The Sunshine Tree


SKU: sunshinetree1 Category: Tags: ,


The Bliss family journeyed out of the frozen waste of Illinois to sunny south Florida over the holidays. This sheltered Midwestern farm boy was astonished to find fruit growing on trees during the “dead of winter” and this new render is my paean to “stored sunlight”.

This one went through a few different versions before I chose to post anything and one of those early renditions is available for download in the Pickle Jar. I haven’t decided if I like the glowing plants in the water below the tree and they may be gone in the final version. Let me know what you think!

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39 reviews for The Sunshine Tree

  1. nzfjmoore [basicmember]

    Love it – anything with internal luminescence and a dark background is super useful (and aesthetically pleasing to my eye) for my work computer background 🙂

  2. Jay [liferplus]

    Very surreal about the main picture as well as the pickle jar versions.

    I can’t wait to see them come up in my background picture rotation.

  3. Jonathan [basicmember]

    Radiant simplicity. Thanks.

  4. Zach [lifer]

    Thanks for the multiscreen render, Ryan. My only feedback on it is that it seems to lack some pop. I could be mistaken, but maybe it is because of the somewhat low contrast–the almost haziness–between the dimly-lit/foggy sky and the glow of the tree?

  5. Ryan

    The multiscreen version of “The Sunshine Tree” is finally available, but it is a bit different than the single-screen.The “#1”, single-screen, render actually came from a scene that crashed before I was able to save it. By the time I started the multiscreen version rendering on Shadowfax I was thinking that I was going to replace the single-screen version in the gallery with a newer iteration.That version has grown on me however and has emerged as the favorite among the choices. I could probably recreate it and render a new multiscreen (and I might) but I guess this will have to do for now. It took 96 hrs to render on Shadowfax at 15360 x 2880 so it will take much more if I try it on Bucephalus frown emoticonLet me know what you think!

  6. Jenanne [liferplus]

    Wow, you’re observant. I never would have noticed the change to the main render. But you’re absolutely right, and it is a definite improvement. Well, obviously, or Ryan wouldn’t have put it up. 🙂

  7. Tyler [lifer]

    By far the best. The most simple and clean. The others have something awkward going on. The game changer is the tree reflection being totally obvious and adding all the foreground you would ever need. Though personally it reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies I would love to see a distant pirate ship. Not going to push that though.

  8. Richard H. [lifer]

    I’m interested to see that, as well as providing two more Pickle Jar variants (3 and 4), Ryan has silently re-rendered and replaced the original main gallery render. The new version is absolutely identical to the old in terms of content, but has better (brighter) ambient lighting that matches the Pickle Jar 2 image. (The original render no longer seems to be available, but I’ve kept my own copy as Pickle Jar 1.) Anyway, I think the new render is a considerable improvement: it doesn’t spoil the mood or tone in any way, but you can simply see more detail now.

    As for the new Pickle Jar images, I like number 4 best because of the greater variety of colour (purple to blue) in the ground foliage.

    However, with all of these variations, I personally find that the ‘junk on the ground’ makes the images look a bit too busy – no matter how pretty the ‘junk’ happens to be. So my overall favourite image in this set is still Pickle Jar 2, because of its ‘cleanliness’; the tree is the real focus, and the rest of the scene adds a lot of atmosphere without being distracting. The water reflections also work by far the best in this image; in the others, it’s not immediately obvious that there’s water in the foreground.

  9. Robert [nonmonthly]

    Prefer Pickle Jar version #4, with the original then #3 following.

  10. Zach [lifer]

    I also like “sunshinetree2” (picklejar) the most.

  11. Littlemom [liferplus]

    love them both

  12. Jenanne [liferplus]

    Sunshine Tree 2 is my favorite as well. I still think brighter stars would add to the image, but this render is as close to perfect as I think we can expect (but then Ryan does tend to outdo himself, so I guess we’ll see). It deserves to shine up in the gallery.

  13. celmendo [nonmonthly]

    I prefer sunshinetree2. The gallery one is a bit busy and the extras in the water distract your eye from the central figure. Maybe make the water features a flatter complementary type of glowy plant of a different color. A darker orange, stacked flat leaf weed maybe? Whatever the choice, I like it.

  14. Richard H. [lifer]

    I like the newly-added Pickle Jar image 2 best. Although I thought I liked the fallen ‘fruit’ in the main picture, I prefer the cleaner look without them there. More importantly, the overall lighting is brighter in the new PJ version, and it looks a lot better for that reason. There’s more nice water and background detail. Finally, also, the tree itself looks a little better (with the obviously edited branch being neater and a more even distribution of glowing fruit).

  15. WiDoW [plusmember]

    Each casts a different mood. The new addition of your “Lone Tree” series (which, by the way, I happen to love) was well worth the render time! Would love to see one more Pickle Jar version of this. You were unsure of your use of the extra plants in your final version. I would love to see just a hint of a planet as on your “0” version but on a subtler scale, in the final image. It could signify the idea of regeneration, or rebirth, of the “Lone Tree”‘s fruit through it’s seed upon the presently otherwise fruit-barren forefront. Truthfully, I love them both equally, based not their own merits. Either, I feel could be added to your

  16. mike [lifer]

    I loved the gallery one and the longer I look at this one, the more I like it! sunshine tree 2 that is.

