Joyeux Anniversaire Jules Verne! (8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905)

French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Cover and illustrations from A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Containing a Complete Account of the Wonderful and Thrilling Adventures of the Intrepid Subterranean Explorers, Prof. Von Hardwigg, His Nephew Harry, and Their Icelandic Guide, Hans Bjelke. Translated from the French of Jules Verne, Author of “From the Earth to the Moon,” “The Mysterious Island,” Etc., etc. With Fifty-two Illustrations By Riou. Sold only by subscription. New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co., 1864?

1. Cover                                                                                                               2. ‘A Diamond Mine’                                                                                   3. ‘The Mushroom Forest’                                                                       4. ‘These Animals Fought with Fury’                                                                     5. ‘Terrific Combat’                                                                                               6. ‘The Plain of Bones’                                                                         7. ‘Gigantic Inhabitants’                                                                                         8. ‘Human or Not?’

Weird Backs Month #08 – Dimetrodon

Named for the different-sized teeth in its jaws, the sphenacodontid Dimetrodon is by far the most famous of the synapsids, and is all too frequently mistaken for a dinosaur. Living during the Early Permian (~295-272 mya), at least 13 different species have been identified – mostly from the southwestern USA, as well as one from Canada and another from Germany. The smallest, D. teutonis, was only 60cm long (2′), while the largest, D. angelensis, reached 4.5m (15′).

This particular reconstruction is based on a medium-sized species (D. grandis) which was around 3m long (9′10″).

Although traditionally depicted with a fully skin-covered sail, the bone structure of Dimetrodon’s neural spines suggests differently. The base seems to have anchored strong back muscles, much like yesterday’s Sphenacodon, with soft-tissue webbing only extending partway up the bones. Meanwhile the upper portions of the “sail” were probably free-standing, and many fossils show crooked bends where the unsupported spines didn’t grow straight.


Ekko - League of Legends fan art by Jin Hyun

“Ekko, the boy who shattered time, is one of the champions in League of Legends. While working on Ekko, I envisioned a skilled assassin who defeats his enemies and anyone who challenges him. Ekko’s abilities help him to capture the enemy’s base.

In order to create a high polygon model of Ekko, I attempted to utilize the daring proportions and silhouettes associated with Riot characters. During the design process, however, I was faced with the unique challenge of having two disparate references: the video game trailer and the game itself. Rather than merely basing Ekko on one reference, I opted to integrate both designs.

When working on the textures, I picked complementary colors to enhance Ekko’s original design. As with all characters in League of Legends, I handpainted Ekko to create diffuse textures. Furthermore, Specular and Normal maps were used for final rendering of Ekko in Marmoset Toolbag to express the next generation game character.”