Incipit Vita Nova
Thursday, April 6, 2006

Persephone, 2517, the year Dr. Simon Tam first sets foot aboard Serenity. A pivotal moment that marks the beginning of a new life for River and her brother. This piece shows Simon, on the ramp of Serenity, where he meets Kaylee, who introduces him to Mal (O.S.). That pose of Simon alone, briefcase in hand, is enough to make me want to cry. He looks so out of place! And he is. All because of River, for whom he sacrificed everything, just so she could be safe. This is a man who, were it not for his great love for River, would never be here! The Title is taken from Dante's "La Vita Nuova" (= The New Life). And we see a page, supposedly from Simon's diary, which reads, paraphrased after Dante, "In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first entered Serenity, appear the words: Here begins a new life (= Incipit Vita Nova)."



Thursday, April 6, 2006 1:51 AM


Now, a word on the work.

Dante's original text is as follows: "In that part of the book of my memory before which little can be read, there is a heading, which says: Incipit Vita Nova: Here begins a new life." The team of Star Trek Voyager used this text once too, but reworded it a bit: "In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you, appear the words, Here begins a new life." And I, in turn, paraphrased the Voyager text. :)

Then there's River, coming out of the box... except, it's not a box, but an egg. :) What better way to symbolize a new life? Also, the box itself is not inside the egg, of course. But I positioned things in such a way, that part of the original purple box rim is now the egg's inner lining (near River's shoulder), which now seems to be lit by a lightsource from within. It gives the egg's interior, so to speak, a very cosy feel.

Perspective-wise, the image is actually rather complex. The egg is placed inside what seems a stony, "port-hole" shaped basin. But if you follow the curvature of that basin, to the left, and behind Kaylee, and upward, suddenly the hollow inside of the basin becomes the parabolic surface of a planet! This effect is solely created playing with light and shadow. And if you go further up, still on the left, and to the right, then the space behind the planet gradually becomes the sky over Persephone.

The egg is placed in such a way, that it appears to be lying on the cargo-bay floor. And the curved stony basin, in-between Kaylee and Simon, is also like a flat, concrete floor. Apparently the eye can flip-flop between what it wants to see at the moment (I trick the eye into thinking "flat surface", because the shadow in front of the egg is projected onto a flat surface. But the curved line, more to the front, makes you see that stony, port-hole shaped basin again).

Thursday, April 6, 2006 2:07 AM


Oh, hey, now that's just about poster-worthy ain't it just? A picture's worth a thousand words... Always impressed that you continually opt to tell a story rather than just arranging screencaps in an attractive manner (though those can be very shiny, too, of course.) This is what, to me, photo-manip and collage is all about.

I'm really liking the background, too. Sorta seems to be contrasting the repective characters of Kaylee and Simon, and yet bringing the two together as well.

If you can't tell by how I'm going on, I really like this one. LOL poor fish-out-of-water Simon. (Plus Kaylee's there so I can't help but like it :)

Keep up the good work.

Thursday, April 6, 2006 7:48 AM


As always, Asarian, I am so impressed!

Beautiful idea and beautiful execution of the idea... amazing.

I love the River in the egg as rebirth imagery.

Thursday, April 6, 2006 10:30 AM


Woah.....DEEP and I mean that in all senserity.

Thursday, April 6, 2006 12:10 PM


Wow...this kinda reminds me of a Hieronous Bosch (spelling sucks, I know) painting a teacher of mine had a print of in their classroom:)


Thursday, April 6, 2006 12:15 PM


That is some high-skills work! I'm still in the kindergatren in my Photoshop stuff. Truly awesome!

Thursday, April 6, 2006 6:05 PM


It's just so gosh-darned beautiful.
*big sigh*
I especially like how you continued the curve of the egg into the background, it really brings everything together.
And the egg is perfect for Easter coming up - if you believe in that sort of thing.

Friday, April 7, 2006 7:19 AM


Much more interesting than the typical screencap collage. Very, very nice!

I love the depth of thought here. Thanks for posting it!

Friday, April 7, 2006 4:39 PM


i have no words other than... wow.

