Thoughts on Sketching #2

The first month of my sketching challenge is done! Slowly but steady I can feel some progress on my sketches. Not that the quality of the results got much better but I feel more secure on doing my lines. This is great because I feel more confident while doing a sketch and I am more open for the result and not so busy on trying to correct every second line.

Time tracking my sketches gave me an overview on how long I will probably need for a sketch – but here I also recognized that I still tend to overdo stuff. My sketches are still more drawings than quick sketches…I also did not train techniques the way I wanted to. For the next sketches I will try to simplify everything and get things done in less time than I needed thus far.

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Tools of the trade

I’ve also tried some different tools which gave me different results and have their own pros and cons. I mostly sketch with my iPad with Paper and Pencil by 53. This app makes really fun but the used technology with Pencil has some drawbacks too. The Palm recognition doesn’t work always as it should which results in unwanted interaction with the interface. Also drawing with the fat side of Pencil usually needs some strokes till it works, the eraser of Pencil is a nice addition and works great. Zooming in Paper and drawing is usually nice but sometimes it’s a mess too. I think the general problem is that Pencil is firstly recognized as a finger and the software has to figure out, if it’s really a finger or if it’s Pencil. If you get used to it after a while things get better and using Pencil gets much easier. But the biggest problem is the rubber tip of Pencil. As I read on Amazon a lot of people complain about the quality of the tip. I am using Pencil for some weeks / some sketches now and the tip already begins to get cracks. For such a high priced digital pen this is surely a absolut no go!!! I hope things won’t get much worse…

Sketching with regular pencils and ball pens makes a lot of fun to and feels great. I like it to get used to different pencil strengths and to try out how the affect a sketch. Most of the time I do some light strokes with pencil and after the rough sketch is done I redo the lines with ball pens. Techniques like cross hatching needed some time to get used to but gets better with time.

Yesterday I dust off my Wacom Pen & Touch tablet and did a sketch with Mischief – this was great! I had a very good time on drawing on my computer and it wasn’t that hard to get the hand and eyes coordinated right (you draw on your desk and see the results on your computer screen). The tablet sensitivity feels great and the drawing is very nice. As a drawback I needed a lot more time than on the last sketches which is because of the bigger set of possibilities.

For the next sketches I will try to focus to work more with traditional tools and use my digital friends for some bonus stuff! On the other side it is also great to use all these things to be productive and create something!

Macintosh turns 30!

Today in 1984 the original Macintosh was released! This was one year before I was born. Incredible what happened since then.

Apple made a very nice web site according to the anniversary, have a look: http://www.apple.com/30-years/

Also you can download a font where the characters are all Macintosh desktops and notebooks made until today (via osxdaily)

font

iOS 7 Tech Talks – Game Developer Day in Berlin

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On December 13th 2013 I had the chance to attend the iOS 7 Tech Talks Game Developer Day from Apple at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin. In short: it was amazing!

I’ve met some interesting people to talk about iOS & game development and got a lot of information and tips. The presentations were hold by Apple Developers and had many useful hints and tips to improve Apps and software in general. One of my favorite presentations was the one about OpenGL ES 3.0. It’s truly awesome what mobile devices are able to do these days!

Next to the presentation room was a lab where you had the opportunity to talk to the developers from person to person. For me this was one of the highlights of the day because they gave me a lot of input for some of the projects I am working on.  Everyone was willing to help you on your problems and it’s great to discuss stuff of your apps directly with people with tons of experience.

To summarize, it was a very interesting day and I think it’s great that Apple cares so much about the developers! I hope that I will have the chance to join some of this kind of event (WWDC? ;-) ) again, even if it was a bit stressful after all (there was the christmas party of my job the same evening in Dresden…)!

