Free Your Mind

Well I finally got around to fleshing out one of the images I had in mind for a while based on my sig :slight_smile:

The image, like the sig, was inspired primarily by Plato’s story of the cave in his Republic:

Free Your Mind

Perhaps a nod as well to The Matrix in the color scheme :wink: I would have said the title too, but I had used that phrase years before I had seen those movies.

Blender 2.37a + glow plugin + zblur plugin. Some post tweaks in Photoshop.

Thanks for checking out my work,


The image, like the sig, was inspired primarily by Plato’s story of the cave in his Republic:

So that’s what it’s about!

You should have made this image a long time ago. very nice.

i am truly amazed by your work.

it took me a while to realize that one of the chains was broke, very nice, very symbolic!!! ***** (stars)

groosome! and scary!

proably not the mood you were going for. but it looks like a serial killers trophy case, haha. like he would chop peoples heads off and then attach chains to them and attach them to the bottom of the ocean. which would be a good place to keep you human heads not so easily found, but the salt and fish would mess them up.

i really like the concept, but i couldnt help but think of dangaling heads at the bottom of the ocean when looking at this. you are a blendering maniac, always impressed by your artistic passion and strength!

Thanks Rocketman :slight_smile: In a way I’m glad I waited to attempt some of the images I’m doing these days because if I tried them earlier I most likely wouldn’t have been able to realize them as effectively.

I should say I’m a big fan of the Matrix movies too, which I consider entertaining but also important for the philosophical considerations they provoke, and that I did intend (if not expected) my sig to be considered in that more contemporary context.

In the Matrix philosophy books available these days, the awakenings of characters like Neo and others are usually paralleled to Plato’s metaphor of the cave anyway. The concept is so cool and relevant to our times, and I like the way the trilogy relates ideas like that to our times with such alarming accuracy at times, at least in terms of social commentary.

Some old but powerful and cool ideas to be reconsidered in this world increasingly consumed by illusions, delusions, disinformation, misrepresentations, misinterpretations, and misunderstandings of the so called reality :slight_smile:

Flurp: Thanks :smiley: I momentarily considered cropping the image lower to make the broken chain more prominent, but then I figured it might be cool to let the viewer discover that part, so thanks for noticing and commenting!


Wu: Thanks for the interesting feedback Wu! :smiley: Reality can be a scary thing, especially when the reality you accepted and depended upon all your life is shown to be quite unreal, just an illusion, which is what happens in both Plato’s story and the Matrix. And in our world too, as we discover truths about ourselves, society, our world, and the universe. So much we accept blindly for truth, yet much may not be what appears to be. Appearance vs. reality is a fascinating philosophical study in itself :wink:

The potential fear factor of this image was something I didn’t mind so much here, because I wanted to mentally displace the viewer with this visual enough to provoke some thinking. Why are these heads chained? Why are they looking where they are looking? Why are they submerged in darkness? Why do most look away and all seem rather stoic? Why do they all look the same? Why are they just heads? What is that light above? Always fascinating to hear what comes to people’s minds! And that can be a cool exercise: thinking about thinking :o

One of the things I did for this picture, to make it less weird from its original state, was to rotate the camera 180 degrees (it’s upside down) so the heads were not hanging in an upside down position but suspended upward in the air, as if held back from rising off to freer thoughts or whatever the viewer might imagine.

Hanging upside down may have had some interesting metaphorical implications, but those probably would have gotten lost in the weirdness of their position :slight_smile: plus, the broken chain would not have looked so good in a different position I think, and the varied head positions would not have looked as “natural” as they do at this angle, well, as natural as they could be in an image like this.


not to get off topic but scince you bring up the idea of reality and letting go or freeing your mind. i really begin to think of lucid dreaming. this is one my mind a lot for some reason when looking at you work. the idea of viewing the world and reality differently, so it is not surprising to me to hear you dream this way sometimes. the dream world is really a huge interesting place to explore conciously and it is another universe so many people sleep through and never wake up to, or even realize exists much like in your picture. most people go through life never being fully awake, or being too afraid to consider life is much bigger and larger then they ever knew. and they actually would rather chain themselfs down to the ground and stay in that security then to become conscious of a larger world. but most people would be correct in doing this because once you expericance somthing such as a concsious dream the reality as you know it or knew it will be changed forever and it is somthing you cannot ever go back from. so it can be a scary thing to “free your mind”. but maybe somthing we are all here to do at one point or another?

The entire image is great, love the sutleness of the single missing head, though it might have been better if it had not been the one right in front of the camera. Also staggering every other row left or right a bit would have been cool too. But whatever, Great piece!!

One can’t but bow to works of this level. Hats off!

