Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Rendering Terry Redlin paintings in 3D

Is it even possible on a PC?

Best Friends
Best friends is a panoramic overview of several buildings, bridges and locations that can be found in other painting by America's favorite artist, Terry Redlin.

Would it be possible to draw his world in 3D?
Look at the barn, In it's simplest form it is just 4 walls and four roof panels with bitmap images stamped on them. Just 6 objects to render.

But what about the fence? Not just the one in the foreground. Look close and there are fences around all those fields. And telephone poles. And two dozen other buildings. But that is nothing compared to rendering the trees. Use Microsof't's 3D Paint app and download a realistic evergreen. How many pine needles are there on just one tree? I count over a hundred trees in just the "Best Friends" painting.

Terry created hundreds of paintings. These two show one homestead. One looks east while the other looks west. Perfect for creating 3D images.
Terry painted real places. Buildings in the background of one print show up in other prints.

While we can obviously create a video biography and fly a virtual drone through all his paintings, the question is, can this be done on a ordinary PC? I created a 3D image with two barns and a house. Then I rendered a video walkthrough at 30 fps for just 7 seconds. A modern quad core PC took 28-1/2 minutes to render this short video.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Captain Charles Reed Grosh

The Story of Captain Charles Reed Grosh. This is some information I am putting together about my dad for my grandson who has asked about his great grandfather.
0000 Introduction

0005 Studies
Charles graduated high school, worked in a bakery and attended the Ohio Institute of Aeronautics. He wanted to be and aircraft mechanic like his father.

When World War II broke out he and his older brother joined the Army. Charles qualified for the Army Air Corps and learned to fly.
0010 Trainee

0020 Airman First Class

The allies were trying to free Italy from Germany.  Charles was sent to North Africa. As a fighter pilot, he would escort allied bombers into Italy.
0040 North Africa
After the bomber dropped their loads on the german supply lines, the American fighters would drop down to tree level and search for more german trucks and trains that were supplying the German soldiers who had invaded Italy.
0050 Italy

Charles took this photo of Italy while searching for German supply lines.

Back in Camp

After a mission across the Mediterranean, Charles would try to catch some sleep before dark. During the night the germans would bomb the allied bases in North Africa. The Allied anti-aircraft guns defending the base would make it impossible to sleep at night.
060 Camp Life
In the morning the desert around camp would be littered with busted up German bombers. Having learned about aircraft mechanics, Charles and other pilots along with their flight crews began salvaging parts from the German bombers, together they were able to build a complete German plane. Their commander would not let then try to fly it because all the instruments were in German and he was afraid they would crash it. He didn't want to lose any pilots, or waste any fuel, on such a foolish adventure.

Meanwhile - Back In Italy

An Italian mayor wanted to get his family out of Italy because of all the bombing. He convinced a German pilot defector to fly him and his family out of Italy to North Africa. They landed at Charles's base. Now Charles had a german pilot that knew how to fly a german bomber. The squadron convinced the base commander to let them fly a reconnaissance mission over Germany in the rebuilt bomber. Together with the german pilot, they flew over Germany taking photos. The german defector even convinced the german ground control to let them land and refuel the bomber so they could extend the spying activity.

Charles's Flight crew.

0080 Fellow Pilots

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Geronimo's Cadillac

Modern mythology springs from the best and worst of us. It evolves.

The Web amplifies  and accelerates the evolution of this mythology.
Modern mythology illustrates the best and worst of the human condition. 

Mythological stories last longest when they show that good behavior will be rewarded and foolish, evil, or stupid behavior will be punished. 

Modern mythology reveal people's fear of rapid change in technology.

Michael Martin Murphey's song "Geronimo's Cadillac" was inspired by Walter Ferguson's photo of Geronimo sitting in a luxury Locomobile.
 Contrary to what you might think, the person in the feathered war bonnet is not Geronimo. Geronimo is the man in the top hat sitting at the wheel.
The song was also recorded by Hoyt Axton and by Cher, whos real name is  Cherilyn Sarkisian, who is not an indian, but of Armenian / Irish decent.

