Influx, Chapter One: The Origins

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Influx, Chapter One: The Origins

Our uniqueness connects us to everything universal.

Each ORIGIN is an archetype — an essential aspect of the human experience.

Find your Origin! Click on any thumbnail to read its story.

The Origin Stories

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Words are my own and are not life advice, DYOR, etc.

CARBON COP

ORIGIN OF RESISTANCE

 

At what point does a public servant become an oppressor? Why do we have "authorities" in government? Have we not progressed beyond needing "rulers?"

 

The militarization of police is a failure of our collective imagination, an intersection between our willingness to be led & the shriveled humanity of those who place themselves above others.

 

Demilitarize the police; invest in art instead.

Busted for over-breathing — again!

Edition of 128

released with ClickCreate, Sep 2023

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SHINEFACE

ORIGIN OF FREEDOM

 

Perhaps it's not surprising when people deny the existence of free will. To me it comes in moments; then I lose it.

 

Over time, I've learned that freedom exists where love is the motive for action. It is not a right granted by a state; instead, it's an interior condition — an inner freedom from habit or compulsion.

 

Where love is our motive, we are free.

keeps bringing joy

1/1

Collection Rose Summers

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ARRRR

ORIGIN OF FORTUNE

 

"Trust thyself. Every heart vibrates to that iron string." 

 

In my darkest years, I was utterly lost: doomed, cursed, and forgotten. When the flame of my spirit went out, a friend appeared & shone a light on my path.

 

I was never truly alone. All I had to do was survive.

my iron string is gold plated

1/1

Collection ROBNESS

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C+ KID

ORIGIN OF STRENGTH

 

Education is an art form, not a factory, & when this is forgotten, societies rot from within. This is because each person is unique, & a failure to cultivate that uniqueness leads to wasted creative potential.

 

State run schools can never cultivate this potential for the simple reason that governments must, by design, treat everyone as equals. But in the domain of creative gifts, we are not equals; we are individuals. We've all known, or perhaps we've been, that kid whose gifts were overlooked & ignored.

 

This one found the strength to endure — and he wears an XCOPY tie.

grew up rough
with a golden soul

1/1

Collection Mr703

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SEEKER

ORIGIN OF SIGHT

 

In our culture we talk so much of "self-development" but not enough of "self-transformation." But there is a point where one becomes the other: when we realize that the ordinary self is habitual, brittle, and wounded, but seeks wholeness. There the path takes a new turn.

 

The ordinary self cannot go the distance, and must be broken down, melted, and reforged. This is a personal metamorphosis, & it happens gradually; in fact, it is never finished. That said, there are rewards along the way. Seeker, for example, has earned the skull tumblers — a gift of higher sight.

sees through death
at the center of things
skulls tumble in her eyes

1/1

Collection GuyNorcal

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EXTRA SOUR

ORIGIN OF GRIT

 

The mind is a powerful instrument; turned against itself, it becomes destructive. We're told that our suffering is genetic or chemical, but looking closer, we find that it is we ourselves. The doom loops and downward spirals are composed of repetitive thoughts, circular feelings, & chaotic will that together form a tangled mass of inner stagnation. How did we get here? Weeds have consumed what was meant to be a garden.

doom cycles of down bad choices

1/1

Collection DjjD

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FLUFFY

ORIGIN OF PARADOX

 

The soul is born whole, and when it shatters, it wants to grow whole again. 

 

The longing becomes pain, and we become monstrous — until we look within. 

 

And monster though I am, I found liberation.

on a journey of self-discovery
pronouns unknown

KNUCKLEDOWN

ORIGIN OF DISCIPLINE

 

When I was young, I studied great artists & asked myself how they did it. It occurred to me that if I wanted to do this, I had to become like them. But how exactly does one become creative?

 

It took me decades to learn. Along the way, I found that "rhythm replaces strength" — I am not strong enough to become who I need to be all at once, but over time, with practice & discipline, I can become who I want to be.

the whole light of the mind
focused on the work

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WHISPERS

ORIGIN OF DOUBT

 

The mind is not a quiet place. its original wholeness splinters, becomes noisy.

 

Then come the vermin; they tear the soul with chattering teeth, sowing the seeds of doubt.

urges self-destruction

DARK CANDY

ORIGIN OF DESIRE

 

No one is above that pure, raw instinct; we go through it like a tunnel.

 

When at last we give it a proper place, its violence is a gift. Until then, you become animal.

 

All the confusion is connected with this.

the knife edge of temptation
cutting deep

1/1

collection Max Karlan

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BUG LORD

ORIGIN OF MISERY

 

Beware of people with no “ I .” They appear human but have no higher self. 

 

To them, other people are prey. they consume all and give nothing.

 

The ancients called them “locusts” & warned that they would come in swarms.

