Monthly Archives: October 2013

mathimage #39: rounded voxels

After a long time without coding, I finally found a slot to do some improvised coding. They only thing I knew for sure when I started is that I’d use a voxel marcher. In the end, it turned more into a grid-based raytracer.

The lighting is gathered by brute force sampling. There’s no indirect lighting though. But it looks okeish, if you can afford the GPU power and yo increase the sample count 🙂

what is that?

today i was given groceries bags with no handles. why. why do these things even exist. what the fuck is a bag with no handles? i’m very, very confused.

like a backpack with no straps. or a house with no roof. or a toilet without whole.

hunting the wrong witch

In what looks like just a dull marketing campaign, today certain magazine was very proud to announce they’ll never use digital image manipulation (or in plain English, “Photoshop”) in order to retouch the pictures of their female models (and male, I assume).

I have two issues with this.

First, just for consistency, they should also ban the use of makeup artists, for they hide volumes or accentuate contour lines in the model’s face, the hairdresser that reshapes her head and height, the lighting designer who remakes her silhouette by carefully bouncing light off reflectors, hiding or enhancing shadows, and everybody involved in changing what she looks like. Because allowing all that team to work on her is, simply put, allowing the image retouching cheat just as much. There’s nothing in the “digital” part of “digital retouch” that is any worse than the real-life/in camera retouch.

Second issue. The magazine is completely missing the point here. People are not tired of pictures of perfect Photoshoped women. People are tired of pictures of perfect women. Period.

The problem is not the retouching technique, but the fact that magazines need to retouch in the first place! The problem is that they don’t want to put average looking women in the cover of their magazines. So dear magazine, don’t be demagogic. Please keep using Photoshop as much as you need if that makes your work easier, and at the same time, please, bring normal looking woman to your covers. Thanks very much!

please take it off

– you people who don’t take their cycling helmet off after biking and still wear it to the stores – you look ridiculous. very ridiculous. just so you know.

– you people who don’t take their office batches off after work and still (proudly) wear it to a bar or morning brunch – you look retarded. very retarded. just so you know.

a bit confused

when you’re buying airplane tickets and browsing flights, and next to the origin, destination and duration of the flight it says “non stop flight”, what is that supposed to mean?

(still waiting for the day i’m in a plane that takes a break halfway its origin and destination)

mathimage #38: alien storm

Another improvised coding jam session, last night. As such, I had no idea what I was going for when I started, so the whole thing was a surprise. A nice one, cause despite when seen as a static picture the mathimage looks pretty ugly, it’s when animated (press “play” below the image, if you are in Chrome) that it gets really cool. I think. I mean, it could be better, but for a couple of hours improv, it’s okey I think!

It’s a few octaves of volumetric noise which I stretch in one of the horizontal directions, pull vertically with some low frequency noise to do waves, and then enrich with some high frequency cosines in the lower parts. Lighting is cheated of course, no rendering budget to make selfshadows or multiple light sources. Still, it’s the animation that is important in this one, not the looks.

I have no idea what kind of image I will end up doing next week, but I can’t wait to see!

he needed to speak

I’m in the train going to work. My bike is leaning by bike against the wall and I’m half seated on it reading some stuff in my phone. Suddenly, I feel somebody is calling me. It’s difficult to tell because the train is really noisy in this segment of the ride. I look around, and indeed there’s this bro seating in front of me who’s asking me to come over. It seems he needs help with directions, so I approach him. We look together at the map of the east bay that he’s holding, and I help him find the spot he’s looking for.

I go back to my bike thinking I’ll just resume my very important review to all the critical stuff that I need to review without which I absolutely wouldn’t be able to live, when I notice he starts talking to me again. The train is still pretty noisy, so even though I’m not far from him, I can barely hear him. My Enlgish grammar skills drop to a minimum in this situations, and so that my vocabulary when I’m indeed in such noisy environment (hence the problems I have with sound effects when watching action movies here, of which I understand almost none of the dialogs, although luckily for me it’s precisely in action movies where you less need to follow them anyways). However, from that 20 percent of information that I can distill, I deduce he’s asking me what’s my origin (here people don’t ask “where you are from”, but “where you are from originally”, as an opposed to where you were from before you were born I think, I’m not sure yet). I reply that I’m from Spain (“lets keep it simple, I don’t feel talking politics today”, I say to myself). To which he responds in a genuinely excited way. For celebrating, he decides to offer me a hand shacking ritual that is unknown to me. I fail at it of course, but he doesn’t seem to care, it seems I have made it into his area of trust regardless.

The prove for it is that before I can even move back to my bike, he asks me to take a picture for him. He says he looks fantastic today, and that he wants a picture. He hands me his phone, and poses for the picture, which I take. He looks at the picture when I’m done, smiles, and resumes talking. This time even faster but softer, which added on top of the noisy train, makes it even harder to follow what he’s saying. At some point he’s talking of Obamacare, and also mentions he has two jobs, and also something about his sister. I smile and nod, but don’t say a word, and try not to make a fool of me to the best of my abilities until we arrive to my station. As I cross the door out I wish him a good day, and then he smiles and wishes me good day back. Now that the train is quiet I can finally understand him, but it’s too late of course, I’m leaving the train without knowing exactly what the (unidirectional) conversation we had was about. What I know is that he needed to speak, that’s for sure!

we don’t care. unless…

this reminds me, at a different cognitive/awareness scale, that dogmatic people tend to think that the rest of the world hate them for what they believe (which is probably just a manifestation of their own way of thinking of the other people in terms of hate and disproval).

however, generally speaking, the world doesn’t have energy to even care about what they think. unless they intrude too much in other people’s choice of morals, in which case, yep, even morning people like myself will explode in anger no matter when.

i don’t care

because i’m a night person and i am intellectually non-functional during the first 4 hours of my day (don’t ask me to perform 21 divided by 7 in the morning, because chances are you’ll be confused by my answer), and because i also pretty much suck at waking up early anyways, morning people assume, not without some sort of pride that i don’t understand, that i must hate it when they wake up and jump off bed smiling and full of energy.

what those morning people don’t understand is that being a night person means that in the mornings i don’t have energy for hating, or for caring about when or how the fuck they want to wake up.

now, please switch the sun off and let me alone. thanks-very-much.

mathimage #37: pool

The plane and the sphere – some of the simplest geometrical shapes possible. And hence, some of the simplest mathematical expressions possible, as well. Every kid has computed ray-plane and a ray-sphere intersections at some point during high school. Not surprisingly, one of the first things young computer graphics aficionados get to render are precisely a plane and a bunch of spheres. And when combined with some maths for lighting and a few cheats for shadowing, you can make a pool table!

(you can rotate the camera with the mouse)

a playful spirit

I was thinking of the two people I emailed back the other night: a 12 years old boy who had questions about coding ambient occlusion, and an 80 years old man who needed advice on implementing fm() and noise.

A 12 and an 80 years old, almost one lifetime apart, certainly with a very different understandings of life and motivations to spend time working out the secrets of computer graphics. Both equally eager to know and play with new toys, though.

Humans definitely have a playful spirit. Especially when they are 12. Or 80.

hah, i beat you!

i’m preparing my morning yogurt with cereals, and i’m about to start pouring my 14 spoons of sugar in the yogurt. or so i think. luckily, i notice something weird. i think the sugar feels too thin. i decide to take a bit of it in my tongue, and… ahhhhh

i just avoided ruining my yogurt with salt again. take that, you, my-own-distracted-consciousness! this time i beat you!