June 4th, 2006

beartato phd

(no subject)

Wow, I just woke up from this dream that oddly was a mostly realistic echo of what I did last night. I was at some anonymous restaurant with subpar and madmadammim (in reality we went to the Olive Garden last night) except in the dream neal was wooing some extremely attractive girl by playing a simple little D-A-Bm-G song on an electric guitar. Now, I have to say that's more like the kind of chord progression I associate with the moment in the movie where the background music cuts to the chorus and the slightly unhinged 20-something protagonist takes a nostalgic look around at his friends all laughin' and moving' around in slow motion and the reflective/summarizing voice-over begins, camera moving back to a wide shot, but dream Neal was achieving total wooage success with these chords. Real world Neal, I suggest you take this into consideration!

The other notable thing from the dream was hollywood squares wheel of fortune. Sally and I were in the other room from Neal and wooee, and I think there was another guy there who was a friend of sally's except he wasn't a real person, more like a composite of her friends phoebus and Matt E. And we were watching on the game show channel a cross-over between wheel of fortune and hollywood squares. The show started by going over all the B-list celebrities in the squares, and then they showed that the entire tic-tac-toe board structure was mounted on the wheel-of-fortune wheel, so it spun around everytime someone spun the wheel. I guess the contestants were all super-strong or something. "I'd like to buy a vowel... 'O', please... Yes... 'O'. For the win."
beartato phd

(no subject)

So the idea I had about that little flash game I posted the other day was that eventually I was going to make it so that the player would be given a range of curves to imitate, and that you'd be scored on how well you did, the point being to train on the sort of eye-to-hand mapping that I imagine would be useful for life drawing, not that I know shit from shinola when it comes to art pedagogy, but whatever.

The main problem was coming up and implementing a metric for "correctness" was too annoying. I could do squared error matching the player's curve-through-time against a stored one, but I find the game of "move along this curve at constant speed" kind of irritating. Doing anything like distance-between-point-and-bezier-curve would involve doing some actual math, and I don't really care to work out the formulae or to implement it in actionscript.

So I did something much simpler, based loosely on a description of a contour drawing exercise I found in Kaupelis. No quantitative grading, but I found it very easy to qualitatively judge myself line by line; the idea is you're basically tracing, but the image and the cursor both vanish as soon as you are actually drawing. Thus for the duration of each curve you have to memorize a little bit of the contour of the image, and play it back through your hand. I was impressed how bad I was at doing this except for very, very short strokes at first, but I'm starting to get a little better:


(photo of old cigar dude gotten from here)

The game saves everything you draw in the clipboard as postscript, so just paste into a text file and save it with a .ps extention and view it with your favorite postscript viewer. I'd like to make it easy to load your own images from a URL or whatever but as far as I understand the flash security model makes that somewhat tricky...