Saturday, February 24, 2018


I have so many field notes, photos and sketches, I decided to make a cover sheet  for them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thunder Rider Comic book Progress update
Recent photo compared to how the tower must have looked.
Building S84 was the Operations Building at Hickam field on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. There is only one photo taken from miles away in black and white. Its poor quality does not show much, but it is obviously under construction and missing some features. I had to base my drawing mostly on written records.

Here are a couple pages that are about half done. The inside cover and first inside page are a spread.
The first page is usually called the splash page. It is supposed to set the stage for the comic and introduce characters.

Our hero, Captain Chuck. Is not on the splash page.
 Instead, I thought I'd show Chucks Dad reading about the Perl Harbor Attack while talking to Chuck in the next room (and on the next page). I still have to add text, bombs dropping, and explosions. The fleeing soldiers are just sketched in and need a lot of work to give the scene energy and action.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Fighter Pilot

I decided to try my hand at creating a comic book for my grand-kids. My goal is to have 22 pages printed on my 11 by 17 printer  so it folds to a standard 8-1/2 by 11 inch graphic novel.
I want to tell the story of my dad and his adventures during WWII.  I hope to convey the challenges and accomplishments of the greatest generation to my grand-kids by telling stories about their family members. I hope they form a personal connection to history.

I have no idea how long this will take. I have a few pages almost done. This one is the first that seems to be coming together. I'm not much of an artist. So choosing colors and layout is a learning process. I'll probably change this page several more times before I am satisfied with it.

One of the planes my dad flew was the P47 fighter made by Republic Aircraft Co, in Long Island NY. But... his dad worked at Douglass Aircraft company in Ohio. My grandpa was not at all happy about his son flying a competitors plane.
I'm struggling with putting this whole story together and giving it a sense of adventure that will keep grand kids interested.

I suppose my own kids will find the story interesting and help the grand-kids learn a little history.

Below is not a page in the book. Just some of the scratch area in Image Composer that shows how I did the drawings and a couple of dads old 35mm slides that served as guides for my drawings.

If you have done any stories written for children about their ancestry, I'd love to hear about them.

Monday, October 30, 2017

What's a Moiré ?

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that's a Moiré.
-   Dean Martin
Actually, Dean said "That's amore"
Amore is Italian for love.
Moiré is a more recent word that came into use around 1958 after we began using  color TVs.

A moiré pattern is the result of drawing fine lines on two transparencies and moving one over the other.
Any time there are two repeating patterns they can interfere with each other.

On a color TV, fine lines can cause color moiré patters by interference with the rows and columns of red, green and blue dots. That is why newscasters wear solid ties, shirts and jackets, never pinstripes.

Fine lined repeating patterns displayed on a computer monitor interfere with the rows and columns of  RGB dots.

Printers produce moiré patterns when the image interferes with the pattern the ink jet nozzles make when they pass in straight lines across the paper.

Moiré effects can be a bothersome side effect that ruins photos and video.

I recently decided to explore using patterns to create moiré effects in animated wallpapers.Here is one screen of notes from my experiments.
Click to enlarge
Simple moiré patterns can simulate waves on a lake, a waterfall, a flickering candle, or a forest fire.
In this case I wanted a hypnotic pattern on a sun.
The usual frame animation approach presents huge problems.
Consider a sun that is 300 pixels in diameter. That's 300 x 300 = 90,000 pixels.
We need three 8-bit bytes for each pixel so that is 24 bits times 90,000, or 2,160,000 bits.
So we need a little more than two megabits per frame.
At 30 frames per second for a pattern that lasts 15 seconds before it repeats, we need a total of  450 frames. Multiply 450 times 2,160,00 bits and get 97,200,000 bits, (12 megabytes)

Obviously, twelve megabytes of images being loaded from disk one frame at a time would kill the hard drive, or use up a lot of cache memory.  If I load the entire set of frames into memory then the processor can put them on the screen one frame at a time. But, that uses up a lot of ram and 30 frames per second, the CPU has to move 8 MB per second into the display memory. Testing shows it uses about 9 percent of my CPU on my laptop. It can  easily do it, but seems a total waste for a wallpaper.

Moiré to the rescue.
To create the moiré effect, I only need one 300x300 image. I display it twice, one on top of the other. Then 30 times a second., the CPU rotates the bottom image 1 degree. This requires almost no effort on the part of the CPU, The actual task of rendering the pattern is done by the GPUs in the video card.

By comparison, to the 9% CPU usage for the frame method, the task manager shows less than 1% CPU usage and a GPU usage increase to only 2% for the moiré effect.

Since most of the work is done by the video cards GPUs, this is called "Offloading" the work to the GPU to free up processor resources.

.... But is that what is really happening?

Here is the only image I loaded.

It is just straight lines.

There are NO curved lines
or hypnotic patterns.

Where did the pattern get rendered?

It was Offloaded to a neural network.

.....     The organic one 
.....              between your ears.