Sunday, April 9, 2006 10:31 AM


You are so amazing. Everything you do just gets better and better.

There is so much tought and love put into this.

I'm just sittling here gaping and trying to think of something to say. It's just beyond words.

Friday, July 28, 2006 1:25 PM


Wow, you have an incredible vision of things and I love this one. Incredible imagery and I love the Dante reference.


You must log in to post comments.



"He takes so much looking after."
The title really says it all. This is River, deeply happy for her brother and the way things turned out. This is "I'm all right." at its finest hour.

N.B. A improved redo of an earlier work. I removed the text balloon, and significantly cleaned up the 'embrace' scene and various other small changes and fixes.

P.S. Right-click and 'save' to get the original-size image.

Going Dark
"Going Dark" tells the story of Kaylee getting shot. Like an eclipsed sun, there's Dobson's bullet, frozem in mid air, as 'seen' by Kaylee, who walks into the cargo bay at the wrong time. I accentuated Kaylee's stomach wound, but it's the only graphic element in the entire image. In fact, most everything else is purposely opposite to bad stuff; it's all dream-like, sweet, with pretty flowers, butterflies, and even one of River's pink elephants shows up for the occasion (from the unshot episode 'Dead or Alive'). No nightmares for Kaylee, no bad conscience visiting upon her, no worries even: you just gotta have faith in people, yourself included. (Extended Commentary below)

A Hot Summer Night
in the same vein as piratenews has been posting.

Twilight Fancies
Kaylee, half passed out, drifting in and out to a faerie-like dream land. It's a bit different. And it's a bit shippy (but in an unsullied way: just some harmless swooning on the part of our fav' mechanic). Not an overly complex image. But I played a lot with the lighting, and I'm now fair content with the the dream-state like properties it's breathing. After all these years, it really does get harder creating new and undone themes. All-in-all, I set out what I wanted to do.

The Firefly / Mass Effect Comic!
A while back, playing Mass Effect, I suddenly got this hilarious idea for a Mass Effect comic, based on Firefly! :) So, I proudly present to you The Firefly / Mass Effect Comic! It's basically Mass Effect pictures with Firefly text! Of course, to get the full experience, you gots to be familiar with Mass Effect. See below for all episodes.

"Dear and fluffy Lord," The Interview
After the BSR went down, last year, I also lost my very first fanvid. I'm still liking it, though; so, here it's back (Extended Commentary below).

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 5 -- "Time to wake up!"
This was originally a very simple image. Still is. :) But right after first posting it, I suddenly realized I could do something else with it: I could overlay a silhouette of "River looking at Mal", from the end of the BDM, at the near exact edge of where her hairline meets her face. See for the idea. Also, the purple title above the middle text (Evanescence) had thrown the image off-balance a bit. So, to restore equilibrium, I added a faint purple text underneath, saying "I love my Captain." All non-shippy, of course (more like the hero worship we talked about earlier today). Original Text below.

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 4 -- "Noah's Ark is a problem."
In the ongoing spirit of "If you can't do something artistic, redo something artistic," I redid this River piece. Made around the same time of "I can win this!", the blending was not perfect yet. I especially had to redo the blending on the front of her dress, which was way too transparent near the edge. I didn't have the original layered version any more, so I had grab a new still and figure out what scaling factor I had initually used. But it's really much better now, IMHO. (Original Text below)

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 3 -- "I can win this!"
One of my earliest works; from my "Now I'm learning about blending." phase. :) It was our very own PhoenixRose who, soon thereafter, taught me various shiny blending/blurring techniques, I significantly cleaned up the marble, as well as the background that had all manner of background noise in the black: great for Out of Gas, but for art, not so much. :) (Original Text below)

RESTORATION PROJECT, Item Nr. 2 -- "I didn't think you'd come for me."
Most like my second best work. :) Apart from rounding up the usual suspects, such as transparency errors, this picture differs from the one I originally posted at, in that I edited out Simon's hand on the elevator door, and smoothed out the area where the window post and the River-in-elevator-shaft meet. (Original Text below)