Wow Robertt. You are truly amazing. I have to agree with Wu though, haha, it reminds me of some grusome horror movie where a killer takes the victims heads and chains them to the bottom of the ocean. Anyways, I think it’s pretty great nontheless. I always love seeing your works.

beautiful as always, great analogy in your works. Im not going to say it (oops) but i know your going to make so many more wonderful works and can’t wait to see what you pull out next! your motivation is astounding.

Peace out!

Awesome. The heads looking up are what really clinches it.

very nice, but i cant help but feel like i’ve been beaten over the head with the metaphor, its spelled out a great deal.

My thoughts are along the same line as traitor’s. The execution is excellent, but to me the concept seems banal (inasmuch as it invokes the collection with one component that stands apart). I don’t think this has any bearing on the artistic nature of the piece.

Also, the metaphorical links between the image and plato’s allegory of the cave are very interesting. My reading of it is more as a description of humanity, rather than a prescription for–though that is taking it out of context as the last book in plato’s republic.

My current reading sees it (the republic) as more analytical, not doctrinal (which is what I interpret this piece of art interpreting the republic as).

If I remember my reading of Allan Bloom correctly, he believed that part of what plato was saying about philosophy (in the republic) was that it must be kept from the “masses”–embodied in his being put to death by his own community. My reading of Bloom was also that he believed that the republic was a document on education–which, specifically, differs a bit from the “free your mind” equation.

Anyway, I don’t really know what bearing that has on your art, but hey, it’s an interesting discussion :).



Mmm, nice light and materials, but, in my 22 years i havent seen 2 identical persons, not even twins, since you use Zbrush why dont give them different displacements just to give the illusion of diffrent persons, remeber that not even clones are exacltly the same in trhe age you portrait you rendered heads…

%| you had your sig after you saw --my-- idea for the blender slogan…free your mind…you are doing a copyright infringment by not mentionning my intellectual propreity of this idea! :<


anyway, nice image, nicely interpreted!

Wu: Thanks for the cool followup post :slight_smile: Sounds like you’re connecting with some cosmic deepness here :slight_smile: Maybe we are here to find out, one way or another, among other reasons. I do not believe we are here to be deceived :wink:

Khnum: Thanks! Staggering might have been a good idea. I do like the rows effect though. The challenge of the missing head location was to make it the central subject yet not make that so obvious. Tricky stuff :slight_smile:

MrMuscly: Thank you very much!

DanBoghean: Thanks for the encouraging feedback!

LohnC: It’s always an honor to hear from you LohnC. I am so eager to create, more than ever it seems, so hopefully I’ll be able to improve even more along the way :slight_smile:

thelonesoldier: Thanks! I’m so glad I decided to position the head like that.

traitor: Thanks, and I know what you mean :wink: Definitely not as subtle as it could be.

b01c: Great post! :smiley: Thanks! Yes, Plato’s Republic is an entire study of its own. I agree, a description and one would almost certainly hope not a prescription, especially with Plato’s proposed banishing of artists and poets and all! :smiley: In a way this image is using Plato’s cave metaphor against him, just as he used poetry against poets in a sense. Even a wise person like him could be chained to a system of illusions he helped create, which is of course what happens with things like AI and the Matrix, for example.

Rogenator: Thanks :slight_smile: The similarity was intentional so that it might symbolize something to the viewer (commonality, homogenization of thought, society, status quo, breaking away from that, etc.).

Ecks: LOL :smiley: Thanks for the good laugh Ecks :wink: My sig’s been that way for a very long time now. Back in July you mentioned it as a possible Blender slogan, and I said a few posts down “For some reason I really like this one” because that was what I had had for my sig. It has also been my sig over at CGTalk for a long time too. Just for fun, i found [“free+your+mind”]]([url) a Google cache copy of an Elysiun thread retrieved on Feb. 27, 2005 by Google that shows my sig. It’s such a good phrase because so much in encapsulated in those three syllables :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the feedback everyone! On to the next blend…


Great pic!

My favorite part is how all the heads that can see the light are staring at it, and all the other stare forward unknowingly. Incredibly symbolic all around, beutiful piece.

My only crit is that it is not 1024 by 768 for reasons that I cannot disclose at this time :stuck_out_tongue: . Nice pic!

oh my…you so got me on this :stuck_out_tongue: I didn’t know you had it before lol. I take back my words then hehe.

StrikerMunc: Thanks for the excellent feedback! I love hearing how people react to these things :slight_smile:

Ecks: Hehe, no problem dude :wink: You have positively influenced so much of our Blender community through your excellent work and unique style over the years, and you will always be someone I look up to as a great Blender artist. I am so eager to see new inspirational stuff from you! :slight_smile: