"You must do the things you think you cannot do."
(Eleanor Roosevelt)


Posted by: Steffen in Fun, Game, News, Review

Recently, Minecraft, a Java-based game by Mojang reached it’s first final release (1.0) state. With currently more than 4 million players it is one of the fastest growing communities in the world. Understanding the objective of Minecraft  is quite simple: Explore and build within a huge 3d-simulation, that consists of countless cubes. This can be done alone (single player mode) or as part of a team in multiplayer mode.

There are also animals, NPCs and monsters, populating the surface, which by default comes in a retro-graphics look. Texture packs can be applied to give the game a much more fancy appearance, if you like to do so. Some people say, Minecraft looks best in it’s original way (16*16 pixel textures).  The game can be run directly in a webbrowser, due to it’s Java architecture. This also makes it compatible with all major operating systems, such as Linux, MacOS and Windows. Adpatations for handheld devices (Android, iOS) are under development.

While playing, you’ll experience day/night change, weather influence, a fully functional lighting (through the sun, natural effects from lava or fire, or self-placed objects, such as torches), realistic physics and you can combine a large amount of elements, in order to construct tools, weapons, machines, furniture or many different building materials. As long as your avatar doesn’t die, the simulation runs indefinitly. You can play in “peaceful” mode, which means there won’t be hostile creatures that try to kill you. The vast world of Minecraft offers many interesting surfaces, ranging from moderate climate zone, to tropical, desert, swamp, beaches, forests or arctic surroundings. You can climb trees, mountains, travel through canyons, deep caves, swim or dive in rivers or oceans, watch sunsets and waterfalls or see the landscape getting changed by volcanos.

You can build houses, fortresses, use explosives, create bridges, streets, pipelines, even towns and if you play long enough – civilizations. The game needs a little computing power in order to run smoothly. If you experience stuttering gameplay, visit one of the many Minecraft forums on the Internet to learn how to speed things up. A good advice also is to take a look into a Minecraft tutorial, available in many languages. I personally think Minecraft has great potential and is the most innovative product in many years.

(personal rating 10/10)

ironic realization

Posted by: Steffen in Art, Inspiration, Poetry

Eyes of Phoenix

It is said that love blinds, but it also enables us to see in darkness.

(Steffen, 2011)

“post annos unus million”

Posted by: Steffen in Art, Digital Media

A Million Years from Now (c)2011 Steffen Lenkclick to enlarge

Free Screensavers

Posted by: Steffen in Freeware, Screensavers

Free downloadable Screensavers on novaspero.netYou get them brand new: The very first desktop screensavers on novaspero.net – and as well as my wallpapers, for free! Just download, install, use, copy or redistribute them as you like. They’re freeware, so you won’t find any annoying advertisements, popup windows or “useful” toolbars.freeware desktop screensavers My stuff is clean and neatly small in filesize. As a matter of fact, each of these use only 53 (yes, fifty-three) kilobytes. So far I didn’t create anything with threedimensional models.. yet. These use 2D-shapes. If you’re a 3D-geometry fan, check back in future and watch my progress, if you like. They are based on the OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) API, so your graphics adaptor driver needs at least to support this (which is quite common since.. 2001? Whatever. Ages.) My screensavers should be auto-adaptive to every thinkable screen resolution, from ultra-small netbooks/tablets upto big, fat gamer PC displays. You don’t need to configure anything. Enjoy!

zip File
7z File

Desktop Wallpapers for free

Posted by: Steffen in Digital Media, Wallpapers

Here are some of my creations which I designed last winter. You can use them (for example) as wallpapers for your operating system (Linux, Windows, Android, MacOS ect). All of these come in a relatively high resolution (2560 pixel in width and 850 kilobytes upto 3 megabytes in filesize, JPEG image format) and free of charge! I made them with a combination of digital image processing software (how exactly, forgive me, shall remain my secret). Do whatever you like with them. However, I’d appreciate if you mentioned me/novaspero.net if you get asked where you got this stuff. Thank you.