If your are a in the iOS Developer Program you can watch the presentations here: https://developer.apple.com/tech-talks/videos/

 

Turning your Raspberry pi into an AirPlay receiver

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The Raspberry Pi is an awesome piece of hardware, you can do so much stuff with this little computer at very low costs and nearly unlimited possibilities. I’ve got one to expand my “musical network” at home. Besides a AirPlay enabled receiver in the living room and a Apple TV in the bedroom I wanted to get another AirPlay client for the bathroom or kitchen. After some research the Raspberry Pi turned up as the at least expensive and most flexible solution. Since there are a lot of tutorials on the Pi and Airplay it is fairly easy to set everything up.

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the hassle-free guide to wifi-up your raspberry pi!

you’ve got an raspberry pi and want to get wifi working? it’s pretty easy if you choose this usb dongle: EDIMAX EW-7811UN it is working out of the box with just some configuration. the setup is done in some minutes and you are ready to use wifi with your raspberry pi!

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making of 1 million particles

this time I will give you some insights on how to create a gpu driven particle system with opengl and glsl. for most of my opengl work I choose cinder and highly recommend to get in touch with it. already knowing cinder is not essential but gives a better understanding of the text. also since this is just a making of, not a step by step guide, some OpenGL and shader knowledge is required.

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before we dive into the code I think it’s good to get an overview on how the system works. the base of this particle system is a so called ping-pong framebuffer object. ping-pong means that you have two framebuffer objects (fbo) which are drawn alternately. when fbo A is drawn fbo B is used for calculations. on the next frame B will be drawn and A is used for calculations and so on. the particle movement is calculated by an glsl shader, all results (current position, velocity,…) are saved into textures. the drawing of the particles is also controlled by a shader who controls opacity and size. each particle has a time to live, if it’s old enough it will be respawned at a new position with it’s initial velocity. you see there is not that much going on, so now let’s look at the code a little bit deeper!

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Halloween Fun

Today is Halloween!
So besides the preparation of the plea of my diploma thesis there was some time to create a nice pumpkin. It’s nothing special but we had a lot of fun (especially makin’ the timelapse video)!

 

Neues Projekt steht in den Startlöchern!

Hier war es ja die letzte Zeit etwas ruhig, das lag daran, dass ich einige Dinge für mein Studium abschließen musste und mein Diplom vorbereiten. Nachdem das aber weitestgehend geklärt ist habe ich bald wieder etwas mehr Zeit für neue Projekte.

Ich möchte zwar noch nicht zu viel verraten, aber bei meinem nächsten Streich wird es sich wieder um die Kinect und unseren alten Freund Godzilla drehen…man kann sich sicher denken in welche Richtung das Projekt geht.

Microsoft hat in der Zwischenzeit auch sein eigenes SDK für die Kinect veröffentlicht und wie zu erwarten war, auch wieder mächtig daneben gehauen. So ist Windows only, bisher nur für nicht-kommerzielle Zwecke verwendbar und ein genauerer Blick auf die Lizenz macht es nicht besser. Das amerikanische Magazin make: hat dazu einen netten Beitrag geschrieben: Klick!

Na ja, selber schuld, die Sache wird sich mit dieser Herangehensweise sicherlich hinter ähnlich erfolgreichen Projekten wie Zune einreihen…

Ein anderes Projekt was schon so gut wie abgeschlossen ist, aber auf Eis gelegt wurde sind die 1 million particles. Das ist ein ausschließlich per GPU berechnetes Partikelsystem auf der Basis von Framebuffer Objects dem ich allerdings noch keinen Feinschliff verpassen konnte (die Partikel tanzen zur Zeit etwas lustlos durch die Gegend), da libcinder scheinbar nur zwei Framebuffer Attachements unterstüzt und ich mehr benötige. Also muss ich erstmal im Code von libcinder Anpassungen vornehmen und dann kann der Spaß beginnen.

Stay tuned!

OpenNI running on Mac!

Today I’ve also got my Kinect running on Mac with the OpenNI driver. Here is a video of the user tracking demo. Now I am working on a small project with cinder and Kinect, so stay tuned.