Tuesday, November 29, 2005

blue ball machine animation


wonderful, amazing, awesome, transfixing, etc.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

dylan's words

Bob Dylan, of course ... I watched his movie on SBS a couple of weeks ago, No Direction Home

On the way to the beach tonight, taking the dog for a walk, dylan's words came to me, once again:
how many times must a man walk alone before you can call him a man
and how many times must a cannon ball fly before they forever are banned
and how many miles must a white dove swim before she can sleep in the sand
Not for the first time they moved me to tears - how could one person have the ability to write words so powerful that they can still get right inside my head and move me deeply years later - it seems totally unfair that he had that talent - and didn't even come out publicly against the Vietnam war

Words are very important and that's an amazing gift that dylan had, to be able to get inside peoples heads in that way - somehow they resonate, although I can look at them prosaically some of the time, nevertheless they always come back to me as powerful and moving, out of the blue, at unexpected times. He just had that gift to resonate with something deep inside and not only with me, obviously

Is there anyone who can compare with Dylan?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

free web hosting

It's important that students publish their web pages out there on the real web and not just make them for their teachers. The following hosts appear to offer a free service although some of them have pop up advertising and file size restrictions. The first two I have checked out this year; the other two were recently recommended on the NSW teachers list.

UPDATE 24th November
One of my students recommends this one as best

My students have been using this one this year
Here's a web site that I have put up there
There are pop ups
Upload file size limit of 512 KB

Another site my students have used this year
There are popups and upload file size limits
http://t35.com/ looked better so we moved over to there

I have used http://www.doteasy.com in the US for years for my websites and they come at the right price. Zero Dollars!! They genuinely provide a full
service with email etc and no ads at no cost. There is no catch. You do have
to register a domain name at $25 per year
- Peter Morrissey, NSW teacher list

the following blurb is from their site but I haven't checked them out yet:
HostRocket free web hosting is perfect for getting your online presence up and running fast and free. All free accounts feature the following:

FREE yoursite.hostrocket.com
FREE 25MB File Storage
FREE 2GB Data Transfer
FREE Web-Based Control Panel
FREE 24/7 File Manager Access
FREE Fast, Friendly Tech Support

There are NO BANNERS and NO POP-UPS displayed while your users are on your site at any time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

photoshop extraction tutorial

Originally uploaded by Bill Kerr.
I wrote out these steps based on a number of tutorials I have been studying over the past three days. It's a compilation of some new techniques I have learnt.

It's made me think about the connection between theory and practice. I've been wanting to know what channels are in photoshop and what they are good for. But how can you know what a channel is unless you use a channel to do something useful? Not much point in only reading about the theory of what channels are. You need both the theory and the practice but the practice is indispensible and has immediate practicality.

1) Level adjustment (Image > Adjustment > Levels or Ctrl + L) to improve histogram, better balance between highlights, dark and middle tones

2) Magic wand, for rough selection, play with tolerance up and down from 32
Shift to expand selection (+), Alt to contract selection (-)
3) Select > feather 3 px, perhaps lower this value – not sure
Feathering may be causing the blue fringe problem, how to fix??
4) Quick mask (Q key or click the quick mask icon)
5) Level adjustment to modify rough selection to better fit
(Image > Adjustment > Levels or Ctrl + L)
This only works if preceded with feathering
6) Modify quick mask further with Brush tool, swapping between black (adds to mask) and white (subtracts from mask)
Use X key to toggle between black and white
7) Exit quick mask when done (Q key)
8) Zoom in (Ctrl + +) and check how close running ants are to shape outline
9) Select > Modify > Expand or Contract to line up running ants with shape outline as closely as possible

With selection still active (means you can still see running ants):
10) Click Channels tab in Layers dialogue
Create new channel to create new alpha channel (black, Alpha1)
11) Stroke selection (Edit > Stroke), must be white, enough to cover soft edges (10 px)
Stroke on inside if background selected
Stroke on outside if main figure selected
12) Deselect, remove selection (no more running ants)

13) Apply Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur 2 px)
14) Invert the channel (Image > Adjustments > Invert or Ctrl + I)
15) Return to layers palette
16) Click on image layer we are working on

We have stored our selection as a Channel

Originally uploaded by Bill Kerr.
17) Filter > Extract
18) Once in Extract then choose Alpha1 from the channel pull down menu
19) Touch up with Hilighter (define edges) and rubber
20) Paint bucket to fill selection
21) Preview and touch up further if necessary
22) OK when ready, your image is extracted

Sunday, November 20, 2005

image extraction

Originally uploaded by Bill Kerr.
I spent hours today trying to extract this image from a background using PhotoShop. Note that I have extracted some hair, albeit inexpertly, but not bad for a beginner :-)

After a very frustrating period following a recipe from a book that didn't work I finally found a great tutorial on the internet by spdfreak_95 called Using Channels to make Selections.

Thank you spdfreak :-)

Funny how the interenet turned out to be a better resource than a high priced professional looking PhotoShop book.

I can smile now but I was cursing that book just a few short hours ago.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Murdoch Uni Game Competition

The Murdoch University Game Competition has provided a shot in the arm for the Game Making profile in my school.

Twenty five students from across the school have entered the competition and my school has created a special class for me to teach them Game Making all day on Fridays for the rest of Term 4. The first class was today and it went really well.

Thanks to Kevin Wong and Shri Rai of Murdoch University for organising this competition.

bubble versus cloud

Originally uploaded by Bill Kerr.
What an amazing photo from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site!

The bubble nebula is being pushed by the stellar winds of a giant star inside it.

A molecular cloud of hydrogen gas contains the further expansion of the bubble. But the radiation from the giant star inside the bubble is causing the molecular cloud to heat up and glow.

Creative Industries Catalyst

I met recently with Ann Clancy, Creative Industries Catalyst from the South Australian Premier's Department.

What she told me is that a report commissioned by the SA Government has indicated that recruitment of skilled people to their companies is a significant issue.

Ann mentioned this website gamesindustry.biz where she found 10 IT jobs advertised by Adelaide companies!!

Ratbag (car racing games), Rising Sun (special effects for movies), Kukan (mobile games), Kojo (interactive web film), Imagination (converting Hasbro board games into electronic games), Peoples Republic of Animation ( animation ) are some of the local companies consulted for the report.

The right skills mix - creative, technical and business - is a requirement across the industry.

With Adelaide being a small city the government is looking at how to develop the digital creative industries and how the education system can better deliver the people that local cutting edge industry wants