Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cosmig Egg second version

I really like Luan’s version of Cosmic Egg, however when I started an animation of the first chapter (Ancient Beliefs) I realized that it’s not flexible enough. I decided to create my own version. I was looking for inspiration and I found this image:

Animation for Chinese creation myth  starts with an image of an egg, then it brakes apart into two pieces.



Well I think I might just burst with excitement! Probably should wait a while till I write this when my head isn’t spinning!
Came home from college to a posted letter from Sir Patrick Moore who has very kindly agreed to narrate our website for us!!!! Now this more than makes up for the disapointment of Dr Brian Cox being unable to…

The man is a legend, he once played music with Albert Einstein, met Neil Armstrong on numerous occasions, is the worlds longest running TV presenter, helped the Russians chart the moon and has written over 70 books on astronomy! So to say we are honoured and delighted is a severe understatement!

I have just spoken to him on the telephone and while I’m in England I will travel to his home to set up the narration!!!!


Cosmic Egg

The following is I guess the Chinese version our Adam and Eve…

Chinas main creation story involves a giant called P’an Ku. He is half hatched from a cosmic egg and grew 10ft a day for 18,000 years!  Eventually the top half of the shell formed the sky and heavens whilst the lower half of the shell became the earth… His body eventually formed the rest of the world (and elements).

I tried creating the ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ out of my own photographs originally (seeing as we’re creating imagery ourselves) but it didn’t look quite right I settled on vectors. A lot was learned using Photoshop brushes, particularly when creating hair tho!

Might not make the final edit, looks a little cartoonish looking to be honest and might not tie in with the other imagery on the site.

Creating the hair, image to the left was for reference.


Re-arrangement of Observatory visit…

Unfortunately our planned night trip up to Dunsink observatory was called off at the last minute due to an arranged tourist group cancelling…

However our Astronomy contact John Flannery informed us that we are more than welcome to attend a Soiree at the observatory next month, (heh!) that is being held there in honour of a Cosmonaut. The Cosmonaut (Russian equivalent of an astronaut) is coming to Ireland to visit and give lectures to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the first man to enter space – Yury Gagarin.

This evening is not open to the public but we have been invited nonetheless… Hopefully this won’t change! Pretty exciting considering that in the 50 years since man has entered space, up to this day there have only ever been approximately 500 different astronauts up there!

We are allowed to film so we’ll probably leave our arranged interview with Mr Flannery until this date, so that we can have the Observatory as the backdrop:-)


Narration Contacts

We’ve brought the site to the attention of a number of Astronomy experts in Ireland but need narration if possible…

Therefore we’ve wrote to Prof. Brian Cox via his management company ( Sue Rider Management ) and tried contact via Manchester University Media relations also to see if it is possible that he might be interested in narrating a small section of the site for us.

Prof. Cox is a particle physicist, and well known to the public as the presenter of a number of science programmes! (I realize it’s unlikely we’ll get a response but no harm in trying!).


Meeting with John Flannery – astronomy expert.

Had a meeting today with John Flannery of the South Dublin Astronomy club. John kindly agreed to meet with us for a few hours in the college, to look over our collected astronomy data before we build the remaining chapters…

Luckily John was impressed with our research so far and it seems we are on the right track. Our information is correct and in proper chronological order and he was able to provide helpful suggestions! One piece of advice provided was to reference our images in the Hubble gallery in order of age and distance and to also make sure that when we provide information on each of the planets, we include interesting tidbits and facts… such as the highest mountains amongst planets, deepest canyons etc.

As already planned, our first chapter is going to cover a number of creational myths and sky lore. However, when discussing which we might include, John gave us the very good idea of possibly incorporating a map into the page. This can then cover different geographical regions and a user can hover over the map to browse myths by country/continent. A great suggestion, which we might follow up on – but first we’ll have to look into technical possibilities…

A recommendation was made to ensure we include the Chinese astronomers contribution to stargazing as they provided the world with many ancient scripts and made careful observations of the sky, notably on the remnant of a supernova we know as the Crab Nebula.

We should also include the Arabic peoples input, as these were instrumental in preserving the records of Greek astronomers once it waned, and actually transcribed Ptolemy’s famous book. The Arabic astronomers built upon Greek information and provided further accurate knowledge before the Renaissance period began…

Other interesting nuggets of information received during the conversation…

A mention of Giordano Bruno – burnt at stake by the church for his unorthodox views…

Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle who wrote an influential work titled ” A Plurality of Worlds” which discusses how other planets might harbor extraterrestrial life.

The importance of astrophysics and how after the telescope, the spectro scope became an important instrument, used to measure the properties of light

If possible we will also implement the idea to somehow show our place in the galaxy in relation to others… so that we may try to show the scale and size, as well as the distance to other stars

Mentioned also was the Royal Observatory – Greenwich. Home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian line, a place that also played a major role in the history of astronomy.


Colouring Viracocha

To make an image of Viracocha more realistic I added colours (mainly golden gradients).

The next step was to add depth, as I realized that it still looked quite flat. I added bevel and emboss. You can see result below: