(84 replies, posted in Episodes)

How do I attract these to my yard?

Having a bit of a crisis year, and have spent at least the last 4 or 5 years gollum-treasuring a great idea for fear the zeitgeist will steal it and leave me out.

But before I get all wild-eyed about it, I want to survey you'uns:
How much would you pay to live in space?

My idea involves bootstrapping the Star Trek future with today's technology.
The buy-in (how much the average somebody'd be willing to pay) is critical to getting the thing started, for obvious reasons (seed capital). Basically I'm selling tickets to a thing that will only exist if a huge number of people believe enough in it to pledge a good portion of their personal net-worth to it.

For purposes of discussion:
"Live in space" means at least, but not limited to, an Earth orbit station with centrifugal gravity a la '2001: A Space Odyssey.'
"Pay" buys you a 2 way ticket with an unlimited stay, or limited only by the resources brought up with you (food, water, air, etc.)
"How much would you" means what price do you think the market would bear, in terms of a fraction of a 1st-world median annual salary?

We'll get to the technical details as I imagine them, for now let's just talk money, please.

<edit> Polls don't work again, eh?

1. Less than 2 months salary
2. 2 to 6 months
3. 6-12 months
4. 1-2 years
5. Way more?

Shot submitted for preliminary approval. ;-)

Having shot a lot of run-and-gun no-budget stuff of my own, I understand how we cause ourselves these problems. On paper, the pure black background could be crushed and just blend-mode comp'ed, no keying or roto, super easy. In this case the subject was also barely-lit, so there was too much #0000 that needed to be opaque. The lesson, similar to day-for-night shooting, is light your subject just enough to keep the whites from blowing out and plan to color correct it for darkness in post. Exposing to achieve the interactive lighting might have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.


(17 replies, posted in Episodes)

Resurrecting this oldie but goodie of a thread to post a link to a short discussion of the 'splorch' practical effect that I came across this week on fb:
https://hackaday.com/2021/11/14/those-b … werent-cgi


(44 replies, posted in Off Topic)


And still it draws breath.
[video (unkown provider)]


(44 replies, posted in Off Topic)

My oldest, who definitely doesn't want to be a veterinarian because euthanizing fuzzerses, is currently nursing a suckling baby mouse she found in the basement back to, hopefully, health. She's adorable, petite, and a gawddamn sergeant major in high-school R.O.T.C. (military pre-cadets, in case the acronym doesn't convey meaning outside of the U.S.). Today is wear the uniform day, she had to leave the helpless gray fuzzy thing at home, but first she fed it by hand, wearing her blue-gray skirt and jacket. Somehow, in spite of all my own "hey Beethoven" moments, my own outcastery, my selfishness, this little miracle made herself into on of those non-fakers. Her circle of friends is an island of misfit toys; the bullied, the outcasts; like me, like us. She's their mother, protecting them, nourishing them.

The best thing I learned from my own, somewhat stunted, little father is to find some things worth persevering for, and then never let go of them. Before I was a twinkle in his eye, he'd shellacked a newspaper clipping onto a polished cross-section of tree branch, always to be prominently displayed in his den: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ― Calvin Coolidge

I just hope that tiny rodent is still sucking air when Meredyth gets home from school.

Teague, you crazy sonofoabitch.

[magnificent, I meant. funk.]


(44 replies, posted in Off Topic)

"Of course you're in love with her, she's an //actress.//"

That's the punchline of an anecdote told by one of my theater mentors. Cassie's tale dealt with a backstage crush that was predictably undone after the show's run. It's hard to pretend to be in love on stage because the off-stage emotions are a also performance to help not-degrade the on-stage performance. It's her job to appear desirable, she's good at it, so of course you fell in love with her. It's what she does: she is good at making people like her.
She has Charisma, in addition to whatever multitudinous other talents.
What she's not good at is actually loving others, or even herself, because it's always a performance, she doesn't know how to make it 'real.' As brother Maynard sings it: "Fuck these dysfunctional, insecure actresses."
Self-confidence and poise that motivates others to like or follow or respect you is psychically draining and often dishonest; masks that a talk-show shrink could expound upon.

Is that on-topic? IDK, but that's a somewhat polished thought that bubbled up while re-reading the posts in the thread thus far.


(44 replies, posted in Off Topic)

You're good here T. (((Teague)))
Stop trying to tell us, and tell us.

Dropping an * for future comment as I try to locate the viewing materials. Also to express thanks for sharing the "You are not a sociopath..." bit. Briefly, I know that I perform 'appropriate' emotions more than I actually express or experience my own real emotional reactions to, well, everything. That's about as articulate I can be just now. ;-)

<edit 1>
Netflix, duh, that was easy. I'm up to Episode 9.
If you're coming in cold with not a lot of time for a binge, you could start with ep 8-9 which is an extended flashback that gives you largest part of the backstory. The /Story/ is about who Violet has become since then, and the rest of the prior episodes are much more chick-flick.

<edit 2>
Chick-flick. I didn't mean that in a dismissive way. The many punch-holes in my man card have been discussed elsewhere, and this show wrings at least a tear during every episode. Just finished ep 10, and I was adding my signature, personal gauzy lens effect to the whole thing as little Anne couldn't quite grasp the importance of Violet's week-long job writing for Anne's mother.


(85 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Glad to see them proceeding with it.
Now to wait until P+ offers a free trial and will let me the binge the whole show in one day...


(668 replies, posted in Creations)

As a ticket-holding queue-stander in the Ford F-150 Lightning line, I very much appreciate that vid Boter!


(1,649 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Never mind how he his the target, ever...how has he not strangled himself?!?



(44 replies, posted in Episodes)

Last week, I had to share the bit where Zap talks about the melody of Norwegian speech (starts ~0:35:00).
Revisited the whole episode this week, because nostalgia.

Being old, I was radicalized by this song (especially its video) during the summer it was released.
Doesn't really fit in your playlist though. ;-)


(13 replies, posted in Creations)

AAAArgh! You hogs-of-the-road are all on the wrong side!


(6 replies, posted in Creations)

How it's going:



(6 replies, posted in Creations)

Tweaked the Sphere's parameters and only needed to Tesselate on the polygons to export->import a usable mesh into Fusion. Dropped the face count from 500k to 35k which has made Fusion much happier. For reasons that are not clear to me, now I can use T-splines to sculpt the mesh onto my solid geometry which eliminates the B-rep conversion that was taking so much processor time. Fusion seems to make some decisions behind the scenes (without my input) about the imported mesh which affect the usability of the result.

So I've got the mesh intersected with the 'real' physical tiles that I'll be machining, but now I need to figure out how to re-orient them into an unfolded flat piece. It was easy enough with the original 'bodies,' but somehow the intersected 'Components' don't respond the same to the move commands. Tutorial vids here I come.



(6 replies, posted in Creations)

The eyedropper in the color select tool seems to do what  I need in place of explicitly making an alpha mask. Self taught, so I may not grok the terminology, but I think when I copy-paste from the seafloor image onto the land image PS creates a new layer with the masking I need based on the color selection.

So now in Max I've got a nice bump/displacement mapped mesh.
Odd to look at the planet this way. The political divisions are sooooo not there; Russia and Alaska are one thing, Europe is unified. Florida is barely recognizable.


Next, importing this into Fusion360. Exporting an OBJ from Max with triangular faces was a bust, Fusion can see the mesh as a mesh but can't convert it to usable solid geometry. So after much trial and error I used a MeshSmooth modifier on the base sphere, before the mesh-map displacement, to convert the faces to quads instead. Now Fusion agrees it would like to convert that mesh into BREP's, but it's been choking on it for like 4 hours now. It's a lot of faces, so either we'll get there eventually, or I need to cut back on my face count a bunch. Looking into mesh optimizations in Max now...


