Archive for category graphics

Kings Quest 3 remake downloadable for free


It’s the year 1986 and Kings Quest got it’s 3rd episode. An adventure in 16 colors. But now it’s 2006. And Infamous Adventures did a remake:

“Infamous Adventures is proud to present a Remake of Roberta William’s classic 1986 hit, King’s Quest III. Remade in VGA color to match later Sierra releases, and using the AGS engine by Chris Jones, IA promises to make an enjoyable 1:1 remake of King’s Quest III. In the tradition of recent remakes, King’s Quest I and II+ by Tierra/AGDI, Infamous Adventures hopes to create a new classic of the Beloved Series.”

  • All 16 color backgrounds remade into stunning VGA graphics
  • Enhanced Close up cut-scenes and dialogue pictures help immerse you into what is known as the first plot driven chapter of the King’s Quest series.
  • Original music by professional music composer(s)
  • Re-experience the adventure with a stunning new interface (no more typing) And if you never played well, you’ll probably enjoy it anyway.

You can download Kings Quest 3 here for free. You can even get the soundtrack there.

Source: http://www.infamous-adventures.com/index.php?page=kq3

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High Dynamic Range display available…

BrightSide is the name of the company that announced their High Dynamic Range display recently.

“BrightSide introduces the DR37-P, a pectacular breakthrough in display technology that uses an array of LED backlights to deliver 10 times the brightness and 100 times the contrast of existing televisions and computer monitors. BrightSide’s Extreme Dynamic Range displays deliver more vibrant images and allow you to see your data in
vivid detail.”

  • Extreme Dynamic Range
  • Over 3000 cd/m2 Brightness
  • Contrast Ratio > 200,000:1
  • High Definition 1920×1080
  • 37” Screen
  • 16 bits per color
  • IMLED – Individually Modulated Array of LED backlights

There are some movies available where you can get an impression what HDR really means. It’s a bit heavy…”less than 72 kg” says the spec. But it looks cooool:


Source 1: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2005/10/04/brightside_hdr_edr/1.html

Source 2: http://www.brightsidetech.com/products/dr37p.php

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discovering the “Wizard Wizard”: Canopus ProCoder 2

A couple of months ago we got us a Canopus ProCoder 2.0 educational version. Because we, well had to convert a shitload of MPEG2 and DV movies into several different formats. And because Canopus is telling us that their product is by far the best you could probably get on this planet, we were in.

There is a free demo version available which does not require the red glowing, blue plastic HASP hardware USB dongle key’i thing we got with the full version. Those kind of dongle stuff is really nasty. First of all it bugs you right after you got your Windows started up with an error message, just because you probably haven’t plugged the dongle in. The point here is though: Why checking this at the system start, why not when ProCoder 2.0 is started. And heck! Why a dongle key’i thingy anyways?

ProCoder 2.0 has a neat little feature, the only feature why I would use ProCoder personally, which is called “Watch Folders”. You take a ProCoder 2.0, set it up to watch a folder on a network storage or anywhere you like, and after you setup’d some target movie formats it’ll start to convert everything that appears in those Watch Folders and transcodes it to whatever you configured as a target. Great feature!

But here comes the dongle right back in: You need to go to the server room, find your powerful number crunching server park and stick the… well dongle… into… great. After you recovered from the headache and tinnitus (dramatisation!) you got your ProCoder “server” up and running. The point here is: Why all that fuss with that dongle usb stuff. What’s wrong with serial numbers which are necessary anyway for ProCoder 2.0? Piracy can’t be the answer here. Maybe they want to pretend that it’s worth even a dongle, like AutoCad was back when we called our operating systems DOS.

So back to the Canopus ProCoder 2.0 test: After the setup it comes in two different flavours: The fast and the furious, called “Canopus ProCoder 2.0 Wizard” and the all-inklusive one, called…you get the idea.

So first of all let’s cover the Wizard because the workflow of the Wizard is likely the same as in the ProCoder 2.0.

Step 1: Welcome dude!


oh there it is…Watch Folder!… but we want to convert a single file…

Step 2: Load a Source

I used the current Halo 3 Trailer for demonstration…it’s a WMV HD.

Step 3: Set Source In and Out Point

You can specify where the movie starts and where it ends. So you have some kind of cut-editing capability…well not really. I flinch from calling it cut-editing actually.