Wallpaper "Legacy" (Steffen Lenk, 2011)Wallpaper "Fusion" (Steffen Lenk, 2011)Wallpaper "Fireworks" (Steffen Lenk, 2011)Wallpaper "Dream" (Steffen Lenk, 2011)Wallpaper "Binary" (Steffen Lenk, 2011)Wallpaper "Saturn Rising" (Steffen Lenk, 2011)

Celebration of Light

Posted by: Steffen in BC, Blog, Events, Vancouver
"Celebration of Light", Vancouver (BC), August 3, 2011 - Executive fireworks competitor in video: SpainHigh Definition version available 

Every year there’s the Celebration of Light, a competition in British Columbia, Canada, between international teams of firework artists. It is the worldwide biggest festival of this kind, first held in 1990. Starting in the afternoon, people from all over the city of Vancouver and the surrounding area visit it, most of them camp at the beaches.Sunset in British Columbia (2011) There usually are more than 1.5 million visitors, getting entertained by live music, flightshows, many sorts of food and beverages and, of course, the fireworks, that start at 10pm. The festival starts late (last week of) July and goes until early (first week of) August; fireworks are on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Videos were shot by me at the English Bay area (westend Vancouver, nearby Beach Avenue, between 8.15pm and 10.30pm (Pacific Time). The camera in action, as one probably wouldn’t believe, was a cheap 69 CAD$ model I bought two years ago. I’ve digitally enhanced and cut the recorded material on the same evening and put it online.

Gallery opened

Posted by: Steffen in Art, Digital Media, Photos

It still needs some polishing, but it’s now open to the public: The photography, video and CGIartgallery here on novaspero.net I have been obsessed with this topic since the early 1980ies and even studied it for a year (1996-97) in Stuttgart, Germany -> the old-fashioned way, which for some of us might be sort of unknown, due to the huge impact of digital photography since ~2000/2001. Back in ’96 at school I used 35mm-, medium- and large format cameras, film material that had to be processed by hand in a laboratory with chemicals, not to talk about the magnification process, that took many, many hours and a lot of patience. Well, let’s just say: It was a lot more work than nowadays, but I still believe that analogue photography has it’s charm. Use the links, provided in the top- or floating menus to visit the gallery. Videos in the gallery are played in the little High Definition (720p), as soon as clicked. If you experience stuttering playback, just use the Youtube player to switch to a lower standard (such as 480p), directly on the novaspero-Videochannel. Most pictures are in a high resolution and come with a larger filesize. A broadband Internet connection may be advisable.

“A Million Years From Now”

Posted by: Steffen in Art, Digital Media, Internet

For a large part of my life I planned and designed virtual 3D-environments, as a hobby. My first steps, regarding this topic, took place back in my childhood. I was only ten and I believe my first creation on a computer was a threedimensional wireframe sculpture of a cube. As the decades passed, there came up many new possibilities, such as texturizing and lighting, mirror-reflection and refraction, later on water simulation, atmosphere effects (cumulus, haze, sunlight, rain ect.). Growing processor speed and memory paved the way for creating whole virtual cities, even worlds (which unfortunately lies “slightly” beyond my capabilities, would need much more computer power to fully dive into that). Last winter I designed this intro animation. Took almost a month of pure rendering time and another week for the video editing.

Designing “A Million Years From Now” was fun. I combined numerous inspirations, that I gathered over a longer period of time, in order to create this mystical, sad, ghostly and maybe even frightening picture of how our world may look like in the distant future, slowly panning through one of it’s remaining ruins, the setting sun at the horizon, toning the moisty air and letting the rusty skeletons of skyscrapers tell their story in a unique, bizarre way.

Canucks fever

Posted by: Steffen in BC, Blog, Fun, Vancouver

On June 1st, late afternoon, I spent some time among the Canucks fans, here in the heart of Vancouver, BC. Whenever there’s a hockeygame, Granville Street gets partially closed for car traffic. Those guys are crazy about icehockey, and I absolutely love this insanely fun atmosphere. I’ve shot the scenes between corners Granville and Davie to Granville and West Georgia Street. Watch this little five minute video that I made, if you like. For fullscreen (or at least full sized) playback in 720p (1280×720 pixel) High Definition simply go to my Youtube channel on www.youtube.com/novaspero

Relaunch novaspero.net

Posted by: Steffen in Blog, Internet, News

novasperoAfter several months without maintenance, my personal weblog novaspero.net is now back online again, entirely redesigned. I hope you like it. In some areas you may still find glitches and the website (obviously) lacks of content at this time, but I’m working on these things. So please just be patient until it’s finished.