Monday, November 21, 2011

Alphabeasts: F is for Four-Dimensional Space Whale

The winner of last week's poll was "Moby-Dick analogue," so this week's entry for Alphabeasts is "F is for Four-Dimensional Space Whale."

These aren't the only space whales out there, of course. Like, remember, O Nerd-as-a-Kid, those ones who healed Storm when she had a Brood larva in her? Too late to draw them for this alphabet. Then there's the critter that nursed itself on the engines of the Enterprise-D after Captain Picard killed its mom. And it's been ages since I read this other book, and maybe those whales were off in the distant future, not in space, but they do start with W if you want them.

Anyway, to get my faux-Kirby space whale up against my faux-Kirby background, I had to put a lot of my linework right against flat black; if you want to see the drawing itself, it's here:

I actually hadn't yet seen the Futurama episode ("Möbius Dick") that features this creature until this weekend. And I'm not sure how I feel about these latter seasons of Futurama, to tell you the truth, though it's nice to see the characters (and the cast) back in action. We don't learn a whole lot about the four-dimensional space whale in that episode, anyway, except that it feeds on obsession (not the fragrance) and only "breaches" into three-dimensional space to fill its lungs with vacuum.

(There's a pretty cool sequence starting about 11:55 into the episode where the Planet Express ship gets dragged into the fourth dimension on a "sleigh ride" behind the harpooned whale. It reminded me of an interesting old post I wrote about violations of the two-dimensional page by three-dimensional creatures.)

(Also, at 10:30 into the episode, the space whale blows out a breath in the form of a fractal, which is a nice math joke I guess.)

Anyway, all this talk about "four-dimensional this" and "three-dimensional that" made me want to work up a 3-D version of my 4-D Space Whale, so I tinkered with the method I'd used on Ben Towle's Kirby ukulele way back in the day. If you can do the "magic eye" method, you should be able to relax your eyes and see a 3-D space whale between these two images.

Or, if that method never works for you, you can whip out some 3-D glasses and try to see it here. I had trouble with the hues, though, so there's some "ghosting." Maybe that's just the four-dimensionality coming through.

UPDATE: better 3-D versions are in my next post.

Next week, I have a couple of different ideas for creatures to draw. What would you like to see me do?

You have until Friday evening to tell me.


Henry Eudy said...

"Ahoy, a hump like a snow hill! Dude...I'm trippin' out!" Awesome job here with the Kirby Crackle, kudos!

Isaac said...

Thanks! It was a lot of fun to do that crackle!

I think it's the first time I've drawn a bunch of it since I realized that the little dots are negative space, not the drawing.

Curious Art said...

Wonderful 3-D 4-D whale! Though my eyes hurt from looking at it with "Magic Eyes" method. Couldn't test the red-green as I've misplaced my glasses, but the other worked great!

az said...

i really like your practice walle.

and again written by az

Isaac said...

Thanks, Az! I hope you voted in my poll about next week's creature.

The whale with no background isn't actually for practice. I drew the whale and the outer space scene separately, then put them together in the computer. That's really the only way to make a 3-D drawing, because you want different parts of the background to be visible behind the whale for the left eye than for the right eye.

(If you want to test this, close your left eye and hold up your hand so your finger covers this word, then (without moving your hand) close your right eye and open the left: the word will have escaped!

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