David Neal Dubois Gallery Guide Art Gallery

This is your guide to the works you can see in
the Art Gallery.

Bear's Head Bluff
This is a painting of Bear's Head Bluff. I don't know where this place exists. If you know, please tell me.

The image was created in Corel PhotoPaint using the brush and smear tools.

This image was inspired by the quest for spirituality, and by the style of Picasso.

Bipeds Art original sketch by David Neal Dubois
Original sketch

The original was a sketch done in black ballpoint pen on plain paper. I scanned this image into my computer using my hand scanner. I then called up Corel Draw and imported the bitmap image. This bitmap formed a template guide for creating the drawing, which consists of various simple and complex polygons, and "power" lines, with gradient color fills. This drawing was exported to a bitmap. Upon seeing the bitmap I found the colors a bit lifeless, so I wrote a program to read the bitmap of the original pen drawing, blur it, and then apply the resulting intensity component pixel-by-pixel to the Corel Draw image. The result of this software was loaded into PhotoPaint to crop, resize and convert to JPEG format.

I originally created this work in November 1996. Since then I've received quite a bit of positive feedback. People have told me they would like to see this framed on their wall, which I found quite surprising. To this end I've been working on getting a print out. Unfortunately, to date, I haven't found technology sufficient to render it to my satisfaction.

This is a picture of a butterfly.

It was designed in Corel Draw.

I created this work in August 1997 to be used on the New Perspectives web site. The client wanted a site that was warm and welcoming.

Fish man
This is the Fish man. He is human, with the legs of a horse, the wings of a bird, and the tail of a fish.

This began as an original pen drawing. It was scanned and imported into Corel Draw, which was used to add color and texture.

This is a painting of Sharon.

OK, I admit it. I cheated on this one. I can't paint this well at all. In fact I started with a scanned photograph, and used the smear tool in PhotoPaint to give it a paint-like texture. But at the same time perhaps I imparted a level of artistic insight that was not present in the original subject.

How do you think Sharon feels in this picture? What is she thinking about?

Egg Shells
This is a bunch of random shapes, colored in Corel Draw using radial fountain fills. Actually the shapes aren't quite random. Some day I'll explain their origin.

This is a picture of a dinosaur programming a computer.

The image was created from an original pen drawing done by hand. This image was scanned into Corel Draw, which was used to provide the color. I also added the tail using Corel after realizing it was missing from the original drawing. The computer screen in the picture is an actual screen dump of an application I was writing at the time.

I originally created this image for an advertisement, but it was turned down by the client and never used.

This image was created in PhotoPaint using the smear tool. It took about 50 hours. I used PhotoPaint to resize it and convert it to JPEG format.

The two works, Elephants and Giraffes, display a minimalist style. Each of these two images represents a parent and child. Can you tell which is the mother and which is the father?

These were originally created in Corel Draw using just a few simple Bezier curves. The smaller animal is an exact scaled copy of the larger in both cases. These were exported to bitmaps, and loaded into PhotoPaint to crop, resize and convert to GIF format.

(See Elephants)

This is a picture of my cat, Becky. I drew it quickly using PhotoPaint using the brush tool. I used PhotoPaint further to resize it and convert it to GIF format.

This image, like Field, was created in PhotoPaint using the smear tool.

Spheres I
Spheres I was generated using a technique called ray tracing. Like software that generates fractals, programs that generate ray traced images are a dime a dozen, although ray tracing is much more mathematically involved. The image here was generated by software that I wrote myself as a learning exercise.

Ray tracing is a technique for generating images by computer. It is useful when the image involves such optical challenges as reflection and refraction.

In real life, light sources, such as the sun or a light bulb, generate beams of light, which reflect off any number of surfaces and are distorted in any number of ways as they pass through various materials. Finally a small number of those beams fall on the viewer's eye and an image is formed on the retina. The same thing could be simulated in the computer. But the computer would waste a lot of time following light rays that never hit the viewer's eye and therefore never appear in the image.