Providing industry with an endless supply of mindless workers

BLACK HOLE

ORIGIN OF DYSFUNCTION

 

The pretty girl whose darkness binds you to her

Unable to breathe, unable to leave

the crushing suction of a festering wound

BODY OF LIGHT

ORIGIN OF SPIRIT

 

The Resurrection was not the reanimation of a corpse, but the first appearance of a new archetype.

 

Those who witnessed it saw a glimpse of a future condition of humanity.

 

Plan accordingly.

fruit of many lifetimes

1/1

collection Andre Messina

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SOMETHING AGAINST YOU

ORIGIN OF COURAGE

 

There were women who played fierce roles in my life. I felt such longing and desire, & yet every move was wrong; every step was false.

 

I wasn't ready for them, & they rejected me. And yet somehow all this comes back to me now as sweetness.

 

Queens.

fire, flames, & sting — with her there are no masks

1/1

Collection Artifaction

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BURNED

ORIGIN OF ANGER

 

When the fires of hatred overwhelm all reason

 

Move through those flames

 

Let them remind you who you are

 

and not become all-consuming

the righteous, blameless, unbalancing fire

GOLD MAGE

ORIGIN OF WISDOM

 

I know a man who can read the weather a year in advance, ask plants to blossom (& they oblige), & help you find your way as a soul.

 

He is ancient now, but his presence has been a blessing for this earth.

in his presence was an infinitely expanding field

1/1

collection Michaely

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HERB GATHERER

ORIGIN OF HEALING

 

There are those who, while unknown to history, understand the secrets of nature.

 

The medicines they make heal the body, mind, and soul.

the highest knowledge knows nothing

1/1

collection Max Karlan

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NEW LIFE

ORIGIN OF RESILIENCE

 

I've been through many crises in my life. The recent one demolished me.

 

Life is designed to kick your ass. Let it happen. Seek the strength it builds.

 

To endure is to win.

freight train, gentle rain
both unstoppable

1/1

will mint on request

SHIVERS

ORIGIN OF FEAR

 

There is a voice in my mind that lurks in dark places, suggesting thoughts of self-hatred & conjuring  despair.

 

When I can see this voice, it loses its power. That power is mine; it then returns to me.

 

Our inner demons are parasites with a purpose.

all the despair comes from somewhere

1/1

will mint on request

MASK DESTRUCTION

ORIGIN OF IDENTITY

 

This mask cannot be destroyed by force, power, or craft. You cannot remove it.

 

But when you no longer need it, it falls away.

before new growth

1/1

will mint on request

RISER

ORIGIN OF ETERNITY

 

When the time comes, you simply walk through a door. 

 

Another journey begins, & at its end, another life begins.

 

At death, you leave behind a shell

life a contraction
death an expansion

1/1

will mint on request

PATHFINDER

ORIGIN OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE

 

To find your way, you must have a "compass" for the invisible terrain. Each of us has this inner compass, but we doubt it.

 

We try to outsmart it; we fail. We come back to it and learn to trust it.

 

The compass isn't arbitrary.

the connective tissue of the world

1/1

Collection Hexum
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FIRE SAINT

ORIGIN OF WARMTH

 

In the past, people saw spirits in nature; everything was alive with beings.

 

These days, we see the world as a machine. In time, however, the spirits will reappear.

 

He walks among them now.

a guide on the endless path

1/1

collection Art Pleb

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BRAID

ORIGIN OF YOUTH

 

When I was young, I had the potency of a thunderstorm, but the lightning within might have killed me. Many times I was saved by pure grace.

 

Now I harness these same forces for art.

a storm with lightning with its glare

1/1

will mint on request

NO TEMPLE

ORIGIN OF PATIENCE

 

The goal of the mystics has always been metamorphosis, a discovery & activation of a latent potential. It is very difficult to achieve.

 

The specifics change from age to age, but this is the essence.

 

 An energy presents itself and wants to come about with force, & yet it has conditions.

You never go further than when you no longer know where you're going

DESTINED

ORIGIN OF FATE

 

Fate & karma still elude us. Are they real, or is it all simply chance?

 

To say it's chance is to admit: you have no theory.

 

These riddles deserve contemplation

edition of x

will be given to some Origins collectors

MEAN GIRL

ORIGIN OF PAIN

 

How did she cut me so deeply with a few words? 

 

Simple. I was weak; she pounced. Lesson learned.

 

Can only wonder what happened to her.

black flames in her eyes

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collection Ultraparadise

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CALAVERA

ORIGIN OF RITUAL

 

There are many streams & teachers, each with its history and lineage.

 

All true paths lead to the same awakening.

from the mysteries of skull & senses

1/1

Collection Spidah

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THE SOURCE

ORIGIN OF TRUE SELF

 

In the heart of my heart, I hear her.

 

When the air is full of roses, she is near.

a fresh wind blows within

1/1

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LIGHT INSIDE

ORIGIN OF HOPE

 

The light is hard to find!

 

If it weren’t, there would be no darkness, no evil — but we would not be free.

 

More light!

