Saturday, 31 October 2009

Teacher's Halloween Joke

I really wish that I had had a teacher like this at my school. Although not perfect this chap obviously put a lot of effort in to a Halloween joke video. According to the notes it was for his Nature of Math class at Biola University, October 28, 2009.

What a cool guy. Happy Halloween everybody!


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Lomography (Faked)

A 1988 LOMO LC-A cameraImage via Wikipedia
You may not be familiar with the term Lomography but if you like photography you will almost certainly be familiar with the look. The term comes from a Russian made 35 mm camera called the LOMO LC-A Compact Automat that by way of a "happy accident" produces very distinctive pictures that include such characteristics as over-saturated colours, off-kilter exposure, blurring, light leaks and vignette framing. The look of these pictures has a very large fan base and a website that is dedicated to the Lomo look has a massive following that is growing all the time. Take a look to see some great examples.

Like many others I thought it might be fun to try and re-create the effect by using Adobe Photoshop rather than buying a specific camera for the job. My technique is an amalgam of several I found on the web, you may wish to some research to find your own. I chose the photograph below that I took last June at the Seven Valley Railway. It seems to me that industrial mahinery suits the effect very well. I also think that the Lomo look evokes photography from the 50's, 60's and 70's and so an old subject matter seemed appropriate.



After first straightening the shot slightly, I began by creating a vignette by using the lasso tool to draw an oval frame around the engine. You don't need to be too accurate and it is worth setting the feather to around 80 or 90px to soften the edge. Next, invert the selection by choosing SELECT -- INVERSE. Now create a new levels layer by choosing LAYER -- NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER -- LEVELS. This will add a masked out layer on top of your original layer. Adjust the centre setting only, moving it to the right. In my example I went from 1.00 to 0.50 but experiment until you are happy. This gives the vignette, now we need to saturate the colours somewhat, but before we do we need to merge the layers by choosing LAYER -- FLATTEN IMAGE.

Create a new adjustment layer for curves. LAYER -- NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER -- CURVES. You need to adjust the curve until it makes a narrow slanted S shape. I had levels set to an Output of 205 and an Input of 177 but again experiment until you're happy. Now create a new layer on top of these two by choosing LAYER -- NEW -- LAYER. Select the bucket tool and paint the whole layer black. Don't panic! Set the opacity to around 40% and the blending mode to Hue. Finally flatten the layers like you did earlier.

Now we need to sharpen the image. Go to IMAGE -- MODE -- LAB COLOR. From the Channels window select only the Lightness channel. Go to FILTER -- SHARPEN -- UNSHARP MASK. More experimentation to get the look you want but in my example I setthe amount to 50% and the radius to 50 pixels. I also left the threshold at 0. Now go to IMAGE -- MODE -- RGB COLOR and the colours should return. You're done. Here is my end result for you to compare. As always click to enlarge and please visit my Flickr Photostream and leave comments.



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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Timescapes

Regular readers of e-clecticism might have realised by now that I like a good time-lapse. I posted about one here and here. But this one must top them both. This is a demo compilation of some of the work that Timescapes produce. I really cannot describe to you how stunning their work is. Take a look for yourself. You might also want to take a look at their website for more beautiful examples.


More Outdoor >>
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Sunday, 25 October 2009

SYMphonIA

An ambitious project this one but it turned out wonderfully. An advert for Vodafone in New Zealand features Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture played by 1000 mobile phone. They needed to synchronise 53 different ringtone alerts from 2000 sent messages to reconstruct the tune. Enjoy the ad below but make sure you check out the making of further down.






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Saturday, 24 October 2009

Gyrowheel

Perhaps if I had had one of the fitted to my first bike, I may not have spent as much time in the rose bushes at the end of our driveway. A simple but very effective design that uses a gyroscope to produce stability in the front wheel of a child's bike.


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Friday, 23 October 2009

The Fun Theory

The Fun Theory is an initiative by Volkswagen to see if they can change people's behaviour for the better, simply by making things fun to do. OK, so it is ultimately an advertising campaign but it makes me smile. From their site...

