Cryptoart walkthrough: Ri'Shali, The Corrupted Servant -- SuperRare artwork

Cryptoart walkthrough: Ri'Shali, The Corrupted Servant -- SuperRare artwork

By pbock | Cryptoart walkthroughs | 19 May 2019

Ri'Shali, The Corrupted Servant

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Hello everyone !

Happy to join Publish0x as a new author !

I imagine you're wondering who I am ?


My name's Peter, a Bioinformatics Engineer in Bordeaux, who on the side enjoys creating Crypto-related artwork (even if the relation sometimes is just the method of sale ;) ) and designing 3D models for 3D printing. I'm a big fan of books (my jailbroken ereader has custom screensavers and hundreds of books. My goal this year is 100 books read !) and science too :)


This specific blog you're reading right now is for my cryptoart tutorials, where I write up the general method I used when I create a new artwork.

It is at once a way for me to do some marketing of my art, a way to share my knowledge with the world and hopefully inspire some new budding artists--not that I'm much past the budding phase myself-- and a way to remember how the heck I actually made something later on ;)


Before we get into the gritty details of how I made the rather deranged Ri'Shali above, let's get some context.

0. History of the Supreme Hodlers to date


This piece comes from a pseudo-mythology I've been piecing together, little by little, in the Bitcoin Counterparty art ecosystem set up by the Bitcrystals community.

The basic premise is that of a wanderer that seeks enlightenement from the Supreme HODLers, beings of wisdom who have mastered the arts of HODL (wordplay on HOLDing one's cryptocurrency when the market goes down), and are able to resist the evil forces of FUD and FOMO (respectively, Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, and Fear Of Missing Out).

To gain access to the Supreme HODLers, they must first make a sacrifice to the "Buddha Of Coins":



Then, you approach the "Mountain Home" itself:



This is where my two newest crypto-artworks ( so called because they are tokenized on a blockchain-based art platform, not necessarily because they have something to do with cryptocurrency directly ;) ) come into play.

You see, the Supreme HODLers are served by a cadre of servants, the Servants of Ethernity (Ethernity itself might get a dedicated artwork later on...) called the "Mi'Shali":


The Mi'Shali artwork was uploaded to KnownOrigins just 2 days ago, so I've been a bit saddened by a bug in the way KnownOrigin displays the artwork (which is my biggest to date, 4096 X 4096 pixels !!! All thanks to the Runway AI app)

It appears that the size might hamper it's display in the Dapp...

Anyway, hopefully KnownOrigin fixes the bug or I can re-upload a new re-scaled version.

In any case, they are technically still on the platform, with 10 copies available @ 0.05 Eth (~12$) each.


UPDATE (befor I even hit publish ;) ): It appears I hit an IPFS/infura limit, so the bigger Mi'Shali might be burned, and a new set of 10 shoule be ready onceI ahve the time to rescale and upload a new version ! watch this space for new editions



The servants themselves tend the path to the Mountain Home, and are loyal to a fault, given they were created to resist the dark influence of FOMO and FUD.

All but the very first one of them, Ri'Shali:



Ri'Shali is published on the SuperRare platform, He uploaded splendidly, which makes me think he might have had something to do with his old subordinates buggy upload...

I haven't set an immediate buy price on Ri'Shali yet, but I usually aim at 30-50$+ for SuperRare pieces, as the artworks on SuperRare are Unique, and not uploaded elsewhere.


Ri'Shali was the very first of the Shali, the Servants.

He was created first, and was not equal to his fellow servants, instead placed above them as their leader.

This proved to be a flaw in his design, as his boosted ego was the perfect gate for the influence of FOMO to take him.

When the Supreme HODLers realized their mistake, they cast him out, banishing him from the Mountain Home.

That decision, to throw him away rather than try and help him, only strengthened the FOMO's hold on him, and his sick greenish palor, and reinforced red armor, are direct consequences of that, and he now lurks in the bowels of the Mountain Home, blending in amongst his former subordinates as much as he can, plotting his revenge.


Aaaand... that's about what I can pull out of my head for now !


