On a lark I did some animation silliness today. The typical explanation for the taijitu, or the yin-yang symbol ( ☯ ), mentions how dark and light are intertwined, one leads to the other in a symbiotic wax-and-wane cycle, and one contains the seed of the other inside. Well, said I, I wonder what this wax-and-wane cycle would look like if the taijitu was rotating and you took the average grayscale value of the portion of the symbol passing at the zenith part. Who wouldn’t wonder that?
To make that more obvious, I’ve prepared this anigif, which contains three parts: a rotating taijitu, a cropping of the topmost sliver of the symbol from the centerpoint up (indicated by the red box in the first part), and the average grayscale value of that sliver:
So, basically, as the Wheel of Earth and Heaven rolls ponderously around, there are alternating times of lightness, darkness and shades in-between. I will leave you with a stand-alone gif of this interplay for your own amusement (caution: may not be synced with the above animation):
Working again with the concept of averaging things to see what results, I’ve pulled up a project from years past and figured out a way to make a physical manifestation. In this case, I’m averaging flags, specifically, the flags of the nations that make up the United Nations Security Council for 2015. Here’s the base image that I prepared for inkjet output on canvas:
Each rectangle represents the average color of the flag of that nation. There are quite a few maroony-pink flags here, because red-white-and-blue is a common selection for flag colors.
My dream of having the Internet Swadesh website be a completely automated and daily glimpse on the linguistic proclivities of the Internet was not going to come true anytime soon, so I decided to get things working manually. So I updated the site to a simple WordPress install and went to Google Image Search myself to get image results for each of the 208 Swadesh terms in English. I’m going to try to update these myself every month for now, and maybe throw in some other languages as I have time.
So not much to see now, but hopefully it will get better as the year progresses.
Something of a disjointed day today, various errands and weather-related interruptions had me going back three separate times. However, I did get stuff done. One of which was a shot of the Pixel Earth-Moon System with my nice Canon camera; I had tried before but the auto-focus didn’t quite figure out what to focus on, so every shot was blurry. Hitherto:
This, of course, is the Earth and the Moon, to scale in pixel form, with the distance between them also to scale.
Today started off, oddly enough, as something of a clean-up day. I moved the trash bags I’m using as floor protectors for the wet projects, I shifted a bunch of the loose cubes over to where the river production area was, I cleaned up the pixel dice construction site, and collected boxes in one area and trash in another. I have some of the flow-pattern ink drawings in process, but I didn’t get around to photographing them. Next time!
For a consolation prize, here are the rivers, mostly complete. The clamp on the Mississippi is joining the Ohio/Upper Mississippi/Missouri complex to the Lower Mississippi/Red/Canadian/Arkansas complex. The clamp on the Yangtze is to hold together a faulty glue joint, which broke at around the Wuhan area.
I also put the Random Pixel Objects on display on a plinth, just to get them out of the way:
Continuing on my pixellated cross-stitch experiments, allow me to present to you the color palette of the Computer Graphics Array (CGA) card from circa 1985, in cross-stitch form:
I’m quite pleased with this little creation. You might remember some other CGA experiments of mine from a while back.
By now everyone knows I’m interested in pixels and gridding visual information. Well, it goes farther than just a flat plane. Using the same pixel layout as I did for my cross-stitch pattern, I have been playing around with using pixels in space, of “voxels”, short for “volume element. (“Pixel” is short for “picture element”, just in case you were wondering. Here, for your enjoyment, is the Mississippi-Missouri River, rendered in cubes and approximating the relative elevations of the various tributaries:
The Appalachian tributaries are a little foreshortened here, but they’re quite a bit lower than the Rocky Mountain tributaries. This is done building up layer upon layer of cubes and gluing them in place. I’m also trying a version where the underlayers are not built up, and the riverbeds will simply be suspended in space at their relative height. I’ve been having some technical difficulties, but nothing a little free time wouldn’t cure.
At long last, the skygrid is done. A year ago, I started the process to capture an image of the zenith sky every two minutes from 4 in the morning until 9 at night. Today the Sun crossed back into the sky of the Northern Hemisphere, and the camera on my porch took the last set of photos of the zenith. Here is the color spread of the equinoctal day:
And here is the final yearly grid, 495 x 365, or 180,675 separate squares (click to embiggen):
I will be processing another time-lapse movie of the Winter Half of the skygrid when I have time. Until then, check out the Summer Half.
This marks the second-to-last skygrid of the year… the equinox is coming swiftly, and the entire year will be complete on March 20th.
Click to embiggen:
Another skygrid goes up. The hourglass shape is really starting to develop. Only about 45 more days left until the equinox.