(6 replies, posted in Creations)

How do you mask an area to Alpha?
I was using selection tools to achieve this, (color select (pick the 142 color that indicates 0m, invert selection, now all the seafloor is selected, copy-paste) but an alpha blend sounds more flexible.


(6 replies, posted in Creations)

Moving out of the chat where BDA got me back on track...

Here are two pretty high res bump maps of the Earth, one from sea level up (0 to +6400 meters), the other down (-8000 to 0 meters):

https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/i … x10800.png
https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/i … x10800.png

My first instinct is to open these in photoshop, use adjustment layers to slide the 0 point to the middle (say RGB=142, which puts zero at roughly the same proportion as the 6400/8000 meter numbers) and then do a color select to grab the below-sea-level stuff and paste it onto the above. Having done this, it seems to create some sharp edges in a few places where I don't think the topography should be very steep. Like the arctic north of Norway & Russia.

If anybody has a few minutes to review my work, I'd appreciate the sanity check.

https://www.visibleearth.nasa.gov/image … topography
https://www.visibleearth.nasa.gov/image … bathymetry

drewjmore: But this is progress, thanks BDA.
drewjmore: and make some arbitrary decisions about where one map ends and the other begins.
drewjmore: which means I need to shop them together
drewjmore: Argh, seems to be hard to find both the land and the seafloor in the same map.
drewjmore: This might be a good one. https://www.visibleearth.nasa.gov/image … topography
drewjmore: Their stuff is in some odd formats, too. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/ … -3d-model/
BigDamnArtist: I remember it being a bit of a pain to find when I was looking a cpl years back. But if you google around for CG nasa earth maps it should pop up. Pretty sure they also have the other planets in there too.
drewjmore: I've been to usual places, GIS data and whatnot, but maybe I didn't check NASA specifically. brb
BigDamnArtist: I cant look it up right now, but if you google around NASA has super high res maps available, and I'm pretty sure there was a bump map in there when I was looking.
drewjmore: #4: profit!
drewjmore: ...
drewjmore: Then I tessellate the crap out of it and export to OBJ which I import into Fusion 360.
drewjmore: I've got a pretty low-res map on a globe in Max which looks okay.
drewjmore: *want to
drewjmore: My router-table robot thingy is working well, and I wan tot try making a hollow wooden globe with it.
drewjmore: Anyone know of a good place to find one?
drewjmore: CG assets question: a really good bump map of a topographical earth.


(20 replies, posted in Creations)

Pssshhh, a real droid's shell would be at least 75% duraplast, with alusteel reinforcements.

I'm probably just a sentimental sissy, but with our new xmas teevee box I finally subscribed to DisPlus and binged the sequel trilogy (rewatches, all, for me who saw them in theaters near the opening nights) with my 4.75 year old and loved the hell out of all of them.

I'm lobbying my teenagers to start Mandolorian (so I can finally read the 50+ posts in //that// thread...), but we're in the middle of JJ's "Alias" and my pleas are being ignored.


(1,649 replies, posted in Off Topic)

I've jumped off a lot of things, my high school jock identity was extremely tied to being a springboard diver on the school team. Did some indoor platform stuff up to about 5m, but that was the max the ceiling allowed. One summer,  1990-ish, my brother and I found a riverside cliff in Missouri by my grandparents house, climbed up it with a long surveyor's tape measure and kept jumping from greater and greater heights. We finished at 70 feet (20 meters, give or take). Scariest shit I've ever done. But that's the secret: you work up to it...and it's never not terrifying.


(255 replies, posted in Off Topic)

I would prefer not to.


As long as I'm here I should mention that I'm halfway through E. Jean Carrol's bio of Hunter S. Thompson. (Yes, that E. Jean Carrol...the magazine columnist who has accused President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s) Can't say I've been a fan of HST's work per se, but I have been fascinated by what others have seen in him.