This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

Here are the first three examples. Bottle Bank Arcade Machine.



Piano Staircase



The World's Deepest Bin



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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Android My Hero

My name is jono and I have a problem. I'm addicted to gadgets. That's my excuse for getting yet another new phone. I have been so pleased with the HTC brand that I wanted to stay with them but I really wanted to switch my OS from Windows Mobile (which has just too many problems for me) to Google's offering, Android. After a bit of research I settled on the HTC Hero. I'm convinced I made the right choice.

I am a bit of a Google addict. I use them for my Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, documents and of course blogging. This made the choice of an Android phone an obvious one and it really works. The first boot of the phone prompts for your account details and this immediately syncs up everything. In addition, the entering of Facebook, Twitter and Flickr account details also links everything in so that by simply viewing a contact it will show me what they have been up to.



Of course the main thing about Android is the market. Akin to Apple's App Store, Android Market allows you to choose from and download 100's of great applications. If you are looking for a serious contender to iPhone 3GS, this may well be it.




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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Husband Song

I'm sorry for the delay in posting folks but my life seems to be very full at the moment and I'm really not getting any quality time on the computer. I'm working on some posts that will appear over the next while so please don't abandon me. :-)

In the meantime, here is a very funny video. I dedicate it to all the men out there that know their place in a relationship.



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Saturday, 17 October 2009

Wooden Mirror

Daniel Rozin's wooden mirror and how it works. A simple enough idea but wonderfully excecuted. This was Taken from the Open University's course 'Computers and processors'.


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Thursday, 15 October 2009

Walk On The Wildside

If this is old news then I am sorry because I only discovered this yesterday. Walk On The Wild Side is a new comedy show on BBC 4. I cannot explain it any better than it's own microsite.

Walk On The Wild Side is a brand new comedy series that seeks to provide a long overdue forum for the views and opinions of the animal kingdom.

It's a world of hip hop-loving badgers, dieting pandas and a marmot called Alan.

They and a whole bunch of other characters come together in a show which combines comedy with jaw-dropping natural history footage.

Walk On The Wild Side features the vocal talents of some of Britain's most promising new comedians and performers - Jason Manford (Live At The Apollo, 8 Out Of 10 Cats), Isy Suttie (Peep Show), Steve Edge (Phoenix Nights, Star Stories), Jon Richardson, Pal Aron, Rhod Gilbert, Sarah Millican, Harriet Carmichael and Harry Peacock - combined with remarkable footage from the BBC's Natural History Unit.

The series also features guest appearances from Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Barbara Windsor, Stephen Fry, Richard E Grant, Rolf Harris and Sir Tom Jones.

Basically, think Creature Comforts but with real animals. My favourites so far are below, but please look out for the others as there loads that are all simply genius.













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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Building Maker

You may well be aware that, if you are talented in the area of 3D modelling, that it has been possible for some time now to create 3d photo realistic models of buildings and add them to Google Earth by way of Google Sketchup. But what if you don't have this kind of talent? Fear not. Google have now launched Building Maker. Using a very simple interface of blocks, you can map the buildings in your favourite city and submit them for review for them to eventually appear in Google Earth. The following video explains it best.



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Monday, 12 October 2009

Dating Montage

The following video is pure class. I actually had to stop it several times because I was laughing so hard. It is a montage of some old video dating profiles. I hope these guys got snapped up real quick as they really deserve it. I warn you ladies, try and show some restraint no matter how difficult you find it. :-)

The video comes from The Found Footage Festival. See their website here.

We know what you’re thinking, “Finally, a website with funny videos!” That’s right, call us pioneers if you will, but every video on foundfootagefest.com will bear the FFF stamp of quality. We’ve sifted through the garbage to bring you only the best in unintentionally funny videos. Children’s tapes, religious videos, public access TV, instructional and training videos, exercise tapes—they’re all here, awaiting your comments.

