Saturday, September 26, 2009

Slightly Used Bookmark

Whenever I find myself writing some code, it seems a doodle or two pops out. Seahorses are one of those sinuous animals that are easy and fun to draw. Just make some pleasant curves, add a few embellishments, and voila!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bobby McFerrin and the Pentatonic Scale

Wow! Another video! How original! But it is pretty cool. I found this video via the Create Digital Music blog. In it you will find Bobby McFerrin "conducting" an audience through a little musical interlude. His comments at the end seem to indicate that he's done this before all over the world, and people seem to readily grasp the pentatonic scale he wants them to use.

It's a neat example of our common humanity. See if you can follow along.

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Great Animated Short From Gobelins

Here's an animation that's just terrific on any number of levels.

This animated short is from some animation majors (Marion Stinghe, Meryl Franck, BenoƮt Guillaumot, Nicolas Caffarel and Elen Le Tannou) at the Gobelins school in France. From what I've heard, the school has a seriously good (but hard to get into) program and as such manages to attract some very talented students. Many of the best animated shorts I've seen in recent years has been the work of the students from this school. "Pandore" above is from third year students. If I could just keep track of where the students go after their schooling...

Here's a link to the video on youtube in case the embedded video isn't showing up in your reader or if you want to be sure to watch the movie full size.

(Via Charley Parker and his Lines and Colors blog.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Edgar-Allen-Poe-meets-Classic-Disney (but better)

The Cat Piano from PRA on Vimeo.

From the cats over at People's Republic of Animation. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Nick Cave perform the narration. He has a fantastic speaking voice and was an excellent choice for this film.

(Via CGHUB.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Hundred Year Old Color Photos

Here's some color photos from Russia that were taken around one hundred years ago! I found the introductory photo (which is also photo 21) to be quite nice in a romantic sort of way. But they're all very interesting. The photographer's name is Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. (Thank you, cut and paste!)

These aren't painted over color photos like you may have encountered before. These are "true" color photographs. The original pictures were taken as three separate black and white images through red, green, and blue filters. This produced three separate black and white plates of each color. To reproduce the photos during the time they were taken, the photographer would use a light projector and project each of the black and white plates through appropriate colored filters onto a single area. When overlapped in that manner, the projector could display the color photographs.

Very clever. Very clever, indeed...

Anyway, to create the digital copies that you can see online, it was merely necessary to digitize the three black and white plates, align them, and then combine the red, green, and blue channels (this last step is essentially how our computer screens work). This is practically child's play with the sophisticated tools we have today, and now everybody gets to enjoy these images!

The people at the Library of Congress are the ones who have preserved and digitized these plates. You can get more information and photos here.

(Via Tim Bray's twitter stream.)