I'm still mentally mapping the whole mythology of the Supreme HODLers, and this post has been my melting pot to put pen to paper, so to say, and write down the story as it is for now.


The reason I made up a little mythology for some of my artworks was because my sister, Marie, is herself an artist (a much better one than me), and she's created her own fictional universe, complete with language and culture.

The idea is amazing, and even though I'll never be able to approach her level of dedication (the language isn't a joke... it's got it's own grammar, syntax, and phonetical system ! and she's made clothes and miniature furniture designed to replicate the Naffurient style !) I can certainly give it a little hommage by taking inspiration from it and making a miniature artwork mythology of my own ;)


1. First step: Raw materials

The raw material is always hard to find.


  • Sometimes I'll use Weavesilk, a generative art tool that is free to use online.
  • Sometimes I'll jump on a good Creative Commons or CC0 image online and do some editing
  • and sometimes, I'll go with a very recent method, using a GanBreeder image and "breeding" it till I've got the perfect candidate for further refinement !

This last method is the one I choose this time around. it uses an Adversarial Network AI set to crossbreed images between each other, creating often interesting and always strange artworks.

DISCLAIMER: From here on out, this article is more or less a copy-paste of the original design article, available here.


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This image has a lineage going back to another user, colour_service, and I always do my best to cite my source :

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In the Cent post, I blabber on for a little while on a tangent about a recent semi-legal dispute due to one artist using another's Ganbreeder image without proper credits, and how it reminds me of the current situation with the SCP Foundation's illegal trademarking in Russia.

But I'll spare you the details, though if you want my rant it's available in the original post ;)

2. Rescaling the artwork: Runway AI App for AI artists

The Runway App is currently in beta.

It is based on the idea of giving access to AI tools to as many artists as possible, using a simple interface !

The normal usage goes like this:

1. Open the app

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2.Choose your model:

I went ahead and choose ESRGAN, a resizing AI, and added it to a new Workspace:

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Add your image (or whatever input your model requires):

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Run ESRGAN (or whatever your chosen model is), using either a local installation thanks to Docker, or a (paying) online server to run the calculations for you.

This one cost me about 0.20$ to resize, without ANY loss in quality, my 1024X1024 Ganbreeder image to 4096X4096 !!!

All Runway beta-testers have received 50$ worth of credit, and given my consumption so far (several tests and some artworks, only 3$ used so far) I'd say there's a *lot* of bang for your buck with runway !!

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3. GIMP editing

Gimp is a simple, open source image editing software, that I've grown to love for it's interface and capabilities.

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I first took those blurred near-invisible colored blobs on the side, and copied that to the other side:

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I then did the same to the figure itself. The future Mi'Shali / Ri'Shali

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I then also did some copy pasting of small segments of those colored lights, and used the Smudge and Blur tools to create a bit of a blotchy darkness decor, so the background would have less symmetry than the artwork itself:


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And voila, The Mi'Shali, Servants of Ethernity and the Supreme HODLers were born:

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The creation of Ri'Shali was pretty straightforward Color manipulation, increasing the Red in the lower part, while decreasing it in the upper part and adding some Green, giving Ri'Shali:

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I also added the GIMP "Artistic" Cartoon filter to the head itself, as that increases the stark black lines, and increases the "sick" appearance of the Ri'Shali compared to his brethren.'shali,-the-fallen-servant-3223


With my new pricing scheme in effect this work is, to me, worth 0.2 ETH

(I kinda noticed having prices at 1 ETH was... Excessive. And I seem to have inspired a repricing with some of the other artists on @SuperRare too !)

You can always try your luck with a lower bid if you fancy the work but have a tight wallet ;)




Mad scientist Extraordinaire, Bioinformatician and tech geek, running a blog on several cryptocurrency-based systems, and otherwise exploring the Brave New world before us as best as I possibly can !!!!

Cryptoart walkthroughs
Cryptoart walkthroughs

When I make Cryptoartworks--which I publish on knownorigin, superrare and Book of Orbs--I usually accompany them with tutorials explaining exactly how I created them, this is yet another spot to show them off ;)

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