Step 4: Advanced Settings

Well Canopus things that Crop-Settings are advanced. But hey, there is a “Select Settings” button which opens a dialog where you can specify alternat audio, specific aspect ratio and so on. Nothing to yell about there.

Step 5: the fantastic and well thought of… ProCoder 2 Wizard Wizard (!!!1!)

Why hasn’t anybody else thought of this before? Use a wizard for the wizard. A master to teach the apprentice. A … oh well, it’s nothing special really. Because if you choose to use it just another dialog box comes up:

Step 6: Select Target

Tricky decision here. We want it HD!

Step 7: a question of format.


[don’t forget to put some text here]…

Step 8: High Definition Format…

Again the very tricky format decision. Rather than recommending a format you have to choose. I did not try what’s going to happen when my source has 29,97 fps and I select 25 fps here (or the other way around). Canopus says ProCoder can do a 3:2 pulldown. Great…

Step 9: Saving your file


Save the day.

Step 10: Job Summary

In the end the wizard sums everything up and you can press some more advanced output setting buttons. And if you’re done, you click “Convert”, finally.

Step 11:

And the evil boffins in your number crunching server park are starting to convert your source movie into whatever target you selected. If it doesn’t do this. Well you will never know why it didn’t do it. Because Canopus choosed to not use any error messages or logging. You can be lucky if you get a dialog box telling you that it just won’t do it. In 9 out of 10 cases it just wasn’t telling anything.

It’s not particularly slow. In fact, if you just transcode something and you’re not using any additional filtering it’s as fast as any other transcoding tool (which come sometimes without dongles, you might have heard that).

So that’s quite everything what’s to be told about the Canopus ProCoder Wizard. Finally let’s take a look at the one feature I love: Watch Folders.

So let’s fire up the ProCoder 2 (watch out to have the dongle plugged in!):

I just want to say something about the GUI of ProCoder 2. About GUI design in general. And I want to start with a simple question: What is wrong with standard system controls?

Why are many software companies are writing their own scrollbards, buttons, dialogboxes, tabs. Why can’t they just use the system wide available ones? The ones that actually work. The ones that draw correct on any machine. The ones that I’ve never seen blinking or be drawn incorrect. In case of Canopus ProCoder 2.0 the custom-made scrollbars sometimes even disappeared and you could see that they where just drawn above the system scrollbars. You software companies. If you take an advice from me: stick to doing the user software and leave the multi-purpose GUI elements to the operating system.

Back to ProCoder 2 and to the precious Watch-Folders. If you click on the “Watch” button you get this dialog box:

Nothing really to write more about than: Everything is intuitive and works out of the box. Select a folder. Select a target. And you’re done. It just works as promised. And if you’re in luck and your movies are in a format that ProCoder 2.0 can read without hassle it even will work with your movies.

The target in this case, if you are curious, is a pre-configured format specification. You can use the wide variety of available pre-configured targets, or you can configure your own. (this is quite tricky and not so intuitive)

Since there’s nothing to complain about the pre-configured formats you are certainly not going to have much fun setting up very very custom things. Like the time when I wanted to just setup my own MPEG-4 target. Which isn’t that easy because when you select the MPEG format you only can choose from MPEG-1/2 formats. Or the other time when I wanted to do it in H.264. That format is available, but you have to find it. It’s deeply burried into the third dialog-layer.

In the end you get quite a good transcoding application with this neat Watch-Folder feature. You also get an awfully rubbish GUI with no error messages at all. If something goes wrong you’ll never know why.

In our case everything went fine and in only one case in my testing I found something that the Windows DirectShow could decode but ProCoder 2.0 could not. I really recommend it for video encoding servers. It’s one of it’s kind when it comes to that discipline and the money is well spend.

Source: http://www.canopus.com

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more High Dynamic Range experiments…

I am playing with my camera and that’s what resulted today…

For the next picture my apologies…I just don’t have a tripod…

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High Dynamic Range Imaging… my first steps…

I don’t own a 600 Euro digital camera. Mine was cheap and does the job well so far. And now I’ve found something more to play with. I like to do panoramic views, as you might have mentioned before. But the technique I am now discovering is far more interesting. It’s called High Dynamic Range imaging.

Here’s an excerpt of the wikipedia article on that subject:

In computer graphics and cinematography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI for short) is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows.”

Since it’s night here at the moment I could only experiment in the dark, where my camera creates, beside dark pictures, very much picture noise.

