Do Zombies disco dance? Maybe. When I first saw @shaka's template photo this week, it seemed to me the snow was covering a graveyard. The two protrusions in the lower left hand corner looked like the tips of gravestones. And then I noted the long shadows. The idea of ghouls rising from the grave on a moonlit night became irresistible.
My challenge was to make the ghouls interesting. Early on in my thinking, the moon became an essential part of the collage. Since there isn't a lot of verifiable information on ghouls, I decided to write about the moon today.
@shaka's Amazing Picture
The moon is about 4.5 billion years old, not much younger than the earth. That's because, according to the prevailing theory, the moon is the spawn of the earth. It was born of a dramatic collision. A small planet crashed into the earth and disintegrated. The debris from that planet and fragments shaved off earth combined in space and eventually formed our progeny, the moon. This theory is known among astronomers as the Big Splash, or the Theia Impact.
An Artist's Impression of the Big Splash
NASA/JPL-Caltech. Public domain.
Within about 100 million years, the molten moon solidified and formed a crust. It is this crust upon which Neil Armstrong placed his well-shod feet in 1969.
Image credit: NASA. Public domain
Parent Earth and Offspring Moon Grow Apart
As time passes, the moon gets farther away from the earth. This is said to happen because energy from the earth's tides pushes toward the moon. This energy forces the moon into a higher orbit.
Tidal Bulges on Earth Exert Force on the Moon
Credit: Jip 26. Used under CC 3.0 license.
As the moon is pushed higher, its orbit slows. The speed of the moon's orbit has a profound effect on earth. The slower the orbit, the longer becomes the length of an earth day. According to an article published in BBC News, Science, in earth's early life, a day was five hours long. Today, of course a day is 24 hours long. Scientists estimate (by examining changes in fossils) that days will grow longer in the future at a rate of about 19 hours every 14.5 billions years (!)
For all those people (me) who say there aren't enough hours in the day, this might seem to be good news. It's not. As the day grows longer, the rotation of the earth slows. The speed of earth's rotation is directly related to its stability. A wobbling planet would have a devastating effect on the seasons.
Libration: The Moon Wobbling on Its Axis
Image credit: Tomruen. Released into the public domain.
According to NASA, "...the orbiting motion of the Moon is not steady--at some times it advances faster than average, some times it is slower". This irregular movement allows astronomers to "peak over the poles", and get a broader view of the moon than they would be able to if the orbit were stable.
Buzz Aldrin, Moonwalking
Image credit: NASA. Public domain
Most of us know that ambulating on the moon is not a cakewalk. It takes practice--and a 'moon boot', designed especially to enhance traction on the crumbly moon crust. One of the reasons it takes practice to walk on the moon is because gravity there is 1/6 the gravity of the earth. This lower gravitational pull reflects the moon's smaller size and weight: gravitational pull is directly related to size and mass.
The Demise of the Moon
Once again, as with the moon's beginnings, there is uncertainty about the ultimate fate of earth's natural satellite. There are different scenarios. One favored scenario has the moon pulling farther and farther away from the earth and closer to the sun. As the sun morphs (theoretically) into a red giant, it engulfs the moon and splinters it. In this scenario, the moon ends as it began: as dust and debris.
I've explained the genesis of the ghoul/graveyard/moon theme. However, it is difficult to grasp how I arrived at Disco Ghouls, unless one sees the ideas that didn't make the final cut.
My Favorite Also Ran
A Runner Up
The Ghost Phase
There were a few stills I liked. Here's one:
There were actually more drafts of stills and GIFs, but these four offer a pretty good idea of the way I approached the collage.
The elements in the collages were simple:
All of the accents and modification were made by using Paint 3D, GIMP, and Paint.
Thank you @shaka for creating and maintaining a vibrant community where anybody can feel like an artist. Readers of my blog, I invite you to join in. It's great fun, it's good for the brain, and there are prizes! Rules for entry may be found at @shaka's blog. LMAC has a Discord channel, where you can stop in, ask questions, and meet members of the community. And, we have a school, where technical aspects of making a collage are addressed. Talented and generous @quantumg has written the lessons.
Please check out the other collages in this week's round. You'll be surprised at the skill and artistry on display.