The Four Elements

I’ve been working on images for each of the four traditional elements. These are my current examples.

Click on any thumbnail image to see the full-size version.

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Arianrhod: Welsh Goddess of the northern stars
I had wanted to do a picture of Arianrhod for a long time, but it never came clear in my mind. Arianrhod is a Welsh Goddess of the Mysteries of death and rebirth. She is associated with the circle of northern stars that never set, which the pre-Roman Britons and Welsh called Caer Arianrhod, or the Castle of Arianrhod. Her name means Silver Wheel, another reference to the circumpolar stars. More specifically, the constellation Corona Borealis is known in Welsh as Caer Arianrhod.

Arianrhod’s clothing was modeled in 3D Studio Max R2.5. Her figure is a Poser 3 figure. I rendered Her in Bryce 3D against a flat sky background with plenty of light. That image went into Photoshop, where I masked out the lower part of her body and all the background. I then brought her into the main scene file in Bryce 3D as a flat image. This enabled me to control her transparency without showing her insides.

The star pattern is a generated image of the night sky as seen from Wales at midnight, December 31st, 1999ce. Welcome to the new millenium! (By some counts . . .) I generated the star field using a freeware program by John Walters called Home Planet. It’s an extremely cool piece of software, and is available for downloading from his web page at

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Pele: Polynesian goddess of volcanos
Pele is the Polynesian Goddess of fire; in particular the fire of volcanoes and lava and that sort of thing. Modern Hawaiians still occasionally report seeing Her dancing at the lip of Kilauea. I did this in Bryce.

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Pele: Take two
Here’s another version of Pele, one that I felt comfortable putting on my calendar.

I used Poser 2, added a skirt in Max, and did the rest in Bryce 3D. The palm tree came from the samples of trees from Onyx TreePro on the Bryce CD. I rendered it at several different angles and pasted the flat images into the scene for the distant palms. It speeded up render time.

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Yemaya: Yoruba goddess of the ocean
Yemaya is a Yoruban ocean Goddess. She traveled with slaves to the western hemisphere, where she is a deity in Macumba, Santeria, and Voudun. I’m freely interpreting Yemaya here. I don’t think the Yoruba ever envisioned Her as a mermaid. But I so wanted to do an underwater scene, and Tiamat isn’t my water Goddess. This is take two for this image. I’ve cleaned up the pose a bit from the previous one.

The human part of the figure was done in Poser 2. The tail was modeled in trueSpace 3. The ships (on the surface, and sunken) came from the Caligari trueClips CD. The undersea castle is a Bryce terrain, as are the letters in the top left.

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Gaia: Greek goddess of the Earth
Although Gaia is shown sleeping, we should take care of Her, for She might wake up and demand an accounting some day . . .

I’m quite satisfied with this image. Gaia is a Poser 2 figure with a Bryce Terrain material applied. The terrain she’s lying on was produced using an altitude render from a top view in Bryce and then smoothed in Photoshop. The stream was created using Susan Kitchen’s instructions for creating a waterfall, and the sheep and shepherd were painted in Photoshop and pasted in as images. The lettering in the lower right is a terrain.

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