So, what to do, you may ask. Well grab a camera where you can control at least the exposure time. Than take at least 2 (the more the better) pictures with different exposure times. I started with 3 pictures per HDR image. As you can see above:

When you have those pictures you need a software to combine them to an HDR image. There are many sites that can provide such tools, I recommend hdrsoft.com. They provide a tool called “Photomatix” which is specialized on HDR imaging. If you have a Photoshop CS2 available, well, that will do the job as well. Just go to the “File->Automate->Create HDR” dialog.

If you downloaded the tools, throw the pictures inside and let the magic happen. You get a 16 or 32 Bit per pixel image. You can control the exposure and saturation, the white and the black levels and so on. To save the picture as a standard-JPG like I did, you have to do some Tone-Mapping. Photomatix can do that as well.

Expect more on that subject here tomorrow. Then with some pictures of the sunny nature…well if there is sun tomorrow…Till than: Enjoy the HDR images I’ve got so far:

First the 3 source pictures:

And then the HDRI:

First the 3 source pictures:

And then the HDRI:

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

Source 2: http://www.hdrsoft.com

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Persistence of Vision is not only a raytracer…

Yesterday I wrote about the bike mounted POV display. And today? Well. It’s a real huge display:

“Spin uses Persistence of Vision to create the illusion of a cylindrical
digital display (computer screen), 12 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter. Vertical
columns of multi-color LED (light emitting diode) clusters spin around a vertical
axis at 90 revolutions per minute. At a radius of 6 feet, they move at 41 miles
per hour. 2880 LEDs are turned on and off by a computer in precise synchronization
with the rotation of the columns, creating the illusion of a cylindrical digital
display. Spin has a vertical resolution of 16 pixels (picture elements), each
of which can display one of 8 colors. As horizontal position is determined by
time in Spin, the horizontal resolution is theoretically infinite, but for the
sake of data manipulation efficiency it is be limited to 360 pixels all the
way around the cylinder.”

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more robots! this time: Face Robot

Hmm…those things get more realistic than you would expect…

“Face Robot v.1.0 dramatically increases face animation productivity and allows animators
to achieve realistic, lifelike face animation for high-end film, post,
and games projects. Based on extensive anatomical research, Face Robot
uses a groundbreaking new computer model of facial soft tissue to mimic
the full range of human emotions. Designed with input from leading
animation experts, Face Robot gives artists an intuitive way to
interact with their characters while providing control over details,
including wrinkles, frowns, flaring nostrils, and bulging neck muscles.”


scream!

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IIS6 and Apache syscall graph

SanaSecurity created these two graphics:



Apache syscall graph


IIS6 syscal graph

What’s this? You may ask…it’s an API dependency graph of the current Apache webserver and the current IIS webserver.

As some people try to interpret those graphics to the favor of their loved one. I cannot see anything discussable about these graphics, so I leave it to you to just enjoy them as they look quite nice 🙂

Source: http://www.sanasecurity.com/

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the pr0n side of mathematics…

Although there seems to be an interesting side of mathematics (well, beauty is on the eye of the beholder) I am not so sure that everything else is as interesting as these great pictures, entirely created from mathematical algorithms by Peter Miller.

Source: http://www.perpetualocean.com/amgallery8.html

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new holographic display technology…

Wow this looks awesome compared to any holographic display technology I could take a look on to this date. Now I do know what 50 Gbytes of storage space could be useful for…

“Invented by Tibor Balogh, these flat panel “holo TVs” are capable of displaying images in 3-D — or so it seems.”

Source: http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/video-holo-tvs

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Mario Kart Source…

No no no! I am not writing about the sourcecode of Mario Kart. Source is the graphic engine created by Valve is used by Halflife 2 for example.

So Mario Kart Source is a modification for Halflife 2 which tries creates the well known Mario Kart feeling on your PC.
Apart from some pictures and videos there is nothing to download yet. But if you want to give the developers a helping hand, you can contact them on the Mario Kart Source Website.

Source: http://www.mks-mod.com/site/news.php

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pwned life…a battlefield 2 movie

There’s a battlefield 2 movie online for your viewing pleasure:

Kotaku writes:

“”The Pwned Life” apparently took a year to create and is voiced entirely by one man. It takes the form of a mockumentary on the life and times of a hardscrabble gang of soldiers, complete with soundtrack and interviews. Top-notch stuff and outstanding comedic timing.”