On March 4th in 1905 Geranimo rode in the president Theodore Roosevelt's Inaugural parade. Of the six indians who were invited to march, he was the only one who was not an Indian chief.
Geronimo is second from right. Many people thought he was a cowboy.
His real name was Goyathlay (The cunning one), The mexicans called him Geronimo, (One who yawns)

Had Goyathlay owned a cadillac it would have looked like this. However, he never owned a car, or learned to drive, He simply sat in a Locomobile for a photograph.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    When A.I. Escapes

    A photo I took at Fort Pickens in Pensacola Florida, Edited.
    Every technology either reaches escape velocity, or  dies.
    If at some point, a new technology becomes viable, it explodes into the human experience like gangbusters.
    It happened with automobiles. I saw that with the personal computer. We are seeing it now with artificially intelligent robotics.

    Some questions arise. We weren't prepared for them when the automobile, TV, and PC arrived. Will we be prepared for the A.I. Robot?
    Will Robots have rights.
    Should Robots that replace human workers pay income tax?
    Are Robots slaves?
    What do we do with a dead Robot?
    Once a Robot reaches general intelligence, can they vote?

    Why did I capitalize "Robot"? Well... we capitalize God, don't we?

    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    Artificial Intelligence  -  Just the Beginning.

    MIT teaches AI to transform photos into creepy images.

    This is an example of an A.I. agent that is specialized. It just makes scary pictures. 
    Cortana, Sari and Alexa are also specialized. They find things on the web, do simple math and keep track of appointments. They are not generalized. They would not pass for humans in a Turing test.

    The consensus among A.I. researchers today is that A.G.I. (Artificial General Intelligence) is still thirty to forty years away.

    Some even argue that A.I. stands for "Augmented Intelligence". That A.I. is just a set of tools we use to augment our own intelligence. Neural networks help us spell words correctly, identify possible viruses to protect our PC's, recognise our faces to log us in, correct our english, translate a foreign language, or search the internet.
    Today we understand how neurons work, but not the brain. We create Artificial brains by arranging neurons in rows and columns. But that is not how they are done in biology.

    We can use MRI to see the locations in our brains where math is done. And, we see they are different when we do spelling.   Math takes place in two places at the same time. One in the left half of our brain, and a similar place in the right half. Why? Is there some sort of arbitration mechanism in the human brain that chooses the correct answer to the math problem or the correct spelling of the word?
    Do we do it in two places just for redundancy?
    Does our brain simply pick the answer form whichever side finds it first? Or, since answers are based on rather fuzzy strengths of neural pathways, is the brain looking for a consensus? Maybe the left brain says the answer is either 3, 7 or 9, while the right side says the answer is 3 or 4. Three is chosen simply because both sides of the brain seem to agree. Right now, I can't answer that question.
    There is a bundle of nerves that connect the two halves of the brain, (the corpus callosum), but  that seems to be just a communications path, (much like a bundle of fiber optics). But that still does not answer how or why the brain does most things in two places.

    While on the subjec of the human brain versus A.I., here is an interesting experiment.
    Are the white blocks moving up and down or right and left. This is a common test used to determine where in the brain  movement processed. Try looking at the center of the black square. Try viewing the test from an angle by moving your head three or four feet to the extreme right or left of the screen. This test is often used to determine if you are right or left brained.

    Ambiguous apparent-motion quartet

    Additional reading:

    Also; this book is on amazon and is available for Kendel:
    The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - by Julian Jaynes

    Saturday, March 31, 2018

    Placeholders for misplaced slides from my dads 35 mm slide drawers.

    When Digitizing my dads 35 mm slides, some got misplaced. I made these images as place holders for the files that I haven't yet found. They feature photos dad took of me and my sister

    Sunday, March 25, 2018

    Lost in the woods.

    For the first time in over 200 weeks I missed my show.
    ....    Sorry!

    My Brother, Sister and I decided to build some roads on our property in Defuniak Springs.
    <-- This is my little brother in the Bobcat. ... Before he got it stuck!

    Tracks buried in muck.

    This is us trying to dig it out.

    This is me going for help. 

     My sister to the rescue.

    This is me apologizing for not doing Bobs Bytes last Tuesday.

    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.