The Dreamer


SKU: dreamer4 Category: Tags: ,


Inspired by the film “Life of Pi” and dedicated to my boys who are both dreamers in their own way.

This scene was modeled and rendered using Vue d’Esprit 2014. The ripples are a custom map which I rendered using Lightwave.

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47 reviews for The Dreamer

  1. Scott [basicmember]

    I would love a version of this (pickle jar) without the canoe. Would make it a bit more “60s psychedelic” (think Pink Floyd Meddle album cover). Beautiful colors and contrast.

  2. Bradley [basicmember]

    This is such an inspirational piece of work. I’ve had it as my desktop background for over a year now every day at work.

  3. Gibbylinks

    I love this one, but I think the blades of the oars and the soles of the guys feet are too “clean”.

  4. Leee

    Kind of reminds me of a weekend from my youth at a friend’s lakehouse after taking some mind altering substances. (Kids, don’t try this at home!) Just simple beautiful, as always!

  5. Tom

    This would be a great scene for animation. Raindrops hitting the water.


  6. Tom

    This would be a great scene for animation. Raindrops hitting the water.


  7. pendrag

    when i see all of the ripples it looks like either fish or rain, yet i do not see either in the image. it leaves me a little wanting on this one.

  8. Ryan

    I reconsidered the octopus and removed him from the gallery version. He’s still in the multiscreen iirc. The turtle remains however (and one other new creature).

  9. Kenny

    Off-topic: It would be nice if I could change my ratings after making them. Sometimes my opinion changes over time, but mainly there are newer versions posted pretty frequently and we only get to vote once.

    I gave this a 9 just now. Had I voted when Version 1 went up it would’ve gotten a 6 instead, heh. Love the star-whale and star-dolphins! BUT I STILL DON’T SEE AN OCTOPUS ANYWHERE; please help! lol. I’m sure I’d love it if I could see it… “Up at the top to the left of the tip of the boat” looks 100% empty to me in Version 4. 🙁

    Btw, ignoring brightness changes, versions 2 and 4 have far superior colors to versions 1 and 3. Just saying. 🙂

  10. betsey

    apparently I’m gonna have to go back and start over,,,,gonna run a slide show….my brain is saying “octupus???” the changes are so subtle….and by the way….I like the octupus!!!

  11. Ryan

    Sorry you guys don’t like the octopus 🙁

  12. Tyler

    I spotted the same thing! Now it’s all I can focus on. To me it looks like a human-like alien creature taking a casual swim. Almost looks happy kind of sprawled out. Highly distracting for an otherwise phenomenal image. Really hope Ryan edits it out.

  13. Zach

    The latest version really makes it one of your best, in my opinion! Seeing all the various elements, I noticed that I was sitting here wondering exactly what was going on in the boy’s mind. This piece really pulls me into it! Absolutely a favourite!

  14. Victoria M

    I’m totally enthralled by the subtlety of the layers in this image. The ripples, the depth, the almost-obvious definition of the swimmers, all kind of make this feel like one of those 3D hidden image posters – but instead of eye-crossing headaches, it’s soothing and intriguing.

    Does kind of seem like the boat is just floating out in space a little… (possibly because there’s a shadow IN the boat but not under it?) But the boy in the boat staring down at the world below contributes a lot to the calm, contemplative feel.

  15. Jen

    The updates make it perfect!

  16. RogerEbert

    I love how crisp and in focus the boat and person are. The scene overall is very nice. My only criticism is, agreeing with Joe “The additional sea life is distracting and less well executed.” In my mind whale should be alone.

  17. Joe

    I love the latest tweak to the whale. Lends just the right amount of abstract wonder. But, less is sometimes more. The additional sea life is distracting and less well executed.

    If I may make one additional critique: the boat still doesn’t quite sit right with me. Not sure if it’s because the ripple underneath does not properly match the shape of the boat, or if my eye needs that boat to cast a shadow.

    Keep up the great work!

  18. Jenanne

    I like this version quite a lot, except for one thing. Up at the top to the left of the tip of the boat, there’s a life form that I guess is an octopus, but looks to me like a flailing, drowning person. Sorry. I’d prefer the dolphin previously there, but see what other members think.

  19. Mark

    The return of the big whale with highlighting, the addition of constellations in the reflections – really nice work.

  20. Jenanne

    This isn’t very helpful, I know, but personally I like both renders about equally but for different reasons. I like the whale because it looks amazing and forces my focus on the world below, but it also dominates the image; only later do I take in the other layers in the image. The first version is more subtle and my focus goes from the surface and its ripples, to the boat, and then to the world below the surface. Both are terrific in their own way. Anyway, that’s MHO for what it’s worth.