Source 1: http://www.jaredhudson.com/movies/pwnedlife.html

Source 2: http://www.kotaku.com

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the perfect working environment part 3


Once again I reorganised my desktop. One display less now, but much more working space on the left-hand.



See part 2 and part 1 for comparison.

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dealing with new UI concepts in todays applications…

I really like the new Office UI. And I especially like it when it’s used in future development applications. Great!

“I promised that I would deliver the new Office UI that NStatic uses this morning. Unfortunately, I am currently redoing the icons on the ribbon, so you’ll have to wait another day or two. For now, I’ll give you a partial glimpse.”

Source: .net undocumented

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Indiana Jones and the FOUNTAIN of YOUTH

When you played and enjoyed the LucasArts Adventure “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis” then this is great news for you:

“Fountain of Youth is a fan-made adventure game by a team of both Indiana Jones and computer game enthusiasts. A playable demo has been in development and has experienced quite a few delays, but is expected to be available soon – and the design of the full game, (after much revamping) is nearly complete – for development to begin by Fall 2005.

The project has been running almost 5 years, and has suffered several major setbacks. This website contains information about the game we are developing plus information on the developers, screenshots, downloads and much, much more. Just use the navigation bar on the left to find your way around.

We’ve had thousands of offers for translations of the game, thanks!!! Its great to have so much interest and help to hand (believe me, we will contact a lot of you – there’s lots of languages!!) If you CAN offer a translation we are very greatful – but please wait for the release of the demo before you decide how well a translation you can provide 🙂

We also hope to send out free DVD-cased editions of the demo and full-game once they are available to anyone who donates enough to cover the shipping. We also hope to create a special boxed edition of the game with a printed manual in the future.”

There is a demo available and the full game is expected soon.

Source: Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth

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Windows Vista Beta 2 graphic driver updates available…

The major graphic card manufacturers ATI and NVIDIA decided to release new drivers for Windows Vista Beta 2. So if you can grab them. In my case there was an improvement in speed…

ATI Driver Download

NVIDIA Driver Download

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one more step to photorealism

I came across a short movie which demos a new animation and graphic engine for all next-gen consoles and PC.

Yes, this actually IS a computer generated character:


The engine yet has some obvious problems with the mouth and teeth animation…but it’s just astonishing what’s possible these days. They even claim it’s in real time. Oh and the first appearence of this technology will be in an adventure game… great news, eh?

Source: http://www.gbase.ch/pc/downloads/3451.html

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paint something…the massively multiplayer online game way…


“TheBroth.com is a massively multiplayer, real time internet application that connects people around the world to interact in a shared global mosaic.”



“The global mosaic is made of 1,000 colorful tiles. When you drag a tile, everyone else visiting TheBroth can see it immediately. Collaborate with others or create your own Mona Lisa for all to see!”


Source: http://www.thebroth.com/

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Escher, Escher and even more Escher

“The work of M.C. Escher needs no introduction. We have all learned to appreciate the impossibilities that this master of illusion’s artwork presents to the layman’s eye. Nevertheless, it may come as a surprise for some, but many of the so-called ‘impossible’ drawings of M. C. Escher can be realized as actual physical objects. These objects will resemble the Escher’s drawing, of the same name, from a certain viewing direction. This work below presents some of these three-dimensional models that were designed and built using geometric modeling and computer graphics tools.”

Source 1: Eschers Waterfall
Source 2: Escher for real

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astronomy

If you did not know: You can have a great astronomy picture each day…

“Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.”


Source: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

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sun and rain over Ilmenau…


Hey it’s april! And on my way home I took some pictures…giving you an impression of the cloudy sky which is characteristic for Ilmenau at this time of the year…






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some information about highspeed memory cards…


A widely known electronic store (in germany) did an advertisement for the fun and information of everyone:



The text:


“If you want to take a picture of fast moving objects: Speed counts! Every delay of the memory card can distort the picture, or even worse: the motive is not visible. There’s an end of it! The new HighSpeed-Memory cards transfer the picture data at up to 20 MBit per second. Even a formula 1 world champion could not escape.


The data transfer to your PC only takes 5 seconds, instead of the 20 seconds with a normal memory card.”


Hmkay… understood?


Source: DSLR-Forum

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the beauty of directories

Andreas Job, a friend of mine, wrote a tool which visualizes a machines directory tree in a very beautiful way…

click to watch the movie…

Source: http://www.schrankmonster.de/content/binary/muckefuck/greentree.mp4

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feed icons ‘n’ stuff


It’s not that beautiful. But well it looks better than the old “” icon.



grab your copy here.


