ve moved my hosting to another company. I host quite a few websites on my account, and the thought of moving all that data, including all the databases that make the sites run, was a daunting task, to say the least. But after experiencing numerous server errors while trying to update my websites, and clients experiencing server errors trying to update their website, the time had come, it was time to move to a better setup. Continue reading
Singer Songwriter Chris Castle asked me to create artwork for his upcoming CD release, and it’s finished. I discovered Chris Castle and the band he was touring with, the Womack Family Band, last fall, through signer/songwriter Jeff Black. I met them last fall when they came through town, and again this spring as they came through again. Head over to Chris’s website for information on how to order a copy for yourself.
The Womack Family Band is touring with him, working as his band, a great combination. You can find their offerings on their website, found here.
Edit: This site is no longer in operation, however, the artwork that was offered up is still available here.
I’ve launched a brand new website, one that I’ve been kicking around for quite a few years, and decided it was time to do it.
Artsy Mondays will have a brand new piece of artwork offered every Monday morning, and now you can buy a print, online, with more options on canvas and paper types, mats, frames, and glazing than I could ever offer. I’ve got a FREE desktop wallpaper for you in the first posting, so go grab it, then bookmark the site and check back every week, or add the RSS feed to your feed reader to keep up with the new releases.
Here’s the link- ArtsyMondays.com
I’ve been building websites since the very early days of the Internet, for myself and others, and I’m still at it. I’ve tried pretty much everything out there as far as the software used to build a site, and was thrilled when database driven websites came into existence. I have been using WordPress for quite a few years now, and it’s my all around favorite piece of software for building and maintaining a website.
I’ve learned the ropes on customizing themes, and am now building themes from the ground up. I can also modify existing themes to remove things that look “bloggy” and makes it look more like a standard web site. I run a web server, so I can create, host, and maintain your website, which makes it easier for you, the client, as you only have to deal with one company. From start to finish, I can design, build, and host a web site that’ll look good, and will be easy for you to update yourself.
Here’s some screen captures of websites I’ve built.
Spot Draves, the guy behind Electric Sheep and numerous other things Fractal, has just put 3 videos online for free download. If you like fractals, this is going to give you goosebumps.
A 1080P high def animation.
http://www.archive.org/details/FeXIV (previously unreleased, 2.5GB
high quality flame animation set with modern music, more than 12
http://www.archive.org/details/StarOasis (this is an old one but
previously only available by bittorrent, only 100MB, 5:40 playtime)
EDIT: This CD is now out of print, there wont be any more made available.
I am finally finished with a project that’s been a couple of years in the making. I am offering a CD filled with selections of my artwork, to use as computer desktop wallpaper, or to use in your digital photo frame.
There are 365 images contained on this CD, there’s enough artwork to have an original piece of artwork, every single day, for an entire year. Click this image for the full sized preview.
You can see thumbnails of every piece of artwork that’s on this CD here.
You can get your copy quite a few ways.
You can go to me directly, I can accept paypal by sending payment to the email address steven at hilltopdesign.com
I’m happy to sign and date it for you, and directly from me is the only way to get a signed copy.
Cost is $25.00 per CD, shipping via US Post Office Priority Mail to addresses in the US, add $5.00.
You can stop in at the brand new Owl Tree Gallery in Lenoir City and pick up a copy there. Owl Tree Gallery, 117 East Broadway (past traffic light #16 going toward Loudon, on the right- green wood exterior) in Lenoir City, TN. I’m happy to have my work on display there, this one show has ALL my available artwork in one place, from framed and matted prints, artist trading cards, note cards, trinket boxes, everything.
Or- you can oder directly from the manufacturer here.
The cost is the same, $25.00
These will NOT be signed, they will ship directly from the manufacturer to you. However, this is the best option for using VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS, and DISCOVER CARD. This is also the best option for orders outside the US. You can calculate the actual shipping costs on this page.
This has been one of the most involved projects I’ve ever done, it’s taken two years to get this release created. These were created and rendered specifically for wide screen monitors, like laptops and wide screen LCD monitors, as well as in your digital photo frame. Frames are different from model to model, brand to brand. But you can copy the images to a thumb drive or flash card and put it into your frame. If your frame is wireless enabled, you could set the frame to grab images from your computer, so you could either copy the images to your hard drive.
There are 365 pieces of hand selected artwork. The selection ranges from some of my very earliest pieces to some of my latest works, which are created in a pseudo 3D version of the flame fractal software. I tried to give a good cross section of what I’ve created over the years, and I’m very happy with what this release contains.
