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The Cycle (II)

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These are just the first three. We call them "stellamedusa".
Many more will come in the next days and will patiently travel the imense distance to the blue star.
During their very long journey the eggs inside will mature and, as they near the star, their bodies will explode with the heat. This will disperse their eggs in all directions. Most of these eggs will burn in the intense heat, some will directly hit the star or will be captured in an orbit around it, but a few will eventually escape and arrive to some other planet, in this or in another system, where the sequence will begin once more.

A fascinating element to this cycle is that the radiation from the star will alter the DNA of some of the eggs, creating a countless number of mutations. Some will fail, others will prevail.

In the meantime, the remains of the dead stellamedusa will forever orbit the star, creating an ethereal cloud-like shape around it, an eternal reminder of this fascinating cycle of life and death.

This was the first real example we found of actual panspermia in our voyages across the galaxy.

In the meantime, we are also witness to another cycle: the debris around the star are either the remains of old planets that for some reason were desintegrated, or the start of future planets that will eventually be formed. Or both simultaneously. Again, it's hard to say where the cycle starts or where it ends.

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This image has a "humanless" companion, here:

The Cycle by ArthurBlue

Those of you who follow my work know that I like to add a human element to my images. There are several reasons for that, some practical, some conceptual. In practical terms, a human is a great and easy way to provide a sense of scale. For the more "fantastic" images, it also brings a sense of familiarity to the viewer, allowing an easier "acceptance" of what otherwise could be a too strange environment. It also provides a gateway, by giving the viewer a perspective ("what would I see if I were that person?"). From a compositional perspective, the place where the human is looking at is a natural guide to the eyes of the viewer. Conceptually, it helps to tell a story (or build it completely).

In this particular image, I couldn't decide whether or not to place a human element. My original concept was without one. Then I felt it needed one and I added a human and several buildings. Then I didn't like it and removed it. And back again. And again. Always changing this and that in the meantime.

In the end, I gave up and decided instead to post both images. Let's see which one you prefer. :-)

Of course, I had to change some compositional elements between the two images. The presence of the human is a strong natural focus, especially on that place (the exact horizontal 1/3) that needs a compositional counterpart, preferably in a diagonal, so I raised the position of the entity, the "stellamedusa", on the right. In the image without the human I couldn't have the entity as high also especially because it created a too obvious parallel compositional focus with the sun.

The absence of the human also brought the need to redistribute the visual "weight" of the elements, so I brought the central entity more to the left and the left entity more to the right (in fact, the left entity now almost exactly occupies the 1/3 position left free when I removed the human).

As always, this image was rendered in Vue in a 3D virtual world that I created, without photo-manipulation.

EDIT: after two comments in the same direction regarding the woman, I changed her. You can see the previous version in my scraps folder, here:

The Cycle (II) (alternative version) by ArthurBlue

EDIT: in case you're curious, I originally thought of a different human construct for this world, not those buildings, but I couldn't make it work, compositionally. This is the spaceship I imagined (you can click it).

The original human construct by ArthurBlue
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© 2018 - 2021 ArthurBlue
Comments63
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HopeDiamond3's avatar

I want to design alien planets that are realistic, but remain fantastic and exotic feeling.

ArthurBlue's avatar
Thank you, I'm glad you like it. :-)
MichaelJohnMorris's avatar
FeatherQuilt88's avatar
I think I prefer this one, though both are beautiful! :) I really do like the "human element" in a lot of your pictures, probably for that very reason you mentioned, it gives a sense of scale... and "bringing the viewer into the scene," that too, making it feel like people really could walk and be there. :nod:
FeatherQuilt88's avatar
You're very welcome! :aww:
tomolok110's avatar
Amazing, Visionary!!! Thanks for sharing! -)
ArthurBlue's avatar
SatoshiII's avatar
This looks really good!  Love the concept, and I always enjoy a picture that comes with a story.
ArthurBlue's avatar
Thank you! Lately I've been trying to do that with my images (either that or a poem), to contextualize the viewer about what goes on in my mind when I'm doing it.
packy1800's avatar
Nategold0410's avatar
Art and story are wonderful!
ArthurBlue's avatar
Thank you, I'm glad you like the combination. Lately I've been telling little stories to go with my images, I think it lends them an extra dimension.
TimTaller's avatar
Hi, I made a small animated GIF based on your awesome work.

The Cycle - Animated Version by TimTaller

Hope you like it
ArthurBlue's avatar
That is really fantastic and very well done. I loved it! You gave life to this world.
Thank you.
Ivladislaw's avatar
I remember some comments about my works a few years ago when I posted it on social media. People asked me, "Where are characters?" :)
Your work got not only a personage but a new sense in my view. I see the buildings above the clouds in this work and think that nature and creations of people have a tendency to become similar.
ArthurBlue's avatar
Thank you.
You know, tt's really interesting that you said "nature and creations of people have a tendency to become similar" because that was precisely my original idea. :-) I wanted to make the human constructs as similar as possible to medusae, but just artificial. So, I originally made this spaceship (you can click it, I posted it in my scraps with a description of why I gave that up).

The original human construct by ArthurBlue
Linwelly's avatar
Especially with the narative you have there I thinkt the human element makes more of a whole thing out of it.
ArthurBlue's avatar
Thanks.
Yes, I agree. The majority of people seem to agree too. Until now, this one has 355 favorites and the other one has 155. I expected a slight difference between the two versions but not at this scale. Very interesting.
Linwelly's avatar
That is quite the difference, interesting, I wouldn't have expected it to be so much.
At some point I really would like to see all your beautiful off world works come together in a story :D
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