Source: http://feedicons.com/

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first official ps3 screenshots? something smells bad in sony land…

This is what is called the first official screenshots of a Playstation 3 game…:



Well… that looks a little bit different from the pre-rendered screenshots we where shown earlier… the final devkits will be available in June… Launch in November… Blue-Ray drive…Cell Processor… 60 GB hard-disk… what’s this thing going to cost? My first born? A 1000 Euro? In my opinion the only reason why Sony does not allow a closer look is, because people would see what die PS3 really is capable of…which is in no way more than a 360… I for myself expect exactly the same graphics and features the 360 delivers today… but when I look at the screenshots… well – maybe I was to optimistic with the graphics….

Source: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/695/695890p1.html

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screw Pixar RenderMan – get Pixie!



“Pixie is a RenderMan like photorealistic renderer. It is being developed in the hope that it will be useful for graphics research and for people who can not afford a commercial renderer. Pixie is an open source project licensed under Gnu Public License (GPL).”

It’s astonishing what you can do with modern renderers…the physic simulations in the gallery samples are even more astonishing…

Source: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~okan/Pixie/pixie.htm

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AIM…oh well not the Instant Messenger…but Accurate Image Manipulation…

When it comes to washed-out colors…or green/red/blue tinted displays… try to calibrate them with the help of this great site. Thanks to Kiesow.

“Accurate Image Manipulation for Desktop Publishing (AIM) is devoted for the best possible quality in the desktop publishing workflow. This calls for accurate calibration and correct choice for the working space.

Very accurate monitor gamma calibration charts, CGI simulations for Kodak Q-60 and Agfa IT8 calibration targets, Photoshop plug-ins and much more are available for download. Many evaluations are provided.

The calibration setup that is in use in high-end professional digital imaging, the linear workflow, is explained here in detail as well as the issues of CRT gamma.



this is NOT usable for calibration…go to the site…

Source 1: http://www.kiesows.de/blog/2006/03/11/kalibrieren

Source 2: http://www.aim-dtp.net/aim/evaluation/cdg/cdg.htm

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ASCII art from the past… 1948!!

grab your typewriter and do art! Who would have thought of something like ASCII art being done that early?

Source: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/03/13/ascii-art-1948/

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the kororaa live cd tryed out…


After Chris recommended the kororaa live cd for my XGL testing questions I downloaded kororaa today and tried it.


This is EXACTLY what I hoped to see. A flawlessly booting live cd and a hyper performant graphical user interface that really really works.



All those graphical gimmicks and gadgets are eye candy – but not only. I think that just because you don’t have to stare at the screen to see how your windows are drawn is a giant leap in comfort and usability.



click on the picture to see it moving…


So far it’s a nice technology demonstration that worked just out of the box. Great!


Oh one question to the linux knowing guys: Can anyone tell me how to capture movies off the screen? Is there a tool that can do that?


Source 1: recommendation
Source 2: http://kororaa.org/

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you don’t like the new XBOX 360 dashboard /guide /blades /whatever?

Well it could be worse…



Source: http://www.majornelson.com

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fiction beats reality by far…

For how long are we told that “photo realistic computer generated images” will sometime be normal daily business… Well it seems that the guys from CG are making giant steps into that direction…WOW!


the light is better in the virtual version…


half real…half virtual

Source 1: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=233460

Source 2: http://www.ag-systems.net/

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where is the XGL live cd?


There is this XGL stuff which hardware accelerates the linux desktop – but since there are many movies that show the magnificence of this there is actually no real way to try it for ourselves – except when we would compile it ourselves… and that’s,…. well no solution at all.



So – I am searching for a not-too-much-pain bringing way of trying this XGL stuff…


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xgl

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Paint.NET – the 2.6 version arrived, hurray!



The days when I had to fiddle with “the (enormous) GIMP” are over – the current version of Paint.NET is here to stay.



It’s got a great user interface, layers, unlimited history, all the necessary tools and even better…you can have it’s sourcecode.


Source: http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/

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I want one of those Q-WUXGA

Since my girlfriend has a brand new 1440×1050 notebook display it’s hard to ignore that 19″a 1280×1024 are not the highest possible dpi to have… and as a matter of fact I really want to have some more DPIs on my 19″ TFTs…

Take a look at this schematic:



As you can see, SXGA is quite Low-End these days 🙂 But we have to wait before the manufactures get serious with their 200 DPI displays…

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=29655

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research for the next generation…


I was pointed to a very very very interesting research website today. It’s the website of Jefferson Y. Han – a consultant at the NYU’s Department of Computer Science. He is showing off the research projects he is working on. What an impressive portfolio!!!