For those with a more square shaped monitor, I haven’t forgotten you. You can either stretch the images to fit, or, you can select a different gallery of these same images, but already sized to fit 1024 x 768 pixel monitors. There will be a black bar on the top and bottom edge, so it’ll be like letterbox movies on your TV. Either way, they look good on almost any size monitor or digital picture frame. I’ve loaded these onto some monitors with a huge resolution setting, and they hold up beautifully.
One thing I wanted to mention- purchasing this release on CD allows you to use the images for your own personal use. They’re not to be shared, emailed to friends or family, made available for download on web sites, used on your web site, printed, modified, or used in any other way. You are allowed to use these for your monitor or digital frame. Of course, if you’ve got a computer at home and one at work, I have no problem with you using this artwork in both places.
I do license my work for various uses aside from this release, so use the contact form here to get in touch with me for your specific needs.
Here’s the postcard for the May show at Three Flights Up Gallery. Despite the card saying it runs in March, it runs the month of May. Opening night reception will be First Friday, May 2, from 5-9 pm. Come out and say hi.
I’m very happy to announce that I’ve got a show in my first actual art gallery, during the month of May, at Three Flights Up in Knoxville. Link
I’ll be there for the meet and greet on opening night, which is part of the First Friday events. Opening night is Friday, May 2, from 5 to 9 PM I’ll be available to answer questions you might have about my work.
I’ll be showing a selection of brand new work, and they will be available for purchase through Three Flights Up. I always enjoy meeting people, so come on out and say hi.
I live in a small town, Clinton Tennessee. For grins, I just googled:
digital artist clinton TN
I come up 1st and 4th ranking.
Then I googled:
artist clinton TN
1st and 6th ranking
Then I googled:
fractal artist clinton TN
Then I googled:
Steve artist TN
Then I googled:
and came in on the 4th result
Clinton fractal pulls me up as the first result.
Googling clinton tn steve comes up with me as the first result. Am I the only Steve in Clinton Tn?
Googling fractal digital clinton pulls me up as the 3rd and 5th result.
Googling fractal clinton pulls up 7th place.
I’m also finding that this post will appear at the top of the listings, so that’ll help track me down if all you remember is my first name and fractals. Too funny.
Steve and fractal pulls me up. How crazy and generic is that?
Search engine rankings intrigue me to no end, how bizarre.
EDIT: I originally wrote this up a couple of months ago, and since then, rankings have changed. Now let’s see if this post will change the listings.
EDIT: This post is indeed changing the rankings.
Dan over at my-fractals.com has written some code, and it’s a thing of beauty.
Download a few things, configure a simple ini file, and it can do some very cool stuff, like batch render flame files automatically when you dump them into a directory, then it can email the paramater file and the finished render to your.
New releases- tile boxes, the boxes are now offered in a high gloss black piano finish as well as a high gloss mahogany color, the hinge is now spring loaded to keep it propped up, the bottom is felt lined, and the interior is lined in white satin fabric.
One word- classy.
These are the currently available designs, which are also available as coasters and framed tiles.
Panels Purple Orange
Black White Spirals.
Tall Grasses 1
Julia in Red
And the waters came
I thought I’d share something cool with you. Pandora.com is a streaming radio station. You can create your own station based on artists or song titles, then it learns which songs you and others thing can go togther, more or less a station based on similar tastes in music. It learns as you go by voting thumbs up or thumbs down on the songs as they play. Or, you can just sit back and let it do it’s own thing.
I created a station around a year ago, which I’ve been fine tuning all along. It was based on the band October Project. Over the last year, I’ve been voting things in and out of the station, and figured I could turn you all on to some cool music you might not have heard before.
You can even make your own station for free- there’s no catch at all, no commercials on the broadcast of the music. It’s not a jukebox, you can’t set it to play a certain song you want to hear right away, but it’s still a very cool thing I’ve been enjoying for a year or so.
So, just click the link, and if you’ve got a zippy internet connection, it’ll stream for you. This is the stuff I listen to night and day as I work on things.
Link to October Project Station
There’s a new place on Market Square, downtown Knoxville, called Abode. During the month of July, I’ll be the featured artist, my first solo show, and I’ll have a few brand new pieces. Some of my newer pieces will be one offs, they’re signed and dated and marked 1/1. The prints with that numbering system are being treated as an original piece of artwork, a one of a kind. Opening night, the first Friday of July, I’ll be at Abode between 6 – 9 PM.
