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   After drawing my pawn on a chessboard the other day, I set out to design an entire chess set.  I was not happy with my first attempt and tried a second time.  The results met with my satisfaction. 
   The pieces started by tracing out a profile in Sketchup, and then using the follow tool to rotate the piece.  This worked wells for pieces that can basically be turned on a lathe.  For the bishop, I added removed a notch from the crown, which seems customary for the piece.  The king had a cross added, and the rook had embrasure removed to create merlons.  The most complected piece was the knight because only the base is turned.  The bust of the horse had to be traced, extruded, and then rounded.  It turned out better than I had expected.  All the pieces have huge face counts, and the complete chessboard takes minutes to export to Kerkythea.
   I tried coming up with a black glass to go with the white glass, but I never liked anything I came up with.  Older chessboard often used red and black, so I figured substituting red for black should be legitimate.
   Steve and I went down to our local coffee shop today to enjoy some tea by the fire.  I we accomplished discussing in details much about rocket boosters; discrepancies between the Dune book, movie, and miniseries; and the unseasonable weather trends currently effecting Wisconsin.  We did not, however, accomplish any of the writing the two of us set out to undertake.
   I decided to play around with depth of field in Kerkythea today.  I modeled a pawn on chessboard and played around with the camera settings.  What I found was the settings I would typically use for an actual camera didn't work for Kerkythea.  The units of the program are unknown.  But by playing around I did find settings that produced the bokeh I desired.
Prism Experiment

Prism Experiment

   I was playing around with Kerkythea and wanted to try a rending that produced a prism effect.  Found a setting called dispersion for dielectric glass objects.  When using a bi-directional rendering engine this setting will allow the generation of the prism effect.  So I did this rending of a strong light source on a piece of glass, producing exactly what I wanted to see.  The only problem is, I'm not sure of the realistic dispersion values for glass.  There are no units given and I just put in numbers until I got what I wanted to see.  The glass itself (which is fairly dark in this rendering) ends up an odd shade of green and orange because of the dispersion value.  So I will have to look into it more.
   The prism effect is what I expected to see with the material and angles I setup.  I let this scene render for 20 hours.
Downtown Madison

Downtown Madison

   Visited Pokie this evening and took a few pictures from the 13th floor of her building downtown.  I didn't have a tripod (going to have to try this again) but pulled off some pretty good high dynamic range shots using the railing as a balance point.
   Representing the empire, our Star Wars gathering had to worry about rebel scum.  Here we see our disco Death Star, protected by a squadron of tie orbiting fighters.  Due to budget issues, this latest Death Star is a little smaller than it's predecessors.  But Let's see the rebels fire anything into a thermal exhaust port on this bad boy!