One of these projects is the “Multi-Touch Interaction” which means:


“While touch sensing is commonplace for single points of contact, multi-touch sensing enables a user to interact with a system with more than one finger at a time, as in chording and bi-manual operations. Such sensing devices are inherently also able to accommodate multiple users simultaneously, which is especially useful for larger interaction scenarios such as interactive walls and tabletops. “



This video and project came up when some people discussed the recent Apple patents like “gestures for touch sensitive input devices”.


But there’s more to discover on Hans website – so go there immediately and get inspired…


Source: http://mrl.nyu.edu/~jhan/

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great pixel-art tutorial

If you ever wanted to know how these great pixel graphics are made or you ever wanted to create some by yourself – take a look at this great tutorial. A ten step guide to pixel-art:



Source: http://www.derekyu.com/extras/pixel01.html

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how to encode a large number of movie files in a batch process…


Hurray! There I found it. A tool that makes it possible to create large batch encoding sessions just with some clicks. You need:




  1. VirtualDub (any current version will probably work) – by the way; I recommend VirtualDubMod



There you go:




  • open one movie file of the bunch you want to encode in VirtualDub


  • set the encoders for audio+video up like you want


  • save the “Processing Settings” to a .vcf file


  • you can close the video file in VirtualDub now


  • start VirtualDub Batcher and:



    • choose the .vcf you previously saved


    • choose the output folder


    • add the movie files you want to encode with the “Add Files” button


    • when everything looks like you want it: “Make Job List” is the button to press


  • open the “Job Control…” in VirtualDub now (F4 on your keyboard) and open the Job List file which is located in the VirtualDub Batchers’ folder.


  • press start and have a cup of tea.


Source 1: http://www.virtualdub.org/
Source 2: http://virtualdubmod.sourceforge.net/
Source 3: http://www.brightonart.org/VDubBatchAssistant.shtml

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panoramic view tools: Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006


I was asked today what tools I use to create the panoramic views on this website. I personally prefer easy to use – “let the automatic do”-tools. That’s why I used Ulead Cool360 for years to create the panoramic views. But since some months I am using the brand new Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 to create the panoramic views out of the raw pictures.


The first step is to load all the pictures into the Suite:



then Tools→Panoramic Stitching…



then you have to select which pictures you want to use for the panoramic stitching process:



Digital Image Suite now creates a preview for you where you can adjust in whatever way you like – unfortunately no perspective adjustments are possible – but normally not necessary if you took the pictures well:



Click Next and you get the “Stitching in Progress” Dialog…waiting … waiting …



And finally: The Result! You have to select the display window – because maybe – like in my example – the pictures are a bit tilted.



Oh… if you want all that a little bit more compressed…have a look at the demo video I made:



demo movie…click on it!


Source 1: Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006
Source 2: Demo Video

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distributed video encoding solution


More than a year ago Matthias Eller and Karsten Donat created a distributed video encoding solution that actually works.


As far as I know they were in desperate need for computing power to encode all the documentaries that Karsten recorded every day (he recorded almost everything that was broadcasted on german free-tv).


So the idea came up to split a single raw-video into a number of parts and let many machines encode these parts automatically. Then these encoded parts are copied back to the server and put together to the now finally complete encoded video.


We’re not using this at the moment for any encoding – but I thought it might be a great idea to write about it 😉



this is the tool to setup a new encoding task that is
submitted to the distributed encoding server


You can get this great tool-set at Matthias’ Website: http://www.static-void-main.de


Source: Matthias Website

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I just updated…


the www.thesuck.de website 😉


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Quake 2 ported to Java and fully playable via Java Webstart…

Bytonic ported the good old Quake 2 to Java – just like Vertigo Software did a couple of years ago by porting Quake 2 to .NET.



The port is called “Jake2” and runs straight via Java Webstart – if you do not have the necessary data files the Jake2 downloads the demo data files directly off the web for you.


I tried it – it sort of worked – well it displayed 3D graphics – but it was unplayable due to massive frame droppings. I don’t know why it does not work since I am not into Java that much. The environment I tested in looked like this:

C:\java -version
java version “1.5.0_04”
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_04-b05)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.5.0_04-b05, mixed mode)

What do I need to play it smoothly?!