First Friday is a monthly event- galleries stay open late, and it’s a chance to galllery hop to see the new pieces of artwork brought in each month, as well as a chance to meet the artists. So if you’re in the area, stop by and say hi.
Here’s a sneak peek of four of the newest pieces I’ll be debuting at Abode. They’re the first four images in this gallery.
EDIT: I just returned from the opening night, it was a good time. I met with some very cool people. The local TV News guys in town happened to stop by, so of course, I had to talk with them a little. Lord, I just come across badly on video. *cringe* But hey, they got my name right, so it’s all good.
I finally, FINALLY finished working on the way this site is laid out, and how it looks. I’ve learned more about how to tweak Word Press installations than I ever wanted to, but it’s cool, I’m slowly getting the hang of what happens when you change this, move that, that sort of thing.
For those of you that also run Word Press, let me clue you in on something weird that’s had me stumped for months. Some directories, like themes for example- I couldn’t delete the folder. I kept getting an error message saying the directory wasn’t empty, or I didn’t have permissions. Also, some themes refused to let me load them in the editor to tweak them- no matter which template file I clicked on, nothing would load except default.css
During the months of March and April, I’ll have artwork hanging at the Stir Fry Cafe at Turkey Creek, just west of Knoxville, TN. My artwork will be there for two months, so if you’re in the area, pop in and take a look. And buy a print or three. Then hang out and order something from the menu, the food at this place Rocks with a capital R.
I’ll be heading over there to drop off a couple more pieces, and I’ll try to take a few photos. It’s such a surreal thing to see something I’ve created on someone else’s walls. ;)
A fractal video I put together is now playing in a big loop on a plasma screen at the main entrance of an all digital inner city school, Cyber High School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Now that’s just cool. ;)
This video clip is an animated flame fractal, with music I created from random samples of sounds and music. The video is a Flame Fractal, created through ElectricSheep.Org and used here under a creative commons license. The music was sampled, arranged, edited, and mixed entirely with Audacity, an open source audio editor.
This is the extended version. Play it in full screen if your computer can handle it, and turn up the sound, there’s lots of nuances in the background.
My online galleries contain thousands of images, feel free to pay a visit and see the variety of artwork I’ve created.
This is a large download, over 900 megs in size, so please check out the streaming version of it on Google first, which is located here.
If you really want to see it at a larger size, you can grab it here. Feel free to share this video with others, it’s something a lot of people haven’t seen before, and it’s always cool to turn someone onto something new.
I did the editing on this, and also created the music. It was created by assembling dozens of sound clips, which is detailed here, along with mp3 downloads of the various incarnations of the music bed, which I saved in incremental steps as I worked. You can read the details of the music part of it here.
For those visiting me lately, I’ve been thrashing around with code and hacking together some cool goodies for my site, namely the WordPress installation, which is what you’re reading right now.
I’ve been cutting bits and pieces and learning quite a bit as I’m experimenting, moving things around, enabling widgets and all sorts of other cool stuff. So if things look weird for a moment, hit refresh, and if I’ve just changed something, it’ll load properly again. Just hit the HOME link found on all the pages. Or, at least, I hope it’s appearing on all the pages. That’s the plan anyway. Send Cheetos.
I created a video project a few months ago, and created and mixed a music bed for the video, which is here. As I worked on the music, I created quite a few mixdown versions, which are located here.
I always enjoy glimpses of the creative process as people go about creating something, so if anyone has interest in listening to the various incarnations as I worked toward the finished project, feel free to take a listen and read the notes on what went on.
I’ve put a couple of my video projects up on Google Video, so now you can stream them, now that they’re much smaller in file size. You lose a little with the compression and resizing, but running these at twice the regular size doesn’t look too bad- try viewing it full screen if you system and broadband connection will support full screen. This movie was done for Metacreations. It’s a Bryce demo movie, which was handed out on a software demo CD at graphics software trade shows. Discovery, my Bryce Movie-Google Video
This is a music video I’ve put together, it’s fractal flames in motion, coupled with music I composed for this project. This is the long version. Fractal Flame Demo Reel- Extended Mix
And, as promised, here’s the shorter version. Fractal Flame Demo Reel- Short Mix
Originally from 2002:
I was invited to showcase some of my artwork in a gallery on the website of Nikola Kitanovic, a well known poet and novelist from Serbia, Yugoslavia.