  21. Stephan Z

    Its very beautiful but too dark and low contrast specially the boat.

  22. Telaria

    Astounding colors – it popped out at me the moment I came to the website! One comment, tho’, about the whale: if the 2nd one is supposed to be the calf of the first, it should be closer. Baby whales usually swim right next to their mothers, often touching. Maybe a trail of bubbles coming from the blow hole?? Regardless, it’s beautiful work, as usual, Ryan. Thank you!!!

  23. Matt McNai

    It needs the life in it. It really gives you the feeling of depth and scale. People don’t realise sometimes how insignificant we can seem as humans.

  24. Anthony

    I love the concept and the execution of it. One of my favorites!

  25. Anthony

    I love the concept and the execution of it. One of my favorites!

  26. Foz

    epic – the boat blends in perfectly without detracting from the rest image.

    Multiscreen please!

  27. Mark

    The width of the ripples appear to be too wide for the scale. Or what the heck do I know? Maybe I need to look at ripples on water some more. Or maybe that isn’t even water, but some other liquid with a higher viscosity than water???

    I like that the whale is not as obvious in this version.

  28. Ros S

    Just my personal opinion ok but I’d like it without the boat. I feel it detracts from the overall ‘feel’ of the scene

  29. BobC

    I also feel that this is one of the best of all time. I love the play of light and color on and in the water (one of the things that made “Floating Garden” so enticing)

    I think the boat in the earlier version somehow looked like it was lit differently from the water (? or something) and the revision has the work looking more “of a piece” and artistically pleasing…

  30. Jenanne

    …is much improved! It fits with the rest of the world layers very well. Nevertheless, I’d also like to cast a vote for the boatless pickle jar version. It may remove a vital element and turn it into a abstract, but IMHO it would be an awesome abstract.

  31. DaveR

    Well done! I love the colors and the depth. It reminds me a little of an M.C.Escher drawing, I believe it was called “Three Worlds”, with leaves on the water surface, the reflection of trees and sky, and a fish swimming below the surface.

  32. Ryan

    I’ve updated this project with a new boat and dreamer. Hopefully these elements blend a bit better with the environment. Let me know what you think!

  33. Zach

    I think that this is going to be one of my all-time favourites for sure (especially when the multi-screen renders come out). I agree with Foz about the boat seeming a bit sterile. I also think–and this is REALLY nitpicky–that something seems off with the colour of the boy’s shirt. I wish I knew what or why. Overall, though, this is remarkable!

  34. Mike

    This is the best one I’ve seen from you in a long time. I love your work. I thoroughly enjoy what you do, but you definitely hit this one “out of the park”. Well done!

  35. Scott

    Would love to have one of just the water!

  36. Foz

    This image is fantastic, but the boat… it reminds me of the older days of computer graphics, it’s so… sterile, straight and flat.

    Try taking off the sheen, or roughen it, spread some grime or something on it. The boy is just fine, it’s just that boat, detracting from a vision of surreal beauty.

  37. Rob

    I love it!

    Please could we have a version without the boat for the pickle jar? 🙂

  38. Littlemom

    Love this render.

  39. Logan

    I like everything going on in it, it has things to discover (I just saw the dolphins) without being too busy.

    The boat, however, looks like it’s just cut-&-pasted onto the scene without really being on the surface of water. I know it’s because of the way you built the image with layers, it just seems the boat isn’t interacting with the water quite right.

  40. Jenanne

    The colors in this one are so beautiful. I like the three dimensional effect of boat, surface, and the worlds below. Particularly like what you’ve done with the ripples; they give the surface definition and remind me of the first few rain drops before a storm. Great render, Ryan!

  41. ChrisW

    Beautiful image. Makes me wonder exactly WHAT is being reflected in the water. Aurora borealis, maybe?

  42. Christina

    I love this idea – although would like it even better with just one ripple and the rest perfectly still – like the little boy threw in a rock.

  43. Justin

    The colors, the boat. This will be in your top five.

  44. Jonathan A

    Fantastic water scene, and do love the boat and person, though I think they would fit a bit better if the shadows cast within the boat were darker.

  45. Mark B

    Instant all time favorite! I prefer darker colors for my desktop, and this is wonderful. Could we have one without the boat, too?

  46. Tor

    There’s a ripple under the boat that seems out of place; the shape just doesn’t feel right for the boat.

  47. Bryan [basicmember]

    This feels like it’s Avatar brought down to earth. Very whimsical and airy and I love it.

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