live sign… and visiting the zoo…

Yes I am alive… I took some days off so here we are back in business. There will be some articles about the things I did the last days…and of course as usual: many pictures.

I start the series with the visit to the Zoo of Erfurt:







Of course I made some panoramic views:



this and the next one show the enclosure where the turtles and the cows live :-)




the monkeys live here…(no island)

Here are the three movies I made:

get me a Cerbera or a Sagaris…you decide

I do like two car manufacturers (well, their cars to be precise) more than all the others. One of them is Mercedes-Benz and the other is…TVR. Yes, the brits.

They make great looking powerful sports cars and I hope one day one will be mine ;) They are quite affordable compared to other supercars – for example you can get a brand new TVR Sagaris (4l V6) for 80k EURO…a pre owned 2004 Cerbera (4.5l V8) comes for about 48k EURO…did I mention they do not come below 380 bhp and weigh as much as two packs of chewing gum? (I’ll have to pay royalties to Jeremy Clarkson for that…damn!).

The fact is that the Cerbera has gone out of official production in 2004. But now TVR is auctioning the last made Cerbera on the Internet:

Yes, you can get that brand new, pepper white, 420 bhp supercar…just sign up and bid…well if you have the money (which I don’t)…

Beside the Cerbera I fell in love with the Sagaris…look how gorgeous it is:


raaawwrrr!!

I just found the sagaris video:

If you want to buy me one…contact me :-)

Source 1: http://www.thelastcerbera.com/
Source 2: http://www.tvr.co.uk/overview_sagaris.php

revisited: what’s the size of the earth compared to…and why earth needs a haircut…

A couple of days ago I wrote about a website that has some interesting pictures of the planets of our solar system compared to each other in size. The idea was great but the quality of the pictures was bad. So we decided to push our knowledge about 3D tools a bit and render our own high-quality version.

But first a before-after comparision:


before

Aaaaaand:


after

Tell us what you think of it!

We will add some more pictures in the next hours, beside that a short movie in 720p is in the rendering process at the moment.

Last time I worked with 3D tools they were called “3D Studio Max 3.0″…which is quite a while ago. 3D Studios current version number is 8… You can grab your own trial version here.

We actually experimented a lot with the tools…look what earth became after just seconds of play:


yes,we even hair-styled earth!

Source 1: original article and picture
Source 2: 3D Studio MAX trial

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

trip to erfurt…

Since my girlfriend has two turtles we wanted to check out the reptiles exhibition in Erfurt. Which we didn’t because, well lets call it disappointment in the first place.

To small. To dubious. Well… you get the idea. And 12 Euro for 1700 qm is quite a price…

Then we decided to take a walk in the old town of Erfurt. Where we found a new product…(sorry, german only joke)

the new rythm

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood morning my feathered friends!

The new semester starts today and I successfully introduced a new diurnal rythm. It’s quite hard to go to sleep at 12 PM when you did go at 5 AM the last months. But it worked. It’s 7:30 AM and I am awake, already showered and fit to start the day.

Even the sun is shining… a bit…