Source 1: http://www.bytonic.de/html/jake2_webstart.html
Source 2: http://www.vertigosoftware.com/Quake2.htm

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if hackers ruled contest


What a great contest! Get your Photoshop started and create a world “if the hackers rule”.



“Remember when computer hackers were the big scare? Sure they might be 15-year-olds computer nerds who t41k 2 mUc4 l1k3 7h15!!!!!!!!!!!!11 [talk too much like this]. But that doesn’t mean that, with a few deft keystrokes, they couldn’t take over the world. And what would everyday life be like then? Get ready for some l337 h4xx0r1ng!!!!!!111 [elite hacker language].

The rules of this game are thus: In this contest you will show us images from a world run by l337 hax0rs. Your images should ideally focus on something that already has text on it. (i.e. a shampoo bottle with instructions written in html or the Coca-Cola logo written in poorly spelled gibberish). As always, quality is a must. We will remove poor entries no matter how much we like you. You’ll have 48 hours for this contest, so make your submission count.”


Source: If Hackers ruled

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what’s that? Divx/Virtualdub not 1080p capable?


When I try to reencode a MPEG2 HDTV (1080p) movie to DIVX/MPEG4 without downscaling it I get the following error message:



What’s wrong!? Can anyone help?

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how to deal with those 10-14 gigabyte MPEG2 HDTV transport streams.


As many TV stations start to broadcast MPEG2 HDTV movies these days from time to time one of those MPEG2 HDTV movies is stored on a local harddisk. These harddisk recorders store the data normally in so called “MPEG2 transport streams (TS)”. Since these transport streams contain several more information beside the MPEG2 video+audio data you need to get rid of those extra informations before you can transcode/reencode the MPEG2 to something like MPEG4.


A great tool for that purpose is HDTVtoMPEG2 – it converts the transport stream into a usable and reencodeable MPEG2 movie file. From that point you can use the commonly known tools (like Virtual Dub MPEG2) to convert to MPEG4 for example.



Source 1: http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~balazer/HDTVtoMPEG2/index.html
Source 2: http://fcchandler.home.comcast.net/stable/

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the 360 typeface family…

Microsoft works seriously on it’s new products: One evidence for that is that they have custom typefaces for all of their upcoming products including the XBOX 360.


Ascender Corp. made a whole 6 typeface font family for the 360. Neat, isn’t it?



Source 1: Agenturblog
Source 2: Slanted Typo

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use TerraServer Webservices with Visual Studio 2005


Nico wrote a cool article about the TerraServer WebService and how to use it with Visual Studio 2005. He uses this WebService in his talks as a WebService example – a great idea: The problem is now, that the example sourcecode does not work under Visual Studio 2005. So he changed it to work – and you can download the new sourcecode here.



Source 1: Nico’s Weblog
Source 2: TerraServer WebService
Source 3: Example Source
Source 4: Download VS2005 compatible Sourcecode

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Windows Media on Quicktime


Did you ever try to play a Windows Media Video file on a Mac? If you did not – you probably would not expect the result: it’s horrible and simply nothing you want to watch.


Now there’s a filter/application that allows Quicktime to play the Windows Media Video files – and this does work really really great.


Almost all files I tried to play worked instantly – some had their problems – but well I did not expect the DRM to work.



“The WMV Player is an industry first product offering that allows you to play Windows Media directly in your QuickTime Player. This eliminates the need for an additional player and provides the great playback experience and control that you’ve come to rely on with QuickTime Player. “



Flip4Mac offers not only a WMV Player but also a “WMV Studio”-Application that allows you to cut and edit WMV content on MacOS X…


Oh… it does cost some money…….;-(


Source: http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm

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HDR what?



“Click here to search a HDR capable cable on amazon.de”
hmmkay… what kind of wire would that be?

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Burning a CCD


Do you see the slight pink line in the right part of the picture… that’s what the sun does to the CCD when you are not careful… in this case a NIKON Coolpix 990 CCD sensor just died…


Source: http://www.philohome.com/skyshooter/burning_ccd.htm

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Microsoft Imagine Cup 2006 registration is finally online !!!


go for it… If you want some more information about the Imagine Cup…take a look here and here.



Source 1: Imagine Cup 2006 Overview
Source 2: Imagine Cup Registration

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