 

This is how we find each other.

never run out of stars

1/1

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VIPE

ORIGIN OF POISON

 

There is a barrier between our mind & the world, but it is constructed of lies. These lies lull us to sleep. They are expertly crafted; they seem impenetrable.

 

We don't know we’re bitten until we wake up gasping.

it's the lies

1/1

collection Art Pleb

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SORCERER

ORIGIN OF EVIL

 

Some push in the opposing direction, worshiping power alone.

 

Bending reality to their will, they choose oblivion. 

 

It is enough to know they exist.

know thine enemy

1/1

will mint on request

THE ONE

ORIGIN OF LIFE

 

Nature is a study in imagination.

 

With the intellect, we can break her to pieces, label her parts — but her fullness escapes us. The imagination sees wholes. 

 

She awaits our recognition.

her music, a hymn to the night

1/1

collection Rhynotic

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Chapter One ends here... Chapter Two, THE OVERSOUL, is coming soon.

The Making Of The Origins

The Origins represent a massive innovation in the Apocalypse Studio's creative methods.

With the ORIGINS, the Apocalypse Studio debuts a novel method for animating physical artworks. In 2023 and 2024, we perfected a workflow from digitization of physicals to creating pixel perfect animated loops.

 

The method described below is completely open-source: please feel free to download the code here (we intend to make a GitHub repository, but this will do for now). Feel free to reach out via DM on X if you find the method helpful or would like more information.

How We Made the Origins

Step 1: Take a high-resolution image of the physical artwork, then import into Photoshop, spot-correct, add curves, and edit as necessary

Left: RAW capture of physical painting.
Right: spotted and edited .PSD ready to process

Step 2: Change the color mode in Photoshop to "Indexed Color," which will first merge layers. Select the palette option that best approximates the colors of the piece. Toggle the "preview" option to see which colors are being removed, then click "Forced" and select "Custom," then grab any missing colors using the eyedropper tool. This is finicky & time-consuming, but it's possible to get it right.

 

Note: in general, few colors is better. More colors will make the animation process more difficult, so go with as few colors as you can. When you're satisfied with the indexing preview, hit OK.

Left: changing color mode to Indexed Color, Right: Indexed Color menu 

Step 3: Now you have a flat, pixel-perfect image. Change the Mode back to RGB, then save as a .TIF file. Mac users, run the make-name-layers.py code in Terminal (available below). If you don't know how to run python, ask ChatGPT to help you create a python environment for your Terminal. Share the code with it & ensure you've got all the necessary components installed. Windows users will find a way.

 

This code splits the flattened, pixel-perfect TIFF into as many PNG layers as there are colors, then names the colors according to a standard convention, resulting in something like the image below (below right: Vipe.tif has been processed into Vipe-PNGlayers, a folder containing one PNG per color).

Step 4: Recombine the layers in Photoshop using "File... Scripts... Load Files into Stack." This will give you something resembling the image below left: the separated PNG files are stacked in Photoshop as layers.

 

Please note: the color names aren't entirely accurate, but they're approximately accurate. To get the code, click on its name and copy the contents of the dropdown box.

Left: separated color layers, Right: running the python script in terminal, then selecting the TIF

Step 5: Then, manually sort into color groups as shown, below (right); this will make your document much more manageable (we are working on developing code for this, but in the meantime, it's a manual process).

 

After that, decide how you will animate the piece & create the layers you need by merging relevant layers & eliminating pixels you don't want. With "Vipe," for example, we isolated the mouth as follows.

 

Using Photoshop's Move tool with auto-select on, find the red & pink layers that comprise the mouth. Duplicate those layers, move them to the top of the stack, select the mouth pixels by hand, eliminate all extra pixels, then merge the duplicates you've just edited into a new layer, "mouth" (below right).

 

You can then export these merged layers into your animation program such as After Effects and, if needed, create mattes from them (see next step).

Screen Shot 2024-03-13 at 17.25.57

Step 6: Make any mattes you may need based on the elements you have created. You create a matte by selecting the pixels or layers you want in Photoshop, saving the selection, then adding an alpha channel to your selection, then saving as a TIF. Import the TIF with an alpha channel  into AE, choose Straight (default), and use it as a track matte.

Left: Vipe-mouth-matte.tif, Right: Vipe timeline in After Effects

Step 7: Over time, you can build up as many visual assets as you frequently use, adding to your visual language. We used several hundred in the Origins: some we built with code, some we painted then animated using the method described above, and some we made on the iPad in ProCreate.

Left and right: various materials we used to animate the Origins

Step ∞

If you want to learn to animate your physical works like we do, be prepared to:

  • Write or edit new code every day using ChatGPT.
  • Pour hundreds of hours into this practice.
  • Watch out that you use the latest ChatGPT model and in general, avoid using 3.5 as you will suffer needlessly.

 

Wow, you've made it this far! Thanks for reading! We hope you've given you a sense of the enormous labor of love that each Origin piece required. Like we said, thousands of hours — but beautiful results.

 

If you have any questions, join our Discord & we'll do our best to help.