Instead, we have the computer essentially shoot rays backwards out the viewer's eye, and trace them back through all the reflections and distortions to the original light source. By examining the light source and keeping track of everything that happened to it along the way, we can determine what color the light beam would've been when it hit the eye. This process is repeated for each pixel in the image.

In this image, I'm experimenting with simulating diffuse reflections by having the computer decide what direction each ray reflects with a certain level of randomness. This allows for a less-smooth surface and creates more realistic shadows, but is much more computationally intensive.

Spheres II
This, like Spheres I, was created using the technique of ray tracing, again with software written by myself.

This particular image consists of about 40 spheres randomly placed in space, and a simple plane appearing as a floor. There is a single light source, which is a large sphere that is placed behind the viewer to the right. You cannot see all 40 spheres directly; some of them appear off-screen but can be seen in reflections. When light hits the spheres, 50% of the light is reflected, and 50% is generated by the color on the surface of the sphere at that point. The floor also reflects 50% and generates 50% in a checkerboard pattern. The surface of the sphere's have a texture map, which I created using PhotoPaint, and is a story in itself. The image was super-sampled. That is, each pixel shown in the image created by the program is actually the average of a block of 25 adjacent pseudo-pixels.

First, what is a fractal? Since it is a relatively new word to the language I had some trouble finding a dictionary that defined it, but finally found this:

frac-tal (frak'tl) n. 1. a geometrical structure that has a regular or an uneven shape repeated over all scales of measurement and that has a dimension (frac'tal dimen sion), determined according to definite rules, that is greater than the spatial dimension of the structure. [< F fractale = L fract (us) broken, uneven (see FRACTURE) + -ale - AL 2; term introduced by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot (born 1924) in 1975]

The particular fractal shown in the image is based on the Mandelbrot set. I wrote the software to generate this image myself, but this not a difficult thing to do. There have been thousands of programs written to generate Mandelbrots and other fractals throughout the age of computers. I've written several myself just as something to do to relax. To generate the Mandelbrot shown this is what I did:

Each pixel (small block of color) in the image represents a complex number. A complex number is a number of the form c = x + y i, where i is the square root of negative one. For each point of the image, do the following:

Set a variable z to zero. Repeat the following: Replace the value of z with z2 + c. Each time you do this, look at the absolute value of z, written |z|. If the sequence of absolute values thus generated converges, then the point is in the Mandelbrot set. If it diverges, it is not.

Unfortunately, to determine whether the sequence converges or diverges would require repeating the loop an infinite number of times. So we cheat. It can be shown that if the absolute value ever exceeds 2, then the sequence will diverge. So if we ever see a value greater than 2, we can stop our loop and conclude that the point is not in the set. Otherwise, we just repeat the loop until we get tired of waiting, say 2000 times, and then give up and say that the point is in the set.

By now you should be asking: "But Dave. What about the color? If you color the points that are in the set one color, and those that aren't in the set another color, that's only two colors. But your image has thousands of colors." At least you'd be asking if I haven't totally lost you.

To generate the colors we cheat again. In fact, all the points that are in the Mandelbrot set have been painted black in this image. And as you can see the black points are few and far between. All the other colors represent points that are not in the Mandelbrot set, points where the sequence of absolute values diverged. In these cases, the color represents how quickly the sequence diverges. To be specific the color is a representation of how many loops were required for the absolute value to exceed two. If it took 1078 loops, it will be one shade of green, and if it took 1079 loops, it will be a slightly different shade of green.

I can't remember the specifics of which portion of the complex plane appears in this image, nor the specifics of the color mapping, since I created this some years ago. I vaguely recall that the image shown is for an area about a millionth of a unit across.

In the end I used PhotoPaint, yet again, to touch up the image for presentation here. I made a subtle change to the hues to make it a little more pleasing to the eye, resized the image, and converted it to JPEG format.

My right palm
This is a scan of my right palm. But is it art?

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This page last updated February 2, 1998.