The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'graphics'


The age of vector graphics on the web is drawing closer; Raphaël is a JavaScript library which gives you a portable way of drawing vector graphics, not only on all modern browsers but, amazingly enough, on Internet Explorer from version 6 upwards. (It uses SVG on modern browsers and VML on Microsoft's ones.) Anyway, Raphaël code looks like:

var paper = Raphael(10, 50, 320, 200);
var c =, 50, 40);
c.attr({fill: "#000", stroke: "none"});
c.node.onclick = function() {
    c.attr("fill", "red");
It also handles images, text, and paths (using the SVG path notation). And here is a set of free icons, all implemented as path strings for use in Raphaël; they look fairly neat and modern, though, being single path objects, are monochrome. Being paths, though, they scale seamlessly.

So how soon can you use this in your web sites? Well, it runs with most of the web browsers in use these days, though needs a 55Kb (20Kb gzipped) JavaScript file. You'll probably need to host this file yourself, neither Google nor Yahoo! seem to have added it to their public CDN systems yet (though perhaps it's only a matter of time).

graphics javascript nifty svg tech web 0


Colors! is a program which turns a Nintendo DS into a pressure-sensitive drawing tablet/sketchbook. It includes translucency, and can be used to create some rather impressive drawings. There's a gallery here.

Colors! is free, though, being homebrew, requires a homebrew loading cartridge.

(via Boing Boing Gadgets) creativity graphics nifty nintendo ds software 0


Another use for all those neatly tagged photos of tourist attractions on websites like Flickr: synthesising accurate 3D models from millions of photos, taken by amateurs from random angles:

To make the 3D digital model, the researchers first download photos of a landmark. For instance, they might download the roughly 60,000 pictures on Flickr that are tagged with the words "Statue of Liberty." The computer finds photos that it will be able to use in the reconstruction and discards pictures that are of low quality or have obstructions. Photo Tourism, a tool developed at the UW, then calculates where each person was standing when he or she took the photo. By comparing two photos of the same object that were taken from slightly different perspectives, the software applies principles of computer vision to figure out the distance to each point.
"We don't quite get the accuracy of a laser scanner, but we're in the ballpark," Seitz said. The recreations of Notre Dame show individual figures carved into the stone facade. A model of The Duomo in Pisa, Italy, a building about 160 feet tall, is accurate to within a few inches. The resolution of the 3D model mostly depends on the resolution of the original photos.
The next step in the research will be to create a detailed 3D model of a city entirely from automatically sorted photos from the internet; Rome has been chosen as the city to thus recreate.

(via /.) cs flickr graphics machine vision tech 0


This is pretty impressive; a new algorithm that, when presented with a photograph with a hole cut out of it, searches a database of millions of other photographs, presents the user with a menu of similar-looking images to select from, and then composites elements of the chosen image to fill the hole seamlessly, producing an image which (in most cases) looks semantically coherent. Most impressively, it is entirely data-driven, and does not require any human-generated annotations of test data:

It uses mathematical properties of the images to make the match, and sometimes ends up serendipitously picking other images from the same location (because two photographs of, say, the Taj Mahal taken on a sunny mid-afternoon are likely to share similar properties).

Of course, it is possible to use such a tool creatively, replacing unwanted parts of an image with elements from a completely different scene, as the paper (PDF here shows:

(via /.) computer art computer science graphics image processing photography research tech 0


Portuguese news magazine Grande Reportagem has produced a series of graphics using countries' flags to illustrate statistics about those countries

Which looks somewhat like a cross between MAD Magazine and The Economist.

(via cos) graphics information politics society 2


Screenshots of the latest Windows Longhorn beta. It looks like Microsoft have one interesting eye-candy feature that Apple currently don't: the ability to do translucent elements, i.e., ones in which the pixel value can be a function of not only the background pixel but its neighbours (which allows Gaussian blurring and such). I wonder how computationally expensive this is compared to Apple's straightforward transparency; it certainly looks pretty, though.

(via /.) eye candy graphics microsoft windows 1


A fascinating history of London's vice cards; the small printed cards used by the local prostitutes and dominatrices to advertise their services in phone booths, once whimsical and suggestive, but these days glossy, and about as subtle as internet porn banner ads: (via bOING bOING)

Although produced in the 1980s, the early cards were distinctly Fifties both in tone and design. Many still used foundry display types such as ATF's Brush, or Stephenson Blake's Chisel and Open Titling. Alternatively, they used Baskerville or Garamond, two of the most pervasive text typefaces of the 1950s; as a result they retained an old-world charm. The techniques behind their production were rudimentary: illustrations were hand-drawn, traced, or photocopied. Type was seldom set: it was either rubbed-down, cut out from magazines, or sometimes hand produced. Images and type were pasted together and handed to the printer.
Teachers and parents at one London school complained that pupils as young as five had invented their own version of the Pokémon card using prostitute cards that they collected, then swapped. There has been more than one model that has been alarmed to find her photograph used without permission on the cards.
Vice cards have become fascinating cultural icons. For some, the cards are interesting because they are trackers of technology: they show when specialised production equipment became available, quite literally, at street level. To others the cards are artistic or typographic curios with a unique linguistic and visual vocabulary. The cards are also sociological and cultural records of the late twentieth century, mirroring the changing sexual attitudes and practices of the past 20 years.

culture graphics london prostitution vice vice cards 0


GUIdebook is a museum of graphical user interfaces, past and present, with comparisons of equivalent aspects (dialogs, icons, &c.) of different systems. The UIs include everything from GEOS (Commodore 64 and Apple) to Windows Longhorn, along with curiosities such as Rhapsody (i.e., NeXTSTEP with the MacOS UI bolted onto it), BeOS, the Amiga, QNX and OS/2. (Though with some notable omissions: i.e., GEM doesn't rate a mention once, and nor does any version of the MacOS X interface.)

In a similar vein, System 1.0 Headquarters, examining just how the first Macintosh OS differed from modern versions of MacOS (and here, "modern" means MacOS 7.6 and/or 8.5).

design graphics gui retrocomputing 0

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