I’m posting this here as a reference, in hopes that one day I might have a clue as to what he’s referring to. This can all be found here.
To see his “review” of my work, on the right side of the page you see artists- look for Lareau. Clicking the letter I will take you to his review, clicking the letter G will show thumbnails of my artwork.
This is the intro to the artists he has listed, posted here to boost my self esteem when it gets low. ;)
Old news, but it’s still good news.
If you notice things a tad goofy here, it’s not you for once, it’s me. I’ve moved my domain to yet another web host, and I’m fighting to get things working properly, so pardon the dust.
Prints are now available!
It took longer than I expected to reach this point, but I am offering some of my artwork as a print, on both fine art paper, as well as canvas. It’s all at the website I built just for print releases, at Unquiet Visions.
A better version of Discovery is now available.
I now own a computer that’s got enough horsepower to compress the video I did years ago. I was able to take the raw, original, uncompressed version of my video and compress it as an MP4 video file. The video is much clearer, the audio is much better quality, and I was able to scale it up a little in size. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s available right here. Discovery
How I do it
I’ve been asked over the years how I do the strange stuff I do in Bryce, so I’ve created a little gallery of images to give you an idea of how I do what I do. How I do it.
I’m in the process of taking my artwork to the next level; I’m going to be offering some of my prints for sale. I’ve had many people asking for prints over the years, but I didn’t have a computer setup that could handle rendering images of the size I need to do prints. I bought a pile of parts recently, and built a computer from the ground up, a computer with one purpose- to sit under my desk and grind away at large images, a dedicated rendering box. It’s on it’s own battery backup system, so in the event of a temporary power glitch, it won’t lose days, or weeks worth of work. Or so that’s my plan, you know how that goes. ;) Going to the next level has been years in the making, and I’ve finally been able to pull things together and focus all my efforts into making prints. I’ve found a local printer in the back of one of the high end art galleries around here, and they do the Giclée prints for many famous artists. I met with them a couple of weeks ago to take the proverbial nickel tour of the shop, and I’m excited. I’m waiting for them to get some new glossy paper to see how well it holds details. Head over to Unquiet Visions. That will be the place to find out all the details as pieces are released.
Bryce 5.5 is available!
May 17, 2005
At long last, Bryce is out of beta, and I’m happy to say that Bryce 5.5 is now available, right here. I was able to participate in this beta as I’ve done in years past, and saw an insane amount of work done behind the scenes. I’m telling you, the folks at DAZ were working their tails off for this release. By the time we were done with the beta, no one was in the mood to see Bryce for a while. ;) We saw that program inside and out, and then some. I can assure you, it was worth the time and effort, our beloved Bryce has had a wonderful rebirth. I can tell you, from my own tests, that if you render scenes high in volumetric textures, or high reflection and refraction, this is an upgrade you’ve been dreaming of. With some scenes, it’s FAST. When’s the last time you heard the word FAST used in the same sentence as Bryce? Depending on what was in the scenes, I personally saw some render times slashed in HALF. Yes, I said HALF. The official word is that it’s 30% faster on average now, which I’d say is a good, realistic number. If you use Poser characters, DAZ has just done something you’ll love. You can now import and pose characters via a link inside Bryce to DAZ Studio, where you can change characters, poses, clothing, props- and when you exit, it automatically pops up inside Bryce’s main window. It’s a slick setup for those that do a lot of Poser stuff. There’s been an addition of some new sky presets, some imported object presets from yours truly, and new materials and textures, which have been sorted into groups that make more sense than they did before. For those that like working in Open GL, you’ll love the update they’ve done with this release. Terrain editing now has new brush sizes. If you’ve been frustrated by insanely slow render speed, this is going to put a mighty big, silly looking grin on your face. Go take a look at what’s new with DAZ’s Bryce 5.5 and go place your order. There’s some wonderful magic with this release.
Welcome to the new and improved Hilltop Design.
Yeah, I know, I know, another incarnation? What can I say, I get restless with website design. This is officially V13. Yes, lucky (?!?) 13. I’m livin’ dangerously.
I’m streamlining things once again, I’m going to use WordPress as a content management system. That way I’ll be more likley to update this web site, plus it’ll be easier to find stuff around here. Stay tuned while I work the bugs out. And please, if you see something’s not right, or run across a dead link or something, let me know, mmkay?
So far so good integrating things, it’s almost done.