Saturday Oct 03, 2009

Fast Forward in Time: Flower Bloom

A lily bloom that lasted approximately 6 hours is compacted to 25 seconds. This was taken with a Canon SLR camera wired to a computer that captured an image every 35 seconds. The photos were combined to form a 30 frame per second video.

Thursday Apr 10, 2008

Fast Forward in Time

I was trying out time lapse photography. My camera was clicking every 5 seconds whole evening and through the night. Captured set of photos (thousands) were converted to a movie using mencoder, then cropped to 1080-HD resolution. You can see stars glide towards the horizon and moon going down (but google video quality is not HD and and not all starts can be noticed)

Last weekend I was on top of a hill to capture sun rise over the Sierra Valley in California. It was freezing and windy in the morning and the movie is a bit shaken:

Tuesday Nov 27, 2007

Special Limited Edition Fridge Magnets on Sale!

I hadn't experimented with any 3D things in a long time; lack of a supported 3D hardware on my Solaris laptop meant ray tracing and 3D technologies stayed out of my horizon. Much of the my art work remained exclusively two dimensional.

Recently stumbled upon something called polymer clay when I was scanning a local library for sculpting techniques. It is a wonderful technology where you can create colorful objects, shape them and bake them at home into hard plastic artifacts. My 3D graycells found a new avenue for expression. Over past few winter weekends scores of smiley faces popped up as fridge magnets.



All of them have a magnet embedded in them. You can use them as fridge magnets or stick them to office white boards. They sport wiggly eyes which adds life.

Sun Employees can buy them on Wednesday 28th Nov at Sun's Menlopark Cafeteria (building 11) as part of Sun's Employee only Arts & Crafts Fair 11:30 to 2:00pm. This is limited special edition sale. Each piece in unique. If you want to buy them, be there early.

All are "on sale" except this one which is being auctioned!:

Saturday Sep 30, 2006

Stereoscopic Hard Disks

Experimented with stereoscopic photography. It is easy: (0) take two successive photos by laterally shifting the camera by 7cm. Open the left and right image in GIMP, (1) paste side by side, (2) crop any unwanted portions, (3) align the images using horizontal guide rules, (4) resize the image to about 14cm in width. You are done.
Stereoscopic Disks
Stereoscopic Disks
To view the 3D photo, focus on the eye away in between the images, till both overlap to form a single 3D object. (it seems about 10% of people will not be able to see this way, so don't worry if you don't see the effect)

The object is an assembly of bad old hard disk platters - joined tightly together with tiny 5mm slits made by hacksaw. No glue or any other material used. Initial version of this sculpture had a plastic base. Later it occurred to me that a folded platter could become the base, provided I balance the center of gravity through its semicircle. Next version might be to hang it by thread, so it can gently rotate, forming a kinetic sculpture.

Monday Sep 11, 2006

Movie List

I rarely write movie reviews; you would find them in plenty elsewhere. Here are some of the movies I watched recently, with notes. There are a few foreign language films either because I have friends and colleagues in those countries , or the movies had won some awards - which means that your enjoyment is guaranteed.

Babí léto or Autumn Spring (2001)
A beautiful Czech comedy about an old-age prankster Fanda who refuses to give up despite his age. I myself was tricked at once scene for the first time I watched the movie: Franda meets another old man and pretends to be his best-friend. Though I don't understand Czech language, I could recognize several words like mrtve (dead in English, mrt in Sanskrit).

Nirgendwo in Afrika or Nowhere in Africa (2001)
An excellent illustration of human immigration: a Jewish family escapes Hitler's Germany to find a new home in Africa.

Kundun (1997)
Story of present day Dalai Lama. Music is notably well composed for the movie and landscape.

Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku or Rhapsody in August (1991)
A Japanese grandma recollects horrors of American atom bomb. Movie depicts how an entire generation spends a terrorized life because of the bomb.

Ran (1985)
King Lear's Japanese adaptation, movie moves like a Japanese painting.

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Lacks originality, but the music score is moving.

Munich (2005)
Well made Spielberg movie with 70s touch.

Lion of the Desert (1981)
Take current day middle east situation; replace Iraq with Libya, Italian Fascism with American oil lobby. The result is the story of this film.

Raye makhfi or Secret Ballot (2001)
Raises several thought provoking questions about democracy and nationalism. A comedy about a polling agent in a remote Irani island who goes around collecting votes. If you have a narrow minded view of Iran, you must watch this movie.

The Old Man and the Sea (1990)
An Ernest Hemingway classic about an old fisherman refusing his age.

Saturday Jun 17, 2006

Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger, Roaring Lion, the Galloping Horse and more..

I was looking at a news report about Apple using Chinese slave labor to make iPods. Although I have seen map of China numerous times, this time I could recognize a Dragon hidden in the map outline! Then I opened a world map. Using a little bit of imagination, I could then see a crouching tiger in sub-continent, a roaring lion in Europe, a galloping horse in Mongolia and North, a bear in Russia, an elephant, rhino and a gorilla in Africa, an emu in Australia, an eagle in North America and so on... Here is a quick and rough sketch of my imagination:

borderlessworld
If more color is added to the animals, perhaps painted as they would be traditionally, this concept could be used in a jig-saw puzzle or a T-shirt design. You can also use the line diagram SVG image under CC-Attribution-ShareAlike licence.

Sunday Jun 11, 2006

Nirakarana or The Refusal

Thanks to Vinay who had brought a short novel by S. L. Bhairappa and left it behind with me, I read Nirakarana (ni-raa-ka-ra-Na) or Refusal in one sitting. Bhairappa is a popular novelist, popular in the sense that his novels are read by people who normally never read.

It is the story of a poor migrant typist in Bombay - a widower who is unable to take care of his five little children, advertises in the Times of India that he is giving them away for adoption. After all the children find different parents and homes, he becomes sad and confused. He deserts the life in Bombay, and goes on a spiritual quest to the Himalaya mountains.

Becoming a saffron clad sadhu (sage), he travels to holy sites like RudraPrayag and Kedarnath in search of a sadhu who lives there all the twelve months, even when the temple closes for winter. The twelve-month-baba (bara-masi - I just couldn't stop laughing at this name) who is meditating there naked, doesn't talk to him much. He spends few months in the harsh winter with heavy snowfall, and returns to the GauriKund (a hot spring). Then while trying to swim upstream he finds himself several miles down the river. Then joins another sadhu on a quest to go down the river Ganga on its North bank till Calcatta take a U turn and come back on the South bank. But on the way he settles down in Varanasi as a begging sadhu.

After all this aimlessly wandering and begging for years, he realizes how empty and hypocritical the 'spiritual' life around him is. He leaves Varanasi and goes back to Bombay to become a warden in an orphanage. A fellow worker at the orphanage, on hearing his life story sets out to find the whereabouts of his children...

As with any other Bhairappa's novel, this novel is full of colorful character sketches combined with great story telling. Characters are amusing, painting of life in Bombay, Himalays and Varanasi is vivid, and you would want to keep reading the book till the last page.
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