Make no mistake, we’re still stubbornly old school when it comes to our video procurement. We never take any videos from the internet. Like the videos in our live show and DVDs, all the videos on foundfootagefest.com come from actual VHS tapes we’ve dug up in out-of-the-way places all across the country. Wherever possible, we’ve included information about the original tapes and where we found them.




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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Bonzomania

I had a great time last night. I went to see Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band. A truly brilliant mix of superb musicianship and Monty Python or perhaps Goon Show humour. To make it even better they were joined on stage by Vernon Dudley Bowhay-Nowell of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and performed many of their hits.

Perhaps too British and not appealing to many, but to me, it could not have been better. A few of videos for you. The first is a promo for Bob Kerr's band. They are older now but no less manic.



Next, the Bonzos with their big hit.



And finally a behind the scenes look at the Bonzos' fortieth anniversary concert that took place a couple of years ago.



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Saturday, 10 October 2009

Co-Authored Explained

Have desk, will writeImage by Bright Meadow via Flickr
A fellow blogger, the lovely Daisy, received an amusing email recently that gave her an idea. We are going to co-author a story together. But there is a slight twist in that rather than a true collaboration, this story will be written by us taking it in turns to produce a paragraph. I write a bit and email it to her. She adds her paragraph and emails it back and so on. We are not allowed to discuss it outside of what we write.

The thing is I don't actually know Daisy at all. OK, so she is e-clecticism's biggest fan and certainly it's most prolific commenter but outside of that, I don't even know her real name. I think this might well produce an interesting result. Well you'll be able to see for yourself as we are going to reproduce the end result on our respective blogs, so watch this space.
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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

PhotoSketch

This has got to be coolest thing I have seen so far. PhotoSketch is a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch annotated with text labels. According to its authors, their software can take any rough sketch, with the shape of each element labelled with its name, find images corresponding to each drawn element, judge which ones are a better match to the shapes, and then seamlessly merge it all into one single image.

This means you can do this (click to enlarge)...





Using some very clever algorithms that I don't pretend to understand, inappropriate images are automatically discarded and only the best results that allow seamless image composition are presented to the user for final selection.

The video below, although very techy, explains better.



PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from tao chen on Vimeo.
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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Project Natal

According to Microsoft, Project Natal is the next big thing to hit gaming. Taking the Wii model of motion capture controllers one step further, Project Natal will apparently be entirely controller less. It will achieve this by way of voice and face recognition combined with full body motion capture. It sounds very cool, but I have to say that their promotional video does them no favours. Apart from the fact you just know it will not be as smooth and flawless as it predicts, but that it implies that you'll also look like a total idiot playing any games. :-) Check out the video below and for information click here.



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Saturday, 3 October 2009

Stormtroopers 365

Whilst browsing through Flickr I came across a superb set of pictures by Stéfan. A "picture a day", for 365 days, of Imperial Stormtroopers from the Star Wars films going about their business.

Along similar lines to Middleman or Plastic Life, there is a lot of humour and originality in how the figures are posed.

I have posted some of my favourites below, but I strongly suggest you take a look at the full set so far.











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Friday, 2 October 2009

Willow's Day

It would have been is Willow's fifth birthday today. As is a tradition on e-clecticism, I'd like to mark it in some small way.

I read a poem recently that seems to fit quite perfectly. I have sadly not been able to find an author to give the proper credit. If you can help please get in touch.

Tiny Angel rest your wings
sit with me for awhile.
How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.
Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear...
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.
Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
You weren't here for very long....
Why is it, you couldn't stay?
Tiny Angel shook her head,
"These things I do not know....
But I do know that you love me,
And that I love you so".
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Thursday, 1 October 2009

Inflatable Street Art

It seems that New York's subway grates have a rather cool unplanned use. Artist Joshua Allen Harris creates animated street art out of plastic bags, powered by the exhaust draft from the trains.

While I was walking on the street, I happened to notice a piece of orange construction tape rising from a subway exhaust grate. It just glided skyward, almost asking for attention. I then became interested in what that wind could do and how I could work with it.
What follows is an interview he gave to New York Magazine.


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