  17. Sanjeev [basicmember]

    I love the version with the lights on the plants below. As someone else mentioned, it gives me a very “lantern festival” vibe to it. Great job.

  18. Jenanne [liferplus]

    You know what they say about opinions — everyone has one. Here’s mine: I love the Pickle jar version, particularly the background with the clouds and rising moon. I also like the mist rising from the ground and water. However, I do like elements of both versions and agree that the size of the moon draws attention away from the tree. Perhaps a smaller moon to the far left or just brighter stars and more of them. Also, fewer fallen fruit, if that’s what they are, would help give the tree center stage. That’s my two cents. This one is a winner, Ryan, whatever you do with it!

  19. Heather [lifer]

    I wish the background were just a little bit lighter. Maybe something to differentiate the darkness of the tree and sky? Overall great piece

  20. Logan [lifer]

    Reminds me of a tree I saw in Japan with a bunch of fireflies all glowing together.

  21. Mason [nonmonthly]

    This reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of Chinese lantern festivals, with all the lanterns floating into the sky.

  22. Rob [nonmonthly]

    I really like how the tree has little trees growing up out of the water and the other subsurface phosphorescence. Forthcoming trees, maybe? I also like how the tree is on a small stand of earth in a misty, eerie setting. Just like all the great fantasy quests.

  23. Littlemom [liferplus]

    Love this render. I was hoping you’d have a new render out soon and sure enough there in my email this morning was notifying me you have one. And like always you didn’t disappoint. Love the lights on the tree and in the water. Great job Ryan!!!

  24. Tyler [lifer]

    Adding moon will take away from tree. Aristically the tree must be the only source of light. This piece is near perfect it just needs more visible, brighter stars. That would not take way but add a nice touch. Very fine work Ryan an excellent concept.

  25. jjlem01 [nonmonthly]

    Many people are using their monitors vertical please start making 9:16 1080×1920 portrait resolution. It’s a great picture but if i can’t get PORTRAIT RESOLUTION then I might have to let my account run out. It’s sad too because i have loved this website since it began.

  26. Mario Carini [basicmember]

    Imagine if there was a tree that projects sunshine in the depths of the night, while the sun is busy lighting the other half of the globe. Nice image!

  27. Pat [lifer]

    As you likely expected, a variety of people are coming up with a variety of ideas and opinions. 🙂

    I love the moon in the Pickle Jar version, but love the fruit on the ground … they look like more plants starting to grow above the surface of the water.

  28. David [nonmonthly]

    I would say get rid of the fruits on the ground because once they fall from the tree in theory they would stop glowing if the trees what made him glow in the first place but the tree looks awesome

  29. ann [lifer]

    I like what you said about not being sure about the lights on the ground below, and I love the moon in the pickle jar one. any chance you will do another pickle jar one that has the current tree but keeps the moon and ground? I like them both, but love your pickle jar variations always. Daisy is one of my alltime favs and I have all varieties 🙂

  30. Heather [basicmember]

    It’s now my current wallpaper. I downloaded it because it reminds me of the scene from Skyfall when Bond is riding in a boat to a casino amid floating Chinese lanterns lit with candles. Beautiful set; too bad the casino isn’t real.

  31. Archie [lifer]

    The second tree is a much more engaging shape, and the fallen fruit/lights give it a peculiar (in a good way) dimension and draws the viewer further in. The purple, starry sky complements it well, but perhaps a hint of the moon would still enrich it (perhaps a more subtle version of moon than in the pickle jar version)

  32. Ryan

    This one was taking so long to render (even of Shadowfax) that I rendered the single-screen first. The dual and triplescreen versions are coming!

  33. Shahanna [basicmember]

    This is one of my favorites from your recent work, and I definitely prefer this version to the pickle jar. Can’t wait for a dual-monitor version 🙂

  34. Nathan [liferplus]

    is there a reason that links to multi monitor renders are not on the right side? Ever sense the last update to the site, i find it hard to find them.

    O, and this look great!!

  35. Jim S. [nonmonthly]

    This picture sets a great dreamy mood. However, I am disappointed to see that there isn’t a version for a 1600×1200 monitor.

  36. David [liferplus]

    This is a really good one. Can’t wait to see it on the dual monitor rendition.

  37. Jenanne [liferplus]

    What a great way to start the new year, Ryan. I feel sunnier already. A nine at least. Doubtless you’ll be tweaking this in days to come, but it’s pretty darn good as is!

  38. Susan [nonmonthly]

    I like them both

    0 is a bright beacon in the middle of a dark field (my impression)

    2 stands out against the sky and water. The detail seems fine in this one.

  39. jona(h) li [nonmonthly]

    great nature art inspired by phantasy

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